Health & Nutrition blog
1. Eat your vegetables!
The USDA attributes 14 percent of all deaths in the US to poor diets and/or sedentary lifestyle. (I personally find this percentage very much on the low side.) You can improve your health, and the health of the planet by following food columnist Michael Pollan’s simple rule: “Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.”
2. Shop Outside of Supermarkets!
Finding locally produced food can be a hassle. They are not nearly as well marketed or a visible as the giant food chains. In the DC area, there are great farmers markets in Falls Church, the Clarendon section of Arlington, and in Georgetown. But for many, getting to know the lay of the land can be tricky.
Here are a few resources:
3. Plan a Row for the Hungry!
As unemployment rises, more people are wondering how they will put food on their table. Here are some cool ways to help out AND boost your food security at home:
- Start a food bank out of a faith center or community center if there are no similar programs in your area to participate (See www.yesmagazine.org/pantry)
- Contribute something from every shopping trip to a local shelter. Capitol Rehab of Arlington has worked with a local food shelter in Arlington, and believe me, the are very appreciative and could always use more assistance.
- Study (and/or teach) the art of cooking and preserving tasty, nutritious food on a budget.
Original article can be found at www.YesMagazine.org/lawn
Well, Taco Bell does offer the “Taco Bell Diet” menu. I know, I’m laughing too, but did you know that not only does Chipotle taste really good, the chicken, pork and most of the beef is naturally raised? By naturally raised, we mean served vegetarian feed and given neither antibiotics nor added-growth hormone. This standard goes way beyond the USDA’s requirements for “natural” meat, which allows for artificial coloring, artificial ingredients and minimal processing. Chipotle has shown a commitment to even go a step further by guaranteeing that the all of the animals are raised humanely, a quality that Mega-Farms and Ag-Giants have failed to achieve.
Not to be lost in all of this is the fact that the consumer reaps the benefits of enjoying better tasting food. Chipotle likes to point to their Charlottesville, Virginia location which made the commitment to buy all of their pork from nearby Polyface Farms. The result, the Charlottesville location sells about 50% more pork carnitas than other locations, evidence that the customers prefer the taste of the local meat.
But in the end, money talks, and Chipotle has shown that you can provide a healthier, more conscientious product and still successfully grow the company (a flawed argument often provided by Mega-Farms and Ag-Giants). Chipotle is a publicly traded company that showed a net income of $35 million in the second quarter of 2009, up $24 Million for the same period last year. Additionally, Chipotle projected it would buy over 60 million pound of naturally raised meat in 2009 which means big dollars for local farmers. The end result continues to be hundreds of growers and farmers benefiting from Chipotle’s commitment, and the consumer enjoying really good food.
If you are new to the concept of organic food and sustainable cooking and eating, here is the technology treat for you. Admittedly, when I think of fruits, I think of berries and citrus, but these foods are not in season all year round. In fact, very few things are in season year round which presents a challenge for those of us trying to do the right thing by and eat correctly and consciously.
Well, the folks at Apple have done it again. Created by Buster Benson, a popular Seattle based blogger, the Locavore iPhone Application, “automatically detects the state you’re in, tells you what’s in season (and for how long), where your nearest farmers markets and farms are, and links you to Wikipedia articles and recipes on Epicurious.com for 234 different fruits and vegetables.”
The iphone app will cost you a modest $2.99 but may serve as a valuable resource as we work to better understand and appreciate healthier eating.