Tasty Tuesday: Lamb Stuffed Grape Leaves


Lamb Stuffed

Grape Leaves

With the autumn leaves falling from our trees (sorta, we live in SD), enjoy this stuffed grape leaves recipe from Dan Parker.

Ahh, autumn. We are sure you are enjoying one of the season’s most bountiful fruit - grapes. While they come in all sorts of colors, sweetness levels, sizes and more; we often forget to enjoy the other parts of the wonderful vine — the grape leaves! Dan Parker, husband of our Slow Food Urban Secretary Stephanie Parker, reminisces moments stuffing grapes leaves with his grandmother. Here is his grandmother’s recipe!

Ingredients/ Equipment:

  • 60 or so grape leaves (we used a combo of fresh and pickled) rinsed

  • 2 cups of rice (we used long grain white rice)

  • 2 lbs of ground lamb

  • 2 tsp salt + 1 tsp for water

  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon

  • 1/2 tsp Allspice

  • 1/2 tsp black pepper

  • 1/4 tsp oregano

  • 3 cloves garlic, minced

  • Juice of 2-3 lemons


  1. Rinse grape leaves and dry them in linen towel.

  2. Add meat, rice, cinnamon, allspice, 2 tsp salt, pepper, oregano and garlic into a bowl and mix together.

  3. Roll meat and rice mixture into grape leaves and place in pot tightly together.

  4. Place a plate on top of leaves to hold down.

  5. Add 1 tsp salt and lemon juice to water and fil lto the rim of the plate.

  6. Bring to a boil, then cover and simmer for 90 minutes.

    While we waited, we snacked on some fresh na’an from North Park Produce, some Labneh and Za’atar spices from our friends Smij Spicery.

    We grilled up some beef and veggie kabobs and had a delicious feast for dinner! We love dipping our grape leaves in Labneh.


Tasty Tuesday: My Grandma’s Poha Bhataka


Poha Bhataka

Here’s another student recipe from High Tech High student, Shreena Bhakta. She shares her grandmother’s family recipe and story reflection.


  • 3 tablespoons of canola oil

  • 1/2 teaspoons of mustard seeds

  • 1/2 teaspoon of cumin seeds

  • 1 large Idaho potato. Peeled and diced.

  • 1/2 a white onion. Peeled and diced.

  • 1 cloves of garlic

  • 2 serrano chiles

  • 1/2 teaspoon of turmeric

  • 1/2 tablespoon of salt

  • 1 1/2 tablespoons of lemon juice

  • 2 poha (flattened rice. Washed and drained.


  1. First, we are going to put oil in a large, non-stick skillet, on medium heat.

  2. Second, we add mustard seed into the pan. Wait for them to sizzle and pop.

  3. Third, you add the cumin seeds.

  4. Then, we are going to add the diced potatoes, cover and stir occasionally for 5 minutes.

  5. After, you check if you potatoes are cooked through by cutting through some of the chunks.

  6. Next, we are going to add the onion, crushed garlic, and finely chopped serrano chiles

  7. Then, you add turmeric, salt, and lemon juice. Cook for an additional 5 minutes with your pan covered, stirring occasionally.

  8. Meanwhile, we are going to wash and drain the poha in hot water.

  9. Lastly, you add the poha to the pan. Stir thoroughly and lower the heat to low.

  10. We cook the poha for 8-10 minutes until it has heated through completely.

  11. Enjoy!

    Shreena’s Family Reflection

    I live the typical life of a West Coast high schooler: I go to school, I drink Starbucks and say, “You guys,” all the time, and I occasionally go to the beach. I have had an easy life without struggles, because I have been given everything. For some, like many of the members in my family, they didn’t have the same opportunities as me and had to work through the challenges to be where they are now. I recently sat down with my paternal grandmother, Kanchanben Bhakta, to learn about her life: the struggles and opportunities. 

    My grandmother grew up in a small village in Syadla, India with her large family of 8. Neighbors led their cows and buffalos as they wandered through the windy roads, younger children laughed and played while the teenagers began every morning with their extensive journeys to school. There were fathers farming in the fields, gathering crops to later feed to their families. Women stayed at home, raising the kids and completing their motherly duties. Kanchanben was a typical village girl, going to school everyday, and then coming home to play with her friends and siblings without a care in the world. Once in a while, she used to watch her mother, Bhikhiben, cook for the family. My grandmother learned to cook an abundance of traditional dishes, from a variety of vegetable and lentil soups, to different vegetable dishes. She carried her knowledge of cooking, this passion for cooking, and this love for cooking with her all throughout her life. 

    When she was older, Kanchanben left for college. My grandmother was set on becoming a professor, to teach Gujarati or Sanskrit. When she wasn’t hard at work, she was with her friends. They would sit at one particular table and enjoy Poha Bataka, a dish that brought her back to those memories from home. She created special memories with her friends. But, she never expected what would happen next. 

    Word from home came saying that she was to go with her brother to Detroit, and later get an arranged marriage to Mohanbhai, my grandfather, in San Francisco. Her dreams of becoming a professor were long gone. Her college years, and the memories she created there, were over. She would never see her friends again; never enjoy Poha Bataka with them again. She would have to go to a new country, with a new culture and a new language, and suddenly adjust to that and being married to a man she had 

    never even met before. She didn’t have a choice, so she went. She left her studies behind and never looked back. 

