Wild Blackberry Stuffing Recipe

A Wild Stuffing for Thanksgiving


While it’s true that there are not too many wild edibles to forage for in late November, even in California (sea beans are past their prime and stringy and miner’s lettuce is definitely past its prime), with a bit of forethought you can bring some of the taste of the summer to your Thanksgiving table. Freezers have made it possible for us to take some of the bounty of the warm season and preserve it for the cooler months.

Preparing a unique stuffing for your Thanksgiving turkey can include blackberries that you harvested during the summer and then froze for later use. Although this stuffing recipe is prepared mostly on the stovetop, I would suggest popping it into the oven for the last 15 or 20 minutes of your turkey’s cooking time, to make sure it’s good and hot and to infuse some of the turkey flavor into it. Try this snappy recipe to give family and friends a real treat on Thanksgiving.

Wild Rice and Wild Blackberry Stuffing: Everyone who loves the distinctive flavor of wild rice will love this stuffing. And, although you will be cooking the stuffing next to your turkey in the last states of the process, you can always dribble a bit of the pan drippings over the stuffing to not only help keep it moist, but also to add a bit of turkey flavor, too. This recipe will provide enough stuffing for about 6 people.

·      ½ cup of wild rice

·      ½ cup spelt

·      ½ cup thawed wild blackberries

·      1 cup chopped pecans

·      1 cup diced carrots

·      1 cup diced onion

·      1 cup diced celery

·      2 garlic cloves, grated

·      ¾ cup chopped parsley

·      1 tablespoon chopped sage

·      2 tablespoons olive oil

·      2 tablespoon water

·      ¼ teaspoon pepper

·      ½ teaspoon salt

Place wild rice and spelt into a large pot and cover with water – make sure there is at least 3” of water over the grains. Bring the pot to a boil, simmer for 2 to 3 minutes, then turn off heat, cover, and allow the pot to sit for 1 hour. After the grains have expanded, drain and set aside.

While the rice and spelt were sitting, you should be getting the other ingredients ready.

Spread the chopped pecans over a baking sheet and give them 10 minutes in the oven at 325 F.

Sauté the vegetables in the olive oil in a medium saucepan about 5 minutes, then cover the pan and allow the vegetables to cook for another 10 minutes until they are tender.

Add the rice and spelt to the vegetables, along with the salt and pepper. Just before putting into a baking dish, carefully mix the blackberries.

Put everything into a baking dish and stick it into the oven next to your nearly done turkey. Make sure to use the pan drippings from the turkey pan to add flavor and moisture to your wild stuffing.

Once the turkey and the stuffing are out of the oven and on the table – enjoy. This is a different approach to the traditional stuffing most of us are used to, but will add a new dimension and taste treat to this beloved holiday, and is undoubtedly one of which the Pilgrims would heartily approve.


The Rain has come! Mushroom season has begun!

Well this is exciting! After what seems like years without any rain, we finally got some water. Good all around. The farmers are happy. The gardens are happy. But most importantly for me, the mushrooms are happy. Rain means that all throughout the forests, as we speak, mushrooms are growing....probably not quite above the surface yet, that takes a few days...but they're there. Getting ready to poke their heads up through the pine needles and fallen leaves, just waiting to be discovered. I cant wait!

Join our mushroom expert Patrick Hamilton and find the secret spots where the mushrooms live. We have classes coming up all throughout the winter, from this weekend through December, on the Marin and Sonoma Coasts. See you out there!

Tickets and dates here

A seaside feast: Recipes and foraging tips for Sea Beans

Nutritious, Delicious Sea Beans

Admittedly, sea beans (Salicornia) look very little like actual beans, but these hardy, salt-loving succulent plants should be included in every coastal forager’s diet. Sea beans are also called sea asparagus, samphire greens, glasswort, and pickle weed. Estuaries and bays are a favorite habitat of sea beans and they are an easily recognizable wild plant: they grow about 1 foot high, have no real leaves, just fleshy, segmented stalks, and are a bright green color. They can be foraged in late summer though early fall.


Adding Sea Beans to Your Table

Sea beans have become somewhat common at farmer’s markets in coastal areas, but it’s not hard to forage for them yourself. Identification is quite easy and harvesting a basketful of sea beans can help to perk up your meals for a week. Tasting somewhat like salty asparagus, sea beans can be used raw or cooked to add a distinctive flavor to your dishes. While sea beans have been used in Europe and the Far East for centuries, Americans are now catching on to this ‘new’ vegetable.

