Reclaiming Indigenous Food Sovereignty

What was once a rare disease, type two diabetes is now the highest amongst Native American and Alaskan Native adults and children than any other racial and ethnic group in the United States. Those children, particularly living on or near reservation and tribal lands, are more likely to experience type 2 diabetes, food insecurity, and obesity in comparison to all other children in the United States. Food access is an issue at multiple levels: access to seasonally available wild foods, financial access to fresh, whole foods, and access to the cultural knowledge to prepare and preserve traditional foods. The biggest contributors to this loss in food access were forced removals from native lands onto barren reservations, forced assimilation in Native American Boarding Schools, and the government-provided commodity food that was then distributed to those on reservations. Those foods commonly included white flour, lard, sugar, dairy products, and canned meats- a major contrast from the unprocessed, whole, traditional foods they were use to.

It is because of this epidemic, people within the Indigenous communities are working towards an indigenous foods movement as a means of cultural renewal, environmental sustainability, and a way to reclaim Food Sovereignty.

“Indigenous food sovereignty is the act of going back to our roots as Indigenous peoples and using the knowledge and wisdom of our people that they used when they oversaw their own survival. This includes the ability to define one’s own food sources and processes, such as the decision to hunt, trap, fish, gather, harvest, grow and eat based on Indigenous culture and ways of life.”

Below, is a TedxTalk from Sean Sherman, who further discusses where the traditional knowledge got lost, and how himself and many other indigenous folks are taking matters into their own hands, reclaiming their Indigenous Food Sovereignty.

Here, we will be listing just a few of the many Indigenous people/ Indigenous-led Organizations reclaiming Food Sovereignty within the United States.


An online cooking show dedicated to re-indigenizing diets using digital media. Using foods native to their Americas, Indigikitchen gives viewers the important tools they need to find and prepare food in their own communities. Beyond that, it strengthens the ties to their cultures and reminds them of the inherent worth of their identities while fueling their physical bodies.

Brian Yazzie “Yazzie the Chef”

A Diné/Navajo chef and food justice activist from Dennehotso, Arizona and based out of Saint Paul, MN. He is the founder of Intertribal Foodways catering company, a YouTube creator under Yazzie The Chef TV, a delegate of Slow Food Turtle Island Association, and a member at I-Collective. Yazzie’s career is devoted to the betterment of tribal communities, wellness, and health.

Sean Sherman, The Sioux Chef

Sean Sherman, Oglala Lakota, born in Pine Ridge, SD, has been cooking across the US and World for the last 30 years. His main culinary focus has been on the revitalization and awareness of indigenous foods systems in a modern culinary context. Sean has studied on his own extensively to determine the foundations of these food systems which include the knowledge of Native American farming techniques, wild food usage and harvesting, land stewardship, salt and sugar making, hunting and fishing, food preservation, Native American migrational histories, elemental cooking techniques, and Native culture and history in general to gain a full understanding of bringing back a sense of Native American cuisine to today’s world.

The Sioux Chef team works to make indigenous foods more accessible to as many communities as possible. To open opportunities for more people to learn about Native cuisine and develop food enterprises in their tribal communities.

Three Sisters Gardens

Farmer Alfred Melbourne is the owner and operator of Three Sisters Gardens and a long time resident of West Sacramento. Based on traditional native teachings, Three Sisters Gardens is an Indidgenous-led organization with a mission to teach at risk youth how to grow/harvest/distribute organic vegetables, connect Native youth back to the land, build connections with community elders, and reclaim food sovereignty. They donate food to the Yolo Food Bank, and also hold a “Free Farm” stand where they offer their veggies free to to the community.  


Linda Black Elk

Linda Black Elk is an ethnobotanist who serves as the Food Sovereignty Coordinator at United Tribes Technical College in Bismarck, North Dakota. She specializes in teaching about Indigenous plants and their uses as food and medicine. She teaches classes like “Food Preservation and Storage” and “From Farm and Forage to Fork.” She also uses her wealth of knowledge and charismatic ways of connecting through her YouTube channel, covering topics like making homemade cedar blueberry cough syrup, drying squash varieties, and how to make plant-based medicines at home for various health support.
Black Elk’s drive to make wild plants and plant medicine accessible, applicable, and relevant is so strong it resonates throughout all she does. She is also a founding board member of the Mni Wichoni Health Circle, an organization devoted to decolonized medicines.

Reclaiming control over local food systems is an important step toward ensuring the long-lasting health and economic well-being of Native people and communities. Native food system control has proven to increase food production, improve health and nutrition, and eliminate food insecurity in rural and reservation-based communities, while also promoting entrepreneurship and economic development.
This is Indigenous resilience, moving through the era of disconnection to their foods and traditions and reclaiming their intergenerational knowledge.

