Tag Archives: Berkeley Student Food Collective

Berkeley launches first cottage food market

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By Susie Wyshak

On Saturday, Berkeley held its first Cottage Food Market. Or at least its first legal market. Before Dec. 31, 2012, most such food sales in California were illegal.

Starting this year, the California Homemade Food Act (Assembly Bill [AB] 1616) allows California residents  to sell “certain non-potentially hazardous” foods they have made and/or packaged in home kitchens, whether in cottages, mansions or condos.

To celebrate the new law, Alex Stone, Operations Manager at the Berkeley Student Food Collective, planned the inaugural cottage market for Saturday evening at the Firehouse Art Collective at 3192 Adeline St. A handful of cottage food operators (CFOs) sold their wares, there was live music by Tommy P., and Christina Oatfield, Policy Director at the Sustainable Economies Law Center, talked to the kombucha drinkers and cupcake eaters about the new law, for which she had tirelessly advocated and collaborated with the state.
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Cal students win scholarships for sustainable agriculture

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Berkeley-based natural food company Annie’s Homegrown has awarded scholarships to two UC Berkeley students to support innovative new projects in the field of sustainable agriculture.

The scholarship program grew out of Annie’s mission of “providing a healthier, natural, organic alternative to traditional comfort food,” according to Staci Lucash, the company’s marketing coordinator.

Lucash says that the Sustainable Agriculture Scholarship program was started “to help the next generation of leaders and farmers to advance sustainable agriculture.”

This year, Annie’s awarded a total of $100,000 to 16 college students studying sustainable agriculture across the United States. Winners of the scholarship are chosen with the help of Annie’s co-founder Annie Withey, who now runs an organic farm in Connecticut, based on their academic pursuits, extracurricular activities, leadership positions, and future plans to encourage sustainable agriculture. … Continue reading »

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Three Squares benefit to help free cooking class program

Three Squares volunteers with Kitchen on Fire chef Olivier Said. Photo: Sarah Nelson
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For the past three years Sarah Nelson has run free cooking classes for low-income families under three different names. While working as a special projects coordinator for the Pacific Coast Farmers’ Market she brought the program then known as Operation Frontline to the Bay Area.

That effort, a national initiative sponsored by the nonprofit Share our Strength, changed its name to the more apt Cooking Matters in October 2010. Last August, when Nelson left the farmers’ market, she took the cooking class concept with her and now heads up the non-profit organization Three Squares, which is holding a fundraising brunch at UC Berkeley’s Pauley Ballroom this Sunday.

Name changes aside, the core concept of this program remains the same: six weeks of cooking instruction that focuses on kitchen skills, fresh foods, and meal planning for those in need. Three Squares is a lean operation: in addition to Nelson, 31, the staff includes three AmeriCorps members and relies on 400 volunteers to teach about 15 classes a week in the Bay Area, typically two each week in Berkeley. … Continue reading »

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Occupy food: College co-op advocates gather in Berkeley

Students talk co-ops and enjoy homemade food. Photo: Courtesy CoFED.
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Taking matters beyond burritos, pizza, and beer, a boot camp for college food activists from across the country kicks off today at Berkeley Student Cooperative‘s Cloyne Court Hotel. The intensive, three-day retreat is designed to help train students who want to run campus co-op food cafés and stores stocked with wholesome foods for college kids seeking something other than a steady diet of fast food.

The event, dubbed “Occupy Your Plate,” is sponsored by the year-old Cooperative Food Empowerment Directive (CoFED), a Berkeley-based program that was inspired by the launch of the Berkeley Student Food Collective (BSFC), across the street from campus on Bancroft Way. Speakers at the training include People’s Grocery executive director Nikki Henderson; cookbook author Mollie Katzen; CoFED supporters include Cal professor and author Michael Pollan.

We spoke with CoFed co-founder and UC Berkeley graduate Yoni Landau — who was instrumental in getting the BSFC up and running and, in 2009, lead a protest to keep the Chinese fast-food chain Panda Express off campus — about what’s cooking with the CoFED crew this weekend and in 2012, which has been dubbed the International Year of Cooperatives by the United Nations. … Continue reading »

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Field trip highlights programs in food-forward Berkeley

Foraging at the farmers' market.
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Tomorrow, Bay Area Green Tours co-hosts a food field trip spotlighting some of the best of Berkeley’s alternative food systems. It’s part of the 15th Annual Community Food Security Coalition Conference, which runs today through Tuesday in Oakland. The Community Food Security Coalition is a national nonprofit dedicated to creating a food movement that is healthy, sustainable, and just.

The national conference draws sustainable food advocates, anti-hunger experts, and food policy wonks from around the country. The Food Sovereignty tour, which is open to the public (though now sold out), introduces participants to community food gardens, farmers’ markets, school food, and alternative food businesses in this town, which, of course, is well known for its food-forward agenda. … Continue reading »

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Food Day: Growing a movement around what we eat

Tara xx Farm: one of the farms on Ecology Center tour to mark Food Day
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Can Food Day, which is on October 24th, do for the growing food movement what Earth Day did for the nascent environmental movement back in 1970?

The organizers, the Center for Science in the Public Interest in D.C., certainly hope so. A national, grassroots campaign, Food Day is designed to celebrate what we eat while drawing our attention to the need to overhaul this country’s food system from farm to fork. In this way it is similar to Earth Day which sparked widespread interest in the fragile nature of our planet.

Events planned for Monday, including in Berkeley and around the Bay Area, will highlight the good, bad, and ugly of the way we consume food in this country.

Simply put, how we grow, transport, process, market, and eat is not sustainable for the environment or our health, said Michael F. Jacobson, executive director of CSPI and the creator of Food Day in a recent piece for The Atlantic. Dietary diseases such as obesity, diabetes, and heart attacks are rising at alarming rates. Industrially raised meat sucks up energy, pollutes the land and water, and is cruel to beast and worker alike.

Even in places like Berkeley where local, seasonal, organic, sustainable, and fresh food is available in abundance, too many people lack access to good grub and/or go hungry or malnourished. … Continue reading »

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Berkeley Student Food Collective opens for business

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The idea for the student run grocery market — which sells healthy, sustainable take-out food and produce — was born in early 2009 when a group of students protested and prevented the proposed opening of fast food restaurant Panda Express on the … Continue reading »


Berkeley Bites: Berkeley Student Food Collective

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It seems unthinkable that the People’s Republic of Berkeley has existed without a food co-operative for more than two decades. Well, try not to choke on your non-GMO, organic, fair trade, soymilk chai latte, but the co-op is coming back to Berkeley.

The Consumer’s Cooperative of Berkeley was the place to shop for the politically correct for 51 years. It opened in the heart of the Depression, when families came together to form buying clubs so they could afford to put … Continue reading »

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