11 May 2010 

Tonight we’ll be talking with Carol Albrecht. She is the co-owner of Chaffin Family Orchards and co-leader of the Chico-Butte Chapter of  the Weston A. Price Foundation, an organization that is  dedicated to helping people eat healthier with locally grown ingredients. We’ll be talking with her about their healthy foods cooking classes. 

Later in the show Steve will tell us about his bicycle trip to Davis where he attended the Whole Earth Festival. 

Listen to the show:  Click here.

Some Background on Healthy Eating  Organizations 

A national organization that focuses on healthy eating is RAFT. “RAFT is an alliance of food, farming, environmental and culinary advocates” managed by Slow Foods USA.”   The goal of this group is to “identify, restore and celebrate America’s biologically and culturally diverse food traditions through conservation, education, promotion and regional networking.” RAFT is an acronym for Renewing America’s Food Traditions.” 

The Alliance was founded in 2004, and “brings food producers, chefs and consumers together to develop and promote conservation strategies, sustainable food production, and awareness of our country’s unique and “at risk” foods and food traditions.” 

They say: 

“We aim to promote and ensure that the diverse foods and traditions unique to North America reaches our tables by means that make our families and communities healthier and our food system more diverse: ecologically, culturally and structurally. We focus on clusters of foods at risk that we feel we have a capacity to recover, using models of discovery, recovery and sustainability that may inspire others to do similar work.” 

 More information about Slow Foods USA can be found at their website: http://www.slowfoodusa.org 

 The local chapter of Slow Foods was founded in 2005. The Shasta/Cascade is made up of Shasta, Tehama and Butte Counties. Information about them can be found at:  http://www.slowfoodshastacascade.org 

 The Chico Food Network was established in 2001. It began as the “Chico Food Systems Project” and their website explains that the network “originally brought together local farmers, restaurant owners, and health education professionals in an effort to strengthen the bonds between individuals involved in the local food system. Early activities included the hosting of “Real Food Dinners” that celebrated the connection between local farmers and restaurants and highlight local food products. With the establishment of a Slow Food chapter in Chico (which filled this niche), the focus of the Chico Food Network shifted to cosponsoring nutrition education seminars and supporting the efforts of other food-related organizations and projects in Chico. . . . The Chico Food Network is presently focusing it efforts on supporting school and community gardens, and has begun an active grant-writing campaign for the benefit of these endeavors.”

More information can be found about them on their website: http://www.chicofoodnetwork.org/

Our Conversation with Carol Albrecht
In a prerecorded interview, we asked Carol to describe the work of the Westin A Price foundation as well as her own work as a healthy food activist.   Check out the Westin A. Price Foundation at http://www.westonaprice.org/


Susan’s Survey of Healthy Eating Cookbooks
After talking with Carol Albrecht about cooking classes, I was prompted to review some my family’s cookbooks. Nourishing Traditions, written by Sally Fallon with Mar G. Enig, has as its subtitle “The Cookbook that Challenges Politically Correct Nutrition and the Diet Dictocrats.” As Carol said, Nourishing Traditions grows out of the ideas of Weston Price who studied health around the world, comparing the so-called “primitives” with the so-called “civilized.” The “refined grains, canned foods, pasteurized milk, and sugar” of the civilized resulted, he found, in “tooth decay, infectious disease, degenerative illness and infertility.” Following Weston Price’s  findings, Fallon and Enig attend to both the food quality and food preparation. Carol’s cooking classes make use of these ideas. And you can find many great recipes based on these ideas in Nourishing Traditions. The hors d’oeurvres section alone makes the book worth having: Salmon Spread, Shrimp Platter, Cream Cheese-Flax Spread, Stuff Endive Leaves, Eggplant Relish Mushroom Crustades, Herb Cheese Spread with Whole Grain Crackers, Red Pepper Quiche Squares, Avocado Dip.


Rebecca Woods’ The Splendid Grain explains that whole grains are concentrated sources of nutrients: “The germ contains the spark of life, and the bran gives shape and form to the kernel.” She uses wild rice, corn, mesquite, amaranth, quinoa, Buckwheat, millet, Job’s tears, barley, wheat, rye, oats, sorghum and tef. “Tef” was a new grain to me. It’s a tiny cereal seed from the Blue Nile in Ethiopia. Intriguing recipes include Pueblo Bread Pudding, Cous Cous Marmalade Torte, Barley-Dandelion Coffee, Apricot Millet Breakfast Cake, and Buckwheat Pumpkin Muffins.