The Davis Food Co-op occupies land that belongs to three federally recognized Patwin tribes: Cachil DeHe Band of Wintun Indians of the Colusa Indian Community, Kletsel Dehe Wintun Nation, and Yocha Dehe Wintun Nation.

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Support (Y)our Local Food Security Organizations

support (y)our local food security Organizations

 As of October 2022, grocery store prices are 5.3% higher than they were a year ago. To put this in perspective, during the decade prior to the start of the pandemic the average annual increase in grocery store prices were only about 1.3%.

Supply chain disruptions, labor shortages, and Climate Change are some of the major leading factors for why we are seeing such high inflation increases.

Because of this, more people are struggling to get access to food, resulting in more folks experiencing food insecurity.


Food-insecure is defined by households that are uncertain of having, or unable to acquire, at some time during the year, enough food to meet the needs of all their members because they had insufficient money or other resources for food.

There are many non-profits and charities that are working to address food insecurity and increase food sovereignty

We’re highlighting a few of the local organizations here in Davis and two in Sacramento, giving details on when and where they distribute food if you or someone you know is in need.

All of these local organizations are best supported through volunteering, donations of food and financial donations, and spreading the word to members of the community. Links will be included for both volunteering and donating options for each organization.

The Night Market 

Established in 2019, The Night Market’s mission is to reduce food waste and increase food security in Davis while fostering a sense of community. They recover food that would otherwise go to waste from Davis restaurants, bakeries, and grocery stores. They also have a focus on sustainability by prioritizing bikes equipped with carts to transport food, to minimize their carbon emissions.

They provide the free meals Monday-Friday, from 9pm- 11pm in Central Park and is available for anyone that is in need. 

For the times that they have leftovers, they package the remaining food in compostable containers and drop them off at the Freedge that is hosted at the Davis Food Co-op.



Davis Food Not Bombs/Sacramento Food Not Bombs

Food Not Bombs is an all-volunteer movement that recovers food that would otherwise be discarded, and shares free vegan and vegetarian meals with the hungry in over 1,000 cities in 65 countries in protest to war, poverty, and destruction of the environment. There are two local Food Not Bombs, one in Davis and one in Sacramento.

Davis Food Not Bombs serves meals every 2nd and 4th Sundays
at Central Park (4th & C) from 1-2pm

If you’re interested in getting involved, send them an email at [email protected], message them on Instagram or Facebook.

Sacramento Food Not Bombs serves a free vegan meal every Sunday at 1:30pm at Cesar Chavez Plaza (Between 9th & 10th and I and J Street)

If you’d like to volunteer with Sacramento Food Not Bombs or make a donation of food or funds, please contact us at [email protected] for more information.

Both will also accept anyone to just show up at the serving times and chat with them to discuss ways you can get involved.


NorCal Resist

Established in 2016, NorCal Resist fights injustices through making a positive impact in their communities. They host educational events and trainings, organize actions, and maintain a variety of resources and programs that provide support to those in need.

NorCal Resist does food distribution in several ways – Monthly drive thru distributions where they partner with the Sacramento Food Bank, a community table at their monthly brake light clinics, and direct deliveries to their community at home, as needed. They have a Mutual Aid Farm, Seeds of Solidarity, which has distributed over 1,800 pounds of organic food to the community so far this year.

Dates, times, and locations of their distribution programs can be found through their Instagram.

More information to volunteer for one of their programs can be found here.
Donate here


Fourth and Hope

Fourth & Hope serves dinner each night at 5 p.m. to anyone in need of a hot meal. Breakfast and lunch are offered to clients staying at the shelter. Location is 1901 E Beamer St, Woodland, CA 95776

Information on volunteering can be found here

Purchase items from their wishlist here.

Donate here

Yolo Food Bank

Yolo Food Bank coordinates the recovery, storage, and distribution of more than 11 million pounds of food annually. They collaborate with a network of grocers and retailers, farmers and distributors, the private sector and governmental agencies, and 64 nonprofit partner organizations countywide. They distribute food through these 4 programs:

Eat Well Yolo
Providing weekly distributions of fresh produce, dairy,
meat, and other non-perishable goods.

Eat Home Yolo
Delivering groceries to low income senior citizens, people with disabilities, or mobility-restricted neighbors.

Kids Farmers Market
Supporting elementary-school-aged children’s access to local produce and nutrition education.

Nonprofit Partners
Supplying fresh produce, shelf-stable food, and personal care products to 64+ nonprofit partners countywide.

You can volunteer individually or in a group to pack food, distribute food, and/or volunteer as a driver. Find all this information on volunteering here.

Find food near you
Donate here


The Pantry

Many students at UC Davis find themselves choosing between basic essentials such as food and hygiene products and the required costs of college. It is for this reason that The Pantry was established in 2010 to help offset these financial burdens and ensure that students may continue on to successfully complete and obtain their degrees.

