Tuesday, May 30, 2006

South Central Farmers

Julia Butterfly Hill in the “community watchtower”

Sunday, May 28, 2006

Renee Wilson is da bomb

me and reneé chillin in LA

After my presentation at the Hollywoodd Farmer's Market I kicked it with my friend Reneé Wilson. You might recognize her from the film Ray in which she has a featured role as one of the Raylettes. Reneé is also a talented singer, and she is the co-founder of the non-profit organization LittleMuse, whose mission is to promote social responsibility through music and art.
Look out for Reneés documentary on Hurricane Katrina's effects on her beloved New Orleans.


Thursday, May 25, 2006

consuming critical consumption?

Thanks to our friend Sarah's blog at Inhabitat, we found out about this installation. As Sarah points out, it's an interesting conundrum to be an artist creating a space about the problematic of consumption, while selling stuff, too.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Ronnie Cummins Tells It Like It Is

There's a great interview with Organic Consumers Association founder, Ronnie Cummins, in a New York City-based independent publication, Satya. Read it here.

Friday, May 19, 2006

Wendell Berry words of wisdom

There is, then, a politics of food that, like any politics, involves our freedom. We still (sometimes) remember that we cannot be free if our minds and voices are controlled by someone else. But we have neglected to understand that we cannot be free if our food and its sources are controlled by someone else. The condition of the passive consumer of food is not a democratic condition. One reason to eat responsibly is to live free.
Wendell Berry

Thursday, May 18, 2006

"My Two Cents"

chillin with the "my two cents" posse after the shoot

Today I taped three 7-minute segments for a new show on BET J called “My Two Cents.” The episodes will air this summer. One of the show’s hosts, Bryonn Bain, and I went to graduate school together at NYU. On each segment Bryonn interviewed me and asked questions while I made a dish. My girlfriend Bethanie helped me prep for all the recipes, and she beautifully styled the apartment in which we did the shoot. The producers and the camera crew were hella cool.


Monday, May 15, 2006

The Schlosser Attack Begins

Our friend and foreword-writer to Grub, Eric Schlosser, has just published a new book, Chew On This, with long-time fact-checker and writing partner, and Charles Wilson. The book has touched a nerve with the food industry, which has gone on the defensive. Check out their website, Best Food Nation (guess what 1.2 million copy bestseller's title they're ripping off?) to hear all about how unlike Schlosser--and we--get it all wrong when we would have you believe that our industrial food is anything but safe, yummy, and cheap.

We Be Grubbin'

New post about Grub on Wiretap puts us in our historical context. We like that.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006


chillin with, ibrahim, tchaiko, and dj reborn (l-r)

dave, lee anne, and miguel from "top chef" (l-r)

We kicked it tonight. After our talk at Columbia University, we went to the “Rude vs. Grub” party at APT in money-makin' Manhattan. Anna and are friends with three of the party’s organizers—Tchaiko Omawale, Ibrahim Abdul Matin (who wrote a dope book review of Grub), and Tyler Askew--and they wanted to celebrate the publication of Grub.

When I walked in, people were downin’ “Original Rude Grub Cocktails” like they were water. I joined them, chopped it up with folks, and got my dance on. Anna came a few hours later and we partied even harder. Even some cast members from "Top Chef" showed up. DJ Reborn only spun during the open bar hour, but she set the night off proper. Dustin Ross took the photographs above.

Thanks for the support Rude crew.

it's a girl

Mike, Jessy, and Mya Molina a week before Mya's birth

I’m happy to announce that one of my tightest boys from college, Mike Molina and his wife Jessy are the proud new parents of a baby girl.

Mya Imani Molina was born on Sunday, May 7, 2006 at 8:43am.

Mike and Jessy both graduated from Yale Law School, but Mike is working on his first novel and teaching creative writing to high school students in San Francisco (Mike contributed a moving poem to Grub entitled “Down in New Orleans” to compliment my “Mardi Gras Grub” menu ). Jessy had been training youth in West Oakland to be active decision-makers in their schools and communities, but now she’s a full-time mommy. With two parents as amazing as Mike and Jessy, Mya is destined for greatness.

