- Author: Rachel A. Surls
As a member of the Los Angeles Food Policy Council, I’ve had the opportunity to work with a great group of people – ranging from farmers to chefs to public health officials – on initiatives that connect Los Angeles consumers with healthy, affordable food. One concept that’s been helpful to our work is that of a “foodshed,” which is a geographic area that could in theory provide a significant portion of a population center’s food. Looking at our foodshed has helped us to think outside our county’s boundaries and learn more about food production in our own...
- Author: Pamela Kan-Rice
Thanksgiving is a time for Americans to gather with loved ones to express gratitude. Dinner guests will be even more grateful if their hosts don’t play fast and loose with food safety practices when preparing the shared meals.
I am a terrible cook. My brother is an excellent cook. One year he told me his turkey was thawing in the bathtub because it was too big for the refrigerator and my enthusiasm for dining at his house began to cool.
“The prevention plan for food safety begins with planning the feast, knowing when a frozen turkey needs to start defrosting in the refrigerator so there is ample time to thaw,” says Connie Schneider, director of UC Agriculture and Natural Resources Youth, Families...
- Author: Julie Cates
Fall is my favorite time of year, because well, that is when pumpkins are in their full glory. Whether they are on display at a record setting weight of 1,985 pounds at the Half Moon Bay's annual Giant Pumpkin Weigh-off, arranged with assorted gourds on your fall table, or cut as a jack-o-lanterns for Halloween these simple fruits are an autumn treat. At the University of California Cooperative Extension UC Cal Fresh Nutrition Education program, we delight in all things pumpkin. At some schools we provide simple agriculture lessons teaching second-graders that pumpkins have ribs and cousins (zucchini and watermelon) just like people.
At Snowden Elementary in Farmersville, Mrs. Joy Smith fully utilizes this amazing squash. She...
- Author: Jeannette E. Warnert
As a Peace Corps volunteer in Niger, Africa, in the early 1980s, Jeff Dahlberg was intrigued by sorghum, a staple food being cultivated by the country’s vast population of poor subsistence farmers.
“I was impressed with the fact that sorghum was so drought tolerant,” Dahlberg said. “They used no irrigation at all.”
More than 30 years later, Dahlberg, the director of the UC Kearney Agricultural Research and Extension Center in Parlier, is still impressed with sorghum and believes it has potential to be a significant crop in California, where water is a serious concern.
Sorghum isn’t a new crop to the...
- Author: Jeannette E. Warnert
Home food preservation had been simmering on the back burner for years, but growing interest in eating healthy, local food and a revival of America’s can-do spirit has it jamming once again.
The UC Cooperative Extension Master Food Preserver (MFP) program is following the same trend. Established in the 1980s, a small contingent of volunteers offered occasional classes through the years. But a reawakening that spurred rapid program growth was enough to prompt UC Cooperative Extension to hold the first-ever statewide Master Food Preserver conference this month in Stockton.
Master Food Preservers are volunteers who teach people in their...