Slow Food Sacramento

A Chapter of Slow Food USA

Browsing Posts in News


By Gina Kim
Sunday, May. 29, 2011

Gleaming stainless steel dominates the long-abandoned fertilizer and supply store along Highway 16, just before the road bends into the dusty town of Esparto.

Meat cases have been cleaned, shelving installed and rails – strong enough to support 800-pound carcasses hanging from the ceiling – line the labyrinth of sterile rooms.

Required inspections are all that’s left to make the Manas Ranch Old-Style Custom Meat Market the only USDA-inspected meat processor within a 100-mile radius when it opens in June, said owner Fred Manas.

“We will be able to ship our meat anywhere in the U.S.,” said Manas, who raises 100 Angus-Hereford grain-finished cows without hormones or antibiotics. “We will be able to sell our meat directly to customers.”

The market will process the beef Manas raises, meat raised by pig, lamb and goat farmers throughout the region and wild game bagged by hunters.

Read more »

sustainable seafoodby Brandon Darnell
Wednesday, April 20, 2011

The Sacramento Natural Foods Co-op is the best place in the state to purchase sustainable seafood, and No. 2 in the nation, according to Greenpeace.

“(The co-op) is one of those great stores that has taken amazing steps in realizing that sustainable seafood is incredibly important,” said Casson Trenor, seafood campaigner for Greenpeace.

Greenpeace ranks the 20 biggest grocery store chains on how sustainable their seafood is, and Trenor said some smaller grocers are included as well due to their commitment to ensuring seafood is sustainable.

Read more »

By Gina Kim
Sunday, Feb. 13, 2011

It wasn’t technically a corn dog Julie Raymond’s kids reported was being served for breakfast at Leonardo da Vinci K-8 School last year.

It was actually a pancake-encased sausage on a stick.

But the skewered sustenance was equally egregious in the eyes of Raymond and her husband, Jonathan, who happens to be superintendent of the Sacramento City Unified School District.

Since the April launch of the Healthy Foods Task Force to rethink what the district feeds its 47,000 students, there have been successes: Every school will have a salad bar by the end of the year, fruit carts are selling strawberries, grapes and pineapple slices as snacks at the larger high schools, and a handful of farmers are supplying produce directly to the district. Read more »

Capay Valley farmers marketBy Gina Kim

Friday Jan. 14, 2011

Lindsey Armeen bypasses the goldfish crackers, M&Ms and yogurt-covered pretzels in the free employee snack rooms at IDEO, a Palo Alto-based design consultant company.

OK, maybe she’ll have a couple peanut M&Ms.

But usually the support coordinator will reach for the piles of fruit grown just 125 miles north in the Capay Valley – a pink lady apple from Manas Ranch, a Satsuma mandarin from Gold Oak Ranch, carrots from Full Belly Farm.

About 30 growers and ranchers from the Yolo County region have banded together to sell their wares as the Capay Valley Farm Shop. In that way, they’re circumventing distributors that won’t deal with small farms while they become cumulatively large enough to fill big orders. Read more »

By Robert Selna
Thursday, Dec. 23, 2010

With all the talk about locavores, victory garden revivals and residents raising chickens and bees, a San Franciscan might be surprised to learn that he can’t just sell produce out of his backyard. Not without running afoul of the law, that is.

While vacant real estate increasingly is being reclaimed for nonprofit and community gardens, old zoning laws prohibit selling homegrown produce without a costly permit and a hearing in front of the city Planning Commission.

But that could soon change.

In the coming weeks, city officials will start considering zoning changes that would let San Francisco join several other municipalities – from Boston to Kansas City – that are opening the door to a new small-business experiment: urban agriculture. Read more »

After a year and a half of campaigning, we are thrilled to see that the House today passed the Healthy, Hungry-Free Kids Act. Our nation’s school children were long overdue for an improved child nutrition bill that would allow schools to serve an improved, healthier school lunch.

There were significant and frustrating compromises made along the way: most recently, the funding of the bill with SNAP money—an aggressive move made initially in the Senate version, but then eventually also adopted by the House—that was likely intended to split the school food advocacy community and thus kill the bill. The school food advocacy community were rightfully outraged at the notion of taking money from hungry kids to….feed hungry kids. Read more »

By Carlos Alcalá
Monday, Nov. 22, 2010

The authors of the first-ever “Field Guide to California Agriculture” want people to think about where their food is coming from – and to think about it in new ways.

The guide, recently published by the University of California Press, opens with something that looks little like a field guide and nothing like agriculture.

A two-page spread shortly after the table of contents looks like nothing so much as an array of paint chips.

The grid of 160 little colored squares begins with what looks like an amethyst purple and ends with school-bus yellow.

The text on the following two pages reveals that it is the “Colors of California Agriculture,” ranging alphabetically from Alfalfa Flower (the amethyst) to Zucchini Blossom (the yellow. Read more »

by Erica Reder

Last year, City Slicker Farms grew and distributed almost 7,000 pounds of pay-what-you-can produce in West Oakland. That number may double in coming years, thanks to a $4 million grant the nonprofit won last week. Awarded through Proposition 84, a 2006 initiative that approved bonds for environmental projects throughout the state, the money will allow City Slicker Farms to purchase and develop 1.4 acres of land into a neighborhood farm and park.

The new project will both increase affordable fresh food in West Oakland and, says Executive Director Barbara Finnin, “help legitimize this kind of work in urban agriculture.” Read more »

By Lisa Abend
Friday, October 29th, 2010

At midday on Oct. 23, some 300 young people sat down to eat in a shopping mall in Turin, Italy. But instead of the usual food-court fare of burgers and Cinnabons, lunch for these mostly 20-somethings consisted of rice-and-broccoli salad, stewed sweet potatoes and hand-chopped beef tartare — all of it served on recyclable paper plates draped with raw kale leaves. If that seems a surprisingly wholesome meal for the setting, that’s kind of the point: the “eat-in,” organized by the Youth Food Movement — an arm of the Slow Food organization — was devised in part as a protest against fast food. “By doing this and by making Slow Food work, we’re saying no to the industrial food that most people are forced to eat,” says Gabriel Vidolin, a 21-year-old Brazilian chef who helped prepare the meal… Read more »

By Rick Kushman
Wednesday, October 20th, 2010

For some people, this won’t be the most appetizing symbol, but lots of Sacramento restaurants are happy to earn a snail.

Specifically, a Snail of Approval from Slow Food Sacramento – see, snails are very, very slooooow so, uh, you get it – and this week the local group took the program out of its shell and awarded Snails to 13 area restaurants.

Is this a big deal? I’m saying yes. It shows both the growth of the Slow Food movement in this region and the growing sophistication of the local dining scene. Plus, you have to admit, the name is kind of cute… Read more »