San Francisco’s Bi-Rite Market aims to be more than a neighborhood grocery. It’s a community hub focused on food and learning about local farms and sustainable eating. The owners have just released a cookbook called “Eat Good Food,” and they’ve recently expanded a space in which they offer food-centric classes and more. We talk with Bi-Rite’s owner and produce buyer about how to find the freshest produce and what to cook this season.Bi-Rite shares several recipes from the book:
Eat Good Food Recipe 1 Eat Good Food Recipe 2 Eat Good Food Recipe 3

Sam Mogannam, owner of Bi-Rite Market
Simon Richard, produce buyer and in-house farmer at Bi-Rite Market

  • I love your philosophy of food!  How do I apply for a job with your organization?

    • Robert Holmgren

      No need to actually go to one of their stores.  Bi-Rite steals your email address from this forum and will come and get you.  They actually favor people too lazy to apply in person.

      • BerkeleyGirl

        This comment is utterly ridiculous! If you have ever been into Bi-Rite, you would know that they are WAY too busy to bother phishing email addresses off the web for future employees, and you’d also know the caliber of people they employ (intelligent, thoughtful and hardworking people who care about community, food and where our food comes from). And in return, the employees get terrific benefits!

  • Dan

    How much did Bi-Rite pay for this ad?

  • isabelle

    i think it’s important to point out that between ADM and Mosantos, the market for US food is not only skewed toward profit over quality but that by centralizing food production in this way, instead of through local suppliers, makes us ALL vulnerable to the whims of Wall Street and the financial markets .

    additionally, if the cost of local food is too overwhelming, one could point out that Americans, by & large, eat TOO MUCH ALTOGETHER!  there has to be and indeed is a happy medium between 2000 + calorie MEALS  and the itsy-bitsy servings people associate with fine dining…

    one last thing, i’ve stopped eating fish due to the fact that fish populations have been absolutely obliterated, period.  how about more of us moving away from this enormous fish consumption — if you want additional omega-3’s go to FLAX SEED!

  • Thescientist24

    I am starting a local mushroom farm here in the Napa Valley. What would be the best approach to start selling to markets, where you already have established relationships with other growers.
    I would call, cannot get through.

    • Berkeleybuff

      if you have a quality local product, just call your local stores (preferably independently owned) and ask to speak to the produce buyer. most will give you an appt to show your goods, and if they like it will buy some. Good luck!

  • Mckemper84

    Guests? In a grocery store? What’s the matter with being a customer?

  • Robert Holmgren

    I’m listening to your program on my computer…which your guests denigrate.  Apparently my KQED contribution is now used to promote food extremism.

  • Ninareasf

    Any recommendations for where to get a fresh turkey for Christmas? Most are raised in time for Thanksgiving. Or failing that a great alternative.

    • UrbanUndead

      Berkeley Bowl should have ’em. There were a couple last week when I was there. But in terms of a great alternative, no turkey will ever surpass a prime rib roast with horseradish cream!

    • Robert Holmgren

      You can’t say Christmas.  Look for a ‘holiday’ bird instead.

  • applejack

    It’s funny to me that there’s an idea that eating organic and locally grown food is perceived as a new concept, or a “trend” by people that criticize it, when this was always how we’ve eaten up until the industrial food complex.

  • this is BS. I don’t need to go to a yuppie grocery to get good food. I go to Berkeley Bowl where fresh local produce is available to the public at low prices without fawning clerks suggesting menus. They even have discount damaged organic produce for 99 cents a bag… which is usually 3-4 pounds. I spend less than 10 dollars and walk out with 2 shopping bags of fruit n veg. I never eat processed or expensive foods n i know how to cook. This man is  yuppie and doesn’t understand the realities of low income. In berkeley we know how to be healthy and economical thus there are now 2 Berkeley Bowl locations. You should have some of their staff on Forum rather than catering to the bourgeousie

    • Foodisgood

      Another example of the holier-than-thou Berkeley attitude. Just because Berkeley bowl has lower-priced produce (in some but not all cases), doesn’t undermine the relevance or validity of the story of what bi-rite is doing or what their philosophy is. The two stores can exist at the same time and both be interesting story subjects without the universe imploding. Have you even been to bi rite? Hardly “bourgeois”…

      • when he said if someone walks in with 15 dollars and can walk out with potatoes and onions i know i don’t need to go there. Besides… Berkeley Bowl is perfect and why should i go elsewhere? When I die i want to be buried in their produce aisle. Ask yourself… why does Berkeley have a holier than thou attitude? We are smarter than the average bear here and don’t go for the hype

        • Foodisgood

          Ha! Well I commend your humility.

