Saturday, February 27, 2010

Got to be startin' summit


Got opinions about health care? Yes you do. So do your friendly Congressional Representatives from Wisconsin.

See what Sen. Russ Feingold has to say about last Friday's bipartisan health care summit in Washington D.C.

Then, check out this video of Rep. Paul Ryan's comments at the summit.

(photo courtesy of CBS News, via Google images)

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

30 Days 30 Ways With Macaroni and Cheese

Ooey. Gooey. Warm. Comforting.

All words that describe one of America’s favorite foods: macaroni and cheese. The combination of perfectly cooked pasta and a succulent cheese sauce is a match made in comfort food heaven.

The Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board invited 30 of the country’s top food bloggers to create their own macaroni and cheese recipes using Wisconsin Cheese. The results are a cook’s dream n a collection of recipes that run the gamut of simple to sophisticated.

See the Article, Top Food Bloggers Create Macaroni and Cheese Blog for more information, or just click on the title to go straight to the Mac and Cheese blog.

Consider the fake food and real food blog post assignment. Is Mac and Cheese in a box real mac and cheese?

Monday, February 22, 2010

Website Seeks to Pair 'Green' Businesses with Environmentally Conscious Consumers is a website developed by a former Life Sciences Communications graduate student, Sarah Manski. Recognizing the difficulty of finding good, concise information about truly green companies and services, Manski, working with her husband, developed PosiPair. In Manski's own words, "Every business is essentially their own island with marketing green goods and services. It's easy to spend hours online looking for a local, environmentally friendly company using a regular search engine like Google."

A contraction of the phrase "positive pairing", is an online network of both businesses and consumers. The website also incorporates social networking that can link business profiles. Consumers have the option to post comments and ratings of the participating businesses. In 2009, Manski was a finalist in the Governor's Business Plan Contest, a contest designed to foster the growth of new business ideas. Manski and her business won a year's worth of free rent and several thousand dollars worth of IT services from another local company. The website is expected to launch in early 2010, so keep an eye out!

Click here to see the website

Colleges accommodate more students with food allergies

Photo source: bookofjoe

A growing number of U.S. colleges and universities are trying to meet the health needs of students with food allergies by providing modified menu choices and/or allergy-free dining facilities.

From USA Today
College students take risks. They pull all-nighters ahead of early-morning presentations. They skip more classes than they attend. They eat peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, chocolate bars and pizza.

That last one doesn't sound so risky — and isn't, for most people. But it can be dangerous, even fatal, for the growing ranks of traditional-age undergraduates with food allergies. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the number of Americans under the age of 18 with food allergies rose to 3 million, which is 4% of the age group, in 2007, up from 2.3 million, or 3.3% of the under-18 population, in 1997. As those kids grow up, some lose their allergies, but many others don't.

In greater numbers than ever before, they're arriving on college campuses with concerns that dining halls don't know how to handle.

The allergic student of even a few years ago might have had to take chances, pester cooks about ingredients or just skip eating anything made in a public kitchen altogether. But as allergies seem to have become more common — and as allergy sufferers and advocates have become more aggressive in lobbying for accommodations – dining services officials are beginning to act. Many college and university dining halls have adopted signs that point out common allergens, while others offer frozen meals and special items like gluten-free bread so students with allergies can have the social experience of eating with their friends.

Continue reading...

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Wisconsin a big player in organic farming

Surprising article in the Cap Times, but no matter what your opinion of organic versus non-organic farms, you've got to be happy that organic farmers are having some success. Organic farms in Wisconsin are making as much money as their non-organic counterparts. And overhead costs are slightly lower for the organic farms. I would have expected the opposite.

See Bill Novak's article here.

Also, see below for a map of certified organic farms in Wisconsin (source: UW-Madison Center for Integrated Agricultural Systems)

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Nutritious, but nice: Macrobiotic food gets a gourmet makeover

Macrobiotic food has such a joyless image that not even Madonna and Gwyneth Paltrow have managed to make it sexy. Now it's had a makeover – putting even chocolate mousse back on the menu.

By Lucy Gillmore

Thursday, 11 February 2010

How delicious does this sound? A creamy avocado dip with crunchy crudités to start, then Nobu-style tempura with a rich, salty sauce, followed by wild mushroom risotto served with roasted fennel and spinach. For dessert: dark chocolate mousse with a sprinkling of chopped hazelnuts. Are you licking your lips yet? Mouth-watering it may be, but I'd bet two raw carrots it didn't cross your mind that it was "macrobiotic".

Macrobiotic food has an image problem. If, like me, the first thing that pops into your head is Gwyneth Paltrow munching her way through a bean salad in the nude (apparently to stop herself from eating too much) you'll understand why. Even a beautiful, blonde – naked – Hollywood actress can't make rice and lentils sexy.

Admittedly she isn't the most exciting beautiful, blonde Hollywood actress around. She and the equally wholesome Chris Martin have, occasionally, been tagged "boring" themselves. But now even Gwynnie, it seems, is bored with macrobiotics. On her (yawn) lifestyle website she admits (are you sitting down?) that she's been dabbling with dairy. It turns out she has a weakness for cheese. Bring on the Brie!

Continue reading...

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Michael Pollan talks about food, healthcare, and his new book Food Rules - An Eater's Manual.

