Category Archives: Edible Garden

JoAnns Food Bites celery Curtis Stone

Crazy for Crispy Celery

Earlier this year, Chef Curtis Stone developed a 9-course tasting menu centered around celery, for his restaurant Maude in California.

He created a celery salad; reduced celery juice for an apple sorbet and braised some stalks for a celeri barigoule.

Celeri Barigoule – a traditional Provencal dish of artichokes braised with onions, garlic and carrots in a seasoned broth of wine and water. Early culinary cooking, the artichokes were stuffed with mushrooms, however, modern cuisine no longer uses mushrooms. Some preparations are stuffed with spinach, carrots and cheese.

Celery has a crunchy texture, slightly bitter, earthy flavor which has long been served as a cooling accompaniment to hot wings.

celery wings

Although not my favorite vegetable in the garden, celery has some wonderful nutritional benefits.

Celery and Nutrition

Before the 16th century, celery was used exclusively as a medicinal herb.  Now, it is one of the most popular vegetables in the Western world.

Full of antioxidants and low in calories, only about 16 calories per 100 grams, celery is great snack for anyone on a diet regime.

Its leaves are rich in Vitamin A and beta-carotene, which are good for a healthy skin and night vision.

Considered to be a functional vegetable because it contains lots of non-soluble fiber, also known as roughage.

A very good source of minerals like potassium, sodium, calcium, manganese, and magnesium. Potassium is an important component of cell and body fluids that help regulate heart rate and blood pressure.

celery

Celery in the garden

Grown in bunches that consist of leaved ribs surrounding the tender, choice heart.

Pictured is the most common variety, pale green Pascal celery.  The Golden variety is grown under soil or paper to prevent chlorophyll from turning it green.

  • Ideally, planting should be in full sun, 8-10 hours daily; however, it is NOT heat tolerate.
  • In the United States, it is a summer crop in the north and winter crop in the south.  Be sure that temps will stay between 55 and 70ºF throughout the growing period.
  • They like fertile soil and constant moisture.
  • From seed, start indoors for the best success rate, 8 to 10 weeks before the average last frost date for your area.
  • The National Gardening Association claims soaking seeds in warm water overnight prior to planting will reduce germination time.
  • Transplant seedlings 10 to 12 inches apart, direct sow seeds ¼ inch deep. These will need to be thinned to 12 inches apart when they reach about six inches high.
  • Mulch after planting and immediately water.

Celery requires soil that is moist and well fertilized. Make sure to monitor plants closely.

Tie growing celery stalks together to keep them from sprawling

Celery in the kitchen

celery kitchen

When buying celery, choose firm bunches. The leaves should be bright green and crisp.

Store celery in a plastic bag, in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.

Leave the leaves and the stalks attached until ready to use.

Wash thoroughly and trim off root end.  The leaves are edible and are great in soups, stews or salads.

The ribs (stalks) are typically ate raw, but are common in the “holy trinity” of cooking,  a Mirepoix

  French cooking says mirepoix – combination of celery, onion and carrots.

  Cajun cooking says holy trinity – combination of celery, onion and bell pepper.

Quick kitchen tips for celery:

BLANCH – 3 minutes

BOIL – 3-5 minutes

STEAM – 3-5 minutes

SAUTE – 3-5 minutes

Not recommended for roasting or grilling.

For later use:  Cut up celery stalks in 1-inch pieces.  Blanch in hot water for 3 minutes.  Remove and immediately place in ice bath to stop cooking process.  After 30-40 seconds, remove from ice bath and place on a paper towel to dry.  After drying for 5-10 minutes, place flat on a cookie sheet and set in freezer.  Allow to freeze overnight.  Place pieces in air tight zip lock bags and store in the freezer until ready to use.

The tops and wilted leaves can be stored (without blanching) in freezer bags and added, still frozen to a pot when making stock.

The cooking applications for the celery stalk are numerous.

What are the ways YOU cook with celery?

 

 

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Please follow and like us:
growing tomatoes

Tomatoes: Grocery Store Verses Growing Your Own

Springtime!  Time to plant those tomatoes…

AND STOP BUYING GROCERY STORE TOMATOES.

