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People and Places

September 7, 2017 at 1:00 a.m.

Moondancer fellow

focusing on fracking

Maryann Lesert has been named the recipient of the Moondancer fellowship for 2017 at the Writers' Colony at Dairy Hollow in Eureka Springs.

In all of her writing, the natural world and its human inhabitants are equally prominent and intertwined. From her first play, Superwoman (1998), a 90-minute warning of technologies that threaten to erase our biological sense of place, to Threshold, her current novel-in-progress about environmental activists working to stop fracking in Michigan's state forests, Lesert's work is equally inspired and supported by time with the natural world. Threshold grew from two years of boots-on-well-sites research on fracking in Michigan's state forests. An excerpt from Threshold appears in Fracture, Essays, Poems and Stories about Fracking in America (Ice Cube Press, 2016). From 2012 to the present, Lesert has presented her research on the scientific, sensory and community effects of fracking in a presentation, titled Fracking in the Forest, to more than 50 academic, environmental and public audiences across the state. Lesert is a playwright, novelist and journalist who teaches creative writing at Grand Rapids (Mich.) Community College.

The Moondancer fellowship is awarded to an author writing in any genre who expresses his love of and concern for the environment through their writing. This fellowship provides for two weeks of free residency at The Writers' Colony at Dairy Hollow.

915 Labs collaborates with Kuefner

915 Labs has collaborated with professional chef and culinary expert Michael Kuefner from Brightwater: A Center for the Study of Food, a division of Northwest Arkansas Community College in Bentonville, to develop signature dishes using 915 Labs advanced food preservation system.

Chef Michael, lead culinary arts instructor at the Brightwater culinary arts program, partnered with Marcia Walker, director of food innovation at 915 Labs, to create clean label dishes for processing with microwave assisted thermal sterilization -- or MATS -- including a gourmet macaroni and cheese, Hungarian goulash and a Thai coconut soup.

MATS replaces conventional thermal processing -- or retort -- with a healthier way of preserving food for the shelf. The FDA-accepted MATS produces packaged foods that are closer to fresh in taste, texture and nutrient profile than anything commercially available today.

Conventional thermal processing subjects food to high heat for an hour or more, which damages the food and forces food companies to adjust recipes and add flavor and texture enhancers to compensate. By shortening the time food is exposed to high heat, the unique MATS process keeps natural nutrients and flavors intact and eliminates the need for additives, preservatives and excess sodium.

NAN Our Town on 09/07/2017

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