Community Potluck Series-Sharing Recipes, Food and Neighborly Love

This past Saturday, 462 Halsey Community Garden hosted its very first community potluck.  This series, financially supported by a Change By Us mini grant and community members, is meant to foster new relationships between neighbors, raise awareness about food justice in Bed Stuy and to facilitate a community-sustained support system in our neighborhood.  We aim to also introduce community members to healthier food options and equip them with the tools to eat healthier at home with their families.   The potluck featured locally grown produce provided by BedStuy Bounty and Grow NYC

Missed this potluck? NO PROBLEM, our next one will be held Saturday, September 7th at 5pm.

And without further ado, here are featured recipes that you should all try at home:

Black Bean and Corn Summer Salad

- 4 to 5 ears of corn (or one 15oz canned corn if you don’t have corn ears)
- One 16oz canned black beans
- 1 small red bell pepper  finely chopped
- 1 small yellow bell pepper  finely chopped
- 1/2 to 3/4 red onion finely chopped
- 1/2 pint grape tomatoes halved or quartered, depending on the size 
- 2 to 3 garlic cloves minced
- 2 to 3 fresh limes, juiced
- 1 bunch cilantro chopped
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- Salt and pepper
1) Roast corn in the oven at 350 degrees for 30-45 minutes. Remove from oven, and once cool, use a sharp knife to cut the kernels of the cobs.
2) Rinse the black beans and add them to the corn. Mix in all the other ingredients, including the salt and pepper to taste. Let it sit for at least 10 minutes before serving so all the flavors can blend.


Summer Squash Salad

1 summer squash (we used a yellow summer squash,)
1 garlic clove peeled, roasted and chopped
I tsp thyme
1 tbsp olive oil
2 cobs sweetcorn
1 tbsp butter
1 tbsp honey
I tbsp chili
1 bag fresh rocket leaves
100g feta cheese

1. Preheat the oven to 200C. Halve the squash and scoop the seeds out with a spoon. Cut into small wedges or chunks of around half and inch square. Keep the skin on as it is very thin and helps the squash keep its shape.

2. Place squash in a roasting tin with olive oil, garlic and thyme. Season with salt and pepper and mix together with your hands to ensure all is well coated. Roast for 30 minutes.

3. Meanwhile, remove husks from corn and place in a large saucepan of water. Bring to boil, put a lid on the pan and simmer for around 20 minutes until tender. Drain and cool (run under cold water if short of time). When you are able to handle it, cut the kernels off the cobs trying to keep them in large panels rather than individual kernels. Use a sharp knife for this – the panels should come off fairly easily.

5. Take a large salad bowl or plate and add the rocket. Add the squash and toss together. Add corn and fold through. Finally, crumble the feta cheese over the top.

Sage Biscuits

1/4 cup chopped sage
2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 stick butter
3/4 buttermilk

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F
  2. Mix flour, baking soda and salt
  3. cut 6 tablespoons of cold butter into the flour mixture until it resembles course meal.
  4. Stir in sage
  5. stir in buttermilk
  6. Using a large spoon, place dough on a greased baking sheet (you can choose the size of scoops you’d prefer)
  7. Brush tops with remaining melted butter
  8. Bake until golden brown

Food Links

‘Organic’ One Of The Most Confusing Labels, Report Says

“MI’s [the Natural Marketing Institute] most recent survey of health and wellness trends found that only 33 percent of the general population recognizes and understands the USDA Organic seal—a slight decline in recognition from previous surveys.”

U.S. Weighing Increase in Herbicide Levels in Food Supply

The new EPA regulation would allow “oilseed” crops such as flax, canola and soybean oil to contain glyphosate at levels up to 40 parts per million (ppm), up from 20 ppm, which is over 100,000 times the concentration needed to cause cancer according to a recent study. It also raises the allowable glyphosate contamination level for food crops such as potatoes from 200 ppm to 6,000 ppm… Indeed, according to EPA analysts, the consequences linked to exposure to the chemical include lung congestion and shortness of breath. Further, according to a study published in April, scientists have linked exposure to glyphosate to gastrointestinal disorders, obesity, diabetes, heart disease, depression, autism, infertility and cancer.”


For more information on GMOs, check out this series in Grist Magazine

1. The genetically modified food debate: Where do we begin?
2. The GM safety dance: What’s rule and what’s real


Dominos, McDonald’s, Others Work To Make Their Food Look Authentically Imperfect
And Kraft Foods took more than two years to develop a process to make the thick, uneven slabs of turkey in its Carving Board line look like leftovers from a homemade meal rather than the cookie-cutter ovals typical of most lunchmeat… In many cases, food products get their wholesome appearance because of the different or stripped-down ingredients companies are using to make them more natural, said Michael Cohen, a visiting assistant professor of marketing at NYU’s Stern School of Business. But in other cases, companies are making tweaks just to achieve a desired look.

Restaurant CEOs Are Paid 788 Times More Than Their Minimum Wage Workers: Analysis
In just one morning, a CEO at one of America’s biggest restaurant companies makes more on average than what one of his minimum wage workers earns in an entire year.

How Cities Compost Mountains of Food Waste
Recently, Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced a plan to increase composting of food scraps generated by the city’s eight million inhabitants. In a few years, separation of food waste from other refuse could be required of residents, the mayor said. A number of other cities around the country already require food scrap recycling, including San Francisco and Seattle, but the idea has been slower to catch on in New York, where critics worried that the urban density may make it more difficult—and possibly smellier.

North Brooklyn Farms Opens to the Public

 This month, North Brooklyn Farms opened to the public. The farm produces herbs, flowers, and seasonal vegetables on a former parking lot in Williamsburg, New York. The diversified urban farm aims to be a model of urban farm ecology, and to improve the standard of living for residents of North Brooklyn through increased access to healthy produce and educational programs.

Food Links

Enjoying a break on the beach or in the sun? Take a look at these interesting food and sustainable agriculture-related links from the past few months. 
A New Wave of Grocery Distribution Models Takes on Fresh Direct (via New York Magazine) 
“A brave kid filmmaker goes undercover to reveal the truth about the food service program at his elementary school.”