The start of the California Legislative season has just begun and the following is a short list of bills worthy of Slow Food Orange County’s attention.
AB49 Overuse of antibiotics in livestock. This bill was introduced by Assembly Member Mullin (San Mateo). He describes the bill’s purpose, as “there is substantial scientific evidence that the overuse of antibiotics leads to bacterial immunity and diminished effectiveness of antibiotics in humans. Eighty percent of antibiotics used in the United States are delivered to food livestock and many livestock producers administer antibiotics when there is no disease present. Currently Federal law only provides for a voluntary reduction of antibiotics use by the livestock industry.”
AB226 Creates Fishermen’s Market. (Aktins) This bill changes the CA Food Code and would create a new type of non-permanent on-land food sales facility (“fishermen’s market” – sort of like a farmer’s market but for fish) that would sell legally caught fresh or frozen fish caught or aquaponically produced in California. This stems from the trials and tribulations to open an on-land fishermen’s market in San Diego for the last two years (it is legal to sell directly from the boat).
AB234 Food Sales. (Gordon) This bill aims to clarify last year’s AB1990 and would “authorize a community fresh food producer or gleaner to sell or provide whole uncut fruits or vegetables, or unrefrigerated shell eggs, directly to a permitted food facility.” There is concern that the language of AB1990 could be construed to unnecessarily limit some scale producers and gleaners because of paperwork and standard pack requirement language in existing regulations.
SB27 Livestock; Use of Antibiotics. (Hill) In some ways similar to AB49 this proposed bill would make it unlawful to administer an antibiotic drug to “livestock solely to cause an increased rate of weight gain or improved feed efficiency.” The bill would also require the Department of Food and Agriculture to develop a program to track the use of medically important antimicrobial drugs in livestock and to track antibiotic-resistant bacteria and patterns of emerging resistance, and would also require the department, until March 1, 2020, to submit an annual report summarizing that data to the Legislature. The bill would also require the department to adopt “regulations to promote the judicious use of medically important antimicrobial drugs in livestock.”
AB292 School Lunch Time. (Santiago) This bill would require school districts and county offices of education to ensure that each of the schools in their district provides adequate time for students to eat lunch after being served, which the Department of Education has specified is 20 minutes.
SB203 Sugar Sweetened Labeling. (Monning) This bill would establish the Sugar-Sweetened Beverages Safety Warning Act, which would require safety warnings on sugar-sweetened beverages in a sealed beverage container, or multi-pack of sugar-sweetened beverages, and warnings near vending machines or soda fountain. The bill also states that the consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages contributes to obesity, diabetes and tooth decay and this statement would constitute the warning.
As of this writing, no bill has been introduced to require GMO labeling in the state legislature. The deadline for introduction of new bills is February 28th.
At the national level, those interested in GMO labeling have some bills proposed that seek to mandate GMO labeling but it is doubtful any will make it out of committee. Those national bills include:
S511 (Boxer, CA) A bill that would amend the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act to require that genetically engineered food and foods that contain genetically engineered ingredients be labeled accordingly.
HR393 (Young, AK) To amend the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act to require labeling of genetically engineered fish.
Slow Food Movement Expert Anya Fernald Joins Los Angeles Times Food Editor Russ Parsons for a Discussion on Sustainable Food Practices
Wednesday, February 4, 2015 at 6:30 p.m.Latest Talk in “The Future of Food” Series at the Aquarium of the Pacific
The Aquarium of the Pacific is presenting The Future of Food, an ongoing series of talks hosted by Los Angeles Times Food Editor Russ Parsons and featuring experts representing different sectors of the American food system.On February 4, 2015, Anya Fernald, an expert on the slow food movement and agritourism, will join Parsons at the Aquarium of the Pacific. Anya Fernald is the co-founder and CEO of Belcampo Inc., a family of companies that includes Belcampo Farms, Belcampo Butchery, Belcampo Meat Co., and six restaurants. Fernald will discuss humane organic meat farming and butcher shops, the slow food movement, and agritourism. Fernald’s career experience includes launching a cooperative of cheesemakers in rural Sicily, directing international microinvestments for the Italian Slow Food Foundation, launching Slow Food Nation and Eat Real, and starting her own company, Live Culture. She has been a regular judge on the Food Network’s Iron Chef since 2009 and also serves as the founding board chair of the Food Craft Institute.Tickets for this series are available by phone or online. Attendees will have the opportunity to view the Aquarium’s exhibits during Future of Food events. The talk will also be streamed live on the Aquarium’s website. Additional events will be announced throughout the year.
