Tag Archives: Obama

Delicious olive oils

Yesterday, we walked to Alegio chocolate for a Moveon.org chocolate and wine inaugural party. In the garden, a band played beautiful spanish guitar music to a crowd and the warm air felt like spring. The whole block was buzzing with inaugural celebrations.

We walked by our local celebrated restaurant Chez Panisse. “Congratulations President Obama” was printed on top of the menu displayed outside.  I’ve had the good fortune of dining there for special occasions. Not only does the restaurant have a “commitment to good food, community, and sustainability,” the food is also the bomb. Over the past year I have been buying and cooking the delicious produce from some of their food providers at the all organic farmers’ market located on the same street as the restaurant, on Shattuck Ave., Berkeley, CA.

Inspired by the delicious, simple style of cooking vegetables with olive oil, and the video of chef Alice Waters in the NY Times making a simple meal from fresh farmers’ market items, I finally got the nerve to call Chez Panisse and ask for the name of the olive oil used in their meals. (Waters reportedly travels with her own olive oil.) One of the chefs  informed me that the primary oil they use is the Italian Oleificio Chianti. I plan to try the Buonsapore extra virgin olive oil for seasoning.  The chefs have also used local organic olive oil from the Stonehouse California Olive Oil Company. She says that Oleificio Chianti is available locally at stores like Monterey Market, Berkeley, CA. It can also be ordered online through local olive oil importers.

Dr. Andrew Weil, a Harvard-educated author and Director of the Program in Integrative Medicine of the College of Medicine, University of Arizona, recommends quality organic extra virgin olive oil for its health benefits in his article on olive oil. He uses organic Lucini Limited Reserve Extra Virgin Olive Oil. Dr. Weil says, this “oil exceeds all of my expectations for both taste and healthful properties.”

Bon Appétit!

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Investing, bombs, booze, butts

Have you heard of the Vice Fund?

Profits and Principles, a fascinating article published in the Guardian in 2008, and the 2006 Forbes article Roll of The Dice describe the fund. Daniel Ahrens is co-founder of the Vice Fund.

Proinsias O’Mahoney of the Guardian reports:

“Unashamedly unethical, its founder, Dan Ahrens, even wrote a book entitled Booze, Bets, Bombs and Butts based on its favoured sectors – alcohol, gambling, armaments and pornography – which traditionally have all been excluded from ethical funds. The fund has outperformed the S&P 500, an index of America’s 500 largest firms, in each of its five years of existence and is ranked in the top 2% of US funds.”

On the flip side, there is socially responsible investing.  While researching retirement funds, I came across the concept of socially responsible investment (SRI), which was very appealing to me. What is socially responsible investment?

In the Bloomberg article AHA Fund Beats Rivals With `Responsible’ Energy Picks, Sree Vidya Bhaktavatsalam and Christopher Condon write:

“Socially responsible funds seek to profit without investing in companies engaged in activities they deem ethically reprehensible or detrimental to the environment, with each fund setting its own criteria. “

The controversy over how “ethical” is interpreted in relation to funds is described in the article.  “More people are putting their money into ethical funds. But many might be shocked to learn how it’s being invested.”  Read the complete article Profits and Principles. Other articles on personal investing and SRIs are:

Five Great Green Funds from Kiplinger

Shareholder Shout-out from National Geographic’s The Green Guide

Mutual Interests: Finding Your Way To a Greener Retirement from National Geographic’s The Green Guide

A related article from the Wall Street Journal is Obama Sells Investment With Link to Sudan. It briefly talks about how the Senator transferred his retirement money in that fund to Vanguard’s FTSE Social Index Fund.

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized