It’s a notable week here for sustainable food on a few fronts: the Bay Area stars in the pilot episode of Food Forward, premiering this week on KQED in San Francisco, and the California Homemade Food Act queues up for a vote in Sacramento. There will also be a food justice talk by Nikki Henderson on Friday, April 13.
Food Forward: Urban Agriculture Across America
This week marks the premiere of a new series on PBS exploring fresh ideas about food through a series of profiles of forward-thinking farmers, food producers and activists. The pilot episode of the planned 13-week series is titled Urban Agriculture Across America and includes a segment on urban farmer Abeni Ramsey who came from the mean streets of West Oakland but is now running her own crew at City Girl Farms right here in the Bay Area.
Also featured is the ever-inspiring Will Allen in Milwaukee and New York City farmer John Mooney, whose space-age hydroponic farm on top of a historic building in the West Village of Manhattan gives a glimpse of what’s possible with rooftop operations.
After a stop in West Oakland with Ramsey, the show finishes in Detroit with Travis Roberts, an eighteen-year-old who grew up watching the city struggle with increasing urban blight. In trouble and more than 100 pounds overweight, Roberts discovers the city’s urban agriculture movement and finds a new purpose in life through urban chicken farming.
Tune in beginning at 7:30 p.m., Monday, April 9 on KQED Channel 9 (see other air times below) or attend San Francisco’s live broadcast premiere event on April 9 at Barrel House, on Tehama St., in San Francisco. You can also watch the trailer online here.
Channels and Airdates:
Mon, Apr 9, 2012 — 7:30pm
Tue, Apr 10, 2012 — 1:30am
Wed, Apr 11, 2012 — 11:00pm
Thu, Apr 12, 2012 — 5:00am
Thu, Apr 12, 2012 — 10:00pm
Fri, Apr 13, 2012 — 4:00am
Sun, Apr 15, 2012 — 9:00pm
Mon, Apr 16, 2012 — 3:00am
Food Forward is written, produced and directed by a seasoned team of journalists, cinematographers and storytellers that includes two residents of the San Francisco Bay Area: director Greg Roden (PBS, FOX, National Geographic, Lonely Planet, contributor to the LA Times, Dallas Morning News, SF Chronicle), and co-creator-producer Stett Holbrook (Food Editor for Metro Silicon Valley and and contributor to the LA Times, San Francisco Chronicle, Saveur, and Chow.com)
For more information:
California Homemade Food Act moves through the legislature
Previously scheduled for a vote on Tuesday, April 10, the California Homemade Food Act (AB 1616) will now be voted on in committee one week later — on April 17. That gives you time this week to contact your assemblymember and ask them to sign on as a co-author if they haven’t already.
AB 1616 was instigated by the Oakland-based Sustainable Economies Law Center (SELC). The folks at SELC teamed up with Los Angeles Assemblymember Mike Gatto to introduce a “cottage food” bill that would legalize the sale of certain foods produced in home kitchens.
The bill creates a new category of food production called a cottage food operation, which, unlike other types of commercial food facilities, can be operated out of a home kitchen. The types of foods that a cottage food operation can sell are limited to “non-potentially hazardous foods,” which are foods that are unlikely to grow harmful bacteria or other toxic microorganisms at room temperature. Examples of such foods include: baked goods; jams, jellies, fruit butters; preserves and pickles with a pH level of 4.6 or below when measured at 75 degrees Fahrenheit; granola, other dry cereals; popcorn; nut mixes; dried fruit; chocolate covered nonperishable nuts and dried fruit and candy; dry baking mixes; roasted coffee; dry teas and honey; among other things.
If AB 1616 does eventually pass, it will be interesting to see if operations like Forage SF’s Underground Market are revived. The Underground Market was wildly popular before it was shut down last June by the Department of Public Health because many of its sellers (mostly home producers) were not compliant with local and state regulations.
For more information and the latest updates, visit The Sustainable Economies Law Center website.
Food Justice Talk by Nikki Henderson
Through urban agriculture, nutrition, and enterprise programs, West Oakland’s People’s Grocery is working to build local food systems that improve both economic wealth and community health. This week, People’s Grocery executive director Nikki Henderson, an inspiring speaker who has been called an “extraordinary leader with a vision for how food and urban farming can be tools of empowerment” by Slow Food USA president Josh Viertel, will share her work and provide tips for how you can get involved in your local community.
Friday, April 13
7:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.
CIIS Main Building
California Institute of Integral Studies
1453 Mission Street
San Francisco, CA 94103
For more information or to purchase tickets, visit the CISS website.