2011 February

Slow Food Upper Columbia Convivium
Meeting Minutes
February 20, 2011

Present: Lahana Singer, Lora Lei and Rick Misterly, Marinanne Watkins, Ellen Shaw, Tifanie and George Wells, Jay Beruber, Valerie Sloane, Shellie and Bob Berryman’ Cheryl and Joe Barreca, Don and Alice Worley, Lesley Mann

Next Slow Food UC meeting at Lovitt Restaurant on Sunday March 20th at 3pm.

AAUW’s Garden Tour is set for July 16th and will be featuring gardens in Onion Creek this year.
The 200th Anniversary celebration of David Thompson’s arrival in this area will be held June 18th with a canoe brigade and more activities.

Book Club:  Lahana reported on the book club. The group decided on two books: Everyone is invited to join.
·        March:  Where Our Food Comes From by Gary Nabhan – this will be discussed Saturday March 12th at 1pm at the Misterly farm school location.
·        April:  Bread, Body, Spirit: Finding the Sacred in Food edited by Alice Peck.  A date to discuss this will be decided later.

Movie at Lovitt Tuesday, March 15, 6pm:  SFUC is sponsoring a movie called What’s on Your Plate at Lovitt Restaurant on Tuesday March 15th at 6pm. Lovitt’s will have drinks and snacks for purchase and the movie is free as it is an educational offering.

Farmers’ Market project:  Lesley reported on the Farmer’s Market project.  We will again feature a product or two each month May through October. At this time we are considering the following: May- greens, June herbs, July meat, poultry and potatoes, August- tomatoes and peaches, Sept- peppers and garlic and October- apples and/or squash. We will be attending only the Wednesday market this year. The committee is looking for members to give input and to volunteer each month.  Next meeting Tove will pass around a sign up sheet and talk more about the recipes.

GMO issues:  Don Worley talked about the GMO issue most of us have seen through email notifications. Obama approved 3 genetically modified (GMO) crops- corn, alfalfa and beets. Stay tuned and make your voice heard. Read below for more information:

Here’s a brief recap of the Obama administration’s appalling cave to Monsanto and the biotech industry in just the last 3 weeks:

Monsanto’s Roundup Ready GMO alfalfa – Jan. 27th, 2011 – Over the
objections of hundreds of thousands of American citizens, the White  House approved this unnecessary crop – despite the fact that 93% of alfalfa hay grown in the U.S. does not use herbicides and that genetic contamination with conventional, non-GMO and organic alfalfa threatens the livelihoods of tens of thousands of family farmers and the food choices of more than 50 million organic consumers.

Monsanto’s Roundup Ready GMO sugar beets – Feb. 4, 2011 – Defying a court order to complete a proper Environmental Impact Statement (EIS)    the USDA announced that it is granting a “partial” approval of Monsanto’s GMO sugar beets, giving farmers and seed dealers the clear signal that final approval is right around the corner. By the time the EIS is expected to be complete, sometime in May, farmers will have already started planting their crop for the next year since the USDA says it gave the green light to avert a “sugar shortage” in the U.S. Sugar beets comprise some 54% of U.S. sugar found in everything from soda, other beverages, candy bars

Syngenta’s Enogen Alpha-Amylase Corn for Ethanol – Feb 11, 2011 –  This new GMO amylase corn product contains an enzyme that allegedly allows an increase in ethanol production with a reduction of natural gas and water usage, thus saving ethanol plants money. While caving to the biotech and ethanol industries, the Obama administration basically ignored the concerns of  leading food manufacturers who fear that if this new industrial corn cross-pollinates with or is accidentally mixed with corn used to make food products, it could lead to crumbly corn chips, soggy cereal and a host of other food processing disasters.

Despite being comprised of more than 43 powerful companies such as General Mills, ConAgra Mills, ADM Milling and Quaker Oats, the Obama
administration completely dismissed the concerns of the North American
Miller’s Association, comprised of some of the largest food manufacturers
in U.S. in order to favor the biotech and ethanol corporate agenda, both
industries with checkered pasts and products of dubious benefit.

Please take a moment to tell President Obama that you’re outraged over his decision to approve a crop technology that has not lived up to its marketing promises, increasingly harms farmer profitability and has potential negative human health and environmental consequences.

Next Slow Food UC meeting at Lovitt Restaurant on Sunday March 20th at 3pm.