Raw sea beans can simply be added to your favorite salad while you’re preparing it, along with the other ingredients. However, there are some delicious ways to cook sea beans as well.

The simplest way to cook sea beans is to simply sauté or steam them. Glasswort can also be cooked just like you would cook spinach, but be sure that you don’t overcook this vegetable as it will lose most of its flavor.

If you want to add some real distinction to your table, there are several recipes that use sea beans that will definitely perk up your palate:

Roast Halibut, Sea Beans, and Clams: This makes 4 servings. Always remember to use sea beans gathered during the summer; by autumn, they are developing interior strings.

·      4 pieces skinless halibut, 1¾ inches thick

·      2 cups sea beans

·      14 to 18 canned clams (keep the liquor)

·      ¼ tsp salt, 1/8 tsp black pepper

·      1 tbsp. olive oil

·      ¼ cup shallot, chopped finely

·      ¼ cup unsalted butter

·      4 tsp lemon juice

Preheat your oven to 450 F.

Add sea beans to 2 quarts of boiling water and cook for 1 minute. Drain, cool in ice water, and then pat dry on paper towels.

Drain the clams, but keep the clam juice.

Dry the fish fillets with paper towels then sprinkle them with the salt and pepper.

Using an ovenproof skillet, brown both sides of the fillets in olive oil in the heated pan. Once both sides are browned, slide the skillet into the oven and let the fish roast for about 10 minutes.

While the fish is in the oven, sauté the shallots in the butter until they are just soft. Put in the clam juice and lemon juice and bring to a gentle, simmering boil. Now add the clams, cover the skillet, and cook for another 2 minutes over a low/moderate heat. Remove from heat.

Arrange the halibut fillets on plates and surround them with sea beans, clams, and sautéed shallots.



Sea Bean Side Dish: Sea beans gathered or purchased during summer and early fall, will be much more palatable than those from later in the year – as the year wears on, sea beans will become fiberous as they begin to flower. When the tips become red you’ll know sea beans are beginning to flower and go out of season. Although still edible, they wont be as good.

·      2 to 3 cups of fresh sea beans, cut or broken into pieces

·      1 to 2 cloves of garlic, chopped

·      3 to 4 tbsp. of butter

Melt the butter in your skillet over a medium-high heat, taking care not to burn the butter.

Add the sea beans, stirring constantly, and then the chopped garlic.

Sauté the sea beans and garlic until they become tender then remove the skillet from the heat.

Serve as a side dish with your favorite ocean fish.  


Sea Beans Are Good for You

In addition to tasting good, sea beans also provide quite a few nutritional benefits and supply the following:

·      Vitamin A

·      B Vitamins

·      Vitamin C

·      Iron

·      Calcium

·      Iodine

·      Bioflavonoids

Using sea beans in your cooking will not only add a new dimension to the flavor of your meals, but will also provide you with a number of healthy benefits.



Where to Harvest Seaweed and How to Eat It

Where to Harvest Seaweed and How to Eat It


Most of us never give a thought to using seaweed as a food, but it’s actually one of nature’s most nutritious edibles, and is usually easily available to anyone who lives near the coast. Seaweed is actually an alga, writ large, and many species are found in abundance along most marine shores, either attached to the substrate or washed up onto the beach. The Japanese have been eating seaweed, in various forms, for centuries, but North Americans are now beginning to use this bounty as well.


For those who wish to forage for seaweed, it’s important to check local regulations before beginning. You should also make sure that the area you are planning to use for your harvest has clean water, and is far from any sources of pollution. In most cases, you will be allowed to harvest 10 pounds of wet seaweed for your personal use. Seaweeds can be brown, red, purple, or green in coloration. Avoid fresh water seaweeds as they are often poisonous; stick to marine seaweed.


Edible Seaweeds on the West Coast


Seaweed can be found growing from the ocean floor, or can be attached to rocks.  Low tide is the best time to reach the plants connected to rocks. Unlike vascular plants, seaweeds do not have roots, they have holdfasts instead. Although almost anywhere along the coast will probably have seaweed, tide pools are a great place to find this edible, but you must pay attention to the tides when going out to harvest seaweed.


In addition to a pair of waterproof gloves and a collection bucket, you will need a sharp knife. When harvesting seaweed, it is important not to pull the seaweed off the rock or ocean floor, doing this will destroy the holdfast. By using a sharp knife to cut well above the holdfast, in this way you will ensure that the seaweed will regrow in time. Some of the best edible seaweeds include:


·      Nori is one of the most delicious of the local edible seaweeds. Identify it by its dark green color and it can be found attached to rocks in the intertidal zone. 

·      Giant Kelp is usually found in dense beds, and is one of the fastest growing plants. Herring often lay their eggs on kelp fronds, and in some locales, it is illegal to harvest kelp containing eggs.

·      Sea Lettuce looks almost exactly like the lettuce you may grow in your garden.

·      Purple Laver grows on coastal rocks, and while the blades of this seaweed can be over 3 feet wide, they are only several cells thick.

·      Alaria fistulosa is another edible member of the kelp family, and the fronds can reach 100 feet in length.


Seaweeds are a great source of vitamins and minerals and some of them are also surprisingly high in protein. Seaweeds contain iodine, iron, chromium, calcium, potassium, and manganese, among other minerals. Most seaweed is dried before being used, and can be hung from a line or spread on a clean cloth or plastic sheet to do so. The drying seaweed should be turned every hour to speed drying.


How to Eat Edible Seaweed


Edible seaweed can be eaten raw, or used in cooked recipes. Adding either fresh or dried seaweed to your cuisine can add flavor, body, and extra nutrition.


·      Seaweed can be used in soups either as a major component, or as a thickener – dried seaweed is particularly valuable as a thickener.

·      Salads do not have to consist mainly of lettuce, Sea Lettuce or Purple Laver are good for this.

·      Alaria can be cooked just as you would any green leafy vegetable from your garden, and is great with butter and a sprinkle of salt.

·      Either dried or fresh fronds or blades can be used as wraps in a number of recipes. Nearly any recipe that calls for a cabbage or corn husk wrap can use seaweed as a substitute.

·      Dried seaweed fronds can also be broken up into chip-sized pieces and used as a snack food; they are naturally salty and are low in calories.


In addition to the uses both dried and fresh seaweed have in the kitchen, these macroalgae have another advantage if you harvest them yourself; they are free. Respect the area where you are harvesting seaweeds and cut carefully when you do gather so that the plant can regrow again.






Bullwhip Pickle Recipe...

You probably like other pickles better...

Why pickle seaweed, of all things? Many things are easier to pickle, and they taste better. I like pickled beets, kohlrabi, dilly beans, corn, radishes, grapes, and even turnips, better than pickled seaweed. Pickled cauliflower, on the other hand, just tastes like raw veggies with vinegar. For some reason, they're not quite right.
All these pickles are delicious, and what most of them have in common is that they don’t remind me of anything else. They don’t take me anywhere except to the flavors I'm tasting. Are they good or are they bad? That’s all there is to consider.
If it's done right, pickled seaweed transports you to the sea. It takes you up Highway One on the kind of drive where you pull over near the cliffs every ten minutes because it’s just too amazingly beautiful to resist. It takes you back to the first time you went surfing or took a family vacation to the coast. Seaweed doesn’t taste like a vegetable; it tastes like the sea. It's the distilled essence of ocean and sand and abalone diving, and whisky passed around a late-night campfire on a beach on the Lost Coast. That’s why I make seaweed pickles.
I use bullwhip kelp, which is commonly found in this region. Seaweed provides many trace minerals you won’t get anywhere else. You can find bullwhip kelp on the beach after a storm. Bend it. If it snaps cleanly, it's fresh; if it bends, toss it. A fun way to source it fresh is to dive for it and cut it yourself. I usually grab some when I’m abalone diving. I've kept this recipe simple, in order to let the briny seaweed flavor shine through.

Here's what you’ll need.
Kelp (should be fresh, about 4 feet long, and at least 2 inches in diameter)
4 cups Champagne or white wine vinegar
½ cup sugar
8 cups water
(It would be cool to try this with seawater. If you try it, let me know how it turns out.)
Medium pot
2 containers for the pickles to live in

  1. First, get your brine a boilin’. Mix the above ingredients and bring to a boil.
  2. Rinse the seaweed with cold water. Cut off and reserve the blades (the feathery top parts), then peel the stipe.
  3. Slice the stipe (long part) and the bulb (top part) into quarter-inch rings.
  4. Place the reserved blades and seaweed rings in separate containers. Pour the hot pickling liquid over them.
  5. Let them cool, then put them in the fridge. They'll be good for three months.

