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I was having a conversation with a wise woman once. We were talking about nutrition, good food, bad food, etc. She became frustrated by all my mention of macro/micronutrients, minerals, antioxidants, polyunsaturated fats, and amino acids. She then shared her perspectve: “If I wanna figure out wether something’s good for me or not, I just imagine smooshing it into my face. If I think that would feel nice then it’s probably good for me.” – J. Balfe

So we experimented…

:::View Photos:::


Video edited by Mau and Abigale

We killed two chickens on day two. The process was respectful and ceremonious. There was a charged silence while everyone (almost) looked on. For the more sensitive audiences we edited out the moment where The chickens’ lives became, well…. whatever’s next.
The day after we had an enlightening discussion about the cycle of life and death. Sophie brought up one of the laws of thermodynamics that states that energy cannot be created or destroyed, it only changes form. When we are so removed from death we fail to see this process by which life becomes something else when the body dies. We fall under the impression that life ceases to exist at the moment of death. Sophie thinks it may just change form.

This image captures the moment well:

Hey all! Friday was our last day of Food camp. (I know it’s a sad thing) It was super fun. We talked all morning about how awesome camp was, and we planned our lunch. The lunch was extra special  that day because we (the kids) made the lunch all by ourselves for everyone! It was tough, but we pulled it off and it was delicious. We decided on making squash soup, and I forget the name of the dish Sylvia came up with, but it was a baked egg and veggie dish and it was great. After lunch and clean up, we ended camp with a special swim at the Mill river! Probably one of the best parts. Sad that it is all over, I’m glad I got to have the wonderful experience and I hope it continues next year! Special thanks to Mau. We love you, and thanks so much for putting this fabulous camp together. Thanks to all of our other fabulous counselors as well! So much fun!

Well my friends, I have enjoyed these past eight days but, all things must end. As I give my last report for this year, bear in mind that this will happen again next year. Who knows, maybe you’ll hear from me before then.

To start off the day, we were all amoeba.

We went outside and talked about our day-to-day diets and how we thought our bodies need what we give them. We also discussed our feelings and emotions in relation to the food we make. For instance, Mau was telling us how when he first moved in with his friend Jenna, she would cook him very simple meals but that they would taste simply extraordinary. When he asked Jenna what she was doing to make these simple meals so mind-blowingly delicious, she just said “I put lots of love into the food”. Now, you’re probably thinking the same thing that Mau was at the time: yeah right, you probably just put a lot of butter into the food. But as time went on, Mau was cooking more and more and starting to enjoy it as opposed to before, when he despised it. Then, one day, a friend of Mau’s came over for dinner and Mau made him a very modest dinner and his friend went  crazy over it. But Mau had put a lot of love into the meal, he enjoyed making the food, he spent a good amount of time preparing the food and making sure everything was just right. Just goes to show you, felling good around the food you prepare, makes those who eat it feel good. After that, we ventured over to the church to make lunch, but this time, us the students were to plan, organize and cook the meal without any help from the adults. We made chilaquiles (a delicious Mexican frittata with beans, sauteed kale and cheese on the side) and summer squash soup with stock that was made from various food scraps.

I only broke my promise once.

Kale Blomkvist.

Scrumptious.

There was also surprise Jaritos.

After our wonderful lunch, we were gifted a wooden travel cutlery set to remember all of our good times here at food camp. Then we went swimming!

Sophie gettin’ her swag on.

Here we have Air Man Chandler.

Avital’s first time on a rope swing.

This has been fun, o my brothers and sisters, but this is where the story ends.

In today’s issue of Food Camp, our heroes sought guidance from two wisely fellows by the names of Mike and Eevy. We walked out to the bike trail where Mike gave us a lesson about various “wild” foods e.g. plants that weren’t farmed and animals that weren’t raised by humans. Mike is what some people would call a “survivalist expert” but what mike says, in more modest terms, is “I go out on nature journeys sometimes”. He explained to us how the human body really doesn’t need as much food as we give it and that is is more than possible to survive in the wilderness just by eating what is naturally living around us. Upon our journey back to our fortress of food, Evvy gave a talk about all the various types of diets, how they work, and what significance they hold in our culture.