The Pantry is open to all students, staff, and faculty at UC Davis. This also includes graduate, PhD, and postdoctoral students, serving folks of all levels of income and need.

Their current Fall 2022 Schedule is:

Monday & Wednesday & Friday: 10:30am – 4:00pm
Tuesday & Thursday: 9:30am – 4:00pm
Saturday & Sunday: 12:00pm – 2:00pm

While walk-ins are welcome, they also have an online portal to order non-perishable items in advance, and have a digital list, that is updated hourly, to show what perishable items they currently have.

They have volunteer opportunities for student, which more information can be found here.

Donate Here

More than 90% of funding for The Pantry comes from community donations. 

Davis Community Meals and Housing

Davis Community Meals and Housing offers a free meal on Tuesday and Thursday evenings from 5:45 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. and lunch on Saturday from 11:30 am to 12:15 pm at St. Martin’s Episcopal Church, located at 640 Hawthorn Lane, Davis, CA 95616.

The food is prepared and served by individual community volunteers, religious organizations, school groups, UC Davis and community service groups, and many others.

Volunteers help prepare the meals, set up the dining hall, serve the meals and clean up the kitchen and hall at the conclusion of the meal. Volunteers are needed from 9 am to 11:30 am and from 4:30 pm to 7:30 pm on Tuesdays and from 9 am to 1 pm on Saturdays.

Find more information on Volunteering here

Purchase items from their wish list

Donate Here

The Freedge

The Freedge aims to reduce food insecurity and food waste, while simutaneously building a stronger, more sustainable community. They promote equal access to healthy food through the installation of community freedges (public refrigerators) that are for anyone who is in need within the community.

There are currently 5 Freedges throughout Davis:

Davis Food Co-op 

UCD Memorial Union

UCD Silo

1221 Eureka Ave

2013 Whittier Dr

Perishable and non-perisable items can be dropped off by anyone from the community (excluding raw meat or alcohol).

“Take what you need, give what you don’t.”

Freedge Locations Map

Donate Here 

There isn’t one solution to food insecurity, but many. It requires an approach that includes government policy, better housing, employment opportunities, social assistance, training and education, affordable fresh food markets, and more.

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Davis Forest School – DFC’s 2022 Apple a Day Recipient

Each year, the Co-op donates $0.10 for every pound of apples sold over the course of our fiscal year through our “Apple a Day” program. With 60,275.25 lbs of apples sold from October 2021 – September 2022, we were left with $6,275.25 to donate to a local nonprofit organization.

For this year’s donation, we have chosen Davis Forest School as our recipient.

The $6,275.25 donation will directly support the expansion of their Winter 2023 Program to include an additional skill-based class for 15 more children in the Davis community.

Our Marketing Manager Vince and Education and Outreach Specialist Anna recently sat down with founder Candice Wang, and had her answer a few questions about Davis Forest School: 

1. Can you Tell us about Davis Forest School and how it came to fruition?

Davis Forest School is a non-profit nature play and outdoor education organization, and
was founded in early 2018. Our goal is to promote and cultivate understanding of, and
empathy for, the natural world, and for the local bioregion (in particular, the ecosystem of Putah Creek and the lower Sacramento River watershed).
Our programming is based on the forest school model, which meets outdoors in the wild, over time, and is a co-creating experience between children and the Forest Mentors.
This organization came to fruition from me being a mother to very spirited and wild
children. Motherhood was an initiation into deconditioning and healing from certain
aspects of my own childhood, and a commitment to following the lead of my children in
what they need. We discovered the forest school model together, and the first time I
spent hours in nature with my kiddos, I just felt so much peace. I could see all the ways
we are disconnected from our lives, each other, the land, and how important it is to find a sense of connection again. My children’s wildness led me to this work, and the layers of depth with our connection to this land keeps me here.
Davis Forest School is also a testament of what can be created from a tapestry of
community members who share a vision and are deeply devoted and passionate to their work. Rosemary Roberts, a parent to one of our first students, took on running the
school when I moved away for a couple of years, and was the person to establish DFS
as a community entity. We are now supported and led by a team of parents behind the
scenes. We also have the most wonderful Forest Mentors who take so much ownership
over what we do, such as Molly Damore Johann, who was the person to connect us
with this opportunity with the Davis Food Co-op.

