Marty’s Featured in Edible Allegheny’s “Celebrating the Feast of the Seven Fishes, Pittsburgh-Style”

Photo Credit: Michael Fornataro
Photo Credit: Michael Fornataro

Edible Allegheny stopped by Wholey’s Fish Market, Girasole, and Marty’s Market to talk about the rich history of the Italian tradition of the Feast of the Seven Fishes. While visiting Marty’s, Butcher Steve spoke about Marty’s commitment to offering sustainable seafood options and his “go-to” ways to prepare his favorites.

Read Andrea Bosco’s feature here or pick up the latest issue!


November Seasonal Spotlight Reading List

Fall Squashes

If you’re looking for more information on our Seasonal Spotlights, check out our monthly reading list series!  We’ll include books on agriculture, culture, history, cooking and more! All titles available through the Carnegie Library system! Check out past Marty’s Market Seasonal Spotlight Reading Lists here!

This month we’re talking about poultry, winter squash, and what organic food and farming is all about!


For the Kiddos:

Little Squash Seed by Gayla Dowdy Seale

Sophie’s Squash by Pat Zietlow Miller

Chicken Soup with Rice: A Book of Months by Maurice Sendak

Poultry: From the Farm to Your Table (The Truth About the Food Supply) by Daniel E. Harmon (for Young Adult readers)

A Thanksgiving Turkey by Julian Scheer

Organic Gardens by Lori Kinstad Pupeza

Molly’s Organic Farm by Trina L. Hunner

Our Organic Garden by Precious McKenzie

A Green Kid’s Guide to Organic Fertilizers by Richard Lay

Organic Foods by Debra A. Miller

Organic Farmer by Tamra Orr

Organic Food and Farming (for Young Adult readers)


For the Homesteader & Gardener:

The Compleat Squash: A Passionate Grower’s Guide to Pumpkins, Squash, and Gourds by Amy Goldman

Storey’s Illustrated Guide to Poultry Breeds: Chickens, Ducks, Geese, Turkeys, Emus, Guinea Fowl, Ostriches, Partridges, Peafowl, Pheasants, Quails, Swans by Carol Ekarious

The Complete Guide to Poultry Breeds: Everything You Need to Know Explained Simply by Melissa G. Nelson

The Gardener’s A-Z Guide to Growing Organic Food by Tanya Denckla Cobb

Gardening by Cuisine: An Organic-Food Lover’s Guide to Sustainable Living by Patti Moreno

The Organic Gardening Bible: Successful Gardening the Natural Way: Everything You Need to Know to Create Your Own Paradise of Flowers, Fruits, and Vegetables, Thronging with Wildlife and a Joy to Behold by Bob Flowerdew

The Organic Gardener’s Handbook of Natural Pest and Disease Control: A Complete Guide to Maintaining a Healthy Garden and Yard the Earth-Friendly Way

Talking Dirt: The Dirt Diva’s Down-to-Earth Guide to Organic Gardening by Annie Spiegelman


For the Cook: 

Smitten with Squash by Amanda Paa

A Harvest of Pumpkins and Squash: Seasonal Recipes by Lou Seibert Pappas

Cooking with Pumpkins and Squash by Brian Glover

Talk Turkey to Me: A Good Time in the Kitchen Talking Turkey and All the Trimmings by Renee S. Ferguson

500 Ways to Cook Chicken: The Ultimate Poultry and Game Bird Cookbook, with Easy-to-Follow Ideas for Every Occasion by Valerie Ferguson

Simple Organic Kitchen & Garden: A Complete Guide to Growing and Cooking Perfect Natural Product, with Over 150 Step-by-Step Recipes by Ysanna Spevack

Earth to Table: Seasonal Recipes from an Organic Farm by Jeff Crump

The Organic Cook’s Bible: How to Select and Cook the Best Ingredients on the Market  by Jeff Cox

