Sunday, November 23, 2008

SFBU and Dining Services

Slow Food met with Robert Flynn, manager of the Myles Dining Hall. Good news: The dining halls compost to Save That Stuff! In addition, produce is no longer purchased from Sid Wainer and local produce is soley purchased through Costa. Read more about BU Dining Services and sustainability.

SFBU also met with BU's new Coordinator of Sustainability for Aramark, Kelly Dunn, who previously worked as a recycling program manager for Cambridge. She hopes to make everything transparent at BU by increasing the accessibility to and awareness of what dining services is doing to be more sustainable. Kelly is also interested in expanding BU's green roof, bringing local vendors to the BU's farmers market, expanding green-cleaning products in all of the dining halls, and more. A new dining facility may also open up around east-campus in the future! If you have any questions, concerns, or comments about this place, e-mail us and we can pass the information along to her!

We anticipate working more with Kelly in order to increase the availability and consciousness of environmentally friendly, sustainable, and fair food options on campus. If you would like any more information regarding Slow Food BU and dining services or if you would like to become more involved, e-mail us!

In addition, see how other schools are integrating sustainability at their campuses!:

-Addie's Loft at BC is a vegetarian, sustainable café. BC also has a campus garden.
-Real Slow Food at UConn and UConn's Local Routes program, which brings sustainable foods to the Whitney Dining Unit. The UConn EcoGarden Club also has a student-run garden with their produce featured on Whitney's menu!
-Read about the pilot farmers market at University of California, Davis and their Student Farm.
-When the Fine Arts Café (run by Aramark) at the University of Virginia School of Architecture was renovated, it opened with a sustainable menu with the help of the student Serena Weaver.
-The experiment of incorporating sustainable foods at Yakeley Hall cafeteria in Michigan State University.
-The Harvard Farmers Markets on the Harvard Campus and at Allston.
-The Yale Sustainable Food Project

Local Thanksgiving:

A soup-to-nuts plan for a home-grown holiday meal (click here).Recipes for dairyless fennel soup, maple-whipped sweet potatoes, and deep dish pumpkin pie from New York Magazine. You can swap in these Boston-area farms to make it hyper-local. 

Stillman Farm - New Braintree, MA
Atlas Farm- Deerfield, MA
Grateful Farm - Franklin, MA
Red Fire Farm - Granby, MA
Happy Valley Cooperative Farms - Hadley, MA

Friday, November 21, 2008

December Calender!!

Although there won't be a meeting 11/25 because of Thanksgiving, we have several Upcoming Events before the end of the semester, and would love for you to join us!

"The Whole Hog"
December 4th 6-8pm
Myles Kitchen
610 Beacon Street
James Lionette of Lionette's Market in the South End is graciously giving SFBU a butchering demo using a locally raised pig. He will show us how to break down the pig, and use each cut most effectively, while also speaking about the place of meat in a sustainable diet, emphasizing the importance of eating locally. *This is not for the squeamish, and if you have any qualms about seeing exactly where your meat comes from, it might not be best for you to join*
We will meet in the back kitchen of the Myles Dining Hall. The only catch is that its quite small, and we can only have about 20 people. So please RSVP to if you are definitely coming.
But, after the demo, we're heading over to Allston for an old-fashioned pit roast! Unlike the demo, we want everyone to come to this. Exact location and time TBD, but just know that there will be heaps of food roasting over open fires, and just as much camaraderie. So join us!!

Tour of Taza Chocolate Factory
December 6th 10 am
561 Windsor Street
Somerville, MA
Taza Chocolate is a local company that is dedicated to using Organic Sustainable Fair Trade Ingredients to make amazing chocolate. It is a true "bean-to-bar" chocolate maker and the only 100% stone ground chocolate maker in the United States. They source directly from small farmer cooperatives and minimally process the chocolate to maintain its quality. They are opening the doors to their factory on December 6th and letting everyone see exactly how their chocolate is made. And if that doesn't convince you, there's going to be lots of Free Samples!!! We want to get their early so we're meeting at the factory at 10am, when the doors open! For directions, click here

Collection of Immokalee Workers Informal Discussion
TJ Scallywags
December 6th around 8pm
Coalition of Immokalee Workers actually won their case with Subway this past week, so instead of protesting, they're going to share how they are accomplishing such feats at the Lucy Parsons Center (549 Columbus Ave) at 5:30pm. Once that is done they would like to meet with us at TJ Scallywags in Allston. 8pm is the tentative meeting time. One part of Slow Foods' principles is that food be fair and the Coalition is working towards that same goal, by organizing for better wages & working conditions for over 15 years. To learn more about their efforts, check out their site!

Free Vegan Dessert At Fiore's! December 12th 6-9pm
If you don't get your fill of sugary deliciousness after the chocolate factory there's scrumptious desserts at Fiore's with the Boston Vegetarian Society! For more information and directions and to RSVP, click here
*Note the Date Change!!*

And that's it for this semester!!! Hope everyone has a great Thanksgiving, and stay warm!!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Roof-Hopping at Tufts

Last Sunday, SFBU spent a chilly morning on top of Tisch Library, gazing at succulents and the bones of the Tufts Green Roof Collaborative. We spoke with Colleen Butler, who organized the project for her research on pollinator insect species, and dreamed of a day when BU would agree to set up something similar for students to participate in urban agriculture.

There are a lot of considerations that go into to building a green roof: roof access, access to water, weight-bearing capacity, and membrane-layering are just a few things Colleen told us about the construction process. The Green Roof Collaborative was set up as an experiment in its first year, using uniform, shallow containers to allow for easy removal of the plants if need be, and to facilitate the scientific research going on there. Colleen's work specifically deals with measuring the bee population that visits the different species of plants on the roof, but she's also interested in the insulation and heat-island reducing effect a green roof can have in an urban setting.

Plans are in the works to set up a test garden this summer on top of BU's College of Arts and Sciences. The Organic Gardening Collective operates out of the (as yet) ramshackle greenhouse there, so we could put out some containers on the roof, experiment with what grows best, get some good hands in the soil, and propose a plan for further action to BU administration in Fall 2009. Ultimately, we'd like to have a student-run workstudy/internship program in green building/design/urban ag. available to those who tend the garden. Of course, all of this goes back to reestablishing the connection between the individual and his or her food supply; knowing where your food comes from is easiest when you grow it yourself! If you'd like to be part of this project or share any thoughts/advice, contact

Other green roofs in Boston that are worth a look:

WGBH in Brighton
Boston's World Trade Center
the Four Seasons Hotel and
Massachusetts General Hospital (run by the Food Project)
also the Apple Store on Boylston St. ...maybe?

Living walls are cool too.
Green Roof FAQ from Good Magazine: here.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Food Not Lawns: White House Edition

There is talk of growing a victory garden-style organic farm on the White House Lawn. Never a time more opportune! Support it at

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Potluck 11/18 and Other News

Join us for a potluck this Tuesday, November 18, at our usual meeting place: room 109 of the Fuller Building (808 Commonwealth Ave.)! We will be meeting at 7:30pm and anticipate a small tasting of a couple of home-brewed, flavored kombucha! Also, remember to bring your own cups, plates, and cutlery, so we can reduce our waste!

On Wednesday, Nov. 19, Somerville Local First will be hosting a party, featuring local food from Sherman Market, Kickass Cupcakes, and various local brews! It will be held at Grand (374 Somervile Ave., Union Sq., Somerville) at 6:30 pm. But RSVP is required! To RSVP, e-mail Suggested donation for the event is $15.

Also, read this recent article that was in the Weekly Dig about CitySprouts, whose mission is to incorporate school gardens in Cambridge’s public schools.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

SFBU November Calendar

There's so much going on this month!

MONDAY NOV. 10: THE BEEHIVE DESIGN COLLECTIVE gives a talk, or rather, an interactive picture presentation on how to make political posters. With huge portable murals of collaboratively produced illustrations, a six foot tall fabric picture book, and an engaging narrative, the Bees will take you on a visual tour of the interactions between colonization, militarism, and resource extraction in the Americas. Dismantling Monoculture: Tales of Ants and Economics in the Americas. BU Central (GSU basement, 775 Comm. Ave.) 7pm.

TUESDAY NOV. 11: This week's meeting will also be a restaurant outing to Asmara Restaurant, 739 Mass. Ave in Cambridge. It's Ethiopian food, communal and delicious, near the Central Square T stop off the Red Line. Please rsvp to by Sunday, Nov. 9th if you plan on coming so that we can make reservations. We'll meet at Asmara at 6pm.

WEDNESDAY NOV. 12: Andrew Rimas reads from his non-fiction work Beef: The Untold Story of How Milk, Meat, and Muscle Shaped the World, which examines the cultural and culinary history of cattle. Brookline Booksmith, 279 Harvard St., Brookline. 7pm.

THURSDAY NOV. 13: Louisa Dell Amico speaks on "An Inconvenient Food: The Link between Animal Agribusiness and Global Warming" at the Emmanuel College Library Lecture Hall. 7:30pm.

SUNDAY NOV. 16: SFBU goes roof-hopping in Somerville to check out Tufts' Green Roof Collaborative. We'll hear a bit about the project from Colleen Butler, and then take to the roof to see what's left of the verge.  We'll see how we can apply the Tufts model to a possible work-study/internship based green roof collaborative at BU. Meet in the lobby of Tufts' Tisch Library at 10am.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008


Today's the day. 

Remember, voting, like eating, is a political act. Viva la comida rebelde!!!

Required reading
this crucial letter from Michael Pollan to the future president of the United States. 

Sunday, November 2, 2008

General Updates

Hello Slow Foodies!

We took advantage of the nice fall weather on October 13th by taking a bike trip down to Russell Orchards in Ipswich, MA, to do some apple picking! This was followed by an Apple Bake-Off on October 20th with many apple baked goodies.

For those of you who were unable to attend, read about the panel discussion on sustainable food at Harvard that took place on October 14th during Harvard’s Sustainability Week! Speakers included Alice Waters, founder of Chez Panisse, Josh Viertel, co-director of the Yale Sustainable Food project and president of Slow Food USA, Harvard’s Humanities Center Director, Homi Bhabha, and Anna Deavere Smith from the Chez Panisse Advisory Board. Topics included the right to local and sustainable food, the pleasure in eating and sharing good food, and reducing our environmental impact.

This past Tuesday we enjoyed the wonderful fizzy and apple cidery taste of Kombucha while watching a demonstration on how to make it! If you missed this meeting don’t worry, a kombucha blog/forum of some kind should hopefully soon be in the works. Meanwhile, see an instructional video and read this Kombucha brewing guide.

The Boston Vegetarian Food Festival at the Reggie Lewis Athletic Center yesterday was also a blast! Free samples abounded, and speakers included the holistic nutritionist Jae Steele and the author of My Sweet Vegan, Hannah Kaminsky, among others.

Our next planning meeting will be at Espresso Royale (736 Comm. Ave.), Tuesday, November 4th, at 7:30 pm. So come if you want to help plan and be updated on upcoming events! Proposed ideas are a butchering workshop, a visit to Tufts’ green roof, and more!

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Terra Madre 2008!

A few past and present members of Slow Food BU recently returned from Terra Madre, the world meeting of food communities, in Turin, Italy. Terra Madre brought together farmers, breeders, beekeepers, fisherpeople, chefs, academics, and students to expand the current dialogue about the centrality of food in our modern economy. More than 6,000 delegates came to the table, including 700 students and young farmers working to cultivate the growing international youth food movement. Click below to listen in on a breakout session. Topics include access to local, organic food, the nature of the Slow Food movement, and new opportunities to keep the flow of knowledge moving:

Terra Madre 2008/ reception day from Frank Corsten on Vimeo.

To add your voice to the mix, visit the Youth Food Movement website or join the Facebook group. There are more videos from Terra Madre posted there, as well as information from the network of incredible delegates, their projects, strategies, and plans for the future of food.