in this issue
Events This Week
Delicious Dishes
Brain Food
Need Your Help!

featured links
What's New Online
Take Action
Om Organics


Tasty Bites 11.16.04
Event updates each week; more extensive edibles every other

Thank you to everyone who saw The Future of Food last week and came to the after-party benefit at Lime Restaurant. It was an amazing turnout with delicious food & drinks and of course great company! Check out the dishes served, lucky raffle winners, and very generous sponsors here.

Events This Week

Book Release Party: Christopher Cook's "Diet for a Dead Planet"
Wed, 11/17/04, 6:00pm-8:00pm
The San Francisco Writers' Grotto, 26 Fell St., near Civic Ctr; Free
Good conversation, wine, nourishing snacks, a short reading by the author, and books on sale. "Diet" is an exposé of the food industry's often deadly effects on public health, the environment, workers and the future of food - and a call for profound change. The book is endorsed by Jim Hightower, John Robbins, Frances Moore Lappé, and Jeremy Rifkin. Featuring treats donated by Rainbow Grocery, Cafe Gratitude, Earl's Organic Produce & the Organic Wine Company.

The Elegant Endive: From Common Root to Prized Vegetable
Wed, 11/17/04, 7:00pm-8:30pm
Whole Foods, 1765 California/Franklin; Free
With Rich Collins, the only US producer of endives. Rich will focus on the unique and fascinating process of producing endives, including the history, how they're grown, their nutritional value, and its many culinary uses! You'll also get to sample endives as an appetizer, salad and cooked dish. Call to reserve a spot: 415.674.0500.

Slide Ranch - Garden of Friends
Fri, 11/19/04
Slide Ranch, 2025 Shoreline Hwy. in Muir Beach; Free
Enjoy great company, good food, and celebrate Slide Ranch! Join us for a free, one-hour luncheon, where you will learn more about our mission, programs, and the value that Slide Ranch creates in our community. Hear testimonials from those whose lives have been touched by Slide Ranch’s programs, and consider for yourself how you would like to be involved in supporting us. For more information, contact Katie Medwar at (415)381-6155 or

Meet the Producer: Sciabica Olive Oil
Sat, 11/20/04, 10:00am-10:30am
In front of the Ferry Building, Embarcadero/Market in SF; Free
Get the lowdown straight from the producer.

Free Worm Composting Workshop(yummy!)
Sat, 11/20/04, 10:00am-12:00pm
Ecology Center, 2530 San Pablo Ave, near Dwight Way; Free
Come on down and get the scoop on worm composting from the experts at the Alameda County Composting Program. Worm composting can be an especially good choice for apartment dwellers and others lacking yard space. Find out how to compost kitchen scraps into free, nutritious fertilizer using red wiggler worms. The class is geared for beginners but those who already compost with worms and need advice are welcome too. Info: 510-548-2220 x233,

Growing Roses Organically
Garden for the Environment, 7th Ave. at Lawton St.; Free
Learn ways to grow beautiful roses without toxic pesticides or fertilizers. We will demonstrate pruning techniques and will introduce participants to varieties of roses that thrive in foggy San Francisco. Pre-registration required. Info: 415-731-5627.

Shop With the Chef: Janet Fletcher ~ Author and Chronicle Food Writer
Sat, 11/20/04, 10:30am-11:30am
In front of the Ferry Building, Embarcadero/Market in SF; Free
See and taste what seasonal produce local chefs are buying and cooking!

City Slicker Farms: Healthy Soul Food Nutrition Workshop
Sat, 11/20/04, 1:00pm-3:00pm
City Slicker Farms, 16th/Center in West Oakland
Featuring holiday soul food with raw enzymes. For more info/to rsvp: 510-763-4241.

Sun, 11/21/04, 11:00am-3:00pm
Crissy Field Center, 603 Mason Street at Halleck in SF; $25/person
Tired of Thanksgiving turkey leftovers? Try tofu! From delicious starters such as tofu salad, tofu rolls, and homemade pot stickers to satisfying main dishes of tofu with mushrooms, steamed shrimp balls with bean curd, and the famous "Ma Po Tofu," you'll learn to prepare these easy but elegant bean curd dishes at home. Plus you'll be getting a good source of organic and pesticide-free protein. Call 415-561-7752 to register.


Today the most popular persimmon varieties are Asian: the Hachiya and the Fuyu. (American varieties are more rare.)

Hachiya persimmons are heart-shaped with a creamy, astringent yet sweet flavor, and an apricot texture. Wait until they're super mushy when you can spoon out sweet, succulent morsels.

Light orange, tomato-shaped Fuyu persimmons, with a sweet spicy flavor, are more "idiot-proof" and can be eaten when firmer. Some people eat them like an apple.

Both have delicate, smooth, thin skins that bruise easily.

Look for: Persimmons that are smooth, plump and glossy. Avoid those with yellow patches.

Storage: Hachiya are often sold unripe, so let them sit at room temperature until the skin is translucent and they're VERY soft. Fuyu can be eaten crunchy, or store them at room temperature to soften the texture. Once either is ripe, they don't store well, so use immediately or refrigerate for a day or so.

See pictures and read more about What's in Season - Fruit.

Delicious Dishes

Chop them into any salads, puree ripe ones with cinnamon and soy milk for a smoothie, mash into pancakes or waffles, substitute for zucchini in quick breads...

Or, make your own version of these:

Chez Panisse: Escarole salad w/ apples, persimmons, pecans & verjus vinaigrette.

Venus Restaurant: Heirloom spinach salad w/ persimmons, raisins & curry dressing.

Jardiniere: Duck confit salad w/ fuyu persimmons, huckleberries & spicy pecans.

Firefly: Braised Sonoma lamb w/ herbed spaetzle, roasted baby turnips & grilled fuyu persimmons.

BayWolf Restaurant: Persimmon pudding w/ brandy whipped cream.

Read more about persimmon recipes in What's in Season - Fruit.
Send us your dishes, and we'll post them in our newsletter!

Brain Food

Your semi-weekly snack of knowledge.

This week's topic: the United Nations top emerging environmental threat...Dead Zones.

Nitrogen-rich fertilizers Just about all conventional fertilizers contain high levels of nitrogen, which help plants grow and thrive.

Run-off from irrigation When nitrogen-rich fertilizers run off from normal irrigation, they eventually end up in rivers and oceans. In fact, a 2004 United Nations article estimated that "most of the 160 million tons of nitrogen used as fertilizer annually ends up in the sea".

Suffocated marine wildlife Fertilizers may help crops on land, but in the oceans they spark massive algal overgrowth that depletes the water of oxygen. Eventually, these areas have such low levels of oxygen that no plant or animal life can survive.

Increasing dead zones around the world These "dead zones" have doubled in number since 1990, and the issue has been identified as a top emerging environmental threat by the United Nations Environment Programme. Nitrogen fertilizers are the prominent cause.

Organic alternative Organic farming doesn't use extreme-nitrogen fertilizers and therefore has no effect on our oceans and the health of marine wildlife.

More about the benefits of organics.

Are you a knowledge binger? Read ahead about What's Organic?
Why Local?

Need Your Help!

Om Organics is a project of the San Francisco Foundation-Community Initiative Funds, and can only continue with the help of foundation grants and individual contributions. If you support sustainability in the Bay Area, please help us with your tax-deductible donation.

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


© 2004 11.16.04-7a