Why is eating fresh, locally grown food better than food from the grocery? Two main reasons that come to mind: fresh foods taste better! And they are rich in nutrients!
Purchasing fresh foods also reduces the consumption of additives like preservatives, pesticides and hormones. These chemicals are used by mass-producing farmers to help food grow quickly and last longer.
But there can also be disadvantages to consider. Since fresh foods do not have additives they have a shorter shelf life and should be consumed quickly. There is also a cost concern. It is commonly found that fresh foods are more expensive than conventionally grown foods. In contrast to fresh foods, conventionally grown foods are still far more popular. Why? (you may ask). Because it is convenient! Conventionally grown food still dominates grocery stores, providing readily available options to consumers at a cheaper price. At any time of the year a person can walk into a grocery and find any fruit or vegetable – whether in season or not. But that doesn’t mean it is more nutritious! Many foods that have been processed have added sodium, coloring, sugars or other chemicals to help preserve and add taste. Consuming these additives may cause your body to react negatively and cause gastrointestinal side effects. Luckily, the public is becoming more aware of the benefits of eating locally and these food are becoming more abundant in grocery stores in Northern California. So, next time you plan your groceries for the week try looking for specials in your local grocery stores. Some stores like Sprouts have weekly specials on local produce at affordable prices. And if you are on a really tight budget try your local food bank. Many food banks have multiple weekly local food distributions for free! No application or personal information required!
Ryan of Sciabica’s California Olive Oil holds his highly awarded Jalapeno flavored olive oil. “It goes with eggs, popcorn or many other things,” he explains. His exciting booth is part of the thriving Thursday morning facilitated by Alchemist, a community development corporation, which helps to organize certified farmers markets in the region.
Boxed Leaves, Gampi Paper. 2016. William R. Laws III
Welcome to the new Sacramento Artist Expose. Presented by City Colour, the new artist Bill Laws is featured for a Pop-Up show on Friday, November 25 (the day after Thanksgiving).
This first annual Expose will be held at The Brickhouse Gallery, 2837 36th St. in Oak Park.Call 476-1240 for location information. Presentation will be from 4 PM to 9 PM.
Shown above is Bill’s collage Boxed Leaves. It utilizes Japanese art paper with a selection of fall colors against bright sky inspiration. Bill’s development as an artist in watercolor, pastel and acrylic stems from his early preoccupation with imaginary and playful work with collage.
This year’s Artist Expose is sponsored by the nonprofit website http://www.openskymarketdotcom.wordpress.com. Keeping with the season, half of the proceeds from all sales go directly to Food Bank and Family Services.
Curators associated with a Sacramento gallery, with an interest in future shows of this artist, should submit the Key u77y9y for a restaurant coupon.
The reverend Warren Barnes, pastor at Grace Presbyterian Church, and Monique Stovall, Director of Nutrition at San Juan Unified School District, share a moment before the celebration of the fourth annual Farm to Every fork event. The evening event featured a wonderful supper catered by Sa’vory De’lites and its charismatic owner Jackie Nakapaaahu.
This year’s program highlighted Director Stovall’s insights on the challenges of providing healthful and attractive meals in a school setting tight with regulations and budget constraints.
In comments before her presentation, Stovall indicated that she was aware of the arrival of new immigrants to the Arden-Arcade area which her school district shares with the parish territory of Grace Presbyterian Church. While her food program, however, does not directly visit the homes of these newcomers, Stovall explains that San Juan Unified School District maintains a community intervention or liaison committee that meets regularly at the site of Garfield Elementary school in Carmichael. This committee,through its contact with adult English language learners (and hopefully, in the future, through home visitations and other interactions with the new ethnic groups) offers an opportunity for the school food program to learn more about the food needs of both newcomers and veteran residents.
