Tags >> food
Aug 26
2010

Chocolate

Posted by Bruce Robinson in students , Science , research , international , history , Health , food , education , agriculture

Bruce Robinson

Chocolate is at least 3000 years old, and we have the ancient Mayans to thank for it. By way of the conquistadors, that is.

There is tantalizing historical evidence showing that the Mayans were quite creative in their use of chocolate, and the flavor combinations they developed, but archeo-ethno-botany researcher Kirsten Tripplett (left) , says few details of their actual recipes have survived.

Spanish explorer Hernan Cortes was probably the first European to taste chocolate, and it was he who first exported some back to his homeland.

 

Dark or milk chocolate? Many people have a distinct personal preference, but Tripplett says it’s clear which type is better for us.

 

Aug 22
2010

Remembering "The Farm"

Posted by Bruce Robinson in women , resources , lifestyle , Ideas , history , Health , Green , food , farms , families , community , children , business , agriculture , activism

Bruce Robinson

Communal living was a idealistic experiment for some back when the counter-culture was in full flower, and The Farm, a pioneering outpost in rural Tennessee, mostly managed to live up to those ideals.

The earliest origins of The Farm can be traced back to San Francisco at the end of the 1960s, recalls Robert Tepper, in a group that coalesced around a San Francisco State professor named Stephen Gaskin.

That memorable caravan, as seen in this photograph (© Book Publishing Company), was also the basis for the  poster promoting the gathering of former Farm residents in Santa Rosa on Saturday.  It’s natural that such an event would happen here, Tepper adds, since the North Bay was once home to so many of the founding Farmers.

Today, The Farm (seen below from the air) hosts a much smaller population, says Linda Rake, but it remains a hub of sustainable activity.

From the founding group of around 300, the population of The Farm quickly grew, in part, Linda Speel recalls, due to their open door policy toward visitors, particularly expectant couples.

It took a few years for the community to attain economic equilibrium, but Linda Rake notes that they soon began to marshal what resources they had to reach out and assist when natural disasters struck elsewhere in the hemisphere, through an organization they named Plenty.

 

 

Aug 11
2010

Food Stamps at Farmer's Market

Posted by Bruce Robinson in Santa Rosa , poverty , nonprofit orgs , Health , Healdsburg , food , finances , families , education , economy , California

Bruce Robinson

A change at the Santa Rosa Farmer’s Market that begins on Saturday may help some lower income households enjoy healthier menus.

To make the introduction of the food stamp program at the Santa Rosa Farmer’s Market this Saturday more festive, manager Paula Downing says several special events will be part of their day.

Mary Kelley, manager of the Healdsburg Farmers Markets (they have two each week), observes that the few food stamp users who have begun to shop there are going through some serious changes in their shopping and food preparation practices.

Locations, dates and times forall the many  Sonoma County Farmers' Markets can be found here.

Follow this link for information about the Food Stamp program in Sonoma County

 

 

Jul 29
2010

Wal-Mart, Again

Posted by Bruce Robinson in Rohnert Park , protest , policy , planning , news , government , food , families , economy , current events , corporate responsibiliyt , business

Bruce Robinson

Round Two in the fight over expanding Wal-Mart in Rohnert Park is on the city council agenda tonight, a debate that can be summarized as lower prices for consumers in the short term versus constraints on local economic growth in the long term.

While much of the discussion around the proposal Wal-Mart Expansion has focused on its probable impact on Pacific Market, the neighborhood grocery considered mostly likely to fail if Wal-Mart adds groceries, Ben Boyce of the Accountable Development Coalition notes that Rohnert Park’s discount grocery shoppers already have options nearby.

One of the most compelling arguments against the Wal-Mart application was an economic analysis by SSU professor Robert Eyler that detailed job losses and other negative effects. Boyce notes that it also refuted the claim that increased sales at Wal-Mart would generate additional sales taxes for Rohnert Park.

Denny Rosatti (left), Executive Director of Sonoma County Conservation Action, which also opposes the Wal-Mart application, says it would have to be changed significantly to merit their support instead.

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