    When she got married and finally settled down with Mohanbhai in San Diego, they found themselves in the hotel business. They had three children and raised them in the hotel. Life for Kanchanben has been the same since. Her children went off to start their own lives and she continued living with her husband, taking care of Pacifica Hotel. 

    When she finished explaining her story, I was shocked. I had no idea she was studying to become a professor when her life turned upside down. I knew the same thing happened to my mom, being forced to leave school to be married. I had no idea that she cherished the time spent with her friends in college eating a dish as simple as Poha Bataka. Because of her memories with the dish, I too, wanted to make new memories with the people that I love. Love is the roots of this dish, of all the dishes my family makes - all of the choices they make, as well. 

    All of this new knowledge explains the reasoning behind her choices, as well as the rest of my family’s. I finally understand why they push me and my sister in school, why they push us to take the opportunities given to us, why they push us to be the people we are. Because they weren’t able to. They had to work hard and make sacrifices to have the life they have now, and to give us the lives we have now. I know now that they are not trying to force us to work all the time, but they are trying to make sure we have a bright future. I know those demands are coming from a good place. 

    From learning about her story coupled with my previous knowledge of my mother’s story, I want to keep making the most out of what I have. I tend to skip over how grateful I am to live in a structurally sound house, to have a nice bed to sleep on, to have delicious food on my plate, and to have an incredible education. I realized that so many kids my age don’t have the things that I have now, and many of my family members used to be those kids. 

    I hope that in the future, I can my make family proud, make my friends proud, but I hope that most of all, I can make myself proud.

Tasty Tuesday: Lonches for Lunch, Anyone?

Remember those assignments back in grade school where you were asked to interview a family member about a significant part of their lives? At High Tech High, students are asked to complete a Family Recipe Project, interviewing family members about a special dish they love to cook or eat.

Isabela Avila, Grade 10, shares her grandmother’s recipe with us…

Getting to interview my grandmother for the Family Recipe Project taught me the importance of really understanding why food plays such a pivotal role in my family. Partly because we’re Mexican and food has always been a substantial part of our culture, and also because who doesn’t love getting together with the people you cherish the most over a good home cooked meal?

When asked about a traditional family recipe, my grandmother answered with what she has been cooking for decades, lonches estilo Jalisco. Most people would see the dish and assume it’s either a torta or a bolillo. However, what determines whether it’s a lonche, torta, or bolillo is the type of bread and meat used. The lonche is almost like a sandwich, but not quiteー filled with meat covered in chile rojo, other spices and herbs, and served on a bolillo salado.


Recipe for Lonches Estilo Jalisco


  • 1 kg of beef

  • 2 onions

  • 3 garlic cloves (peeled)

  • 2 “chiles pasillas” without seeds

  • 2 “chiles ancho” without seeds

  • 1 cube of Knorr Suiza

  • 4 birotes

  • Sour Cream


  1. Cook the meat and add salt to taste

  2. In the blender, add onion, garlic cloves, Knorr Suiza cube, and pepper to taste. The consistency shouldn’t be watery, but rather thick.

  3. Once the meat is done cooking, begin to shred it.

  4. In another pot, add the chile pasilla and chile ancho with water for 15 minutes, or until it comes to a boil.

  5. Afterwards, blend the chiles water into a chile paste.

  6. Evenly distribute the chile paste onto the meat and mix until the meat had been generously coated.

  7. Chop the onions and the tomatoes to add to the lonche.

  8. On one half of the bolilo, add the meat with the chile sauce.

  9. Add sour cream, onions, and anything else to your lonche.

  10. Enjoy!

It Runs in the Family: How to Teach Our Children About Sustainability by Elise Morgan


Sustainability is heard quite a lot these days – sustainable lifestyles, sustainable workplace practices and so on. However, it’s much more than a buzz-word. Sustainability and the way we view our world and the resources that support our lives is rooted in environmental quality.

To carry on living healthy and happy lives, we need clean air, non-toxic water and a continuing supply of natural resources. Teaching our children how to conserve these resources will affect their lifestyle as adults and prepare them for a changing world.

Below we look at some strategies for teaching children about sustainability that you can do at home.

Why sustainability is important

At its heart, sustainability is about protecting our natural environment so we have a planet that supports our future and that of our children, grandchildren and so on. We may think of it as conserving energy, recycling waste products, consuming less, or protecting fragile environments – it is all of these things and more.

Sustainable practices support and encourage biodiversity, our ecological health and aim to drive technology forward so our quality of life improves too. Creating a sustainable lifestyle and future means learning to live within our means in terms of all the natural resources and processes that sustain life on this planet.

Why we need to teach our children about sustainability

Children learn from everyone around them. Teachers, friends, other families, and babysitters all provide lessons that children take in and process. Parents are usually the greatest influencers. Habits and behaviors displayed at home are most likely to be integrated and repeated in our children’s adult lives.

If we show a concern for our environment, practice green behaviors, and show responsibility for our actions, our children are more likely to do so too. Teaching them sustainability in a way that is simple and easy to understand gives them the opportunity to take responsibility for their actions, plan for their future and create a healthier world to live in.

How to teach our children about sustainability

Teaching children about sustainable practices should be done in an empowering and positive way. This means helping them to be part of the solution, promoting creative thinking and getting them involved in positive change.

Reducing waste is a simple activity to get children involved in. Composting food scraps to reduce food waste is a great way to demonstrate the cyclical nature of sustainable living practices.

