in this issue
Kitchen Garden Day
Criminal Eats
Little Peeps
Funky Grapes
Not Too Late!
Feed the Fire

featured links
What's New Online
Take Action
Om Organics


Tasty Bites 8.24.05
Event updates and more extensive edibles every other week

Help spread the word & pass this on!

Int'l Kitchen Garden Day

This Sunday is the International Kitchen Garden Day where all lovers of kitchens and gardens celebrate the positive role an organic community brings to society, health, and gastronomy.

"Rather than worship at the altar of celebrity chefs, Kitchen Gardeners look for practical ways of bringing their own day-to-day cuisine into the realm of the divine by using the best ingredients their land, climate, and skills will allow. Their love of quality and freshness is reflected in the food they buy to supplement and complement their own production. Because Kitchen Gardeners understand where good food comes from and how it is produced, they tend to seek out food that is authentic, local, seasonal, and minimally-processed whenever possible." All right.

What do you feel like?
- a walking tour of gardens in your area
- a kitchen garden or local agriculture potluck
- a kitchen garden taste-test
- a harvest or planting party
- a benefit for a local food/gardening charity, like Om. :)
- a kitchen garden "teach in"
- a single food theme party
- an activity at a local farm

Don't have a garden? Check out your local community gardens.
Don't want to make your own plans? Check out this Sunday's Events.

Criminal Eats

Your diet can stop crime. That's the fact.

This month's Ode magazine (great read, btw) has a cover story "You Do What You Eat" showing that healthy foods and a healthy diet lead to all sorts of wonderful things, like well-mannered students with high IQs and good grades, prisoners who are more calm and disciplined, fewer incidences of violence and use of weapons, world peace, what have you.

Historically, it's been easier to measure and associate diet with weight, so personal health has typically been the driving force for campaigns promoting healthy foods. Thanks to recent research in the US, UK and the Netherlands, however, people are learning that yes indeedy providing fresh, wholesome, and nutrient-rich foods does produce significant results in people's behavior as well.

Globally, we spend billions of dollars on medical, disciplinary and rehabilitative services for unruly, unhealthy, and downright criminal people, when -- could it be? -- all we really need to do is feed ourselves healthy, fresh foods?

What are the long-term implications that the quality of our farmland has sharply declined in recent decades? The use of synthetic pesticides and fertilizers for years on end has been proven by numerous studies to diminish the levels of important minerals like magnesium, chromium and selenium. Couple this with many people's "convenience food diets" high in sugar, fats and carbohydrates and lacking in fresh fruits and vegetables, and we've got a problem.

As Stephen Schoenthaler, a criminal-justice professor at California State University says, “Having a bad diet right now is a better predictor of future violence than past violent behavior.”

Be warned: Eat right or you'll become a criminal.

Check out the good news magazine, Ode.
Read more about the benefits of organics.

Little Peeps

In 2002 a small, organic strawberry farmer named Arthur Harvey represented himself and sued the USDA for their relaxed organic standards, and earlier this year the appellate court agreed that transitional organic dairy farmers must now feed their cows 100 percent organic feed, and organic food manufacturers may no longer use synthetic substances as vitamins and bleach in processed food products. In fact, some of the nation's largest organic companies may be required to reformulate their products or stop labeling them as organic, all thanks to Harvey.

Power to the people. Sometimes it only takes one.

Read the full article.
Read our past feature about What's Up With the USDA.

Funky Grapes

It's Grape Season! Since you all have been eating them since you were maybe 2-years-old, how about some funky ways to use them?

First though, do you know how to pick the sweetest little baubles of joy? (Yes, they are quite joyful.) It's all about the stem. Grapes sweeten the longer they are on the vine, so if you see a bunch with bright green, hearty stems, you can probably guess that they're on the younger side. Find a bunch where the stem is pretty uniformly browned and shrively in a good way, and you can probably guess that they're older and therefore sweeter. Sometimes tart is good though, so the young ones can be great too...

Here are a few ideas:
- freeze them as is for little round popsicles on a hot day
- add them to your favorite chicken salad
- make a pizza with grapes, gorgonzola, arugula & caramelized onion
- bake some grape flatbread
- mix up a grape, ginger, and bulgur salad
- roast some sausages with grapes and onions
- bake a custardy-cakey milliard
- serve a decadent grape, grappa, and marscapone dessert

More about the varieties in the What's In Season - Grapes section.
Still hungry (like us)? Check out the local squash blossom dishes too!

