Today is July 1, 2008, and the ground at Civic Center Plaza has just begun to be tilled for an amazing event that is coming to San Francisco. A Victory Garden will grow there where, over 60 years ago, a WWII Victory garden also grew. Around that garden for five days later this summer, a Farmers Market and food bazaar will focus on locally produced healthy food. Slow Food Nation 2008 is a “showcase of sustainable food & the first-ever American collaborative gathering to unite the growing sustainable food movement and introduce thousands of people to food that is good, clean and fair.” Around the corner at Herbst Theater, the organizers will sponsor a speaker series which will culminate with a panel discussion featuring author Michael Pollan (the Omnivore’s Dilemma), author and cultural critic Wendell Berry, Alice Waters (Chez Panisse), author and journalist Eric Schlosser, and founder of the Slow Food movement Carlo Petrini. These are the power hitters of healthy eating.
Choosing to eat local, sustainable and organic foods is an act of environmental stewardship. Besides being healthier for ourselves and our families, we move towards a reduction in pesticides and herbicides released in our environment, reduced carbon emissions by minimizing transportation distances, and promoting small family-owned farms over large agribusiness practices.
The HVNA ACE page in this issue focuses on organic and natural food resources in and around Hayes Valley. The reality is that there are now very few food stores in the neighborhood. With all the building planned in Hayes Valley, we should persuade developers to encourage natural grocers as tenants. We are very fortunate to have the twice weekly Heart of the City Farmers Market at UN Plaza. Also two local organizations, Modern Cooks at Modern Tea and Hayes Valley Neighborhood Parks Group, work with children to promote healthy school gardening and food production skills. Home organic gardening is also being promoted by non-profits and the City’s Victory Garden project www.sfvictorygardens.org.
Slow Food Nation 2008 (slowfoodnation.org) promises to be a sensorial treat in our extended neighborhood. It will be five days of exploring possibilities for the future by experimenting in the now. Experimenting slowly and incorporating changes gradually makes it easy… Slow and easy. Buen Provecho!