Meet Brooklyn’s Newest Food Bloggers

Posted by on Jul 23, 2016 in cooking with kids, Food for thought, local food, news and happenings, Recipes, summer camp | 0 comments

Much like this abundance of summer sun and sweet produce, Butter Bean’s Food and Garden Camp has been full of sweet shining campers.

One of my favorite parts about working with our campers for an extended period of time is witnessing the individual characters and creative learning styles that each camper exhibits. Much like myself, most of our campers love hands on learning, like playing with worms to teach vermicomposting, or riding a bike to churn homemade ice cream that was made with only 6 ingredients! These were two of many inspiring field trips that our campers had the chance to experience. It was on these field trips that two of our older seasoned campers took it upon themselves to become food bloggers.

image4Every summer journals are given out for the campers to write their thoughts, recipes, questions, impressions, or pictures in.  Two of our Brooklyn campers, Aiden and Chloe, decided that they would also use their journals for food blogging. They have since been recording information at each and every field trip, asking the specialists questions while quickly jotting down notes. They also decided it was important to interview their peers and gather opinions on the food we tasted, noting favorites vs least favorites.

Not only was this dedication and focus impressive (and contagious with the other campers), but the next day after each field trip, our aspiring food bloggers brought in typed up reports of their research.

What we hope to provide here at Butterbeans camp is inspiration and knowledge about food and where it comes from. What I am continuously amazed by is how the campers use that inspiration and take action on learning even more!

FullSizeRender (7)I can’t say for certain, but look out for Aiden and Chloe, two inseparable friends who are always hungry for both good food and knowledge. They may just become New York’s youngest food writers.

This post was written by Annie Duffy, Butter Beans Food & Garden Summer Camp Counselor & Food Educator

                                          image2 (3)image3 (3)image7

IMG_7925

image6

image1 (4)

Read More

Trending Towards Healthy – The Year in Food

Posted by on Jan 28, 2016 in families, fast food, featured articles, Food for thought, food politics, healthy food, healthy lifestyle, local food, news and happenings, nutrition, raising children, school food, sustainability | 0 comments

Looking back at the year in food, we feel more strongly than ever that we are part of a larger movement towards healthier eating. As this article from NPR points out, evidence of these trends can be seen in the biggest producers. Reacting to consumer demands, even McDonald’s has taken steps to use healthier, more sustainably produced ingredients. This shows that clearly we are part of a larger movement changing how everyone eats, not just those already shopping at Whole Foods.

We at Butter Beans are often told that we are just providing good food to a small niche. This article proves that change we are part of is now reaching all parts of the food system and our “niche” is only growing. Sales of foods marketed towards health and sustainability conscious consumers surged in 2015, indicating that a much larger trend is only beginning. As the health benefits of nutritious eating become more and more apparent (especially for young kids in schools), all kinds of consumers are acting to create a change.

If you believe in critical tipping points that propel major changes, this past year hinted that one such shift may lie near on the horizon. Often the best way to measure the success of a movement is to follow the actions of the largest and most influential actors in the industry. The fact that big, highly profit-driven companies such as Kraft are seeking to include more natural ingredients in their products makes us hopeful for the future. Healthy foods are no longer just for yoga-moms and crunchy-foodies; now all kinds of Americans are showing concern for the kinds of foods carried by even large chain supermarkets and fast-food joints. This is how a paradigm shift occurs. At Butter Beans, we see everyday how we can shape the next generation of healthy, food-educated consumers to demand that America becomes a nation that embraces nutritious food.

Read More

Employee Spotlight – Tania Lopez

Posted by on Jan 22, 2016 in cooking classes, cooking with kids, families, featured articles, Food for thought, food politics, giving, healthy food, healthy lifestyle, local food, news and happenings, nutrition, raising children, wellness | 0 comments


This week we highlight the incredible work of Tania Lopez, our school lunch supervisor at Nord Anglia International School. Outside of her work at Butter Beans, Tania founded an organization called Coqui the Chef which works to promote healthy eating in her home community of the South Bronx.

Check out this video, “Kids Cooking for a Brighter Future,” to catch a glimpse of Tania’s interactive and educational classes and hear her talk about why she finds this work so important in food deserts like the South Bronx.

