Frogs in milk: how can we serve you in 2024?

And where does media shine its light?

Frogs in milk: how can we serve you in 2024?
David Cook, Sarah Unger, Rudy and Alex DeHart, Main St. Farmers' Market, Chattanooga, Tenn.

Two Wednesdays ago, we set up shop at the Main St. Farmers' Market. We had the grandest of afternoons, more fun, as Bobby Weir once said, than a frog in a glass of milk.

Sarah, Alex, little Rudy and I saw so many of you, old friends and new. (Julie, regrettably, was out on assignment.) We hugged, shook hands, told stories, fudged tales, swapped emails.

Thanks to you, we collected a trunk load of food and $126 for delivery to the Chattanooga Area Food Bank.

Donated food, Chattanooga Area Food Bank, Chattanooga, Tennessee

And handed out dozens of free t-shirts.

Food as a Verb, Chattanooga, Tennessee

We also felt encouraged and affirmed. Apparently, you love what we do. And we love that you love it.

Right now, it's fashionable to reflect back on 2023. Since fashion's never been my strong suit, I will only say this:

We didn't create Food as a Verb to hide.

Although, doing so would have been understandable. There's a lot the heart wants to hide from these days. You have your own list. No need to recite another here.

We didn't launch Food as a Verb to hide.

But to heal.

Think for a moment about media. Newspapers, websites, podcasts, TV news, all of it. Consider them like a large spotlight.

Every day, men and women in each media organization make decisions: where should we shine our light today? This morning's homepage was blank last night; tomorrow's newspaper is empty today; this evening's telecast was unscripted a week ago. Every single post, headline and story is the result of a string of decisions, all made by humans, on what to cover.

And what to ignore.

Some stories are obvious; responsible media must cover wars, shootings, elections.

Yet others?

How much light shines on agriculture?

And farmers?

And chefs and restaurants?

How much light shines on honest, genuine, truthful stories about the ways we are fed – physically and spiritually – and the ways we feed others?

Food as a Verb proudly thanks Easy Bistro & Bar, our sustaining partner, for its generous support.

Thanks to two-time James-Beard nominee Erik Niel, Easy Bistro & Bar offers unparalleled and deeply thoughtful dining in the heart of West Village.

How much spotlight does local or national media direct towards food policy? Seeds, crop prices, weather, harvest times, young farmers and land access? Restaurant culture, the difficulties and expenses of ownership, the exhilaration and stress of front-and-back-of-house work?

Little, if any, spotlight gets directed their way.

Yet, consider the role food plays in our lives. It is omnipresent, literally part of our everyday experience as daily sources of survival, ritual, identity, meaning and pleasure.

A monumental part of our lives is neglected by nearly all media we encounter.

That's where we come in.

It was January 2023, one year ago. A friend – looking at you, Virginia – heard my early idea about a new media startup focusing on local food. I'd been kicking this idea around with my pal Kerry. It was time to get serious.

I know just the person, Virginia said.

She was right. It was Sarah Unger. She then introduced me to Alex DeHart – I know just the person, Sarah said – and she, too, was right as rain. Soon, we'd built a three-person team defined by creativity, vision, laughter and a shared sense building something very real together. Julie soon signed on. It is frogs-in-milk fun.

We launched in August. Today, 40 posts later, we've built a thousand-strong community of readers, followers and friends while providing you, we believe, with media that is meaningful, powerful and wholesome.

Our spotlight shines in good places.

It feels like I can exhale when I read Food as a Verb, one friend said.


Al Allison, Mission Red Bank, Red Bank, Tennessee

This above photo? It's one of my favorites from 2023. Al Allison, the priest at Mission Red Bank, is offering communion bread his wife baked hours earlier.

As we turn to 2024, what can we offer you that is responsible, hearty and wise?

Along with our steady commitment to beautiful and creative storytelling, here are some 2024 goals for us:

  • Podcasting and videos.
  • A new website.
  • Immersive stories, like: staging for a week in a restaurant kitchen. And documenting restaurant meals from seed to plate.
  • Building a deeper base of sponsors and advertisers. (We're releasing our updated ad + sponsorship structure later this month.)
  • Fun-as-frog-milk events, gatherings or parties.
  • More appearances at the Main Street Farmers' Market.
  • A few surprises up our sleeve.
  • Ongoing series, like the one we're starting this Sunday, featuring Hannah Wright, a local nutritionist, who has a lovingly effective approach to nutrition and dieting.

"I never want anyone to feel guilt or shame," she says. "I don't like to use fear to motivate anyone."

Hannah Wright, Chattanooga, Tennessee (Photo by Julie Ellison)

Most of all, we want to hear from you.

How can we strengthen our Food as a Verb community?

What can we offer you?

What does our light need to shine?

This 2024, what's possible?

Our emails are below. We'll be back at the market soon. This is your media, too.

Food as a Verb, Chattanooga, Tennessee (Photo by Robin Fazio)

All photography by Sarah Unger. Visit Or email

All words by David Cook. Email

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

Story ideas, questions, feedback? Interested in sponsorship or advertising opportunities? Email us. We'd love to talk.

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

Regional Farmers Markets

  • Main St. Farmers Market, Corner of W. 20th and Chestnut St., near Finley Stadium

Wednesday, 4 - 6pm (Note: the Thanksgiving week market was held on Tuesday.)

  • Brainerd Farmers Market, Grace Episcopal Church, 20 Belvoir Ave,

Saturday, 10am - noon

  • Chattanooga Market, 1820 Carter Street

Sunday, 11am - 4pm

  • Ooltewah Farmers Market, The Ooltewah Nursery

Thursday, 3 - 6pm 

  • Signal Mountain Farmers Market

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

  • 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

Dig in. (It's free)