We’ve just celebrated America’s independence, and while our country has declared its independence, many of its people cannot. You see, not everyone in America is free. At the heart of freedom is choice, and in a truly free and democratic society choice is invoked in all things. Let’s think about food for an example. Food is tied to freedom, yet many do not have the freedom to shop at Whole Foods, Trader Joes, or even a local grocery store. In terms of food, choices are made for individuals based on zip code.
Many communities in NYC are sectioned off and forgotten about. These communities’ choices are limited to what has been selected for them by city government and business, which is often highly processed fast-food or convenience stores, which has little or no fresh food available. Freedom in food doesn't end at the grocery store.
CHFP works to provide more choices to people through both its Farm Share and Institutional programs by creating connections to communities and organizations that typically have no or low access to high quality fresh food. Choice is a building block to sovereignty. When we talk about food sovereignty, we speak to something much deeper than access and opportunity. Food sovereignty is about community control of a food system, something which is fundamentally different than our current food system.
Farmers’ markets, food hubs and CSA programs are the beginning stages of that, but sovereignty goes much deeper. In last week’s newsletter, we talked about our plans for transferring the Corbin Hill Road Farm over to the community. This is the next step in building a pathway towards food sovereignty. Until individuals are allowed to invoke choice in all things, we will never truly be free.
We know this week has been extra hectic with 4th of July festivities. If you feel like you can't possibly cook another dish, no problem, this week’s fresh pick is red onions from S&SO Produce Farms in Goshen, NY. Red onions are great raw or cooked. They bring a bright, crunchy flavor that goes well in your favorite summer salad or as a topping for your weekly taco or pizza night. Relax your cooking muscles this week and allow red onions to work their full-flavor magic!
¼ small red onion, cut into thin slices
½ cucumber, cut into ⅓ inch dice
1 pound vine-ripe or Roma tomatoes, cut into ⅓ inch dice
2 tablespoons of freshly squeezed lemon juice
¼ cup basil infused olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper
Recipe adapted from Claire Robinson
Cook time: 25minutes
1. In a small bowl, soak the onion slices in icy cold water for 15 minutes-this will tone down the raw onion’s bite. Remove from the water and pat dry.
2. In a large bowl, add onions, cucumbers, and tomatoes and toss to combine.
3. In a small bowl, whisk together the lemon juice, olive oil, and salt and pepper to taste. Pour over the salad and serve.
Feel free to add some feta cheese to this salad to make a nice light lunch.