Slow Food Sacramento

A Chapter of Slow Food USA

Browsing Posts published by Slow Food Sacramento

The Slow Food Sacramento Book Club is a book club for readers who enjoy food-related literature, both non-fiction and fiction. The club meets at 6:30 pm on the second Thursday of every other month at one of our member’s homes.

Next meeting: August 14th at 6:30 pm

For more information, visit the August Book Club event page.

Mayumi Tavalero of Fork and Knife Creations will lead Slow Food Sacramento world cuisine enthusists on a 60-90 minute culinary tour around the world inside the impressive KP International Market in Racho Cordova.

See the Slow Food Sacramento Events page for more information on registration and event details!

Sacramento celebrates Earth Day on Saturday, April 19 at Southside Park.

See the Events page for more information.

Fermentation Fever was our latest Slow Food U class on Sunday, April 6, at the Sacramento Natural Food Co-op’s learning center. We were in good hands with our instructor, Janet McDonald, who teaches numerous classes at the Co-op and whose kitchen is filled with vats and crocks of various fermentation projects. Janet demystified the fermentation process, so the fifteen participants now feel comfortable experimenting with fermenting at home. One participant said, “It changed my life! I always wanted to pickle but I thought it was too hard and involved cooking. I found out it did not! Janet MacDonald was a terrific teacher.” Everyone went home with a jar a sauerkraut and a jar of fermented carrot pickles.

The goal of Slow Food U is to provide low cost education classes, taught by Slow Food Sacramento members or our partners in the community. We strive to keep the classes low cost so they are accessible to everyone. Past topics include Bacon Curing, Lemons Lemons Lemons, Thai cooking, Winter Gardens, bike tours of edible gardens, and Foraging Along the Parkway.

Please contact Karen Auwaerter if you have a class suggestion or if you would like to teach a class.

Food & Film Festival 2014




Ten-day festival to include seven tastings and films

 SACRAMENTO – As food and wine pairings continue to rise in popularity, the farm-to-fork capital is offering a different kind of pairing: food and film. The 3rd Annual Sacramento Food Film Festival will take place March 20-30 and will include food, wine and beer pairings with seven films about food. Festival proceeds will benefit California Food Literacy Center, a Sacramento nonprofit providing food literacy education to local low-income children. 

            “This is a chance for guests to soak up the amazing food and drinks that Sacramento has to offer while also feeding their minds,” said Catherine Enfield, festival founder and food writer.

            The festival’s red carpet premier at Ten22 on March 20 features appetizers, drinks and screening of the award-winning movie, “Spinning Plates.” Cost is $40. On March 22, the festival continues at the Sterling Hotel, featuring a sneak preview of the highly anticipated, new Ruhstaller Nugget hop beer, bites from Adam Pechal and screening of “Beer Wars.” Cost is $30.  “Bottle Shock” will be screened at Lucca on March 25 and will include a four-course dinner based on the film. Cost is $40, and $50 if including a wine pairing. Sacramento Natural Foods Co-op offers a free event on March 26 to screen “Cafeteria Man” and will include appetizers, an appearance from the film’s star, Tony Geraci and a panel discussion with local leaders in food literacy education. Selland’s will offer a family spaghetti dinner on March 28 and screening of “Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs” at McKinley Park’s Clunie Center. Cost is $15 for children, $25 for adults. Slow Food Sacramento will host a free screening of “The Slow Food Story” at the Guild Theater for free on March 29. The festival wraps up on March 30 with a sushi and uni tasting by Billy Ngo from Kru, and Q & A with the film’s producer, Alexander Finden, at Sunh Fish and screening of “Sweet, Sexy Ocean.” Cost is $35.

            For more information and to purchase tickets, visit

            “We are proud to be the beneficiary of such a creative event that not only gives people the opportunity to enjoy the amazing food of the Sacramento region, but also helps spread food literacy through the creative medium of film,” said Amber Stott, founding executive director, California Food Literacy. “We look forward to good food and good conversations.”

