Working for Good, Clean, Fair Food for All - Slow Food Urban San Diego Convivium of Slow Food International


Salone del Gusto, Terra Madre and the International Congress in Italy

Salone del Gusto and Terra Madre, Slow Food’s biennial international food fair and sustainability conference concluded last week in Turin, Italy.  This year, the event was attended by Slow Food Urban San Diego’s Co-Leader, Candice Woo and the chapter’s Co-Founder, Donna McLoughlin, who were among the 200,000+ attendees – including Slow Food leaders, activists, educators and farmers – who participated in educational sessions focused on animal welfare, health, social issues and food waste and attended taste workshops featuring wine, craft beer, cheese and artisan food.  Among the speakers at the event’s opening ceremony were Alice Waters, Slow Food’s vice president, famed restaurateur and founder of the Edible Schoolyard and Nikki Henderson, Executive Director of the People’s Grocery in Oakland.

The week in Turin also hosted the International Congress, a global Slow Food gathering of 650 delegates from 95 different countries, including two delegates from Southern California.  The key event purpose was to help define the future of the organization and was led by Carlo Petrini, the founder of Slow Food and the non profit’s current president, who was re-elected for another term.  Petrini spoke about his next goals for Slow Food, or “Slow Food 2.0”, including increasing the number of food gardens being created by Slow Food chapters in Africa, expanding the work to protect biodiversity of food products around the world and growing Slow Food’s network, which is currently comprised of 1,500 international chapters.

Speakers from countries across the globe, including China, Israel, Brazil and Somalia, gave presentations on issues concerning their local food communities and U.S. delegate Michael Dimock, Slow Food Russian River founder and President of Roots of Change, proposed a motion and received the delegation’s support of the goal of Proposition 37, the Label GMO ballot initiative in California, which Slow Food Urban San Diego also supports.

 

– By Candice Woo

Cottage Industrialists Unite!

You know its happened to you. You see it two booths away. It is perfect and you must have it. You smile at the lady behind the table and hand her a couple bucks. Your fingers work at the cling wrap before you have even turned away into the hustle and bustle of the farmers’ market. You take a bite of the most beautiful cookie you have ever seen (not counting your Aunt Dollie’s cookies from back home). You let the chocolate melt in your mouth, the saltiness tingle your taste buds. Your friend asks you how it is and you answer, “Eh, its good, but man, my Aunt Dollie’s cookies are so much more awesome!” By the time you reach the end of the row you have the image of a booth, of you in an apron selling Aunt Dollie’s scrumptious baked goods. Then you remember you have to use an expensive commercial kitchen for that type of thing…

Well, there is something to get very excited about cottage industrialists! Governor Jerry Brown just signed AB 1616 into law proclaiming that “non-potentially hazardous foods” such as breads, fruit pies, and jams can be prepared in home kitchens and sold to stores, restaurants, and directly to the public. Of course there is a bit of regulation involved including getting a food safety certification and registering with the local health department. But hey, that’s a lot less cost and hassle than installing a certified commercial kitchen in your home or renting space outside the house. Talk about an opportunity for thousands of households to make some extra money and share their talent! How will this affect the farmers’ market crowd? Will there be a flood of homemade baked goods and jams coming to the stands?

That is perhaps a question for Catt White and Christopher Smyczek of SD Weekly Markets in their popular Vendor 101 seminar. Aspiring vendors can learn about start up costs, permits, product development, marketing and a slew of other useful information from the two star market managers.The next one is happening October 29th.

So go ask Aunt Dollie for her killer cookie recipe, do some research on the new regulations, take the seminar, and get baking!

Welcome San Diego Public Market!

San Diego Public Market opened its enormous warehouse doors on September 12th, 2012. The vision of Catt White and Dale Steele, supported by thousands of eager San Diegans through grassroots action and Kickstarter funding, the Public Market is ambitiously putting down roots just west of the I-5. The bright orange warehouse at 1735 National Avenue in Barrio Logan is now open two days a week for San Diego’s newest farmers markets: Wednesday and Sunday 9am-2pm.

I wandered through the prepared food stands with the pumpkin bread, garlic spreads, and steaming tamales tempting me at every stride. The farm stands were bustling around 11am. I chose beautiful heads of butter lettuce, deep green avocados, and sweet fresh dates (OK, and a gorgeous handmade cutting board) to place in my reusable bags for the trek home. Marketeers were excited and optimistic about the market’s opening week, noting that the relatively chill atmosphere was perfect for adjusting to the new venue. And what a venue it is! The Miss Sushi food truck was parked inside (yes, inside!) the building next picnic tables for noshers. The voices of happy patrons floated up into the huge expanse above the steel girders and mixed with the tunes strummed by the live band. Industrial remnants of the building’s former life still occupy the re-purposed space and provide plenty of happy distractions while strolling through the veggie packed lanes. And I have to admit that during this heatwave, it was really nice to take a leisurely look without the sun beating down on the chard (and me).

Check it out. Buy some goodies. Support our local food system!

www.sandiegopublicmarket.com