Congratulations Mike and Jessy.

Monday, May 08, 2006

Grub Meet Grub

So we had our lawyers talk to their lawyers and we all agreed, all is good in the Grub-land. No, seriously, we've been hearing about this party for a year now, a monthly get together with cheap food, that the folks who pull it off call, Grub. A few minutes on my bike, down toward the water and the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway, and I found myself at the loft that houses the monthly party. The key to their Grub party, I realize when I meet Jeff Stark (w/ me on the left), one of the coordinators, is that most of the food they serve they got for free. Read: from a Dumpster. Or, in the case of NYC post-Giuliani, from bags left on the sidewalk. (Giuliani banned those onsightly Dumpsters years ago.) Apparently, Brooklyn Heights is where the good stuff is. "We choose it and clean it really well," Jeff assured me. And they cook it well, too. Except for the too-sweet-for-my taste "Cookie Mash," every dish -- from the arepas with chipotle sauce to the garlicky kale -- was delicious. And everyone who turned out last night -- by my count about forty of us -- got some good Grub. After dinner, we scaled a ladder to the roof and caught the New York City skyline and this roof art (below). Couldn't have said it better ourselves. --al

Bryant and Hometown Pride

There's a sweet piece on Bryant in the Memphis Flyer, a local outlet in his hometown. Check it out, and as they say, get with the program: go organic. We haven't stopped in Memphis yet, but as Bryant says: "That's already slated for the fall... Otherwise, my family would kill me!"

Saturday, May 06, 2006

Community Food Audit

here is the first page of our "community food audit." to get the whole document as a downloadable pdf, visit our new eatgrub.org when we relaunch next week.

black folks be grubbin', yo

Members of Stanford University's Black Graduate Student Association after my talk today.

my homegirl barbara rodgers

my homegirl barbara rodgers and me

This morning I drove to San Francisco and pre-taped a 15-minute segment for "Bay Sunday," which will air this Sunday on Bay Area CBS affiliate KPIX. Bay Sunday is an eclectic mix of news, arts and community hosted by award-winning journalist Barbara Rodgers. After discovering we are both from Tennessee, Barbara and I hit it off. She liked my "Fresh Pineapple, Jicama, and Mint Salad" that I brought on the show in honor of Cinco de Mayo, and she said she enjoyed reading Grub

Before the taping I met Devyani Saltzman, who was also on the show. During the segmant she discussed her new book, Shooting Water, which recounts her story of reconnecting with her mother, international award-winning filmmaker Deepa Mehta. Devyani is currently traveling the United States promoting her book.


Friday, May 05, 2006


An interesting article up at Common Dreams, "Welcome to Whole-Mart: Rotten Apples in the Social Responsibility Industry," gives lots of food for thought about how to create businesses that truly value fairness, accessibility, and the health of all of us. No easy answers. Any thoughts?

young women of color in the Grub revolution

today i spoke with a group of young women of color who work for Farm Fresh Choice about the role of young women of color in the Grub revolution. i learned a lot from them.


Thursday, May 04, 2006

Soda Industry Deal with Clinton Foundation Latest PR Stunt

Soda Industry Deal with Clinton Foundation Latest PR Stunt

Statement by Michele Simon, director, Center for Informed Food Choices

Wednesday, May 3, 2006

The announcement today by soda companies to voluntarily set new nutrition guidelines for the types of beverages sold in schools is just the latest publicity stunt by an industry desperate to avoid government regulation.

Here is what is being left out of most press accounts.

Since December, a team of ten attorneys (including myself) and public health
groups have been in private negotiation with lawyers from the American Beverage Association, Coca-Coca, and PepsiCo. From these meetings-operating under the threat of litigation being planned in Massachusetts-we got close to an agreement that is eerily similar to the one announced on Wednesday.