The author of The Omnivore’s Dilemma and In Defense of Food, Michael Pollan, discusses the link between healthcare and diet, the dangers of processed foods, the impacts of industrial agriculture, and his sixty-four rules for eating.

“The markets are full of what I call edible food-like substances that you have to avoid,” says Pollan. The radio/TV show Democracy Now! recently aired an excerpt of the Oscar-nominated documentary Food, Inc. and then spent the rest of the show talking with author/activist Michael Pollan.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Can America's Urban Food Deserts Bloom?

Inside the supermarket, uniformed workers are stacking pineapples into neat rows across from bundles of fresh mustard greens, tamarind pods and nopalitos — sliced cactus ears common in Mexican dishes. In much of the country, Farmers Best Market would not be an extraordinary sight. But here on 47th Street, a gritty stretch of Chicago's South Side flush with Golden Arches and purveyors of Colt 45 Malt Liquor, the store is an oasis. It's also raising an intriguing proposition: Can an inner-city supermarket profitably specialize in fresh produce and meats — and, ultimately, be a model solution to urban America's health crisis?

Read more

Have you lived in a food desert? What kind of access to food do you have in your home neighborhood?

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Healthy Cooking 101: A lesson for student-athletes

There is a current paradigm shift in collegiate sports in which athletic programs are becoming increasingly focused on training their athletes holistically. The UW athletic program is following suit by initiating a healthy cooking class for Badger athletes, which teaches them how to shop, cook, and eat in a way that compliments their unique lifestyles.

By Camille Rogers

It’s a Friday afternoon in November, and the members of the University of Wisconsin varsity women’s crew team have come together to practice their skills.

However, they are not practicing with boats and oars, nor are they anywhere near open water.

Today, they have met in the School of Human Ecology building to work on techniques that involve measuring cups, mixing bowls, and stoves.

The team is about to participate in a two-hour healthy cooking program, a pilot initiative that is sponsored by the athletic department, and it is specifically designed for student-athletes.

The goal of the program is to equip student athletes with a basic knowledge of how to plan and prepare healthy meals that respect their limited time, living space, and financial resources.

Continue reading...

Friday, February 5, 2010

Hunger in the U.S.: The Paradox Between Obesity and Hunger

For many households, the lack of money can contribute to both hunger and obesity. This apparent paradox is driven in part by the economics of buying food.
Households without money to buy enough food often have to rely on cheaper, high calorie foods to cope with limited money for food and stave off hunger. Families try to maximize caloric intake for each dollar spent, which can lead to over consumption of calories and a less healthful diet.

Thorough reviews of the scientific literature find no evidence that federal nutrition program participation causes obesity. In fact, some research finds that participation in federal nutrition programs greatly reduces the risk of overweight among food-insecure girls.

Research also shows that mothers restrict their food intake during periods of food insufficiency in order to protect their children from hunger. These chronic ups and downs in food intake can contribute to obesity among low-income women.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Rules Worth Following?

Here is a recent review of Michael Pollan's newest book "Food Rules: An Eater's Manual". Although he isn't a nutritionist or a scientist, Pollan offers a set of guidelines to follow based on his two previous books, '"The Omnivore's Dilemma" and "In Defense of Food". --AH

In the more than four decades that I have been reading and writing about the findings of nutritional science, I have come across nothing more intelligent, sensible and simple to follow than the 64 principles outlined in a slender, easy-to-digest new book called “Food Rules: An Eater’s Manual,” by Michael Pollan.

Mr. Pollan is not a biochemist or a nutritionist but rather a professor of science journalism at the University of California-Berkeley. You may recognize his name as the author of two highly praised books on food and nutrition, “In Defense of Food: An Eater’s Manifesto” and “The Omnivore’s Dilemma.” (All three books are from Penguin.)

If you don’t have the time and inclination to read the first two, you can do yourself and your family no better service than to invest $11 and one hour to whip through the 139 pages of “Food Rules” and adapt its guidance to your shopping and eating habits.

Chances are you’ve heard any number of the rules before. I, for one, have been writing and speaking about them for decades. And chances are you’ve yet to put most of them into practice. But I suspect that this little book, which is based on research but not annotated, can do more than the most authoritative text to get you motivated to make some important, lasting, health-promoting and planet-saving changes in what and how you eat.

Click here to read the article...

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Check out the Ironworks Cafe at the Goodman Community Center

For anyone who saw (or didn't see) Camille's post about the Underground Food Collective and thought to themselves, "This is a little too hipster-foodie for me," you may want to reconsider, as the food is great. However, if you want something equally delicious (I will vouch for it) and want to support a cause other than being being part of a really cool secret food club with other local bike polo players, check out the Ironworks Cafe at the Goodman Community Center on Madison's East side. It's run (in the shadows, of course) by the same cast of characters, more or less, and supports a great cause. According to their website:

"The Ironworks Café has a partnership with East High School's alternative educational program Vocationally Integrated Pathways (V.I.P.). Students from V.I.P. and other area students, under the guidance of restaurant professionals, are responsible for the entire operations of the business. Ironworks Cafe offers a menu featuring local and seasonal ingredients, fairly traded coffee (Just Coffee Coop), teas (Rishi), and other commodities (cocoa, sugar, oils). The menu changes daily, but will retain a familiar format. From-scratch soups, salads, sandwiches and special breakfast offerings will always include sweet and savory, as well as vegetarian options."
Check out the website for more details...