A little Wednesday buzz: trivia, wine-tastings and the big Chase.

What a beautiful spring day, Chattanooga.

A little Wednesday buzz: trivia, wine-tastings and the big Chase.
Honey, Carmen Joyce, Nooga Honey Pot, Red Bank, Tenn.

Morning, everyone. Let's play trivia. Two questions for your Wednesday.

The first: can anyone name Tennessee's official agricultural insect?

Tennessee has a state flower (the iris), a state tree (tulip poplar) and a state fish (smallmouth bass). Tennessee even has a state drink.


And a state wild animal.

The raccoon.

So, what's our state agricultural insect?

Second question: I'll list five characteristics about one particular country on Earth. Just one country, not five. You guess which country.

  • This country's murder rate is falling.
  • This country's CO2 emissions are also falling.
  • And this country's wage inequalities are falling.
  • This country's economy is improving, so strong it is outpacing other big-GDP nations.
  • This country's younger generations are doing better economically than their parents.

Any guesses? Canada? Maybe. Ghana? (Good guess, Ella Livingston.) Italy? (I see you, Julian Kaufman.)

Answers at the end of today's column.

First, two upcoming events:

The Chase is my very favorite Chattanooga road race. Not only the oldest in the state, it's also more party than race. Beer trucks, food trucks, live music and so many people – friends and strangers – just milling around, laughing, with nowhere to be and nothing else to do. That's a good feeling when you can find it in today's rush-hurry-rush-world.

This year, we're honored to host the Food as a Verb Block Party. Some of our favorite people will be there – Clever Alehouse, Dynamo Brewing, Chattanooga Brewing, Pizzeria Cortile – and our good friend Ian "Sully" Sullivan and The Oatmeal Experience.

Ian "Sully" Sullivan, The Oatmeal Experience, Chattanooga, Tenn.

We hope you'll be there, too. Sign-ups are here.

Word is, if you don't have a great time, Fast Break Athletics owner and race captain Alan Outlaw himself will come mow your yard. In his race shorts.

Yes, a few members of the already-disgraced Food as a Verb race team, after short-cutting the Chattanooga Marathon course, will be back for redemption.

Food as a Verb thanks our good friend Whitney Drayer, senior vice-president at Morgan Stanley, for his generous support.

Contact Whitney at whitney.drayer@ms.com or 423-752-4736.

And tonight at St. John's Restaurant, owner Josh Carter is inviting Food as a Verb readers to come sample Burgundy wines from 5.30 to 7pm.

"The tasting will consist of five whites and eight reds," Carter said. "You can drop by and taste at your own pace."

Interested? Call St. John's at 423.266.4400 and let them know you're coming.

  • This Sunday, it's Cinco de Mayo. Our media friends at NOOGAToday will publish a round-up of regional events later this week. If you haven't subscribed, it's a super-great resource.

Finally, the moment you've been waiting for.

The nation with a falling murder rate, falling CO2 emissions, falling wage inequality? The nation with an economy that's strong-getting-stronger and supporting younger folks?

It's the US.

Yes, the US, reports Noah Smith's Noahpinion.

"Those are five recent trends to be optimistic about in America today," Smith writes in his Substack. "We have a healthy economy, which is finally delivering on its promise to low-wage workers and young people, both in terms of greater income and greater wealth. Crime is falling, and the threat of global warming is a little less dire."

Heard about Noah Smith from The Progress Network's "What Could Go Right", a must-subscribe email newsletter.

"Can't Stop Doomscrolling?" they ask.

The Progress Network routinely publishes a round-up of so many dynamically positive, wholesome and transformative trends, events and headlines around the world.

I grow so damn tired of mainstream media doing what it does best: manipulating American culture and consciousness for its own exploitative and greedy bottom line. Yes, things are tough, through and through. But the vastly, wildly underreported story line of all? That so much is going right.

We've said it before and so have many others: statistically, this is the absolute best time to be a human being. (Would you prefer 1670? Or 1980? Or 1840?)

Last, certainly not least, the state's agricultural insect?

It's the honeybee.

This Sunday, we're up close and personal with some Chattanooga honeybees – about 50,000 of them – and one very badass beekeeper.

Remember, Main St. Farmers' Market this afternoon.

Have a wonderful week, everyone.

Carmen Joyce, Nooga Honey Pot, Red Bank, Tenn. Carm

All photography by Sarah Unger (sarah@foodasaverb.com)

All design by Alex DeHart

All words by David Cook (david@foodasaverb.com)

Story ideas, questions, feedback? Interested in sponsorship or advertising opportunities? Email us: david@foodasaverb.com and sarah@foodasaverb.com

This story is 100% human generated; no AI chatbot was used in the creation of this content.

Food as a Verb thanks our sustaining partners for their generous support.

Regional Farmers' Markets

Regional Farmers' Markets

  • Main St. Farmers' Market

Corner of W. 20th and Chestnut St., near Finley Stadium

Wednesday, 4 - 6pm

  • Brainerd Farmers' Market

Grace Episcopal Church, 20 Belvoir Ave, Chattanooga, TN 

Saturday, 10am - noon

  • Chattanooga Market

1820 Carter Street, Sunday, 11am - 4pm

  • Fresh Mess Market

Harton Park, Monteagle, TN. (Rain location: Monteagle Fire Hall.) 

Every Thursday, 3pm - 6pm, beg. June 6 - Oct. 3

  • Ooltewah Farmers' Market

The Ooltewah Nursery, Thursday, 3 - 6pm 

Pre-order online for Thursday pick-up between 4 - 6pm at Bachman Community Center

  • South Cumberland Farmers’ Market

Sewanee Community Center (behind the Sewanee Market on Ball Park Rd.) Tuesdays from 4:15 to 6:00 p.m. (central.) Order online by Monday 10 am (central.) 

  • St. Albans Farmers' Market

7514 Hixson Pike, Saturday, 9.30am - 12.30pm with a free pancake breakfast every third Saturday  

  • Walker County Farmers' Market

Wednesday, 2 - 5 pm, Rock Spring Ag. Center 

Saturday, 9 am - 1 pm, downtown Lafayette, Georgia

To include your farmers market, email david@foodasaverb.com

Dig in. (It's free)