Choosing to grow your own food, sorting household garbage so plastics, tin and other materials that can be reused are other activities that establish good behaviors and provide opportunities to talk about the importance of living sustainably.

When you shop, consider purchasing organic produce and items to minimize the chemical load needed to manufacture non-organic items. This could include organic cleaning supplies, PBDE-free furniture, and even all-natural soaps and lotions. Explaining the difference between organic and non-organic items is another great way to highlight what sustainability is for children, and why it is important for our world

Crafting with cereal boxes and household junk, making your own paper, and simply planting a tree are all activities that can raise the profile of sustainability in your child’s eyes. For older children conducting an air pollution experiment, making seed bombs to take on a nature walk or creating a mini greenhouse are positive and empowering ways to bring sustainable and environmental practices to life.


All of us are responsible for the ecosystem we live within.

Building an understanding of what sustainability is for our children and why it is important for all of us, is simply another way to protect our futures and create a healthier planet.

By Elise Morgan

Love #SlowFish? We are looking for a Seafood Liaison!

Slow Food Urban San Diego is looking for a #SlowFish Co-Chair!


The Seafood Liaison works to connect the San Diego community with local seafood producers, particularly San Diego’s fishing community and aquaculturists.

The position requires close communication and coordination with the local fishing and aquaculture communities to understand their needs, and recommend strategies for the Chapter to advocate for and support seafood producers.

To apply for the position, please fill out our Google Form here.

SDSpeaks: Q&A with Janelle Manzano, San Diego Unified Farm to School Specialist


Janelle Manzano

San Diego Unified Farm to School Specialist

Hi there! Okay, first & foremost, let’s start with your story. What do you do and how did you get there?

Hi! My name is Janelle Manzano. I come from the Bay Area and just moved to San Diego last summer. I moved here for my job - I work with San Diego Unified Schools as the Farm to School Program Specialist in the Food and Nutrition Department.

I’ve always been interested in food. There’s this Filipino Folk Song my dad and I would sing in the kitchen while I helped him cook. The song is called “Bahay Kubo.” It sings about a small island hut with a garden that grows all the essential Filipino crops such as garlic, ginger, eggplant, bitter melon, peanuts and more. Then we’d go to the grocery market and he would tell me the different ways each fruit and vegetable can help me be healthy.

Pinakbet   :  Filipino tomato based dish which consists of okra, bitter melon, and calabasa squash.

Pinakbet: Filipino tomato based dish which consists of okra, bitter melon, and calabasa squash.

Flash forward to college - I decided to study nutrition. I received my B.S in Clinical Nutrition from UC Davis in 2017. While I studied how foods interact with our bodies health, I was also exposed to how food is grown. (UCD is a very ag-oriented school.) I was drawn by the fields, orchards, and gardens that surrounded my university. I even participated in an internship called “Kids in the Garden” which truly began my interest in preventive health through educating young students. We invited students throughout the county to come visit UCD’s educational garden. I not only got teach about nutrition, but also how to plant seeds so that they can grow healthy food on their own.

I gained this newfound interest of educating communities about food and farming. So, after graduation, I signed up to do a service year with FoodCorps. FoodCorps is branch of AmeriCorps that focuses on nutrition and garden education. I served in Oakland, CA for one year being an educator and managing two school gardens.

Now, I feel so humbled and lucky to be where I am today. I have connected with such supportive people in my work teams, with other fellow garden/health educators, and the different communities throughout the city.

What has been your greatest accomplishment so far in your journey?

Not so much as my greatest accomplishment, but one of my most favorite memories that reminds me why I do what I do is something that happened during my second week at one of my schools in Oakland during my service year. There was this first grader who claimed he was always hungry and constantly looking for a snack. He’d come to the garden and look for something to eat. He tried fresh out-of-the-ground radishes and snap peas off the vine; both for the first time. Radishes he didn’t like so much, but the snap peas he loved. One day I brought him a peach as a treat because he had mentioned he never had one. He took the fruit in both hands and took a big, adventurous bite. Juice was coming out of his mouth and his eyes looked up at me with delight. Watching him try all these new fruits and vegetables and experiencing it with him is one of the best accomplishments for me.

Have you had to overcome any roadblocks along the way?

Probably the biggest roadblock I have encountered is the quick ability to feel “at home” in a new place. Again, I’ve went from my university’s small-town of Davis, to the urban city of Oakland, and now I’m here serving the large sprawl of San Diego. I have found that the first year of being at any of these places were and have been tough transitions.

Restarting again this past year, has honestly been both great and but at times lonely as well - which is difficult when you work with such a large amount of the community! Head strong, I know it will take time, it always does. I do have to say though, that I am glad to have encountered SlowFood for helping me boost this journey of like-minded foodies in this awesome city.

SlowFood strives for “Good. Clean. Fair.” foods. Why are these things important to you? Or choose one that is the most important for you.

I’d say Good food is the most important to me. I believe so much that there there is an art in cooking and in eating together with others. Cooking, because of the diversity of flavors and cultures - all fusing together to excite your taste buds. Then there’s the sense of kinship of sharing a meal together that makes the moment more memorable and at times even more delicious. Right now, my favorite thing is practicing how to cook mom and dad’s Filipino dishes, then introducing and sharing the dishes with friends.


Choose one of our SlowFood Urban San Diego Pillars (Engage. Enrich. Empower.) that your work relates to the most and why.

