Natural Life Books
Home Books Authors Sustainability About Contact FAQ
Food and Fellowship
buy this book
softcover $24.95; e-book $14.95 (plus shipping & tax where applicable)

 
Andrea BelchamAbout the Author: Andrea Belcham studied and worked in the publishing industry for nearly a decade before shifting focus to two long-time passions: food and sustainability. Her hunt for local foods to nourish her young family not being satisfied at the grocery store, she began to shop farmers’ markets, joined a CSA, and started growing vegetables – first in a community garden, then in her own backyard. When she noticed other friends and neighbors also rejecting conventional food shopping routes and attempting to become more active participants in food production and distribution systems, she looked at ways to collectively gain empowerment within an urban setting. Two major projects were born: the batch cooking group, comprised of six women uniting once a month in a church kitchen to cook vegan meals for their families; and the natural foods buying club, with a fluctuating membership of about ten families, that orders foods in bulk from a distributor every two months and meets to sort it in Andrea’s living room. When she isn’t growing, gathering, or cooking, Andrea also reviews books on the topics of food and the environment, and teaches vegetarian cooking classes and workshops. A vegetarian for twenty years, Andrea lives in Pointe Claire, Quebec, with her husband and daughter.

ISBN 978-0-920118-21-4   $24.95

Download a poster and other promotional materials

Food and Fellowship:
Projects and Recipes to Feed a Community

by Andrea Belcham

Save money and time, eat well, have fun,
promote sustainability, and build community . . .
Learn how to organize a food buying club and a batch cooking group.

"Buying and preparing food with others in your community is a great way to save money while providing your family with wholesome, home-made meals." ~ author Andrea Belcham

Food and Fellowship provides everything you need to know about how to organize and manage both a food buying club and a batch cooking group. And it even includes one hundred delicious vegan recipes to get you started.

Our society is privileged in the variety and amount of foods available to those with the money to purchase them. Yet much of what is on the menu – much of what consumers rely on the feed themselves and their loved ones – fails to truly nourish a body, let alone a spirit. Across the nation, people are loading their grocery carts with highly processed foods, or they are tucking into fast food meals, in the name of saving time and making space for the things that “really matter.”

But what really matters to author Andrea Belcham and many others is that she and her family are both healthy and happy. The route she takes towards achieving this emphasizes quality food. As a stay-at-home mother in a one-income household, she has neither an abundance of time nor a lot of money to spend acquiring and preparing food. Her solution, which she presents in Food and Fellowship, is to combine her skills and resources with others in her community to make possible opportunities that she couldn’t access alone.

A buying club represents a strategy for purchasing good food without breaking the bank, and a batch cooking group is a means for individuals to prepare nutritious food that is convenient without being costly. These are steps that can help people from many different walks of life become empowered and knowledgeable regarding their food choices. They also give people the chance to learn from and teach others – to feel that they are an integral part of something bigger than themselves.

So the first part of this book provides comprehensive inspiration and instructions for setting up both of these solutions. The author shares her experience and insight so that you can move easily from idea to completion of either or both of these projects.

The second part of the book offers 100 recipes using whole foods. These are dishes to make using the food staples acquired through a buying club, and recipes that are tasty additions to the batch cooking group’s repertoire. The recipes are all easily doubled or trebled for bulk cooking, and they tolerate freezing well. They are simple to prepare and they use inexpensive ingredients. They are also all vegan, because, when applied thoughtfully, a vegan diet is an effective way of nurturing good health on a budget. And of course, they’re also delicious! Soups and stews, vegetables and side dishes, entrées, baked goods, and desserts are included.

Finishing off the book is a comprehensive appendix with tips on economizing with food; information about food safety for batch cooking; a whole foods glossary; a table listing the shelf life of some staple foods that you might want to buy in bulk; a list of vegan kitchen staples; suggested discussion topics for the new batch cooking group; a batch cooking group equipment list; wording for a batch cooking group recruitment poster; and a sample batch cooking group funding request letter.

* * * *

"Buying locally-sourced natural food ingredients in bulk and preparing them in batches in a community kitchen are sustainable, healthy, and frugal ways to feed yourself and your family. These activities can also develop bonds among neighbors, fight hunger, contribute to parenting skills and improve family life, integrate marginalized people into a community, and be great fun. Food and Fellowship is your guide to all of that and more.

"Author Andrea Belcham has turned her considerable experience with buying clubs and batch cooking into this very helpful and inspirational guide. She has provided you with all the tools you need (except the food and the pots and pans!) for you and a group of friends, neighbors, or relatives to feed your families and your community. The delicious recipes have been tested by Andrea’s own batch cooking group. I’ve tried some of them and can attest to their ease of preparation as well as their wholesome deliciousness. These are healthy, homemade meals that nourish both the body and the soul."

from the introduction, by Wendy Priesnitz, editor of Natural Life Magazine

The second title in Natural Life Magazine's Green Living Series

Natural Life Magazine is the original natural family living magazine, founded in 1976. Its print and digital editions are reader-supported and trusted by thinking people around the world who want positive, sustainable alternatives to high cost, high consumption lifestyles for themselves and their families.

Read an excerpt.          Read a review.         Sample Recipe

books to change your world

Natural Life Books specializes in adult non-fiction about ways that families and individuals can live and learn on Planet Earth in a healthy, socially responsible, environmentally sound, self-reliant manner. We are the retail division of The Alternate Press, an imprint of Life Media, an independent, family-owned book and magazine publishing house established in 1976. We are proud to publish some of the most progressive books and other information products about homeschooling and life learning (also known as unschooling) in the world.

Read our Sustainability Statement

Learn about our E-Book editions

purchase our books now
Purchase our
books now.