Home | Victory Gardens San Diego | History | Organization | Videos | Articles | Connect


Published Articles about San Diego Roots

Farm Student Blog How Farmschool changed my life By student graduate Jay Reid. July 4, 2016.

Homegrown Harvest by Nan Sterman. Three local kitchen gardens show that you can do it, too. The San Diego Union-Tribune, August 3, 2008

Soaring fuel costs take huge bite out of grocery, farm budgets Article by Mike Lee that explores how rising fuel costs gets people thinking about growing food at home or finding it from local farms, including interviews with representatives of San Diego Roots. The San Diego Union-Tribune, July 15, 2008.

Easing into Slow Food Look Reporter Mike Lee's account of a recent open house at La Milpa Organica Farm in Escondido and its celebration of San Diego's bounty. SignOnSanDiego, July 15, 2008.

San Diegans Find Benefits in Growing Their Own Food (PODCAST) Paul Maschka of San Diego Food Not Lawns, and Barry Logan of La Milpa Organica Farm are interviewed by Tom Fudge on These Days, produced by KPBS Radio, 89.5 FM. This show aired on Thursday, May 22, 2008. For a direct MP3 download, click here.

Leadership Taking Root article about the Terra Nova Garden at Morse High School, a project of San Diego Roots, by Joe Tash, published in the San Diego Union-Tribune on February 23, 2008.

Trying to Get Peaches to Taste Like They Used To article about San Diego Roots quest to establish a local educational farm. By Rob Davis, published on Voice of San Diego on January 20, 2008.

The Well-Travelled Tomato article about local food issues in San Diego by Thomas Larson, San Diego Reader, March 8, 2007.

You Gonna Eat That? story about where our food comes from, the choices we make and the effects they have on our ecomomy and health. By Erik Akers, published in San Diego City Beat, November 14, 2006.

San Diego City Beat Magazine Article about ALOFT (SD Roots' predecessor) and The Good Faith Organic Farm.

Published Articles about Sustainable Food

Big Food v. Big Insurance

Author Michael Pollan and the connection between good food with good health

Op-ed piece in the New York Times, September 9, 2009

"No one disputes that the $2.3 trillion we devote to the health care industry is often spent unwisely, but the fact that the United States spends twice as much per person as most European countries on health care can be substantially explained, as a study released last month says, by our being fatter. Even the most efficient health care system that the administration could hope to devise would still confront a rising tide of chronic disease linked to diet.

"That’s why our success in bringing health care costs under control ultimately depends on whether Washington can summon the political will to take on and reform a second, even more powerful industry: the food industry."
Click here to read the full editorial

Back to the 'Old Normal' of Domesticity by Olga Bonfiglio. This year I decided to learn how to garden. My resolve wasn't just a notion for a new pastime or a move toward hip liberalism. Rather, it was my response to global warming and in particular, the depletion of fossil fuels, which has a direct effect on our food system. Published Monday, May 18, 2009 by CommonDreams.org

Good Reasons to Support Local Farmers from CommonDreams.org Newscenter dispells the myth that locally produced food is "elitist" and how it actually supports a more balanced, diverse and democratized system of food distribution and consumption compared to what we have now.

Lawn to Farm: Suburbia's Silver Lining Just how many more farmers would it take to cure farming’s fossil fuel habit? Lots, according to farmer and writer Sharon Astyk and “Oil Depletion Protocol” author Richard Heinberg, both leading activists for facing up to life after world oil production peaks. They estimate that without cheap fossil fuels, we would need 50 million new farmers. That’s one farmer for every two households in the United States, 25 times more than there are now. By Wylie Harris, published in CommonDreams.org Newscenter, January 25, 2008

Sustainable Urban Agriculture With nearly half of the world's population living in urban areas, the logic of growing more food in the city, close to the point of consumption, seems overwhelming. Read the latest thinking from the Urban Land Institute, a global research and education organization focused on building better communities through best land use practices. Published in the Urban Land Institute Magazine, May, 2008.

The Politics of Planting Life on an organic farm isn't as peaceful as you think -- story about a small San Diego County farm and its farmer, Barry Logan. By Kinsee Morlan. published in San Diego City Beat, November 14, 2006.