Evvy saying some important words.

Mau is listening intently.

Evvy told us how our culture is incredibly opposed to fats of any kind and how most mainstream diets were all about losing weight and watching your calorie and carb intake. One of these diets, called the Atkins diet, actually stops your body from digesting glucose (a compound that your brain needs in able to function) to digesting stored body fat. Evvy also told us about diets such as the paleo diet  (a diet that restricts you to eating only what was available during the paleolithic period), the raw diet (where you can only eat foods that have not been heated past 118 degrees Fahrenheit) and all sorts of other interesting restrictions that people put on their eating habits. Now, we were all hungry so we went down the street to the church to make lunch where we cooked nothing. We weren’t eating raw, we were making spring rolls. For the innards of the spring rolls we had tempeh, mango sauce, kimchi, cucumber, carrots, zucchini, miso paste, cabbage and avocado.

People cutting stuff.

All of the stuff to go in the spring rolls.

After we stuffed ourselves full of our delicious luncheon, we started brainstorming for the zine that we will produce sometime in the near future.

Well, until we meet again.

A beautiful spread of ingredients for raw spring rolls:
Cucumbers, carrots, zucchini, kimchee, tempeh, onions, mango, basil, mint, radicchio.


Sophie listens as Abuelita discusses galactic bears, unicorns with too much hair, and cosmic carrots.


Abuelita (Abbey) naps under this table every day after lunch. She must dream
to gain fodder for her discussions about galactic cosmobears.

Mau discusses with the girls the fact that coffee growers often
only see only 2% of the profits from their coffee. They were not amused.


Avital gave a presentation on food systems
and food justice. Her drawings were revered.


Baby Bok Choy served as the improvised green in a Cuban style lunch prepared by “El Semi-Cubano”.


Miss Emily French gives a talk on food as medicine.
Different foods create different conditions in our bodies. Emily helped us decode these feelings.


Jonah tastes a preparation of nettles in apple cider vinegar made by Ananda Wilson.
Emily discussed the nutrient density of nettles.

On our tour of the supermarkets we found some flavorful meat.


At FOOD Camp we have partytime knives


High fashion knives and greens

Such a good day! Today, we started out with a walk down the bike path and a talk about wild things 😉 Wild foods, wild ways, wild animals, even wild humans. It makes you think!

After that, we headed back to north star and talked about raw foods, diets, etc. Then, after talking about raw foods, we went down to the church and made a delicious raw lunch! Spring roles are yummy. We made them with the choices of avocados, kimchi, onions, tempe, a mango sauce type thing, carrots, zucchini, cucumber, miso, cilantro, basil, or mint. Everyone loved it! (except for Sylvia:( oh well) I loved it:)

When lunch time was over we discussed the Zine that we will be creating about our adventures at Food Camp the past couple weeks! Tomorrow is our last day. It’s gonna be so much fun, but I’m gonna miss it for sure. Tomorrow we are going to go swimming!!!! Probably some other stuff too, but I’m super pumped to swim.

Next week we are hopefully going to take a trip up to Boston, which would be awesome. We’d get free lunch at this restaurant, and do a ton of cool things. We’d also go swimming again. Cool stuff, that’s it for now!

~McKenzie~

Hello everyone!

Today we made the most delicious foods! We had beans and sofrito, rice, bok-choy and tostones (flattened and fried plantains). I made a lot of the tostones and they’re soooooo delicious. It was a cuban style lunch and now I wish I could have it every lunch.

But before lunch we had a discussion lead by Avital and ended up playing this game where everyone got an envelope with money, a grocery list and a family member who needed a certain food (whether it be because of dietary restrictions or personal taste). We had to go around to all the adults different stores and buy the food or get a ‘job’ if we needed more money to pay for our food.  At one of the stores you’d have to pay bus money to get there too, which made everything harder. Overall, I think it was my favorite exercise we did. It was the most entertaining and easiest to learn from because it was more hands on.

I also learned that growers of bananas are grossly underpaid. Not cool.

Then after lunch we talked about using food as medicine and looked at, and tried, a bunch of tinctures. I had to run before we got to finish that lesson which I’m sad about because I wanted to learn more about herbalism.

