Susie Q's Brand Pinquito BeansIn her latest column, local food writer K. Reka Badger of the Santa Maria Sun turns the spotlight on a new Buy Fresh, Buy Local Food Guide that serves Santa Barbara and Ventura counties.

She writes, “Whether your goal is to protect the environment, support local industry, or simply dig into a meal of super fresh food, look no farther than Santa Maria’s bountiful backyard. Here, in the heart of the Acorn Nation, you’ll find fertile fields, busy farmers, and a menu bursting with wonderfully satisfying, homegrown food.”

She also notes that Susie Q’s Brand, a local purveyor of Santa Maria Style Barbecue foods, “recently scored headlines for its mention in a new book called Renewing America’s Food Traditions: Saving and Savoring the Continent’s Most Endangered Foods. The book divides America’s food traditions into 13 regional food ‘nations,’ and fits Santa Maria’s famed pinquito beans into the Acorn Nation, which stretches along the Pacific coast from Baja north through what once was known as Alta California.”

The Buy Fresh, Buy Local Food Guide is available at Lassen’s Natural Foods, local farmers markets, and online at,, and