2. Why do you believe this way of schooling is a good alternative to formal schooling?

For now, we don’t replace other schooling models because we mostly run as an
afterschool program (although we have a homeschool morning class that we would like to expand!). Our organization is more of a counter environment to the formal schooling that children receive, and divests from our culture’s fixation on busyness. Rather than having a top-down model of education, we allow space for spontaneous learning through unstructured imaginative play and exploration. Our staff members are “Forest Mentors”, and not “teachers”, and take on the role of guides for the kiddos during our time out in nature together. We trust children in their innate sense to learn through play and exploration. Our programming is child-led, although we follow a daily rhythm and include naturalist studies, nature connection routines, and earth skills. When children are told what to do, what they need to learn, or what our time together should look like, this can cause them to shut down and resist what’s in front of them. When children have space to just be, their curiosity and sense of openness expands. Children learn so much from following their curiosities, and by returning to the same natural spaces over and over again, throughout the seasons and years.

3. Why is land acknowledgement and reparations an important part of Davis
Forest School?

Our work is deeply entwined with the land. Since time immemorial, the Patwin people have been stewards of this land. Acknowledging that we are on occupied Patwin land, through words, is the very bare minimum entry into land acknowledgement. We are learning that true land acknowledgement comes from how we run our program, and through partnering with Indigenous folks and support organizations. As a society, we need to move away from a model where we commodify nature, where we view it as something to further extract from. Nature programming can easily become about how nature can serve us. Beyond words, land acknowledgment is embracing and honoring Indigenous models of being in reciprocal relationship with the land.
DFS offers reparations to our Black and Indigenous families because we are running land-based programming on stolen land, in a country that was built on the backs of Black labor. Offering reparations is also a step towards dismantling systems of power, and prioritizing equity, in outdoor spaces.

    4. What are some of the things the kiddos have said they enjoy the most in the programs?

    We hear from the kiddos that they really enjoy swimming and playing in the creek. They love whittling, building shelter, catching crayfish, and going on expeditions. The kiddos have high-excitement moments when we see certain animals, like an otter eating trout by the shoreline. The children love our Forest Mentors, and having time together each week. At the start of our Fall Program last month, a few children said that Forest School is unlike any school they’ve been to before, and that they are free to play. I think children come into our program expecting what they know to be school, because we have “school” in our name. It reaffirms the work we do when we witness children open up and embrace their sense of autonomy in a higher freedom environment.

    5. When someone donates to Davis Forest school, what does it go towards? What
    are other ways people in the community can support Davis Forest School?

    Right now, all donations go directly towards our equity fund for tuition assistance and reparations, which supports our goal of creating more equity in the outdoor space. People in the community can also support us by continuing to share DFS with others, and by sharing with us grants and funding opportunities that are relevant to our organization. We are in a critical stage of growth and formation, where we need to find the balance between being able to offer accessible programming and being able to provide sustainable jobs for the amazing team we have. I do want to acknowledge how we already feel so embraced by this wonderful community. Davis Forest School is here today because of the people who understand and appreciate the work we do, and have uplifted us throughout the past few years. We very much look forward to expanding and continuing to anchor in this work.

    Learn more about

    Davis Forest School here

    *Photos provided by Natascha Paxton and Candice Wang


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    The 2023 Farm Bill- Agovacy at its finest!

    Resigned and reauthorized every five years, the largest piece of food-related legislation is up next year, the Farm Bill. This bill determines policy and funding levels for agriculture, food assistance programs, natural resources, and other aspects of food and agriculture under the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Its impact on the farming industry, its related programs and industries, and the communities they support is tremendous.

    The original Farm Bill was enacted during the 1930s as part of the New Deal and had three main goals:

    • Keep food prices fair for farmers and consumers.
    • Ensure an adequate food supply.
    • Protect and sustain the country’s vital natural resources.

    While each new Farm Bill is unique, and 18 bills have followed the initial one, the issues addressed in the last 2018 Farm Bill encompassed agricultural commodities, conservation, trade, nutrition, credit, rural development, research, extension and related matters, forestry, energy, horticulture, crop insurance and miscellaneous. To the left is a chart of the $428 million dollars that went towards farm and program support in the last bill.

    Discussions on what is due to be the 2023 Farm Bill have already begun at field hearings and producer meetings across the country, where stakeholders have been vocalizing their recommendations and priorities for the next Farm Bill:

    The current baseline for Farm Bill programs for the next five years is $648 billion, according to the Congressional Budget Office’s May 2022 estimates. A new estimate in spring 2023 will set the budget for the new Farm Bill.

    Here is a quick rundown of what the process of passing the Farm Bill looks like:

    Legislatively, it all begins with hearings in Washington, DC and across the country – these are listening sessions where members of Congress take input from the public and organizations about what they want to see in a new bill.


    House and Senate Agriculture Committees each draft, debate, amend and change, and eventually pass a bill; the two committees work on separate bills that can have substantial differences.


    Each committee bill goes next to “the floor” – the full House of Representatives or Senate. Each bill is debated, amended, and voted on again by its respective body (House or Senate).