In her series of fun, interactive, and informative cooking videos for children, Tania hopes to directly combat the current trends of childhood obesity. For Tania, this national epidemic can be felt strongest closest to home where a walk around any block will reveal a plethora of fast food joints, but very little in the way of fresh produce. Tania believes that this makes nutritional education all the more essential in these communities. Tania is using powerful community-based and culturally relevant education to build a healthier South Bronx from within, resisting the profit making forces of corporate fast food and the industrial global food system.

Tania says that working at Butter Beans has given her valuable perspective on how kids eat. While engaging at lunchtime with kids of different communities and backgrounds from her own, Tania has been able learn a lot learn how to best educate all kinds of children about healthy eating. For Tania, there is little more inspiring than seeing all sorts of communities come together over good food.

We’re so proud of Tania for taking the passion we all have for healthy eating education back to her own community. She is currently working hard to secure funding and hopes to expand her web episodes to a full television series. In this format, Tania hopes to reach a wider audience and connect communities across the city that also exist in food deserts.

Watch a trailer and full episode of her show below!

Read More

Employee Spotlight – Athena Cameron

Posted by on Jan 19, 2016 in Food & Farm program, Food for thought, healthy food, school food, wellness | 0 comments

 

 

2fbedbff-3909-429b-a5b2-ab03c440e692

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This week we spotlight one of our longest working servers, Athena Cameron. Athena, from Gravesend, Brooklyn, has been with Butter Beans since 2011, making this her 5th school year working as one of our most reliable and enthusiastic servers.

Athena loves to be in the school setting and her favorite part of each day is interacting with the kids and her coworkers. She worked in school lunch before coming to Butter Beans and loves to see how much kids appreciate the healthier lunches that we make.

Motivated to work for Butter Beans because of her passion for kids nutritional eating, Athena also cares deeply the wellness of animals. Outside of her work at Butter Beans, Athena spends many hours volunteering at local animal shelters. One day she hopes to start a shelter of her own and build a refuge for our animal friends.

Read More

Employee Spotlight – Jermaul

Posted by on Dec 15, 2015 in Food for thought, healthy food, lunch time, news and happenings, nutrition, school food | 0 comments

IMG_1133This week we begin a feature where we put the spotlight on a Butter Beans employee who is critical to everything we do but doesn’t get outward attention.

First up, ace delivery man Jermaul. Jermaul plays an essential role in getting our food fresh and on time to the schools. Jermaul has been with Butter Beans for two years and he quickly has become our “do everything” man, keeping the operation of getting food to nine schools under control, on time, and running smoothly.

Jermaul grew up in St. Louis before moving out to New York to join his brother in Brooklyn. Jermaul likes that Butter Beans uses all natural foods and feels invested in the mission. As a father himself, he knows the importance of kids eating healthy foods at lunch. Outside of his job at Butter Beans, ball is life – Jermaul is a sports fanatic who is always ready to tell you about the night’s big match-up.

We can’t imagine how Butter Beans would run without Jermaul!

Read More

Spotlight On Brussels Sprouts

Posted by on Oct 26, 2015 in agriculture, cooking with kids, fall recipes, families, Food for thought, gardens, healthy food, healthy lifestyle, nutrition, Recipes, seasonal | 0 comments

As the fall harvest season winds down, we have a feature on Brussels Sprouts, a late season vegetable that can still be found fresh and delicious into November.

Brussels Sprouts have long been popular in the city of Brussels, Belgium, where it’s presumed their name originates from. Most American Brussels Sprouts arbrusselse grown along the central coast of California, but locally, Long Island is also considered to have one of the best climates for growing the vegetable. About 27,000 tons of Brussels Sprouts are grown each year in the United States.

In addition to being fresh and tasty in the late fall season, Brussels Sprouts are one of the healthiest foods you can eat. They are high in both Vitamin C and Vitamin K, which helps prevent Alzheimer’s,  and are considered to have anti-cancer nutritional properties. Brussels Sprouts are also a great source of antioxidants.

Still not sold? Check out this recipe for a delicious Brussels Sprout, Apple, and Melted Brie Sandwich created by our Director of Community and Nutrition. For the full blog post of the recipe, including, cooking instructions, click here.

Ingredients:

  • English muffin (or baguette, sliced bread, gluten free bread)
  • 3-4 thin slices of brie
  • 2-3 thin slices of apple
  • small handful of brussels sprouts
  • dollop of mustard
  • 1/2 tablespoon olive oil
  • pinch of salt
Read More