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Lunch and chat at McEvoy Ranch focuses on ‘How to be green’

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“What It Means To Be Green in 2018” is McEvoy Ranch’s third Social Club Chat of the year, focused on upcycling. The event is set for Saturday from 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. and includes a panel discussion, information fair and lunch.

Upcycling represents the better half of recycling and involves anything from repurposed items one sees for sale on Etsy to the productive use of food overflows/stocks from farms and businesses.

McEvoy Ranch launched its Social Club Chats earlier this year, as an homage to the “Chautauqua,” a popular education movement in the late 1800s and early 1900s. Chautauquas served as rural assemblies that brought the community a mix of entertainment and culture, from speakers to innovators to entertainers.

At McEvoy, a panel of community leaders, both from nonprofit and for-profit organizations will speak about how they upcycle to create new products out of what would have been discarded, as well as finding new ways to get food to underserved communities.

As guests arrive at the ranch, they’ll be treated to a glass of McEvoy wine before the panel discussion. The panelists include co-founder of Cowgirl Creamery Sue Conley, Claire Herminjard (CEO and founder of Mindful Meats), Nick Papadopoulos (founder of CropMobster), William Foss (representing TwoXSea and speaking about McFarland Springs Trout) and Ria D’Aversa (farming manager at McEvoy Olive Ranch), all of whom will be speaking about the issues of food waste.

Mindful Meats specializes in organic, pasture-raised, non-GMO, dual-purpose animal agriculture. They repurpose retiring dairy cattle for beef consumables through an ethical and respectful process, which also helps to cut down on the carbon footprint of raising cattle in one place and processing them hundreds of miles away. CropMobster helps unite communities to reduce food waste, share materials and resources, and engage with hunger relief and food security programs. TwoXSea offers seafood from healthy fisheries that are harvested with the strictest standards of catch methods. McFarland Springs Trout farm is well respected for their sustainable aquaculture practices.

Food waste causes astronomical levels of greenhouse gases through the carbon footprint related to its production, and nowhere is this waste at more epic levels than in the United States. Roughly half of all produce is thrown away in the US, in large part because food production is so cheap. Our deeply rooted obsession with the aesthetics of food only makes the problem worse. Grocers will dump even slightly blemished or misshapen fruits or veggies because U.S. consumers do not purchase it. Additionally, there is a lot of confusion around food expiration dates, which are often set at the discretion of the manufacturer, who has a clear incentive to encourage consumers to buy new products.

After the panelists, guest will have a chance to walk through the Sustainability Information Fair and engage one-on-one with innovators on the front lines of fighting food waste, including Regrained, Preserve Farm Kitchen, Marin Agricultural Land Trust and the Ceres Project.

Lunch will be presented as “A Perfectly Imperfect Meal.” McEvoy’s Culinary Director Jacquelyn Buchanan will build a meal from upcycled and sustainably raised foods. Although a work in progress until the morning of the event, Buchanan promises the cold-smoked McFarland Springs Trout to start.

Beef from Mindful Meat will anchor the main dish, alongside roasted vegetables sourced from CropMobster, and sauces and sides using legumes from Tiera Vegetables. An apple dessert will use imperfect produce, as well as flour from Renewal Mill in Oakland. Snack bars will also be offered, made from spent hops by ReGrained. All of these will be paired with McEvoy’s organically grown wines, including their 2016 Saimuun Vermentino, 2014 Red Piano Syrah and 2014 Azaya Vineyard Pinot Noir.

“What It Means…” is schedule for Saturday, Oct. 13, from 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Tickets are $135 for the general public and $95 for Social Club Members. Find tickets at mcevoyranch.com.