Dry January, The Farm Bill, and ZinEX | The Food Party! | Laura Stec | Mountain View Online |

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By Laura Stec

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About this blog: I've been attracted to food for good and bad reasons for many years. From eating disorder to east coast culinary school, food has been my passion, profession & nemesis. I've been a sugar addict, a 17-year vegetarian, a food and en...  (More)

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Dry January, The Farm Bill, and ZinEX

Uploaded: Jan 2, 2023

Happy New Year Food Partiers!

I hope your December was filled with good food and friends. It turned out to be my busiest holiday season (work-wise) in many years, thus you didn’t see much here. Never-the-less, a welcome sign of small business returning post-covid. We are grateful.

We have a couple plans for you this January:

1. The Food Party! Book Group returns with Food Fight, A Citizens Guide to the next Food and Farm Bill by Dan Imhoff. We will start reading this book next month.

Passed roughly once every four - five years, the Farm Bill is key to how food is grown, distributed and eaten in the United States. Programs include crop insurance, low-income healthy food access (SNAP and food stamps), farmer training, and sustainable farming, among many others. The current farm bill was enacted into law December 2018 and expires in September 2023. We Food Partied! about the book in 2018 and will continue that review this season.

The end goal of the book reading is to understand more about the Farm Bill, how it does and does not benefit healthy eating, why we need to pay more attention, and to discuss our findings here. Those who want to go a step farther can contact Congressional representatives and advocate for bill improvements. Maybe we go as a group? Please join us for the read and review. Get the book from your library or order online. We’ll talk more about this project in 2 weeks.

2. If you’ve been Food Partying! with us for a while, you know a group of friends and I have done Dry January these last years and Food Partied! about the experience. Last year was enlightening, we reviewed a number of the new nonalcoholic products (they keep getting better, more nuanced) and I realized my real nemesis is sugar.

Sugar - Bigger Sinner than Wine?

Our group decided to give it another go, but with more flexibility this year. More like Dry January – The Weekday Files. Decide what works for you and let’s learn more about our eating and drinking habits together.

3. Whether you DJ with us or not, here’s something to look forward to at January’s end. The Food Party! is a big fan of ZinEx, that annual celebration of the true California grape – Zinfandel. Now I'm not a native but I got here as quick as I could. Zinfandel is a homey. The original Zin. In honor of her greatness, Northern CA holds a three-day wine and food fest attracting Zin lovers from around the world, ZinEx is one of the only festivals dedicated to a single grape variety we lovers know as deep, dark and dirty. It's a classic San Francisco event - unique to our region. Four main events include the Opening Night Dinner, Flight tasting seminars, Winemakers Auction & Dinner, and the Grand Tasting, featuring over 70 wineries from all over California. If you like Zinfandel (and once you taste you will), this a highlight and fun so early in the year.

photo by Zinex

ZinEX 2023
January 26th – 28th
Grand Tasting January 28
One Market Pavilion, San Francisco
More info here.

photos by LSIC unless noted

What is it worth to you?


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