I am absolutely sick of grocery store tomatoes!  The skins are so tough and waxy!  To me, they really have no flavor at all.

Did you know….

               growers are paid by the pound to propagate and deliver tomatoes to grocery store distributors

Did you know...

               the majority of grocery store tomatoes have a genetic mutation called the GLK protein, which actually promotes uniformity,

               and their bright red color; however, reduces their natural sugars and sweetness

Did you know

               commercial growers pick tomatoes while they are still green, before they ripen, then spray them with ethylene gas  to turn them red

 

Two-thirds of the commercially grown tomatoes, during the “out-of-season” months (October to May) are grown in California and Florida.

Disadvantages: 

too humid, pests are widespread

causes growers to use more pesticides on the fruit

they are grown in sand. Sand contains no nutrients, therefore growers experiment with unnatural genetically modified organisms

Read more about GMO’s by clicking here.

Genetically Modified Organisms

If you must buy tomatoes during the off season, here a few tips….

  • Buy tomatoes labeled as being grown in “Hot Houses.”   These are not picked until fully ripened.
  • Buy from a big box store, such as Costco or BJ’s.  They have direct relationships with growers, eliminating middle-man and transportation time.
  • Buy canned from San Marzano, Italy.  They grow tomatoes in the ideal climate, when it is off season in the United States.

 

Growing your own tomatoes

Heirloom tomatoesLate April, early May is the perfect time to start growing your own tomatoes.

Most tomatoes are red, however, there are many colors and size variations.  Some of the best tasting, but odd looking tomatoes are heirloom varieties, which have been preserved because of their superior flavor.

In most regions, tomatoes are set out as seedlings, when the temperature no longer drops below 55º.

During the summer, you can expect blossom drop when days are above 90ºF and nights are above 76ºF.

Rule of thumb is: the shorter the growing season, for your climate, the more you should limit your choices to the early and early-mid season varieties.

Choosing Determinate vs. Indeterminate

Determinate tomato plants grow to approximately 3 feet tall and ripen a big crop all at one time.  These plants usually do not need stakes.

Indeterminate plants keep growing in every direction until stopped by the cold.  They will need staking or caging.  Most labels will note if the plant is determinate or indeterminate.

If you want plants in and out of your garden by a certain time to make room for other plants, choose determinate cultivars.

If you want a few plants to bear over a long season, choose indeterminate.

I even stagger my planting throughout the early summer, so as to have indeterminate tomato plants growing throughout the entire season.

Growing in containers

Container tomatoes with cages

 

I have great success year after year, growing tomatoes in containers.

Considerations for container growing:

-container must be tall enough, so as to provide plenty of root room

-gardeners with unfavorable soil can control organic matter and fertilizer for the plant

-always provide proper drainage for tomato plants, so as not to drown your plant

 

Cultivating tomatoes

tomato fertilizerThe soil for tomatoes should be well drained and have an ample supply of nutrients, especially phosphorus.

For soil preparation, use plenty of organic matter and add 3 – 4 pounds of 5-10-10 fertilizer per 100 square feet.

Place water in it and allow two weeks BEFORE PLANTING TOMATO PLANTS.

Set plants deep, with their lowest level of leaves just above soil level.

Remember, those plants needing cages, will need 3 – 4 feet between plants.

The first fertilizer application takes care of the plant until it sets fruit.

Feed once a month while the fruit develops and stop when the it starts to mature.

Tomatoes and Water

Be consistent, alternating wet and dry spells can bring on stunting and blossom end rot.  water tomatoes

Remember, plants need uniform moisture after setting fruit.

If plants are not setting fruit, stretch watering intervals to bring on tomato production.

This puts the plant under a little stress, so be careful not to overdo it.

When harvest time is near, cut back slightly on irrigation to get fruit that is flavorful, but not watery.

Rule of thumb: stick your finger down approximately 2-inches from soil surface…if it is dry, it is time to water.

Training your plant

Single tomatoTomatoes can be grown on upright stakes and trellises, in wire cages, or ladder-like frames set a foot above ground.

You can harvest more fruit over a longer period by allowing a branch to grow from the base to form a two-stemmed plant, and later removing the rest of the lower branches on both stems.

For early fruit production and later sun protection, remove all branches on the lower 18-inches of the stem, then let the plant bush out with the branches being supported by cages or gently tied to stakes.

Harvesting

Pick fresh tomatoes just before using.

A ripe tomato at peak flavor is fully colored on all sides – except right where the fruit meets the stem, here it will be slightly greenish.

Tomatoes should be soft, but not firm.

Tomato flavor is much fuller at room temperature.  Just place uncut tomatoes on the counter, out of direct sunlight.

Now put those delicious home grown tomatoes to work.

My Homemade Crock Pot Tomato Sauce Recipe

                                                                                  

Let me know if you are planting any tomatoes this year and if you have any questions, we will answer them promptly.

 

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Please follow and like us:
Organic farmers box

What is a Community Supported Agriculture System?

Autumn has almost passed us by, here in Upstate, South Carolina.  That means many fruits and vegetables stopped producing and local farmers are moving to their winter crops.  However, you – the consumer- can still support your local farmers and obtain good, healthy food through CSA’s or Community Supported Agriculture programs.

What are CSA’s?

These are partnerships between local consumers and their local farmers.

Consumers pay a fee ahead of a growing season, as an investment into the farm.  Each week during a growing season, the customer receives a box or a bag of what crops were harvested that week.  Crop production can be unpredictable, therefore, customers are not always sure exactly what fruits or vegetables they will receive.

Advantages of participating in a CSA:

  • You can experiment with cooking different products you may not be accustom
  • Expand your culinary repertoire
  • Produce is usually cheaper than the same amount at “retail value.”
  • Can purchase organic product

 

Honey Brook Farms - joanns food bites

http://honeybrookorganicfarm.com/

Honey Brook Farms

In Pennington, New Jersey, Honey Brook Farms allows their CSA participants to pay their fee, but at harvest time, each week, customer’s bring their box and pick out what they want.

Instead of prices like a retail farmers market, they have signs for the different share member plans.  Membership levels determine the quantity of what you take.

Advantage: no wasted product.  Members only pay for what they need.

Riverview Farms

Riverview Farms in north Georgia is one of the few pure “certified organic CSA’s” in the country.

West Swancy owns the small, self-sustaining farm in Ranger, Georgia; selling produce, heritage breed pork, grass-fed beef, and grains.

With several Eco-friendly practices such as: cover cropping, crop diversity, composting, and rotational grazing through pasture and forest,  West Swancy has been able to provide healthy food for his CSA members.

Riverview Farms markets their CSA program early in the season.  This allows West to stay on the farm more, as oppose to going to the farmers market each week to sell his harvest AND he can plan in advance the quantities he needs to feed his many customers without overworking his land.

Rainbeau Ridge

In Bedford Hills, New York, sits Rainbeau Ridge started in 2002 by Lisa and Mark Schwartz.  A small scale family farm providing eggs, produce and cheese to their CAP (Consumer Agriculture Partnership) members.

Members pay into what works like a “buyers club.”

Members have first access to a variety of products and the Schwartz’s can cater the farm to their members needs.

As Lisa explains, “members can buy what they want, when they want it.”  They are “sharing their bounty with the community.”  In exchange, members pay an annual membership fee which sustains the farm.

pepper - onion- community supported agriculture - joanns food bites

In any community supported agriculture program, the farmer and the consumer are at the mercy of mother nature.  However, as a community they have a shared risk.

Farmers are gratified knowing they are providing healthy food within their community, while working at their passion, farming.

CSA members obtain nutritious, organic products, while supporting their local farmer and maintaining a connection with the farmer.