Where Does Your Food Come From? More Americans are looking to take the mystery out of meat, by buying directly from ranchers or even raising cows, pigs and chickens themselves. Food & Wine, November 2006

The Vegetable-Industrial Complex by Michael Pollan. Story about the industrialization of our food supply and the dangers it poses to our health and security. Michael Pollan is the award-winning author of The Omnivore's Dillema. This article was published in the New York Times Magazine on October 15, 2006.

Time to become a "Locavore" The first OK to buy spinach after the big E. coli scare was for crops shipped out of Colorado or Canada. Then the Food and Drug Administration cleared California spinach -- except the suspect packages sent out by Natural Selection Foods. Great. But why is three-quarters of all U.S. spinach grown in California, then shipped to markets as far distant as 3,500 highway miles? And especially at this time of year, when spinach can be grown successfully almost anywhere? Seattle Times, October 9, 2006

Slow Food Nation article by Alice Waters; The Nation September 11, 2006 issue.

SD City Schools Hires Executive Chef to upgrade food service in cafeterias around the district. by Helen Gao, San Diego Union-Tribune, September 2, 2006

back to top

E.coli outbreak is another reason to buy food locally

Copyright 2006 Iowa City Press-Citizen

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Kurt Michael Friese, Guest Opinion

Over the weekend we read the disturbing news of another food-borne illness outbreak. Once again it is E.coli 0157(h)7, a particularly nasty strain, that has sickened at least 113 and killed at least one person. There may be many more.

The cause, originally thought to be in organic spinach but revealed Monday to be found in conventional, industrially produced spinach instead, is thought to be contaminated either from fertilizer, the soil or the in-field processing system. Detailed descriptions of how this system works are available in Michael Pollan's recent book, "The Omnivore's Dilemma." The point is not that the spinach was organic or conventional but rather the industrialized methods used on these massiveCalifornia farms and elsewhere. Contamination in one of these places can sicken hundreds, even thousands, of people.

Any system of distribution that has only a few central points is more economical in the short term but is simply not sustainable in the long view. Consider for a moment why the Defense Department built ARPANET with the model it did. The goal was to create a system of communication whereby if one junction were attacked, the system could simply work around it, unlike conventional phone and telegraph lines that could be easily cut and disabled. This network eventually became the Internet we know today.

A similar system could be used for food distribution. Imagine if more of the produce you bought could come from closer to home, from several small farms instead of one big one. While it is true that no system is totally invulnerable and a food-borne illness outbreak could occur on a small local farm, if it did the illnesses would be far fewer, far more contained and far less damaging to the economy. This recent outbreak of E.coli has resulted in the recall of all spinach nationwide, a move that will doubtlessly harm many innocent growers and processors for the mistakes of just one or a few.

Many people will argue that such a localized system will result in higher prices. To them I suggest that they consider cost rather than price. Consider the cost of so much packaging to the environment. Consider the cost of so much fuel for growing and shipping upon international relations and global climate. Consider the cost of processed foods to our health care system. Consider the cost of massive food-borne illness outbreaks on the innocent farmers and family whose loved ones are sickened or killed. These hidden costs are too much for us to sustain for long.

Now consider the advantages of buying locally. Not only is the food fresher, better tasting and better for you; not only do you have the advantage of traceability, knowing exactly where your food came from and who grew it; but consider this great opportunity as well: If every household in Johnson County (there are about 45,000) were to divert just $10 of their existing weekly food budget to buying something produced locally, it would keep more than $23 million in the Johnson County economy every year. Now imagine if everyone diverted $40 or $80.

I'm not suggesting that everything we eat has to come from right here. We needn't be looking for Iowa-grown olives or oranges. But we could be growing a lot more of our own food here, as could everyone else around the country in their home regions. We'd improve nutrition, the environment, the health care system and our evening meal. Even national security would be enhanced the way ARPANET improved defense communications -- a problem with poisoned food one place should not mean the collapse of our whole food system. Don't think for a moment terrorists haven't considered an attack on our food system. It's at least as vulnerable a point as our ports or our southern border.

So to enjoy some perfectly safe, delicious spinach this weekend, stop by the local farmers' market and pick some up. Find the sense of security that comes from shaking the hand that raised the food -- food with a farmer's face.

Kurt Michael Friese is the director of Slow Food Iowa.

back to top