Politics and the Dinner Table

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Tonight I had the wonderful pleasure to hear Navina Khanna (Director, HEAL Food Alliance; Plate of the Union), Nina F. Ichikawa (Policy Director, Berkeley Food Institute),
Michael Dimock (President, Roots of Change), and Anna Lappé (author and founder of Real Food Media) on an incredible panel discussing the future of food and food policy under the new administration.

In general all expressed concern about the significant cutbacks on the farm bill (under which the SNAP Program gets funded – SNAP offers nutrition assistance to millions of eligible, low-income individuals and families and provides economic benefits to communities), public school lunch programs, the future of farm workers, in edition to a litany of other causes and legislations. Although the systematic reversal of progress made under the Obama administration would take years to undo the situation is dire.

-Divya Pahwa


Organic Rainbow Chard

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I’ve been getting copious amounts of organic rainbow chard in my CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) box every other week. I remove the ribs, roll up the leaves, thinly slice the roll, chop the ribs, and fry it in butter and garlic until the green becomes bright.

Chard is in season in California and a nutritional powerhouse. Full of magnesium – I find that I crave magnesium and potassium rich foods as the weather starts to get cooler.

Everyone who eats some always “feels so good” after. Yummmm!

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Sourcing, cooking, feeding

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I’ve been sourcing and cooking organic, locally grown, and in-season produce. Of course, taking every advantage of SF and visiting the beautiful farmers markets around the city makes that easier.

Roasted several pastured raised chickens (if you have access to pasture raised poultry TRY IT it will transform your life/chicken eating experiences). Finally mastered cooking dal. And I’ve had the wonderful opportunity to feed people! 15 of them in the last 20 days!

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Farmers Market

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At last! Made my way to the “Heart of the City Farmers Market” in San Francisco. One of sf’s many farmers markets. Beautiful day and fresh produce. Tried my first pink cherry tomato and picked up some summer squash.

Fittingly, last evening I had the opportunity of watching “Unbroken Ground” a documentary film that’s part of Patagonia’s new venture to sell high quality and responsible food. It explored the role of food in the environmental crisis. They profiled three farmers – a grain farmer using perennial plants (diversified grain practises) to replenish soil, a former cattle farmer that switched to raising bison (they don’t eat grass to the ground and that’s better for the soil), and a sustainable salmon farmer.

Overall the movie has a good message – however, I was sorely disappointed by the people the filmmakers choose to interview: all white dudes. Women were given few and insignificant speaking parts, and there was one person of colour who was given 30 seconds of air time. Many of the people that were interviewed constantly referenced using indigenous farming practices – I kept waiting for them to interview an indigenous farmer. Nothing.

Today at the farmers market I had the pleasure of meeting a few hispanic, Chinese, and black farmers. Many of them using sustainable farming practises. It wasn’t that hard.