True Food Tuesday #2

True Food Chat on Tweetchat a component of twitter that temporarily narrows your view of tweets to those that include the topic you choose preceded by a hashtag (#).

- you may recall Twitter was something I joined after the Povo blogger panel I was asked to speak on. I was a little skeptical but another panelist was so negative on the concept that it made me want to try it. I'm sold. I've met tons of solid citizens, gained new readers, learned new things and been moved to tears by stories people share by linking to their blogs. People I never would have found otherwise. I know it's helped me find readers I would've never found without it. So even though it can be flaky, the search function stinks and occassionally there hiccups, I'm a firm believer in its utility. Who knows what happens when it's monetized. But for now, I'm in.

True Food Tuesdays

I think it started True Food Tuesday when I read yet another piece on the subject of High Fructose Corn Syrup. Too much bickering and not enough stepping back, not enough analysis.

So I started Tweeting about it and got lots of interesting responses. Including unsourced propaganda from my new follower The Corn Refiners Association. I invited them to share the "data" elsewhere. And I decided that my Twitter stream could be used to talk to real people, about real food, real questions and share True Food stories. Let's talk about the realities of day-to-day food choices we make. Let's celebrate sensible sustainability and sensual sustainability.

In a very short time, I and my lovely Tweeps got people stirred up for #TrueFoodTuesday and then I/we decided it should be a shorter hashtag so as to allow more dialog in the 140 character format. Then I found out #TFT was already taken and used by others. Also some folks didn't get the memo, so missed half the chat. (No, there wasn't really a memo.) Sorry for that SNAFU!

First things first: much thanks to my partner in this endeavor, Traca Savadogo, AKA Seattle Tall Poppy. @SeattleTallPopp on Twitter. Among many other things Traca does well is to jump in and help out when she can. She is also passionate about many of the same things I am: good food, the folks that grow it, cook it, talk and write about it.

She saw my #TrueFood tweets and naturally thought I was doing a chat...which I didn't know how to do. Turns out it's not really so hard, the trick is that if you have say, 40+ people chiming in and you're trying to welcome each person, as well as guide the discussion and answer questions, ask questions...well, you can see it gets exponentially harder to mind the manners and stop and welcome folks in real-time.

So we are co-moderating for which I'm grateful, THANK YOU TRACA! Please stop over at Traca's blog, Seattle Tall Poppy and have a read. Promise you you're in for a good read, timely info, and great shots.


Lessons Learned

  • Shorter is better for a hashtag, unique is also better. Our Hashtag is now #TrueFood. Simple enough, not too long.
  • People have great enthusiasm for these topics.
  • Some people cannot get away during the weekday hours to spend time on a Twitter chat.
  • Links and questions fly. The transcript is an unwieldy PDF.


Next Week

  1. We'll use #TrueFood as our handle.
  2. Co-moderators are good. Traca said yes.
  3. Timing - we'll try 9 PM EST on Tuesday May 25 allowing for West Coasters to join after work and East Coasters after dinner
  4. I will email the PDF if anyone wants it, and roll up the specific links shared here. (see below)


By the Numbers

  1. We had roughly 45 Tweeps  join in the discussion or point others our way by using the hashtag during the chat period.
  2. Tweeps were scattered coast to coast.
  3. Some chefs, some food writers, come home cooks, and more.


Links for you

We explored what each of us would define as "TrueFood". We questioned whether the pork in home-made sausages would have to be from a named source or a farmer we knew. We talked about Pollan's Rules and especially Rule #19 If it came from a plant, eat it; if it was *made* in a plant, don't. We talked about canning and the @Canvolution and making food from scratch whether it's beans, bread, or sausage. Foraging and teaching each others and teaching children, serving under-served neighborhoods. We also discussed humane animal welfare practices, and reducing food waste.


And the winner of the cookbook, Cider Beans, Wild Greens, Dandelion Jelly will be announced at the beginning of this upcoming chat, tune in to see if you've won. See last week's post True Food Tuesday to find out more about how to enter.