Food & Drink

Thumbnail image for As Study Shows Poverty Rising in San Diego, Campaign to Shame Restaurant Industry Over Wages Emerges

As Study Shows Poverty Rising in San Diego, Campaign to Shame Restaurant Industry Over Wages Emerges

by Doug Porter 09.18.2014 Activism

By Doug Porter

The poverty rate in San Diego has risen over the past year according to data released by U.S. Census Bureau this week. A total of 209,045 San Diegans (15.8%)  lived below the federal poverty level last year, including more than 64,000 children (21.9%) of all children in the city.  

The release of this report comes two days after the San Diego Chamber of Commerce claimed success in a referendum campaign effectively halting implementation of a local minimum wage increase. Much of the money for that campaign reportedly came via the California Restaurant Association.

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Thumbnail image for The Shameful Truth About the Naked Juice Class Action Lawsuit Settlement and What American Consumers Can Do About It

The Shameful Truth About the Naked Juice Class Action Lawsuit Settlement and What American Consumers Can Do About It

by Source 09.16.2014 Food & Drink

By Max Goldberg / Living Maxwell

Last week, Naked Juice agreed to settle a very important class action lawsuit which accused the company of deceptive labeling.

The primary basis of the lawsuit stemmed from the company’s use of the words “All Natural” on products that contained Archer Daniels Midland’s Fibersol-2 (“a soluble corn fiber that acts as a low-calorie bulking agent”), fructooligosaccharides (an alternative sweetener), other artificial ingredients, such as calcium pantothenate (synthetically produced from formaldehyde), and genetically-modified soy.

Since these ingredients are either genetically-engineered or synthetically produced and do not exist in nature, it is completely misleading to consumers for these juices to claim to be “All Natural.”

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Thumbnail image for Fall Gardening in San Diego

Fall Gardening in San Diego

by Susan Taylor 09.04.2014 Culture

Gardening is the new front porch in urban America- share yours!

By Susan Taylor

Fall gardening! Yes, I know that it is still over 90 degrees in all parts of the county except along the coast and these high temperatures could last many more weeks. I have been reduced to gardening before 9 a.m. when it really heats up in my La Mesa neighborhood. I’ve been harvesting massive amounts of figs every day, which I’ve eaten right off the Mission fig tree that grew to over 12 feet tall this year and nearly as wide. I’m eating dried figs, cooked up with some sugar and port and frozen. I may have to try Fig Taylors before long.

When I saw the massive number of baby green figs emerge this summer, I asked my sons to drape some bird netting over and around as many branches as they could. When the figs changed from green to soft, luscious and dark purple the netting saved the harvest from the birds and June bugs waiting patiently for the fruit to be perfectly ripe. So far I’ve ‘lost’ two earrings and a pair of sunglasses that I might be able to reclaim from the net when fig season is over.

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Restaurant Review: Buona Forchetta

by Judi Curry 08.20.2014 Food & Drink

Buona Forchetta
3001 Beech St, San Diego, CA 92102
(619) 381-4844

By Judi Curry

Whomever said “The best laid plans of mice and men often go awry” sure must have been in the house last night.

For weeks I have been corresponding with Michael, a reader of the San Diego Free Press. He has commented on many articles I have written; has made suggestions about reviewing a variety of restaurants – Jade, for example – and has suggested that we go out together to review a restaurant.

He has been telling me about the Buona Forchetta for weeks and we finally set the date for last night. Lest you think that this was a “date, date” – let me assure you it was not. I met up with Michael, Jerry, Susan and Monique.

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Thumbnail image for Restaurant Review: Wong’s Golden Palace

Restaurant Review: Wong’s Golden Palace

by Judi Curry 08.10.2014 Culture

Wong’s Golden Palace
7126 University Ave
La Mesa, CA 91941

By Judi Curry

It seems like it’s been some time since I’ve done a review of a restaurant. Perhaps that’s because I am filling in for a friend at the Moxie Performing Arts Theater several times a month as a Front of the House Manager. Perhaps it’s because I seem to spend a few days a month in North Dakota learning how to milk goats. Maybe it’s that I’m not always able to find someone to go with me to try out a new place.

Whatever the reason, I’m back in action.

Wong’s Golden Palace was chosen by my friend, Warren, who went with me to see a play at the Moxie Theatre and knew the restaurant was conveniently nearby. It has been a long time since I’ve had Chinese food — with so many different Asian style restaurants around now I’d forgotten how much I really enjoy the cuisine.

