Virginia B. Wood explains how Austin became the second city in America to pass a resolution on genetically engineered food and updates readers on other local culinary news.

GE Foods Resolution

Local activists in the fight against the proliferation of genetically engineered (GE) foods rejoiced recently when Austin became the second city in America to pass a resolution on genetically engineered foods. The May 18 City Council resolution acknowledges that GE foods have not been proven safe by the Food and Drug Administraion and supports a moratorium on the production of any more of these foods until food-safety testing systems are in place. It endorses House Bill 3377 and Senate Bill 2080, named the "Genetically Engineered Food Right to Know Act," and House Bill 3883, called the "Genetically Engineered Food Safety Act." It's difficult to tell at this point just what impact the resolution will have on the sale of genetically engineered food products locally, but speakers in favor of the resolution -- Dr. Neil Carman of the Lone Star Sierra Club, consumer activist Renu Namjoshi, and Wheatsville Co-op exec. Jim Ellinger -- felt that it was vitally important for Austin to be on the record about this issue. For the Chronicle's take on this issue, check out "It's Not Nice to Fool Mother Nature" at issue49/food.genetic.html.

The Shepherd's Flock

Jim Coddington, executive director of the The Shepherd's Flock, which provides hot meals to 180 homeless clients at the Austin Resource Center for the Homeless (ARCH) once a week and also serves meals to poor families in East Austin in conjunction with an organization called Con Gangas, e-mailed to report that his group has filed the required paperwork for tax-exempt status and is currently operating under the auspices of the Austin Community Foundation. As with all the other community service agencies we interviewed recently, for every family they feed, Shepherd's Flock sees an increading need for more services. Most of the food used to prepare their meals is purchased at reduced prices from the Capital Area Food Bank (CAFB), so both food and cash donations would be welcome. Coddington is eager to share information about the new organization with potential supporters and encourages interested parties to contact him at 452-9135 or


The biscuits are back! Restaurateur Eddie Wilson reports that the late, much-lamented biscuits are back on the tables at both Threadgill's (6416 N. Lamar, 451-5440; 310 W. Riverside Drive, 472-9304), along with some brand new jalapeño cornbread muffins... Last Saturday was the final night for Mama Mia's Ristorante Italiano (8015 Shoal Creek), much to the disappointment of their loyal clientele. Fans of Mama Mia's cuisine will find a very similar menu at their new campus-area eatery, the Piccolo Cafe (2828 Rio Grande, 476-5600). This company is also behind the forthcoming Girasole at Fourth and Lavaca... So far Tim Albright is the first chef we've heard of crossing the digital divide. Albright left Grapevine Market (7938 Great Northern Blvd, 323-5900) in April for a high-tech management job and was replaced by chef Steve Konarik, most recently of Tony's to Go in Houston. Konarik is eager to expand on the substantial and enthusiastic catering clientele Albright built and from what we hear, his food's a big hit.

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More Food-o-File
Finding community

Virginia B. Wood, Sept. 18, 2015

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Virginia B. Wood, Sept. 4, 2015


Jim Coddington, Austin Community Foundation, genetically engineered foods, genetically engineered food, Capital Area Food Bank, Grapevine Market, Eddie Wilson, Threadgill's

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