These pickles feature on our Seaside Charcuterie platter, along with a rotating cast of the following: Black cod brandade, pickled wild mussels, pickled mustard seeds, pickled herring, and fried smelt. Though we've been making use of the stipe for a few years, pickling the blade is a pretty recent discovery for us. They are amazingly good, with subtle sea flavor and great texture. The stipe has a more robust texture.

If you want to try ours check them out at this weekends Wild Kitchen:
Tickets here:
Friday, August 14th
Saturday, August 15th
Enjoy! If you don’t dive for these, I hope, at the very least, you'll get your feet wet while collecting them.

Keep Sonoma Beaches Free! Reject the new proposal to charge for access to our coast.

I just heard something that upset me. The parks department is planning on starting to charge for parking at the few free beaches in Sonoma County. If you're familiar with the area, you know that there are very few places where people can enjoy the coast free of charge, and they're trying to take those away! The funds gathered wouldn't even necessarily stay local to help our coast, but could be put into the states general fund. 

This is a bad idea. Above the fact that its just plain wrong to put a paywall up in front of every piece of our natural environment, it will cause congestion and danger on rt. 1 as people park along the side of the road or in ecologically sensitive areas to avoid paying. 

For some great background on the issue, check out this op-ed from the Surfrider Foundation: HERE

This proposal is currently being reviewed, so now is the moment to fight back against it! If you want to show your support, email ethan.lavine@coastal.ca.gov and tell him we want to keep our beaches free. Feel free to use the sample email below:

Mr. Lavine


I'm writing to express my concern over the proposal by the parks department to install pay stations at currently free beaches along Sonoma County Hwy 1. Given the already current lack of free public space along the coast, I think this policy is misguided to say the least. In addition to the issue of access, I believe that this proposal will cause congestion and danger alongside the highway was people attempt to avoid the pay stations, as well as endangering vulnerable ecosystems as people will create their own paths to the beach for the same reason. The board of supervisors voted unanimously against this proposal for good reason. Please respect the decision of the local leaders and reject this new fee on our coasts.

Thank you





My adventures with Beekeeping 101

Took a beekeeping class yesterday with The Institute For Urban Homesteading. We want to get bees for the roof at Forage Kitchen, and although I hadn’t planned on taking care of them myself, I wanted to learn a little something about how they work.

Really interesting class! Learned a ton (which was easy considering I knew nothing). I was really struck by a few things. One is just the insane organization of the honey bee colony. At the risk of getting a bit airy, it really does seem magical the way they work. The second they’re born they know everything they need to do (the female worker bees first task is to turn around and clean her own hatching cell, HOW DOES SHE KNOW?!. Alternately the lazy male bees first task is to get fed…).

One bee on its own, while not stupid, doesn’t know how the whole functions functions, but they are born knowing exactly what their purpose is, really fascinating.  A queen bee doesn’t rule, but is just a larger bee fed differently. To make a queen the larvae is simply fed royal jelly for its entire incubation period, and put in a larger cell to grow. That’s the only difference, and somehow by being fed differently it knows that the second it’s born its supposed to kill all competing queens, fly out to mate, then lay thousands of eggs for the rest of her life.

It really does bring to mind the idea of the colony as a superorganism; something I’ve become really interested in lately, and that we discussed in the class. A bee is more like a cell in the body than an individual. A white blood cell doesn’t have a brain, and is never taught what to do, it just does it. It is created with all the information it will ever need, and immediately goes to task.  A thought doesn’t live in a neuron, but billions of neurons together create the experience of being human. The part creates the whole, without the need for individual agency. This is one of those things that if we didn’t see it happening in nature, we would say it was impossible.  Amazing.

The other thing I was really struck by was how little tending bees can live with. This was an alternative hive class, so instead of the standard hive (when you think of a commercial beehive, you’re thinking of a standard hive), we looked at several alternatives. The one that I was most enamored with is the Top Bar Hive. At it’s most basic; it’s a box with a series of 1.25 inch removable slats on top, with a .5 inch vertical piece of wood in each slat. Rather than needing to give the bees a frame to build their combs, they naturally create them on each vertical slat. Some for brood (where the babies are born), which are brown, and some for honey storage.

I originally went to the class really just to have a better understanding of what we were getting into at Forage Kitchen, but now I want my own! If anyone has any tips on where to find some healthy bees send ‘em my way!

We're local - seeking the best of the best producers for Forage Kitchen

Hey all!

