July 14th, 2014 by Linda Elbert
Dear Slow Food Orange County,
Over the last few months we have been implementing our Snail of Appreciation award program. This program is a means for Slow Food OC to acknowledge restaurateurs, culinary artisans and CSA producers (community supported agriculture) who exemplify the principles of Slow Food and contribute to the quality, authenticity, and sustainability of food in our community. The three businesses that have received/will receive this award to date are Vitaly, Wheat and Sons Butcher/Rotisserie and Boldo Bol. On the website under the Program tab is a detailed description of the Snail of Appreciation program, information about these businesses, and the forms to use in nomination.
One of the side benefits of implementing this program has been the opportunity to spend time with other Slow Food members at a more personal level. Each time we presented an award we gathered together a few members to share a meal at the restaurant when presenting the award. This created the classic Slow Food conviviality around the table breaking bread! With no structured program, members had time to talk and get to know each other. Given that our chapter encompasses all of Orange County getting to know one another is not always easy. This was such a great opportunity we decided we should open it up to more people when presenting the third award to Boldo.
As you will see in this newsletter, we have organized a mixer at Boldo for the evening when we present our Snail of Appreciation award. Joining us in this mixer is Slow Money Southern California. Slow Money is a non-profit network that connects farmers, entrepreneurs, investors, thought-leaders and everyday folks interested in developing alternative resources that help strengthen and diversify our local food system. Slow Money was founded by Woody Tasch, former chairman of Investors’ Circle — a nonprofit network of over 200 angel investors, professional venture capitalists, foundations, family offices and others. The idea to initiate the Slow Money movement came to Woody Tasch while he was writing his book Inquiries Into the Nature of Slow Money– Investing as if Food, Farms and Fertility Mattered. Slow Food founder, Carlo Petrini wrote the forward to Tasch’s book and was the keynote speaker at the 2013 Slow Money national convention. The Slow Food philosophy is that everyone has a fundamental right to the pleasure of good food and consequently, the responsibility to protect the heritage of food, and the tradition and culture that make this pleasure possible. The Slow Money movement seeks to create capital flows to support “slow food” enterprises. Slow Money’s mission is to find ways to raise and allocate capital to support diverse, small scale agriculture and small food enterprises that are dedicated to using sustainable agricultural practices. Slow Food is a network of people who support good, clean and fair food and Slow Money can offer financial resources to build and support this network. We look forward to working in partnership.
Slow Food Orange County, Chair
June 11th, 2014 by Larry Elbert
Slow Food Orange County presented the second Snail of Appreciation Award to Wheat and SonsButcher/Rotisserie, Ashly Amador and Nate Overstreet proprietors, on Saturday May 31 at their brand new shop in the Packing District, 440 S. Anaheim Blvd, Anaheim CA.
We are so excited to have an authentic butcher and butcher shop in Orange County. Finding meat from a source the guarantees that its meat is from animals that were humanely raised and fed appropriate, organic food has been a challenge. We are so lucky to have his shop available. Meat can by custom ordered. Nate also brings tremendous talent in creation of artisan charcuterie that is available at Wheat and Sons.
Snail of Appreciation presented to Nate & Ashley on opening day!
Slow Food OC’s Snail of Appreciation award recognizes the commitment of Wheat and Sons to work with producers in the local area to ensure that their poultry, meat, and produce are raised humanely and to the highest standards in ways that support the ecosystem of the land.
Wheat and Sons are committed to use everything from the animal in a way that showcases that ingredient in its best form to create rotisserie items, market inspired sandwiches and sausages, and award winning Charcuterie.
We recognize their willingness in teaching classes, educating consumers about meat products and bringing us closer to the food we eat.
May 28th, 2014 by Keith Schildt
Nationwide, May has been a good month if you’re an advocate for GMO labeling. Vermont’s Governor signed into law a GMO labeling bill that will require products containing genetically modified ingredients in Vermont to be labeled as such starting in July 2016. However, it appears that GMO producers will file a lawsuit against Vermont. Two counties in Oregon passed GMO labeling laws. The counties, Jackson and Josephine, are in southern Oregon in the Rogue Valley region. According to ABC News accounts, “based on recent Oregon legislation, Jackson County’s ban, which attracted national attention and money, will have the force of law, but Josephine County’s ban appears headed for a court battle.”
Closer to home, on Friday, May 23rd, SB1381 (authored by Democratic State Senator Noreen Evans) passed out of the State Senate Appropriations Committee on a 5-2 vote. Orange County State Senator Mimi Walters (R. 37th District) voted no on the bill in Appropriations. It will now go to the floor for a full vote by the State Senate by May 30th. If passed by the State Senate, the bill will then go to the Assembly. If you are a proponent of GMO labeling you are advised to quickly contact your state senator (for most of us that will be Mimi Walters) and urge that they pass SB1381. To find your state senator, go to: http://findyourrep.legislature.ca.gov/
In other state legislative news, AB2561 (The Neighborhood Food Act) will go to full Assembly for vote. AB2561 would give renters of single-family homes and duplexes the right to grow produce on the rental property as long as it does not create trip-and-fall risks or other hazards. It also allows the landlord to require an additional security deposit to cover the costs associated with restoring landscaping to its original state after the tenant moves out if the tenant does not restore it. The bill also would make it illegal for homeowners associations to prohibit or otherwise restrict growing produce by resident within the association.
AB1990 (Community Food Production) deals with gleaning and small scale “backyard” production. It is a very confusingly written piece of legislation that deals with direct and cottage food sales. It may require additional paperwork and expense for small-scale production sales. One concern is that it may allow County Health Inspectors to inspect the production area as frequently as they want and the cost of the inspections would be on the producers. It will go to the full Assembly for vote.
Lastly, though not a legislative action, about 150-200 people were involved in the March Against Monsanto rally in Laguna Beach on Saturday May 24th.