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Thumbnail image for Logan Heights Restaurateur Faces Hate for Supporting Refugee Children

Logan Heights Restaurateur Faces Hate for Supporting Refugee Children

by Brent E. Beltrán 08.07.2014 Activism

“They’re not gonna make me not live. There not gonna make me stop what I’m doing. If anything they’re making my resolve harder and firmer.”

By Brent E. Beltrán

Last week I found out there’s this restaurant owner in Logan Heights that has been facing death threats from the people that have been hating on the refugee children from Central America. Mark Lane, owner of Poppa’s Fresh Fish, has received numerous phone calls and social media messages calling for his death and that of his family after calling for a boycott of Murrieta, Hate City USA, and for taking in a refugee family from Guatemala.

After hearing about the death threats and the attempted boycott of his business by hateful bigots I thought I’d contact him and see if he was willing to talk about his situation. He was and he had a lot to say.

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Thumbnail image for Summer gardens coming on strong in San Diego!

Summer gardens coming on strong in San Diego!

by Susan Taylor 07.19.2014 Culture

By Susan Taylor

Hello fellow gardeners. How does your garden grow? Here in San Diego it is mid summer with temperatures in the mid 90s, five miles in from the beach and further east. Watering enough? Perhaps you have over watered your tomato vines as I have resulting in way more vine than fruit. Might be time to fertilize your beds with an organic fertilizer or fish emulsion. If you have garden veggies that are looking stressed from the heat and are not productive, do pull them out-there’s time to re-plant beans, squash, basil and other herbs.

In San Diego it is still too early for fall planting, let’s hang back a bit. If you have stone fruits they should be ripening nicely and good luck with keeping the birds from getting their fair share! This wasn’t a good year in my garden for apricots but there’s enough peaches for sure; I say there’s some peach crisp and jam in the household’s future unless I keep eating them out of hand from the trees.

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Thumbnail image for Free to Eat Whatever You Want

Free to Eat Whatever You Want

by Source 06.24.2014 Environment

There are clear reasons that food is safer in Europe than the United States.

By”Jill Richardson / OtherWords>

My neighbor just left to spend the entire summer in Europe.

He’s the guy with a highly restrictive diet I recently wrote about, with countless food intolerances that his “nutritionist” detected using dubious testing methods. I haven’t had the heart to tell him she’s a total quack. I think on some level, he wanted to hear that he couldn’t eat half the foods on the planet.

But I also feel for him. He’s going on the trip of a lifetime to a place with incredible food. What if he won’t eat it?

The day before he left, I asked him what he’ll do on the trip. He told me he plans to eat everything. He and his “nutritionist” agreed that food is better over there. Safer. More pure.

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Thumbnail image for Few Are Left Fighting For The Ché

Few Are Left Fighting For The Ché

by Source 06.20.2014 Activism

By Kyle Trujillo, UCSD Undergrad

On Wednesday of finals week, June 11, I cut short a study session and hurried across campus to Scholar’s drive to the Ché Cafe Collective. I knew it as the Che. Besides, it had recently been stripped of its “collective” status. It was the first time I was going to a meeting and not a show.

As I approached the colorful building I slowed down to listen. The walls could talk. The faces of Rigoberta Menchu, Malcom X, Martin Luther King Jr., Karl Marx, former student Angela Davis, and a prowling black panther. In red and black, the face of Ché Guevara stares fiercely from an outer wall and looks out proudly on the inner courtyard. The many murals are not just the work of students, but also local artist Mario Torero and the designer and activist Shepard Fairey.

On the cooperative’s Facebook event page, about 120 had clicked to attend. My heart sunk when I saw that only 20 were actually able to join in. My heart sunk further when I learned only three of us were students. I should have expected this. It was finals week – people who weren’t studying were already flying and driving home.

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Thumbnail image for June Notes from the Garden

June Notes from the Garden

by Susan Taylor 06.14.2014 Activism

Gardening is the new front porch in urban America- share yours!

By Susan Taylor

Here’s good news for everyone. Ninety-five percent of all the insects you find in your garden are beneficial! Before you use or purchase any chemical (read toxic) solutions, you can first check online at the UCDavis Integrated Pest Management (IPM) site. Take a photo of your suspicious little bug and check it at the IPM website to be sure what your insect is and what, if anything, to do about it. Often times you can put some water and a drop or two of dish soap into a plastic spray bottle and that will do the trick (aphids come to mind). Remember to spray UNDER the leaves as well as the tops. I find this website very reassuring because I can’t remember everything, but I can remember where to look for information.