Apparently, Coke and Pepsi were shopping around for the best PR opportunity; it looks much better to have former president Bill Clinton at your side than a bunch of lawyers. What a brilliant move by industry, telling us they were bargaining in good faith while all the while planning another deal. Do we really need any more evidence that food and beverage companies cannot be trusted?

While it's true that the outcome-most sugary beverages out of all schools-might be similar to what we could have gained through litigation settlement, the critical difference is enforceability. The main purpose of bringing a lawsuit is to ensure that the companies would be held accountable to the outcome, whether by court decision or settlement agreement.

Similarly, the current effort in state legislatures all over the nation to
pass bills to rid schools of unhealthy drinks (which Coke and Pepsi continue to lobby against vociferously) would require actual policy change. But industry prefers voluntary "self-regulation," a non-enforceable system that has already proven to be a dismal failure.

We have seen this dance from the soda companies before. Last August, the American Beverage Association announced another bogus "policy" that amounted to no more than words on paper. Since that PR stunt didn't make their problems go away, now Coke and Pepsi have just come up with a better idea.

For more information, contact:

Michele Simon JD, MPH
Founder and Director
Center for Informed Food Choices
PO Box 16053
Oakland, CA 94610

Sign up for Informed Eating -- a free newsletter on the politics of food:


sugar water gets banned?




i know we were supposed to relaunch www.eatgrub.org about a month ago, but things are taking a little longer than expected. one of the features of the new website will be downloadable shopping lists for the menus in Grub.

here is one for the "Beets, Limes, and Rice" menu as an example of what you'll get.

--chief cooka busy b

Grub in Edible Brooklyn

Anna in Brown Alumni Magazine

Anna's the s**t!



Grub in the San Francisco Chronicle

A friend called and told me that she read about Grub in the San Francisco Chronicle. When I did some internet research I saw that there is also a review in The Kansas City Star.




Wednesday, May 03, 2006

chance meetings in the gourmet ghetto

This morning I went to Guerilla Cafe in Berkeley for breakfast. I had a decaf coffee and their "Mediterranean Poached Eggs" (Poached Eggs with Tomatoes, Feta Cheese, Olives and Parsley atop Toasted Sourdough Bread). The music was tight, the art was moving, the vibe was right, and the Grub was off the chain.

keba konte and andrea ali, co-owners of guerilla cafe


While I was at the counter ordering my food I started rapping with a cat, Omar, who was buying a copy of Grub from Guerilla (thanks for carrying it yall). He told me that after working at Chez Panisse for several years he was now the manager of a new restaurant in Oakland--Pizzaiolo. Omar went on to explain that the executive chef-owner, Charlie Hallowell, had worked at Chez Panisse too and left to start Pizzaiolo.

In the spirit of Alice Waters, Pizzaiolo is committed to serving Grub (healthy, local, sustainable food). They change the menu every night, and the vibe is nice. Bethanie and I went there a few weeks ago, and there was a line out of the door. We went next door to Dona Tomas, and they had an hour waiting list. So we went to old faithful--Cactus Taqueria and had fish tacos.

On the way home from Guerilla, I realized that Omar used to be a waiter at Chez Panisse. He served Bethanie and me once, and we left the restaurant talking about how professional, efficient, smart, and laidback he was. I can honestly say that he was the best waiter I ever had. Thanks brother.


omar white, manager of pizzaiolo

Keba, Arty and Me

Keba, Arty, and Me

Keba took this photo summer of 2005

Yesterday I was at the Berkeley’s Farmer’s Market when I ran into Keba Konte, a brilliant photographer and co-owner of Guerilla Café in Berkeley’s famed “Gourmet Ghetto.” (Keba took the above portrait shot of me last summer in the People's Grocery's 55th Street Garden in Oakland.) I was buying veggies from Full Belly Farm when I saw Keba buying about 10 huge trays of free-range eggs for his café from Ludwig Avenue Farm. Keba introduced me to the farmer, an older brother named Art Davis, and we all talked about the benefits of using hen eggs for baking.

