The New American Food Swap


Written by Margret Aldrich, the Utne Reader

From Brooklyn to Portland, Minneapolis to Austin, people are sharing the love and their homemade, homegrown, or foraged edibles at modern-day food swaps. Too many pickled beets in your pantry? Trade a few jars for a dozen duck eggs. An overabundance of hand-foraged mushrooms? Swap them for lavender-infused vodka.

This week, a circle of cooks, canners, bakers, and urban farmers launched the Food Swap Network, a new online community for those who want to trade their wares and connect with likeminded DIYers. The site is a good stop for first-timers, giving tips on how host a food swap, attend a food swap, and find a food swap in your area, and also offers glimpses into thriving food swaps around the country.

Emily Ho, food writer and founder of the LA Food Swap explains the growing popularity of the nouvelle food sharing movement to LAist:

I think people are eager for the sense of community that a food swap provides. A food swap not only gives members a chance to share delicious handmade foods but also is a wonderful opportunity to meet others who are interested in gardening, food preservation, beekeeping, and other sustainable, DIY activities. As more and more people want to know where their food comes from and start activities like making their own condiments, baking bread, etc., itís fun to share this experience with others. (Plus, who needs 20 jars of homemade ketchup?)

This post was originally published by the Utne Reader.


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Photo from comedy_nose via flickr


Jim Ven
Jim Venabout a year ago

thanks for sharing.

Martha Eberle
Martha Eberle6 years ago

I like this idea, ... BUT with canned products, how do I know that all people are as careful as I am?

Jessie M.
Jessie M6 years ago

I just did a cookie swap at the farmers market and it's awesome! I got the best chocolate gingerbread cookies and the recipe!

Aoife O Mahony
Aoife O Mahony6 years ago

Sounds cool

Sarah Metcalf
Sarah M6 years ago


Nicole B.
Nicole Bergeron6 years ago

This sounds kinda interesting, since I can't have many processed foods anyways, this will let me really see all the different ways to prepare food, should i choose to get involved. all I really can so far is grape jelly and they don't last long in my house

Lori B.
Lori B6 years ago

Sometimes the idea of a full blown garden is too much for a person, but maybe growing a lot of just ONE plant would make it more manageable. I only grow 15 red pepper plants on my deck in "Earthtainers" made out of rubbermaid bins. Then I personally only have to remember my red peppers. I pick them when they are bright red, slice them and freeze. But lets say one of my friends just wants to go crazy and grow spring peas?? She could do peas, another could do greens, another does cherry tomatoes, me my red peppers, and someone else could do zucchini, etc... Figure out what veggies are the most nutrient rich and the most expensive to buy in the store and easy to freeze. Then grow enough for the whole group! Then you don't have to keep cumbersome calendars when to plant this and that etc...

Brenda Towers
Brenda Towers6 years ago

I guess it make a change from swapping stamps.

Brenda Towers
Brenda Towers6 years ago

What about health and safety standards?

Massage Jazmin
Massage Jazmin6 years ago