Category Archives: Going Green and Sustainable

Belcampo Ushers in A New Age of Sustainable Food

A butcher making porchetta at Belcampo Meat Co. in Larkspur.

A butcher making porchetta at Belcampo Meat Co. in Larkspur.


Belcampo Meat Co. in Larkspur may look like the latest trendy, farm-to-table butcher shop stocked with pedigreed meat for sale at sky-high prices.

But it’s so much more than that.

It’s part of a corporation that aims to start a new food revolution — by producing sustainable food on an unheard of scale. And at a profit, to boot.

It is the brainchild of Todd Robinson, a Wall Street veteran with deep pockets; and Anya Fernald, a California-native and long-time locavore entrepreneur. She may look familiar from her previous appearances as a judge on “Iron Chef America” and as the founder of the Eat Real Festival in Oakland.

The two founded Belcampo, Inc. in 2011, which consists of several operations spread across three countries. They include: a 10,000-acre certified organic, sustainable ranch at the base of Mt. Shasta in California, where cows, pigs, chickens, sheep, rabbits, goats, turkeys, geese and squabs are raised sustainably, organically and on pasture; another cattle ranch in Uruguay; and an eco-lodge and farm in Belize that produces coffee, chocolate and rum.

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Ineeka Puts Innovation Into Tea

A new type of tea bag from Ineeka.

It opens up like a miniature grocery bag with handles to sit squarely in your mug of hot water.

Inside of it, organic tea leaves swell and swirl, steeping an exquisitely fresh tasting brew that’s smooth, satisfying and noticeably less tannic.

Take a taste of Ineeka teas, founded by a husband and wife team in Chicago whose families have been in the tea business for generations.

Shashank and Sumita Goel tout their company as the only completely vertically-integrated tea brand in North America. That means they grow their tea on family farms along 15,000 acres in the Himalayas north of India and package the teas, themselves.

Ineeka (“little Earth” in Sanskrit”) grows their tea organically and biodynamically in self-contained systems. For instance, the animals on the farms eat the food grown on the farms. In turn, their manure fertilizes the soil. The company employs 25,000 people who also live on the farms. As Fair Trade certified, the company pays higher than wages than the industry norm, too.

But of course, the proof is in the taste.

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The New Edible Silicon Valley

Don't miss my profile of Jesse Cool in the new Edible Silicon Valley magazine.

Haven’t you scratched your head over the fact that there was an Edible San Francisco, Edible Marin, Edible Monterey Bay and so many others — yet no Edible Silicon Valley magazine?

Wonder no more.

Now, there is one.

Edible Silicon Valley debuted its first issue this month.

Yours truly is proud to be a regular writer for the new publication. Enjoy my first story for the magazine, a profile of Jesse Cool, the Peninsula chef-restaurateur who’s been a long-time champion of sustainable, organic and local foods.

An experimental crop of organic wheat that Cool grew in her backyard.

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Ecopia Farms Introduces Salad Kits

The very gourmet tasting "Winter Salad'' kit from Ecopia Farms.

Find yourself in a salad rut this holiday season, where you’re noshing the same ol’ citrus-, persimmon- or apple-topped one over and over again?

Ecopia Farms wants to help break that ho-hum cycle.

The innovative Campbell organic farm, founded by a former CEO of Solectron and a former president of Lockheed Martin Missiles & Space, grows gourmet micro-lettuces indoors under LED lights that now grace the plates of some of the Bay Area’s best restaurants. Now, it’s just introduced two salad kits for consumers.

Each kit comes complete with the farm’s artisan lettuce mix and micro-herbs. The “Holiday Salad” includes Point Reyes blue cheese, candied walnuts, brandied pears, a spiced apple cider vinaigrette, and Maldon salt. The “Winter Salad” includes pickled butternut squash, quinoa with currants, candied pumpkin seeds, Maldon salt and a tangy lemon vinaigrette.

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New Columbus Farm to Fork Naturals Salumi

New Columbus Farm to Fork Naturals Uncured Genoa Salame (foreground), Honey Roasted Turkey (center), and Uncured Fennel Salame.

With so much artisan-made, specialty salumi to be found these days, it’s easy to find yourself turning up your nose at the standard selection in the local supermarket.

San Francisco’s Columbus salumeria wants to change that mindset with its new Farm to Fork Naturals.

Founded in 1917, the company has launched a new line of products made with sustainable practices. The animals used are hormone-free. The meats are also nitrate-free, except for those that occur naturally during the curing process.

Recently, I had a chance to try samples of the new products, which are available in Sprouts grocery stores. More supermarkets are expected to carry them soon. They come pre-sliced, so they’re ready to use in a jiffy.

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