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Food truck map of LA

20 May

As per Nicole’s question, here’s a site that maps of LA food trucks. It has a couple of pretty good features.

–you can plug in an address, and see who is out and about;

–you can plug in a time, based on when you want to eat, and it will tell you who WILL be out and about.

You can also select particular cuisines, like "sushi" or "Japanese"...

Michael Pollan and Eric Schlosser event

19 Oct

This is way off, in February, but is very exciting!

Food, Inc.: Michael Pollan and Eric Schlosser in Conversation

Visions and Voices: The USC Arts & Humanities Initiative

Wednesday, February 9, 2011 : 7:00pm

University Park Campus
Bovard Auditorium

Admission is free. RSVP is required. To RSVP, click here beginning January 13 at 9 a.m.

The best-selling authors talk about the industrialization of food and its devastating impact on personal health and the environment.

Michael Pollan and Eric Schlosser, authors of The Omnivore’s Dilemma and Fast Food Nation, respectively, are two of the country’s leading voices on issues of food, the food industry and sustainability. Their groundbreaking work has started a revolution in how Americans think about what they eat. Pollan and Schlosser both appeared in the Academy Award–nominated documentary Food, Inc., which Schlosser co-produced.

Join us as they come together for an important, fascinating conversation.

A reception will follow.

For the past 20 years, Michael Pollan has been writing books and articles about the places where the human and natural worlds intersect: food, agriculture, gardens, drugs and architecture. He is the author of In Defense of Food: An Eater’s Manifesto, winner of the James Beard Award, and The Omnivore’s Dilemma, which was named one of the 10 best books of the year by both The New York Times and The Washington Post. His book The Botany of Desire: A Plant’s-Eye View of the World was also a New York Times best-seller and received the Borders Original Voices Award for the best nonfiction work of 2001. PBS created a two-hour special documentary based on The Botany of Desire. Pollan’s most recent book is entitled Food Rules: An Eater’s Manual. A contributing writer to The New York Times magazine since 1987, Pollan has received numerous awards for his writing, including the James Beard Award for best magazine series; a John Burroughs prize for his book Second Nature; the QPB New Visions Award and Reuters-IUCN Global Award for environmental journalism for his reporting on genetically modified crops; and the Humane Society’s Genesis Award for his writing on animal agriculture. In 2009 he was named one of the top 10 “New Thought Leaders” by Newsweek magazine.

As an investigative journalist, Eric Schlosser explores subjects ignored by the mainstream media and gives a voice to people at the margins. Over the years, he has followed the harvest with migrant farm workers in California; spent time with meatpacking workers in Texas and Colorado; told the stories of marijuana growers, pornographers and victims of violent crime; gone on duty with the New York Police Department’s bomb squad; and visited prisons throughout the United States. His work defies categorization, earning praise not only from liberal publications like The Nation, but also from Fortune, the Financial Times and the National Review. Schlosser’s first book, Fast Food Nation, has been translated into more than 20 languages and remained on The New York Times best-seller list for two years. His second book, Reefer Madness, also a New York Times best-seller, looked at America’s thriving underground economy. Schlosser has also worked in the film industry, serving as co-producer of the award-winning documentary Food, Inc., in which both he and Pollan appear. He was also an executive producer and co-writer of the feature film Fast Food Nation, directed by Richard Linklater. The screenplay was named one of the best of that year by New York Times critics A.O. Scott and Mahnola Dargis.

UCLA students cook up food “closet” to combat student hunger

19 Aug


You’ve probably heard of food banks, which tend to be large-scale operations that serve masses of people. The Community Programs Office at UCLA sponsors this mini-food bank for UCLA students who are struggling with food security issues (=they lack the resources to get enough to eat). Denise Guerra of The Campus Circle (started by a USC film grad) writes,

Located in a small closet at the Student Activities Center sits a large, mostly empty refrigerator. Next to it holds a pantry filled with various canned goods, breakfast cereal and instant ramen. A small table squeezes in front of the entrance with a large empty bowl made for holding fruit that has all been taken for the day.

Next to the bowl, a small guest book. In it students have written accounts of their gratitude to a program designed to directly address hunger on UCLA’s campus. From a small sentence, “Thanks for the raisins,” to longer, more detailed accounts, each passage reveals the individual struggles students face for one bite to eat.

One passage reads: “The hardest thing to accept is the notion that there are times in life when you become dependent on [the] charity of others.”

The Food Closet was envisioned by student Abdallah Jadallah and implemented through the help of the Community Programs Office (CPO) at UCLA.

The LA Times also did a long piece on the closet. A USC blog, The South Los Angeles Report, cut to the heart of the matter: while college costs are going up, student aid is going down:

For many, the idea of a food bank at one of the country’s most prestigious and affluent universities is an oxymoron. At UCLA, average parent incomes for incoming freshmen hover at about $101,000 a year. But in today’s ailing economy, growing numbers of students are finding it harder to obtain financial aid or receive enough assistance to pay for their $10,000-a-year university fee.

Issues around USC are like Westwood in that both neighborhoods can be pretty expensive places to eat. And they are dominated by corporate food chains whose products are often not that good for you, and frankly, are about as exciting as eating at LAX. But the USC neighborhood and community also have advantages such as more open space, an existing neighborhood garden culture, city council members interested in food security, health and greenspace issues. Do you think something like the food closet would fly at USC? Why or why not?