Can’t wait for tomorrow!

~Ab

I’m just gonna leave this right here.

Hola, flower.

In today’s episode of Food Camp, the group was split up into three teams to go and observe the contents of a Stop &Shop super market. We found many odd things such as Thai food that claimed to be Chinese.we also observed that most of the colors on most of the packaged foods were either red, yellow or blue. One of the only good things was that everything was rather cheap. For some comparison, we journeyed to the local Whole Foods grocery store. For this assignment we were split into two teams and were each given 150 hypothetical dollars. Each team was then released into the store to go hypothetical shopping for to supply themselves for the hypothetical week. We were given 15 minutes before we had to reconvene and show our results. We came to the conclusion that Stop & Shop may not be the best place to find organic/local produce (not to say that they didn’t have organic produce, they just had fewer choices than Whole Foods.), but it was the more economic choice. Whole Foods, on the other hand had a bounty of organic and local produce, the only problem being that, compared to Stop & Shop, their prices were astronomical. Also, the atmosphere in Whole Foods (where people smile at you and give you help) was much nicer than the one in Stop & Shop (where people frown a lot and give you shopping advice as opposed to help). All in all, neither of the stores are bad, it just depends on your financial situation. You can pay more for better service and more local and organic foods, or you can save money and still have a fair selection of organic foods but have to deal with crummy people.

After that, we made a delicious butt load of stir-fry with rice noodles for lunch.

As I promised, always a picture involving garlic.

All will be one!

Once we managed to eat all but one portion of our stir-fry, (which, believe me, was not an easy task.) We went on a small herb walk led by Mau and Craig on the bike trail behind the church where we found wild black raspberries, wild carrots, wild lettuce, wood sorrel, lambs quarters and mugwort.

And that concludes today’s episode of Food Camp!

Yesterday we started out the day by doing all sorts of funky dancing/moving games. That is probably my favorite part of the day. After that Craig talked to us about the evolution of food and humans themselves. Then we went to UMASS!! They showed us and talked to us all about the permaculture project they’ve been working on for the past couple of years. Here are some pictures of that:

:

Lunch time yesterday was probably my favorite lunch so far. We made tacos!!! The tacos had tempe, kimchi, the best guacamole ever made by Emma and I, different types of cooked greens, and some yummy condiments.

Hello!

Yesterday we went to UMass and harvested lettuce in their garden. It went by surprisingly fast and was really fun! They have a beautiful garden. It made me wish I  could have a garden of my own.

We also made tempeh and guacamole (among other things) yesterday and it was my favorite thing we’ve made together so far. It was so yummy and satisfying. Sylvia and I also cooked up a bunch of greens for lunch. Neither of us had really made greens the way we did before, so we just sautéed them in olive oil and put it all the spices we could find. I think it came out good. They were edible!

We also had a food tasting where we tried two different kinds of the same food and decided which ones we liked better (Ex- two different kinds of honey, whole wheat bread vs. white bread, raw milk vs. pasteurized milk etc.) I ended up liking pasteurized milk better than raw milk because I couldn’t really taste the raw milk very well and pasteurized had a tangy-ish taste to it that I really like.

I can’t wait for next week!

~Ab

today for lunch, we made… thug nug/snuggle thug tacos. get ready.

INGREDIENTS:

soft tacos (we used either corn, whole wheat, or amaranth/flax tortillas)

avocado

greens (chard, kale, spinach, beet greens, dandelion greens– whatever you wanna use!)

cilantro

lime lime and more lime

chopped scallions

for the THUG NUGS:

tempeh (fermented soy protein)

soy sauce/tamari

sriracha chili sauce (or some sort of hot sauce)

nutritional yeast

other options to add:

kimchi

miso paste

optional:

a touch of molasses/honey/maple syrup

ginger

gluten-free THUG NUGS:

substitute cocuonut oil for soy sauce!

for the GUACAMOLE:

ripe ripe ripe avocado

diced raw garlic

diced red onion

plenty of salt, peppa, lime/lemon

METHOD:

get all your taco toppings prepped: chop the scallions and cilantro and put in separate bowls.

either slice the avocado or make guacamole! (mix all ingredients together. pretty simple!)

slice limes into squeezable sections and put in a separate bowl

*

make the greens- because the tacos are incredibly flavorful full of lots of different mouth sensations, it’s nice to make the greens pretty simple. you can either steam them or sautée them. today, we sauteéd them with a touch of ghee and garlic, salt and pepper.