I believe my work right now most relates to the pillar of Engagement. One of the main things I do is nutrition education with students. My biggest goal when I teach is to just get students interested and more appreciative of food. San Diego Unified is a leader in Farm to School programming in the whole nation. As awesome as that sounds, our students don’t realize that we consistently serve them local, seasonal produce every day or that we try to meet their trends such as putting chicken and waffles or even a “build-your-own” ramen bar on the menu.

Through engaging them in the conversation, I hope that I am planting the seeds of curiosity that will one day lead to them asking more questions about the relationship between food and health. Or even just encouraging them to try the new food items we have in the cafeteria!

To learn more about San Diego Unified’s Farm to School program check out our social media pages @sdfarmtoschool. (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram)

Slow Fish 2019: A Walk Through an Italian Port City


Slow Fish 2019:

A Walk through an Italian Port City

Recap by Jordyn Kastlunger, Slow Fish Co-Chair

Europe was always a place that I envisioned but never imagined I would be fortunate enough to visit. The eight days that I was lucky enough to spend there were nowhere near long enough, but I enjoyed every second of it. My involvement with Slow Food Urban San Diego began a few years ago when they became involved in Tuna Harbor Dockside Market, which I have been a part of since its conception in 2015. Slow Food sponsored me on a scholarship to Slow Fish 2018 in San Francisco, where I represented and spoke on behalf of the market and the fishermen. I also talked about the importance of knowing your fish source in terms of seafood traceability.

This year when the opportunity arose to attend Slow Fish 2019, I jumped at the chance. This year the event would take place in Genoa, Italy, and that was all that it took for me to make my way across the globe. I was beyond excited to make my way to another coast to experience and learn more about what I am passionate about…fishing.


“I quickly learned that the fishing scene in Italy is very different to what we are used to here in San Diego.”

We are fortunate to be able to source direct from the fishermen whenever we want; in Italy, for most cities, their seafood is filtered through Milan before it reaches the consumer. I found this surprising given that Genoa is a port city. At the “Which Fish to Pick” speech that I attended, I was pleasantly surprised to hear the guest chef and fish monger that was speaking talk about the importance of knowing and trusting your source. He also mentioned seasonal availability and willingness to try new species if something is not in season.

Being a world apart, we do share some similarities with Genoa. We have many of the same fishing practices, including trap fisheries and net fishing. Both cities also see highly migratory species like swordfish and tuna. I was surprised to hear some attendees ask what I thought were common knowledge questions, like how to store fish if you don’t eat it right away, and how long fresh fish would last.

“The main focus of many of the booths and vendors at the event was on anchovies and mackerel. Again, this surprised me because being the daughter of a lifetime fishermen, I was brought up on the idea that both of these were nothing more than bait fish. In Italy, they were considered a delicacy and people loved eating them. With the few that I tried, I cannot say that I was completely sold on the idea or taste of these two fish.”

During my down time, I got to explore more of the Italian coast. I was amazed by the views, the history and the food that I experienced. Italy was everything I had imagined a European country to be. I am so grateful to be part of a community that encourages and allows me to follow my passion and experience the fishing community in so many ways.

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Join the Slow Food Urban San Diego Team!

Love events and food justice? We are looking for an Events Coordinator and Food Justice Co-Chair to help promote good, clean, fair food throughout San Diego!


Join Our Team!


Events Coordinator

Slow Food Urban San Diego is seeking an organized event planner that is passionate about building community around good, clean & fair food for all. The Coordinator will build and host special programming, seminars, cooking demonstrations, Slow Sips and other events year round.

The Events Coordinator may form a committee and/or coordinate volunteers. Support will be provided by the Membership Chair.

Food Justice Co-Chair


The Food Justice Co-Chair collaborates with San Diego food access/security organizations, environmental and other organizations to promote sustainable agriculture, urban farming and access to good, clean and fair food for all. The Co-Chair oversees the Food Justice Committee, which meets monthly, striving to engage and include Slow Food Urban San Diego’s membership and community members/leaders as much as possible.

To apply for either position, please fill out our Google Form here.

Looking forward to working with you!

The Slow Food Urban San Diego Tribe

Fisherpoetry & The Art of Storytelling


By Nick Mendoza

You’ve probably never heard of the annual FisherPoets Gathering, but this unique event, with community at its heart, has been growing in size and popularity since its founding 20 years ago. Indeed, one might raise an eyebrow at the idea of fishermen and fisherwomen from across the country ascending a stage to perform prose, music, and storytelling for three days, but sink into the essence and quality of what takes place at FisherPoets and you’ll quickly be reminded of something. Fishing, like storytelling, is as old as mankind. Subsequently, this community is very talented at both.

“Fishing, like storytelling, is as old as mankind.”

Held each February in Astoria, Oregon, where the mighty Columbia River meets the even mightier Pacific Ocean, FisherPoets delivers exactly what the name promises—and so much more. Astoria is a picturesque coastal community with a legendary maritime history. A dozen or so venues around the town host each evening’s readings (a bit like SXSW, but also nothing like SXSW). These venues range from cluttered local bars, where rowdy patrons loudly knock their glasses in approval, to a spacious Cannery Museum, to the grand and regal Liberty Theater. All of them fill to capacity for each evening session. The performers and patrons of FisherPoets are as diverse in character as the venues that host them. On stage and in the crowd are the weathered faces and worn XTRATUF boots of fishers who have seen their fair share of rough seas and Alaskan winters.


