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Om Organics


Tasty Bites 9.9.05
Event updates and more extensive edibles every other week

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Some of America's richest agribusinesses are double-dipping from U.S. taxpayers' pockets at a rate of hundreds of millions of dollars a year.

At a time of record federal budget deficits and scarce, expensive water, thousands of Central Valley farms get cheap, taxpayer-subsidized water to grow surplus crops the government subsidizes a second time with price supports.

The Environmental Working Group found that in 2002 (the latest year for which figures are available for both types of subsidies) approximately 6,800 farms in the Central Valley, the largest federally-operated irrigation system in the nation, took in by conservative estimate $538 million in crop and water subsidies combined.

Check out the easy-reading EWG report all about water, and how Big Ag is double-dipping into your pockets.

Read more about Local Farms vs Large Agribusiness.


In the past few weeks, action alerts have been abounding. Take a gander and step up to make change:

GE-free Counties in California At Risk
Last year, Mendocino County California became the first county in the U.S. to ban genetically engineered (GE) crops. Since then, two more California counties and two cities have followed Mendocino's example. Over 100 town meetings in New England have called for a moratorium or strict controls over GE crops. Globally, over 100 major agricultural regions have declared themselves GE-Free.

Fearing the contagious spread of BioDemocracy in North America, the Biotech Bullies are striking back. In the past several months, 14 U.S. states, prodded by Monsanto and the Farm Bureau, have made it illegal for local communities to ban GE crops.

Two recently introduced bills (AB 1508 and SB 1056) in the California legislature would make California the 15th state to eliminate local communities' rights to ban or otherwise regulate genetically engineered seeds. There is a high probability that a "Monsanto" bill in the California legislature will be pushed through in the waning days of the legislative session. This "preemption" bill would overturn GE-Free victories in Mendocino, Trinity, and Marin counties, as well as the cities of Arcata and Point Arena, and prohibit local communities from banning or regulating genetically engineered crops in the future.

Take action today to stop the Biotech Bullies from taking away our democratic rights in California!

Synthetics in Certified Organic Foods
Several prominent organizations (including the Organic Trade Association) are lobbying Congress to amend the Organic Foods Production Act (1990) so that some synthetic ingredients can be allowed in food products labeled as "organic." They claim that these ingredients are inconsequential and that consumers do not care about their use in "organic" food.

Take action today to preserve organic standards to restrict synthetics and chemicals!

Non-Organic Seafood Labeled "Organic"
While the USDA is in the process of creating standards for seafood, the agency allows any old fish to be labeled as "organic". As a result, consumers falsely place the same level of confidence and expectation in seafood labeled as "organic" as they do for "organic" meat and poultry when paying more at their supermarkets. In reality, "organic" seafood has not been regulated or certified by anyone at all!

Take action today to ban the use of the "organic" label on seafood until the USDA or state legislation creates a set of certification standards.

Events for the next TWO weeks!

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

National Organic Harvest Month
9/1/05-9/30/05; In your area; Events and celebrations

Sierra Club Summit 2005
Thu-Sun, 9/8/05-9/11/05; Moscone Center in SF; Conference and expo

6th Annual “Taste of Marin” Celebration
Fri, 9/9/05, 6:30pm-9:30pm; St. Vincent’s, Marinwood Exit in San Rafael; Benefit dinner

Meet the Farmer - Marty Brown of Landscape
Sat, 9/10/05, 10:00am - 10:30am; Ferry Plaza Farmers' Market, Ferry Building in SF

Shop with the Chef - Sara Deseran of 7x7 Magazine
Sat, 9/10/05, 10:30am - 11:30am; Ferry Plaza Farmers' Market, Ferry Building in SF

Tomato U-Pick Day at Mariquita Farm
Sat, 9/10/05, 9:00am-3:00pm; Mariquita Farm in Hollister

Power to the Peaceful Festival
Sat, 9/10/05, 9:30am-night-time after-party; Speedway Meadow in Golden Gate Park in SF; Concert, eco-festival, arts, and party presented by Michael Franti, et al

Bountiful Brentwood - Greenbelt Alliance Tour of Frog Hollow Farm
Sun, 9/11/05, 10:30am-1:30pm; Frog Hollow Farm in Brentwood

Carmel TomatoFest
Sun, 9/11/05, 12:30pm-4:30pm; Quail Lodge Resort in Carmel; Tomato tasting, exhibits, food & wine

Yolo Land Trust's 17th annual "A Day in the Country"
Sun, 9/11/05, 3:00pm-6:00pm; Timothy Ranch in Woodland; Benefit meal

Convert a Carnivore Day at Millennium
Wed, 9/14/05; Millennium Restaurant, 580 Geary St. in SF; 25% off discount

Bay Wolf Restaurant's 30th Anniversary & Benefits
Thu & Sun, 9/15/05-9/18/05; Bay Wolf Restaurant, 3853 Piedmont Ave. in Oakland; Benefit meals

"Big Easy" Menu at Millennium: Benefit for Katrina Victims via Second Harvest
Thu-Sat, 9/15/05-9/17/05; Millennium Restaurant, 580 Geary St. in SF; Benefit dinner

Commonwealth Club Panel Discussion - The Future of Farmers Markets in SF
Thu, 9/15/05, 5:30pm-7:30pm; Ferry Building, Port Commission Hearing Room, 2nd floor in SF

Ripe for Harvest - Tour of McEvoy Organic Olive Ranch
Fri, 9/16/05, 10:00am-12:00pm; Meet at McEvoy Ranch, 5 miles south of Petaluma at 5935 Red Hill Rd. in Petaluma

Meet the Farmer - tbd
Sat, 9/17/05, 10:00am - 10:30am; Ferry Plaza Farmers' Market, Ferry Building in SF

Shop with the Chef - Cooking Instructor Linda Hillel
Sat, 9/17/05, 10:30am - 11:30am; Ferry Plaza Farmers' Market, Ferry Building in SF

Full Corn Moon Feast: A Nourishing Feast Celebrating the Traditional Foods of West Africa
Sat, 9/17/05, 6:30pm; St Francis Lutheran Church, 152 Church Street -- between Market & Duboce in SF; Wholesome, holistic meal

Greenbelt Alliance Tour of Gabriel Farm
Sun, 9/18/05, 10:00am-12:00pm; Gabriel Farm in Sebastopol

Sweet & Savory Pastries
Sun, 9/18/05, 10:00am-1:00pm; Crissy Field Center, 603 Mason Street at Halleck in SF; Cooking class

A Chez Panisse Dinner with Heritage Foods, USA
Wed, 9/21/05; Chez Panisse in Berkeley; Educational dinner

The Shame of the Nation: Book Reading/Signing
Fri, 9/23/05, 7:30pm; Martin Luther King Jr. Middle School Auditorium, 1781 Rose Street in Berkeley; Book reading & signing with closing remarks by Alice Waters

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 9.9.05-40