  • Robert Holmgren

    Now Krasny aims a shot at agribusiness–as if family farmers grow food for fun and Bi-Rite isn’t an agribusiness.

  • AP

    how can your guests say that the neighborhood was a “pit” before they arrived and in the same responses say that they work with the community to provide for their needs? maybe some thought should be put into their definition of community — the previous residents or the new gentrified residents?

  • john

     With regard to community building or the lack thereof – the fact of the matter is money is seizing the mission and it’s gentrifying; it’s being purchased and ‘developed’ by profit mongers – end of story. Nobody should be surprised by this. When the property I live in is bull-dozed, it’ll be tough luck for me and I’ll being moving elsewhere. I’ve been here for 20 years and I guess I’ll call it a ‘good run’.

  • TN

    re: branzino fish (sea bass)

    Just looked this up for a friend’s recipe!

    From MBA’s Seafood Watch:

    USE:  White sea bass (hook & line) *No Chilean*
    (or Striped Bass, farmed and wild-limit consumption due to mercury levels)

    • Stevv

      It’s a salt water farmed fish, like farmed salmon.

  • Orit

    why does kqed/’forum’ devote so much time to promote and advertise a VERY expensive grocery store? using the latest buzz words (like “community”) doesn’t make you more ‘right’ in any way. and ipads have nothing to do with organic foods.. please! this is public radio time! talk about some REAL important issues!

  • Use Your Noodle

    For the folks that think adding another grocery store to a neighborhood with existing stores is a bad idea.  What’s wrong with competition?  It’s going to drive the prices down that the others are complaining about.  It’s very easy to criticize a business.  How about you hold your negative comments until you yourself have run a small business.

  • this is just straight priveliged yuppie stuff. I need to pay $25 for a cheese class? Cheese is unhealthy and full of animal based fat? Do i really need a class for this? This is about privileged Foodies not people that are interested in being healthy. And what about exercise? Not even mentioned.

  • Diego Hemken

    How little money can an all-organic-local-vegetarian diet cost with small portions and home-preparation?
    What are some of the worst consequences of industrial agriculture that people are often unaware about?
    How can over-eating be addressed in the community?
    What are the ecological advantages of vegetarianism?
    Thanks for doing your part to make improvements in our communities.

  • Suzthelizard

    I don’t wish to derail the conversation, but please do not make the mistake of assuming that “can’t” buy or cook good food means “won’t” buy or cook good food. There are plenty of people who can’t afford to buy fresh produce OR cable television. There are plenty of people who are working multiple jobs in order to make ends meet and simply do not have the energy to plan and prepare organic dinners for their kids.

    I’m sure that there are those who would rather have the latest iPad than put the energy into consistent good meals, but on the other hand, if you’ve been working for the last 12 hours and need to make your money stretch for your three kids, what are you going to choose? A quick-and-easy meal from the Dollar Menu at McDonald’s, or more hours on your feet in the supermarket and kitchen as you spend three times the cost of a Happy Meal?

    You have a nice philosophy, but don’t shoot yourselves in the foot by implying that the people who say they can’t afford healthy, sustainable, non-processed food simply must not be trying hard enough.

  • Jack

    It’s true that quality groceries and food are expensive, more expensive than mass-produced processed and agrobusiness offerings.  Unfortunately this has a tremendous amount to do with large-scale government farm subsidies which favor white grain and meat heavily over fresh fruit and vegetables (10:1 at times  over the past ten years).  It’s no coincidence that options like Fritos and KFC are marketed heavily in underserved and lower income neighborhoods, taking advantage of poverty as a marketing tool.  As a primary care physician trained at SF General, I have seen the health effects of this phenomenon first hand in my patients.  To criticize small stores like Bi-Rite for hampering community development or their prices misses the point.  Bi-Rite did not create this system and food insecurity.  We should continue to write our elected officials, be savvy about voting for leaders who care about underserved communities, advocate for further community services, and support outlets that provide healthy options.

  • Cookhskpr

    I bought 2 things their, breakfast sausage and whitefish salad.  Both were thrown out.  Whitefish way to salty and breakfast sausage way way over herbed, tasted rotten. garbage by my taste. I will never buy their again unless I work in the kitchen and am givin an employee discount.  Partime only and no HEAVY lifting.

  • Guest

    This place is for the 1%. Definition of Elite

  • Sage

    Consumers have become accustomed to spending less of their total budget on food:

    In 1910 families spent 25% of their household budget on food, whereas, they spend less than 10% today.

    (,  115)

  • SS

    “Organic” is a buncha BS these days. Around 2005, the Fed made the TM label/cert./word too expensive for the small farms who typically are more concerned with soil health and true sustainability than those who can now afford to get certified.

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