You also notice the crowd sporting their smart glasses and Patagonia vests, who made the trip out from Portland or Seattle to soak up the essence of FisherPoets. In this way, I feel the event is the best kind of coming-together of community. For many fishers, coastal-dwellers, and Tall Ship sailors that have attended the gathering for decades, this is a chance to share and reconnect with their people. They discuss last season’s catch and predictions for next year, but they also take this time to organize and stand together against existential threats to their livelihoods and the fish they depend on. This year, for example, many attendees wore “No Pebble Mine!” t-shirts and planned action against a proposed mining operation that would threaten one of the most important remaining salmon runs on earth. For the newcomers, lured in by the charm and mystique of this world, it is an opportunity to know your fishermen, and to better understand the lives of hardworking people who bring food to our table—their joys, their emotions, their trials and tribulations.

“It is an opportunity to know your fishermen, and to better understand the lives of hardworking people who bring food to our table—their joys, their emotions, their trials and tribulations.”

The first poem I experienced at FisherPoets, arriving late Friday night, was read by a 20 year old woman from Bristol Bay, AK, born and raised on a salmon Troller. In beautiful prose, her poem described how her fisher-mother “gave her daughters to the sea.” To this day, the hair on my neck still stands on end when I recall the last line of her poem, which asks the question: “Did my mother really give her daughters to the Sea, or did she give the Sea to us?” Those wouldn’t be the last shivers I’d feel that evening. Shortly after, there was a Coast Guard veteran with a 15 minute, heart pounding account of 7-seconds in his helicopter that were almost his last—a close call during the rescue of a cargo ship in a raging gale.

You could have heard a pin—or a fishing hook—drop in the room of 200 patrons as he described the gyrations of his aircraft as its blades skimmed the surface of Force 5 seas, kissing that line at which ‘all is lost’ before miraculously stabilizing, elevating, and ascending to safety. The only thing I could hear was my own elevated heart rate, drumming behind my ears. My emotions would continue to be piqued in three dozen readings and performances I attended over the weekend.


When I take a broader lens in considering why a gathering like FisherPoets is so special and so important, it brings me to a realization. These spaces, where people can come together to share openly, listen patiently, let go cathartically, and empathize thoughtfully, are increasingly rare. It breaks stereotypes, opens hearts, and all at once serves as the cement of a broad fishing community, a foundation for its persistence, and a friendly window in from the outside. There is a lesson for all of us at FisherPoets.

Nick Mendoza is the CEO and Founder of OneForNeptune, which makes healthy, sustainable white fish jerky that is traceable back to the fish, fisher, and fishery where it was caught.

Waste Not, Want Not

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by Natalie Nemeth

Wasting food wastes everything. Water, energy, money, land, labor, and love are all expensive resources needed to produce food, yet in the world’s abundance, there is tremendous waste, with one third of the world’s food is wasted. Shockingly, 40% of food produced in the United States is sent straight to landfills.

California is no exception, contributing about 30 million tons of waste each year to its landfills; of which more than 30% is organic, which could be composted or used to produce renewable energy. Greenhouse gas emissions resulting from the decomposition of organic waste in landfills has been identified as a significant source of emissions contributing to global climate change. Food waste has to stop. A more imaginative and sustainable food system allows for every human to be justly fed.

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Acting as a vehicle of change, the Resource Management Group, Inc. is a commodities solution company headquartered in San Diego specializing in helping customers reduce their environmental impact by closing the “Grave to Cradle” loop to create a circular economy, with the philosophy of “Recycle First, Landfill Last.”

This year, San Diego has announced a formal launch of massive education and outreach efforts to prepare the county for California’s new recycling law. The mandatory commercial organics recycling law (AB 1826) was signed in 2014 to help achieve California’s aggressive recycling and greenhouse gas emission goals. Beginning in 2016, San Diego set a standard that public entities like schools, hospitals, stores, restaurants, industrial businesses, for-profit and nonprofit organizations, residential units with 5 or more units, and others must recycle their organic waste with full implementation to be realized in 2019. 

RMG offers the only sanitized solution to food waste diversion designed to help businesses comply with (AB) 1826 and recycle the food received according to the EPA Food Recovery Hierarchy – focusing on partnering with local food recovery non-profits and local farms to provide nutrient rich animal feed. Wanting to maintain the integrity of working locally, RMG only distributes their compost to two facilities, a non-profit hog farm in Escondido and AgriService, Inc. in Oceanside. Any additional material is composted into high-quality soil, providing a base for strong plants to capture CO2 from the atmosphere. Working together, everyone from all levels of life can positively contribute to creating a circular economy, ensuring commitment to a more sustainable future.

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Change is necessary within all levels of society; from individual through corporate levels to help curate a more sustainable food culture.  Value, integrity, ingenuity and dignity must return to the food value chain. There must be a reduction in food waste, a transformation of unavoidable food waste, turning it into valuable products and active engagement with industry and consumers to change habits and behavior.  

There are ways we can ignite and fuel the fire of change. By remembering simple tricks to find the best life for food, together we can divert massive amounts of food waste. Easy methods include simply eating, storing, sharing and freezing food! When you eat your food, did you think of the most creative way to use all your ingredients? Or even make a checklist before going to the market to prevent buying a surplus of ingredients?

When storing your food, keep all your food labeled and in airtight containers to delay waste of food and to visually remind you of what food you have! Share your food or even make leftovers! If you have excess food, why not share it, whether it be at work, school or home – be a friend.

