Archives for category: Events

Coming up this Saturday is the premier event of LA’s green and sustainability community:  Green LA’sGreen LA Confidential“, a fundraising event honoring Paula Daniels (see below).  In the 50’s noir theme of the 1980’s movie LA Confidential, the event will include a cocktail hour and comedy improv related to key members of the audience.  Comedian Jill Bourque and her troupe of improvisors will provide the entertainment, while refreshments will be brought by Large Marge and Wente Family Estates.  Make sure to buy tickets ahead of timeas it could definitely sell out.

See you there!

Paula Daniels is  Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa’s Senior Policy Advisor and the Founding Chair of the Los Angeles Food Policy Council. Paula served six years as a Los Angeles Public Works Commissioner, where she developed a number of Green Infrastructure initiatives, including a Low Impact Development Ordinance. She has been actively engaged in California environmental policy issues for over 20 years, when she first became involved with Green LA member Heal the Bay. Most recently, she founded the Los Angeles Food Policy Council, a policy based collaborative of food system leaders working toward an environmentally sustainable, equitable and regionally based food system.

Last week, LA City Council passed the ban on plastic bags in Los Angeles, which is now the biggest city in the country to have taken such action.  Environmentalists have been pushing for a ban of this nature for years, but what does it mean for the health of the city?  It may not have a drastic immediate effect, as many stores, such as Trader Joe’s, have been encouraging their customers to buy and use their own resuable bags for years.  The actual ordinance will be passed after a four-month environmental review of the plastic bag ban, at which point we’ll see what impacts it actually might have.  Except for the perceived inconvenience by shoppers for the first few months, and obviously the hit on the bag manufacturers (which is a definite downside; how is LA dealing with that??), there seems to be no downside to this- especially for those of us who haven’t been getting them at the stores for a while now.  For the naysayers of the ban, claiming that plastic bags only make up 2% of the trash in our streets and waterways:  its a step in the direction of sustainability.  We have to stop treating our resources like one-use items.  This ban alone can’t make the huge difference we need to push towards.

Kimchee Cookoff

Good Food Day LA- what a fantastic event!!  While all sorts of amazing things went on throughout the city involving over 3,000 participants at 40 locations, I had the opportunity to attend the central event at Metabolic Studio near Chinatown and the cornfield-turned-park in downtown.  Along with a couple of food trucks with tasty items, there was a small vendor fair with information on urban gardens, youth programs, and volunteer opportunities throughout the city.  There was an awesome kimchee cook-off, which included chefs, farmers, food critics and even a councilmember as judges.  The winners were stoked, it was very cool to watch.  The main event ended with a great speech by LAUSD Superintendent John Deasy on the importance of good food in schools and beyond, as well as food workers rights.

SO why is this important?  Why is the LA Food Policy Council (along with the mayor) even putting on an event like this?  Of course, everybody likes “good” food- in the sense that it tastes good- but when you can feel good about eating that food as well, it brings another dimension of “good” to the table that you may not have previously considered a part of the package.  Once you start to look into our food-related policies and practices, like the folks at the Council have been doing, you start to understand the wide reach that food has as well as its impact on many aspects of our lives.  Consider:  Where is your food coming from?  Are different parts of it coming from different parts of the country, or even the world?  What is it packaged in, and how were those materials processed?  Are they recyclable?  Were pesticides involved?  Should you be worried about them?  How about the people who helped, plant, grow, collect, process, pack, distribute or cook the food?  Not to mention issues related to Farmers Markets, food trucks, and problems of access to food…in short, food connects to every aspect of our lives and the lives of the people around us.  It impacts public health, urban design, poverty, government policies, sustainability, agricultural practices and so much more.

It is because of the breadth and the depth of the issue of food that its become such a hot topic across the board, and is something that everyone can relate to and should be aware of.  So the next time you have the opportunity to get involved in something food related, take a chance and see what its all about.

Just a quick plug for Good Food Day LA, which is a series of city-wide events and a festival promoting our local food systems.  Check out the website to see if there is an event happening near you!  Also, heres a map of all the events going on, and the Facebook event.  I’m going, and I’ll be sure to post pics and all about it after Saturday!

The LA River, contained in concrete

Its sad, but true: the LA River is not the main attraction of Los Angeles.  It is not what tourists consider among their star maps and beach trips, nor is it a destination for residents on a day off.  For the most part lacking any resemblance of a “typical river”, its become a bit of a joke to the people of the city.  However, the Los Angeles River was (and arguably still is) a huge part of the natural ecosystem of the valleys so many millions now call home, the core of what drew people to the area hundreds of years ago.  Throughout history, cities have been built and thrived by rivers, and yet many could not find ours on a map.  Though much of it is currently encased in concrete, and it does not serve the same function exactly as it once did, the City of Los Angeles, along with the Army Corps of Engineers and countless non-profits and NGOs, have decided we can no longer turn our backs to this wonderful resource that contains so much potential.

Read the rest of this entry »