The Organic Cookbook by Renée J. Elliot

Organic Baby and Toddler Cookbook by Lizzie Vann


For the Convert:

Is Organic Food Better? by Ronnie D. Lankford

To Buy or Not to Buy Organic: What You Need to Know to Choose the Healthiest, Safest, Most Earth-Friendly Food by Cindy Burke

Wildly Affordable Organic: Eat  Fabulous Food, Get Healthy, and Save the Planet–All on $5 a Day or Less by Linda Watson

The Working Class Foodies’ Cookbook: 100 Delicious Seasonal and Organic Recipes for Under $8 Per Person by Rebecca Lando

Going Organic: A Healthy Guide to Making the Switch by Dana Meachen Rau

The Organic Food Guide: How to Shop Smarter and Eat Healthier by Steve Meyerowitz

The Organic Food Shopper’s Guide: What You Need to Know to Select and Cook the Best Food on the Market by Jeff Cox


For the Historian & Culturally Curious:

Pumpkins & Squashes by Caroline Boisset

The Chicken: A Natural History by Dr. Joseph Barber

Chickens: Their Natural and Unnatural Histories by Janet Lembke

Encyclopedia of Organic, Sustainable, and Local Food

This Organic Life: Confessions of a Suburban Homesteader by Joan Dye Gussow

Turn Here Sweet Corn: Organic Farming Works by Atina Diffley

Harvest: A Year in the Life of an Organic Farm by Nicola Smith

This Common Ground: Seasons on an Organic Farm by Scott Chaskey


For the Advocate:

Organic Manifesto: How Organic Farming Can Heal Our Planet, Feed the World, and Keep Us Safe by Maria Rodale

Good Growing: Why Organic Farming Works by Leslie A. Duram

Organic: A Journalist’s Quest to Discover the Truth Behind Food Labeling by Peter Laufer

Organic, Inc.: Natural Foods and How They Grew by Samuel Fromartz

Appetite for Change: How the Counterculture Took On the Food Industry, 1966-1988 by Warren Belasco

Farmacology: What Innovative Family Farming Can Teach Us about Health and Healing by Daphne Miller

October Food Literacy: Non-GMO Month Shopping

There is a hefty debate going on about GMOs: Are they safe to eat? Are they beneficial to food access around the globe? And, just what are they? We at Marty’s Market believe that GMOs should be labelled because you have the right to know what’s in your food. But until then, here are some tricks to easy Non-GMO shopping in honor of Non-GMO Month.

Photo Credit: Cait Pearson

What are GMOs?

GMO stands for “Genetically Modified Organism.” You may also see “GE” used, and this stands for “Genetically Engineered.” But what does that even mean? GMOs or GE foods are foods (plants or animals) that have been modified, in a lab, by using techniques likes gene splicing. This means that genes from one organism are inserted into another in such a way that would never occur in nature. Since humans have turned to agriculture to feed themselves, they’ve always bred and crossbred, altering crops and animals over time. GMOs and GE Foods should not be mistaken for this type of “genetic modification.” For more, turn here and here.

Why Label GMOs?

How many times have you been shopping, picked up a new product, turned it around and looked at the label? It’s clear that we’re all concerned with the contents of our food: from vitamin and mineral content, sodium and fat (especially trans fat) content, and ingredients, and the history of food labeling as been long and hard fought. Many of us crave transparency, but currently, GMOs are not labeled in the United States (for a list of countries who do label, read here), seems counter intuitive, right?

Why Choose Non-GMO? What’s the First Step?

Since GMOs aren’t labeled in the United States, shoppers who are concerned about genetically modified foods can turn to other labels that identify which foods are GMO-free. The Non-GMO Project verifies and tests products to ensure that they do not include GMOs. Learn more about the seal (pictured above) and the standard here. Don’t see the Non-GMO Seal? Look for products that are Certified Organic by the USDA, these products are also free of GMOs. These tips generally work for large companies, but what about the small-batch producer or rancher or farmer? As with all questions about growing practices, ingredients, and other concerns with these small-scale producers, the best thing to do is ask.

