Thank you Ghregrich Connect for sharing this infographic!
Thank you Ghregrich Connect for sharing this infographic!
Food security is the access to sufficient food for an active, healthy life. Community Food Security Initiative (CFSI) is the development of sustainable, community based strategies to ensure all have access to culturally acceptable, nutritionally adequate food at all times. By rescuing food that would otherwise go to the waste side, food recovery programs can provide nutritious meals, protect the environment and save money.
Buying locally isn’t just for low income families, but for those that want to take a more proactive approach to the foods consumed. Locally grown food also supports small-scale farms and strengthens the local food supply! What initiatives have you seen occur at the local, state and federal level? What programs do you think could use improvement?
Disclosure Agreement: Review of Organicgirl was due to compensation from the company’s whose products were reviewed. We Dish Nutrition tested each product thoroughly and gives high marks to only the very best. Opinions expressed at We Dish Nutrition are our own.
By: Nikki Nies
When one sets forth a long term goal, with the right amount of passion, resources and confidence, anything can be achieved. While this scenario can be applicable to various situations, I want to applaud Organicgirl’s team for their continued efforts in offering superb organic produce. The company’s name is fitting, as Organicgirl reflects the company’s mission to provide fresh, youthful greens.
The production of quality products doesn’t stop with the supply of greens themselves, as the recycling program (R3)-return, recycle and reward reflects Organicgirl’s sustainability practices ! By returning romaine heart bags back to Organicgirl, the bags are used further production and consumers can obtain free produce by recycling! Can’t get much better than that!
It is important to note, Organicgirl doesn’t ostracize men or boys, as everyone can and should enjoy healthy, sustainable produce. They also provide consumers the confidence needed to buy greens, with all products labeled washed3, signifying the product wasn’t washed just once, but THREE times!
Recently, I had the pleasure of experimenting with Organicgirl’s spinach using Skinnytaste‘s Spinach Dip recipe. Happily, I was able to kill two birds with one stone. 1) use Organicgirl’s spinach 2) make spinach dip! With such an easy recipe, in under 30 minutes, I was quickly able to enjoy the spinach dip, guilt free I might add! The recipe made 2 1/2 cups of spinach dip, being able to use the dip with my favorite crackers and even as a spread on toast.
I continue to be impressed with Organicgirl’s quality products, with transparency in all facets of production and their continued stance on decreasing the company’s carbon footprint.
To elevate their line of products, it’d be great if Organicgirl started providing its consumers suggestions of how to use the greens in recipes. Organicgirl does a great job of engaging its users across multiple social media platforms, asking consumers how they are using the greens, yet maintaining documentation of suggestions and unique uses of greens would encourage consumers to try different variations and products of Organicgirl’s greens.
Organicgirl offers a variety of greens, more than just spinach, what Organicgirl greens do you find yourself picking up? What’s your favorite way to use theses scrumptious, sustainable products?
Photo Credit: Organicgirl
I recently wrote about the proper measures one may need to take to ensure home safety. While, that is important, it’s equally important to recognize how all healthy eatomh can fit into a household budget. Obviously, I don’t know what your family and/or financial circumstances are, but I can make generalizations that you care about your family’s well being, that you want to know where your food is coming from and if you can save a buck or two while eating frugally, why not?
If you found yourself nodding ‘yes’ to any or all of my above generalizations, then proceed to my next point. There seems to be three kind of grocery shoppers, those that stick to non-GMO, organic, pesticide, hormone and antibiotic free, those that pick and choose the foods that are “cleanly” bought while opting to buy the nonorganic counterparts when desired. And then there’s those like me, may recognize the benefits of “cleaner” produce and products, that are non-GMO, organic, antibiotic, hormone and/or pesticide free, but don’t see how those concepts fit into our budget.
I can’t help, but look at prices. However, I’ve doing a lot of reading lately and I firmly believe that these distinctive three groups could be under one umbrella, purchasing cleaner foods in a cost effective manner.
I promise, with my next grocery trip, I’m heading straight to the organic section! For those that have been eating only or predominantly organic, how are you able to stretch the dollars? How can we best incorporate organic foods into our lives seamlessly?
Photo Credit: Back to Her Roots
In my circle of friends, I’m known as the gal who makes homemade lunch and dinner. I’m the first to suggest making homemade cookies and try a new pasta dish, but I haven’t always been like this. In the past year, a lot has changed, from my increased domestic lifestyle and conscious effort to make creative dishes using ingredients on hand.
While my friends have varying levels of culinary experience, many are shocked the lengths I go to make homemade. Yet, I’ve found bringing them into the kitchen with me is a great “bonding” experience and a budget friendly way to enjoy some great flavors!
I’m still in my early stages as a cook and I use online recipes as a crutch, but I’ve learned a lot about cooking in my short time. All those naysayers that say they can’t cook, I argue one can cook if they can read. How do you think others have learned? Perhaps, one learned from a culinary master, but they still had to READ or WATCH how to develop those skills.
Like any other activity, one has to have an interest in cooking. Until I was pushed to learn during my internship, I didn’t have a need or interest in cooking. Throughout this last year, I’ve learned a thing or two about cooking, which I have found helpful in the kitchen.
My Personal Tips:
Whether you’re new in the kitchen like me or you’ve been cooking before you could talk, what’re some tips you’re willing to share? We can all learn a thing or two from another!