*

make the thug nugs!

chop tempeh blocks into little bite sized squares (avital says the length of your fingernail)

put the blocks into a bowl or container

pour soy sauce/tamari over tempeh (don’t drench them but be liberal)– here’s where the coconut oil comes in if yer gluten-free

scoop of chili sauce for spice

spoonful or honey/molasses/maple syrup if you’re using it

SHAKE IT UP! use a bowl/container with a top if possible so you can really coat the tempeh and get errything mixed up.

once you’ve shaken it, shake some nutritional yeast all over the marinated tempeh. it acts as a sort of batter for frying and also has such a yummy, salty, almost parmesan-cheesy flavor (nut’l. yeast is an AWESOME substitute for parmesan cheese and is delicious over soups, greens, and popcorn, too!)

shake again.

get a pan hot with ghee, butter, or olive oil. fry those nugs up! give ’em time- it’s worth the wait to get the nugs nice and crispy on all four sides. while you cook them, you can put a top on the pan for a bit, but keep an eye on them. flip them after 3-4 minutes or once they’re nice  and brown.

put thug nugs on a serving plate.

*

heat up the tortillas either in a dry pan or right on your burner- careful! they can burn quick.

ok. time to make yer darn tacos.

using all the prepped ingredients, scoop, squeeze, lather, sprinkle! (ex: i like to put guacamole/avocado/miso on the bottom, then a layer of greens, then 3-4 snuggle thugs, then kimchi, cilantro and scallions over the top as a garnish. then LIMEEE LIKE WOAHHH)

do it how YOU like it!

***IMPORTANT: ONCE THE THUG NUGS ARE IN THE TACO, THEY BECOME SNUGGLE THUGS***

we love these tacos. you can do pretty much whatever you like with them. no avocados? cook up some lentils as a base! add raw shaved beets, sauteéd mushrooms, fresh diced tomato… 🙂

Hi, this is Kelly making my first post on da blog. This morning my first food item of the day (besides at my home) were dried and salted crickets. They tasted like popcorn, except with little bug legs. This came after a long presentation of the history of humans and food which was really interesting stuff. Later on we had a discussion about killing chickens and I had thought about how what we did yesterday was done really humanely but also was extremely primitive. I remember kneeling over the mess of feathers and blood and feeling like a predator, a true member of the natural world. Lunch was delicious, especially the quinoa. After eating we made ghee and I put some herbs in mine.(forgot what they are called)

Hola chicos!

As you already head, we killed two chickens yesterday. It was surprisingly less traumatizing than I thought it was going to be, although I watched the chickens from a good ways away as they were being killed. But afterwards I helped ‘process’ the chickens. I cut off one of their heads, which I’m probably not going to do again any time soon, but it wasn’t as terrible as you’d think it could be.

I think the reason it wasn’t hard for me to cut up the chicken afterwards was because I wasn’t there when they died. I kind of regret leaving them and not being there as they died but I was definitely not in the mood to see it at the time. This morning we had a nice long/ interesting discussion about the chickens and death in general. Twas nice.

And today we had yet another slightly out of my comfort zone  time! YAY! We ate some canned crickets.

Here’s a picture I pulled from the internet. These buggies look close to the one’s eaten today! I only had one, but it was pretty gross. Maybe I’ll dip them in chocolate next time. That sounds a lot more appetizing.

It was really cool to think about how a lot of people from different places eat these bugs the way we eat chips. Sometimes I forget that thing are different around the world and then I eat bugs and I remember they are.

Also, we made quinoa today and yesterday which was AMAZING. I could live of quinoa and grapes if I had to. I also leaned how to make ‘Sofrito’. Yummy, yummy, yummy!

I don’t usually like to cook, but at Food Camp it’s so fun. I might actually be able to live on my own and cook for myself some day. Huh.

No crickets were harmed in the making of this post.*

*Kidding, we ate them.

~Abuelita 🙂

The third day of Food Camp has been a success!

