Anna Roth

Anna's a recovering restaurant critic whose award-winning writing has appeared in the San Francisco Chronicle, Best Food Writing 2014 & 2017, Lucky Peach, SF Weekly, Civil Eats and more. She's the author of West Coast Road Eats, a culinary guidebook. She currently lives in NYC but is a West Coaster at heart. Email: anna.roth @ gmail

Welcome to the agrihood: Farm-to-tableau living in Davis

A girl runs through a wheat field, her long blonde hair streaming behind her. A happy couple shops for apricots at the farmers’ market. A line of kids eats corn on a front porch, smiling cutely as the camera pans over them. Throughout it all, a voice-over espouses the virtues of local eating, sustainability and environmental stewardship. “This is not a nostalgic dream, it’s the immediate future,” the voice intones. “Life tastes better her

Saving Salmon in California's Rice Fields

Rice grows on flooded land; fish need water. And in California, in its fifth year of drought, agriculture and environment groups are often on pretty contentious terms as they battle over the state’s resources. Now, a group of would-be adversaries are coming up with solutions. The Nigiri Project, named after the classic sushi that pairs a slice of raw fish with rice, is a grand experiment from UC Davis, the California Department of Water Resources, and California Trout that puts fledgling salmon

Why Organic Restaurant Certification Matters

Serving giant fried chicken sandwiches and boasting the tagline “taste the revolution,” the Organic Coup opened quietly in Pleasanton, California last November. It’s a modest fast casual food joint from two former Costco executives, focusing on all things fried chicken (i.e., sandwiches, wraps, and bowls), but the restaurant has a bigger purpose: It’s the first certified organic fast food restaurant in the country. And when it opens its second location in downtown San Francisco later this month,

What You Need to Know About the Corporate Shift to Cage-Free Eggs

Last week, Target, Denny’s, and Taco John’s vowed to start using cage-free eggs. The week before it was ConAgra, Mondelez International, and Norwegian Cruise Lines. Spurred by consumer demand and pressure from animal welfare advocates like the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), these pledges are part of a recent landslide from more than 35 companies committing to using 100 percent cage-free eggs in the next five to 10 years. It’s one of the most interesting cases of corporate peer pres

This Law Could Radically Cut Food Waste

Imagine a world where farmers were rewarded for donating “ugly” produce to food banks and school lunch programs; grocery stores weren’t beholden to arbitrary “sell by” dates on their packaging; and community compost bins were as ubiquitous as recycling bins. That’s the world that Representative Chellie Pingree hopes to make a reality. Last week, the Maine congresswoman announced a plan to introduce comprehensive legislation to help stop food waste. At a time when much of the food waste conversa

Is Berkeley’s New Soda Tax Failing?

When Berkeley residents voted to approve the nation’s first soda tax by more than a 3 to 1 margin last year, they were hoping it would raise money for the Northern California city while making people healthier.  Berkeley is charging retailers a penny per ounce of every sugary drink sold—including soft drinks, energy drinks, and pre-sweetened teas—as a “sin tax” designed to make the price artificially high to discourage people from buying them. It’s projected to bring in as much as $1.2 milli

Are Food Tech Companies Promising Too Much Too Fast?

Move fast and break things. That’s a phrase famously used by Facebook’s founder Mark Zuckerberg, which has also become a slogan adopted across Silicon Valley, where CEOs espouse the philosophy that every imperfect idea will show its true nature over time and making mistakes can be the only way to move forward. That attitude might makes sense for, say, testing a new video platform, but the stakes are higher for today’s “food tech” companies, where breaking things doesn’t involve code, but the he

5 Things To Know About the ‘DARK Act’

Update: After we published this article, several House Democrats filed amendments, potentially disabling several key parts of the bill. What you see below refers to the bill’s original language. There are two names for H.R. 1599, the controversial Republican-backed bill concerning GMO labeling that is currently moving through the House of Representatives. The first is its bland, official name: The Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act of 2015. The second is the nickname given by its opponents: D

Can Better Grazing Help Dairy Farmers Cope With Drought and Climate Change?

Jon Bansen has been working on a dairy farm in Monmouth, Oregon alongside his father for nearly 30 years. When the farm switched to organic about 16 years ago, he started to pay more attention to their 650 acres of grass and forageland. Grazing has long been central to organic dairies, and since 2010 the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has required that organic dairy cows spend at least 120 days out of the year eating grass on pasture, rather than grain-based feed. As the years went by, B

Five Things to Consider About Tyson’s Big Antibiotics Announcement

Last week, Tyson Foods made major headlines when it announced that it was “striving to eliminate human antibiotics from broiler chicken production by September 2017.” The move garnered a great deal of accolades for one of the biggest chicken producers in the world. The National Resources Defense Council (NRDC), which has been campaigning to stop the overuse of antibiotics in farming for years, has called this “the tipping point for getting the chicken industry off antibiotics.” Tyson joins othe

The Bird Flu is Back

Bird flu is so 2009, right? That was the year the H1N1 virus made headlines around the world when the first case was found in the United States, prompting fears of a global pandemic and lots of face mask-wearing on public transportation. Since then it’s been quietly mutating and killing humans and poultry around the world. Now there’s a new strain in the U.S. that has infected millions of chickens, turkeys, and other birds. Fortunately, there have been no cases of human infection, and the Cente
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