Mary Risley, Director
Hi Everyone! Just think--it’s been over 28 years since we started picking up and delivering excess food in San Francisco – and over 12 years since Nancy started coordinating ALL these pickups and deliveries. She also has done an incredible job with her weekly emails to the Volunteers and monthly blog to all that are interested! Thank you, Nancy, for your years of hard work! Now, we are starting something new – we are asking YOU to write up your stories, and hopefully take photos, for the monthly blog – Nancy will now be the editor of the new Food Runner Volunteer Blog! What do you think of that? And, how would you like to be a contributor? Here, for you is the Newsletter (with Video and Recipe) that I sent to the followers ofTanteMarie.com last month – this will be the first guest blogger contribution—I hope you like it!
Last month I was fortunate enough to be invited to speak at two conferences on this subjects; namely, REALIZING POTENTIAL: THE FUTURE OF FOOD Hosted by Esalen and the Detente Group; COOKING FOR SOLUTIONS—Sustainable Foods Institute—at the Monterey Bay Aquarium. Not only did I meet and hear from some very inspiring people, but I was really awakened to how serious a problem we have in this country. Do you know that, as one of the richest countries in the world, we, Americans, pay a smaller percentage of our income on food than any other country in the world? Since the 1950’s, Americans have gotten use to cheap food. Generally, we eat mass-produced food - often, poorly prepared - and it not good for our health or that of future generations. Furthermore, it is estimated that 40 percent of the food grown in this country is discarded!
But, what can we, as consumers, do to help this New Food Movement? First of all, buy from the farmers; buy from the farmers; buy from the farmers! Organic has really lost its meaning. Big industrial farms can be called organic—for our food economy to be sustainable, we need to buy local from the people growing it in a responsible way; that is, if you don’t grow it yourself. (If you see someone at a local farmers market selling bags of oranges or cardboard crates of strawberries, they may have been purchased at the big wholesale market.) When a carton of eggs says, cage-free or free-range, the chickens still may be crowded in one huge cage or the door of the barn is open in case they want to wander out. It is best to look for eggs that are labelled pasture-raised. And, definitely look for really good quality chickens raised humanely (like the ones photographed here) - they live outdoors and eat seeds and bugs and pebbles. What about labels like Grass-Fed? Do you know most beef produced in the country is grass-fed—and it still can be finished in a feedlot eating corn. It is really important to look for beef and pork and lamb that can run free all their lives. It may cost more to eat real organic, real cage-free, and real grass -fed; but in the long run it will help with health, with preserving the earth, and with livelihoods.
Last week I was in NW Connecticut, and lucky enough to meet "the Jenkins twins" who are working at TRUELOVEFARMS.ORG – in Morris CT owned by Tom Truelove, a son of one of the twins. It was so exciting to see happy chickens outdoors and families of pigs outdoors and cows outdoors. Here for you are some photos of a real farm owned and run by real farmers. What I loved most besides meeting these dynamic women is that they had two Great White Pyrennees living with the chickens to protect them from the cayotes and wolves. Here for you is a recipe for a French dessert which is awfully fun to make—if it burns a little, just dust it with powdered sugar and say "That’s how the French like it!" And, always remember, Cooking is Fun!