Where Should I Be Looking for GMOs?

The most “high-risk” crops are alfalfa, canola, corn, cotton, papaya, soy, sugar beets, and summer squash so beware of GMOs in processed foods that many contain these ingredients. Just like shopping for healthy eating, the more whole foods you purchase, the lesser your chances of introducing GMOs into your diet. The risk for meat, chicken, eggs, and dairy is in the feed those animals have been fed. Most crops in the produce department are Non-GMO, but unless you’re buying Certified Organic, Certified Naturally Grown, or from growers you trust, you may still be at risk for harmful chemicals.

How Can I Plan Ahead?

Checking food labels can take time. If you’re interested in checking out specific brands and foods that are non-GMO before you get to the store, you can look up brands on the Non-GMO Project website or use these helpful apps.

Increased knowledge leads to better decision making for you and your family!


October Seasonal Spotlight Reading List

If you’re looking for more information on our Seasonal Spotlights, check out our monthly reading list series!  We’ll include books on agriculture, culture, history, cooking and more! All titles available through the Carnegie Library system!


This month we’re talking about honey, hearty greens, and genetically modified foods! It’s Non-GMO Month. Learn more about the Non-GMO Project here!


For the Kiddos:

Honey by Pam Robson

Honey in a Hive by Anne F. Rockwell

How do Bees Make Honey? by Melissa Stewart

The Buzz on Bees: Why are they Disappearing? by Shelley Rotner


For the Aspiring Bee Keeper & Gardener:

Greens! Tips and Techniques for Growing Your Own Vegetables by Karin Eliasson

The Beekeeper’s Bible: Bees, Honey, Recipes & Other Home Uses 

The Beekeeping Handbook: A Practical Apiary Guide for the Yard, Garden, and Rooftop by Vivian Head

Getting Started in Beekeeping by Adrian Waring

Backyard Farming: Keeping Honey Bees by Kim Pezza

Wisdom for Beekeepers: 500 Tips for Successful Beekeeping by James E. Tew

The Rooftop Beekeeper: A Scrappy Guide to Keeping Urban Honeybees by Megan Paska

Natural Beekeeping: Organic Approaches to Modern Apiculture by Ross Conrad


For the Cook: 

The Non-GMO Cookbook: Recipes and Advice for a Non-GMO Lifestyle by Megan Westgate

Fifty Shades of Kale: 50 Fresh and Satisfying Recipes That Are Bound to Please by Drew Ramsey

Kale: The Complete Guide to the World’s Most Powerful Superfood by Stephanie Pedersen

The Fresh Honey Cookbook by Laurey Masterton

Honey: A Connoisseur’s Guide with Recipes by Gene Opton

Covered in Honey: The Amazing Flavors of Varietal Honey with More than 100 Recipes by Mäni Niall


For the Historian & Culturally Curious:

Honey: From Flower to Table by Stephanie Rosenbaum

Plan Bee: Everything You Ever Wanted to Know about the Hardest-Working Creature on the Planet by Susan M. Brackney

The Sacred Bee in Ancient Times and Folklore by Hilda M. Ransome

A Short History of the Honey Bee: Humans, Flowers, and Bees in the Eternal Chase for Honey by E. Readicker-Henderson

Bees in America: How the Honey Bee Shaped a Nation by Tammy Horn

Sweetness & Light: The Mysterious History of the Honeybee by Hattie Ellis

Robbing the Bees: A Biography of Honey, the Sweet Liquid Gold that Seduced the World by Holley Bishop

The Hive: The Story of the Honeybee and Us by Bee Wilson

Vanishing of the Bees (DVD)


For the Debate Team:

Designer Food: Mutant Harvest or Breadbasket of the World? by Gregory E. Pence

Genetically Modified Foods: Debating Biotechnology

Food, Inc.: Mendel to Monsanto–the Promises and Perils of the Biotech Harvest by Peter Pringle

