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Most of you are at Food Camp to learn and to share your own knowledge.  Today I found that I was too.  While I know a lot about food and food systems, I don’t hang out with many young people or non-city folk. I loved a few things about today but watching all of you watch the slaughter of the chicken, was awing.  I saw kids go from disgusted, to extremely curious, to introspective to willing to stick their hands in a chicken and pull its guts out. I haven’t eaten meat in several years and today I sampled some of Brittany’s beautiful pork meatballs (probably because I saw how lovingly she treated her pigs).  She was so kind to open her home to us and to share her knowledge with us in such a soft-spoken manner. And Felix’s explanation of the cycle and circle of life reminded me to be more consciously grateful for anything that I consume that comes from an animal. But mostly I am grateful for today and the beautiful experience of partaking with such a lovely group of sentient beings who are interested and engaged in the world I live in.

Thanks for letting me be a part of it. – Bettina

McKenzie, here! Today was our second day at the oh so wonderful Food Camp. The first thing we did in the morning, was a movement type class that consisted of sun-salutations and a game called shake. Around 10:30 a.m. we went to a homestead in Amherst, and did lots of fun things like talking about health and farming and the Standard American Diet (SAD), harvesting weeds to make a wild greens salad for lunch, seeing the pigs, and baby chicks, and of course lots of cooking when lunch time came around. After lunch we planned that we would take a chickens life, in the quickest, least painful way possible, of course, for food the next day. Like people used to do before supermarkets came around. It was an intense experience, definitely, but I’m glad that I was able to witness it. Maybe I’ll decide to kill an animal for food on my own someday. I figured that some people wouldn’t exactly love to see the gory pictures I took, but if you are interested let me know and I’d be happy to share them! Thanks Mau and friends for an awesome day:)

Today, lunch was on the farm. Brittany was a wonderful host. She also has a wonderful home.  We picked fresh herbs and greens to supplement our salad, including edible flowers (beautiful and yummy!)



lettuces (whatever you can get your hands on– romaine, green leaf, red leaf, arugula– using raw bok choi or baby kale is real nice too although we didn’t have that today)

herbs (fun options for exuberant flavas are: parsely, dill, cilantro, nasturtium, etc!)

raw shaved beets (raw shaved carrots, zucchini are fun too!)

wash. dry. chop. shaved beets can be grated with a cheese grater or with a julienne- no need to peel!

mix up in a big bowl.


olive oil

apple cider vinegar

rice vinegar

diced garlic


spicy brown mustard/horseradish

chopped parsely

touch o’ honey

(we didn’t have miso paste, but it is AWESOME in dressing as it creates a nice consistency and a little bit goes a long way!)

either shake all ingredients up in jar with a lid or food process! we didn’t use any sort of official measurements, but do taste before you dress!

dress the salad and toss it up!


the quinoa was a big hit today. i will let someone who actually made it give the details! avital?  abbye?




summer squash

red and white onions

olive oil

rice vinegar



leave onions whole or cut in half (after peeling off skin)

chop squash and zucchini in half vertically (this makes them thinner and so they cook quicker)

dice da garlic. toss it in the olive oil. pour in rice vinegar. taste it. we all got different preferences. do what you like. using your hands or a pastry brush (ooo fancy! but helpful if you got it!) lightly coat  the zucchini and squash with the mixture. we grilled them outside, which got them nice and smoky and lightly charred. if you don’t have a grill or it’s winter, roasting is another great option! (in the winter, it’s nice to use root veggies like carrots, potatoes, beets. you can also roast whole cloves of garlic and then squirt them over the veggies or bread when they come out of the oven)

Brittany made pork meatballs from her pigs on the farm!

we also tried some fancy jamón ibérico from provisions (an awesome wine/cheese store at which avital works). jamón ibérico is a type of cured ham  from Spain. i clearly don’t know much about it. anyone care to elaborate?

Today was the first day of Food Camp!

We started our day off by discussing the difference between macro and micro nutrients. Basically, the difference between fats, carbs, and proteins and all the numerous nutrients that our bodies need to keep living. Next, we walked over to the Most Holy Redeemer church down the road to make lunch. We made lentils (with turmeric, fresh chives, cumin and mustard seeds), brown rice (with onions and green peppers) and sautéed Collards (with garlic). We then ate our delicious lunch and then, Craig Surette gave a talk about how the Standard American Diet (SAD) has become infected with all sorts of horrible chemicals (with hardly a thought for human safety) since the the early 1940’s. Last but not least, Ananda Wilson and Marvin Warren taught a fermentation workshop where we started the several week process of making kimchi, a Korean vegetable ferment, and various pickled vegetables.

After learning about proteins, fats, and carbohydrates in the morning, we cooked ’em!



green peppers






olive oil

short grain brown rice


we got the oil nice and hot. we sauteéd the onion and green pepper in the oil, softening it and bringing out the flavor. turmeric, paprika (some shakes- these spices are flavorful but not too overpowering).

we threw in da rice, toasting it for a minute so our now flavored oil penetrated the rice. rice is good with a 2:1 ratio (aka one cup rice, 2 cups water/broth). made sure it didn’t burn by constantly stirring. threw in the water. stirred, let boil, then turned the heat down so it could simmer. (brown rice can take up to 50 minutes to cook, but if you soak it in water the day before you cook it, it actually cooks much faster and we can get more nutrients from it).

Keeping an eye on it, we tried it, salted, peppered, spiced a bit more. boom. yum rice. if your rice is done taste/texture-wise, but there’s still water in the pot, take the top off! water evaporates!






olive oil

collard greens duh


we washed the collards and separated the stems from the leaves. (you can do this by either slicing down either side of the stem with a knife or just pulling the leaves off with your hands. we separated the stems from the leaves because the stems take a bit longer to cook. we chopped the stems up into bite sized pieces, as well as the leaves.

We got some olive oil hot in a pan and put diced garlic it. careful to keep an eye on hot garlic! it burns easily and a lot of people don’t like the taste of burnt garlic. after sauteéing the oil with the garlic, we put the stems in first. we let ’em cook for a  couple minutes, then added the leaves. we didn’t want to use too much oil as it can make the greens soggy and a little heavy tasting, so we sped up the cooking process by putting some tap water in the pan and putting the top on (essentially steaming it a bit). steaming greens also helps to keep more nutrients in the greens and in our bodddiiess. we tasted the greens, making sure they were nice and cooked through for taste but not soggy. like the rice, if the greens are done cooking but there’s still water in the pan, take the top off! it’ll evaporate. lime, salt, pepper. simple, smooth, light.



delicious. please tell us.

after lunch, we realized that we had made a completely vegan meal that was satisfying and diverse in flava-flav and texture and color!

Thought this was a good reuse of an often discarded item – vertical gardens:

For the past 2 years we’ve been hosting a FOOD class for teens discussing various topics from nutrition to food policy while preparing and eating. Here’s a little glimpse:

Hope and Mckenzie went off sugar for the month of April. Here’s their story:

“Our relationship with food is a reflection of our relationship with our environment”

Organic vs. Conventional. Fat vs. Carb vs. Protein. Local vs. Tropical. Seasonal vs. Indulgent. Sugar vs. Health. Pop science and the media have made a mess in our heads about what we eat and how we eat it.

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