Where to find great takeout in Ann Arbor

We’re so spoiled being able to cook healthy Chinese food at home, that we are almost invariably disappointed when we eat in a Chinese restaurant. Most Chinese restaurants in America are not at what one could call the forefront of the SOLE (sustainable/organic/local/ethical) food movment, and our bodies notice the difference. Add to that what we call the “MSG moment” so often experienced after a Chinese meal, and we are often left moaning, “Ugh, why did we DO that?”

When people say, “You blog about Chinese food and your husband’s Chinese – you MUST know the best places to get Chinese food in Boulder/Chicao/LA  (fill in the city in which we happen to be living),” my inclination has always been to respond, “Well, um, yeah…that would be my house!”

I’m pleased to report, though, that we have discovered a new alternative in Ann Arbor! If you live in our city (or in nearby Ypsilanti), you can now get free delivery of delicious and healthful Chinese food by ordering from Mei’s Organic Chinese Kitchen. Each week Mei offers a menu that includes 2 entrees, a salad, a soup, two steamed rolls, and rice – all made with predominantly organic and locally grown ingredients. Mei frequents the farmers’ market and local independent grocers, such as Arbor Farms Market, which means she supports the local economy and local growers, too! In addition, her recipes are gluten- and (refined) sugar-free! One order is plenty for 2 adults for a meal plus leftovers for lunch, so if you have a family, I recommend ordering extra rice, soup, and rolls.

We’re wishing Mei and her crew success – it’s awfully nice to be able to eat Chinese takeout without regrets!

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Visit my new blog!

I’m probably asking for trouble, trying to keep up with 2 blogs and 2 kids, but… you can now join me at Simply: Home Cooking for cooking from scratch and adventures in SOLE food.

Good news, bad news?

Check out Tom Philpott’s post on Grist.com about Will Allen’s Growing Power going to Africa. Philpott give praise where it’s due and also raises some very important point and makes some good critiques of other attempts to “feed the world.”

Recommended viewing

Thoroughly enjoyed A Passion for Sustainability on DVD this weekend – not exactly food related, but a very inspirational documentary for anyone in business and much to think about in terms of the food systems we choose to support. This 2007 film follows 14 Portland, Oregon businesses who have become more (or completely) sustainable via a program called the Natural Step, the principles of which are: 

  1. In a sustainable society, nature is not subject to systematically increasing concentrations of substances extracted from the earth’s crust. To move toward strategic sustainability, we must substitute minerals that are scarce in nature with others that are more abundant, use all mined materials efficiently, and reduce our dependence on fossil fuels; 
  2. In a sustainable society, nature is not subject to concentrations of substances produced by society. To move toward strategic sustainability, we must substitute persistent and unnatural compounds with ones that are normally abundant or break down more easily in nature and use all substances produced by society efficiently.
  3. In a sustainable society, nature is not subject to degradation by physical means. To move toward strategic sustainability, we must draw resources only from well-managed ecosystems, pursue the most productive and efficient use of both those resources and the land, and exercise caution in all kinds of modifications of nature (i.e. over harvesting or introductions).
  4. In a sustainable society, people are not subject to conditions that systematically undermine their capacity to meet their needs. To move toward strategic sustainability, we must create and support action and policies that allow people to meet their fundamental human needs in our society and worldwide so that the needs of all people on whom we have an impact, and the future needs of our children can be met.

It all seems like common sense based on the golden rule, but it shows that we have strayed a long way from sustainability when companies who adhere to these principles become documentary-worthy.

You’re Invited!

I’m happy to promote a SOLE food event in my neck of the woods, this one put on by Two Creeks Organics, a CSA in which I’ve purchased a share:

 TWO CREEKS ORGANICS invites you to FEAST IN OUR FIELD
Saturday September 26th beginning at 4:30 pm

TwoCreeks

Clothed tables will be set in the field at our 20-acre farm in Manchester, Michigan for guests to feast on food where it is grown. We are bringing together local farmers, food producers, winemakers, and brewers to celebrate the local connection to the food on your plate.

Enjoy appetizers made from locally sourced food with beer pairings from Arbor Brewing Company and a tour of the farm, before sitting down to a five course locally sourced dinner in our fields with wine pairings from Cherry Creek Winery.

During the meal the local producers who supplied the ingredients for the meal will talk about their operations and answer questions. Filmmaker Chris Bedford will also be on hand to speak about his new film, What Will We Eat?

Space is limited. Tickets are $135.00. Two Creeks CSA members and nondrinkers $125.00. To make a reservation or for more information, see our website www.twocreeksorganics.com

Two Creeks Organics
13290 Tracey Road Manchester, MI 48158