Oscar’s only ostrich

Today I went to beautiful Mission San José, which is, inexplicably, in Fremont, for the Olive Festival. It was very cute, in a small town festival way. (And Fremont is not a small town.) There were cheesy jewelry booths and odd, animal-shaped purses, but what there really was, was olive oil.

Lots and lots of olive oil, all from California, but not from all over California. Most was from the Central Valley north of Sacramento, although there was oil from Livermore and Visalia and the Sierra foothills as well. I tasted all of the oils from each booth, and got a gallon of late harvest Manzanillo oil from Joëlle Olive Oil in Yolo County.

I also got some olives for appetizers. Well, rather a lot, really,

especially since there are two pint tubs in the fridge, too.

Then I went to the Harvest Festival at Prusch to help at the Veggielution booth. We helped kids make little newspaper pots and plant seeds to take home. Stella the dog was another big draw at the booth. Amie told me that our youth program is already running, and we talked about what the kids could cook on Thursday afternoon, harvesting it from the farm and cooking it all on the Coleman stove.

And then I had to drive up to the hilly part of Redwood City, and what should I see at Cañada College but a poster for, yes, an Arts and Olive Festival tomorrow. I won’t be attending, although I imagine the vendors from Fremont will be staying the night in the Bay Area and crossing the Dumbarton Bridge tomorrow.

Now, for a complete change of tone, here is an article from the NY Times about ground beef safety. I could post food safety articles all the live long day, but other people already do it better (like Marion Nestle, Jill Richardson and the folks at The Ethicurean, if you’re interested.) But this one I found especially horrifying, even though I haven’t had hamburger in probably 20 years. The money quote:

Dr. Kenneth Petersen, an assistant administrator with the [USDA]’s Food Safety and Inspection Service, said that the department could mandate testing, but that it needed to consider the impact on companies as well as consumers. “I have to look at the entire industry, not just what is best for public health,” Dr. Petersen said.