[jbox color=”red”]

CSA Fall & Winter Crops

    • Kale
    • Collards
    • Swiss Chard
    • Brussels Sprouts
    • Beets
    • Carrots
    • Potatoes
    • Rutabagas
    • Cabbage
    • Celeriac
    • Winter Squash
    • Onions
    • Garlic

[/jbox]

Consider participating in a local CSA.  They are usually less expensive than you think and if you find a “pick your own” program, it could be a recreational opportunity for your family and show your children where their food really comes from.

FIND A CSA IN YOUR AREA BY CLICKING THIS LINK: http://www.localharvest.org/csa/

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Please follow and like us:
Turmeric

7 Culinary Tips for Turmeric Benefits

TurmericUsed in cooking since 600 B.C, turmeric is the root of a tropical plant related to GINGER.  Though native to the Orient, this spice is now also cultivated in India and the Caribbean.  It has a bitter, pungent flavor and an intense yellow-orange color.  In modern cuisine, it is used mainly to add both flavor and color to food.

Popular in East Indian cooking and almost always used in CURRY preparations.  It is the primary ingredient in MUSTARD and is what gives American-style prepared mustard its bright yellow color.  Powdered versions are widely available in supermarkets.  As with all spices, it should be stored in a cool, dark place for no more than 6 months.

[jbox jbox_css=”border:6px solid #7c7c7c;padding-left:2em;” vgradient=”#dfdfdf|#ffffff”radius=”10″ radius=”50″ shadow=”15″]Be aware that turmeric can stain dishes and clothes. Make sure to take precautions and wash any dishes exposed to turmeric immediately.[/jbox]

Turmeric in Indian Culture

According to some sources, up to 80 percent of people in India use some form of traditional medicine, a category which includes Ayurveda.  Ayurveda is a combination of religion and medicine.  Today, Ayurvedic medicine is considered pseudo-scientific on account of its confusion between reality and metaphysical concepts. Modernized practices derived from Ayurveda traditions are a type of alternative medicine.  In the Western world, some Ayurveda ideas have been integrated in general wellness applications and some medical use.

In Ayurvedic medicne, turmeric is used as a blood-purifier, an anti-inflammatory and anti-parasitic remedy.  Recent scientific research has confirmed its beneficial effects on the intestines, suggesting turmeric, supplemented to a diet may account for the low incidence of bowel cancer in India.  It is also used in Ayurvedic practice to treat digestive and skin problems, as well as wounds and damage to the skin.

It has also been used as a tonic for anemia because it is rich in iron.

Turmeric

Plant cultivation of turmeric

A close relative of ginger, turmeric is a perennial that can grow to over 4 feet tall.  It has shiny, pointed pairs of lance-shaped leaves and yellow flowers.  It has a yellow-colored, fleshy tuberous root, which can be boiled, dried and powdered before being used as a spice.

Plants require well-drained, moist and well-nourished soil.  A humid climate with a minimum temperature of 45ºF is necessary; therefore, in colder climates a greenhouse maybe necessary. Turmeric

Curcumin is the bright yellow chemical compound found in turmeric. Curcumin is believed to have anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and perhaps even anti-cancer properties, but more research is needed, outside of a laboratory.

Other medical uses of turmeric

An infusion of 1/2 teaspoon of turmeric power in a generous 3/4 cup of milk helps rid the body of intestinal parasites, diarrhea and sluggish digestion, as well as coughs, colds or sore throats.

Turmeric power mixed into a paste with a little chickpea flour and water can be applied externally to cuts and wounds to speed up healing, as well as a skin-smoothing paste to improve or brighten the complexion.

Incorporating 1 teaspoon of turmeric to your dinner regularly, will calm you and help in sleeping.

Dr. Oz says this “golden spice of life,” has the potential for lowering cholesterol, reducing blood sugar in diabetics, relieving arthritis, supporting liver function, improving digestion, reducing menstrual cramps, reducing inflammation in the colon, wound healing and fighting cancer.

benefits of turmeric

7 Culinary ways to get turmeric into your diet

[jbox color=”red”]

  • Infuse a half cup of olive oil with a teaspoon of turmeric and brush it onto your corn on the cob in lieu of butter.
  • When sautéing onions, sprinkle some turmeric for added flavor.
  • Add turmeric to your next rice dish for a tasty new take on rice.
  • Make a turmeric infused tea, adding honey,  cinnamon and milk
  • Toss 1/4 teaspoon of turmeric with any roasted vegetables
  • Blend a pinch of turmeric in your smoothie. The pungent flavor should be masked in a smoothie.
  • Add turmeric to any bland food to spice it up a bit.