Billie Hale, the tireless nutrition student at California State University, Sacramento, takes a moment from her busy schedule to highlight the twice monthly food pop-up in front of the campus bookstore. The pop-up food table immediately to the right of Billie offers free bags of produce to students who present an ID. However, closer to the bookstore (and out of sight of the picture frame) are cooking demonstrations which model food preparation techniques.
Perhaps just as important as the free bags of food or cooking techniques, the pop-up, which is part of the ongoing Food Pantry program, is a chance to “get the word out” that food for students with low-incomes is available at the Food Pantry on a daily basis. During the day students who need assistance stocking up edibles can pick up dry, canned and other food stuffs at the permanent food closet in the women’s gymnasium area.
Despite the festive nature of the two tables (one of which is adroitly operated by counseling center staff) Billie indicates that one of her main duties of the day is to train various volunteers serving the growing Food Pantry program. Thanks all around, then, to Billie and to her vivacious boss Jennifer Campbell, for allowing the time to “demo” the special fresh produce table.
This last Wednesday, Open Sky Markets was able to touch base with two remarkable women from Sacramento Food Bank. Pictured above is executive Elise Hawkins of Sacramento Family Food Bank & Family Services. Holding one of the heavy squashes that minutes later put the day’s food receipts over a quarter million pounds, Elise celebrates the new daily total of donations reflecting a Guinness world record. In addition, this reporter was able to reach out with a “big howdy” to the intrepid Snra. Lorena Carranza who had just come in from the field to her office at the large Bell Avenue warehouse. Carranza is tasked with making sure the bounty of produce is received and appreciated by Sacramento families who most need a nutritious boost on a “journey to self-sufficiency.”
The work of these two women demonstrate that “hunger does not take a holiday,” as expressed by Hawkins. Even during the celebrations which stretched throughout the day, Carranza (the other half of the wonderful equation) was making sure that business was operating as usual and that qualifying families and individuals were being contacted and registered.
Open Sky Market is proud to announce that it is partnering with Sacramento Food Bank & Family Services to get the word about about an upcoming event. This free event involves distribution of fresh produce but also opportunities to receive information related to qualifying for CalFresh benefits.
The time and places for this and other services can be found at the Food Hotline at 916 313-7606 or http://www.sacramentofoodbank.org.
One event on September 13th at the Howe Park at Fulton-El Camino Park District (2201 Cottage Way) at 8:30 to 9:30 AM will be an opportunity for Open Sky writers and Arden Carmichael Community Groups (such as Grace Presbterian’s excellent food efforts) to meet with the vibrant Lorena Carranza of Sacramento Food Bank & Family Services. This free event will be an opportunity to learn a number of details about the CalFresh program, including the many opportunities for students to qualify for food stamp benefits.
Don Anderson (featured in an earlier Open Sky story), toting produce and lifting a lovely bouquet from the Saturday morning market at El Camino and Watt Avenue demonstrates his personal involvement in the year-around farmers market.
Don, as well, is involved in running the Grace Presbyterian Church Calfresh booth where he can often be found on Saturday mornings. With patience and an abundance of cheer, Don explains to market attendees who visit the Calfresh booth how they can use their food assistance dollars to purchase ripe and delicious produce.
In addition, Don is actively involved in developing and advertising an upcoming event, the fourth annual Farm to Every Fork dinner on Friday, October 21. To be held at 5:30 pm in the social hall of Grace Presbyterian Church located at 4300 Las Cruces Way (Arden Christian Center at Eastern Ave.) the “good nutrition for everyone” celebration features a 5:30 vegetarian meal and then an inspiring and humorous film documentary What’s on Your Plate? which follows two amazing urban kids, Sadie and Safiyah who explore their connection to food politics and the economy of food delivery.
Jesse, son of Jacinto and Crystal Orozco Garcia, holds one of the melons his farming family grow on their Lodi farm. Scheduled to start high school after this summer, Jesse explains that customers almost always appreciate his produce. The farm’s motto features the remarkable emphasis: Home of the Original Ambrosia Melon. Interested patrons can reach the farm at firstname.lastname@example.org.