If you find your food is reaching the end of its shelf life, or you have excess amounts of food, why not freeze it? These are all simple and easy ways to extend the life of food and prevent generation of food waste. Pass these tricks on to help make a circular flow of food!   

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So…will you make the promise?

To New Beginnings: A Note from Your New Co-Chair

Dear Slow Food Family,

As I reflect on the path that has led me to this amazing opportunity, I'm reminded there are few other ways I could've arrived here. I've been collecting knowledge and formulating vocabulary around issues of social justice for years and when it comes to food, my family and my ancestors have been growing it for generations. Serving as Food Justice Co-Chair has been a beautiful culmination of these interests and passions, and I’m excited to retain this focus as I transition into my new role as Co-Chair of Slow Food Urban San Diego.


There are elite aspects of food culture that initially would have deterred me from directly applying to such a position, so I am beyond grateful to have a team of local food activists and advocates who understand the importance of breaking down such barriers to facilitate our mission of truly "Good, clean and fair food for all." Our conversations frequently revolve around how to bolster and uphold the "fair" part as consensus definitions for "Good" and "clean" arise more easily. We're seeing recognition of this need at the national level as well with Slow Food Nation’s adoption of the Equity Manifesto and as a chapter, we’re feeling charged to answer this call to action.

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With the current political and social climates here in San Diego, which reflect bigger-picture problems around the world, I hope this passing season of light has left your hearts full of the compassion necessary to move toward change and that the new year has ushered in a sense of self-curiosity keen enough to make you ask yourselves, “for what do I stand? How can I uphold a standard of ‘good, clean and fair’ across the various contexts of my life?”

I welcome, first and foremost, the opportunity to continue learning about the rich food heritage and traditions of the greater San Diego area and am ecstatic to build upon this foundation of delicious experiences along the way, so that we may most mindfully enjoy the fruits of this beautiful land together. I am both honored and humbled to be elected to laterally lead with such a distinguished group of food and farm folk and look forward to growing alongside you with each passing season.

Dan Mueller

The Kumeyaay Nation of San Diego County and Baja California

The Kumeyaay people, comprised of 13 bands of the northern Iipay and southern Tipay reaching from North County San Diego into Baja California, endure and flourish across their binational territory.  Since the Spanish incursion into their territory in the late 18th century, they have been unrelenting in their advocacy for their sovereignty and cultural independence, and their lifeways are rich with stories, traditional knowledge, and community initiatives that ensure their self determination. From their language, to their crafts, to their foodways, Kumeyaay culture has endured and is continuing to thrive.


Kumeyaay controlled lands, 1769 - 2000. Graphic by cultural expert Mike Connolly.

Museums and documentaries

A number of local groups such as the San Diego Archaeological Center, Friends of the Kumeyaay, and Mission Trails Regional Park have created venues, including libraries and interpretive museum exhibits dedicated to communicating Kumeyaay culture to residents and visitors to the San Diego area. At the same time, the Kumeyaay bands themselves have also created their own high quality cultural sites, such as those at the Barona Museum, as well as at the newly opened Sycuan Cultural Center. The Sycuan Cultural Center grounds also host Kumeyaay Community College, which both hosts its own educational programs and has worked together with Cuyamaca College to create the first accredited Kumeyaay Studies Associate’s Degree.

Also available are several well-produced documentaries on Kumeyaay culture, including the KPBS film First People, Kumeyaay and Our People. Our Culture. Our History., focusing on the story of the Sycuan band.


Kumeyaay tribespeople, as well of those of other heritages, come together to support cultural revitalization.

Beyond San Diego County, Tecate, Mexico hosts the Museo Comunitario Tecate (Tecate Community Museum), hosting exhibits, an ethnobotanical garden, and a gift store that focus on Kumeyaay - spelled Kumiai in Spanish - culture. The museum is “dedicated to fostering greater understanding of the cultural, historical and natural heritage of Tecate, Baja California, Mexico and the larger binational region to which it belongs.”

San Diego County hosts the largest number of tribal reservations of any county in the United States. The Kumeyaay Nation bands have created and operate their own public services, income generating activities, and vast cultural resources that benefit not only themselves, but all San Diegans.

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Stan Rodriguez (left, Santa Ysabel) and Alex Hunter (middle, Jamul) interview elders from Baja California’s San Jose de la Zorra reservation on a language immersion trip.

Demonstration sites

In addition to museums, documentaries and other media resources that relay Kumeyaay culture, there are also demonstration sites that focus on Kumeyaay ethnobotany (the study of the use of plants by traditional people). The Worldbeat Cultural Center, host of the upcoming Good Food Community Fair, hosts a Kumeyaay ethnobotany garden, as does Indigenous Regeneration in North County San Diego, which also emphasizes food cultivation, medicinal farming, culture and eco-village education programs.

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Baja California’s nonprofit organization INAH (Insituto Nacional de Antropología y Historia) offers interpretive and protection of the extensive cave paintings at La Rumorosa’s El Vallecito, Seen here is the astronomical glyph of Shally (“The Hand”), known as “Leo” in western astronomy.

Cultural Advocacy

From San Diego’s inland deserts, to the Shores of the South Bay, and now to the valleys of East County, the Kumeyaay Nation proactively protects their cultural heritage from further incursion by development projects through activism, protest and advocacy for their human rights. They gather regularly at various sites of cultural and ecological significance throughout San Diego County that face negative impacts from private and public developers.

