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A Camp Food Revolution

By · Monday, May 3rd, 2010

So long for the summer!

As much as I loved Jamie Oliver’s TV show, Food Revolution, it is now over for the season. Hopefully, we will see him back in action in the fall. That is, as long as ABC got enough viewers and enough advertisers to keep it going.

Now that the weather is getting warmer and kids at school are getting spring fever, its time to look ahead: SUMMER!

Even though school will be letting out soon, the toxic food environment continues at summer camp.  Whether your kid is attending  a local day camp that insists on offering Gatorade because the well meaning but uninformed camp nurse thinks Gatorade has essential electrolytes (not!) or a sleepaway camp for the summer,  chances are there will be plenty of sugar, poor quality foodlike substances and other assorted junk to go around.

One camp is doing things differently. Camp Ballibay, an arts camp located in Northeastern Pennsylvania has got a food revolution going on that would impress the socks off of Mr. Oliver.

Camp Owner John Jannone has put his money where his mouth is when it comes to food.  Last summer he gave the green light to a major transformation in Ballibay food. Instead of pre-packaged processed “sysco” type food, all food was made from scratch,  with 30% of it from local farmers and producers.

Chefs Ellen Thomas and Alison Wiener created an amazing health supportive menu that included funky items like Korean bi bim bap with brown rice and comfortable favorites like build your own pizza. Hummus,  grass fed burgers, grilled fresh corn and more were huge hits with the campers. I was there too, making sure breakfast was fun and delicious with things like homemade granola, porridge and yogurt made fresh daily.

Campers got directly involved with making and growing the food and had a blast.

Last summer Camp Ballibay had no soda, no candy, no junk, no one missed it! Instead, campers enjoyed smoothies with fresh fruit and coconut milk, fresh spritzers, home made desserts and lots of seasonal melons and watermelon.

The  infamous Ballibay Hummus music video offers a a sneak peak into the kitchen and dining hall of the camp. Check out all the veggies!

This summer, Camp Ballibay’s food will be even better as they expand the garden and camper involvement in the kitchen. Chef Holly Mendenhall will be heading up the Ballibay food team  this summer.If you’re looking for a great summer camp with extraordinary food that will nourish your child’s body and spirit, this is the place to go!  I’ll be there again this summer having more fun in the kitchen and the garden. Stay tuned for more updates!

PS: If your child might be interested in attending Ballibay this summer, there may still be some open spots! I’m happy to speak with you personally if you have any questions.

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