Not Too Late!

This Friday is your last chance to sign the petition to stop some frightening propaganda from airing on public television. Your voice makes a difference!

In violation of its own standards for corporate sponsorship, American Public Television is promoting a program about Big Ag (namely Monsanto and the American Farm Bureau Federation), funded by....the very same Big Ag companies. Hmm, very interesting.

Please join over 70 organizations asking public television executives to present more balanced, objective coverage of corporate agriculture.

Read more about America's Heartland, and how it's very Scary TV.

Events for the next TWO weeks!

Check our Events page for more happenins as they are announced.

U-Pick Day at Mariquita Farm
Thu & Sat, 8/25/05-8/27/05; 8:00am-1:30am (Thu); 9:00am-4:00pm (Sat)
Mariquita Farm in Hollister
Free to attend and eat whatever you want onsite

Santa Cruz Organic Farms Harvest Tour
Thu, 8/25/05; 8:30am-5:30pm
Bus leaves from Guadalupe Garden Center, 715 Spring St., at Taylor in San Jose

Meet the Farmer - tbd
Sat, 8/27/05; 10:00am - 10:30am
Ferry Plaza Farmers' Market, Ferry Building in SF

Sustainable Soil
Sat, 8/27/05; 10:00am-12:00pm
Crissy Field Center, 603 Mason Street at Halleck in SF
$15 per person

Green Gulch Farm - Everyday Greens: Late Summer Jamboree w/ Annie Somerville & Wendy Johnson
Sat, 8/27/05; 10:00am-5:00pm
Green Gulch Farm, 1601 Shoreline Hwy in Muir Beach
$100, $90 members, $85 limited income.

Shop with the Chef - Joanne Weir, Author and Television Chef
Sat, 8/27/05; 10:30am - 11:30am in SF
Ferry Plaza Farmers' Market, Ferry Building in SF

Award Ceremony: 100 Green Restaurants in the Bay Area
Sat, 8/27/05; 5:00pm-8:00pm
La Estrellita Restaurant, 446 E 12th St. in Oakland
$50, $35, and $25 (limited number).

Gale Ranch: Burgers & Apples
Sun, 8/28/05; 10:00pm-12:00pm
Meet at Gale Ranch, 5105 Chileno Valley Rd. in Petaluma
$30 MALT members / $40 non-member (Sorry, 25th anniversary coupons not valid for this event.)

Chez Panisse Restaurant Birthday & Benefit
Mon, 8/29/05
Chez Panisse, 1517 Shattuck Ave. in Berkeley

Heirloom Tomato Dinner at Millennium Restaurant
Tue, 8/30/05
Millennium Restaurant, 580 Geary St. in SF
5-Course prix fixe menu $60/person, $20/ optional wine pairing, $12 Bloody Mary Flight

Devil's Gulch Ranch Farm Tour & Farm Lunch
Wed, 8/31/05; 10:00am
Meet at the Nicasio Square to carpool to Devil’s Gulch Ranch in Nicasio
$10 donation accepted

Vegetarian Cooking Class: "Demystifying Tofu and Tempeh"
Sat, 9/3/05; 10:00am-1:00pm
First Unitarian Church of Oakland, 685 14th St., @ Castro in Oakland

Meet the Farmer - tbd
Sat, 9/3/05; 10:00am - 10:30am
Ferry Plaza Farmers' Market, Ferry Building in SF

Shop with the Chef - tbd
Sat, 9/3/05; 10:30am - 11:30am in SF
Ferry Plaza Farmers' Market, Ferry Building in SF

Feed the Fire!

Even a little snack. If you use these newsletters, use our website, or simply enjoy having delicious, organic food in the Bay Area, please support our programs that serve local, organic farms and the community. Om Organics is a project of the San Francisco Foundation - Community Initiative Funds, and can only continue with the help of contributions from conscientious people like you!

Any amount is appreciated!
You can make a donation:

  • via to
  • by credit card: via the SFF CIF donation page
  • by check: "Om Organics: Project of SFF CIF", 225 Bush St. #500, SF, CA 94104


© 2005 Om Organics 8.24.05-39