Strawberries Are Back 

Strawberries are back and in full-swing of things at the Union Square Green Market.  They’re super sweet, juicy, and delicious!  You’ll never find these beauties at your supermarket.  What also sets these beauties apart from the regular store-bought brands is there texture. The strawberry from the local farmers are much more tender and delicate, thus making them more juicy.

They’re in season now so stop by your local farmers market and get’em while you can.  To find your local farmers market click here.  Nutritional information on strawberry can also be found here

Enjoy😋

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Food Revolution Day: Jamie Oliver 

 Jamie Oliver’s Food Foundation was founded in 2002 with a mission to “shape the health and wellbeing of current and future generations and contribute to a healthier world by providing better access to food education for everyone.”   Every year around this time, Jamie hosts Food Revolution Day, which is a day of action where thousands of people all over the world make a stand for the right to make healthy food and essential cooking skills mandatory.  This year’s Food Revolution Day falls on Friday, May 15th, and this time he’s making it all about the kids. 

“By educating children about food in a practical, fun and engaging way, we can provide them with the knowledge and skills they so urgently need to lead healthier, happier lives. We need to make practical food education a compulsory part of every school curriculum across the world, and that’s why I’ve launched a petition calling on all G20 countries to action this. With enough support from millions of people around the world, I truly believe that we can create a movement that’s powerful enough to make governments take action.” Jamie Oliver

  
Read more and sign his petition and support the Food Revolution


An Epic Event: TEDxManhattan “Changing The Way We Eat” 2015

I had an amazing experience at this years TEDxManhattan “Changing The Way We Eat” conference.  I was humbly inspired and motivated by each and every speaker.  It was an epic event filled with like-minded people who are true ‘Food Warriors’ and ‘Food Heroes’. Conferences like TEDxManhattan create a platform for people to share their ideas and passions.  Diane Hatz, is the main organizer and host of TEDxManhattan.  She is also the Founder and Executive Director of Change Food.   This year was her forth conference, and it was definitely well attended globally.  She reported this year’s conference had 370 in-person attendees, 173 viewing parties with an estimated 8,500 people in 37 states and 14 countries, and 17,482 computers tuned into the event.  What a wonderful accomplishment.  Well, as an attendee I had a wonderful experience.  Here are some of my highlights. 

   Me and Tom Colicchio 
I got the opportunity to meet Tom Colicchio.  He was extremely pleasant, friendly, and funny.  I am a long time fan of Top Chef which Tom is an Executive Producer and a head judge on the Bravo reality TV show.  We obviously have a lot in common so we spoke briefly about the conference and my connections within the ‘Food Movement’.  I had a wonderful time chatting with him.  He’s truly a ‘Food Hero’.

Michele Merkel 
Michele Merkel is the co-director of the Food & Water Justice Program at Food & Water Watch, inspires me to never give up.  As a former attorney for the Environmental Protection Agency, Michele knew in her core the unethical practices the EPA stoodby wasn’t fair. She quit her job with the EPA and now Michele represents small traditional organic family farmers, and uses her legal knowledge to sue the EPA.  I thought, what a Bad Ass!  Although our judicial system is a tough one, Michele believes everyone could help support the fight by voting for candidates who are committed to change, send letters to your representatives, rally, sign petitions and demand for a better sustainable food system.  Michele also recommends researching these websites for more ways to help.  Food Policy Action, Food & Water Watch, and Socialy Responsible Agricultural Project.

 

Stephen Ritz
 
Stephen Ritz talked about the struggles his students face while living in one of the poorest neighborhoods in the South Bronx.  He founded Green Bronx Machine which teaches student K-12 the importance of eating healthy through growing organic fruits and vegetables in the classroom.  Get this, they grow more than 30,000 pounds of fruits and vegetables.  We need a Stephen Ritz in every Public School.  His hard work and dedication to his students at PS 55 is quite impressive and evident.  He is feeding the community and teaching his students simultaneously, which is brilliant.  Stephen inspires me to continue to educate my family and community.

