Archive for the 'Sustainability' Category


Saul’s Seltzer Saga — Save The Deli

Friday, February 26th, 2010

sauls seltzerIf you’re reading David Sax’s recent book, Save the Deli, or follow his blog or moan, as many do, about the general state of the Jewish delicatessen, then you know that it’s a pivotal time in this most hallowed bastion of comfort food.

For years, locavores and vegetarians, calorie-counting suburbanites and couscous-loving Sephardim and even heeb-hopping hipsters have been bringing their own favorite dishes to the Jewish table. You might not know this upon stepping into a deli, where piles of salty, fatty meat and schmaltz in the chopped liver and never-ending free pickles every day of the year define good eating. It’s supposed to be a carefree zone where all the generations and sects can enjoy some chicken soup in relative peace.

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Hungry for Change: FOOD, INC.

Friday, June 12th, 2009

Last month, Senate Majority Leader Dean Florez, an outspoken leader on food safety and animal rights, hosted a special screening of the documentary, FOOD, INC. for a roomful of legislators in Sacramento. Thanks to a friend who works at the capitol, I was able to sneak in. It’d been a very long time since I’ve been surrounded by that many people wearing suits, and discussing public policy is not one of my favorite ways to make small talk (SBX2 3 or SB 135, anyone?). But seeing this important film with a roomful of legislators who were excited about sustainable food and who could actually institute change was one of the most powerful experiences I’ve had in a movie theatre.

You will soon be hearing a lot about FOOD, INC., a documentary directed by Robert Kenner, winner of both a Peabody and an Emmy for his previous film, Two Days in October. Opening in San Francisco on June 12, this latest release by Magnolia Pictures tackles the unenviable job of educating consumers about the agricultural industry. It’s being called the Inconvenient Truth of the food world, and the quality of its production certainly compares well. Super-saturated colors, animation, engaging graphics, a sprinkling of humor to lighten its distillation of immense amounts of information, and a line-up of articulate, passionate speakers all meld into a highly viewable documentary.

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FLOW: For the Love of Water

Tuesday, November 25th, 2008

flow.jpgThousands have lived without love, not one without water.
— W. H. Auden

Like the earth itself, our bodies are 70 percent water. This also happens to be the proportion of our water supply that the agricultural industry consumes to bring food to our tables. No conversation about sustainable food systems can exclude the topic of water.

While water wars seem like the concerns of distant communities, experts predict that towns across the US will also soon be struggling to provide clean, affordable water to their citizens. An award-winning documentary, Flow, one of the post powerful and elegant films in the recent 3rd I Film Festival, tackles the complex issues embedded in a simple glass of water. From Bolivia to India, from Michigan to our very own California, access to water is being contested.

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Taste of Sebastopol

Monday, October 27th, 2008

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Life’s little intersections can reveal deep connections, and sharing a meal is one of the most common ways that happens. A friend visiting from the east coast, John “Taiko Man” Ko introduced me to his drumming friend who invited us to dinner and then, the next thing, I’m learning all about my local community’s history and eating amazing food.

Hideaki Nishikura, a baker at Wild Flour Bread, took our intrepid New Yorker and me, along with a doting grandmother and a giggling son, on a personal tour of his hometown, Sebastopol. I feel privileged to have this insider’s peek into a little known community and hope to inspire a few of you to take the trek north to visit the town during this time when autumn’s colors and flavors are at their peak.

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Honey Bees

Monday, April 21st, 2008

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I’m not sure my neural pathways for good ice cream and the future of agriculture have ever sparked simultaneously before, but a recent posting sure caught my attention. If you happen to know someone who recently received their Ph.D. in entomology, you can point them, too, toward Haagen-Dazs’ recently established fellowship in honey bee biology at the University of California, Davis. For those who need more hands-on training, be sure to check out the advanced workshop later this month on queen bee insemination.

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