Farmers Kitchen Online Grocery
Ordering Just Got Easier!

Look for lots of Thanksgiving sides and special Holiday Offerings on the Grocery list this week. Holiday updates will be posted Monday morning. We think Climate Friendly Local Food For the Future makes the best holiday gift for our families and our community .

We’re offering something new along with groceries. Look for the beginning of Make it Easy, Make it Real meal kit offerings, comprised of fresh, local and artisanal items from our groceries list. A subscription to this new service starts at $200 per month in the month of December (with patronage refunds for committed subscribers) and includes a deeply supportive process, with recipes, videos and podcasts to help you Cook at Home, nestled into a  community supported food system, in time that you actually have!

Check it out here and let us know how you like it.

Climate change stress begins with growing and making bad, chemical laden food and driving or flying it around the country, and around the world…because, why?… Because we can? Not anymore.

The nasty chemical BPA  lines every can of food you open, as well as many of the “soft” packages in the grocery store. BPA in our food can lead to hormonal disfunction, cancer and even Parkinson’s disease. Factory food hazards include  lack of nutrients and soil depletion.

Sealed plastic bags with salad greens and other faux fresh foods? They have a preservative gas inside. Your avocados other produce coming though commercial portals has been gassed with chemicals.

Our locally grown and carefully foraged food will help you avoid cans, chemicals and carbon. And we hope you will also become healthy and wealthy, as a result of having been so wise!

The items listed on our groceries site ( produce, baked goods, condiments, etc.) come and go, so we will update the list daily. There will always be something new and wonderful, and also something that is gone and may be with us again next year or next week.

“We must reimagine our relationship with nature,” said naturalist Paul Rosolie, referencing fires in the rainforest. Choosing to eat clean “small” food here at home surely reimagines the very essence of our relationship with nature. We just might put out some big fires of our own in the process.

Why Real Food?

Why Real Food?
It’s our ancient, and now endangered, support system. Real Food provides both enrichment and protection for the inner and outer environments that humans rely on to survive and thrive.

Real Food faces peril as corporate and tech based interests come to dominate our civic, business and private environments

Real Food, 1940’s Style, once flourished planet-wide, encompassing  plant based medicine as well as fresh locally grown food. Even preserved  food was artisan made at home without chemicals or solvents and degreasers.

Everyone knew chicken soup could heal the body and that children, as well as grownups, needed  fresh fruits and vegetables. Mint tea healed digestive problems and oven warmed onions clapped onto an earache could heal an infection. Asparagus was synonymous with a spring detox and a plant poultice could heal a sprained ankle.

Following World War II, the planet came to be dominated by large economic interests, relying  on cheap fossil fuel delivery systems, financial complexity and “living better through chemistry.” These forces continue to endanger both our outer and inner environments.

Corporate food manufacturing, a big economic player in the 21st century, pollutes our atmosphere and our bodies with alien compounds that threaten, in aggregate, to destroy the very essence of human civilization and wellbeing.

Climate change, driven in great part by our massive global food distribution system, undermines farming and human life itself.

When this system collapses, we will desperately need local food and simple human scale distribution systems. Will they exist? Only if we create and sustain them now.

Farmers Kitchen Groceries brings you an opportunity to reach out  and touch real, artisan made good food. Our model? That most ancient of food systems, where a few forage and cook for many.

New Early Pickup Option!

Dinner Pickup as early as 12 Noon!

Order by 12 noon the day before and your meal will be ready to go by noon the next day!

Helpful for everything from pre picnic and summer outing pickups to summer afternoon heat avoidance. (And parking downtown is much better early in the day.) One obvious option is to order a summer meal and enjoy it for lunch! Or, parents of young children can choose to combine dinner pickups with children’s activity pickups in the afternoon.

We will offer this service beginning Tues June 4th (0rder before noon on Monday!) We’ll look for your feedback as we proceed!

Food From the Farm… Not From the Factory!

So, this week, we’re  all looking at a new and highly respected food study, concluding that processed (factory made) food is making us all overweight.  Hmm.

It’s akin to what researchers in France determined last year. The latter group followed 100,000 people over 10 years and concluded that a 10% increase in a person’s intake of processed food resulted in a 10% increase in their risk of cancer.

Unless we believe in magic, our problems with climate and food point to a need to go back to eating like it’s 1940. But U turns and do-overs are super hard on people. Nobody likes change. And  most people have little or no idea how to do it.

“The world was different then,” people often say. And it’s true, but who’s  in charge of turning back the clock? The much publicized and promoted vegan “Impossible Burger” financed by Bill Gates, didn’t turn back the clock.

The impossible Burger, genetically modified to emulate meat and produced in a factory, will actually add to global warming via excessive factory food miles. Now, thanks to this new study, we know it also contributes to obesity. Like Soylent Green (all your nutrients in a fake shake) and meal kits that fly your dinner across the country, we’re turning a blind eye to the environmental and human health ruin of such schemes.

The idea that tech will save us from all the trouble we’re in brings to mind that old saw about how a problem can’t be solved by the same mind that created it. We have to step back from tech and chemicals and the hubris that made this mess.

