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FED UP? Get Real

6 Oct

Facts-in-School-copy_optBelow is a repost of my review of the documentary FED UP which is now available on DVD and BLU-RAY or through iTunes and Amazon. Since then, producers Katie Couric and Laurie David successfully have  completed a Kickstarter campaign which will provide every school in America a free FED UP Food Education Kit.

We started this campaign because we believe that kids deserve to learn the truth about what’s really in their food and how they can make healthy food choices despite the relentless marketing and backwards policies that tell them otherwise.

Now we’re one step closer to arming our students with the most powerful weapon we have to fight back — knowledge.

Please follow this link if you are a teacher and would like to REGISTER to receive the free kit which includes a copy of the film in both English and Spanish, an exhibition license to allow for unlimited school screenings, a 60 minute classroom version of the film and a comprehensive curricular resources package created by REACT to FILM.

FED UP REVIEW

Fed Up

Seeing the new documentary FED UP at the Sundance Film Festival last week inflamed an already nagging disbelief that this generation of children face a shorter life expectancy than their parents due to the rise in obesity. At the same time, it provided a sense of hope that the film may follow in the footsteps of producer Laurie David‘s 2006 Sundance hit An Inconvenient Truth which brought the issue of global warming to the forefront and galvanized a call-to-action that established it as not just a political challenge but a moral imperative. 

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Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution Day

8 May

Jamie Oliver Blog of the MonthIt is an honor to have been selected April’s Blog of the Month by Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution team. I became a fan of his before he was known as a food activist when a friend raved about a recipe she’d made from her new cookbook The Naked Chef. Once I got past what I assumed to be a typical literal reaction and was relieved of a somewhat disturbing image, I got to hear in detail about the book’s amazing but simple recipes like Rosemary, Garlic, Lemon MarinadePork with Peaches and Huge Yorkshire Puddings.

These days, Jamie Oliver is well-known for his pioneering efforts to address the childhood obesity crisis in the U.S. and Great Britain. He is a proponent of cooking in a simple,  unadorned way (hence the nickname) mirroring my own Make It Simple Cooking Philosophy which is to:

Stock up on whole staples and fresh produce and proteins, use the guidelines of recipes and your intuition, enjoy what you create and worry not about perfection.

FOOD REVOLUTION DAY – FRIDAY, MAY 16

Food Revolution DayNext Friday, May 16th is FOOD REVOLUTION DAY, Jamie Oliver’s global call-to-action which he hopes will inspire the cooking and eating of good, real food and raise awareness of how what we eat affects our health and well-being.

The focus this year is on educating kids about food and where it comes from and equipping them with basic cooking skills.

Healthy diets are critical to healthy lives but our children lack the knowledge to make the right food choices or the skills to create healthy, wholesome and nutritious meals. Jamie Oliver

For a list of ideas on how you and your kids, school, workplace or community can participate and celebrate, click HERE.

GETTING KIDS COOKING

What was the trigger that shifted my son from cooking spectator to once-in-a-while initiator and leader in the kitchen?

Crepes

Had I suggested he make crepes or some other reasonably enticing item on his own, he likely would have insisted that many other priorities took precedence. It was cooking with a small group of classmates for a project that gave him an appreciation for the act of creating something delicious.

If cooking is not a part of the home routine, it is even more imperative that children learn at least the basics of cooking in school.

We need every child to understand where food comes from, how to cook it, and how it affects their body. This is about setting kids up with the knowledge they need to make better food choices for life. Jamie Oliver

Otherwise, as Alice Waters, the founder of The Edible Schoolyard Project who was recently honored one of Time Magazines most influential people of 2014, has said “We’ll pay out back if we don’t pay up front.

Find a selection of Jamie Oliver’s kid friendly recipes HERE.

MORE ABOUT JAMIE OLIVER

PRIZE WINNING TED TALK: Teach Every Child About Food                 

Jamie Oliver TED Talk

RESOURCES for TEACHERS: Toolkits for Change                                     

Jamie Oliver Toolkits for Change

“These toolkits arm you with facts, empower you with ideas and support you in making real change on the ground. The Food Revolution Team has worked with experts in the field to create toolkits specific to a number of different issues facing our schools. They are meant to be used, printed, shared and passed on! Together we have an opportunity to support schools in making sustainable change.”

BIG RIG TEACHING KITCHEN                                                                         

Big Rig Teaching Kitchen The mission of this 70-foot long mobile kitchen is to, through free teacher training, basic home cooking classes and take-home recipes, improve health and spread food education. The 40 week journey to underserved communities across the state of California winds up its tour in San Diego this month. See a schedule of events HERE.

If you’re celebrating Food Revolution Day next Friday, please share your plans below in the comments!

 

Marin Sun Farms: The True Pasture to Fork Experience with Chef Cooking Tip

1 May

Farm to Table has become a common restaurant tagline as the burgeoning movement touting the benefits of local, organic foods is increasingly influencing patron purchasing decisions. The notion of garden beds brimming with perfectly aligned rows of greens or cattle grazing rolling pastoral hillsides can’t help but incentivize diners to drop in for some deliciously fresh fare.

Farm

Not only will you get a meal made with ingredients at the peak of flavor but you’ll be supporting restaurant owners and chefs who buy from local farm suppliers.

