A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006. Now a Popeyes fast food restaurant on Google Maps.

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Entry from July 01, 2009
SOLE Food (Sustainable, Organic, Local, Ethical)

SOLE (Sustainable, Organic, Local, Ethical) food—a pun on “soul food”—was coined by The Ethicurean blog in May 2006. “Ethicurean” is also an invented word; SOLEfood.com might have been the name of the blog, but that name had already been taken.

“SOLE food” made a national publication in June 2009. The Ethicurean celebrated by declaring: “‘SOLE food’ entering mainstream vernacular.”

The Ethicurean
n. (also adj.) Someone who seeks out tasty things that are also sustainable, organic, local, and/or ethical — SOLE food, for short.

The Ethicurean was founded in May 2006 by me (Bonnie Powell) and my friends JC Costello, Erika Bodoin aka Omniwhore (who came up with our name), Kathryn aka Corn Maven, and the Butter Bitch and Miss Steak (who prefer to remain anonymous due to their corporate jobs). Since then, several more writers have joined us; we now have contributors in six states. (Meet/contact the Ethicureans.) We have more than 20,000 unique visitors a month, and over 40,000 page views.

What is SOLE Food?
Sustainable, Organic, Local, and Ethical (SOLE) food is part of a larger movement to change the way that people eat, and the sources of their food. Proponents believe that eating SOLE food will help people to live longer, healthier lives, and will also benefit the environment. They also believe that it is important to combine all of the elements of SOLE, as food could be organic but not ethical, or local but not sustainable. It is hoped that SOLE food will enhance our connection to the environment, food producers, and our food. Adherents of the SOLE food movement range from proponents of slow food worldwide to major corporations which are trying to change the way they care for their employees and the world.

The sustainable part of SOLE food refers to farming and harvesting processes which are supportable in the long term. For example, a farmer who rotates crops and allows fields to lie fallow is farming sustainably, because the land will continue to support agriculture for centuries if well cared for. A farmer who continually plants the same crop and douses the land in fertilizer is not farming sustainably, because this exhausts the land. Proponents of SOLE food believe that the growing global population is putting intense pressure on the food supply, and that the only way to guarantee food for future generations is to start thinking long term, and farming in a sustainable way.

The Ethicurean
Posted Jun 23rd 2006 6:32PM by Nick Vagnoni
I recently came across The Ethicurean, a group blog that covers a variety of food related issues such as sustainability, organic farming and eating locally. I’m not sure if they coined the “SOLE food” acronym (Sustainable, Organic, Local, Ethical) but I wholeheartedly appreciate its corniness. (They also get props for “chew the right thing.")

The Ethicurean
By Bonnie Azab Powell @ 9:10 am on 24 June 2006.
We got props from Slashfood! (Welcome, readers of that head-spinningly omnivorous food blog.)

Writer Nick Vagnoni appreciated the corniness of our “SOLE food” acronym (Sustainable, Organic, Local, Ethical) — it was in the running for the blog name for a while — as well as of “chew the right thing.” He looks forward to seeing how the blog develops.

So do we. We’re having a blast, and not just with the puns!

General Chowhounding Topics - Chowhound
SLOW food? food miles? Localvore? S.O.L.E?
There is much discussion going on amongst food bloggers here in OZ about the “ethics” of food.
SOLE food (Sustainable, Organic, Local or Ethical) is becoming more and more of an an acceptable was to shop/consume/eat. What was once the bastion of the inner city urban hippie, is now much more mainstream.

Hell, even 86 y/o Auntie Jean is buying only SOLE lamb, these days!

Restaurants are now even listing the supplier of ingredients on menus.

I’ve been doing the SOLE thing in the ‘burbs, to see how easy it is. And it IS easy. Just ask some questions and be a more informed consumer. You CAN provided an ethical, local meal for 2 parents and 5 kids that WILL be consumed.

So, Does anyone here buy/consume/prep along these principles?

Saving the World, one dish at a time, or trendy “Movement of the Month”?

What say all of you??
purple goddess Dec 18, 2007 03:54PM

Can we afford to eat ethically?
Organic food prices are daunting in a recession. But do we have to choose between our principles and our pocketbooks? I devised an experiment to find out.

By Siobhan Phillips
April 25, 2009
We would choose the SOLE-est products available—that is, the sustainable, organic, local or ethical alternative.

The Ethicurean
“SOLE food” entering mainstream vernacular
By Ethicurean @ 10:00 am on 23 June 2009.
Selfishly excited: Ethicurean BFF Nicole sent us this photo of a page from Self magazine’s July issue, with a little box defining the acronym the Ethicurean team came up with three-plus years ago to describe the kind of food we were interesting chewing on (and writing about). We might even have named the blog SOLEfood.com, but the URL was taken. So instead we invented the forever mis-heard, and often-misspelled word Ethicurean. Indulge us while we turn pink over SOLE — the One True (hopefully solar-powered!) — getting national play!

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityFood/Drink • (0) Comments • Wednesday, July 01, 2009 • Permalink