They’re all specialty food and beverage producers from the great state of Texas (my homeland). They’re also the four Texas-based winners of this year’s Good Food Awards. Congrats y’all!
Earlier this month, the 99 Good Food Award winners were announced in San Francisco. Unfortunately, I didn’t make it to the ceremony or the market day that followed (which happened to be on my birthday, dang it). But I’ve followed this competition for several years. Why? The winners earn their stripes by creating tasty, authentic, and responsibly produced food and drink. And they inspire me to find interesting, carefully-created products in my neck of the woods (and in other necks when I’m traveling or where shipping costs aren’t prohibitive). I’m all about that.
Take Confituras, for example, based in Austin, TX (which is a great place to live if you are into local, sustainable, humanely-produced food). The folks there produce “small batch, locally sourced, jams, jellies, and preserves,” including their award winning Bourbon Brown Sugar Peach Preserves. They create artisanal marmalades and sea salts infused with citrus and chiles. They’ll ship their treasures to you, or you can schedule a pickup at one of the Austin farmers markets they call home on the weekends. You can even invest in a CSA-like share of jams. It doesn’t get much better if you’re a toast-for-breakfast enthusiast.
I’m horribly jealous in quite an ugly way.
I want to be part of it all! I want to know the people who created this award-winning venture and others who vied for a Good Food Award! I want to support these producers and each small, locally-focused, sustainable food producer I can find and afford! I want to be one of the crazy, optimistic people trying to fix our broken food system!
What’s great is that I can help. And so can you. It’s simple:
- Do some research — knowledge is power. Check out the 99 Good Food Award winners and finalists, and seek out their products. Find locally-produced deliciousness in your area by visiting farmers markets. Subscribe to an Edible magazine if one is published for your locale — Edible Communities publishes dozens of editions of their award-winning magazines aimed at uncovering real food regionally.
- Vote with your wallet. Sometimes (but not always), food products from the “little guys” cost more. But what you pay for in coin, you more than make up for in taste, satisfaction, and the knowledge that your effort and investment helped a small food producer triumph in some small way over a large, less soulful processed food manufacturer.
Our broken food system needs all the help it can get, you know…?
Image Credit: www.goodfoodawards.org