Volunteer of the Month: Kate Malin

July 10, 2015

CUESA’s Volunteer of the Month program recognizes the dedication and work of some of our most active volunteers. CUESA relies on volunteers to help with education programs, special events, public outreach, and other activities that help fulfill our mission to cultivate a sustainable food system. Learn more about volunteering and sign up here.

Our next volunteer orientation is on Wednesday, August 13. Learn more and RSVP.

What better way to get to know the local San Francisco Bay Area food system than behind the scenes? Since May 2014, CUESA volunteer Kate Malin (pictured above at right) has learned about the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market intimately by supporting CUESA’s Food Shed, numerous cooking demos, and education stations at CUESA’s annual Summer Celebration fundraiser.

She has also research and written about dairy products for CUESA’s website and recently wrote an article about Baia Pasta for the CUESA e-letter. You can also find her working the Saturday shift with Ferry Plaza sprouts farmer Jim Brooks of Brooks & Daughters

“Kate has a genuine passion and curiosity for food that shows through in her writing and everything she does,” say Communications Manager Brie Mazurek. “She’s gone above and beyond in the projects we’ve worked on together, and I always enjoying talking food with her at the farmers market.” Meet Kate.

CUESA: Where does your interest in food come from?

Kate: I’ve always been interested in eating good food, but it took moving to the Bay Area and being exposed to the amazing food system behind all my favorite restaurant meals to really spark my interest in getting involved myself. I discovered that I am most interested in the system that got food onto plates and into shopping carts but that this system is facing some serious challenges, which I am eager to learn how to tackle.

CUESA: What do you do when you aren’t volunteering for CUESA?

Kate: I do outreach and communications for Seedling Projects, the organization that puts on the Good Food Awards, which honors American producers who make tasty, authentic, and responsible food. I also have the great pleasure of working at the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market for Brooks & Daughters, where I help sell wheatgrass juice, sprouts, and other live greens every Saturday.

CUESA: What is your favorite part about volunteering with CUESA?

Kate: I love getting to know chefs, shoppers, and farmers in a way that most people never get to. It’s a great look behind the scenes, which I think so enriches my relationship with the food system, whether it’s shopping for myself or eating out at a restaurant.

CUESA: Do you have an insider market tip or a favorite produce item at the market right now?

Kate: Unbiased opinion: we have the best eggs at Brooks & Daughters. The chickens eat the leftover sprouts (they are probably better fed than most people) and the eggs they lay are gorgeous, both inside and out. The yolks are just outrageous; they are so bright and orange. I’m also really excited that stone fruit is back in season; plums and nectarines are my absolute favorites!

CUESA: What are your upcoming plans?

Kate: I’m moving to New York City in August to start school at New York University! I’ll be a first year grad student working towards a Masters in Food Studies from NYU Steinhardt. The program is two years long, and hopefully at the end I’ll be equipped to dive head first into the food world and work to help it thrive and grow sustainably.

Photo by Amanda Lynn Photography.