By Lori Fredrich Senior Food Writer, Dining Editor, Podcast Host Published Feb 18, 2013 at 9:04 AM

Even if you're paying close attention, it's sometimes difficult to keep up with the latest in food news here in Milwaukee. So here's a taste of what's new and notable.

Film Series Focuses on Food
A new film series aims to build awareness and inspire action regarding important food topics.

After being inspired by the film "Food Matters," Katie Felten, Community Builder at Translator, decided to take action. In her personal life, she made a commitment to exercising and eating better. But, she also aspired to do more.

"Because this movie changed my life so dramatically, I shared it with many of my friends, but wanted to do more, so when I came across Films for Action last fall I decided to apply for the city leader for Milwaukee and start showing films like this on a monthly basis."

Films For Action is an organization whose goal is to use the power of film to raise awareness of important social, environmental, and media-related issues not covered by the mainstream news. Local representatives volunteer to show the films, providing concerned citizens with the information and perspectives essential to creating a more just, sustainable, and democratic society.

Felten says she plans to host a movie night every month on the last Wednesday of the month from 5:30-7:30 p.m.

"Each film will include a discussion and plan for next steps to implement what we learned," Felten says.

The next film viewing will take place on Wednesday, Feb. 27 at Translator, 415 E Menomonee St., where Felton will feature "Genetic Roullette" by Jeffrey M. Smith of the Institute of Responsible Technology. The film, which focuses on genetically modified foods features interviews with patients, doctors, and parents. It explains how consuming GMO's can lead to numerous health implications, including diabetes, cancer, heart attacks, allergies, autism, asthma, premature aging, autoimmune disease, Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, infertility and other reproductive disorders. Beer from Milwaukee Brewing Company will be available. A discussion will follow the movie. Sign up online.

More Bitters are Better
Bittercube will soon release two new limited edition bitters. Door County Hop Bitters captures the flavor of Cascade and Chinook hops to create an awesomely floral and hoppy bitters that’s just perfect for adding hoppy notes to cocktails and beers alike.  The new bitters are expected to be available through local outlets, including Great Lakes Distillery and Ray’s Wine and Spirits by early March.

Taste of Slow
On Monday, Feb. 25 from 6 to 8:30 p.m., join Slow Food WISE at The Hamilton, 823 E. Hamilton St., to take a tasting tour of delicious soups served by local chefs and restaurants including Braise, La Merenda, Afro Fusion Cuisine and MKE Localicious. The event will include discussion about creating a more robust and sustainable local food scene. Tickets are $25 for Slow Food members, $30 for non-members, and $10 for children and students. Ticket price includes dinner, program, and a Slow Food WISE soup mug. Purchase them online.

Sprecher Rolls Out a New Barrel
Sprecher Brewing  has released a second batch of a brand new product, Bootlegger’s Hard Rootbeer, a fermented root beer combining traditional root beer flavors with bourbon and oak. A total of 4,000 cases are currently being distributed primarily in metro Milwaukee and Madison. Visit for a list of locations.

Lights, Camera, Oscars!
Why go through the work of planning your own party? Head over to Iron Horse Hotel for their Oscar viewing party from 6 to 10 p.m. on Sunday, Feb. 24 in the hotel lobby. The event will feature Oscar-themed cocktails, best dressed contest and more. Call (414) 374-4766 for details or to make a reservation.

Cheddar is Better
Experience the new generation of Wisconsin Cheddars at this eye-opening tasting at Glorioso’ Italian Market. Sample  four Wisconsin Cheddars, aged from one to 12 years, as well as a reserve Bandaged Cheddar, made in the Old World English style.  Tickets are $25 per person. Register at:

Tour de Farms
Combine bike riding, farm tours and great local food and you get an event called Tour de Farms. This leisurely 25 mile trek hosted by Braise Restaurant takes place on Sunday, September 8. Tickets are $85 per person for the entire day, including plenty of food and tours. Tickets are available online.

Lori Fredrich Senior Food Writer, Dining Editor, Podcast Host

Lori is an avid cook whose accrual of condiments and spices is rivaled only by her cookbook collection. Her passion for the culinary industry was birthed while balancing A&W root beer mugs as a teenage carhop, fed by insatiable curiosity and fueled by the people whose stories entwine with each and every dish. She’s had the privilege of chronicling these tales via numerous media, including OnMilwaukee and in her book “Milwaukee Food.” Her work has garnered journalism awards from entities including the Milwaukee Press Club. 

When she’s not eating, photographing food, writing or recording the FoodCrush podcast, you’ll find Lori seeking out adventures with her husband Paul, traveling, cooking, reading, learning, snuggling with her cats and looking for ways to make a difference.