California Food Literacy Center was established in July 2011 to educate and inspire low-income children to eat healthy food. Students learn fruit and vegetable appreciation, how to read nutrition labels, basic cooking skills and environmental impacts of their food choices. The nonprofit also runs the Food Literacy Academy, which trains community members as food literacy teachers. To date, the nonprofit has 60 active volunteers and serves 2,400 kids annually. After just three months of food literacy education, 70 percent of students request the foods they have tasted in class, including broccoli, celery and oranges. Ninety-two percent of K-1st grade students say healthy food tastes good, and 88 percent of children understand how to read a nutrition label. To make a donation:

Staring at a future of lower corn prices and higher inputs, Huegerich decided to experiment. Two years ago, he planted 320 acres of conventional corn and 1,700 with GMO corn. To his delight, the conventional fields yielded 15 to 30 more bushels per acre than the GMO fields, with a profit margin of up to $100 more per acre. And so in 2013, he upped the ante, ordering six varieties of conventional seeds for close to 750 acres and GMOs for his remaining acres.

Governor’s + Region Report –

Slow Food Sacramento’s successful membership drive has earned the chapter a visit — and meal prepared by — Matt Jones, the newly elected President of the Slow Food USA Board of Directors. Congratulations! Still haven’t joined? We’re hoping to sign up just as many new and renewing members by the end of the year. Consider a gift membership — it’s easy to arrange.

As we go into end of the year harvest celebrations, we’re focusing on the Slow Food Biodiversity Foundation’s Ark of Taste project — the FAO-recognized effort to save delicious foods and meaningful food cultures from extinction. Read more about Slow Food Sacramento’s celebration of Ark products elsewhere in this newsletter. And thank Snail of Approval Awardees including Elegant Beans/Mohr-Frye Ranch and Kingbird Farms for growing several Ark varieties of beans, fruits, and vegetables. Then take a moment to notice that Snail of Approval Restaurant Magpie Café & Catering notes on its menu when it serves AOT foods. In 2014, the 25th Anniversary of Slow Food, let’s celebrate the farmers and chefs who are rescuing these foods. And let’s identify and nominate more candidates for the Ark. The Karakul or Fat-tailed sheep, raised at Oregon House in Yuba County, has just been boarded. Spring lamb anyone? Our chapter nomination, Chenin Blanc Clarksburg AVA is being reviewed. Want to join the Slow Food California Ark of Taste Committee? Email

The Slow Food California Regional Leaders meeting in San Diego November 2-3 gathered over 50 leaders from across the state as well as Executive Director Richard McCarthy and Jovan Sage and Isabel Eljaiek from the Brooklyn staff as well as Matt Jones of the Board of Directors, plus Alfonso Rocha from Puebla, Mexico (International Councilor representing Mexico and Central America) and representatives of Slow Food Baja. Our focus was on what it means to be a region within Slow Food USA and what big ideas we have for the California region. Our Policy and Ark of Taste Committees are up and running. We formed new committees on Transnational work within the Americas and on Snail of Approval as well as for a series of Master Classes — Master of Meat? Wine? Cheese? – patterned after a very successful Slow Food Italy program. More coming soon, including how to volunteer and opportunities for training. Our policy, ark of taste, events, and fundraising workshops were terrific. And we know we need to spread these opportunities around the state. Best part – meeting all these energetic, interesting, involved volunteers, farmers, chefs, educators, gardeners, and you!

Next up for a regional meeting is Sacramento in connection with the Green Schools National Conference March 27-29, 2014. Stay tuned.

Charity Kenyon
Slow Food USA Governor
Central Valley California Region &
International Councilor



What’s next as Sacramento seeks to earn and hold on to its title as America’s Farm To Fork Capital? Some interesting ideas collected by Chris Macias in The Sacramento Bee:

Fourteen local businesses recently received the Snail of Approval award from Slow Food Sacramento, a nonprofit dedicated to promoting good, clean and fair food.

The Snail of Approval program is designed to recognize local busineses that contribute to the quality, authenticity and sustainability of food in the Sacramento community. The Snail of Approval is granted based on the three basic principles of the Slow Food movement: good (authentic flavor), clean (grown and produced so it does not harm the environment) and fair (food producers receive fair compensation).