The Kumeyaay people continue to have much to teach the over 3 million non-native San Diegans who call this county home, as well as those across the border in Mexico. As residents on their land, we would do well to make good on the many opportunities available to not only learn about their culture, but do so in relationship with them, and join them in advocacy for their cultural renewal.

Story and photos by @colinhrichard

Back to the Land...and Beyond

Dan Mueller, Food Justice Co-Chair

with contributions from Colin H. Richard, Ark of Taste Chair


As a community organizer, it’s often difficult to remove the socio-critical lens through which I view the world, its problems and their potential solutions. With our Good Food Community Fair themed “Back to the Land” right around the corner, I’ve been thinking a lot about how the ideals behind such a phrase translate across various contexts.

I talk a little about overcoming the cognitive dissonance as a black woman volunteering on an organic farm here and have since broadened my inquiry to include those who cultivate diverse meanings within the larger agrarian movement.



For many San Diegans, this can look similar to the “Back to the Land” movement of the ‘60s: engagements with several of the bustling community gardens around the city or any of the more than 6,600 farms peppered throughout San Diego county--more than any other county in the United States.

In North County, it was the unique experience of “remembering Somalia and what we were doing there,” for a group of Somali Bantu refugees who were learning local growing techniques and organic farming methods from the International Rescue Committee in hopes of creating businesses to help them support their families

(Howard Lipin, San Diego Union-Tribune).  

Though an avenue to self-sustenance along with reconnecting to culture and a way of life involuntarily left behind, this project’s brevity reflects the struggles growers and organizers still face, despite the growing public interest in initiatives around civic ecology.



Looking deeper highlights the importance of regenerative agricultural practices, such as those of the Kumeyaay Nation. They are stewards for preserving native food heritage and also guardians of the narratives about fostering mutually beneficial relationships with Mother Earth.  

The visions inspired by Indigenous Regeneration projects remind us of the positive impacts of simple, intentional concepts like habitat restoration, sustainable living techniques and recycling for empowering our communities.  

In an era of environmental degradation, it is honoring the traditions of those most harmoniously coexisting with the land that will facilitate the rebirth of the biodiversity truly making the greater San Diego region a haven for all life.

When we talk about going back to the land, it is essential to acknowledge that for some it is a choice offering nourishment and respite from urban activity and for others it is an overdue return to what was stripped or taken away.

When we speak about giving back to the land and acting accordingly, we’re not only feeding the world. We’re preserving and institutionalizing the traditional ecological knowledge for recreating a planet that is good, clean and fair for all.


To learn more about the ways in which our communities can work toward a better food system in and around San Diego, join Slow Food for our Fifth Annual Good Food Community Fair Saturday, October 6th, 2018, from 11:00 AM – 4:00 PM PDT at the WorldBeat Cultural Center.

We will be bringing attention to the consequences of industrialized agricultural practices and discuss how regeneration can guide the revival of our ecosystem while celebrating the ways in which we can give back to the land and manifest abundance.


Join Us At The Fifth Annual Good Food Community Fair October 6th @ WorldBeat Cultural Center

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Join Slow Food Urban San Diego for our Fifth Annual Good Food Community Fair Saturday, October 6th, 2018, from 11:00 AM – 4:00 PM PDT at the WorldBeat Cultural Center.

The Good Food Community Fair is Slow Food Urban San Diego's largest annual event, bringing together the people and organizations desiring a Good, Clean & Fair food system. Come engage with us as we enjoy the culinary demos, family-friendly activities, expert panel discussions, garden activities, and of course...food!

Each year, this event inspires and highlights ways in which the community can work toward a better food system in and around San Diego. This year, we want to bring attention to the consequences of biodiversity and habitat loss due to industrialized agricultural practices and discuss how regenerative agriculture can guide the restoration of our food system and environment. We will celebrate ways in which we can be more connected to our food and soil and how we can work together to bring abundance back to the land.

Tickets: Encouraged donation of $7 pre-sale, $10 at the door. To RSVP and donate, click here


Are there ID or minimum age requirements to enter the event?
Everyone is welcome - bring the family!

How can I become a vendor or sponsor?

Our applications are open through August 22nd. Please fill out our Partner Registration Form.

What are my transportation/parking options for getting to and from the event?
Free parking is available across the street from the World Beat Center, at 2004 Park Boulevard. The location is also served by the 7 & 215 MTS bus routes.

What's the refund policy?
Sorry, no refunds.

Do I have to bring my printed ticket to the event?
You do not need to bring your printed ticket. In fact, we'd prefer you save the paper.

Is it ok if the name on my ticket or registration doesn't match the person who attends?
Yes, if you can no longer attend the event feel free to share your ticket.

Interested in Joining Our Board? We Have Open Opportunities!

Are you organized, passionate and inspired to support Good, Clean & Fair food for all? Then we want you! Seeking detail-oriented, energetic leaders and rising leaders to join the Slow Food Urban San Diego Board. All positions are voluntary.

Open Positions Are:

Fund Development Chair
The Fund Development Chair creates, maintains and updates an inventory of resources of potential donors and sponsors; develops and implements fundraising campaigns to be supported by the Board; and applies for grant as appropriate. The Fund Development Chair may form a committee.

Volunteer Coordinator
The Volunteer Chair coordinates Slow Food Urban San Diego outreach at community events, including soliciting for volunteers, organizing shifts and communicating w/ the event organizer to arrange for logistics. Events may include Slow Sips, festivals and fairs, and local food and farm related events hosted by other mission-aligned organizations.

