White House Meats

Keeping with this weeks Eat Local theme I thought I would highlight a really cool business I just heard about called White House Meats. White house Meats offers natural, local, pasture raised, humane, and dry-aged meat from around Washington, DC. All of White House Meats’ products come from local farms within 100 miles of Washington, DC.  All of the farms they source from practice sustainable agriculture techniques, and they promise every product they sell can be traced back to the exact farm where the animal was raised.  All of the animals are naturally raised, killed under humane conditions, and inspected by the USDA. Go to their products page to see all that they offer, beef, pork, chicken, and eggs. You can click here for their “How to Buy” Guide, which outlines everything from reserving your share,  where you come go for the “Meat Up”, the draft, and payment for shares, and the same for boxes and custom orders. I encourage you to check out the website to learn more!

They encourage splitting orders with friends, which makes sense because it can be a lot of meat for one person. I have a family friend who orders halves of animals (the meat has been broken down into different cuts, don’t worry you don’t have to be your own butcher) and she shares it with her son. When I go to her house to eat it is so delicious. Her meat comes from a farm in Maine, but there are programs like this all over the country. I would really like to try this out, and if I do, I will certainly report back about my experience!

There 2 “Meat Up Locations” are:

Capitol Hill Adams Morgan
Christ Church
620 G Street SE in Washington, D.C.
Saturdays: 11:am – 2:30 pm
A. M. Wine Shoppe
2122 18th Street NW in Washington, D.C.
Mondays: 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm

The meat they sell is what I like to call “Happy Meat,” according to their website it is pasture raised, healthy and happy.

Consult the “Guide to Cuts” on their website to learn about the different cuts of meat.


Eat Local First Week

Eat Local First is a week-long celebration of local food in Washington DC. They aim to educate and inspire you to eat local food whenever possible. For more information visit www.eatlocalfirstdc.com






CoFed in HuffPost

HuffPost Greatest Person Of The Day: Yoni Landau And CoFed Reimagine Food & Civil Action

July 11
Kia Makarechi


Yoni Landau says it’s time to transform our relationship with food, and with each other.

As a founder and director of the Cooperative Food Empowerment Directive (CoFed), Landau is intent on providing students with the practical tools that enable one to turn an idealistic vision into a reality.

“You see these huge groups of students that are really idealistic on college campuses. They want to promote their values in the world, but you can see the challenges they’re going to run up against,” Landau said in an interview with The Huffington Post. “But if you give them the business planning and concrete, hard skills they need, then they can create the world they want to live in, instead of just taking the jobs that come their way.”

CoFed’s primary aim is to train university students who want to create local, sustainable and ethically-sourced community cafes on their campuses. Prior to creating CoFed, Landau helped raise $100,000 and block Panda Express from opening a franchise in UC Berkeley’s student union. “I found myself, as a recent graduate, in a position to stop this chain from opening on campus by suggesting a viable alternative,” Landau said.

The Berkeley Student Food Collective that Landau and others created proved to be a success. When students from other campuses began contacting him for help in starting similar organizations on their own campuses, the idea for a national network was born, and Landau launched CoFed.

CoFed’s model is simple but well thought out: “Selling prepared meals, groceries, and beverages that meet the highest ethical and sustainability standards, the CoFed model stays competitive through steady volunteer labor, uniquely effective branding, and tax exempt status as a non-profit.”

Though the organization is still finalizing its strategic planning, it has quite the business plan and executive summary. It raised $5,000 to run its 2010 summer retreat, training students from six campuses. Two teams from the retreat (from the University of Washington and UC Santa Barbara) have already raised a combined $90,000 to put toward their own co-ops.

CoFed is currently seeking $220,000 in philanthropic capital for its next fiscal year — money the organization says it will put toward a network to reach 700,000 students through cooperatives and on-campus storefronts over the next five years.

To Landau, however, the food is not the end goal — it’s a way to spread a greater message. “Food is an amazing vessel for change — it’s intimate, personal. It connects you not only to your own life experience, but to a vast and often not very transparent system that’s poisoning our water supplies and contributing massive amounts of greenhouse gases to our environment,” Landau said.

CoFed has certainly been noticed. A fast-food industry website even featured CoFed as “additional competition” for chains operating on college campuses.

Landau envisions the food co-ops as a way to reimagine a lost sense of community in this generation of college students. “I think we’ve lost a cultural sense of commons,” Landau notes. “We have lots of entrepreneurs, but by putting co-ops back in people’s lives — functional, thriving businesses run by a community — we tie people to local government and civic action.”

