Food for Thought
 The Slow Food Orange County Newsletter

January, 2009
Month Year

Welcome to the January  issue of "Food for Thought."   We're so glad you've chosen to receive our newsletter and share exciting news of our  events.

While you will find the most current information about our chapter in this newsletter, be sure to visit our website. Learn more about excellent local restaurants and markets, and find out how to share your talents and play a larger roll in the Slow Food family. We would love to hear from you. Send us an email.  Our fundraising efforts support the  Monkey Business Cafe in Fullerton.

In This Issue
This Month's Event
Also this Month
Food News
Produce of the Month
Upcoming Events
Recommended Reading
New to Slow Food?

Slow Food is an idea, a way of living and a way of eating. It is a global, grassroots movement with thousands of members around the world that links the pleasure of food with a commitment to community and the environment. For more information, visit their website.
Join Our Mailing List!

Good Magazine
January Event
January 25, 4 to 6 p.m.

Chocolate Creations for Valentines Day

Looking for inspiration to wow your special person on Valentines Day? Treat your guests to exquisite desserts from your kitchen. Frederic Moreau, formerly of the St. Regis Hotel Monarch Beach, will teach us how to make two ala carte style desserts featuring chocolate. 

Using brands such as Felchlin and Vairhoma, Chef Moreau will demonstrate the basic skills to create and assemble a chocolate showpiece. Experience the showmanship of a competition-level pastry chef and indulge in the desserts Frederic prepares for us. Join us on January 25, from 4:00 to 6:00 p.m. at the Ritz Restaurant in Fashion Island, Newport Beach. Cost is $20 per person, which includes wine and hors d'oeuvres. Mark your calendars and make your reservations today. The restaurant has requested payment for all guests at least 2 days before the event. Guests without reservations cannot be accommodated. Please send checks to Roger McErlane, 483 Linden Street, Laguna Beach CA  92651.

Coming in February - Members Meeting and Potluck

Please join us for a potluck dinner on February 8, 4:00 to 7:00 p.m., location to be announced. Master Gardener Teena Spindler will teach us how to plant and maintain a vegetable garden, just in time to consider buying seed and starting seedlings for delicious summer vegetables. Master Gardeners is part of University of California Cooperative Extension, which offers training in horticultural skills. The designation Master Gardener is earned after completing a course of study.

Food News

50 Ways to Eat Green: The Bon Appétit Guide to Cooking Up a Greener World 

By Hugh Garvey, January 2009

Produce of the Month
How fortunate we are to live in a place where so much fresh produce is available year round.
While much produce that fills the local supermarket has been shipped from all over the world, a few local farms and farmers markets allow us to eat well close to home.

Visit our website for a listing of local farmers markets, and the website of South Coast Farms in San Juan Capistrano.

All kinds of delicious information is available at NRDC - The Earth's Best Defense, and Local Harvest - real food, real farmers, real community.

Upcoming Events


March 14
Members Meeting and Potluck
Irish cuisine and brew-making workshop.
Robert Wise, home brewer, will teach us how to make our own brew.
The finished product will be ready to enjoy at home for Octoberfest.  Workshop  will take  place at his home
in Cerritos. More details to follow.


April 14
Members Workshop
Cheese-making workshop with Heather Stoltzfus, cheese-making award winner at Orange County Fair.  Location to be announced.


May, 30
Slow Food Orange County Barbecue and Potluck in Bommer Canyon, Irvine
Historic Bommer Canyon was the original site for the annual cattle round up and branding for the Irvine Ranch. It is now preserved as open space and provides a trail head location as well as beautiful picnic area under the shade of majestic sycamore trees.  The event will be co-sponsored by the City of Irvine with a focus on food and nutrition. Barbecue will feature organic chicken. There will be a gate fee but it will be open to all who are interested and will be an opportunity for old and new members to enjoy a fun time and learn something more about SFOC. We will need the help of all members to put this on. 
Mark you calendars today. This is an event you won't want to miss.

May date to be announced
Possible field trip to Cooking For Solutions at the Monterey Bay Aquarium.

Workshops that may be substituted throughout the year include a tortellini and sauce making workshop and chef demonstrations. Please contact us if you would like to conduct a workshop.

Recommended Reading
"Inquiries into the Nature of Slow Money: Investing as if Food, Farms, and Fertility Mattered"

                                                                  by Woody Tasch
                Foreword by Slow Food Founder Carlo Petrini

   "The vision for Slow Money is brilliant. We should all listen to it, and to Woody."
     -Paul Dolan, Former President of Fetzer Vineyards and Author of True to Our Roots

We must bring money back down to earth.

Inquiries into the Nature of Slow Money presents the path for bringing money back down to earth-philosophically, strategically and pragmatically, and with an entrepreneurial spirit that is informed by decades of work by the thousands of CEOs, investors, grant-makers, food producers and consumers who are seeding the restorative economy.

The months and years ahead will surely see a flood of books proposing micro- and macro-economic fixes to the financial crises of the day. Inquiries into the Nature of Slow Money brings a different vision-a meta-economic vision, looking above the top tine and below the bottom line, a new way of seeing what is going on in the soil of the economy.

The soil of the economy?  Bringing money back down to earth?

This is the path towards a financial system that serves people and place as much at it serves industry sectors and markets.  To discover this path, and to begin to walk down it, is the mission of Slow Money.

This mission emerges from decades of work as a venture capitalist, foundation treasurer, and entrepreneur by Woody Tasch, whose explorations shed new light on a truer, more beautiful, more prudent kind of fiduciary responsibility, a fiduciary responsibility that is not stuck in the industrial concepts of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, but which reflects the new economic, social and environmental realities of the 21st century.