    After both the full House and Senate have passed a Farm Bill – which can take a while, and may require a bill being sent back to committee for more work before passage, the two bills (House and Senate) go to a smaller group of Senators and Representatives called a “Conference Committee,” which combines the two separate bills into one compromise package. Conferees are typically chosen mostly from House and Senate Agriculture Committee members.


    The combined version of the Conference Committee’s Farm Bill then goes back to the House and Senate floors to be debated – and potentially passed.


    Once the House and Senate approve a final Farm Bill, the bill goes to the President, who can veto it and send it back to Congress or sign it into law.

    Once the Farm Bill is signed into law, it’s time for the Appropriations phase: Setting money aside in the yearly federal budget to fund the programs in the Farm Bill, which the federal government operates on a fiscal year from October 1st to September 30th.

     Happening simultaneously with the annual appropriations process is Rulemaking. After Congress passes a Farm Bill, the USDA is responsible for writing the actual rules for how these programs will be implemented on the ground. 

    The recent pass of the Inflation Reduction Act will play a major role in the Farm Bill

    U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown says the Inflation Reduction Act should help jumpstart the 2023 Farm Bill process.

    “When we passed the Inflation Reduction Act, we funded some farm programs ahead of time, something we’ve never done,” he says. “So, this Farm Bill should be more productive and more helpful both to consumers and farmers because we planned for it better than we have in the past.”

    According to an analysis from the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition, the Inflation Reduction Act will provide about a 47% increase over previous Farm Bill levels.

    And with the Biden Administration making Climate Change a federal priority, it is likely that the new Farm Bill will reflect such efforts.


    No exception to previous years, the final draft of the bill will impact every American in a way that so few others do and will require immense collaboration and compromise on both sides of the aisle — and the final product will impact the food and beverage ecosystem for generations to come.

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    The People United Will Never Be Defeated- The March for the Governors Signature

    In June, I was having a catch-up-on-life dinner with my dad, when I brought up the topic of farm workers. While this wasn’t our first time around having this type of conversation, I wanted his input on what he thought was the best way to show support to farm workers. As a professor at Chico State, he has been teaching Chicano studies for several decades now and has dedicated much of his life to studying and interviewing folks who were in the Bracero program and attending many protests that were fighting for farm worker rights.

    This picture above was a protest that took place at the California State Capitol, in 2002; my father standing in solidarity with Farm Workers.

    That was when he brought up a march that was going to be happening in a few weeks, being led by the United Farm Workers- The March for the Governor’s Signature. 

    This march would begin on August 3rd in Delano, Ca, and end at the State Capitol on August 26th. This was a repeat of the historic march that was led by Cesar Chavez in 1966. This march was to convince Governor Gavin Newsom to sign AB 2183, the Agricultural Labor Relations Voting Choice Act; a bill which would give farm workers the right to vote for a union, free from intimidation and threats, allowing them to vote in secret whenever and wherever they feel safe.⁠

    About 30 farmworkers were marching the entire 335-mile journey through the state’s agricultural Central Valley. Along the way, hundreds of other workers and supporters joined them for parts of the trek.⁣

    Despite the heat and physical toll this took on the marchers, they were shown communal support everywhere they went. Supporters passed out waters, food, provided housing, and other supplies needed to keep these marchers going strong.

    During the last week of the march, more than 30 students from UC Davis Medical School met up with the marchers in Walnut Grove, Elk Grove, and Sacramento to treat blisters, bandage wounds, and help sooth aching soles.

    La lucha es mi lucha- your struggle is my struggle.

    The morning of the last day of the march, my father and I were making our way to South Side Park, where folks were gathering for the final stretch to the State Capitol, when there was an announcement from Governor Gavin Newsom stating that he could not support the current bill being proposed, with a spokesperson saying this in an email:

    “Governor Newsom is eager to sign legislation that expands opportunity for agricultural workers to come together and be represented, and he supports changes to state law to make it easier for these workers to organize. Our goal is to establish a system for fair elections-requiring employers to abide by rules that guarantee union access and provide key enforceable protections to ensure a fair election. If employers fail to abide by those rules, they would be subject to organizing under a card-check process.

    However, we cannot support an untested mail-in election process that lacks critical provisions to protect the integrity of the election and is predicated on an assumption that government cannot effectively enforce laws. We welcome an agreement with UFW on the ground-breaking legislation the administration has proposed.”


    This came as no surprise since he had already vetoed a similar bill last year, but I found it humorously ironic, being that this fell on the same day the Gov. declared August 26th California Farm Workers Appreciation Day.


    Despite this announcement, once we arrived, there was no hint of defeat. Thousands were there and we were surrounded with music, dancing, prayers, and laughter all throughout the park.

     After a few speeches and words of encouragement, we all began to get in formation to begin the march to the Capitol.

