Potluck with a Purpose

On Saturday,  we gathered at JerseyBites central (my house) with a group of fellow food bloggers; Alexandra Harcharek from AFoodComa.com, John & Lisa Fusco from John and Lisa are Eating in Sounth Jersey, Robin Damstra our Regional Editor for Hunterdon & Mercer Counties and blogger at Caviar and Codfish, Elizabeth Stelling from CookAppeal.com and Adrienne Turner Wine Writer for Examiner.com and Co-Founder of the Partners In Wine Club, for a Potluck dinner encouraged by the folks at PBS and in conjunction with the upcoming screening of Food Inc. on April 21st.

PBS wants to make the night of April 21st a national viewing night for Food, Inc. and a night of discussion about food-related issues. And believe me, after watching this movie, you will have a lot to discuss and think about. It is a real eye opener. I personally was amazed at the monopolization of our food industry by just a handful of companies and how just one company in this day and age, could have complete control over the soybean seed being farmed.

PBS’s POV is asking viewers from across the country to invite their family and friends over for a healthy, delicious, affordable and sustainable potluck meal, then watch “Food, Inc.,” and discuss the issues.   POV will be giving away 50 gift baskets with DVDs, books, gift cards, food items and more. One of our readers who hosts a potluck will definitely win a basket!!

So this is how the potluck will work…

The POV website for Food, Inc. will provide an invitation, recipes and discussion questions for the potluck.

Viewers will host their own potlucks on April 21st, watch the national broadcast of “Food, Inc.” on PBS, and discuss the issues in the film.

After, fill out the form on the POV website with your email, the blog that referred you to the potluck (Jersey Bites), and a short paragraph telling PBS about your potluck and viewing experience. You can also post photos of your potluck to a special group on flickr! You’ll then be entered into a random drawing. Each blog will have 1 winner.

It is a sobering movie, but a necessary one to watch. I know it has changed my outlook on the food I buy and I plan to do a lot more research and reporting on places where humanely-raised, healthy animals are processed and packaged with the utmost care.   Here is a good start but I’m sure we can uncover more.  We will also be paying visits to area farms throughout the summer, so stay tuned for some really great stories.

DanaRay Farm, Branchville: 973-948-0906
Havenwood Farms, Green Township: 973-383-3860
Howling Wolf Farm, Hope: 908-459-4474
Pittenger Farms, Green Township: 973-786-6147
Snoep Winkel Farm, Branchville: 973-702-2047

For more great information on the Slow Food movement, check out http://www.slowfoodnnj.org/

I hope you enjoy the pictures from our potluck party and I hope they may inspire you to host your own. John Fusco’s Clam Pie was a huge hit. Please come back and tell us about your potluck and send us pictures for the Jersey Bites facebook page.  You can check out more pictures from other POV Potluck Parties, on their Flickr page.

Deborah Smith, Founder and Managing Editor, JerseyBites.com