Contact Art Davis:
1211 Ludwig Ave.
Santa Rosa, CA 9540

--big thangs

Original Rude Grub Cocktail

mixing it up in the lab.

here is the drink i created for the Rude vs. Grub party in NYC next Tuesday.

come check us out:

Tuesday, May 09

New York City, NY
Rude Movements
APT Club

Original Rude GRUB Cocktail

In the spirit of dancing hard, eating well, and fighting the good fight.

1 ounce Vodka
1 ounce Grand Marnier
2 ounces Orange Juice
1 ounce Grapefruit Juice
1 ounce Lime Juice

Add ingredients to a highball glass with moderate ice. Garnish with a slice of lime.

--chief cooka busy b

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Chew On This!

Last night Bethanie and I went to hear Eric Schlosser, who wrote the foreword to Grub, and Charlie Wilson talk about their newly-released book Chew on This, which is being billed as a Fast Food Nation for kids.

Berkeley was their first stop on a multi-city tour. Earlier that day they spoke with students at Martin Luther King, Jr. Middle School, which houses The Edible Schoolyard (Bethanie worked there for four years). They had dinner at Chez Panisse and then came back to King to talk to students and adults. The proceeds benefited The School Lunch Initiative.

Before their talk, Alice Waters (pictured with me) introduced Eric and Charlie, and called Eric one of her heroes. She also gave props to the feature film adaptation of Fast Food Nation, which was selected for the 2006 Cannes film festival.

After giving an informative and moving talk (along with a slide show presentation), Eric and Charlie answered questions and then signed books.

I had the pleasure of meeting Eric in person for the first time and chopping it up before his talk. He signed my copy of Grub and then we took a photograph, but I look like I am high or have vertigo so I won’t post it.



New York City and DC

We are doing a series of events in New York City and DC next week. Would be great to see you there! See our full events list here.

Tuesday, May 9, 9:00pm

New York City, NY
Rude Movements
APT Club
Anna + Bryant

Wednesday, May 10, 11:30am – 2pm

New York City, NY
Cooking demo & book signing
Union Square Farmers Market
Anna + Bryant

Wednesday, May 10, 7:30 pm

New York City, NY
Book signing
Vox Pop
For more information, contact Sarah, voxpopevents@gmail.com
Anna + Bryant

Thursday, May 11

Brooklyn, NY
Dinner and book signing
Smooch, organic café and wine bar
264 Carlton Ave, at corner of DeKalb Ave.
Anna + Bryant

Saturday, May 13, 10:00am - 12:00pm

Brooklyn, NY
Cooking demo & cook signing
Brooklyn Grand Army Plaza Farmers Market
Anna + Bryant

Saturday, May 13, 1:00 pm

Brooklyn, NY
Tabling and book signing
Park Slope Food Co-op
Anna + Bryant

Sunday, May 14

New York City, NY
Workshop & book signing
Sacred Center
330 W. 38th, Suite 704
Anna + Bryant

Wenesday, May 17, 7:00 pm

Washington DC
Book signing
Chapters Bookstore
445 11th St NW
(Please note date has changed from the 21st to the 17th.)
Anna + Bryant

Thursday, May 18

Washington DC
Benefit Dinner for Capital Area Food Bank and Book signing
Vegetate Restaurant
For more information, contact Nadja Strucker, struckern@cfoodbank.org
Anna + Bryant

Monday, May 01, 2006

Thanks Molly!

Our tour coordinator Molly Rockamann has been a Godsend. After wrapping stuff with us, she heads to Fiji where she is the founder of the Fiji Organic Project helping farmers there transition to organics. First stop, sugarcane. If you meet her, be sure to ask her to sing you the Grub song, you won’t be disappointed.