Submit your application, including a resume/bio and letter of interest here.

Applications are open on a rolling basis until filled.

To be eligible, you must have or obtain a Slow Food membership. Terms of office are two years, with reelection possible for additional terms but not to exceed eight years of service before a one year hiatus. All positions require leadership, organization and communication skills as well as initiative.

Meet Your New 2018 Board!


Meet Slow Food Urban San Diego’s 2018 Board of Directors. We are all volunteers dedicated to good, clean and fair food for all throughout the San Diego region. We are stewards of good food and healthy, thriving communities in many areas of our lives.

  • Kathryn Rogers, Co-Chair
  • Lisa Joy, Co-Chair
  • Stephanie Parker, Secretary
  • Darcy Shiber-Knowles, Treasurer
  • Julie Diaz, Education Chair
  • Ariel Hamburger, Policy Chair
  • Rachel Hommel, Communications Chair
  • Jennifer Ikoma, Membership Coordinator
  • Tom Kiely, Slow Beer Chair
  • Michelle Poliner, Good Food Community Fair Chair
  • Sarah Shoffler, Seafood Liaison

Click here to read bios and for contact information.

Open Opportunities to Join the Board of Directors!

Are you organized, passionate and inspired to support Good, Clean & Fair food for all? Then we want you! Seeking detail-oriented, energetic leaders and rising leaders to join the Slow Food Urban San Diego Board. All positions are voluntary.

Open Positions Are:

Good Food Community Fair Co-Chair
The Good Food Community Fair Co-Chair is an organized event planner that is passionate about building community around good, clean & fair food for all. The Co-Chair will work with the current Good Food Community Fair Chair to support committee meetings and organize/manage logistics, fundraising opportunities and special programming for the annual Good Food Community Fair. The Good Food Community fair is a gathering of good, clean & fair organizations and a celebration of local food and craft drinks with cooking demos, art, discussion panels and more. For more information visit: http://goodfoodfair.com/

Farm Liaison/Ark of Taste Chair
The Farm Liaison/Ark of Taste Chair works to link Slow Food Urban San Diego with the local farming community and recommends strategies for the Chapter to advocate for and support farmers. The Farm Liaison sits on the Slow Food California Ark of Taste Committee (~2 conference calls a month and review of applications to the Ark) and to support Ark of Taste Programming and recognition in San Diego. The Farm Liaison may form a committee.

Communications Committee Co-Chair
The Communications Committee Chair facilitates Chapter communications through website maintenance, newsletters, social media and networking, and ensures consistency of communications to members, media and the community. The Communications Chair oversees the Communications Committee and supports the Chapter Co-Chairs in tracking Slow Food California, Slow Food USA and Slow Food International activities of interest and in sharing SFUSD activities with other Slow Food entities. The Committee oversees marketing and getting the word out regarding Chapter activities. Strong writing, editing and communications skills are required for success in this position.

Fund Development Chair
The Fund Development Chair creates, maintains and updates an inventory of resources of potential donors and sponsors; develops and implements fundraising campaigns to be supported by the Board; and applies for grant as appropriate. The Fund Development Chair may form a committee.

Volunteer Coordinator
The Volunteer Chair coordinates Slow Food Urban San Diego outreach at community events, including soliciting for volunteers, organizing shifts and communicating w/ the event organizer to arrange for logistics. Events may include Slow Sips, festivals and fairs, and local food and farm related events hosted by other mission-aligned organizations.

Submit your application, including a resume/bio and letter of interest here.

Applications are open on a rolling basis until filled.

To be eligible, you must have or obtain a Slow Food membership. Terms of office are two years, with reelection possible for additional terms but not to exceed eight years of service before a one year hiatus. All positions require leadership, organization and communication skills as well as initiative.

BrightSide Produce San Diego: A New Beacon for Local Food Deserts

BrightSide Produce San Diego envisions a future where everyone in San Diego has access to affordable, fresh fruits and vegetables. It’s a bold vision, but the student-run, social venture has already made huge strides toward its goal. Launched in June 2017 by Dr. Iana Castro, a marketing professor at San Diego State University (SDSU), and Rafael Castro, BrightSide serves as a produce distributor that reaches food insecure customers in underserved and university communities. 

Currently, it delivers fresh produce to nine community stores in National City weekly by “breaking bulk” and giving stores the flexibility to buy the varieties and quantities of fruits and vegetables that are appropriate for the stores at low prices, without minimum order requirements. 


In addition to its store deliveries, BrightSide has an SDSU Buyers Club, which is a convenient, on-campus option for affordable produce. SDSU community members can sign up for a produce package based on how many fruits and vegetables they would like to receive each week, and can pick it up at SDSU Farmers Market every Thursday between 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. 

Outside of its deliveries, BrightSide has established itself as an important part of the sustainable movement at SDSU. It’s housed under the Center for Regional Sustainability (CRS), an organization dedicated to advancing sustainability through regional collaborations in higher education, research, stewardship and outreach. With the support of CRS, BrightSide is run primarily by students from Dr. Castro’s “Marketing and Sales for Social Impact” course, which gives them the opportunity to apply their skills to a real business and effect change in areas where it’s needed most. Along with running the business, students have the opportunity to share BrightSide’s mission at sustainability-themed events both locally and nationally. 

To keep up with BrightSide as it continues to make its impact in the San Diego region and beyond, please visit BrightSide’s website or follow BrightSide on Instagram or Facebook.