Posted by Ed Yowell, Slow Food NYC
private eyeEvery year, with fellow Slow Food members of the East End (LI) Slow Food chapter, Grace and I hold a potluck dinner known as the Duck-off, the last one in February being the fifth annual. The objective is that everybody has to bring a new, original dish made with a real Long Island duck (the kind that look like Donald, not Daffy) and seasonal and local ingredients. We drink Long Island wine and locally made get the idea. (NB, In this, our fifth year, the competition was fierce: some eaters started rehearsing duck dishes months in advance and one experimented with duck confit-stuffed ravioli made with flour he ground from wild Long Island wheat.)

Anyway, for Duck-off 2009, I decided to make Duck Samp,  Samp being a corn-based dish I sampled first at a Shinnecockthe big duck Nation festival held at their Cultural Center in Southampton.  I asked a

Slow Food friend who has a Shinnecock friend to get me a Samp recipe. No dice. Apparently, Shinnecock grandmothers, like all others, don't part easily with treasured family recipes.  

So I Googled Samp.  Much to my surprise, Samp is a traditional Native American (Algonquin) and South African (Xhosa) culinary stand-by.

Samp, made primarily from hominy, is the English word derived from the Narragansett, Native American, word, Nasasump, a stew made from dried corn. (The Narragansett and Shinnecock are both Algonquin.)

NYC Alliance for CNR Statement of Priorities

see attached doc.

City Chicken Tour: A photo Essay

Thank you to Helen Ho, Greenthumb, for sharing her photo out takes from Just Food's City Chicken Tour! To learn more about the City Chicken Project, visit

Stringer Unveils Latest Strategy To Promote Healthy Food

May Open Networking Meeting

The Future of Food Policy in NYC

Join us for a full panel discussion of food policy initiatives being advanced in partnership with the Brooklyn and Manhattan Borough Presidents' Offices. Policy makers and citizens' groups with professionals are joining together to create lasting change. This session is dedicated to providing the opportunity for you to learn more about becoming involved in changing the nyc food policy landscape, and posing your questions about the directions and strategies of the borough based initaitves. Discussion and Q&A will be moderated by Nevin Cohen, The New School.

Special guests:
Honorable Rosemonde Pierre-Louis, Manhattan Deputy Borough President
Jenifer Clapp, Policy Analyst, Manhattan Borough President’s Office  
Italia Guerrero, Policy Analyst, Brooklyn Borough President's Office
Lorrie Clevenger, Brooklyn Healthy Food Campaign and Brooklyn’s Bounty

Tuesday, May 12th, 2009
12:30-2pm (brown bag lunch at noon)

Citizens Committee for NYC
305 Seventh Ave, 15th floor
between 28th and 29th streets

Brooklyn Healthy Food Campaign(BHFC)

The BHFC is a partnership of City and State governments, citywide service providers, grassroots organizations, and concerned citizens committed to improving community health and food security in the Borough of Brooklyn. This summer, these groups are joining forces to apply technical expertise, agency resources, and grassroots community organizing to make strides towards this vision.

May Film Feature: How to Start Plants from Seed

While you can sow many seeds directly now that May has come, it's not too late to nourish some starts. Watch this informative video from Kerry Trueman, and  Retrovore is a new website dedicated to promoting the joys of farmers markets, homegrown food, and kitchen gardening. It features The Union Square Market Report, a weekly podcast of interviews with farmers from the Greenmarket, as well as resources/tips on growing your own food! Check it out!

Brooklyn Food Conference- One Participant's Reflections

Cross-posted by Paula Crossfield, On Saturday, 3,000 people gathered at John Jay public high school for the Brooklyn Food Conference, a grassroots, volunteer-organized discussion around the state of our food system, featuring keynote talks by Dan Barber, Anna Lappé, Raj Patel, and LaDonna Redmond. Along with these talks were 70 workshops throughout the classrooms of the school, on subjects as varied as growing your own food, starting a co-op and the value of breastfeeding. According to the accompanying bright yellow guide, one of the goals of this event was to "bring Brooklynites together to demand -- and participate in creating -- a vital, healthy, and just food system available to everyone." By my assessment, that is just what's begun to happen. Kicking off the day, Dan Barber gave a chef's perspective on sustainability (speech text here) through a story about two fish he has served, each labeled 'sustainable.' He found out the first fish was receiving chicken in its feed, which the grower thought sustainable because they were taking advantage of the waste produced by the chicken industry. Grossed out, Barber began to use the second instead, which grew as a part of the recuperation of an entire ecosystem, "a farm that doesn’t feed its animals and measures its success by the health of its predators." He warned, “We are on the verge of an ecological credit crisis, and it’s going to make this economic credit crisis a walk in the park.” In order to reverse this, he seemed to say, we have to rebuild farms and communities.

Grow A Farmer

An indisputably important part of food systems work is educating and supporting new organic farmers. Support the ongoing strength of the University of California, Santa Cruz’s organic farm training program, the Center for Agroecology and Sustainable Food Systems (CASFS). This is an excellent chance to help new farmers gain the skills they need to succeed - help to grow a farmer! If you'd like to learn more about CASFS, please visit

New York Showcases Vibrant Local Markets to Youth from Around the Globe May 4-15

Posted by Lexi Van de Walle
New York City Showcases Vibrant Local Markets to Youth from Around the Globe
May 4-15, 2009

Young People Demonstrate Power and Concern at Several Events

New York, NY Now, as the converging food, finance, energy and climate crises push governments and citizens to consider innovative ways to manage current and future challenges, young people are staking their claim to the future by voicing their support for sustainable development to feed the world’s growing population.

Willing to face these crises head on, a sizeable youth caucus from the 53 member countries will attend the 17th session of the Commission on Sustainable Development and participate in events in- and outside the UN ranging from local NYC market tours to high-level policy debates.

Spring Screenings

A trio of food and ag-related documentaries are having their NYC premieres thismonth:

The Garden, a 2008 Academy Award nominee for Best Documentary Feature about an embattled 14 acre communal garden in South Central Los Angeles, features Danny Glover, Willie Nelson, Joan Baez, Daryl Hannah, Dennis Kucinich, and Zak de la Rocha. Kenneth Turan of the LA Times said: "It's tempting to call 'The Garden' a story of innocence and experience, of evil corrupting paradise, but that would be doing a disservice to the fascinating complexities of a classic Los Angeles conflict and an excellent documentary that does them full justice."

When: Wednesday, May 6 at 7pm
Where: The Horticultural Society of New York, 148 West 37th Street, 13th Floor
How Much: $5 HSNY members; $10 non-members
RSVP to or (212) 757-0915 x115 

Meat TheTruth is a Dutch documentary that focuses on the impact of American livestock production on climate change (a topic ignored in An Inconvenient Truth as well as the soon-to-be-released Food, Inc.) The film follows Dutch politician and animal rights activist Marianne Thieme as she interviews scientists, activists, and farmers about the consequences of our carnivorous culture.

When: May 17th
Where: The New York Film Academy
details TBA 


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