By working with organizations such as Slow Money, Landau hopes to create a paradigm shift: “Through changing the way we interact with food, we want to create a new generation of leaders that will create a more participatory, more just world.”

Join Us for a Talk about Local Food!

Do something INSPIRGIZING this summer!

Okay, okay. You get the point, but if you are interested in learning more about cooperatives and how to start one at your university you should really check out the CoFed Summer Retreats! They are offering a West coast & East Coast retreat. We went to one in California back in January, which totally helped us find the inspiration to push forward with our idea!

Sharing Our Idea


Gardening at GW

Monday, May 9 — GW Hatchet

Students learn about what it means to garden and grow food in an educationally based environment sponsored by the organization GroW.

To visit the GW Hatchet homepage, click here.

The GW Hatchet finally finds us!

Co-op café aims to unite a community

May 9, 2011 — GW Hatchet

Media Credit: Michelle Rattinger
Junior Melissa Eddison sees the Steven and Diane Robinson Knapp Fellowship as “seed money” and hopes to grow the community garden through work with investors.

You are what you eat, or in the case of GW students, you are what you can buy with your GWorld.

Junior Melissa Eddison, current president of the Food Justice Alliance, wants students to get better acquainted with their food, in hopes of ultimately making healthier and more informed choices.

Eddison is the recipient of the first Steven and Diane Robinson Knapp Fellowship for Entrepreneurial Service-Learning award. Her award-winning plan involves developing an on-campus, nonprofit, student-run co-op café that will sell locally grown foods in a sustainable manner.

Amy Cohen, executive director of the Center for Civic Engagement and Public Service at GW sees the project’s goal of bringing access to healthy foods and sustainable agriculture as an innovative solution to the current void on campus.

The co-op model allows for students to have a voice in the food choices offered and business decisions made.

“Your patrons are your owners and they get to decide what goes into the store and what the store sells because they are the owners and the workers,” Eddison said.

Instead of receiving a paycheck, volunteers are paid in food.

“Anyone from the community can go and volunteer there for an hour and get paid in food,” Eddison said.

Since the Food Justice Alliance’s founding in 2008, the group’s projects have included cultivating a community garden, which donates 80 percent of their crops to Miriam’s Kitchen, has brought a colony of bees to the Mount Vernon campus and teaches people about the journey of food, from seed to plate.

“The garden is all about cultivating food and teaching people that food comes from the dirt…it doesn’t come from the grocery store or J Street or Potbelly’s,” Eddison said. “It has a real origin and the closer you can get to the food, the more you can value it and the better it will taste on an emotional level if you know where it’s coming from.”

Community garden manager Erin McCluskey has been doing research on students’ attitudes toward food options on campus and cites the lack of access to healthy alternatives as a major student concern.

“People don’t think about the cheeseburger they get from Wendy’s, or wherever, and that’s a problem because it’s a huge system behind that that’s not good for the environment or for people in general,” McCluskey said.

Eddison and McCluskey, along with Food Justice Alliance Vice President Ellie Smith, attended a retreat in January, sponsored by the West Coast-based Cooperative Food Empowerment Directive that gave them the tools to promote food sovereignty.

After coming back from the retreat, Eddison describes feeling empowered.

Despite realizing they needed around $150,000 to open the café, she still thought it was something they could absolutely accomplish.

Having experience working with the GW administration, especially with registered dietician Diane Knapp, and as the voice of the student body on the Urban Food Task Force, Eddison successfully applied for the fellowship.

The $10,000 prize will be used to fund the writing of grants, incorporating as a non-profit and furthering development efforts.

The food-loving trio also hopes to make the café a community space for people to become more educated about food sustainability and also to display student artwork, host events and speakers, showcase music and create a unifying meeting place they feel the campus currently lacks.

Eddison sees GW students as especially important to the future understanding of food growth, distribution and consumption.

“Half the people here are going to turn into the policy makers of our country and it’s extremely important to me that they have a healthy understanding of what sustainable food means so that our food system can move in a different direction for the next generation,” Eddison said.

To visit the GW Hatchet homepage, click here.

CoFed Spreading the Word & the Love

April 29, 2011

GW students win $10,000 award for campus food co-op in downtown Washington, DC!

