Savvy Lifestyle

Flour Bakery
November 25, 2008, 6:26 pm
Filed under: Food for Thought, fun!, san francisco | Tags: , ,
Practically everyone has a dream job.  All of us would obviously like to see Savvy Tools become a reality.  My friend Christina would like to open up her own bakery someday.  She got the chance to try out her skills at the Frankenartmart this past weekend.  It’s a gallery space meant to encourage everyones imaginative side and open up art to all.  Leslie, the owner, picks different themes for her shows every few months and invites whoever wants to, to come participate.  The current show is called, “Dream Jobs”.  You can make an appointment with her and basically “rent” out the space for an evening, a weekend, whatever you’d like.  She’s had dentists, fortune tellers, tie dyers, and most recently, a very talented baker.
Christina transformed the space into the Flour Bakery.  She had everything from cakes to chocolate covered candied orange peels.  It was a great success.  If you’re in the area, you should stop by Frankenartmart and say hi to the resident kitties.  And, in case you feel like supporting a fellow dreamer, she’s taking custom orders at  I promise you, it’s all to die for.

Can you change the world?
November 13, 2008, 8:26 pm
Filed under: environmental issues, Food for Thought | Tags: , ,

Do you have an idea that could change the world for the better and truly make a difference?  Google thinks with all the information out there that some of us must.  They created a whole project dedicated to that assumption called 10 to the 100th.  For their 10th anniversary they have committed to invest $10 million dollars in a winning idea(s).  The deadline to submit ideas on this one has passed (unfortunately, it was Oct. 20th), but you can still sign up to vote for the winners.  Voting starts Jan. 27th.  Google will post the top 100 ideas, the public will narrow it down to 20 projects, and then an advisory board will select up to 5 for funding.   

The intent of the project is to take advantage of “crowdsourcing”.  That’s the Internet-age idea that the collective wisdom of mass audiences can be leveraged to find solutions to design tasks.  Interesting thought… maybe one person can’t change the world, but together we all can.

Rebecca_ SF

Slow Food Nation

Get excited, Slow Food Nation is coming to SF next weekend!  The Slow Food Movement  (as we’ve mentioned before) has been gaining momentum for some time now.  They’ve organized one of the largest events so far and it’s coming up next weekend, right here in San Francisco.  

Here are some of the highlights you should check out:

-Attend a lecture by Joel Salatin of Polyface farms.  He’ll talk specifically about the sustainable farming practices he employs.  (He’s a featured in the book The Omnivore’s Dilemma.)

-You can browse thousands of booths in the taste pavilions and gorge yourself on some really tasty food. 

-You can sign up to volunteer for various projects around the city.   For example, they planted a Victory Garden  outside city hall on July 1st and all the food that’s harvested from it will be donated to local food banks and meal programs.

-Listen to some great music from people like Gnarls Barkley, The New Pornographers, and more.

-Pick a special dinner to attend with one of your favorite Bay Area restaurants

You better hurry, they’ve already sold out of morning tickets for both Saturday and Sunday!

_Rebecca, SF

Fish Frenzie

Do you ever find yourself hovering over the fish counter at your favorite market or local grocery store trying to figure out which fish looks the freshest?  When is comes to fish, there are so many different terms out there such as “organic”, “fresh”, “natural”, “wild-caught” it’s hard to keep them straight or know what to believe.  Thanks to Trout Unlimited, below is a guideline to help you understand where exactly your fish, specifically salmon, is coming from.

Pacific Salmon – Born in freshwater on the pacific coast, migrates to sea to grow and mature, then returns to stream to spawn and die.

Atlantic Salmon– Majority of salmon farmed in Pacific waters are non-native Atlantic’s, causing major problems for wild Pacific salmon, steel head and ecosystems. Wild stocks native to Atlantic coast severely diminished and not fished commercially.

Steelhead  – Ocean going rainbow trout that return to freshwater to spawn.  Highly prized by recreational anglers.  Wild steelhead almost never marketed for food, which means steelhead in stores are most likely farmed.   

Wild Salmon – Spawned, hatched and lives naturally in the wild. Feeds on insects and other small water creatures.  Migrates to sea and returns to freshwater to spawn and die.

Hatchery Salmon – Born in captivity, raised on an artificial diet, and released as juveniles to be caught as adults.

Farmed  – Spends entire live in captivity; fed artificial diet and treated with chemicals. The meat is often grayish and dyed pink to be sold in stores. Contains unsafe levels of toxins and reduces health benefits.  Alaska has no salmon farms whereas other salmon territories do. (See Image below)

Wild-Caught – Caught in open waters, salt or fresh. Some mixed stocks of wild and hatchery.