 

[/jbox]

 

 

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Please follow and like us:

Marketing Food To Our Children – PART 4

A four part series examining the United States Government’s relationship with the agricultural industry and how that directly affects your family’s health

kids and food advertisingThere is little doubt governmental policies regarding subsidizing farmers to grow more corn, soybeans, wheat and others have not changed since the 1940’s. Originally meant to help our country out of a depression, these policies have encouraged agribusiness to develop ways to create more, cheaper products using these subsidized crops.   These cheaper products, high-fructose corn syrup, nitrates, and other “processed” foods have directly impacted the health of our country.  Leading the world in heart disease, diabetes and obesity, America is falling into a desperate health crisis.  Despite this predicament, food marketing campaigns are targeting our children.

Food stylist

The role of a food stylist is to make food look the most appetizing possible for advertising.  Almost an art form, food stylist use plenty of non-food items to create the most mouth-watering, fresh, and tantalizing images possible.

  • Hair tonic is used instead of milk – as to prevent the wilting of Cornflakes
  • Acrylic, fake ice cubes are used, instead of real ones, because real one would melt under photography light
  • Crisco is used in place of ice cream

Food stylist make the food irrestible.  Advertisers spend over $35 BILLION a year in food campaigns.  Last year, $12 BILLION alone was spent on food advertising directed to children – that is twice the amount spent 10 years ago and most of the ads are for PROCESSED FOODS.

Food for kids in advertising

children watching food tv commercialsAdvertisers like to target children because they are naive to motives by the food companies.  They accept new products and unusual flavors, more easily than adults.  According to a 2007 study conducted by the American Psychological Association, children are exposed to over 10,000 food commercials per year and the rates of obesity in America’s youth have almost tripled in the last quarter century.

Research shows that kids spend more of their own money on food, rather than clothes, music or movies. The ramifications of our children’s health are serious. The advertising industry has done such an incredible job; kids believe candy and snacks should be a part of their everyday diet.   Most advertising to kids focuses around fast food, sugar, soft drinks and candy.  In a 2009 interview with Peter Jennings, then, Grocery Manufactures of America executive Chip Kunde stated, “food manufactures are trying to market their products responsibly.” I don’t recall seeing any commercials for fruits and vegetables during Saturday morning cartoons.

How food is marketed to kids

Advertising executives admit they do not get the same return on investment advertising asparagus to kids, as they will marketing the unhealthy food products.  Advertisers use cartoon characters, bright color packaging, turn candy into breakfast cereal and they encourage kids to eat junk food in school. The food industry wants kids to ask their parents to buy these products for them and reluctantly, parents do. Author Marion Nestle explains the “nag factor,” as being, the last thing parents want to argue with their small children about…is food.

Of course, advertisers blame the parents for not protecting their children from the ads the marketers have created. However, if advertisers want to place the responsibility of food choices on the parents, then they should be marketing to parents – but they don’t.  The advertisers rely on children to nag the parents to buy the unhealthy products. These advertising tactics directly affect childhood obesity rates.
[jbox color=”red” ]

In 1979, the Federal Trade Commission began investigating the marketing of unhealthy food to children.  The FTC concluded advertising to children was unfair because they do not have the capacity to understand the intent of advertisers. Their recommendations were to either ban advertising sugar-coated products to kids under 11 years old or ban all ads to kids under 8 years old.

The FTC severely underestimated the influence of the food and broadcast industry lobbyist and their friends in Congress.  The FTC was immediately under attack.  Congress threatened to shut down and remove the entire Federal Trade Commission. Since then, no legislative talk of any kind has occurred discussing any advertising regulations to children.  AND SINCE THEN, the Surgeon General concludes obesity is the number one pressing health issue in children and in adults throughout the United States.

