Food #002: Chris by Boyce Upholt

Clarksdale, Mississippi

Clarksdale, Mississippi

Chris, 19, ice cream maker

Food means everything. Food does the body good. Food makes you happy. I don’t know what else does, if that doesn’t make you happy.

For three years, Chris has been working for Sweet Magnolia Ice Cream, a small-scale operation that specializes in Italian-style gelato with a Southern twist. Every pint of ice cream is hand labeled, almost always by Chris ("I have the best hand-writing," he says).

Hugh Balthorp, the owner of the company, loves concocting wild flavors, using as many local foods as possible. His gelatos have incorporated basil, bacon, and sweet potatoes (though not all at once). Chris credits Balthorp as the person who's taught him the most about food.

Ice cream doesn’t come to mind when you think of these flavors... He might make some chicken ice cream!

Food #001: David by Boyce Upholt

Sunflower County, Mississippi

Sunflower County, Mississippi

David, 32, farmer and engineer

Just a substance. Just a way to help you do what you want to do—that’s kinda the way I look at it.
— On the meaning of food

David Arant, Jr., is a fourth generation farmer in the Mississippi Delta, a region where massive farms produce mostly rice, corn, soybeans, and cotton--commodity crops that withstand heavy applications of pesticides. Interested in the farm-to-table movement, David has begun to process, package, and distribute some of his rice to local restaurants and stores, and this year has begun to experiment with organic rice.

Learn more at

I do like to know where my food comes from. You can only take that so far without spending an arm and a leg.