Using local food is important to us. Not only is it good for the environment, but even more importantly, buying local is the bedrock of a strong local economy. Each dollar we spend buying local organic produce and humanely raised meat is a dollar a farmer can spend making their business even better. For us local means a foundation of support, and we want Forage Kitchen to be part of that foundation.  Rather than just hoping our Chefs are using local ingredients, we're going to ask that anyone using our space orders from our vendor list. 

Rather than making each of our Chefs wade through vendors, we'll supply a handpicked cadre of the best of the best. Organic veggies, grass-fed meats, sustainably caught fish. All the meat, veggies, and seafood in Forage Kitchen will come from these vendors, and when you buy a product produced in Forage Kitchen, you can rest easy that only the best ingredients were used. 

The relationships we create will assure steady orders for the farmers and a consistent supply for our Chefs. The proverbial win-win :).

I wanted to reach out to see if you had suggestions on folks to reach out to. We only want the best of the best. If course we have the producers we love, but I'm sure there are lots out there we don't know about. The best fishmonger in town, the sliest rabbit rancher around, and the...beefiest ranchers that abound. Ok, but for real, let us know! We love the idea of supporting people doing it right, and with the huge order volume our space will have, we hope to help producers in doing what they do best. 



Spearfishing in Mendo with our chef Ty.

Just went on my first spearfishing trip with Ty, our new chef, in Albion, on the Mendocino coast. It was a family affair. I showed up to the campground and was greeted by his brother, his dad, a crew of friends, and burgers smoking on the BBQ.  Freediving is definitely one of my favorite things, and I try to get out whenever I can. There is something incredibly meditative about being underwater without a tank. Nothing mediating the experience except your goggles. Its amazing to get down to the bottom and just pause, resting with the sway of the ocean, quietly drifting with the kelp. Nothing is better. 

Since abalone ("abs" to the veteran), season is closed, we went up to a spot for some straight spearfishing, but I have never seen so many abs before in my life! Amazing abundance. Since I dont have my own boat I usually shore dive (basically just swim off the shore with a float to carry my catch), but taking the boats out this time really opened my eyes to how abundant the seas just beyond a few hundreds yards out can be. The one good size fish I caught, a 24 inch ling cod, was more than enough for a meal for me and my girlfriend. I wanted to treat it lightly, so I sauteed and roasted the filets, and wrapped the head in tinfoil with garlic and roasted that in a 400 degree oven. Delicious ling cod cheeks! Some other divers got scallops, which you'll see me holding in the pic below, but I couldn't manage to get any myself. We had some fresh raw scallop on the beach when we got back, amazing flavor. Fresh, briny, I think much better than cooked. 

Forgot the GoPro this time around, so unfortunately no sea shots, but here's a couple pics of us getting in, taking a superman pose in our suits, and what we caught. Wasn't the best day for fish, but as always any day in the water is a great day.


interested in booking a dinner with us: Click here

Welcome Chef Ty Taube

What strikes you most, when speaking with Ty Taube, is his love of simple, unadorned  ingredients. Last week he caught a live octopus, and proceeded to steam and slice it onto a puckery sunomono salad spiked with local winter citrus and pickled seaweed - also wild. This is what Ty eats at home.

A Michelin star chef from The Restaurant at Applewood in Sonoma, Ty has plated everything from miso cured black cod to whipped ricotta raviolo topped with a raw duck egg. He's equally at home introducing 9-course tasting menus to appreciative guests, as he is roasting a whole pig for friends and family on the 4th of July. He'll tell you about the black trumpet mushrooms he just found on one of his frequent foraging trips, and how he dredges them lightly in cornstarch before frying them in oil until they're puffed. 

But Ty is most at home during harvest every Tuesday, when he surveys his Santa Rosa farm for shiny purple eggplant, sprouting lettuces, bok choy, and a veritable parade of other greens. He places equal assortments of these small-crop veggies into CSA boxes for a lucky list of patrons, and onto your plates. You see, not only does Ty work magic with ingredients in the pan, he's also nursed those ingredients from seed to bloom.

We're extremely excited to welcome Ty to the forageSF family. A farmer, second-generation mushroom forager, kayaking fisherman, and California native - Ty couldn't be a more perfect fit if we had conjured him ourselves. Taste his farm-to-table cuisine at one of our Wild Kitchen roving dinners, learn how he prepares local ling cod in a hands-on cooking class, or better yet - let us bring him into your home or company event for a truly seasonal meal you'll never forget. 

