Last week I attended a dinner in Santa Monica at California Heritage Museum. This lovely dinner was hosted by the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC). NRDC is an international nonprofit environmental organization with more than 1.4 million members & online activists. Since 1970, the NRDC lawyers, scientists & other environmental specialists have worked to protect the world’s natural resources, public health & the environment. I have to admit that prior to that evening I knew very little about NRDC. However I was very excited & open to learning new ideas about NRDC’s Food & Agricultural Program.
After I checked in, I was greeted warmly by Jackie who is a Communications Strategist at NRDC. After chatting with her for a while, she introduced me to her colleagues Sasha & Claire. Claire is an attorney & policy writer whose family farmed in Nebraska for over 100 years. The issues that she works on at NRDC are very important to her as it affects the industry that she grew up in, as well as countless farmers across the United States. Sasha is an advocate who has lived all over the States & abroad. We chatted about the public transportation system in LA & how those who live here are somewhat reluctant to try it. Personally I love our Metro System & have frequently used the Red & Gold Lines. I’ve even taken my daughter on it once so that she could experience it.
I mingled with a few other folks at the reception, briefly chatting with Avinash, a lawyer with NRDC. Avinash works on NRDC’s campaign for healthy & sustainable food. I also noticed there were several entertainment industry folks in attendance. Doesn’t Amber Valetta look beautiful?!
On a side note, the food was so delicious & the decor at the reception was so charming. The sustainable & vegetarian meal was catered by Heirloom LA. Foodies take note that all of the food components were sourced locally! My favorite dinner item was the mushroom steaks. However the squash blossom from the reception was my pick of the night. It looked like it would be messy & challenging to it, but when the folks that I was chatting with gave it a thumbs up, I just had to try it.
Regarding the theme of the reception, for someone who has never heard the term “rustic-chic” until a few days prior to the dinner, wouldn’t you know that I ended up in love with the concept!
I was so enamored by these wagon wheels. I thought the rustic decor looked great & it was so fitting since the theme of the night was about agriculture and the safe & sustainable food movement.
During the first course we watched a short video, entitled “We Are NRDC.” I noticed right away that it was narrated by actress Sigourney Weaver & when I turned to Jackie, she confirmed it. 🙂
As a mom, I try to be educated on the food choices that I purchase. Most of us have heard about the “dirty dozen” when it comes to fruits & veggies. I have several friends who try to by organic chicken & meat, but let’s face it, these things cost more than regular food & sometimes our budgets don’t always allow for that type of expense.
Throughout the dinner, we learned about different facts & figures regarding agriculture & our food industry. Here is another film that we watched that explains the issue & how it affects the American food consumers. See if you can spot Sasha, Claire & Avinash, the folks that I had met during the reception!
I was amazed at what a leading poultry provider was doing (or NOT doing). If the graphic shown below upsets you like it did me, feel free to send a message to Foster Farms that you won’t stand idly by while the threat of antibiotic resistance grows! You can send a message on Twitter telling them “Hey @FosterFarms! Come clean on antibiotics! #FosterHarms.”
The evening ended with a rousing performance by Aloe Blacc. This talented musical artist is passionate about certain causes that are near & dear to him. After kicking off an awesome performance of “The Man” – Aloe sang one of my faves “Wake Me Up.” I think that song title aptly describes how I was woken up by some of NRDC’s food facts.
Next week I will share with you some additional key learnings from this dinner, so stay tuned!
Disclosure: I was invited to attend the NRDC Thought for Food dinner along with several other media folks. I did not receive monetary compensation for this post. All photos are mine unless otherwise stated. My thoughts & opinions are 100% mine.
The Balanced Brunette says
I soo wish I could have gone!!! Really jealous that you got to see Amber Valetta in person lol she is gorgeous! This looks absolutely amazing. The pictures are beautiful! I am ALL about sustainable living. So glad you had a great time!
Jennifer Miyagishima says
It was a lot of fun & I learned a lot! Stay tuned for next week’s blog post that goes into more detail on what NRDC is advocating for food consumers.
The Balanced Brunette says
Along Comes Mary says
Oooh, I LOVE mushroom steaks! This looks so fun & I love your pictures 🙂
Jennifer Miyagishima says
Thanks, glad you enjoyed my photos & reading about the NRDC dinner. I just posted an article about NRDC & the sustainable food movement. Hope you can check it out!