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Tag: local

I attended the SOL Food Festival last year with my hubby and daughter. One of the big draws was Iron Chef, Cat Cora, doing a food demo on the main stage. When we arrived at the park across from the Saturday Santa Barbara Farmers Market we were greeted by a full-feathered, free-roaming turkey (looking suspiciously like the pied piper with his entourage of about 20 kids following his every move). To the right was the ostrich pen which housed 4 baby ostriches. Not a site to be missed. Behind them, the coolest geometrically shaped chicken coop I’ve ever seen.

Born from the minds of two incredible women, Alison Hensley and Heather Hartley, the festival pays homage to real food – that which is Sustainable, Organic and Local (hence then name SOL) and this year is the second annual event. One of our missions at Be Food Smart is to educate people about food. This is also the mission of the SOL Food Festival which is why I’ve been attending their planning meetings for the past few months. If you are in driving distance of Santa Barbara, support this great cause and join us.

SOL Food Festival

Saturday, October 1, 2011
10am -6pm
Plaza de Vera Cruz Park & Cota Street (between Anacapa & Santa Barbara Streets)

Why YOU should attend:

Mamas & Papas
Bring the kiddos so they can check out the farm equipment, see animals galore, practice their cooking skills and dance to the music. The best part? No need to fight over buying junk food and cotton candy at the food court.

Single Gals & Gents

Beer & Wine Garden, hunky farmers and hottie hippie chicks. Need I say more?

Foodies
Farmers, food demos and a chance to socialize with the who’s who of Santa Barbara’s sustainable food world.

Average Joes & Janes
This is your chance to get involved and change the way you eat. Find out what amazing local resources are available in your backyard. Between the 3 stages, countless demos, fabulous exhibitors and great tasting, good-for-you food, you’re bound to go home with new skills and knowledge you can actually use.

The Joel Salatin Wannabes
Pick up tips on composting, building a chicken coop, biodynamic gardening, and soil management. It’s time to get some dirt under those nails!

Save the date!


A new grocery store is opening in Austin, Texas this year. What makes in.gredients newsworthy is the fact that they are claiming to be the first “package-free, zero waste grocery store in the United States.” So how are they doing this? The idea is so simple, it may surprise you. Everything in the store is essentially a bulk item and customers bring in their own containers to fill and purchase what they need. Forget your container? in.gredients will have compostable containers available for purchase.
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When an experience inspires you to see that dream again, motivates you to a place you haven’t felt in a long time, and adds a monstrous log to the fire in your soul, what do you call it? Heaven? For me, it was the 2011 Edible Institute. For 20 hours, over two days, I listened, absorbed, brainstormed, smiled, scribbled, tweeted (#EI2011), consumed, and connected.

If you are not familiar with Edible, they are beautiful magazines filled with everything food-related local to that area, or as they say,  Award Winning Magazines That Celebrate Local Foods, Season by Season. When you so much as glance at an Edible magazine, you know that  it is something unique. The first thing you’ll see is the stunning cover. When you pick it up, the luxuriously thick pages beckon to be flipped and the sumptuous photographs visually devoured. There are almost 70 Edible magazines and publishers flew in from all over the United States and Canada this past Wednesday to attend a publishers’ conference. Starting at 7:30am Saturday, the Edible Institute ignited bringing publishers together with food writers, farmers, activists, artisans, cookbook authors, winemakers, bloggers, and little old me.
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We are all looking for ways to save money. Food costs keep climbing while paychecks seem to stay constant or be non-existent for many American families in this tough economy. There are ways to save money while still managing to eat healthy. Here are a few simple tips.

Plan Weekly Meals
Every Saturday morning, my husband and I sit down and plan out our meals for the week. We look at the calendar to see what we have scheduled and select meals accordingly. If it is a busy week, we stick to quick and easy to prepare meals. Have kids? Involve them in the meal planning process and get their suggestions too. It sounds simple, but one of the keys to success with this tip is writing the meals down in a visible place (we have a whiteboard on the fridge). This way everyone in the family knows what to expect each day and cooking can start immediately instead of playing the “what’s for dinner tonight?” game again. If you stay committed to the weekly plan, you’ll also find you go out to eat much less often.
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