It is early June here in San Diego and you can still plant all your summer vegetables. …

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Thumbnail image for Man Can’t Live on Cabbage Alone

Man Can’t Live on Cabbage Alone

by Source 05.26.2014 Culture

Americans need credible nutrition advice they can trust, not a choice between quacks and “experts” sold out to junk food companies.

By Jill Richardson / OtherWords

I ran into an acquaintance recently and he told me he’d started seeing a new nutrition expert. “You know what?” he said, “It turns out I’m gluten intolerant.”

OK. Him and everyone else. I told him I was glad he found an expert who could help him.

A week later I saw him again. “I went back to the nutritionist,” he said. “I can’t have nightshades either.” That means no more potatoes, tomatoes, chili peppers, or eggplant.

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Thumbnail image for The Dark Truth Behind The Popular Superfood, Quinoa

The Dark Truth Behind The Popular Superfood, Quinoa

by Source 05.23.2014 Food & Drink

As the hype around quinoa builds, so do big questions about the problems with its production.

By Jill Richardson / AlterNet

Quinoa is rising up the popularity charts as a food staple in U.S. and Europe. A growing spate of positive coverage cites quinoa (pronounced KEEN-wa) as a high-protein grain-like relative of spinach and beets which is a newly discovered gluten-free superfood. Its growing popularity has also spawned a growing source of controversy, following reports that high global quinoa prices put the crop out of reach for the people who grow it.

Many Americans want to get down to the bottom line: Should I eat it or not? Tanya Kerrsen, a Bolivia-based researcher for Food First who studies quinoa, thinks that is the wrong question.

“The debate has largely been reduced to the invisible hand of the marketplace, in which the only options for shaping our global food system are driven by (affluent) consumers either buying more or buying less,” she writes. “…whichever way you press the lever (buy more/buy less) there are bound to be negative consequences, particularly for poor farmers in the Global South.”

So what should you know about quinoa and its complex story?

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Thumbnail image for Who Knew? Organic Foods Contain a Dose of GMOs

Who Knew? Organic Foods Contain a Dose of GMOs

by John Lawrence 05.20.2014 Business

By John Lawrence

To be labeled as “USDA organic,” 95% of the ingredients must be organically grown and the remaining 5% may be non-organic agricultural ingredients or synthetic substances that have been approved for use in organics by the USDA.

The 5% of non-organic products are usually derived from GMO corn which is highly sprayed with Monsanto’s Roundup.

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Thumbnail image for Bar 1502: Did You Know the New Noodle House is Open?

Bar 1502: Did You Know the New Noodle House is Open?

by Source 05.20.2014 Food & Drink

By Matthew Wood / OB Rag

It’s just after noon on a Friday afternoon and Steven Yeng looks nervous.

The man who opened the wildly popular OB Noodle House is standing in the middle of his new creation, Bar 1502, and the place – which opened less than a week before – is half empty during the normal lunch rush. (Ed.: this is the site of the old Blue Parrot.)

“I don’t think people know we’re open,” he says.

It’s hard to imagine being able to walk into Noodle House and get a table. At the original location, on Cable Street just north of Voltaire, the wait is almost always an hour-plus can grow to more than two hours.

“Locals just couldn’t get in anymore,” Yeng says.

The new location, at Bacon and Niagara, is a sentimental one for Yeng, who grew up on the same block.

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Thumbnail image for Fast Food Strike Rolls Through San Diego Burger King Restaurants

Fast Food Strike Rolls Through San Diego Burger King Restaurants

by Source 05.16.2014 Activism

Campaign For Higher Pay, Better Rights Spreads Worldwide

Calling for $15 and the right to form a union without retaliation, fast-food workers in San Diego held a rolling strike Thursday as part of a wave of demonstrations in more than 150 cities across the US and protests in 33 additional countries on six continents. In all, strikes and protests reached more than 230 cities worldwide.

“Our movement is the continuation of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s dream,” said Anthony Eames, a father of five, who works at a Burger King on Market St. making $8 an hour. “I am striking for $15 and a union to create stability for my family.”

Workers went on strike at San Diego’s major fast-food restaurants, including 3 Burger Kings visited during today’s series of actions. Clergy, staffers from the offices of Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez and Councilwoman Marti Emerald, and community supporters joined fast-food workers on the strike lines.