    On the way there, there was continuous chants and songs, only getting stronger as we got closer to the Capitol.

    We arrived to the Capitol around 11am, where it was estimated that there were over 7,000 people all there in support of Farm Workers and the signage of this bill. Chants, songs, dancing, and waving of signs and flags continued as we waited for the speeches to begin.

    Speeches included Farm Workers, Teresa Romero (current UFW President), Dolores Huerta (Co-Founder of UFW), and other Farm Worker advocates. 

    The rally wrapped up around 1:30pm and everyone, including myself and my father, left in high spirits.

    It was a powerful, historic event, and it proves that there is so much power in the commUNITY.  

    The new iteration of the bill, AB2183, was amended the week after the completion of the march, to lay out a more complex process for farmworker union elections beyond just allowing them to vote by mail. Advocates said it would help farmworkers participate in union elections without interference from their employer.⁣

    24-hour around-the-clock vigils began on August 29th in Sacramento, Fresno, Los Angeles, and San Francisco.
    The vigils across the state will all be moving to the State Capitol, starting September 6th, and each location is asking for support from people near or in their community to show up and stand in solidarity with them until Governor Newsom signs this bill.


    There is no doubt that capitalism has continuously sought pools of workers for the lowest paying, most backbreaking, and dirtiest jobs. It is these workers who were destined to be the most exploited of all. The great leap in improving wages and working conditions for a major section of the nation’s farm labor force has been largely attributable to its strikes, boycotts, and organizing campaigns. The fight for Farm Workers continues!!


    ¡El pueblo unido jamás será vencido!
    (The people united will never be defeated)
    – Anna Lopez, Education & Outreach Coordinator


    Below are resources including documentaries, books, and articles, and organizations  to further your education and support about Farm Workers.

    Sign Workers Petition to get Newsom to sign AB 2183 Bill

    UFW History Explained

    Farm Worker related books, documentaries, and organizations

    Pictures used in this blog taken by Cisco Kuhl


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    Staff Resources at the Co-op

    Cooperative Principle #5 is Education, Training, and Information. Meaning that the Davis Food Co-op is responsible for educating, training, and informing our owners, shoppers, and staff on related matters inside and outside the store.

    In today’s blog, we will be discussing some of the many resources we have available for all staff at the Co-op to strengthen their knowledge.


    Online Human Resource Portal

    Through our online portal, we can assign staff newsletters, department specific newsletters, and staff specific trainings as a convenient way to communicate store operations updates and other forms of education to all staff members.


    Co+op U

    Through NCG (National Cooperative Grocers), there are provided trainings intended to enhance the skills, knowledge, and learning ability of co-op employees. In this online learning management system, co-op staff can learn best practices for a wide variety of content areas, including de-escalation of difficult situations with customers, supervisory skills, understanding financial statements, marketing, etc.





    We have a mini library in the co-op’s staff break room, ranging from recipe books, books about Cooperatives (beyond food co-ops), the Agriculture Industry, etc.

    Right now some Co-op staff have been reading Fresh Fruit, Broken Bodies by Seth M. Holmes which exposes the structural violence inherent in the migrant labor system in the United States and the need for Farm Worker justice now. ⁠


    We educate and inform our staff and through pamphlets on seasonal produce, how to store your produce, biking guides, and many more. (These guides are also provided for owners/customers, placed throughout the Co-op).

    Read about the other Cooperative Principles here.

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    Late Summer Mocktails

    Spicy Watermelon Mint

    Ingredients (4 servings)

    • 16 oz Topo Chico Sparkling Water
    • 3 Cups Watermelon Juice
    • 20 fresh mint leaves
    • 4 slices of watermelon
    • Tajin
    • 8 lime wedges


    1. Rub lime wedge around the rim of a glass and dip in Tajin seasoning.
    2. Muddle the mint leaves in the bottom of each glass.
    3. Fill the glass 1/3 full of ice.
    4. Add 3/4 cup watermelon juice.
    5. Top with Topo Chico sparkling water.
    6. Garnish with a slice of watermelon, a lime wedge, and a few mint leaves.


     Watermelon Juice Recipe
    1.  Blend 6 cups of cubed seedless watermelon until smooth.
    2. Pour the mixture through a fine-mesh sieve or cloth into a bowl or cup.

    Blueberry Ginger Cooler

    Ingredients (6 servings)

    • Blueberry Ginger simple Syrup (recipe below)
    • Ice cubes
    • Sparkling water of your choice
    • Mint or Rosemary for garnish



    1. Fill 2/3 of the glass with Blueberry Ginger Syrup. 
    2. Add Ice cubes to glass.
    3. Top glass with unflavored or flavored sparkling water. Mix gently.
    4. Garnish with fresh blueberries and mint leaves.


