The Union’s curmudgeon columnist: A farm-to-table movement moron

UnknownThe Union dug a deep hole for itself when it hired George Boardman to be its weekly columnist, as I’ve written before. He’s the poster boy for the newspaper’s declining, aging demographic. Until it dumps George, it won’t grow readership. Not a chance.

In the latest example, George trashes the farm-to-fork movement to improve healthy eating in our schools. Under the headline “Here’s something else the government can’t do for you,” George’s thesis is that the “farm-to-fork movement may be trendy and organic may be growing in popularity” but the government should ignore all this. He even wrote this: “Kids in Georgia love their friend chicken.”

Boardman concludes: “And when you attend the county fair in August, make sure your children are accompanied by a responsible adult when they visit Treat Street.”

In fact, George is ignorant about some nationally recognized programs in our own community, insulting its organizers and supporters with his ignorant column.

For example: “Sierra Harvest’s Farm to School program connects 16 schools and partner farms, reaching over 5000 students and 82% of the K-8 population in Western Nevada County with;
• Farm field trips
• School produce stands
• Classroom visits by chefs and farmers and
• Monthly tastings of seasonal produce in over 200 classrooms.

“‘When the guest chef came in with crates of raw kale, I was skeptical, I thought, ‘they are never going to go for this’, but at the end of the day, kids were asking for seconds and thirds of kale salad. One 8th grader exclaimed, ‘If my mom made kale like this, I would eat it every night’! Michelle Mc Daniel, Teacher.”

Another example: “The end of the year has arrived for our local schools…..after a wonderful year of learning about growing food, how to cook and eat healthy, fresh food and the importance of caring for our bodies, it was so inspiring to see these Deer Creek students celebrate the end of the year by harvesting a fresh salad from the school garden!

“We can’t wait for 2013/14 school year when we can make even more progress with Live Healthy Nevada County’s Farm to School Programs! Until then…..go play in the dirt!”

Congratulations to The Union for another “shooting yourself in the foot award.”

Meanwhile, the community and its farm-to-table movement is thriving – and making The Union look more and more irrelevant.

Author: jeffpelline

Jeff Pelline is a veteran editor and award-winning journalist - in print and online. He is publisher of Sierra FoodWineArt magazine and its website SierraCulture.com. Jeff covered business and technology for The San Francisco Chronicle for 12 years, and he was a founding editor and Editor of CNET News for eight years, among other positions. Jeff has a bachelor's degree from UC Berkeley and a master's from Northwestern University. His hobbies include sailing, swimming, and trout fishing in the Sierra.

9 thoughts on “The Union’s curmudgeon columnist: A farm-to-table movement moron”

  1. Yeah I read this yesterday and just shook my head. It is not like anyone is forcing children to eat healthy food. The food police are not standing at the door with an electric baton. This is about providing kids with healthy options and teaching them enough about food to appreciate fresh fruits, vegetables, and moderation. It is about making sure that public funds used to feed our kids are used for healthy options. If that is not and appropriate role for ‘adults’ I don’t know what is.

    You better believe that if it was Laura Bush advocating for healthy food she would be portrayed as June Cleaver; Michele Obama takes it up as a cause and she is caricatured as a cross between Aunt Jemima and Nurse Ratched.

    Our kids get barraged with a full spectrum doze of advertising for processed foods, sweets, snacks, energy drinks, and other crap from the day they are born. It is ubiquitous in our society, from the Coca Cola songs to the Monster Energy Drink decal, it is everywhere. So a bunch of parents get together and start advocating for heirloom tomatoes and Japanese eggplant and all of a sudden they are the food fascists? What about the food fascists who demanded school districts sign exclusive contracts with Coke, Pepsi or M&M/Mars to provide snacks and drinks in our schools? Or the giant agribusiness lobbyists and politicians who maintain huge tax subsidies for high fructose corn syrup while opposing support for fresh local value added agricultural products every five years in our Farm Bill?

    Curmudgeonly nonsense is spot on.

    I am waiting for the next couple of weekly columns:

    “Skateboarding Anarchy”

    “Get off My Lawn”

    “Watts Up With Hip-Hop?”

    “Put Baby In The Corner”

    “Why Does It Hurt When I Pee?”

    1. I needed a laugh today. When you publishing a book? I read about a book that the NORTH makes the case for SOUTHERN succession. NEED THE SAME FOR NORCAL and you fit the bill for such an author. 😉

  2. For years a local charter school would come out to the farm/ ranch I manage to pick apples in the fall and last year we had some younger kids come pick pumpkins. Fortunately the school won a grant to build a new campus and it moved to Nevada City while waiting for the school to be built so they no longer come out but we do still have a relationship with them. I take their leaves in the fall for mulching and composting.

    Nevada County does a really good job with non profits and organizing good community building programs. I forget the number but Nevada City alone has like 100 non profits. I am getting really tired of the right wing ideology trying to paint anything and everything they perceive to politically left as negative and forced upon the people.

