Currently Browsing: California

Jimmy Stewart, cults, and a lot of broken glass: Remembering Straus Family Creamery’s opening day

By Michael Straus Pictures from opening night at Straus Family Creamery, February 4, 1994. (That's me with the goatee.) Straus Family Creamery recently turned 17, and I started thinking back to those crazy times. In 1989, my older brother Albert, who’d been managing the farm and doing some pretty innovative...

Meet Roll International, the biggest dastardly agribiz mega-corps you’ve never heard of

Pom not-so-wonderful at all: John Gibler's epic, top-notch feature on Roll International – "or, as their website proclaims: 'the largest privately held company you’ve never heard of,' owner of Paramount Farming, the largest grower and processor of almonds and pistachios in the world; Paramount Citrus; Fiji...

The Marin Carbon Project studies carbon sequestration

Soil carbon sequestration — the process of converting gaseous carbon dioxide into carbon in the soil — offers a promising (and possibly necessary) route to addressing climate change because it could be a massive carbon sink. Indeed, a report by the Pew Center on Global Climate Change estimated that use of...

The water wars: California’s salmon vs. agribiz interests

By Paul Johnson I've been selling fish for 30 years, and I'm pleased that my store, the Monterey Fish Market, has a reputation for exceptionally fresh and sustainably sourced seafood. We're lucky in that our customers support us in our mission to provide the best possible product that doesn't contribute to...

The little fish that we can: California’s sardine industry, now and then

When the subject of Monterey, California, comes up, most people think of two things: the magnificent scenery and the peerless aquarium. I think of a third: sardines. Two days after Thanksgiving, I took a day trip to Monterey to see the dramatic coastline and experience some of city's connection with...

Citrus pest threatens California growing center

Not the kind of greening you want: The Asian citrus psyllid, which has wreaked havoc in Florida as well as overseas, has been found in rural San Diego County. Northern San Diego County has about 2,500 acres of commercial citrus orchards and is home to the largest concentration of organic citrus farmers in...

Big Meat has tantrum over Oct 15 Michael Pollan talk at CalPoly

RIP, academic freedom: Writer Michael Pollan—aka "elitist," and apparently Agribiz Public Enemy No. 1—will now be part of a panel discussion at Cal Poly on Oct. 15 instead of giving a planned one-hour lecture. Harris Ranch Beef Company Chairman David E. Wood wrote to Cal Poly President Warren Baker...

Meet your greens, part 2: Industry seeks to outfox FDA

This is the second in a series of posts on my week in Monterey, CA, where I attended the first of seven USDA hearings around the country on an industry proposal to create a national marketing agreement on the safety of leafy greens. (Marketing agreements are explained in my first post, here.) It’s not...

Meet your greens: National Leafy Greens Marketing Agreement hearings, Week 1

This is the first in a short series on the National Leafy Greens Marketing Agreement hearings held September 22-24 in Monterey, CA. I packed a suit for three days of USDA hearings over an industry-proposed national food safety agreement [pdf] for leafy greens. In retrospect, I should have packed a flask....

Farm Labor Experts: The Solution is Not For Sale

Friend o' Ethicurean Twilight Greenaway writes about sustainable food for San Francisco's Center for Urban Education about Sustainable Agriculture (CUESA), which nourishes, inspires and educates SF residents and visitors by running the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market and other educational programs. We're big...

Glean a little goodness: California groups forage for fresh food

This piece about gleaning and foraging groups in California first appeared in the most recent e-newsletter from the Northern California chapter of Buy Fresh Buy Local Campaign, a project of the Community Alliance with Family Farmers. To sign up for the monthly e-newsletter, visit the Buy Fresh Buy Local...

California to shut its Food and Ag Department?

Now really doesn't seem like a good time: Amidst California’s scramble to close its $20 billion deficit, California Senator Dean Florez, chair of the California Senate’s Food and Agriculture Committee, is suggesting perhaps the state should shutter its Department of Food and Agriculture. On June 16, the ...

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