    Blueberry Ginger Syrup recipe

    • 4.5 cups water
    • 1.25 cups fresh blueberries
    • 1 heaping Tbsp grated ginger
    • 4-5 Tbsp sugar (to your likeness)
    1. To a pan on medium-high heat add water, blueberries and grated ginger. Let it all come to a boil.
    2. Once the mixture starts boiling, add sugar and mix till it dissolves.
    3. Now lower the heat and using the back of your spatula, mash the blueberries. Let the mixture simmer for another 10-15 minutes.
    4. Remove from heat and once the syrup has cooled down, cover it and let it sit at room temperature for 2-3 hours. This is important so that the flavors mix-in well.
    5. After 2-3 hours, strain the syrup into a clear bowl. You can cover and keep it refrigerated until ready to use.

    Mango Orange Mojito

    Ingredients (4 servings)

    • 1 cup fresh mint leaves
    • 1/4 cup sugar
    • 1 cup orange juice
    • 1 cup mango nectar (or fresh mango juice)
    • 1 tbsp lime juice
    • 12 oz sparkling water of choice
    • Ice
    • Orange slices and mint leaves for garnish



    1. In 1 large bowl or pitcher, add the 1 cup of fresh mint leaves and muddle.
    2. Add sugar, and muddle the mixture again.
    3. Add the orange juice, mango juice, lime juice, and sparkling water. Gently stir.
    4. Fill each glass halfway with ice. Pour in mixture.
    5. Garnish with orange slices and mint.

    Rosemary Peach

    Ingredients (4 servings)

    • 2 peaches, chopped
    • 4 oz rosemary simple syrup (see recipe below)
    • 8 oz lemon juice
    • Ice
    • Sparkling Water of your choice (flavored or unflavored)



    1. Add peaches to shaker. Muddle peaches well.
    2. Add rosemary simple syrup, and fresh lemon juice to a shaker. Shake all ingredients.
    3. Strain the mixture into two glasses filled with ice. 
    4. Top with sparkling water.

     Rosemary Simple Syrup

    • 4.5 cups water
    • 1.25 cups fresh blueberries
    • 1 heaping Tbsp grated ginger
    • 4-5 Tbsp sugar (to your likeness)

    Add rosemary, sugar, and water to a pan and bring it to a boil. Remove from heat and let the rosemary sprigs steep in the sugar water for about 15 minutes, at least. Strain out the leaves and let the syrup cool before use.


    Strawberry Basil

    Ingredients (6 servings)

    • 6 fresh strawberries, sliced
    • 12 fresh basil leaves
    • 1/4 cup sugar
    • Ice cubes
    • 1/3 cup lemon juice
    • 2-1/4 sparking soda
    • Additional basil leaves, for garnishing


    1. In a shaker, muddle strawberries, basil and sugar.
    2. Fill shaker 3/4 full with ice, then add lemon juice.
    3. Cover and shake for a few seconds.
    4. Strain into six rock glasses filled with ice.
    5. Top with sparkling water.
    6. Garnish with basil leaves.


    Find all of the ingredients for these recipes at your Davis Food Co-op!

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    5 Low Energy Use Recipes

    The U.S. Department of Energy estimates that cooking alone generally accounts for 4 to 5% of total home energy use, and this figure doesn’t include the energy costs associated with refrigeration, hot water heating, and dishwashing. Added together, these costs mean that as much as 15% of the energy in the average American home is used in the kitchen.

    However, two of my favorite ways of cooking just so happens to help conserve energy: Cooking in big batches (4-8 servings per meal) and/or having little to none cooking involved (oven, stovetop, slow-cooker, etc.), while still maintaining a filling, nutrient-packed meal.


    Here are some of my favorite, low-energy use recipes:

    Overnight Buckwheat & Chia Seed Pudding (vegan)- 6 Servings

    2½ Cups Dairy-free Milk

    ½ Cup Chia Seeds

    4 Tbsp Raw, Hulled Buckwheat

    2-4 Tbsp Maple Syrup (to your likeness)

    Optional Serving toppings

    Fresh/Frozen Fruit

    Hemp Seeds


    Nut Butter




    1. In a mixing bowl add dairy free milk, chia seeds, buckwheat, and maple syrup. Whisk to combine.
    2. Cover and refrigerate overnight (or at least 6 hours). The pudding should be thick and creamy. If not, add more chia seeds and/or milk, stir, and refrigerate for another hour or so.
    3. Enjoy as is, or top/layer with the optional toppings!

    Leftovers can be stored in the fridge for up to 5 days.

