Kiko's Food News, 10.19.2012

California’s Central Valley, the world’s largest patch of class one soil where the 25-degree daily temperature swing is ideal for growing and the sun shines nearly 300 days a year, is our greatest food resource. So why are we treating it so badly? (full story, New York Times)

A neglected icon of Cali agriculture, most raisins available today are devoid of seasonal pizazz, but special varieties like the Thompson, Diamond Muscat and Princess–freshly harvested and processed by small growers–are beginning to show up at farmer’s markets: (full story, LA Times)

CUESA explored the GMO labeling debate by interviewing farmers & food makers at their Ferry Building Farmers Market, many whose produce & foods we sell: (full story , CUESA)

Speaking of knowing what’s in our food, here are eight ingredients to avoid if you see them on a nutrition label: (full story, Today)

And speaking of GMOs, the Supreme Court agreed to hear the appeal of a federal court ruling Monsanto won against an Indiana soybean farmer; this is exciting as no farmer has ever won a court case against Monsanto: (full story, Grist)

We’re keeping our eyes on Craig Ramini, a former Silicon Valley consultant turned buffalo mozzarella producer who’s working to produce the Italian cheese on his new farm and facility 69 miles north of SF; we’ve been tasting batches as part of his journey towards the traditional ideal! (full story, New York Times)

Tech investors have recently bought a $20 million controlling stake in Blue Bottle Coffee, a large stake in Stumptown Coffee, and an investment in Sightglass Coffee…but for reasons they see as far from “an exercise in the vanity of wanting to be in the restaurant business”: (full story, Wall Street Journal)

Through Slow Money’s efforts, more than $20 million has flowed to over 170 small food enterprises over the past two years; now the Soil Trust is focusing that money at the root of the issue: the dirt! (full story, Soil Trust)