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Ypsilanti Food Co-op Weekly Newsletter
This week during Black History Month the Ypsilanti Food Co-op is focusing on the concerns around food justice and Black farming.  Food Cooperatives work towards justice related to food as two of our coop principles state specifically:
  • Education, Training and Information
  • Concern for Community
Early history of Black farming in America goes back to Reconstruction when the newly emancipated were given land to farm. However, the Jim Crow system removed the ownership of land from most of these farmers and they were predominately relegated to positions as share croppers. In recent years movements have surfaced that are helping to restore land-owning rights to Black farmers.

In June 2020, Tepfirah Rusdan, co-director of Keep Growing Detroit, worked with Detroit Black Community Food Security Network and Oakland Avenue Urban Farm to launch the Detroit Black Farmer Land Fund. Recognizing that access to capital can be one of the biggest barriers to Black land ownership, the fund was created to financially support Black farmers in purchasing the property they currently farm or plan to farm. The three community organizations had a goal to raise $5000 and by the end of the year they surpassed that and had raised $65,000 and granted funds to 30 Black farmers.
In November 2020, the Land Justice for Black Farmers Act was introduced by Senator Cory Booker with the aim to address and correct historic discrimination within the US Department of Agriculture in federal farm assistance and lending that has caused Black farmers to lose millions of acres of farmland and robbed them and their families of hundreds of billions of dollars of inter-generational wealth. In 1920 there were nearly 1 million Black farmers in the United States. Today, due to this history of discrimination, it is estimated that there are less than 50,000 remaining Black farmers.
Tepfirah Rushdan, Keep Growing Detroit co-director and initiator of the campaign says:“It’s not just about farming. There is a legacy in land ownership. It’s a continuation of generational wealth building.” There is hope this will lead to further restoration of equity in farming and land access to Black people in our country.

To learn more about the Justice for Black Farmers Movement, Growing Hope and Willow Run Acres is sponsoring a Webinar on Thursday, February 25th.
What can we learn from these regional and national initiatives? What is the unique experience of Black farmers in Washtenaw County and how does it relate to these initiatives? Tune in to listen to the lived experiences of these panelists and learn more about the efforts to change the systemic discrimination experienced by Black farmers in the United States.  Participants will also hear from panelists Tepfirah Rushdan, co-director of Keep Growing Detroit and local farmers Norris Stephens, Jesse Raudenbush, and Alex Ball.  To register for this webinar visit:
2020 Mask Recap
Sloth Girl worked day and night sewing the masks to help prevent the spread of Covid, then the Ypsi food coop sold them to you for $5.00 each. Together we were able to  send a donation of $8,456.80 the Corner Health Center!  We are very proud of our community support and will continue to sell masks and require them to be worn in our store.  

Thank you Shoppers for this great Community Support!

This week's staff pick comes from our Assistant Manager Elaina! 
Written in her own words, Elaina's Staff Pick is Japanese Sweet Potatoes
"I am very excited about this new product as it has proven difficult to get locally.  These purple tubers, known as satsuma-imo (Japanese Sweet Potato), are similar to a regular sweet potato, high in antioxidants and healthier than a white potato (and nightshade free).  Unlike orange sweet potatoes these Japanese Sweet Potatoes have cream colored flesh and purple skin.  They have a nutty flavor that tastes somewhat like a roasted chestnut. The texture is drier, firmer, and starchier.  They are full of fiber and low in calories.  Japanese Sweet Potatoes are a highly desired and a staple for folks with dietary restrictions and special diets such Paleo and the Auto Immune Protocol (AIP).

They are great baked, roasted, mashed, fried or any way you would prepare a potato.  So far I have had them baked (delicious), Air Fried medallions that I make in my air fryer, used for open face sliders, Stromboli (the potato and arrowroot make the bread) and Sweet Potato Hash (our featured weekly recipe).
I personally hope you like them".- Elaina

Paleo Sweet Potato Hash
This is a weekly staple in Elaina’s house.
  It can easily be made with whatever items you have on hand and is allergen free.
  It is great for breakfast, lunch or dinner and serves approximately 4.

-1lb Ground Beef, Pork, Sausage (omit if vegan)
- 1 ½ cups of diced sweet potato
 -3 cups of chopped of shredded vegetables of your choice
               ( Diced onion, diced celery, shredded zucchini, shredded carrots, chopped kale)
-Finely shredded fresh turmeric, ginger and garlic to taste
-Avocado oil or bacon fat to taste
-Coconut Liquid Aminos to taste
-Salt to taste
-Red Chili Flakes(Optional)
In a large pan brown meat (well done and crispy) and avoid too fine of crumbles.  Remove meat from pan.
Add sweet potatoes to heated oil, cook until softened.  Then add the chopped vegetables and salt,  cook until they start to brown.  Then add the shredded vegetables, when the moisture is reduced and everything is browning add the meat, finely shredded items, chopped kale and cook until done.  Add the Aminos and salt to taste.

Sprinkle ground beef with ¼ teaspoon of baking soda and let it set 10 minutes (helps soften and brown meat) . 
Avoid overcooking vegetables as the beautiful colors will disappear, however the crispy texture does taste better
Add a teaspoon of apple cider vinegar to cut some of the sweetness.

Chinese Scallion Pancakes


Recipe Information

Total Time: 

1 hour, 15 minutes



Celebrate Chinese New Year with this fun recipe!  These Chinese street-food-style pancakes make a mouthwatering appetizer or snack.


Dipping Sauce

  • 1 tablespoon Sriracha sauce
  • 1/4 cup tamari
  • 1/4 cup rice vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon peeled and minced fresh ginger
  • 1 tablespoon honey


  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 1/2 cup diced scallions (green tops and white parts)
  • 2 tablespoons sesame oil
  • Salt
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil


  1. Stir dipping sauce ingredients together in a small bowl. Set aside.
  2. In a mixing bowl, stir together the flour and boiling water until a ball of dough can be formed. Cover the dough with a damp towel and let it rest for 30 minutes.
  3. Cut the dough ball into about 8 equal pieces. On a floured surface, roll out one of the pieces of dough into a circle. Brush with 3/4 teaspoon sesame oil and sprinkle with 1/8 of the scallions and a pinch of salt. Roll the circle, jelly-roll style, into a rope, pinch the ends to seal in the scallions and coil the rope into a spiral shape. Flatten the coiled pancake slightly with the palm of your hand. Repeat with the remaining dough and scallions.
  4. In a large skillet, heat the vegetable oil over medium heat. Add one of the pancakes to the hot oil in the pan and cook for 2 to 4 minutes on each side, swirling it in the oil from time to time to promote even browning. When the pancake is lightly browned, remove from the pan and hold on a plate in a warm oven until all pancakes are cooked. Cut pancakes into triangles and serve with dipping sauce.

Serving Suggestion

The Chinese “street food” version of these pancakes are often served for breakfast, but are more often served as an appetizer in North America. For a softer pancake, add a bit more water to the dough; you can substitute fresh garlic scapes for the scallions for a different flavor.

Nutritional Information

340 calories, 14 g. fat, 0 mg. cholesterol, 620 mg. sodium, 47 g. carbohydrate, 2 g. fiber, 7 g. protein

Copyright © 2021 Ypsilanti Food Co-op, All rights reserved.

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