In my ongoing attempt to keep you up-to-date with the coolest Web sites going live each month, today I'm writing about Foodiacs.com. You may already have some experience with semi-similar art-food sites, but the concept here is pretty unique: Each week or so, Foodiacs hosts an online "event." (They will actually start hosting offline events, too, but not until next year.) I put the word "event" in quotes because it's not a virtual event like an online hangout, gameshow or concert, more a get-to-know some local artisans who are doing something unique and wonderful with food.
For instance, the site went live last week with an "event" featuring Back To The Roots, a small company in Oakland that produces these wild mushroom kits. That's right, they're urban mushroom farmers and they're using old coffee grounds to grow them! They’ve established a relationship with Peet's Coffee & Tea to collect & reuse their used coffee grounds, and they are currently on pace to divert & reuse 1 million pounds of coffee grounds this year. They have also begun collecting the waste from Hodo Soy (spent tofu / okara waste), Linden Street Brewery (spent grains & hops), and Numi Tea (spent tea leaves)! The story gets even better. After Back to the Roots is done with the recycled coffee grounds they package it with the remaining mushroom compost to create a blend they can sell as a Premium Soil Amendment.
By buying into the Foodiacs "event," you're also helping kids because one of the three kits you get goes to a classroom to teach children about mushroom farming. As mentioned, in 2012, Foodiacs will begin hosting local events in cities throughout the U.S. to give our members the opportunity to develop deeper relationships with the food artisans in their own communities. These events will allow you to learn more about the people and passion behind great artisan foods made near you—and meet other Foodiacs in your own backyard.