In the morning, most of us did Mau’s movement class and did some delightful flopping and tumbling around. After that, Craig Surette showed us a presentation he had prepared about the evolution of man and the symbiotic relationships between man and food over the past 200,000 years. To contrast our food culture with food cultures from the other side of the world, Craig brought in a can of fried and seasoned crickets. These crickets are the Thai/Cambodian equivalent of potato chips! To see some of the reactions people had, click on the link below.

Eating crickets. P.S. we thought they were cockroaches.

Next, we went over to the church and Cooked up a delicious lunch of quinoa, (with caramelized onions, carrots and spices) vegetable soup, (the chicken we killed yesterday was meant to go in the soup, but it was too tough. It needs to boil overnight  and will be used tomorrow.) salad (with beets and lemon, olive oil and garlic dressing.) and some sauteed greens. We also fried up the chicken skin, liver, heart and stomach. For a short video of our lunch prep, visit the link below.

Lunchtime.

As of now, I will always post a picture of garlic in my lunch photos.

This is what our lunch looked like today.

After we ate our lunch, Mau led what was supposed to be a snack making workshop but what turned into a ghee making workshop. Ghee is a nutritious substance also known as “Clarified butter” in which you boil butter to separate the milk solids from the fat. Ghee was discovered in India and has been a part of Indian culture for as long as they have been milking cows. The Indians use ghee in both culinary and ritual applications, as they consider it the most sacred substance made by human hands. This way, the final product is 25% monounsaturated fat, (the kind of fat that is really good for you.) 65% saturated fats and only 5% polyunsaturated fats (the kind of fats that, in larger quantities increases the chances of cancer). Ghee is also safe for someone who is lactose intolerant to consume, as all the milk solids that contain lactose have been extracted.

Butter being melted to make the ghee.

This is only a third of the butter we used to make the ghee.

The moral of the story is, Food Camp is awesome!

Today I wasn’t able to take any pictures because my mom had to use her camera and I couldn’t find mine this morning. Sorry ’bout that! It was another fun day. My highlight would definitely be eating a  cockroach… Pretty freaking gross. But I’m glad I did it ’cause now I can say I’ve eaten a cockroach. We also made ghee at the end of the day which was fun, and ghee is delicious so I’m excited to eat it. Yay, excited for tomorrow! I’ll have pictures!!!!:)

The second day of Food Camp was amazing!

We started the day with several options. We could either water the garden, participate in a movement class led by Mau and Emma, or we could sit down and start figuring out the beginning of a zine that we will be making about the camp.

Mau, prancing around in the movement class with sage doing likewise in the background.

After that, we drove over to a homestead in Amherst run by Brittany Nickerson. There, we talked about all of the numerous symbiotic relationships between the farm and and the farmer. after that, we took a tour of the property in which Brittany showed us her pigs.

Oh, what majestic creatures!

Then, we gathered various plants that most people would consider weeds, to put in our salad for the upcoming luncheon. These “weeds” were very nutritious and delicious along side with grated beets, salad greens and nasturtiums. we also made quinoa with caramelized onions, grilled vegetables (marinated in olive oil, rice vinegar and LOTS of garlic). Brittany had also prepared meatballs made from ground pork that came from one of her pigs that we had only the honor of tasting.

I'll beet you into a salad.

Beets being grated to go in the salad.

Garlic makes everything better.

That’s Abbigale, and she beet us all.

During lunch, Felix Lufkin introduced us to the two chickens which we were going to kill, pluck, gut andotherwise prepare in a way that shows complete and total respect towards the animal’s life. After lunch, we all gathered around Felix while he explained all the different ways of perceiving death. We all took a moment to mentally ground ourselves and to feel gratitude and respect towards the chicken. We then proceeded to kill, pluck, gut, and otherwise prepare both chickens. I think that this experience taught at least some of us a greater respect for all living creatures ,and also, how to kill, pluck, gut and otherwise prepare a chicken. The chickens are not large enough to be roasted, so we intend to make a soup out of them.

One of the soon-to-be-soup chickens.

Today has been full of amazing new experiences and I hope that all the days will be equally great in their own way and I look forward to tomorrow.

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