The exact same thing happened with the tobacco industry 30 years ago…

[jbox color=”orange” ]What do you think about how the food industry markets to children?
[/jbox]

Save

Save

Please follow and like us:

Williamston Homestead Festival

Homestead FestivalAttended the Williamston Homestead Festival last weekend.  It was a free, family friendly event held at Mineral Spring Park in downtown Williamston.  Celebrating a lifestyle of self sufficiency, the festival offered classes, vendors and a seed swap table.  Homesteading can be characterized by agriculture, textiles, clothing, or craftwork.  I wanted to learn more about sustainable plants and crops.

Useful Plant Nursery

Chuck Marsh Homestead FestivalChuck Marsh, Permaculture designer, of Useful Plant Nursery provided a very informative presentation of plants that provide benefits beyond looking pretty in your landscape.  Many plants have medicinal benefits that nature has provided since our Indian, original homesteaders, lived off the land. Marsh explained his concern for the lack of teaching our youth proper horticulture skills.  Marsh recommends every landscape plant to meet three benefits before you consider planting; food benefit, shade and pollination.  If these three criteria are met, the plant would be a perfect homestead investment.  Some plants he recommends are the following:

Elderberry bush

Elderberry bush is good for preventing colds and flue. You can mix the leaves with chicken feed to protect from bird flue.

PawPaw tree

PawPaw fruit, native to South Carolina has cancer remedy qualities similar to chemotherapy.

gooseberries

Gooseberries contain flavones & anthocyanins, which have numerous health-benefiting effects against cancer, aging, inflammation, and neurological diseases.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Currants

Although illegal in North Carolina, currants are legal in South Carolina. Loaded in fiber & can aid in digestive problems.

Rabbiteye Blueberry bush

Rabbiteye Blueberries can live to be 75 years old. The berries can slow brain aging & improve balance.

Mulberry Bush

Mulberry leaf tea can help fight diabetes. Helps the body carbs, instead of the body absorbing them.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Visitors can tour the Useful Plant Nursery by appointment.  They provide edible landscape plants, as well as design services.  Chuck is very knowledgeable and can offer advice for a new homesteader. http://www.usefulplants.org/

 

Early Bird Farms

Homesteader and proprietor of EarlyBird Farms,, Paul Coleman provided first hand experience at growing mushrooms.  His farm has three cultivated acres of gardens, a greenhouse, worm farm, aquaculture, rabbits and mushrooms.  He presented two options for growing mushrooms, in logs verses straw.

mushrooms in straw

Paul Coleman of EarlyBird Farms holds a straw cultivation of mushrooms.

mushcrooms earlybird farms

EarlyBird Farms’ mushrooms are sprouting.

If growing brown oyster mushrooms in straw bags, Paul says a 10 lb weight bag, should yield 7 lbs of mushrooms, if properly planted.

Keep mushrooms warm and moist for ideal growing conditions.

Attendees were allowed to make their own mushroom straw bag to take home.

 

The Homestead Festival was made possible by these sponsors:
South Carolina Organization for Organic Living
Carolina Farm Stewardship Association
Edible Upcountry
Earthskills Wilderness Self-Reliance School
Earthwise Learning Center

If you are interested in Homesteading or nature – you should check these out.

I highly recommend this book on homesteading.  Not only does it cover harvesting, handling and cooking items from your garden, but also, explains food preservation, such as canning, freezing and pickling your crops.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Save

Save

Save

Please follow and like us:

Distribution & Marketing of Our Food – PART 3

A four part series examining the United States Government’s relationship with the agricultural industry and how that directly affects your family’s health

processed foods in a grocery storeSo far, we have examined the United States governmental hold on our food supply and how subsidized foods are dangerous to our health.  Corn, the number one subsidized food in this country, is processed and manipulated into everything from high fructose corn syrup to feed for cattle.  The Agricultural Department and the Food and Drug Administration have created an additive, detrimental food supply, contributing to our country’s ill health and obesity.