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Thumbnail image for San Diego Fast-Food Employees Strike for Higher Pay and Better Rights On May 15

San Diego Fast-Food Employees Strike for Higher Pay and Better Rights On May 15

by Source 05.14.2014 Activism

San Diego joins 150-city strike as worker campaign spreads across the globe to three dozen countries and six continents

By Staff

The fast food industry is an issue that isn’t going away.  Front line fast food workers in San Diego are living in poverty while working in a $200 billion industry.  San Diego workers are calling for $15 an hour wages and the right to form a union without retaliation.  Employees from McDonald’s, Wendy’s and Burger-King will be joined by the Interfaith Center for Worker Justice board members and community supporters on Thursday May 15 at two strike locations:

WHERE: Burger King, 3676 Market St.
WHEN: Thursday, May 15, action begins at 6:00 am

WHERE: Burger King, 6401 Balboa Ave.
WHEN: Thursday, May 15, action begins at 12:15 pm

Stand beside the striking workers on May 15!

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Thumbnail image for Letter From the Garden:  Produce the World around You

Letter From the Garden: Produce the World around You

by Susan Taylor 05.14.2014 Culture

By Susan Taylor

Artichokes are fun! They grow from a lovely, silver-green plant with fabulous long leaves. You can pick, steam and then eat them. Or you can let the choke stay on the plant till it erupts into a stunning purple flower that lasts a long time. My mother who wasn’t a native San Diegan took artichoke serving very seriously. She would prune off the sharp tips and outer leaves, cook them and serve them at dinner along with little Austrian bowls filled with warm melted butter.

When we got to the thinnest small leaves, Dad would cut the choke out for us so we could put the little meaty section into leftover butter. It was practically religion. One of my artichoke plants just fell over because the growing heads were so heavy. We had them last night.

We’re still planting, people. …

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Thumbnail image for Street Tacos and Craft Beer Come to Barrio Logan

Street Tacos and Craft Beer Come to Barrio Logan

by Brent E. Beltrán 05.11.2014 Culture

San Diego Taco Company and Border X Brewing Join Forces to Help the Barrio Renaissance

By Brent E. Beltrán

Barrio Logan, San Diego’s hub for Chicano art, culture and activism, is now a destination spot for taco connoisseurs and craft beer aficionados. La Logan has always had culinary and beer tradition with places like the ever busy Las Cuatro Milpas and the long closed down Aztec Brewery. So beer and tacos isn’t a new phenomenon to this working class barrio.

What is new is the decision of catering business San Diego Taco Company and Otay Mesa beer makers Border X Brewing to combine efforts and open a joint tasting room and taqueria on the corner of Logan Ave and Sampson St. in the historic section of Barrio Logan.

The combination of beer and tacos has been a part Mexican food culture ever since Germans brought their brewing techniques to Mexico. And Ernie Pio Becerra of San Diego Taco Company and David Favela of Border X Brewing are carrying on that tradition by serving fresh, handmade tacos and unique craft brews tailored to the tastes of mexicanos and those that appreciate our delicious flavors.

“It’s a great combination of not only the food but the beer and the art all in one place,” says artist and frequent patron Max Bojorquez.

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Thumbnail image for Toxic Contaminant Releases in Barrio Logan Confirmed – Another Reason to Support the Community Plan

Toxic Contaminant Releases in Barrio Logan Confirmed – Another Reason to Support the Community Plan

by Doug Porter 04.23.2014 2014 June Primary

By Doug Porter

The release of a statewide list of census tracts most impacted by pollution by the California Environmental Protection Agency (CEPA) will add to the controversy surrounding two ballot measures presented to San Diego voters in the upcoming election.

A story in today’s Los Angeles Times, along with a scalable map, provides a dramatic assessment of impacts by types of contaminants within neighborhoods throughout the state. The CEPA report gives advocates for the Barrio Logan Community Plan hard evidence supporting their contentions concerning health problems caused by the current mix of industrial and residential uses.

Opponents of the Community Plan have dismissed health claims about industrial pollution as the cause of asthma and other health problems, blaming nearby freeways for contaminants. The CEPA study clearly indicates a serious problem with the release of toxic contaminants– as opposed to diesel particulates– into the air specific to the Barrio Logan area.

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Thumbnail image for Bacon Is Not a Vegetable

Bacon Is Not a Vegetable

by Source 04.18.2014 Activism

You can’t encourage other people to eat a diet that’s better for them and the planet by getting all vegangelical on them.

By Jill Richardson / Other Words

As a vegetarian, I have to walk a fine line.

Really, I’m not judging you. But I often find it necessary to establish myself as “not a threat” to meat eaters. I also occasionally bump up against militant vegans.

Consider this collision I had the other day with a devout vegangelical. While at a potluck among an omnivorous group that included a woman who raises and slaughters chickens and turkeys for meat, I tried to politely excuse myself for not partaking in most of the food.

“I’m vegetarian,” I said. “Well, mostly vegetarian.”