High-fives and congratulations to students working hard to realize the dream of a student-run food co-op in downtown Washington, DC – the GW Food Co-Op has won the $10,000 inaugural Knapp Fellowship for Entrepreneurial Service-Learning award!

Read more on the CoFed blog!

HOW-TO Make Kombucha

originally posted on What Tomorrow Left Behind 

Part I: Growing your own SCOBY

Kombucha, is an effervescent and tangy health drink made from fermenting sweetened tea, and something I like to drink just about everyday. My mom and I joke that we drink it during “cocktail hour” since we like to enjoy a glass before dinner. Kombucha contains multiple species of yeast and bacteria, as well as the organic acids, active enzymes, amino acids, and polyphenols produced by these microbes.

Go here to learn more about Kombucha, or pick up a copy of Sandor Katz’s Wild Fermentation to learn about kombucha, other fermented foods, and their health benefits.

To make kombucha you only need two things, sweetened tea and a SCOBY (Symbiotic Colony Of Bacteria and Yeast), AKA “mother,” or “mushroom.” Kombucha mothers are pretty easy to find these days if your friends are making kombucha (I killed my first mother I grew and and my friend Melissa just gave me one of her mothers “daughters” to start a new batch with) but if your friends haven’t jumped on the kombucha wagon yet you have two options for obtaining a SCOBY, 1) you buy one off craigslist for anywhere from $15-35 or 2) you grow your own for less than $4.

What you need to grow your own scoby:

  • 1 bottle of Organic, Raw Kombucha
  • 1 glass jar or bowl
  • 1 kitchen towel
  • 1 rubber-band
  • 1 cup of room temperature sweetened tea

You can buy the kombucha at just about any health food store. If you can’t find it near you though, you can buy a bottle of it online. I’ve read that it is important to make sure it’s organic, raw, and unflavored with juice, meaning you just want the plain, original beverage. However, the daughter I am now in possession of comes from a mother Melissa grew using a bottle of Triology, which does have juice, and I tasted some of Melissa’s brew she made with it, it was good. So, if you can’t get unflavored don’t worry about it.

The sweetened tea can be as simple as a cup of black or green tea, sweetened with a tablespoon of sugar. I used Yogi Green Tea Kombucha and a tablespoon of white sugar.

Pour the kombucha and room temp sweetened tea into your bowl or jar.

Cover it with a towel so it can breathe but be protected from insects and other contaminants and let it sit. Over time, a SCOBY will start to form on top of the liquid. First it will appear as a thin film, then slowly it will thicken up. Once it is about 1/4 inch thick it is ready. It takes about 3 weeks to grow a SCOBY that is around 1/4-1/3 inch thick, it really depends on the temperature of the room you are trying to grow the SCOBY in. For example, in the summer it might only take 2 weeks. Above is a picture of mine sitting on top of my microwave in my kitchen.

Part II: Home Brew

So you’ve got your SCOBY, what now? We brew kombucha!


15 cups water

1 cup sugar

4 tea bags

  1. Bring water to a boil
  2. Remove from heat, stir in sugar, add tea bags and steep, covered, until room temperature
  3. Put in glass jar and cover (must be breathable, I use cheese cloth and a rubber band)
  4. Set in warm place for 2-3 weeks.
  5. Taste it, let it sit until it taste good to you, the amount of time really depends on how warm it is where you are keeping it, the warmer the faster is ferments, and how tangy you like it.

We’re doing it!!

Dear Beloved Supporters of the Food Co-op,

First thank you times 1 million for all of your undying support in the idea of having a cooperative cafe on campus. All of you have big hearts, creative minds, and unparalleled passion for food sovereignty. If you haven’t read GWToday yet, read it here and you will learn that our cooperative initiative has been awarded $10,000 through the Steven and Diane Knapp Fellowship. This is huge, just sayin. Basically, this humble idea of ours has been recognized by GW as a promising and desirable addition to campus and for that we must be thankful! and also give ourselves a huge pat on the back for being awesome.

So much has happened since January when we started this journey and it will continue to grow, change, and evolve in the coming months. If any of you are going to be here over the summer and would like to get in on some of the negotiations for space, organizational structure, suppliers, inventories, fundraising–we’ll take any spare time you have. If not, let us know if you would like to do any work remotely! If nothing else, keep checking the blog for updates and we look forward to all of your continued support in the Fall.

Peace, Love & Veggies

-Melissa, Ellie and Erin

P.S. Photo cred to Jessica McConnell Burt!! We