Los Angeles

In the News… Friday, July 10, 2009

The newswires are hot with information and commentary of interest to Slow Food Los Angeles members and friends:

† San Francisco’s Food Policy: How can urban land be put to better use? How do cities decrease the amount of food from outside their foodsheds, encourage consumption of homegrown and locally grown food, and offer more food options within neighborhoods? San Francisco mayor Gavin Newsom is asking these questions and issued an executive directive this week with food as its focus. General details were published in the San Francisco Chronicle; a copy of the directive is available on the Roots of Change website.

† And an example of urban farming that works: To those who say urban farming only works in warm-weather communities, we say, read the profile of Will Allen in last weekend’s New York Times. Wisconsin-based Allen was the recipient of one of the coveted “genius grants” from the MacArthur Foundation in 2008 and his Growing Power organization serves as a model for others who want to bring good, clean, and fair food production to urban centers around the country.

† “From Market to Menu”: LAist interviewed Chef Ben Ford of Ford’s Filling Station in Culver City about his commitment to locally grown, seasonal produce and how to take full advantage of the bounty of the farmers’ markets of Los Angeles. Read the Q&A on the LAist site.

† Being wary of labels: As the lead-in to Russ Parsons’ recent Los Angeles Times article says, “Just because it’s organic doesn’t mean it’s the best.” Instead of using a product’s “organic” status as the litmus test for quality, Parsons makes a persuasive case that “organic” is not the only criterion for good, clean, and fair food. Indeed, it may now be a misleading one given the dilution the term has undergone. Whether you shop at the farmers’ markets or head for the organic produce in your local grocery story, consider Parsons’ article before your next shopping trip.

† Urban Homesteading the Slow Food Way: Also in the New York Times, a profile of a couple whose personal and professional lives have been focused on supporting good, clean, and fair food: Anya Fernald and Renato Sardo. A former program direction for the Community Alliance with Family Farmers and the executive director of the inaugural Slow Food Nation, Anya has been tireless in her support of local farmers and ranchers. As the article makes clear, Anya and her husband Renato, a food and wine consultant, have embraced the spirit and practice of urban homesteading.

† Bill and Nicolette Niman on the meat we eat: No longer affiliated with the meat that bears the Niman Ranch name, Bill and Nicolette Niman have been participating in a discussion on CHOW.com about sustainable agriculture and ranching and their suggestions for making sustainable and affordable choices. The discussion starts here; one post by the Nimans that caught my attention is their Top 10 List for Affordable Sustainable Eating. Nicolette is the author of the recently published Righteous Porkchop: Finding a Life and Good Food Beyond Factory Farms.