  3. Recently a right winger stated opposition to CORE. It was another example of how the right wingers are dedicated to finding or making up faults without ever offering examples for solutions.
    The author used all the emotive buzz words in her composition. Now I just look a composition over for those buzz words and the conclusion to decide if it’s worth my time because over all, these rants aren’t worth the time.

  4. Have you heard this one? I never heard of the term “sovereign citizen”.
    From Raw Story

    ‘Sovereign citizen’ accused of shooting federal official in northern California
    By Arturo Garcia
    Tuesday, June 17, 2014 18:51 EDT

    From Raw A 60-year-old California man calling himself a “sovereign citizen” was accused of shooting Bureau of Land Management agent and a California Highway Patrol officer, Talking Points Memo reported on Tuesday.

    Officials in Nevada County, California said Brent Douglas Cole shot the two officers after getting into an argument on June 14 with them at a campground in the Tahoe National Forest. Cole was also shot during the incident. All three men are expected to recover from their injuries.

    The Southern Poverty Law Center reported that Cole has described himself online as a “sovereign American Citizen attempting to thwart the obvious conspiracy and subterfuges of powers inimical to the United States.” He was also arrested and charged in January 2014 for allegedly carrying a concealed weapon.

    According to the SPLC, Cole used a common “sovereign citizen” legal tactic and sent a deluge of court filings in Nevada County, calling himself a “a statutory Attorney General of the United States” and saying the local sheriff’s department inflicted a “swat [sic] team style assault” upon him. The SPLC has reported that members of the anti-goverment movement typically reject the notion of law enforcement and believe they decide which federal laws they need to follow.

    “I was attacked and molested, unconstitutionally arrested, unlawfully incarcerated, repeatedly intimidated and coerced to plead guilty to having committed a crime, held in secret for five days, and my property and liberty taken from me since January 26, 2014,” he wrote in one document. “I am being persecuted for being a gun owner.”

  5. The Cliven Bundy, Sovereign Citizen, lovefest empowered all manner of wackjobs to come out of the woodwork (sporting their favorite war surplus accessories), some obviously more deranged than others.
    One of the sovereign citizen tenants seems to be that they only recognize law enforcement at the county sheriff level.

    http://www.splcenter.org/blog/2014/06/09/alleged-las-vegas-cop-killers-in-patriot-movement-warned-of-sacrifices/

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sovereign_citizen_movement

    http://www.inquisitr.com/1305093/brent-douglas-cole/

    http://abcnews.go.com/US/wireStory/dead-shooting-vegas-restaurant-walmart-24049592

    1. To bad folks cannot be put in jail based on being a nut job with a gun. Perhaps they could be put in psych ward on 5150 until they can prove not a risk to others or self. Would also prevent them from legally purchasing a gun. Yea, legally, I know.

  6. Well, well, I wonder if anyone in our community will actually ask the tough questions about the people and organizations in our community that regularly hold up such “sovereign citizen” claims as models of commendable behavior in the face of what they perceive to be the excesses of government?

    Will we ask the Republican Women Federated, Nevada County Tea Party, CABPRO and certain local bloggers if they feel any responsibility for promoting these ideas through community forums like the ones that brought Richard Mack, Rose Koire and Doyle Shamley to town?

    Some of us warned during all the heated rhetoric about the Cliven Bundy case that behavior that supports armed resistance, that cheers snipers sighting cops, that applauds threats, is likely to lead eventually to violence from misguided miscreants who deem their behavior acceptable and see it as supported in a community.

    As soon as I heard about the incident last week I asked a local media outlet about what was known about the shooter on the Ridge. To their credit they reported only what was confirmed by the Sheriffs office. Now we know more, and it is exactly what I expected. There was something about the target being a BLM law enforcement officer that made me suspicious that it would be someone who felt empowered in our community to resort to violence.

    (Anyone care to note the irony that the attempted killer in our Nevada County case was apparently squating on public land?)

    Here is the deal; if you think citizens are being mistreated you have every right to protest, to speak out, to advocate for changes to the law, or even to willingly be arrested and held to make a point. But taking the law into your own hands is not acceptable; and those who believe they have a legitimate beef against government have a RESPONSIBILITY to make it clear that armed violence is wrong. If you preen about property rights, sovereign rights, and conspiracy theories, but don’t use your voice to also counsel non-violence and lawful protest at the same time, you are doing nothing but feeding the hate that leads to violence.

    People can hide behind the fig leaf of free speech, or they can recognize their responsibility to counsel legal action while engaged in free speech; but free speech does not mean that they are not accountable for creating the conditions where violence is condoned. Free speech means we can hold them publicly accountable.

    So Tea Party, CABPRO, Republican Women, and bloggers like George Rebane and Todd Juvinall who encourage and condone this nonsense at their sites….J’accuse …!

    Start acting like responsible adults.

  7. Now George Boardman, of all people, is taking it upon himself to declare it hasn’t been a good month for me. In fact, it’s been a banner month for me. Another record issue of our magazine, our son made the “Principal’s list” with straight A’s, and we booked a trip to Italy to celebrate. And George, I paid my property taxes too!

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