Fall Is Here!

This 80 degree weather is particularly out of season,

but seeing as it is October 1st, at least it should be here…

Either way the leaves are changing and pumpkins and apples are in their prime!
I couldn’t wait for the Giarmese Trip on the the 12th and had the urge to

bake some yummy pumpkin treats this past weekend:

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20130930_144313  20130930_144258

Hope this gets you in the mood to enjoy fall’s bounty
and we hope to have your company as we depart at 10AM for our farm trip!
We’ll leave you with Buzz Feed’s pumpkin ideas
to get your baking juices flowing:

http://www.buzzfeed.com/christinebyrne/pumpkin-desserts

Ho

 


Slow Food Gen Body Meeting

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Asparagus, Alas!

Rutgers Day 2012 is just around the corner. This means one thing: Asparagus. Fresh, green, delicious.

Slow Food Rutgers will be selling the good stuff on the corner of College Farm Road and Dudley Road. For more information about Rutgers Day, check out http://rutgersday.rutgers.edu/

Asparagus is such a versatile vegetable. Take advantage of its seasonal appearance by creating creative dishes. The possibilities…are endless. Enjoy!


Food Films!

“Knowledge is the food of the soul,” Plato tells us.

Indeed, what we learn helps us to grow. As Slow Food followers, making responsible (and delicious) food choices is a no-brainer. Many of us have seen Food, Inc., read at least one of Michael Pollan’s pieces, and have a pretty solid understanding of why sustainable food growing and eating is the sensible choice.
But there is so much more to learn, to explore, and be inspired by. As a Slow Food chapter on campus, we would love to bring some of this knowledge your way.

There is a multitude of movies exploring all aspects of good food, and you can check some out here.

If something sparks your interest, let us know! We would love to host another movie screening and bring people together to learn about what really matters.
Send us an e-mail at slowfoodrutgers@gmail.com with requests, suggestions, thoughts, or anything at all (like awesome recipes – we’re suckers for those).

We’ll track down the films, pop some corn, and enjoy an awesome movie night leaving you satiated with food knowledge.


A Day of Inspiration

There are times when the food universe distances itself – when things like the Food and Farm Bill seem alien, and hope for food justice sort of kerplunks way out of sight.

And then, awesome people show you otherwise.

This past Saturday I had the chance to attend the Just Food Conference with Slow Food Rutgers co-pilot, Carolyn. Essentially, it was a wonderland for all of us energized by the food movement. We’re talking a whole day spent among farmers, entrepreneurs, students, activists, leaders, educators…everyone eager to work towards a healthy and sustainable food system.

There were so many different workshops and speakers, the biggest difficulty was choosing just one during each time slot.

Digging into the Food and Farm Bill

The Farm Bill is such a hot topic in the food and ag world, but policy is a twisted arena. In this talk, speakers Qiana Mickie and Benjamin Solotaire schooled us well.

  • First of all…fruits and vegetables are referred to us “specialty crops” in the bill. WHAT?!
  • $4.3 billion were spent on these specialty crops; fruits, nuts and veg.
  • $33.1 billion spent on commodity crops – corn, soybean, cotton, rice and wheat.
  • They tell us to fill half our plates with fruits and veggies, but don’t fund the right food groups.
  • If 10% of subsidies were shifted to fruits and veg, we could double the amount served in school food programs.
  • Nutrition is a huge part of the Farm Bill. HUGE. 46 million Americans get food stamps, and the need is growing. There are two ways of paying for food assistance: block grants, which offer set funding; not good. Or, entitlement based funding which is based on the need – this is what we need.
  • The only way to improve policy is to keep the conversation going. Communicate with government officials, make some noise, educate yourself about what’s going on, and be part of the picture!

The Weight of the Share: Measuring the Impact of CSA on Eating Behavior

Researcher Jesse Cohen of Mt. Sinai discussed how to measure if Community Supported Agriculture programs really make a difference. It’s easy to assume that if people get shares of farm fresh produce each week, that they will obviously improve their health and eating habits. It’s probably true, but you know how people are: they need numbers, data and stats. In order to get funding, someone has to do the dirty work of proving that CSA’s are not only awesome, but effective.

How to Develop Successful Food Education Programs

A panel of successful leaders of cooking and nutrition education programs talked about the ins and outs of their efforts.

The Children’s Aid Society
Wellness in the School
Harlem Children’s Zone
Harlem Seeds
The Sylvia Center

  • Kids and healthy eating conjures scenes of stubborn picky vegetable haters. But the truth is, kids are willing to try new things if they are presented the right way. If you let them be the chef, and make a big deal out of it, everything changes. Suddenly, they have the power to make a meal which inadvertently makes them excited to try their creation.

Preserving the Harvest: The Basics of Canning 

Led by an enthusiastic food trainer, we learned how to preserve the season’s harvest all year long. Blueberry cognac jam? Yes, please.


To conclude the conference, a Farmer Panel was held, which connected everything full circle. Farming, food, nutrition, education…they all connect so perfectly, and this conference made me realize how exciting all of these sectors are.

Did I mention the lunch?

mmmmmazing

  

A big thanks to the folks at Just Food for organizing such a thoroughly educational, inspiring and delicious event. It was a day well spent immersed in the topics of food which carry so much importance today. The food movement is upon us, and we are all key players.

Let’s play!


Truck Farm Movie Screening

Blending serious exposition with serious silliness, TRUCK FARM is a whimsical, musical documentary about the quirky world of urban agriculture. After filmmaker Ian Cheney plants a garden in the back of his pickup truck, he and the Truck Farm set out to explore the rooftops, barges and windows that represent New York City’s newest edible oases.

Featuring nutritionist Marion Nestle, chef Dan Barber, explorer Henry Hudson and a very lonely seagull.

Can these urban farmers feed a city?
Can the old Dodge and its crops survive the winter?

Find out on Wednesday, Feb. 29th, at 8pm, in the DCC lounge.
TruckFarmPDF
http://truck-farm.com/

“Truck Farm is hilariously fun.”
- Kate Mendenhall, Executive Director, Northeast Organic Farming Association of New York

“Alternately giddy and pragmatic, Truck Farm makes the best sales pitch for grow-your-own I’ve ever seen. A must-see for anyone interested in agricultural empowerment and diversity.”
- Dr. Warren Belasco, Author, Food: The Key Concepts, Editor, Food, Culture and Society

“This film is so mind altering, you will never look at an empty space the same way again, no matter how small!”
- Laurie David, Author, The Family Dinner: Great Ways to Connect with Your Kids, One Meal at a Time, Producer, An Inconvenient Truth

“Amusingly narrated while addressing the larger theme of sustainable agriculture…Well-paced..Is both entertaining and informative.”
- Linda Frederiksen, Washington State University, Educational Media Reviews Online


Just Food Conference 2012

Get your tickets for the Just Food Conference!

Who’s going to be there?
Local food lovers and advocates, CSA members, community gardeners, urban and rural farmers, food professionals, entrepreneurs, and curious people like me and you

It will be two days of hands-on workshops, discussions, skills-building sessions, and good food. Learn about cooking and food preservation techniques, CSA trends, and the food justice movement in New York City and beyond, as well as ways you can mobilize to create good food projects in your own community.


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