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Thumbnail image for Cheap Corn Permeates Every Facet of the American Diet

Cheap Corn Permeates Every Facet of the American Diet

by John Lawrence 04.09.2014 Culture

By John Lawrence

Corn is the staple of the US agricultural system and food supply. It’s in everything we eat unbeknownst to many Americans.

Corn feeds steers that become steak and fast food hamburgers. Corn feeds chickens and pigs – even catfish, salmon and tilapia. Milk, cheese and yogurt that once came from cows that grazed on grass now come from Holsteins that spend their time tethered to milking machines while munching on corn.

Processed foods contain even more corn than so-called “natural” foods. Take chicken nuggets, for example. Not only the chicken itself but the corn starch that holds it together, the corn flour in the batter, the corn oil in which its fried, the leavenings and lecithin, the mono-, di- and triglycerides, the golden coloring, the citric acid that keeps it fresh – all these ingredients come from corn.

Any soft drink in the supermarket including Coke and Pepsi contains High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS) so you can wash down your corn with some more corn. A quarter of the 45,000 items in the average supermarket contain corn.

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Thumbnail image for The Wild Widows Return to Old Town Part 1: O’Hungry’s Restaurant

The Wild Widows Return to Old Town Part 1: O’Hungry’s Restaurant

by Judi Curry 04.07.2014 Culture

By Judi Curry
For those of you have read my articles before you know that I belong to two support groups that I joined after my husband died. Strangely enough, today (April 5th) was Irene’s birthday; it was Ro’s anniversary, and it was also my anniversary. Rather than stay home and feel sorry for ourselves, we decided to make a day of visiting Old Town – as we did several months ago. This is a synopsis of our visit.

We were on our way to the Old Town Mexican Café when we crossed the street in front of O’Hungry’s. It looked virtually empty – strange for 11:00am on a Saturday morning, so we decided to stop in and eat there. I’ll tell you – it is hard to beat the prices of their breakfasts.

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Thumbnail image for Restaurant Review: Bistro 60

Restaurant Review: Bistro 60

by Judi Curry 03.28.2014 Film & Theater

Bistro 60
5987 El Cajon Blvd
San Diego, CA 92115

Some time ago, I remember going to San Diego Desserts to talk to the owners about allowing some of my culinary arts students from San Diego Job Corps to do an internship with them. The bakery had been recommended highly by my two culinary arts chefs, and we thought it would be a wonderful experience for the students. Shortly after meeting with the owners, I left San Diego for a position at Penobscot Job Corps in Maine and do not know if our students had the intern experience there or not.

Much later, around 2008 or so, I heard that people could eat their desserts in the restaurant, and it was obvious that it was no longer just a wholesale bakery. Later on I heard that food had been added to the menu, and then wine, and beer, etc.

Recently, a friend and I purchased tickets to the Moxie theater just down the street from the bistro, and it gave me a perfect opportunity to drop in and have dinner before the opening curtain.

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Thumbnail image for The Time to Plant is NOW

The Time to Plant is NOW

by Susan Taylor 03.13.2014 Culture

Gardening, America’s New Front Porch

By Susan Taylor

Here in San Diego, the rains have been and gone, we’re back to Daylight savings time and can get to planting. Before anyone dashes off for seeds and/or plant starts, let’s lay a little groundwork.

By groundwork, I mean preparing the soil. Sounds like a dull task, I know, but well prepared soil makes gardening so much easier and more fun! Find your growing spots, whether they be pots, troughs, beds, or in the nearby ground. If using containers, be sure to wash them out to rid them of any lingering bugeroos. For any and all containers, try to use fresh soil, and I don’t mean your dirt from the backyard.

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Thumbnail image for A Sweet Victory

A Sweet Victory

by Source 03.08.2014 Culture

After two decades of consumer campaigns, the government has agreed to include added sugars on nutrition labels.

By Jill Richardson / OtherWords

The Food and Drug Administration recently came out with a sweet surprise. Its proposed new nutrition label will finally give us a bit of key information we need to understand our food: the amount of added sugars.

If you look at a nutrition label now, you will see how many grams of sugar are in a serving of your food. That includes all sugars. It counts the lactose in milk and naturally occurring sugars from fruit. The nutritionally important bit of info for most of us is not total sugars, but added sugars — which include the sweetener we call “sugar” plus others like high-fructose corn syrup and honey.

In addition to the blueberries and the yogurt in your blueberry yogurt, how much sugar did the manufacturer add? If you’re trying to pick the healthiest yogurt or granola bar, that’s a fact you need to know.

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