The Year in Food

The 2014 tastes we just couldn't stop thinking about

Kevin Thomas (l) and Naya Jones of Food for Black Thought
Kevin Thomas (l) and Naya Jones of Food for Black Thought (Photo by John Anderson)

Top 10 Food nonprofits

1) GREEN CORN PROJECT Named for a Native American celebration, Green Corn digs in and helps underserved communities learn the magic of building and maintaining organic gardens – demonstrating that fostering a love between children and homegrown veggies is the future.

2) URBAN ROOTS Through paid internships, Urban Roots teaches sustainable urban farming to area youth. Their East Austin harvest is split between local food pantries and farmers' market sales through their Community Supported Agriculture Program.

3) FOOD FOR BLACK THOUGHT Co-founders Naya Jones and Kevin Thomas combine expertise in food production, marketing, and cultural studies to provide a diverse platform for discussing and examining race and local food.

4) FOOD IS FREE PROJECT After a leasing snafu this fall, FIF announced a move to Fayetteville, Ark., where they'll build an open-source farm. We'll miss their sun-kissed faces, but are sure Austin will remain a favorite among the cities that have adopted their goal of food liberation.

5) CENTRAL TEXAS BEE RESCUE Bee czar Walter Schumacher is on a mission to rescue the great endangered pollinators through donation-based hive relocation. His efforts have sealed partnerships with the W Hotel, the city of Austin, and the Omni Hotel.

6) LITTLE HERDS Taking a creepy-crawly approach to palate expansion, Robert Nathan Allen's brainchild seeks to broaden our horizons by teaching the wonders of entomophagy. Yep, eating insects – crickets, mealworms, grasshoppers, etc – is sustainable and delicious.

7) LES DAMES D'ESCOFFIER The Austin chapter of this national philanthropy group of successful women in food includes local culinary stars like Toni Tipton-Martin, Marla Camp, and Foo Swasdee.

8) EAST FEAST COALITION An offshoot of Urban Patchwork, this group gathered diverse community support that resulted in an ordinance approving the Festival Beach Food Forest – a fence-free edible Eden pledged to be free and open to the public.

9) FRESH CHEFS SOCIETY This 100% volunteer-operated org focuses on empowering youth in foster care through culinary life skills and cooking lessons from chefs and food-centric community members – including big names like Sonya Coté.

10) FARMSHARE AUSTIN The nonprofit branch of Johnson's Backyard Garden works its own Colorado River Basin plot, and has four objectives: education, research, land preservation, and food access.

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Top 10, Green Corn Project, Urban Roots, Food for Black Thought, Food is Free Project, Central Texas Bee Rescue, Little Herds, Les Dames d'Escoffier, East Feast Coalition, Fresh Chefs Society, Farmshare Austin

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