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TEDX Manhattan Talks stimulate, educate, and inspire. Recently TEDX Manhattan offered folks in the surrounding areas, satellite locations to view their recent taping, “Changing the Way We Eat,” one of which was Huntington, NY at the Cinema Arts Center (CAC) . The CAC set up their café for this day of speakers. We viewed a live-stream from the event.

Kenny Friedman, member coordinator for Nourishing Long Island (NLI) was present. He gave information and answered questions about the unique food-buying club he manages on Long Island, NY. I was intrigued by the concept for several reasons.

First, this club offers access to pasture raised animal meats, homemade cheeses from the milk produced by the farm’s cows, and eggs from pastured, humanely raised hens.

Second, they support sustained organic farming.

Third, there is no minimum order nor any obligation to order week to week. One can order when needed and pick up at several convenient locations. Member fees are reasonable.

I think when a human being is pushed against some wall their creative juices get flowing. I have been attempting to break down the severity of the GMO issue into smaller bites for clarity, resources and action.

The TEDX talks alone, see previous posts, have opened my eyes to hope, to the ingenuity we possess to fight against unfair and harmful farm practices and to create healthy solutions, sometimes one by one, sometimes collectively.

Today my focus is on NLI.

I asked Kenny if we could talk and I could interview him for this blog.

He is a professional musician, and like some of us, had some health issues. He treated them with OTC’s plus a couple of prescription meds. He had health in mind but realized he was not “eating good food, but eating what Americans are programmed to think is healthy.” A friend of his intervened and educated Kenny about the “Standard American Diet” and how far it strayed from the traditional diets of our ancestors, from even as recently as 100 years ago. Following his friend’s advice, Kenny eliminated wheat, vegetable oils, and refined sugars, while adding butter, bone broth and fermented foods. Not overnight but over a few months, these diet changes built health, and eliminated the need for pharmaceuticals he’d needed to live day by day. He began to take a holistic approach to his health and well-being. It worked. His energy was higher, he had a better outlook on life and lost some weight.

The friend who had initially intervened, Brett Shulman, an acupuncturist, belonged to a food-buying club, whereby members had access to farmers in PA who grew  agriculturally sustainable food. Kenny joined and eventually, as things evolved and changed, he was asked to manage the club and the farmer connections.

I have seen brochures and photos of the Amish farms where the cattle are pastured, pigs root in corn fields, baby chicks are in safe open aired pens on grass. The farmers raise their own feed from non GMO seed. This allows them to manage the quality and decreases the “carbon footprint” in all aspects of farm production.

Kenny began managing the club in July 2013 and expected 100+ members to sign up. By year’s end, 300+ families had signed on.

I asked Kenny about produce. He feels NLI is an easy partner with CSA’s or local farmers markets but produce is more of a “hands-on” purchase. “What one person looks for might be much different from what another person looks for, which opens the door for customer-service issues. There is plenty of good produce being grown right here on LI. We focus on keeping our sources as local as possible.”

NLI, a buyer’s club, right here on Long Island, offers GMO free, organic, sustainable and regionally local food.

For more information go to www.nourishingli.com and click the link that says: “I am not an NLI Member and I would like to become one.” Fill out the simple questionnaire and you’ll receive an email that details how the group works, as well as a list of common items available and the reasonable club fees. Once members sign up, they are able to place an order. The member selects a pickup location (from a list of 13 all over Nassau, Suffolk, Queens, Staten Island) and picks up the food they purchased the following Saturday. It’s that easy.

Earth Day is coming up.  Earth Day is a concentrated effort to focus our attention on complex environmental issues that affect us every day.

In my  “local” area, NLI represents a concept in action, a food buying club that partners urbanites with regionally grown food and  one that decreases our carbon footprint.

What works in your area? I ‘d like to hear from you.

Enjoy. Judith

 

 

 

 

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