The Central Valley is often called "America's Salad Bowl" and "the World's Breadbasket." It's definitely integral to Sacramento's "Farm to Fork" image. But right now, more than ever, it is Ground Zero for immigration-reform issues, ICE raids, and a Federal/State clash over "aiding and abetting authorities."
That's leading to a lot of fear, turmoil and changes in Central Valley -- to the towns, the farms, the workforce and the food that's being grown and raised there. No matter where you live in California, all of that will affect the food you eat, and probably how much you pay for it.
Join us for our next "Food for Thought" as we take a close look at the "Farm" in our Farm-to-Fork efforts, and talk about the Central Valley, the often overlooked but major player in the foodie scene we gush over.
How is immigration reform -- and the lack of it -- affecting the crops being grown, the farmers who sow them, and the workers who pick them?
With much of the Valley's workforce feeling under siege, what's being done to keep them here-- or replace them?
What food-growing decisions are farmers making based on all this upheaval?
How is this impacting Central Valley towns now -- and how will it impact the rest of California?
And how can we as residents, consumers and "eat local" advocates help the Valley's farmers and workers get through this?
* Santana Diaz, a Yuba City native with family roots in agriculture who started the culinary programs at Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara, then became executive chef at Golden 1 Center, and is now starting a new Farm-to-Fork program as executive chef for UC Davis Health
* Bruce Rominger - a fifth-generation Yolo County farmer who runs, along with his brother, the innovative Rominger Brothers Farm in Winters
* Lety Valencia - regional organizer for Faith in the Valley, a group of community partners in five Central Valley counties that is focused on improving its residents' futures