Line-Caught – Caught and handled individually by a fishing boat trolling with lines & hooks.

Fresh– Usually a term to disguise “farmed”.  If it’s “fresh” Atlantic salmon from B.C., Chile, or anywhere in the pacific, it can only be farmed.

Frozen at Sea – Wild salmon caught, processed, and frozen while still at sea, typically w/in an hour of being caught so that it’s freshness and quality are preserved. Good option for getting wild-caught salmon off-season.

Organic” – Does not currently exist in the US because there are no standards or USDA certification process.  Imports may be labeled as “organic”, but it’s important to know that it might be from a country with weaker environmental/ health standards.

“Natural” – A way to market farmed salmon that has been raised with fewer chemicals.  Even though there may be fewer chemicals than “farmed” salmon, it is still often raised in open net pens, emitting water, disease, and escapees putting wild fish at risk.

I hope this list has informed you to make the best decision when selecting your fish for tomorrows dinner.  I know it’s helped me!

Kelsey – Vail, CO

Eat your View

SF is a foodie town.  Before moving here, I didn’t know much about wine or the pleasures of cooking and pairing different courses together to create the perfect combination.  The closest I’d come to this culture was really my time in France.  In Europe, in general, people seemed to focus much more time and thought on what they were going to eat, how they would prepare it, and who they would share it with.  They take their time with meals and enjoy the great conversation it generates.  It’s been a pleasure to discover the same sentiment here in San Francisco.  You’ll find very few fast food joints in the city and chain restaurants are practically nonexistent.  Farmers markets are plentiful and most menus at restaurants change with the seasons. 

This local culture really got me thinking a lot more about where my food comes from and what I put into my body.  As a result, I picked up “The Omnivore’s Dilemma”, by Michale Pollan.  I highly recommend it.  He evaluates 4 different meals and tracks their entire life from the farm to the plate.  The 4 meals include: an industrial/fast food meal, the whole foods version of an organic meal, a locally produced/ farmers market meal/ and finally a meal that’s been hunted, gathered, and foraged for directly by the person eating it.

The story behind each meal fascinated me and really made me take another look at what I eat.  Just like buying recycled products to support the green movement, you can make a statement with what you eat as well.  “Eat your view” is a new bumper sticker seen often in Europe now and I think its something that Americans should start considering a bit more.  I’m not implying that everyone become a vegetarian and only eat from the farmer’s market.  That’s very unrealistic, but just think about things a bit more before you buy them.  Look at what’s in season, how local it is, how many chemical products did they add to it?  Is it healthy?  How do they treat the workers, animals, and farmland on their farms?

Pollan says in his book that this change in the market will “require a new kind of eater.  One who regards finding, preparing, and preserving food as one of the pleasures of life rather than a chore.” One whose sense of taste has ruined him for a Big Mac, and whose sense of place has ruined him for shopping for groceries at Wal-Mart. ”

It’s the same mission as the Slow Food Movement started back in 1989 in Italy.  The intent is “to remind a generation of industrial eaters of their connections to farmers and farms, and to the plants and animals we depend on.”  The movement focuses on “fighting industrial eating by recalling people to the infinitely superior pleasures of traditional foods enjoyed communally.”   The founder Carlo Petrini says, “The consumer becomes a coproducer- his eating contributes to the survival of landscapes and species and traditional foods that would otherwise succumb to the fast-food ideal of “one world, one taste.”

They insist that doing the right thing is actually the most pleasurable thing as well.  Just some food for thought…


Running with Numbers

I got this in an email a couple weeks ago and thought it was very interesting in a disturbing yet artistic kind of way.   Artist Chris Jordan has put together a unique collection of art involving quantities of specific items based on statistics of the American culture.

The images below depicts 106,000 aluminum cans, the number used in the US every thirty seconds….

Partial Zoom



You think this is impressive? … Visit for more.

Kelsey – Vail, CO

Thoughts for 2008
July 2, 2008, 9:57 am
Filed under: Food for Thought, Photos

Oddly enough, this was included in some sales material from Restoration Hardware for their new commercial line of products, but I really liked the advice…

1. Dream more while you are awake.

2. Get rid of anything that isn’t useful, beautiful, or joyful

3. Eat more foods that grow on trees and plants and less food that is manufactured in plants.

4. Burn the candles, use the fancy sheets, and wear your best shoes… don’t save them for a special occasion.

5. Time heals almost everything.  Give time, time.

My grandma taking a wagon ride with my brother- a picture that always brings me joy.

My grandma & brother- a picture that always brings me joy.  🙂