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Friday Quickie: Support Small Business Saturday 2012

Let's not let Black Friday get all the glory this year. Saturday, November 24th is Small Business Saturday 2012. Celebrate by hitting up local boutiques, vintage shops, independent coffee shops, farmers markets and the like! According to the National Federation of Independent Businesses Small Business Saturday is the most important shopping day for 36% of independent retailers. Using our wallets to show support for local companies will help these businesses grow - in turn fostering the economy. So skip out on Starbucks and Target for a day or two and throw your dollars to the little guys. Philadelphia offers an abundance of options - like Arcadia boutique and One Shot Coffee in Northern Liberties, for example. Readers, any Small Business Saturday 2012 spots you plan on hitting up?
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I Got 99 Problems But Going Local Ain’t One!

I recently received an invite to attend an evening sold as a "conversation" about the local food movement. (Disclaimer #1: Specifics withheld:My intention is not to embarrass any individuals, but to discuss my frustration from this experience.) Since I've been screaming 'GO LOCAL" on GPB for the past few months, I felt like I wanted to rejuvenate my feelings on the topic and get some new insight. Unfortunately, I was very disappointed. The format of the discussion was pretty straight forward: Young woman "expert" wrote a thesis, presented a PowerPoint with a few short clips (including Food Inc. & Freakanomics), followed by discussion. The most frustrating part of the evening was the presenter's arguments against the local food movement. (Disclaimer #2: I've read a book pro-locavore and anti-locavore.) Although I love a good debate, I felt that many of her anti-locavore arguments weren't well explained. Therefore, I've analyzed a few of the "Going local isn't all it's cracked up to be" arguments:
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Seasonal Vegetable Quinoa “Risotto”

I'm a big fan of dishes that can be easily customized based on what's in season in your area. And, by what you happen to have in your kitchen at the given moment. This recipe serves as a perfect example ( ugh sorry unintentional pun!) Risotto, traditionally created with arborio rice is delicious. But I find all the stirring and standing over the stove unappealing at the end of a long day. This variation using quinoa is less time-consuming, and high in fiber and protein. And, it's creamy and comforting like traditional risotto. Click through for the recipe.
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How to Dine A Little Greener

In the summertime I get the urge to eat out more. The longer days and opportunity for al fresco dining (one of my favorite little pleasures in life) just make restaurants that much more enjoyable for me. I frequent establishments that boast the use of organic and local ingredients, along with lots of vegan and vegetarian hot spots. But, I also head to restaurants that aren't necessarily well known for any of these things. While dining I’m often on the lookout for how restaurants measure up in the eco-friendly department. Here are some practices that help keep businesses in the food industry greener. Don’t be shy - suggest some of these next time you’re at one of your favorite spots. Green restaurant practices:
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How to Eat Local this Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is all about two things: 1. Giving thanks, being grateful , reflecting on all we have. 2. The food! Let's focus on the latter for a moment, and talk about how we can celebrate this Thanksgiving's feast in truly green fashion. Here's 4 simple ways:
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Green event: Saturdays – Piazza Farmer's Market

Hungry for some local & fresh produce? Good news - The Piazza at Schmidt’s has an annual Saturday afternoon Farmers Market! The Piazza Farmer’s Market imports local farmers to Northern Liberties to showcase the best local produce, meats, poultry and dairy products available in the city of Philadelphia. Kicking off last Saturday the Piazza Farmer’s Market has
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