    Salmon and Kale Caesar Wraps-

    6 servings

    7 Cups shredded kale

    ¾ Cups shredded parmesan cheese

    3/4 Cup Caesar Dressing (Recipe below)

    3 (6 oz.) Cans Wild Salmon, Drained (or you can cook your own salmon prior)

    6 Large Flour Tortillas (sub Casava or Chickpea tortillas for more protein/fiber)


    Ingredients for Cesar Dressing

    2 Cloves minced Garlic

    2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice

    1 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil

    1 Tsp Anchovy Paste

    2 Tsp Worcestershire sauce

    ½ Cup Plain Greek Yogurt

    1 Tsp Dijon Mustard

    ¼ Cup Grated Parmesan Cheese

    ½ Tsp Fine Sea Salt

    ¼ Tsp Ground Pepper

    1-2 Tbsp Water (as needed, to thin)

    Add all ingredients, besides water, to a blend and mix for a few seconds. Slowly add waterto blender and mix until you get a consistency that you like.


    1. Shred salmon using a fork. Set aside.
    2. Place the kale, parmesan, and caesar dressing in a large bowl and toss until the leaves are evenly coated with the dressing. Toss in shredded Salmon to combine.
    3. Place 1 tortilla on a clean work surface. Spread a quarter of the filling to the center of the tortilla. Roll the wrap tightly by folding the sides over the filling, then rolling from the bottom up. Repeat with the remaining 5 tortillas. Serve immediately.

    Leftovers can be stored in the fridge for up to 2 days.

    Creamy Sesame Noodles (vegan)-

    6 servings

    8 oz. Brown Rice Udon Noodles

    1 Large Cucumber, chopped or thinly sliced

    1/2 Cup thinly sliced green onion

    1/2 Cup chopped cilantro

    1/3 cup chopped roasted peanuts or cashews(lightly salted or unsalted)

    1 Tbsp Sesame Seeds (brown or white)

    Sesame Dressing Ingredients

    1/4 Cup Liquid Aminos

    3 Tbsp Tahini

    2 Tbsp Rice Vinegar

    1 ½ Tbsp Maple Syrup

    1 Tbsp Toasted Sesame Oil

    1 Tbsp Fresh Lime Juice

    1 Tbsp Minced Ginger

    2 Tsp Minced Garlic


    1. Cook noodles according to package instructions then rinse in cold water to cool them. Set aside to drain.
    2. Whisk together all the sesame dressing ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Set aside.
    3. Chop or thinly slice the Cucumber (remove seeds).
    4. Add the drained noodles and 3/4 of the sliced cucumbers to the dressing bowl and stir well to combine.
    5. Top with the remaining cucumber, green onions, cilantro, and chopped nuts. Garnish with extra lime.
    6. Enjoy right away or chill for 30 minutes before serving.

    Leftovers can be stored in the fridge for up to 2 days.


    Cashew-Curry Chicken Salad-

    6 servings

    2/3 Cup Greek Yogurt

    4 Tsp Lemon Juice

    4 Tsp Honey

    1 Tsp Curry Powder

    1/4 Tsp Salt

    1/4 Tsp Garlic Powder

    1/4 Tsp Pepper

    1/8 Tsp Ground Ginger

    3 Cups Cubed Cooked Chicken Breast

    4 Celery Ribs, chopped

    2 Medium Carrots, chopped

    1/2 Cup Chopped Cashews


    1. In a large bowl, combine the first eight ingredients.
    2. Add the remaining ingredients, toss to coat.
    3. Serve as is, or make a sandwich. 

    Leftovers can be stored in the fridge for up to 2-3 days.

    Cold Lentil, Olive, and Cucumber Salad (Vegetarian/Vegan)-6 servings



    2 Cups French Lentils

    2 Cloves Garlic

    2 Bay Leaves

    1/2 Tbsp Mustard

    1/2 Tsp Salt

    2 Tbsp Rice Vinegar

    6 Tbsp Extra-Virgin Olive Oil

    2 Medium Cucumbers, chopped into 1/2-inch pieces

    1 Cup Pitted Kalamata Olives, chopped

    3/4 Cup Mint, chopped

    1 Cup Ricotta or Feta cheese (leave out or sub with vegan cheese to keep recipe vegan)



    1. Combine the lentils, garlic, and bay leaves in a large pot and cover with water by 2 inches. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce to a simmer and cook until just tender, about 15 minutes.
    2. Drain the water and pull out the garlic and bay leaves. Refrigerate until cold.
    3. In a small bowl, whisk together the mustard, salt, and vinegar. Drizzle in the olive oil, whisking constantly until the dressing has emulsified.
    4. Combine the lentils, cucumbers, olives in a large bowl. Pour over the vinaigrette and toss to evenly coat.
    5. Top with mint and ricotta or crumbled feta just before serving.

    Leftovers can be stored in the fridge for up to 2-3 days.

    Find all of the ingredients for these recipes at your Davis Food Co-op!

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