environment

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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!

Iso

 

Sample Letter:

[Date]

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.

Sincerely,

[Name and title]

cc: Members of the Assembly Health Committee

 

 

 

 

 

 

thoughts

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!

Signed,

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.

Thanks

Iso"

Sign the petition here.

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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.

 

 

 

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collecting ideas

I forage for a living. Collect. Glean. Hunt.  Rather than growing, I look out into the world to see what nature has to offer.  Instead of deciding what a plot of land will provide, I let the plants decide.  Choosing where and when they flower.  Wild mushrooms, acorns, blackberries, seaweed. All these and more are my stock and trade, the stuff of my life.  The changing seasons, from spring, with its abundance of greens, to summer, with seaweeds and Seabeans, to fall, with acorns and huckleberries, and finally winter, with the rains come an endless abundance of wild mushrooms.  Chanterelle, matsutake, hedgehog, wild radish, black oak, Salicornia pacifica, mychorizzal, minus tides .  Foraging has changed the way I look at the world. Let me explain. A year ago I started a business/community, forageSF. I started it with the idea to bring wild local edibles to an urban population.  Creating fulfilling jobs for my neighbors, while exposing a whole new populace to the amazing wealth of wild foods growing just outside their doors.  Foraging changes the way you see the world.  With a little knowledge, a non-descript blanket of green is transformed.  It bursts forth, and becomes miners lettuce, chickweed, and wild radish flowers, all delicious salad additions.  From the trail-side "toadstools" burst chanterelles, matsutake, and morel mushrooms, some of the most sought after foods on the planet.  The winter rains cease to be a thing to lament, but instead something to yearn for,with dreams of your secret mushroom spots in full bloom.

Food  has become very important lately. From Slow Food to Weston Price, people are beginning to view food as more than simple sustenance.  People call it a movement.  The food movement.  A movement based around consumption . Not consumption in the sense that we've come to know the word, as the end result of our collective inhalation of the worlds resources. This is a consumption based on a keen awareness of what we’re eating, where it comes from, what it means, how it connects us to the past, and how it nourishes us both physically and culturally.  The life of the pig from birth to death is something that we have come to care about.  Wild boar is sought after, because we feel that animal had a full and healthy life.  This is revolutionary.  We've spent the last 50 years giving little thought to what went into our bodies. Ignoring thousands of years of accumulated human knowledge, we chose microwaves, frozen dinners, and twinkies.  Freeze dried, pre-packed “nutrition”, has replaced common sense. Our ancestors didn’t need to read a nutrition label to know something was good for them.  That knowledge was passed down through millennia of trial and error.  Generations of humans who had eaten and thrived off foods that nourish. The culture of our species is tied to its food, and for too long we have ignored that culture in favor of convenience.  In one generation we have forgotten the lessons of hundreds of past generations. Those who hunted, fished, canned, grew, foraged, and thrived.  Foraging is not a new phenomenon.  It is the oldest example of food. When we forage, we connect ourselves with a lineage that dates back to our first ancestors, and a cultural tradition that is in serious danger of being forgotten.