It’s Time for Lunch in Seattle


Dear Slow Food Seattle Members and Supporters of Slow Food USA,

Remember this date: September 7, 2009. We’ll look back on that day as the moment when people across America took a stand about the food our children eat at school.

As you know, children who grow up enjoying food that is both delicious and good for them learn healthy eating habits that last throughout their lives. Those habits can start at school – but only if we give schools the resources to serve real food instead of the overly processed fast food that endangers their health.

To make that happen, our leaders in Congress need to hear that when it comes to our children, change can’t wait.

That’s why we’re organizing a National Eat-In for Labor Day, Sept. 7, 2009. On that day, people across America will gather with their neighbors for public potlucks that send our nation’s leaders a clear message: It’s time to provide our children with real food at school.

To get Congress’ attention, we’re going to need the help of all kinds of people: parents, teachers, community leaders, kids and people who’ve never done anything like this before. We’re going to need everyone to pitch in.

A toddler visits the Orca K-8 school garden in South Seattle

A toddler visits the Orca K-8 school garden in South Seattle

But the people we need most are Slow Food members and supporters. You’re the front line of the food movement, and we’re counting on you to tell your friends, to contact your legislators and to organize Eat-Ins for Sept. 7.

Please be sure to communicate with Slow Food Seattle leadership at info@slowfoodseattle.org and let us know if you need help promoting your event.  If nothing else, please tell us about your plans.  We want Seattle to come to the table on this one! 

Visit this link to get started:
http://www.slowfoodusa.org/index.php/campaign/time_for_lunch

The Slow Food USA campaign web site will guide you through the process, and our campaign team is here to provide support. We’ll give you everything you need to get involved, starting today.

And we mean today—because with the President calling for health care reform and the First Lady teaching kids to grow food on the White House Lawn, we’ve got an opening to pass legislation that gives kids the opportunity to grow up healthy.

This fall, Congress will be debating whether to update the Child Nutrition Act, which is the law that determines what kind of food kids eat at school. By giving schools the resources to serve real food, we can make sure that the legacy we’re leaving our children is a future filled with opportunity, security and good health.

We can only do it if we act now. It’s time to get real food into schools!

For more information, and to join our campaign, go to www.slowfoodusa.org/timeforlunch

Spring with Sea Breeze Farm

On Saturday, May 29, Slow Food Seattle held it’s second spring farm event for chapter members on Vashon Island.  Guests first met at La Boucherie, the showcase restaurant for Sea Breeze Farm products such as eggs, dairy and meat, and enjoyed a leisurely four-course lunch.  Every course featured local, seasonal products including the memorable fromage de tete (head cheese) and house-made butter, Bill’s bread, whole milk ricotta and herbs, savory egg tart over incredible garden greens, pork and lamb leg accompanied by braised vegetables, and last but not least, the chocolate mint gelato, made from fresh milk and mint, and frozen that morning.  Sea Breeze Farm is a diverse, multi-species, “beyond organic”, grass-based animal farm.  Produced with a high level of care and respect for the land and animals, our lunch was both delicious and satisfying.

Lunch at La Boucherie

Lunch at La Boucherie

Following lunch, we formed a caravan and drove to a small U-pick farm.  The fruit wasn’t quite ready, but we stood and listened to farmer George Page talked about the egg operation in the orchard next to an old hen house. The chickens outside busily feeding on worms and other tidbits hiding in the green grass.  We headed downhill by trail towards a fenced off, half-shady patch where about twenty young pigs were playing and eating together.  As we approached, they all seemed to greet us from the other side of the fence.  Amiable little beings, it was nice to see pigs living comfortably but protected from the hot sun.  A little further down the path, we came to where the older pigs were kept.  Similar situation, but these pigs were more interested in each other and lying around in cool mud to pay us much attention.

Busy hens

Busy hens

Some pig!

Some pig!

We headed back to our cars and followed each other to the main farm about 6 miles away.  Overlooking the Puget Sound, the farm operates a small-scale dairy and wine cellar.  George explained how the farm was primarily an egg and dairy farm, and meat was a by-product of production.  As with many small farms,  animals such as chickens, pigs and cows are part of a healthy cycle of production: cows provide milk, and chickens provide eggs but they also give fertilizer and help break down the cow patties.  Pigs are excellent recyclers who feed on lots of scraps.  A question was raised about what is done with male calfs since cow’s must give birth in order to produce milk.  Like most dairy operations, males have few opportunities for usefulness since they do not provide milk but they drink it.  Sea Breeze does use males whenever breeding is necessary, and the farm offers a grass-fed veal, or “rose veal” which is red in color because it feeds on grass vs. the white flesh of confined, milk fed veal.  No milk-fed veal is produced at Sea Breeze Farm, so the young male calfs experience some quality of life, however brief, before they are slaughtered.  It is common on other farms that males are sold or left for feedlots if the farm cannot support their care.  Eating dairy products directly provides products for the meat industry so choosing the most humanely raised dairy and meat as possible is not only good, clean and fair, but it is a responsible action.

A "slow" trek up to visit cows in the pasture at Sea Breeze Farm

A "slow" trek up to visit cows in the pasture at Sea Breeze Farm

Outside all day, many of us left with a little too much sun exposure.  We departed well-fed and inspired towards the ferry back to West Seattle.  We’ve had lovely warm weather two years in a row for our spring farm events, so please note for next spring:  bring sunscreen or at least a wide brimmed hat!

A young dairy cow at Sea Breeze Farm.  Her mom stood only yards away.

A young dairy cow at Sea Breeze Farm. Her mom stood only yards away.

We thank George Page for hosting Slow Food Seattle this year and we can’t wait to get back.

www.seabreezefarm.net