Sunday, August 30, 2009

Two Great Guests at Slow Food RI's Eat-in

Slow Food USA's Time for Lunch launches in just over a week with more than 280 Eat-ins all over the United States.

Here at Slow Food Rhode Island, we're looking forward to an afternoon of good food and great company for a cause at Tiverton Four Corners Arts Center on Monday, September 7 at 2pm.

In addition to pot-luck dining, we are thrilled to have Deborah Lehmann, one of the editors - with Chef Ann Cooper - of School Lunch Talk, and Kimberly Sporkmann of Kids First RI on hand.

Deborah has spent 8 months traveling the United States researching school lunch. She'll share her observations and experiences with us at the Eat-in. 

Kimberly coordinates the Farm to School program for Kids First RI. If you are unfamiliar with Kids First RI, they are very involved in child nutrition and physical well-being throughout the state. In addition to working to get Rhode Island-grown fruits and vegetables into schools, Kids First has a team of chefs who work with food service directors in every district to improve school lunch. This year, Rhode Island has new nutrition requirements that have been mandated. The standards are high and exceed the USDA requirements for whole grains, the amount and variety of fresh fruit and vegetables, and include sodium limits. Kids First works to help school food service change their practices and offerings to meet these new requirements, and also works with schoolchildren to educate them on nutrition and help them adapt to these changes that are being made. 

Please spread the word to your friends, invite them to join you at the Eat-in, and if they are unable to make it, please encourage them to sign the petition and to contact their legislators to let them know that healthy food in schools is important to us all.

If you are able to join us, please rsvp to, and please let us know what dish you'll be bringing. The Eat-in is BYOU - bring your own utensils (and plates, and cups!) - to cut back on waste at the site.

We're looking forward to seeing you there!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

You're invited to Slow Food RI's Time for Lunch Eat-in, Monday, September 7

About a month and a half ago, we announced Slow Food USA's new campaign to get healthy food into schools, Time for Lunch.

Time for Lunch aims to change the Child Nutrition Act by letting our legislators know that healthy food in schools is important to us all. The Child Nutrition Act governs the National School Lunch Program, which sets the standard for the food that more than 30 million children eat every school day. In the last few decades, as school budgets have been cut, our nation's schools have struggled to serve children the healthy food they need.

Primary goals of Time for Lunch are to increase the amount allotted for each school lunch by a dollar - from $2.57 to $3.57, to guarantee 50 million dollars in funding for Farm-to-School programs, and to enact high standards for all food sold in schools, including vending machines and fast food outposts.

To read more about the Child Nutrition Act and the National School Lunch program, please visit Slow Food USA's Time for Lunch website.

Slow Food Rhode Island will be kicking off our Time for Lunch campaign efforts - which will continue throughout the fall - with an Eat-in - a pot-luck get-together held on the beautiful grounds of the Tiverton Four Corners Arts Center on Labor Day. As of today, there are 232 Eat-ins planned in 49 states, all taking place on Labor Day.

The Slow Food RI Eat-in will start at 2pm, and in addition to good food, great company, and supporting an important cause, there will also be live music. State legislators and school administrators have been invited to attend as well.

If you are planning to attend the Eat-in, please email to let us know you'll be joining us, and to let us know what dish you're planning to bring. There is no admission for the Eat-in, though donations in any amount are appreciated to offset the facility fees.

If you cannot attend the Slow Food RI Eat-in, please be sure to sign the petition, contact your legislators to let them know that healthy food in schools is important to you, and spread the word to your friends. If you'd like to organize your own Eat-in, information on coordinating Eat-ins is available here.

We look forward to seeing you at the Eat-in!

Slow Food RI Time for Lunch Eat-in
Monday, September 7, 2009
Tiverton Four Corners Arts Center
3852 Main Road
Tiverton Four Corners, RI
For directions, click here

Friday, August 14, 2009

Another casualty of late blight

As you may know, Slow Food Connecticut hosts the fabulous Tomato To-mah-to: Heirloom Tasting Feast each year. This year, it was scheduled for Sunday, August 23rd.

However, with the rainy conditions in the northeast and the ensuing late blight for tomatoes, it is not to be this year.

The hosts for this event are Urban Oaks Organic Farm in New Britain and Upper Forty Farm in Cromwell, CT. Both farms are suffering greatly from circumstances related to this unseasonably cool and wet weather. A few weeks ago, when Susan Chandler, the leader of Slow Food Connecticut emailed to announce the event's cancellation, it was unclear if there would be any field grown tomato plants surviving by next Sunday. Flooding and blight have taken an enormous toll at the farms, and the areas at Upper Forty where tents are usually set up and parking is provided were saturated with rain to the point that they had been swamp-like for weeks.

We hope that if you have the means, you'll contribute to Slow Food Connecticut's Tomato Fund in support of Upper Forty Farm and Urban Oaks Organic Farm, who have generously hosted this event for eight years.

Proceeds will be equally divided between Upper Forty Farm and Urban Oaks Organic Farm and are entirely tax-deductible.

If you would like to donate, please send a check to "Slow Food Connecticut" and mail to:

Susan Chandler
1870 Asylum Avenue
West Hartford, CT 06117.

Please note "Tomato Fund" on the memo line.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Locavores in Rhode Island

This post has been submitted by Ingrid, a Slow Food Rhode Island board member. Look for more on Ingrid and Josh's 100 Mile Diet challenge through August and September, and feel free to add your comments if you're participating in a similar challenge or are a locavore.

My husband, Josh, and I are taking the 100 Mile Diet challenge . . . again. Last year was our first try and we did July and August. This year, Josh and I chose to do it during August and September. Yes, yes, yes – we did choose easier months but no matter what months we choose, we still can’t have chocolate or coffee!

One of our big inspirations last year (and continues to be) was the book Plenty – One Man, One Woman, and a Raucous Year of Eating Locally by Elisa Smith and JB McKinnon. Elisa and JB did the 100 Mile Diet for a whole year living in Canada. Very impressive! In addition to Plenty, the great experience we had last year and the ever-increasing amount local products available to us now has continued to inspire us this year. We are regulars at the Farmers Markets at Goddard State Park, Hope Street at Lippitt Park, and the relatively new one in East Greenwich so our choices are quite varied.

We are just coming to the end of our first week and we have been enjoying blueberries from Schartners Farm, greens, tomatoes, country style ribs and a whole chicken from Pat’s Pastured, peaches, apples, eggplant, onions, and . . . the list goes on. We also planted two small gardens at our house – one is for veggies and one is for herbs. Right now our parsley is going crazy! Soon we’ll try a modified version of Fergus Henderson’s parsley salad from his cookbook The Whole Beast. The best part is there will be even more local foods to gobble up in the coming weeks. We’ll be posting a few entries on Slow Food Rhode Island throughout August and September so stay tuned!

posted by Ingrid