Businesses are recognized in three categories: Producers, Supporters, and Restaurants. The businesses receiving the Snail of Approval this year are:



Elegant Beans and Beyond


Chocolate Fish Coffee

Temple Coffee Roasters

Insight Coffee Roasters

The Good Stuff

Kingbird Farm





Capitol Garage

Mama Kim’s on the Go



Two Flew the Coop

Edible Sacramento

Local Roots Food Tours


The awards will be presented on Sunday, November 3, at the annual Harvest Dinner. For more details on the event, please visit


For more information about the Snail of Approval program, visit



# # #

Slow Food Sacramento is the local chapter of the international nonprofit Slow Food, which has more than 100,000 members worldwide. Slow Food believes that the food we eat should taste good: that it should be produced in a clean way that does not harm the environment, animal welfare or our health; and that food producers should receive fair compensation for their work.

Slow Food considers its members and all who eat to be co-producers, not consumers, of food. By being informed about how our food is produced and actively supporting those who produce it, we become a part of and a partner in the production process.

To:      Slow Food CA Region Chapter Leaders

From:  Slow Food CA Region Policy Committee

Date:    July 30, 2013

Re:       Midterm report on policy actions taken by Slow Food CA Region in 2013

To the terrific chapter leaders of Slow Food California Region:

We will soon complete our first full year as a Slow Food California Region. Though we have yet to devise the optimum method of communicating with Slow Food California members, we wanted to report to chapter leaders on our activities and challenges as your Slow Food CA Region Policy Committee.

First, some context: At the end of last year on short notice we sent to California Chapter Leaders our first ever Policy Priority Survey. We asked for your areas of interest weighted in terms of your willingness to take action. Over half the California chapters responded, with these priorities: 1. Farm Bill, 2. GMOs, 3. School gardens, 4. Food Policy Councils, 5. Cottage Food Law implementation, 6. Urban Agriculture.

Chapter leaders will receive a new survey this Fall. You will also be asked to identify chapter members who would like to be more involved in taking action on policy at the state and national level. We will create a special email list for focused communications.

Next, our early success: AB 343 (Ag Gag) – with Slow Food California support, a coalition lead by the Humane Society of the United States, persuaded Assemblymember Jim Costa to withdraw his bill before it was heard.  Whistleblowers who report animal abuse by feedlots and similar operations can continue their undercover work.

And then there was the Farm Bill: Our committee members spent a lot of time working with National Sustainable Ag Coalition, Environmental Working Group, and others trying to persuade California Representatives to support amendments and spot bills that would yield an equitable farm bill. Our success was mixed, with some surprising disappointments and some gratifying surprises. Of course the House failed to pass a comprehensive bill and has since passed a bill stripped of food stamps (SNAP).

Slow Food USA, Slow Food California, and Slow Food Orange County are on record with 243 groups from all over the country demanding a full and fair Farm Bill to be passed this summer. The NSAC press release is here

– we are in very good company.

We authored blog posts for Slow Food USA about why the Farm Bill matters:

spoke on the radio

and debated the best way forward. We’re still at it!

GMO labeling initiatives on the federal level (Boxer) have our support. The King Amendment to the Farm Bill (which would preempt state labeling laws) earned our opposition. We are working with Slow Food International to build the coalition of Slow Food members who support GMO labeling and are interested in related issues.

More on the State level: Urban Agriculture Incentives AB 551 (Ting) has our support. A proposal to require CSAs to register with the State and imposing new statewide standards AB 224 (Gordon) is under consideration. We’re asking CSA’s within our network for their views.

Draft training materials plus legislative contacts with staff for each chapter – Stephanie Georgieff with the help of an energetic intern has created a draft of training materials plus contact lists for each chapter, including the staff names associated with food policy. It’s a huge task and will be ready for roll out at a Regional Meeting proposed for November in San Diego – with regional trainings to follow.

Policy work is a small but meaningful part of what we do as Slow Food members supporting good, clean, fair food for all: Eat, Learn, Act.

We welcome your interest, comments, suggestions – and participation!

Charity Kenyon (Sacramento), Chair

Stephanie Georgieff (Redlands) Vice-Chair

Dom Fiume (So. Cal. Gov., San Diego)

Matt Jones (SFUSA Bd. Directors, liaison)

Ruth Begel (Solano County)

Peg Champion (South Bay)

Kari Hamerschlag (East Bay)

Laurie Koran (Solano County)

Rick Neugebauer (Temecula)

Jessie Phillips (Tahoe)

Mary Rousseve (Sacramento)

Brenda Ruiz (Sacramento)

Diana Tierney (Orange County)