The Taste of Tomorrow: Dispatches from the Future of Food by Josh Schonwald

Tomorrow’s Table: Organic Farming, Genetics, and the Future of Food by Pamela C. Ronald

Food Fray: Inside the Controversy over Genetically Modified Food by Lisa H. Weasel

Twarting Consumer Choice: The Case Against Mandatory Labeling for Genetically Modified Foods by Gary Elvin Marchant

The GMO Deception: What You Need to Know about the Food, Corporations, and Government Agencies Putting Our Families and Our Environment at Risk


For the Advocate:

Dinner at the New Gene Cafe: How Genetic Engineering is Changing What We Eat, How We Live, and the Global Politics of Food by Bill Lambrecht

Genetically Engineered Food: A Self-Defense Guide for Consumers by Ronnie Cummins

Eating in the Dark: America’s Experiment with Genetically Engineered Food by Kathleen Hart

Seeds for the Future: The Impact of Genetically Modified Crops on the Environment by Jennifer A. Thomson

Fruitless Fall: The Collapse of the Honey Bee and the Coming Agricultural Crisis by Rowan Jacobsen 

A Spring without Bees: How Colony Collapse Disorder has Endangered Our Food Supply by Michael Schacker

A World without Bees by Alison Benjamin

The Honey Trail: In Pursuit of Liquid Gold and Vanishing Bees by Grace Pundyk

Dirt to Plate: Chicken & Corn Stocks

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This September we’re talking about stocks, corn, and reducing food waste! One great way to reuse food scraps in your home kitchen is to turn some of those scraps into stocks to be used later. Homemade stocks create rich bases for other dishes! Get into the DIY spirit!


September Food Literacy: Food Waste at Home

Though the numbers are shocking, it doesn’t take statistics and research to know that we waste far too much food. We know it’s a problem because we all, unfortunately, contribute to it. From unused ingredients at home to over-full college cafeteria trays and from aesthetically un-sellable produce to sell-by date fear, we waste about 50% of our food. When we think about the problem of food waste, it’s important to remember that it’s not just food that’s wasted, it’s everything that goes into that food: resources, labor, and the opportunity to feed others. With all that in mind, there are some great ways to reduce the amount of waste (food and otherwise) that enters the landfill.

Photo by Cait Pearson


Composting is the act of transforming food scraps and other organic materials into a super-healthy amendment to your soil. There are many different ways and scales of composting but the overall goal is always to divert material away from the landfill to be put back into the food system on the growing side. There are a ton of resources out there on composting, but there are great local resources as well. Be sure to check the events pages for Grow Pittsburgh and the Pennsylvania Resources Council for home composting classes, or if you’re unable to compost at home, why not try the Shadyside Worm’s Curbside Compost Exchange? For yard clippings, branches, Christmas trees, etc., the City of Pittsburgh offers two pick up days for composting, or you can drop off with proof of residency. Read more here.

Recycling and Re-using

While all of these resources don’t exclusively deal with food waste or scraps, food doesn’t exist in a vacuum, there’s plenty of waste surrounding food, whether literally in the case of packaging or more big-picture, like an old toaster or commercial range. Luckily, recycling is mandatory in Pittsburgh, better still, it’s easy. Every other week, residents may put their recycling out, curbside, in single-stream blue containers clearly marked for recycling or in blue bags. You may also drop off recycling. Learn more about the City of Pittsburgh recycling program here. For hard to recycle items like appliances, bikes, clothing, electronics, even tires, check out the Carnegie Library’s Recycling List. For more, check out Earth911, where you can enter what you’d like to recycle and your zip code, and poof! Earth911 will tell you where you can go!


With composting and recycling, the amount a household throws away that ends up in the landfill is reduced dramatically. For more information on weekly residential refuse pick up, check out this chart from the City of Pittsburgh.