By: Nikki Nies
You know how you get giddy when you’re able to share a passion or interest with some one and they “get” the hype? My friend from Wisconsin doesn’t have a lot of access to authentic Asian restaurants back home. I found this past weekend to be the best time to introduce her to ethnic foods! The best part, she loved it!
After she had stuffed herself with the new flavor combinations, she inquired what food had she eaten. Was it Japanese or Chinese? I corrected her telling her that since we had kimchi, it was Korean. I wasn’t offended because she had a genuine interest in knowing exactly what she ate. I brushed it off, stating I wouldn’t know what Middle Easterns eat besides hummus. The Middle East consists of Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Syria, and Turkey.
My conversation with her and a recent discussion I had in my Public Health class regarding culture sensitivity got me questioning why I didn’t know off the top of my head Middle Eastern traditional cuisines. That’s my lead in to this blog post.
I’m taking this blog post as a way to increase not only your awareness of what it mean to be eating Middle eastern food and recognizing some differences within the regions. As there are distinct tastes and ingredients in Asian cooking, it’s not fair to clump Middle Eastern cuisine under one blog post, but there are more similarities than differences in these Middle Eastern nations. Ingredients that are commonly seen in such cooking and dishes include dates, olives, wheat, rice, legumes, and
The Middle Eastern diet consists of the American MyPlate food groups, but has distinct emphasis on certain foods within the food groups.
|Food Group||Customary Traditions|
Overview of Middle Eastern Staples:
I’m sure I’ve left out at least one or two staples, yet only a true Middle Eastern could share from experience. If any one has any particular food staples in their house, please enlighten us!
By: Nikki Nies
Depending on living environment and/or accent, nouns be referred to as different things. For instance, you won’t find the word “pop” on a menu on the East Coast, but in the MidWest, “pop’s” the standard name for soda. Get it? While these regional words are equally accepted and used for sodium bicarbonate, such exchange of words are not always accurate.
Salt and sodium are used interchangeably. However, salt and sodium don’t have the same meaning. Salt is the combination of sodium + chloride, with sodium deemed the unhealthy part of salt. 1 gram of sodium is equal to 2.5 grams of salt. On average, people are consuming 9 grams of salt a day.
It’s important to follow these parameters as too much sodium can lead to hypertension and increase one’s risk for stroke and/or heart disease. The salt shaker on your table isn’t the issue at hand, but 80% of sodium is from the pre packaged,prepared, restaurant processed foods that are packed with sodium rich preservatives.
Recommendation: One should have no more than 2300 mg a day of sodium/6 grams of salt. If you’re of African American descent, 51 years or older, have high blood pressure, diabetes or chronic kidney disease, you should limit to 1500 mg per day. Yet, high salt intake doesn’t increase one’s risk for heart disease, but sodium does!
To be more mindful of the amount of sodium in foods, choose:
Foods that contain more than 250 mg of sodium per serving are considered high in sodium.
|Salt||Grain Size||Recommended Use||Fun Fact|
|Sea Salt||Small and large||Cooking and seasoning||Comes from evaporated sea water; it’s common for minerals to be left behind in sea salt, which gives it extra flavor and its off white color|
|Table Salt||Very small||For seasoning, baking and in salt shakers||All mineralsare removed from table saltChemicals are added in so so the grains don’t stick together|
|Kosher Salt||Large||Cooking and Seasoning||Salt isn’t actually “kosher”, meaning it doesn’t conform to Jewish food laws, it’s used to make meat kosher|
Now that you can differentiate salt and sodium, you’re already on your way to lowering your risk for blood pressure, heart attack and stroke!
Farmer’s Fridge prides itself in offering only the freshest, tastiest products to its devoted customers. Using local, organic products as much as possible, being tasty and nutritious is guaranteed to be delivered.
In addition to quality food, Farmer’s Fridge uses only BPA free packaging and maintain FDA standards with all food contact.
Let me tell you about their kiosk! Their kiosk is an updated, revamped vending machine. The kiosk itself is a thing of beauty, made from reclaimed wood and recycled materials. The kiosk accepts all major credit cards, user friendly with touch screen access and provides product images, nutrition information and ingredient list.
So, how does the kiosk work?
Not a bad deal, eh? Check out their menu at http://www.farmersfridge.com/#!menu/c1hxq
I love Farmer’s Fridge concept and they don’t allow any compromises deter their vision or mission to serve their customers. You don’t regularly see pistachios, sprouts, fennel, Napa cabbage, water chestnuts, Kalamata olives and/or dried tart cherries in the same menu, but Farmer’s Fridge doesn’t hesitate to please a wide array of tastes.
There’s currently 2 kiosks, one in Lake Forest, IL and in downtown Chicago, IL on N. Clark Street. While Chicagoans are the first to be served guaranteed fresh food, the concept will hopefully expand into other franchises too.
Making it a week before having to head to the grocery store can be a feat for some families. How often do you run to the store to grab more fruit to pack in your kid’s lunch boxes or because you need some peas to put into the pot pie you’re making tonight?
Well, there’s often a debate on whether frozen or fresh are the better route to go. Like many things in life, with a balance of fresh and frozen fruits and vegetables it can be beneficial in the long run . Check out this table of the pros and cons of fresh and frozen veggies
|Fresh foods||Frozen Foods|
|Time to Prepare||
|| • More than likely don’t have preservatives
• Most produce that is freezed after fully ripened, which allows vitamins, minerals and antioxidants to be “locked in”
As stated, purchasing both fresh and frozen will you a variety of tastes, nutrients and hopefully give you a chance to experiemnt next time in the kitchen.