Ready to meet Ty? Tell us about your next event - we'd love to get started with you!

a holiday musing on the high church of food...

I hope you’re all having a great holiday. I’m up in northern CA at my dad’s, sitting by a tree cut from the nearby woods. I actually went to church last night for one of the first times (I’m a non-practicing Jew), and was reflecting on how nice it must be to be religious. The foundation that it must give to your life, the calm and reassurance it gives every decision. 

The idea that someone is there looking out for you, but also the way the rituals frame your life that non-religious people search for. What to do and not to do in certain situations. How to treat people and how to solve the problems that come up in every life. I think this is one of the reasons I focus on food. Food, like religion, is a way for people to come together around a common set of ideals; a way to join a community of like-minded individuals that live their lives with common purpose and focus. 

Food has become so much more than just what we put in our bodies. It has become a lens through which we feel we can view and influence every part of our lives, as well as the world. The environment, the economy, health, society, government policy, we can touch all these through the decisions we make with the food we eat. That’s why I’m excited about opening Forage Kitchen. Yes, it will be a place where people can work, but more than that, it will be a place for people with shared ideas can come together. A place to learn, grow, and nurture, not just discrete businesses, but a community of people who share the same ideals about how the world should be. 

Some may say I’m being a bit over the top, but to me food is so much more than what you eat. It’s a daily statement of the direction you want the world to move, and a tangible thing you can hold that expresses what you believe in. 

Forage Kitchen is coming: we’re getting the permits signed, the plans through the planning, and the designs on the paper. I’ll see you all there soon. Hope you’re having a great holiday, and ideally eating far more than you should.




Do you know of an organization that can help provide snacks to an East Oakland School?

Hey all,

A friend of a friend is a teacher in an East Oakland school and she's been paying out of her own pocket to provide snacks to the students who come to school hungry in the morning. She's looking for help.

I'm sure there's a non-profit out there that helps with this kind of thing, but I dont know of one...does anyone out there have any leads?

Or if you would like to get involved in helping out that would be amazing too.

Email me at iso@foragesf.com if you have any leads.




Glove law repeal passes Assembly Health Committee 18-0!

The bill to repeal the glove law, AB2130, passed the Assembly yesterday 18-0! Thanks to everyone who sent in letters of support, they really made a difference. We still have to get through the Assembly Appropriations Committee and then on to the Assembly Floor and the Senate. Still a long road to go, but the unanimous vote today shows that folks in Sacramento see this is a bill that the people dont want. Exciting stuff! Iso


URGENT: Today is the day to show you hate the glove law: Vote in sacramento tomorrow

Tomorrow is a big day. Its the day the health committee decides whether to repeal the glove law. Your support on this petition is one of the reasons they're meeting at all, but now we need to show them you really mean it.

Two ways to help:

1. Send a letter of support to Benjamin.Russell@asm.ca.gov. There is a sample letter below, but you can also let them know in your own words that you support AB2130 (the bill to repeal the law). If you send a letter please let me know.

2. Go to Sacramento! I know its a drive, but its important that we have people there to show their support. The meeting is at 1:30pm in room 4202 of the State Capitol. Let us know if you can make it.

Thanks again for your support. Your voice is working to change a misguided law that will effect millions of people. We're in the homestretch now, we can do it!



Sample Letter:


The Honorable Dr. Richard Pan

Assemblymember, 9th District

State Capitol, Room 6005

Sacramento, CA 95814

Fax: (916) 319-2109

Re: AB 2130 (Pan) – SUPPORT

Dear Assemblymember Pan,

[Name of your organization] writes to express our support of your AB 2130, which would

roll back the recently enacted law prohibiting bare hand contact with ready-to-eat food.

This prohibition, created last year by AB 1252 (Committee on Health), will require bars and

restaurants to buy and discard thousands of disposable gloves, imposing a significant financial

burden and environmental impact. The numerous glove changes workers will be required to

undertake will further result in a loss of operational efficiency. Though we are in full support

of ensuring food safety for restaurant customers, small restaurants and bars were not involved

in the discussion surrounding AB 1252. As a result, substantive changes that directly affect our

business and livelihood were put into place without our input.

[Optional: include a brief statement about your organization and the problems created by the

glove law.]

We thank you for introducing AB 2130 to roll back the glove law.


[Name and title]

cc: Members of the Assembly Health Committee








Legislation introduced to repeal the Glove Law!

You did it! You signed and they listened! Assemblymember Pan, the chair of the Health Committee (the committee that passed the Glove Law), announced emergency legislation today to repeal the law! We're not done yet, we still have to make sure the bill goes through, but they havnt heard any major opposition so it's looking good. This is super exciting, and a real example of how powerful we are as a group. This is my first time wading into politics, and granted, its a law that was clearly ridiculous, but its really amazing how quickly this all happened. The people spoke and the government listened: If only all politics could work so well…. Thank you all for the support so far, and I'll make sure to keep you updated as we move forward.



Glove Law update: Phil Ting

Been working working working on getting this campaign going. After just a few days we have over 2500 signatures on our petition! We're going to be meeting with Assemblyman Phil Ting tomorrow, hoping to convince him to champion the bill. Met with the new head of the GGRA (Golden Gate Restaurant Association), Pattie Unterman from Hayes Street Grill, and Earl Shaddix from Bayview Underground Market to talk strategy. We're going to really start pushing this out to media after we get Ting to agree to work with us (fingers crossed!).

Next steps are getting more folks in the city to be aware of the campaign. Going to be organizing some folks to canvas the cities restaurants, getting people to sign the petition. If you want to get involved, email me at iso@foragesf.com. This is exciting stuff! I really think we're getting somewhere in pushing back against this misguided law.




Response to a response: Glove Law

I'm sure there are some of you out there with similar concerns, so I wanted to post this email I got, as well as my response: 

The email:

"Too many of us SF diners have gotten stomach problems from so-called nice clean restaurants.  This should not be merely about respect for the chef.  Instead it should be about respect for the health of your customers!    Your credibility is being shot if you think your email recipients would even consider that the former is more important than the latter.   Also, your proposal to change the law implies restaurant chains are as not as clean as small restaurants, when we all know it's far more likely to be the opposite!


A diner and his friends who are tired of expecting a stomach problem every few months of dining at so-called nice clean SF restaurants."

My Response:

"Thanks for the input. I think that all these issues are important, and the truth of the matter is that gloved hands are not any cleaner (and often much dirtier) than washed bare hands. Having worked in restaurant kitchens, people with gloves on are much less likely to change those gloves when changing tasks (taking out the garbage then cutting vegetables), than someone is to wash their hands. It's really just a truism of the logistics of working in a kitchen. I definitely am not downplaying your desire to avoid getting sick (food poisoning sucks!), but this is not the solution, its just a mirage of safety that actually makes you less safe.



Sign the petition here.


Glove Law Update: The Committee on health, and a bill written by a corporate lobbying group

What I’ve learned on the glove law: The last few days I’ve been trying to get up to speed on where this law came from. Who sponsored it? Who voted on it? How did it just appear without anyone in the industry hearing it existed? It’s been an interesting process, delving into the machinery of government, and so far I’ve found out:

The bill was introduced by The Committee on Health in February (weird no one heard about it), which includes our very own Tom Ammiano, and was sponsored (the ones who created the bill), by a group called The California Retail Food Safety Coalition (CRFSC for those long winded acronym lovers amongst us). So that means that this group is the one who actually wrote the bill, and gave it to the Committee on Health to push through. I contacted Pat Kennelly, who is the head of the Food And Drug Branch of California Department of Public Health, who told me that DPH did not advise at all on the bill publicly.

CRFSC is a lobbying group comprised of state health officials and private industry. Some interesting members include:

The head of the California Food and Health Branch, Pat Kennelly, as well as heads of several other California Health departments, Jack in the Box, YUM! Brands (the largest fast food company in the world, they own Pizza Hut and KFC amongst other chains), Olive Garden, and Safeway to name a few.

I am just learning about this group, but for me reading that list is disquieting. Imagining the folks who decide on our health code, the people who are being paid by us to protect and represent the people, sitting in a room creating legislation with fast food and supermarket chains, certainly gives me pause….I sent them a request outlining their justification of the law, and we’ll see what comes out of that.

I also reached out to Assemblymember Richard Pan, who is the chair of the Health Committee, to ask what information factored in their decision to support the legislation.

So at this point it seems that the bill was created by a lobbying group with made up  of CA health officials and corporate food giants, and quietly passed through committee. They did reach out to the Golden Gate Restaurant Association, who as I understand it does not support the bill, but for some reason none of us heard about it….More updates soon.