Nikiko Masumoto reciting her poem “My Field of Dreams”
Nikko Masumoto works on her family’s Certified Organic Farm (Masumoto Family Farm) where they grow peaches, nectarines, and grapes.  Nikiko’s talk made me see the realization of how timing is extremely important when harvesting.  She was captivating!  Her poem, “My Fields of Dreams” fascinated me because we share the same dream — a sustainable future for everyone.  In honor of National Poetry Month April 2015, I celebrate Nikko’s poem.  In 2013 she published her first book The Perfect Peach (Ten Speed Press), co-authored with Marcy & David Mas Masumoto.  Family farming preserves traditional food products while safeguarding the world’s agro-biodiversity.  Nikiko is proudly learning the tools of the trade on her fathers farm.  
Danielle Nierenberg
 Danielle Nierenberg is the President of Food Tank and one of my idles. She has a long history in fighting to alleviate hunger and property, while protecting the environment.  Danielle’s talk about the forgotten farmers, which are women because it’s women who make up 43% of the global agricultural work force.  They are often denied education, refused by banking and financial institutions, and faced with discrimination.  Danielle opened up my mind to see that there are other women struggling to earn, farm and feed their families all over the world. I’m inspired to learn more about Food Tank, and to help continue to spread the word about women in agricultural work force.   

DJ Cavem & Alkemia Earth
Ietef “DJ Cavem Moetavation” Vita is an O.G. (Organic Gardner), vegan chef, educator, midwife, emcee, producer, b-boy, DJ, founder of Going Green Living Bling, founder of Eco-HipHop and award-winning activist.  His performance and message was awesome. He got everyone up and moving to the sounds and beats of, the “Kale Life”.  Ietef raps, performs and educates young children and communities through his music.  His  performance along with his wife Alkemia Earth was epic.  Check out how they use hip hop to educate others about healthy food TEDxManhattan talk and performance. 

 Conferences like TEDxManhattan create a platform for people to share their ideas and passions.  This was my first time attending one of TEDxManhattan conferences, and I was impressed by the whole experience.  

 Every aspect of that day was centered around the theme, “Changing the Way We Eat”.  From the speakers topics, the ambiance of the event, the healthy delicious foods they catered, fun interactive activities, the vendors, guest, prizes and even the wonderful gift bags I took home — the whole experience was amazing. 

 I’ve made some great connections and learned a tremendous amount of information about our food system.  It was a life changing event for me, and I am forever grateful for the opportunity.  I am already looking forward next year’s event.  I am and forever will be a TEDxSter!  To hear the TEDxManhattan 2015 talks click here.

 

 

 

 

 

  

Bee Colonies Declining | What Foods We’d Lose



Photo: Getty Images/Matt Cardy


Honeybees are on a decline if you’re unaware.  The Agricultural Research Service (ARS), USDA’s internal research agency, is leading several efforts into possible Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD) causes. Scientist are looking at four general categories for the causes:

  1. Pathogens
  2. Parasites
  3. Management stressors
  4. Environmental stressors     

Not only American’s are unhealthy, but the health of our honey bees are as well.  David vanEngeladorp, Ph.D. an entomologist at the University of Maryland was the first to discover honey bees were in trouble 11 years ago.  The biggest factors affecting bees’ are the increasing use of pesticides, vaaroa mites and poor nutrition. They cause the bees immune system to be weaken — leaving them highly subseptical to the flu, other viruses and pathogens. 

We all should be worried and take the necessary steps to help protect our country’s most efficient pollinators.  Bees’ play an intricate part in our food system. They pollinate 33% of what we eat.  Just imagine if they’re exsistance were to decline tremendously, we may experience a food shortage.  

The Foods We’d Lose

  • Almonds
  • Asparagus
  • Apples
  • Blueberry
  • Avocado
  • Broccoli
  • Onion
  • Berries 
  • Squash
  • Cucumber
  • Tomato
  • Peppers 

That’s just a handful of them, the list still goes on and on.  So, how can you help?  Over at Food Democracy Now, you could sign a petition that will go to President Obama urging him to ban the use of neonics.  According to the petition, neonicotinoid’s this class of insecticides can kill bees’ outright, impair brain function and suppress their immune system — leaving them more vulnerable to diseases.  Also, Takepart is another website you could visit for petitions, awarenesses and pledges of all kinds of environmental crisis. Every vote counts! 

What Else You Can Do to Help

  • Buy local honey: Support local bee keepers. Where to find them? Your local farmers market
  • Make a garden: Make your outdoor space pollinator-friendly plants that are good sources of nectar and pollen. Visit pollinator.org/guides to pick out beautiful options. 
  • Safe Pesticides: Look for bee-friendly alternatives. Check out groworganic.com Don’t use commercial pesticides or herbicides. 
  • Go Organic: This certifies safer regulations on spraying and the fruits and vegetables are more nutritious. 

Join the movement and help save our bees! 

Resources:

North American Pollinator Protection

Bee Informed 

Dennis vanEngelsdorp, Ph.D