For vegetarians, I browsed in “The Sacred Kitchen: Higher-Consciousness Cooking for Health and Wholeness.” Robin and Jon Robertson’s book “draws from scriptural sources, religious philosophy, and every tradition in which a spark of wisdom encourages us to live healthier, more fulfilling lives. . . .” They also “look at various dietary traditions as well as new medical discoveries and come up with an approach to diet that [they] call centered cuisine.” The book, then, is much more than a series of recipes, and recipes include Ecstasy Jade Soup, Golden Sun Saute, and Samadhi-Loves-You Banana-Berry Pudding, Yin-Yang Potato Soup, and Pesto De Resistance.

Yum. You’re probably ready for dinner.

Steve’s Bicycle Trip to Davis and the Whole Earth Festival
Over the weekend, Steve and 17 other Chicoans bicycled 100 miles to Davis to attend the Whole Earth Festival.  The group accompanied Chico musicians Sarah and Karisha, better known as Ma Muse, and the entourage carried the Ma Muse equipment, including a standup bike with its own trailer that looks suspiciously like a coffin. The group pedaled as far as Colusa the first night, then continued on to Davis. 
  • Who went and what was the purpose of the trip?  17 peeps, includling Ma Muse .        
  • Route
    • Factory farm territory       
    • Vast spaces
    • Crop dusting
  • Arriving in Davis: The story of the Domes .
    • 18 units, built in 1972, student housing
    • Domes built “upside down” from molds–fiberglass and insulation
    • Intentional community
  • Whole Earth Festival
    • 42nd annual
    •  Zero waste
    •   Lotsa arts and crafts—much ecofriendly but pricey
  • Technology exhibits:
    •  Home biodiesel conversions—Matt Roberts, Springboard Biodiesel of Chico  matt@springboardbiodiesel.com
    • Electric bikes—BionX $1500-$2000, 20-50 miles, uses the electric motor as a braking and electricity regeneration. (Good for around town, especially hilly, dealer (John Swann) has taken one touring.) www.swannbikes.com
    • Electric cars—Toyota and Nissan, 80-100 miles per charge, “emissions free” (if you don’t count any emissions created by the electricity you plug in to)  www.driveclean.ca.gov
  • Especially interesting environmental exhibits
    • Environmental Voices (Deborah Whitman)—concerned with government weather modification and”chem trails” left by weather modification planes.  (Roslyn Peterson—on our show).  www.environmentalvoices.org
    • Center for Outdoor Ethics, Boulder, Colorado—fostering stewardship of the outdoors, training sessions on: hiking, camping, leaving no trace, dealing with human waste, fire and light, respecting wildlife  www.LNT.org
    • Engineers without borders—engineering students who develop low-cost to promote clean water, renewable energy, and sanitation around the world.  The Davis Chapter is working in Nigeria primarily on clean water and was demonstrating a filtering system that uses sand and gravel plus a biologically active layer to get clean and reasonably pure water.  (There is also a Chico chatper—we’ll need to get them on the program)  http://www.ewb-usa.org/about.php
    • Green Tortoise Tours—bus tricked out with sleeping bunks.  Sleep and travel at night.  Low cost. Mostly vegetarian food.  Low prices—www.greentortoise.com
Playlsist for Ecotopia #85: Good Food and the Whole Earth Festival 


1. Savoy Truffle  2:55  The Beatles        The Beatles (White Album)  

 2. Food      2:40    The Turtles The Turtles Present the Battle of the Bands      

3. Food, Glorious Food (From ‘Oliver’)     3:49  Cast Of ‘Oliver’    Lionel Bart’s Oliver        


4. Food Food Food (Oh How I Love my Food)  2:10  The Wiggles        Toot Toot 


5. MaMuse    (selections from their new album)

6. Weave Me the Sunshine    4:28  Peter, Paul And Mary   The Very Best of Peter, Paul and Mary  


7. Shortenin' Bread      2:03  Mississippi John Hurt    The Library Of Congress Recordings Vol. 1 Disc.