These explorations take us from the jokes of his father to the insights of his son, from the Board rooms of foundations and start-up companies to the farm fields of Vermont, from gopher holes in New Mexico to the possibilities of an alternative stock exchange, from Carlo Petrini to Muhammad Yunus, from Thoreau to Soros. 

Inquiries into the Nature of Slow Money investigates an essential new strategy for investing in local food systems, and introduces a group of fiduciary activists who are exploring what should come after industrial finance and industrial agriculture. Theirs is a vision for investing that puts soil fertility into return-on-investment calculations.

    * Could there ever be an alternative stock exchange dedicated to slow, small, and local?
    * Could a million American families get their food from CSAs?
    * What if you had to invest 50 percent of your assets within 50 miles of where you live?

Such questions-at the heart of Slow Money-are the first step on our path to a new economy and a new culture.
Inquiries into Slow Money is a call to action for designing capital markets built around-not extraction and consumption but-preservation and restoration.

Is it a movement or is it an investment strategy?  Yes.

Become a Member

We invite you to join the Slow Food movement!  Slow Food OC is working hard to preserve and protect local foods and food traditions.  Our convivium plans events and programs in places across OrangeCounty-anywhere from community gardens, taste education dinners, and farm tours-join the network and become active in planning and participating in these diverse initiatives. 

Click here for Benefits of Membership. Send us an email if you have any questions.

More Food News
This article came from a link in the Slow Food USA newsletter. It certainly gives us something
to think about as a new adminsitration comes to Washington.

New York Times
January 5, 2009
Op-Ed Contributors

A 50-Year Farm Bill

THE extraordinary rainstorms last June caused catastrophic soil erosion in the grain lands of Iowa, where there were gullies 200 feet wide. But even worse damage is done over the long term under normal rainfall - by the little rills and sheets of erosion on incompletely covered or denuded cropland, and by various degradations resulting from industrial procedures and technologies alien to both agriculture and nature.

Soil that is used and abused in this way is as nonrenewable as (and far more valuable than) oil. Unlike oil, it has no technological substitute - and no powerful friends in the halls of government.

Agriculture has too often involved an insupportable abuse and waste of soil, ever since the first farmers took away the soil-saving cover and roots of perennial plants. Civilizations have destroyed themselves by destroying their farmland. This irremediable loss, never enough noticed, has been made worse by the huge monocultures and continuous soil-exposure of the agriculture we now practice.

To the problem of soil loss, the industrialization of agriculture has added pollution by toxic chemicals, now universally present in our farmlands and streams. Some of this toxicity is associated with the widely acclaimed method of minimum tillage. We should not poison our soils to save them.

Industrial agricultural has made our food supply entirely dependent on fossil fuels and, by substituting technological "solutions" for human work and care, has virtually destroyed the cultures of husbandry (imperfect as they may have been) once indigenous to family farms and farming neighborhoods.

Clearly, our present ways of agriculture are not sustainable, and so our food supply is not sustainable. We must restore ecological health to our agricultural landscapes, as well as economic and cultural stability to our rural communities.

For 50 or 60 years, we have let ourselves believe that as long as we have money we will have food. That is a mistake. If we continue our offenses against the land and the labor by which we are fed, the food supply will decline, and we will have a problem far more complex than the failure of our paper economy. The government will bring forth no food by providing hundreds of billons of dollars to the agribusiness corporations.

Any restorations will require, above all else, a substantial increase in the acreages of perennial plants. The most immediately practicable way of doing this is to go back to crop rotations that include hay, pasture and grazing animals.

But a more radical response is necessary if we are to keep eating and preserve our land at the same time. In fact, research in Canada, Australia, China and the United States over the last 30 years suggests that perennialization of the major grain crops like wheat, rice, sorghum and sunflowers can be developed in the foreseeable future. By increasing the use of mixtures of grain-bearing perennials, we can better protect the soil and substantially reduce greenhouse gases, fossil-fuel use and toxic pollution.

Carbon sequestration would increase, and the husbandry of water and soil nutrients would become much more efficient. And with an increase in the use of perennial plants and grazing animals would come more employment opportunities in agriculture - provided, of course, that farmers would be paid justly for their work and their goods.

Thoughtful farmers and consumers everywhere are already making many necessary changes in the production and marketing of food. But we also need a national agricultural policy that is based upon ecological principles. We need a 50-year farm bill that addresses forthrightly the problems of soil loss and degradation, toxic pollution, fossil-fuel dependency and the destruction of rural communities.

This is a political issue, certainly, but it far transcends the farm politics we are used to. It is an issue as close to every one of us as our own stomachs.

Wes Jackson is a plant geneticist and president of The Land Institute in Salina, Kan. Wendell Berry is a farmer and writer in Port Royal, Ky.

Vietnamese Tet Festival
This is not an official  Slow Food Orange County event, but a wonderful way to sample the rich multi-cultural heritage
found in Orange County. Parades, dancing and other Vietnamese New Year festivities and over 50 food vendors offer
all kinds of food to eat, and purchase to take home.  The Tet Festival will take place in Garden Grove Park, Garden
Grove, from January 30 through February 1.This is not an official  Slow Food Orange County event, but a wonderful way to sample the rich multi-cultural heritage found in Orange County. Parades, dancing and other Vietnamese New Year festivities and over 50 food vendors offer all kinds of food to eat, and purchase to take home. The Tet Festival will take place in Garden Grove Park, Garden Grove, from January 30 through February 1.

Very little parking is available at the park but a free shuttle from the Westminster Civic Center at 8200 Westminster Blvd. is available. For more information visit the Festival website or call 714-638-7950.