Our new non profit will offer to assist people with the process of making the U turn. “Learn by doing,” that old 4-H motto, applies here. We foresee reviving basic processes and social structures involved in living a food centric life…foraging, cooking, growing, bartering, no longer baffled by the simple things that our ancestors did every day….please join us. We think it will be very empowering.

Small Shifts Can Stop Climate Change

A new academic paper  (Read it here…) points to the fact that we are all writing the climate change story. For example; if we drive less, and seek out climate friendly cars, we provide less financial support for oil and gas companies and conventional car manufacturers. Our choices will portend a new future, leading key players to hesitate before investing in conventional  fuels and cars.

If we choose organic, (chemical and gmo free) foods, we incentivize capital to flow toward organic food and away from processed and artificially engendered foods. “Real food”, sourced nearby and prepared in kitchens instead of factories, can put the stopper back in the bottle of climate change.

A “sensitive intervention point” currently exists around local food systems. Building  and actively supporting local, clean, non industrialized food systems may be the one crucial thing we all can do to bring our situation back from the brink.

Locally sourced unprocessed ancestral or “real” food has a tiny carbon footprint compared to industrialized food. Food transportation’s climate change impacts now include (for example) the climate cost of shipping a salmon caught in Alaska to China for processing there, before returning that same salmon back to the US for sale. This may seem like an egregious example, and it is, but where and when and how we buy salmon will either fund or defund the madness.

The same principle applies to everything you eat. Support for  small organic farms in our immediate surrounding area gives farmers the ability to continue growing food in a manner that allows the soil to sequester carbon. Farms that pasture grazing animals, as well as those growing produce, deserve support. Grazing animals greatly enhance carbon sequestration. More farmers will be inspired to undertake small organic farms and animal pasturing operations when they can provide a living wage for a family.

And if we do it here in Davis, others will see that it works and that it tastes good and can be made affordable and feasible for everyone. It will happen elsewhere and each community will become stronger as it meets its own challenges and finds its own rewards.

Groceries are not just groceries and food is not just food. And you are not just a consumer. Everyone here today writes the story of tomorrow. How we put the pieces together today, with the storm clouds on the horizon, shapes the future of humanity.

We shape our economic forces. We decide who wins and who loses. Basically, if we don’t feed money to destructive forces, they can’t survive. Everybody eats and food is Big. We can, collectively, either take back our climate balance, or destroy it. The  “sensitive intervention point” is here right now.

An FYI on Your Local Food System

Our local food system gets stressed right now, even in a normal year. Farmers fight the weather to plant spring crops, and summer food favorites seem far away. But unusual cold and rain this year have created more daunting delays.

We get spoiled in June/July through late fall. The food that disappears through nature’s revolving door during those wondrously prolific months passes another delightful surprise on its way out.. No more apricots? That’s ok! How about some peaches? Asparagus disappears, but then there are tomatoes! A riot of abundance lulls us into believing the magic won’t ever leave.

In California the magic never really goes away. We have fresh salads and fruit even in the dead of winter ( notice that phrase!). But those tough, resilient farmers out there trying to plant in the mud puddles with one eye on the sky need our support now more than ever. We can’t possibly eat well without their risk and their work.

Even Mexico and Arizona have been hit with severe weather this winter, providing more reason for us to support our local growers. In fact, enlightened self interest demands that we savor the sweetness of the fresh carrots and oranges that are here now, and the healing powers of the beets and nettles and kale. And so much more. Baby romaine, lemons, delicate broccoli, pea shoots, healing mushrooms, parsley, parsnips, and swiss chard. Food of the fortunate, for sure.

Eat Local… Save the World

Appalachia’s children in 1964. They lived in the mountains far from TV dinners and supermarkets. These young people were deemed some of America’s poorest when this video was made. But they clearly enjoyed resplendent health and energy. This is a glimpse into the world of pre-industrialized food. We have lost so much.

The newest initiative at Farmer’s Kitchen attempts to offer you a path to better health and restored climate stability. These are two inextricably entangled issues that came to us on the wings of a historic cultural and technological “disruption” in the mid 1900’s.

Our ancient food culture was turned upside down about 70 years ago. These changes morphed and compounded themselves and now may threaten our civilization itself.

As recently as the 1940’s all food was local and organic. Natural soil amendments, along with skill, wisdom and luck, allowed people to eat and preserve food in cadence with the rhythms of nature.

Then we became enamored of the idea that technology could solve all of our problems. (Beware..this is still going on. If the past is prologue, we should be cautious about the siren song of factory made meats).

“Living better through chemistry, ” a slogan emblazoned on the screens of our brand new 1950’s television sets, promised a wonderful life for all. “The Future,” predicted to be a time of leisure and ease, was expected to arrive before the turn of the century.

Supermarkets and TV dinners popped up suddenly, gleaming with the new idea. The premise that food could be made in factories and shipped pretty much anywhere became a basic tenant of “modern” human existence.