Other Awesome Ways the Pittsburgh Region Reduces Food Waste

The Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank’s Gleaning Program rescues food that might otherwise not be consumed grown on farms.

Donated food through the Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank is aggregated through their many programs and partner sites.

Hunters in the region can donate deer that they don’t plan on using themselves to the Hunters Sharing the Harvest program.

Food preservation, in the home and restaurants, is a great way to prepare seasonal food for later use.

Embracing whole animal butchery/nose to tail eating is a great way to respect our food sources. Check out the Marty’s Butcher Shop as well as other community butcher shops and restaurants opening and gaining momentum around Pittsburgh.

Get DIY and use food scraps for stocks, broths, and regrowing!



September Seasonal Spotlight Reading List

If you’re looking for more information on our Seasonal Spotlights, check out our monthly reading list series!  We’ll include books on agriculture, culture, history, cooking and more! All titles available through the Carnegie Library system!


This month we’re talking about corn, stocks, and the problem of food waste and how to tackle it!


For the Kiddos:

Food Waste by Deborah Chancellor

The Dumpster Diver by Janet S. Wong

Compost! Growing Gardens from Your Garbage by Linda Glaser

Composting: Nature’s Recyclers by Robin Michal Koontz

The Little Composter by Jan Gerardi

Compost Stew: An A to Z Recipe for the Earth by Mary McKenna Siddals

Nature Recycles: How About You? by Michelle Lord

The Corn Grows Ripe by Dorothy Rhoads

The Year of No More Corn by Helen Ketteman

The Life and Times of Corn by Charles Micucci

Corn by Pam Robson

Corn by Gail Gibbons


For the Waste-Not-Er & Gardener:

Composting: An Easy Household Guide by Nicky Scott

Compost: A Family Guide to Making Soil from Scraps by Ben Raskin

The Rodale Book of Composting

Composting by Bob Flowerdew

Composting by Liz Ball

Compost This Book!: The Art of Composting for Your Yard, Your Community, and the Planet by Christopher Thomas

The Complete Compost Gardening Guide: Banner Batches, Grow Heaps, Comforter Compost, and Other Amazing Techniques for Saving Time and Money, and Producing the Most Flavorful, Nutritious Vegetables Ever by Barbara Pleasant

The Mini Farming Guide to Composting by Brett L. Markham 

Gardens from Garbage: How to Grow Indoor Plants from Recycled Kitchen Scraps by Judith F. Handelsman

The Art & Science of Dumpster Diving by John Hoffman  


For the Cook: 

Frugavore: How to Grow Organic, Buy Local, Waste Nothing, and Eat Well by Arabella Forge

Homegrown Whole Grains: Grow, Harvest, & Cook Wheat, Barley, Oats, Rice, Corn, & More by Sara Pitzer

The Soupmaker’s Kitchen: How to Save Your Scraps, Prepare a Stock, and Craft the Perfect Pot of Soup by Aliza Green

The Nourished Kitchen: Farm-to-Table Recipes for the Traditional Foods Lifestyle: Featuring Bone Broths, Fermented Vegetables, Grass-Fed Meats, Wholesome Fats, Raw Dairy, and Kombuchas by Jennifer McGruther

The Cornbread Gospels by Crescent Dragonwagon


 For the Historian & Culturally Curious:

Blue Corn and Chocolate by Elisabeth Rozin

Fat of the Land: Garbage in New York: The Last Two Hundred Years by Benjamin Miller

Waste and Want: A Social History of Trash by Susan Strasser

Garbage Land: On the Secret Trail of Trash by Elizabeth Royte

Waste: Uncovering the Global Food Scandal by Tristram Stuart

Rubbish!: The Archaeology of Garbage by William L. Rathje

Garbology: Our Dirty Love Affair with Trash by Edward Humes

Gone Tomorrow: The Hidden Life of Garbage by Heather Rogers


For the Advocate:

American Wasteland: How America Throws Away Nearly Half of Its Food (and What We Can Do about it) by Jonathan Bloom

Raising Less Corn, More Hell: The Case for the Independent Farm and Against Industrial Food by George Pyle

King Corn (DVD)  

Sweet Charity? Emergency Food and the End of Entitlement by Janet Poppendieck


August Food Literacy: Home Food Preservation

We’re getting close to the height of the growing season! Feeling overwhelmed with options, flavors, and varieties? One great way to celebrate what’s in season now is it preserve it for the winter months, when not too much local produce can be grown. This August, we’re talking about food preservation, and this month’s Food Literacy post is an introduction to different methods (with links to further resources!).

Photo by Cait Pearson


Canning has taken off with popularity as other changes to culture have shifted. Canning is a big part of the DIY Movement, and has taken root in the so called Foodie Movement. For others, canning and gardening have always gone hand in hand. Preserving your own food can be cost effective and can promote food security. There are multiple resources out there for canning. Besides books and blogs, check out local resource, The Pittsburgh Canning Exchange, for educational programs, canning parties, and more!


These days, freezing foods for preservation is typically completed using the marvels of modern technology. In the past, slowing the growth of bad microorganisms that have designs on people’s hard earned food would have been done in a naturally occurring climate controlled place like a cave, or even left out in freezing temperatures. Many people today still freeze excess meat, but if you’re feeling overwhelmed by your CSA, or you went a little overboard purchasing beautiful locally grown produce, you might consider the easy technique of freezing in the home. Check out this beautiful blog for some tips or the National Center for Home Preservation for a food-by-food How To Guide.


Drying meat, fish, fruits, even potatoes is one of the oldest forms of food preservation. And while fancy food dehydrators and packaged and processed fruit leather look quite different from the pemmican and hard, flat dried fishes of yore, the idea is basically the same. By removing water and excess moisture from foods, you take away the preferred environments of mold and harmful bacteria. With the threat taken away, these foods can be safely stored for later snacking. Historically, dried foods were crucial for survival, today dried foods offer a healthy alternative to other types of snacks, especially if you don’t have a way to refrigerate your food during a busy day. Get started with home drying in your oven, and then advance on to the major leagues!


Who can deny the crunch and rush of flavor that a pickled cucumber brings? But pickling is more than cucumbers, as you well know, the act of combining fresh foods with vinegar and other seasoning and preserving agents produces unique tastes that delight and “extend” the season. And though pickling works well for preservation, taste is a serious goal here, and always has been as Sue Shephard tells us in Pickled, Potted, and Canned: How the Art and Science of Food Preserving Changed the WorldShephard says, “Malay chutneys, such as mango, became popular for livening up the bland European diet. Housewives would give ships’ captains their own private orders to bring back quantities of pickles and spices.” Get yourself in a pickle with these recipes and tips!


The “discovery” of fermentation as a way to preserve foods was no doubt one part intentional, two parts accidental.  Different climates, accessibility, and way of life would have brought about spoiled milk turned yogurt or buried fish turned future meal. Today, fermented foods still cover a wide spectrum of favorites. From beer to kimchi to sauerkraut, the all-important side to pierogi, fermentation takes patience and experimentation and yields tasty and healthful results. Fermentation is a type of preservation that can easily be done at home, and many DIYers and foodies have embraced fermentation as a puesdo-hobby and way to take control over the foods (both ingredients and freshness) they enjoy at home. Favorite Resources: The Art of Fermentation by Sandor Ellix Katz, Real Food Fermentation by Alex Lewin, The Nourished Kitchen blog.




Dirt to Plate: Pork Belly Salad

Think pork belly is just for bacon, think again! Try this Pork Belly Salad recipe with Marty’s House Cured Pork Belly, dandelion greens, and other ingredients found in the market. This one-pan meal is simple but it’s sure to wow your dinner guests!

Break out your cast iron pan. Your taste buds will thank you!