February 4, May 7, and October 7, 2015; 6:30 p.m.-9:00 p.m.
Aquarium of the Pacific, 100 Aquarium Way, Long Beach, CA 90802
Slow Food International Celebrates the Sixth Edition of Terra Madre Day on its 25th Birthday on December 10
Terra Madre Day is even celebrated in the International Space Station this year
On December 10, 2014, the international Slow Food network celebrates the rich heritage of food diversity from around the world in a series of events including meetings and debates, picnics and dinners, film screenings, farm visits and much more. Held every year since 2009 on Slow Food’s birthday, the day is an important opportunity for all those who believe in the Slow Food philosophy to promote a sustainable alternative food system to their communities and local decision makers. The global movement invites everyone to join in to celebrate local culinary traditions, as well as to educate members of every community on the importance of preserving local food products and sustainable, fair and local alternatives to the industrialized model of our current global food system.
Importantly, this year’s edition coincides with the 25th anniversary of the foundation of the international Slow Food movement, which gives many local Slow Food groups an additional reason to celebrate the day. Slow Food convivia, Terra Madre food communities, chefs, academics, youths, producers and Slow Food enthusiasts are all key organizers of Terra Madre Day, which once again sees people participate in all continents.This year, there will also someone taking part in the event from space: Italian astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti has taken the Terra Madre Day flag and several Slow Food Presidia legumes on her 6 month trip into space to ensure she will be able to connect to her home through local products.
Click here to view all registered events across the world for 2014.
Below is a short description of a few highlights of this year’s planned events:
Slow Food Mildura celebrates Terra Madre Day with a twilight cruise along the Murray River. Young chefs from leading Mildura restaurants are being challenged to create dishes for a menu with produce from local farmers using regional and indigenous ingredients. The iconic Australian river fish, the Murray Cod will feature on the menu coinciding with Slow Food Mildura’s recent nomination of the endangered species to the Ark of Taste. Slow Food Mildura aims to preserve the tradition of eating the mighty Murray Cod by applauding restaurants, which have the fish grace their menus and by introducing chefs to producers.
People from the Magura food community and the convivium members are participating in this event, which includes a demonstration followed by a discussion about the effects of chemical agriculture on nature, agricultural diversity and human health. Alternative initiatives worldwide, local practices and prospects for local food will be presented. The event also involves a cooking competition, recognizing sustainable practitioners who maintain local food diversity. The event is a cross-generational meeting involving elderly people who can share their experiences, as well as young farmers who will share their initiatives for protecting farmers’ rights and more. The event concludes with a performance on how to resist GM seeds, junk food and climate change effects.
The convivium Slow Food i Skåne nordost celebrates this year´s Terra Madre Day by showing some short films related to food and agriculture at an organic food shop, accompanied by locally produced organic sweets and fair trade coffee. Locally produced vegetables and sausages can be bought directly from farmers.
The event will be held at the WASU farm in the municipality of Mukono to demonstrate how locally grown varieties of vegetables, fruits, cereals, spices and vines contribute to increased security and the generation of income. The event will also show how to create and manage family and school gardens. The purpose is to raise awareness about the value of indigenous foods for a healthy population, as well as enhance the biodiversity of plants and animals in the area.
Local hook and line caught albacore tuna is a regional delicacy. Sharing all the tasks and the finished product, community members cut, pack and pressure-cook the fish in glass jars. A weekend-long process, participants learn about pressure canning, seafood and local fisheries.