Mass Distribution

The Grocery Manufactures of America want to sell cheap processed foods, at higher prices in order to increase their profits.  The distribution of processed foods is much cheaper and less risky than vegetables or fruits.  Because processed foods can sit in a storage facility without refrigeration, those products have a longer shelf life.  Whereas, fruits and vegetables, once harvested are on a time crunch to get them packaged and shipped to the local supermarket.  Therefore, processed foods are guaranteed residual profit.

70% of the items in a typical supermarket are processed foods

Each year the Food Marketing Institute holds an conference where new food items are introduced, which 90% of those items contain subsidized crops. These new products contain exactly what we should be eating less of.   Still, Chip Kunde of the Grocery Manufactures of American contends the mass distribution of low cost, processed foods is not the root of the obesity problem in America.  In a 2009 interview with Peter Jennings, Mr. Kunde said, “eating less will not solve the obesity problem. Lack of exercise is the cause of the obesity problem.”

I have asked three separate internal medicine doctors – all of which agree,  physical activity will not solve your overweight problem!  All of the doctors I spoke with adamantly contend, what matters is the kind of food you eat and how much you eat.

However, if the public were to start eating less, and eating more healthy foods, it would be detrimental, almost catastrophic for the agricultural industry.

Marketing Strategies

Author Marion Nestle explains the food industry’s strategy for encouraging processed foods as follows:

  • Convenience
  • Ubiquitous
  • Encourages eating more frequently – at every special occasion
  • Eating larger portions

 

Barry Popkin, Professor of Nutrition at UNC at Chapel Hill agrees, “in the 60’s and 70’s, we were eating low-fat, health snacks, like milk and fruit. Now, we are eating high salt, high fat, unhealthy snacks, like chips and candy.”  Which is a direct correlation in the rise of heart disease, diabetes and other “bad” diet related illnesses.

 

Headed in the right direction

Whole Foods, one of the largest health-conscious grocery stores in America, maintains a list of “Unacceptable Ingredients for Food,” of which they will not carryThe list contains over 78 ingredients, such as aspartame, MSG, and high fructose corn syrup.  Most of the “banned ingredients” are exactly what you would find in processed foods. In addition to its restrictions on ingredients, Whole Foods also bans food items based on concerns about animal welfare, genetically modified organisms, and sustainability. With 300 locations nationwide, Whole Foods says they are giving their demographic what they want.  Compared with WalMart, the largest grocery store chain in the country, if all 78 ingredients banned by Whole Foods are taken into account, roughly 54 percent of food items sold at a Walmart would be prohibited at Whole Foods.

Click to read more about Whole Foods verses WalMart

Michael Mudd, former Vice-President of Kraft was trying to make a difference when he retired in 2004.  He had ordered a wholesale review of all of Kraft’s products, to make “small, meaningful” changes, to promote more healthy nutrition. He stated in a 2013 interview, “I left the industry when I finally had to acknowledge that reform would never come from within.  I could no longer accept a business model that put profits over public health — and no one else should have to, either.”

Responsibility of the food industry

The food industry does not accept responsibility for the obesity epidemic in adults. Chip Kunde claims it is a matter of personal choice.  However, Dr. David Ludwig, associate professor of pediatrics at Harvard argues,  “there’s the incessant advertising and marketing of the poorest quality foods imaginable.”  Furthermore, “the food industry would love to explain obesity as a problem of personal responsibility, since it takes the onus off them for marketing fast food, soft drinks, and other high-calorie, low-quality products.” See for quote

In 2013, the food and beverage industry as a whole spent a total of 136.53 million U.S. dollars on advertising.  The Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity, based at Yale University believe that the number and frequency of food and beverage television advertisements, particularly those aimed at children, has contributed to the level of obesity in America.  Our final installment will be an examination and how the food industry markets to our children.
[jbox color=”red” ]PART 1 – Government Subsidizes Our Food

PART 2 -Does the Government Decide What You Eat

PART 3 – Distribution of Our Food

PART 4 – Marketing of Food to Our Children
[/jbox]

 

 

Save

Save

Save

Please follow and like us: