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The Ground Shots Podcast

Apr 3, 2023

read the entirety of the show notes for this episode here.

Episode #73 of the Ground Shots Podcast is a conversation with Alex Zubia (XeF) out of Fresno, California.

Alex Zubia, who goes by “Xef” is a Chef by trade. Born and raised in Fresno, CA (yokuts Land). Alex attended The California Culinary Academy in San Francisco (Ramaytush Ohlone land) in 2007. His passion for cooking came with his passion for eating. From 2008-2015 he worked at Community Regional Medical Center’s Emergency Room as a Patient Liaison. During that time he witnessed people from his community dying from diet related issues. That realization led him to opening his food truck, which  focused on healthier, farm to fork versions of familiar foods. In 2015, Alex moved to Santa Barbara (Chumash Land) to further his skills as a chef. There, he discovered that so much of the beautiful produce he was cooking with came from Fresno. He wondered why he never saw all this produce available in Fresno. Alex moved back to his hometown in 2021 to fight for food justice as a Food Sovereignty Director at Fresno Barrios Unidos. Alex’s goal is to bring his community back to eating and cooking their indigenous foods which are so plentiful in the Central Valley.

In this conversation with Alex, we talk about:

  • food apartheid (or ‘food deserts’) in Fresno, California, which is in the Central Valley of California, a place where so much food is grown yet not a lot of local food is available for the folks who live there

  • food is medicine, culturally and physically

  • Alex’s journey doing work with food, cooking in Santa Barbara and Fresno

  • the corporate industrial food complex as it intersects capitalism, white supremacy, patriarchy

  • Alex’s work as a patient liaison at the Community Regional Medical Center’s Emergency Room and how it changed their perspective and what they observed as harmful aspects of the hospital industrial complex

  • The importance of love, community, and good food for good health

  • Navigating the nonprofit world when trying to do food justice work

  • some raving on TEK (Traditional Ecological Knowledge) Chico and Ali Meders-Knight’s model of land tending in California

  • regenerative agriculture stems from indigenous practices

  • The four R’s and more on Transition US (Resist, Repair, Reimagine, Regenerate)



Sign up for Summer 2023 field ecology classes in the southern Rockies

Late Spring Terratalks Ecology study group, for late April and May


Fresno Barrios Unidos

Transition US

Alex/Xef’s Instagram: alexander_fresno

Transition US’ instagram: transition_us

Fresno Barrios Unidos’ instagram: fresnosbarriosunidos

My Homie’s Kitchen instagram: myhomieskitchen

Guest Music: “Walk Away” by Ambeeka