Thursday, May 28, 2009

June's Green Drinks, Salsa contest, and Local Food Week



Greetings Greenies!




There's a lot of info this month - our next meet up, Elote, Local Foods Week (sponsored & endorsed by governor Brad Henry, the Oklahoma Department of Agriculture, and more!!), and a peek at July's location....

On June 10th we'll be meeting at Elote, 514 S Boston Ave, at 5:30 in the back room. Wednesday at Elote is $2 puffy taco night and 1/2 priced guacamole, queso, and black bean hummus. Available for drinks are beer, margaritas, sangria, mojitos, tequila, wine, etc. Check out the menu for yourself: http://www.elotetulsa.com/index.html


Elote is quite possibly Tulsa's greenest restaurant. How? All meats are organically grain fed and raised in Bixby, fryer oil is recycled to make bio-diesel, printing is done on 100% recycled paper, and produce remnants are composted and used on Three Springs Farm who supplies the restaurant!

As many of you know, June 14th-20th is Local Food Week. Some of you might be wondering why it's important to eat local foods. There are so many reasons, but for the purpose of keeping things simple - and keeping your attention! - here are a few:

1. Locally raised food travels fewer miles than food from outside sources. This uses less fossil fuels, thus lowering our carbon footprint.

2. By supporting local farmers (vs Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations (CAFOs), agricultural conglomerates, imported produce, etc) you are keeping your dollars within your local community instead of sending it to the supermarket chain headquarters.

3. Meet your farmer. You know all those videos and articles about environmental degradation, chemical additives, pesticides, and animal cruelty that we prefer not to read because ignorance is bliss? That can be taken out of the equation when buying from local farmers who raise free range chickens, grass fed beef, and organic produce. They can tell you about their practices and may even offer a farm tour for those in doubt.

4. Nutrition. Local providers not only bring us fresher foods, but they provide a wealth of options that you might not find in your corporate supermarket. AND the fresher the food, the better the nutritional value. More than likely that tomato or banana has travelled thousands of miles since it was harvested, labeled, and put on the shelf. By the time it gets to you plate, there's not a lot of nutritional bang for you buck.

5. And the most important reason?? IT TASTES BETTER! Many conventionally produced vegetables are hybridized to ship well in boxes, not to taste better. Grass fed beef tastes better than grain fed - feed lot cattle. Fresh baked bread, locally crafted artisan cheese, organic strawberries - need I explain??

So how do you get the most out of Local Foods Week? One way would be to attend Salsafest!!! Salsafest is a free outdoor festival from 4-9pm on June19th at the Chapman Centennial Green Park. There will be live Salsa music, Salsa dancing lessons, children’s activities, local art booths, a chili pepper eating contest (to see who can handle the heat), a salsa tasting and salsa-making contest. All proceeds from the event benefit Sustainable Tulsa. Sustainable Tulsa is a grassroots, non-profit organization dedicated to responsible economic growth, environmental stewardship and quality of life for all. The festival is focused on bringing families downtown and to bring awareness to local foods.

Do you have an award winning salsa recipe? Enter and find out.

Each salsa contest participant is asked to use at least one local ingredient in their salsa. Salsafest will provide each participant with an eight-foot table and tablecloth. Salsafest will also provide 250, 2oz ramekins and lids for the contestant’s salsa to be put in. We ask that participants send the salsa and one or more representatives of the salsa to the festival no later then 3:30 on June 19th. They will be expected to stay with the salsa until it is gone (no later then 9:00 pm). After that participants may clean their table and join the party. Participants may bring promotional materials to help market their business and salsa. In addition all Salsafest participants will be recognized on the 2009 Salsafest T-shirt.

The contest goes as follows:

Attendants of the festival have the option to purchase a tasting kit. Tasting kits will include 1 bag of chips, a tasting plate and a ballot. After tasting the salsas, tasters
will submit a ballot. When all ballots are submitted, votes will be counted and the Tasters Choice salsa trophy will be given out. There will also be a judging by local food celebrities including Scott Cherry, Tulsa World food critic. The Celebrities Choice Award will be given out at the same time.

Event Chair
Libby Auld
814-5756
or
Event Co-chair
Audrey Meshek
606-2780
All that being said, I hope you didn't forget about Green Drinks itself!! We'll see you on June 10th at Elote. More details to come on Local Foods week very soon, stay tuned!! In July we'll be meeting at Center 1 Market on Brookside, more details to follow.