But today we know those big food trucks may not be on the road forever. Large supermarket chains face financial challenges in large part because of “distribution costs,” which are 20 to 30 times higher than they were in 1949. Our oceans and climate are clearly morphing into strangely tortured versions of their former selves, creating a feedback loop that threatens the very sources of our food itself. Supermarket food, now known to carry the risk of chemical contamination and a lack of vital nutrients, may not be worth all this trouble.

We’re looking down the barrel of an obesity epidemic, an autism epidemic, myriad disabilities that keep people from working, historic rates of depression and something weird that makes some people want to shoot everyone they see.

But that promised “Leisure Future” never showed up. We’re all “at a loss for time.” So some version of those TV dinners ( um..that meal kit that comes in the mail from Colorado?) still frequently shows up on our tables.

Farmers Kitchen would like to offer everyone a fresh start with a local organic bouquet of anemones, and some delicious quickly assembled real food meals, and artisanal meal components for your own quick takes on eating real. Come taste the sauerkraut, the marmalade, the corned beef, leek fritters, cilantro sauce, etc! And we’ve found lots of superb just picked, “never saw the inside of a warehouse” produce and other foodstuffs from local farms for you.

New Offerings from the Farmer’s Kitchen Cafe

Help us make this work for everyone! We will reward you with deals and discounts and culinary delights!

Blood Pressure Remedy

Another blood pressure drug is being recalled this week. It contains a chemical deemed to be a human carcinogen.

We prefer remedies we’ve come to think of as “plant based medicines.” Our Central American Street Tonic juice, simply deemed “jugo” in its home countries, could be worth trying if you want to lower your blood pressure.

It contains, among other things, freshly squeezed organic beet juice,  shown to dramatically lower blood pressure. Beets contain nitrates, converting to nitric oxide in the body. Nitric oxide relaxes and dilates blood vessels, and thus lowers blood pressure. One study found that 1 cup of fresh beet juice will lower blood pressure by 10 points in a 24 hour period.

Jugo also contains fresh pineapple, supporting kidney function, and exerting an anti-inflammatory and anti pain effect. The fresh celery in this juice is touted online right now as a profoundly beneficial  “cure all.” We add fresh, in season, local organic oranges, lemons, and carrots…all renowned for wellness benefits.

Jugo is offered in 1 quart jars on our groceries site. Check out all the new meal kit items while you while you are there.


Big Food Truck Hits the Skids?

For the most part we  don’t pay a lot of attention to the fortunes  of Heinz, ConAgra and Kraft Foods,

When I think of Heinz I mostly see ketchup and John Kerry’s wife in my rear view mirror. And sometimes I remember the ConAgra guy, who came into our store  in about 2006. He actually spent a lot of time trying to get me to tell him how to make a gluten free burrito wrap.

Kraft stirs up images of that “food in a box” moment when everyone thought they could dump something dehydrated into a pan, add water and call it dinner.

The world keeps moving on, however., Last week these companies, along with

some other big name processed food players, were forced to write off many billions in market value. This hit Jello, Philadelphia Cream Cheese and hot dogs as well as Kool Aid. Even Warren Buffet got singed by the unexpected drop.

Big Food has been experiencing increased overhead costs related to distribution, as well as a customer drift toward healthier, fresher, more unprocessed foods. Belt tightening isn’t working, and the cost of driving those big trucks around the country has gone up since the late 1940’s, when the whole idea of factory food  came into existence. Gas was about 10 cents a gallon then.

Now we’re realizing  that driving around the country all day in huge trucks with jello and hot dogs and fake cheese and sugary ketchup may not be the best idea we’ve ever had. But now it’s “Our Food System.”

So, how do we get from here back to 1940? It’s a long way, but every one of us can help. We don’t have to wait for politicians. We actually vote, powerfully, every day, with our forks.

We have to relearn how to eat without depending on this outdated, silly idea. Food shouldn’t be made in factories. It should come from nearby, be eaten fresh and presided over by people who care about it a lot.

Heinz Kraft et al seems destined to go down in the big maelstrom that is climate change and fossil fuel dependency. No more jello. More next week.

Eating in Winter

The food on your plate this week could bring us all  closer to a better, safer world, or it could be a harbinger of a nightmare. You, and your fork are deciders.

You  can choose a new world order that offers food from the Southern Hemisphere in the dark days of our winter. Or you can choose cucumbers that sat for three weeks in customs at the Mexican border, because they are out of season here.

This week the choice is stark. Local farmers, whose well went dry in midsummer’s drought a couple of years ago, today find themselves looking out at a vast pond where that produce you ate last week came from. What do we eat now?

It is tempting to take a deep breath and brush past this conversation. Our grocery stores are still overflowing with fresh produce. But, our food system is increasingly fragile. It depends on finite fossil fuel and an increasingly unstable climate. And it is a major contributor to climate change.

So this week we have broccoli soup again and a lovely French celery root salad. And, because we live in California, land of lemons, we have lemon meringue pie and lemon bars. And we have the prospect of some cabbage to make Japanese okonomiyaki. And much more.

And every bite we eat puts us in touch with the totally food centric cultures of all of human history. The practice of eating from, and supporting, local food systems is strengthened, renewed and enhanced as we rediscover and reinvent this older, wiser, safer path. Enjoy!