Slow Food Los Angeles

Good, clean and fair food access for all of L.A.

12 February 2011
by snailwrangler
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LAUSD Sugar Fact Sheets

Two fact sheets detailing the high sugar content of LAUSD meals–and what you can do to call for change–have been prepared by Emily Ventura in collaboration with colleagues at the Childhood Obesity Center at USC’s Keck School of Medicine. (An English-language fact sheet is on the left; a Spanish-language sheet is on the right.)

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12 February 2011
by snailwrangler
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Tell the LAUSD to “Take Back the Sugar” on Valentine’s Day

Emily Ventura, the chairperson of Slow Food Los Angeles’s social action committee, is working with LAUSD parents and community advocates to call for improved food in our public schools. We share a late-breaking update from her about an event this Monday:

Do Good this Valentine’s Day: Rally for the Kids of Los Angeles

Tired of the same old plans for Valentine’s Day? This year, try something new and show your love to the children of Los Angeles. Join fellow concerned citizens in supporting much needed change to the school food served in the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD).

The sugar content of the current school food is shockingly high, with breakfasts containing up to 51 grams of sugar, the same amount in a can of Coke. Flavored milk (chocolate or strawberry) is served at school breakfast and lunch, which equates to 14 cups of added sugar per child a school year. That’s almost a gallon of sugar toward obesity and diabetes. And that’s just the milk, not to mention the coffee cake or the sweetened cereal.

The LAUSD Food Service Branch says, “If you want to get rid of the added sugar, then show us parent and community support.” 

Show your support at Monday’s Cafeteria Improvement Meeting, held at the LAUSD headquarters downtown. Write a note and attach it to a one gallon milk bottle decorated as a Valentine.  Empty jugs are fine, but feel free to fill it with 14 cups of sugar (or sand) to educate your family. The message: Please take back the sugar. We don’t want it in our milk or our food!
 
Remember, we’re all about the love. Food Services is expecting our Valentines… be nice! The rally will kick off an educational campaign, and the plan is to distribute the decorated gallon jugs to teachers and cafeteria staff for use in educating students in how to reduce sugar consumption.

Delivery Option 1: Participate in the Valentine’s Day Rally
Bring your jug and meet us outside the Visconti Lot (entrance on Miramar) near LAUSD headquarters (333 South Beaudry Avenue, Los Angeles 90017) at 1:30pm and we’ll have a peaceful parade to the 28th floor with our Valentines at 2:00pm sharp when the meeting starts.  Parking validation available on the 28th floor. RSVP to: gallonofsugar [at] gmail [dot] com.

Delivery Option 2: Drop off your Valentine to LAUSD anytime on Monday
Address it to Food Services and deliver it directly to LAUSD headquarters at 333 South Beaudry Avenue, Los Angeles 90017.

Delivery Option 3: Drop off your Valentine at the Farmer’s Kitchen (1555 Vine St # 119, Los Angeles 90028)
Chef Ernie will collect it any time this Sunday, February 13, and deliver it for you. 

The children of Los Angeles kindly thank you for supporting their current and future health!

For more information about this issue, or about Monday’s “Take Back the Sugar” Valentines, email Emily Ventura and the Food for Lunch team at gallonofsugar [at] gmail [dot] com.

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10 January 2011
by snailwrangler
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Films 4 Change: Food, Inc. screening + discussion

As part of its Films 4 Change Festival, The Broad Stage in Santa Monica is presenting a screening of Food, Inc. this week, followed by a panel discussion about making wiser food choices and a tasting:

When: Friday, January 14, 2011 starting at 7:30pm
Where: The Broad Stage at the Santa Monica College Performing Arts Center, 1310 11th Street, Santa Monica
Cost: Tickets to the screening and panel discussion: $15 per person; tasting tickets: $10 per person. Tickets can be purchased at The Broad Stage website.

Even if you’ve seen Food, Inc., this week’s screening offers the opportunity to revisit Robert Kenner’s provocative and influential documentary on the state of our food system and the real costs of cheap food.

The post-screening panel discussion will be moderated by Amelia Saltsman, a Slow Food supporter, educator, and author of The Santa Monica Farmers’ Market Cookbook. Amelia will be joined by:

  • Suzanne Goin, proprietor and chef of Lucques, A.O.C., and Tavern;
  • Greg Nauta of Rocky Canyon; and
  • Romeo Coleman of Coleman Family Farm.

The tasting, prepared by Suzanne Goin, will follow the screening and discussion.

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9 January 2011
by snailwrangler
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27th Annual Los Angeles Mycological Society Wild Mushroom Fair

The Los Angeles Mycological Society has alerted us that this year’s Mushroom Fair will be held on February 13, 2011, at Ayres Hall at the Los Angeles County Arboretum and Botanic Garden at 301 North Baldwin Avenue in Arcadia. This is a free event (with purchase of an admission to the Arboretum) and is a perennial favorite among mushroom enthusiasts.

As in past years, this year’s fair will including cooking demonstrations, mushroom growing demonstrations, displays, children’s activities, and wild mushroom identification. The keynote speaker will be Moselio Schaechter, a visiting scholar at the University of California at San Diego and the author of In the Company of Mushrooms: A Biologist’s Tale.

Additional details will be announced shortly on the Los Angeles Mycological Society’s site.

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9 January 2011
by snailwrangler
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“Stopping Bullets With Jobs”: Father Greg Boyle in conversation with Tavis Smiley

Homeboy Industries and the Homegirl Cafe have been contributors to Slow Food projects, most recently the Time for Lunch campaign to raise awareness about the Child Nutrition Act and need to improve the national school lunch program. Staff and volunteers from Homegirl were hugely helpful at several of our local eat-ins, and the Homeboy and Homegirl programs have been nationally recognized for their achievements.

A founder of Homeboy Industries and now its Executive Director, Father Greg Boyle has been tireless in his work to present options to young people involved in gang activity here in Los Angeles. Homeboy Industries is the largest gang intervention program in the United States, and its programs have become models for others around the country.

The California Endowment is hosting a conversation between Father Greg and Tavis Smiley as part of the CenterScene programming of its Center for Healthy Communities:

When: Thursday, January 27, 2011 starting at 6:30pm (check in will begin at 5:45pm)
Where: The California Endowment, 1000 North Alameda Street, Los Angeles 90012 (easily accessible by public transportation to Union Station)
Cost: Free, but advance registration is required via The California Endowment website

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9 January 2011
by snailwrangler
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Urban Homesteading in 2011

To start off 2011, the Santa Monica Farmers’ Market quarterly panel will address a topic of great interest to many Slow Food Los Angeles members and friends: urban homesteading.

Urban dwellers are going beyond gardens and edible landscaping to produce even more of what they eat. Hear how urban gardeners and farmers on the edge of urban development have increased their personal sense of food security by taking greater control of their food supply.

When: Thursday, February 10, 2011 from 7:00pm until 9:00pm
Where: The MLK Auditorium of the Santa Monica Public Library, 601 Santa Monica Boulevard, Santa Monica
Cost: Free and open to the public

Moderated by Evan Kleiman, the panel will include Phil McGrath of McGrath Family Farm in Camarillo; representatives of Fairview Gardens Farm; Emily Green, a gardening and horticulture contributor to the Los Angeles Times, and Ray Garcia of FIG Restaurant.

Seating in the auditorium is limited and available on a first-come, first-seated basis. Overflow seating will be available in the library’s 2nd floor multipurpose room. Doors open at 6:45pm, and the event will begin at 7:00pm. The Santa Monica Public Library is wheelchair accessible; for special services for the disabled, please call the Library at 310.458.8606.

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22 December 2010
by snailwrangler
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A (Mini) Tour of Polyface Farm with Joel Salatin and Eric Ripert

A recent episode of “Avec Eric,” Eric Ripert’s television show, featured a segment filmed at Polyface Farm with Joel Salatin, who talked about how the various elements of the farm support each other. Even if you’re already familiar with Polyface and Joel Salatin’s philosophy from The Omnivore’s Dilemma or other sources, it’s always fun to see Joel’s famous eggmobiles in action:

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22 December 2010
by snailwrangler
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Positions Available at Roots of Change

Roots of Change is an ally of Slow Food USA and has worked with several Slow Food chapters throughout California as part of its commitment to further the establishment of a sustainable food system in California by 2030. With this goal, Roots of Change has been steadily building a network of farmers, ranchers, and other producers, businesses and nonprofit organizations, and governmental agencies, foundations, and local food communities.

Roots of Change has announced two new positions within the organization, a part-time position as an Events Director, and a full-time position as the Program Manager of the Farmers’ Market Consortium. The Program Manager position will be based in San Francisco; the Events Director position will require travel to San Francisco and Sonoma, but does not require relocation to San Francisco. For information about both positions, visit the careers page on their website.

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22 December 2010
by snailwrangler
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Occidental Arts and Ecology Center Internship

An announcement from our colleagues in Sonoma County:

In 2011, the Occidental Arts and Ecology Center (OAEC) is pleased to offer a new internship opportunity in our beautiful rustic vegetarian kitchen. The Kitchen Internship is just under 10 months long, starting Feb. 22, 2011 and ending Dec. 15, 2011. The kitchen is the hub and hearth of our land-based intentional community, as well as for the many guests who attend OAEC’s courses, rentals, and events. It serves as the dynamic intersection between our 36-year-old biointensive organic gardens and other local farms in Sonoma county, and is at the heart of our land-based local food system.

The intern position is 25 hrs/week, though the exact weekly schedule is determined by the varying needs of the kitchen.  Some hours will be at regularly scheduled times, and others will be flexible; and some weekend work is required.

The ideal kitchen intern will be responsible, motivated, community-oriented, flexible, dependable, and able to take direction well. A sense of humor is a huge plus! We are looking for a self-starter, who is at ease and focused whether working alone or with others. Prior kitchen experience is desirable, but the most important thing is a desire to learn various aspects of running a rural commercial kitchen, including bulk food ordering, maintaining fridge and pantry organization, food preservation, and cooking and prepping for meals.

The intern must be willing to be on-call for occasional last-minute emergencies and jump in to help resolve situations when the kitchen manager is unavailable. Since all OAEC interns participate in the intentional community, strong communication skills, appreciation for group process, and a desire to contribute to the community are essential.

Though not required, it is highly preferred that Kitchen Intern applicants attend a Wednesday Garden Volunteer Day to meet the staff and get a sense of our full soil-to-table cycle.  Plan to stay at least 2 hours, including an hour-long lunch (12:30-1:30pm) and another hour of working in the garden.  Garden Volunteer Days are every Wednesday, 10am-5pm, and you are welcome to stay longer than 2 hours, if you like.  Please wear gardening clothes.  If you are able to attend, email Janell, the Kitchen Manager (janell@oaec.org), ahead of time to coordinate the day and time.

To apply, email cover letters and resumes no later than January 15, 2011 to:
Janell Lundgren
Kitchen Manager
janell@oaec.org
(707) 874-1557 ext. 235

After initial selection of potential candidates, on-site interviews will be scheduled in January.  Phone interviews are generally not possible.

See OAEC’s web site for background on what we do: www.oaec.org

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19 December 2010
by snailwrangler
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Hollywood Farmers’ Market: What *are* the L.A. Film School’s Intentions?

We’re receiving word this morning that the Los Angeles Film School declined to sign off on the statement issued by Eric Garcetti’s office regarding the 90-day extension to the Hollywood Farmers’ Market’s street closure permit. We’re getting conflicting information so we’ll share more news shortly as soon as we have a better sense of the details; in the meantime, this underscores the need for market supporters to continue to express their concerns to those involved in this dispute.

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17 December 2010
by snailwrangler
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Public Response Helps Secure 90-Day Extension for the Hollywood Farmers’ Market

SEE-LA announced this evening that the Hollywood Farmers’ Market has been granted a 90-day extension to its street closure permit while alternatives—for the market and the Los Angeles Film School’s parking access—are more carefully considered. The text of their statement follows:

We would like to convey our sincerest thanks to all of our supporters who called or emailed Council President Garcetti this week to voice their concern over the Hollywood Farmers’ Market’s street closure situation. Council President Garcetti himself told our representatives on Thursday that his office received over 1000 email messages and phone calls supporting the Hollywood Farmers’ Market–an astonishing response in less than 24 hours after we asked you to lend your voices to our struggle. Thank you for your support. Although we are encouraged by the progress made so far, we need to remain steadfast in our commitment to our principles, and ready to demonstrate that commitment again if needed. Please stay ready should we need to again show our resolve to keep the market the unique community experience it is.

At the Thursday, December 16 meeting, Council President Garcetti reconfirmed his longstanding support for the Hollywood Farmers’ Market and reiterated the great significance that the Market has for the community and the rest of Los Angeles by promoting food security throughout L.A. We are grateful to Council President Garcetti for his strong leadership. We are particularly pleased that he expressed his commitment to keeping the market at its central hub of Ivar and Selma Ave., and that he is committed to a fair process as we work toward the specifics of a final resolution. As of today, the city has verbally committed to issuing SEE-LA a 90-day extension on its current street closure permit, giving us a better opportunity to understand the problems and to research alternatives. We will work with the Department of Transportation to research alternative market layouts on adjacent streets, which could relocate many of the farmers currently south of Selma on Ivar Ave., and could present the opportunity for the market to expand, which Council President Garcetti indicated he would support. The LA Film School will consider construction options to connect its parking structures and provide access to their facilities 24/7. Most importantly, the Council President affirmed that he is committed to:

  • Maintaining the market’s current size and number of vendors,
  • Maintaining its accessibility to the public and vendors, and
  • Ensuring the safety of its customers and vendors.

Thanks to all the Slow Food Los Angeles members and friends who shared their concern by phone and email with Councilman Garcetti, who signed the petition at the market, and who helped spread the word about the market’s predicament. Although the issue has not been finally resolved, we’re encouraged by this development and by Councilman Garcetti’s support, and will share developments as we receive news.

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10 December 2010
by snailwrangler
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Hollywood Farmers’ Market: The Film School’s perspective

Thanks to Felicia Friesema and L.A. Weekly for pressing for more information from the Los Angeles Film School about its objections to the continuation of the Hollywood Farmers’ Market in its longtime location. Information from their conversation with Antoine Ibrahim, the school’s spokesman, is now online on the L.A. Weekly’s Squid Ink blog.

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