MARIN SUN FARMS RESTAURANT

David Evans, a fourth generation cattle rancher in Point Reyes, is a pioneer in the local meat movement. His restaurant Marin Sun Farms is more than just a dining destination as it is located at the gateway of a national seashore with endless possibilities of exploration. Just off the main street in Point Reyes Station, it’s a perfect start or end to a day’s adventures with incredible food that comes from the land that surrounds it.

For a review of the restaurant, click below for my segment on Check Please Bay Area or go to the KQED website for a written version.

Check Please Bay Area

Check Please Bay Area Review of Marin Sun Farms

IS GRASS-FED BEEF WORTH A HIGHER PRICE?

The price of a burger at Marin Farms will run you $15. It’s juicy and deliciously prepared with MSF Bacon, Gruyère cheese and house made pickles. And because grass-fed beef is lower in calories and has more omega-3 fatty acids, antioxidants, beta-carotene, vitamins and minerals, it’s healthier than your typical burger.

Marin Sun Farms Burger

But taste and nutrition aside, is grass-fed beef worthy of a higher price tag? For many, the value lies in choosing to eat meat more responsibly with consideration to the welfare of animals and the environmental impact of industrial farming practices.

MORE on MARIN SUN FARMS 

Sustainable Food Model and Food Shed             

Marin Sun FarmsFor information on Marin Sun Farms mission to create a more sustainable food system and their Food Shed approach, click here.

And for a list of their co-producers, click here.

Impact of Drought           

Marin Sun Farms DroughtLack of rain in Northern California is reducing the amount of grazing land and impacting grass-fed meat production. For the first time, Marin Sun Farms is needing to supplement with grain. To be transparent, they have created three-tiered labeling system. For updated information, click here.

Tips for Making the Perfect Steak Indoors                  

from Marin Sun Farms Head Chef Paul Bondick 

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  • Sprinkle kosher salt and pepper on both sides of the meat and rub with a little bit of olive oil. Let sit at room temperature for a 1/2 hour.
  • Heat a cast iron skillet over medium-high flame until hot.
  • Sear meat for 3-4 minutes a side.
  • Place the skillet in the oven for 8 minutes for medium-rare. Use a temperature probe for accuracy.
  • Spritz with lemon juice. (Optional)

For meat perfectly done to your specifications, use the following for internal temperature:

Rare 125º

Medium rare 130º-135º

Medium 135º-140º

Medium well 140º-150º

Well done 155+º

 

Why the Rise in Childhood Obesity? Too Much Food, Too Little Exercise or Something Else?

31 Jan

Seeing the new documentary Fed Up at the Sundance Film Festival last week inflamed an already nagging disbelief that this generation of children face a shorter life expectancy than their parents due to the rise in obesity. At the same time, it provided a sense of hope that the film may follow in the footsteps of producer Laurie David‘s 2006 Sundance hit An Inconvenient Truth which brought the issue of global warming to the forefront and galvanized a call-to-action that established it as not just a political challenge but a moral imperative. 

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Food for Thought and Recipes for the Week

18 Jan

Below is a weekly food roundup, locally and beyond, of ideas for what to cook, where to eat, things to consider and actions to inspire. If you have something to add to a future Friday Food list, please share it in the comments section below. Enjoy the weekend!

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Judy Rodgers: Her Philosophy, Restaurant and Recipe for Salmon with White Beans, Bacon and Red Wine

6 Dec

Judy Rodgers, 1956-2013

Raw ingredients trump recipes every time; farmers and ranchers who coax the best from the earth can make any of us appear to be a great cook. JR

Twenty years ago, having recently arrived in San Francisco and feeling the financial sting of a first and last months’ rent and security deposit, the plan was made that as soon as the checkbook took a rest, we’d dine at Zuni Café because that was THE place to get a taste of the iconic California cuisine that in part fueled the pull westward. This was my kind of eating. Food that didn’t stretch too deep to the side of unusual but was far from typical and showcased the fresh ingredients that California is known for. Continue reading

Thanksgiving: Recipes, Gadgets and Food News

26 Nov

Wordle

EAT

TURKEY

Local Diestel Ranch birds do have that idyllic image tied in. But being fed a 100% vegetarian diet milled right there at the farm and slowly raised in the Sierra Nevada Foothills does increase the price tag.

Diestel

Click on image for more information

Check out this interesting breakdown of what it costs to bring that turkey from farm to feast. A true bargain.

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Friday Food: Links to Recipes, Restaurants, Gadgets, News and More

16 Nov

Wordle

Below is a weekly list of ideas for what to cook, where to eat, things to consider and actions to inspire. If you have something to add to a future Friday Food list, please share it in the comments section below. Enjoy the weekend.

EAT

Cowgirl Creamery Cooks               

Want to innovate the cheese platter this holiday? Check out this appealing new book by Sue Conley and Peggy Smith of Cowgirl Creamery, two cheese makers based out of Pt. Reyes who share recipes and what it takes to become a cheese pioneer. 

Cowgirl Creamery Cooks

Click on Image for Ordering information

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Friday Food: Links to Recipes, Restaurants, Gadgets, News and More

1 Nov

Wordle

Below is a weekly food roundup, locally and beyond, of ideas for what to cook, where to eat, things to consider and actions to inspire. If you have something to add to a future Friday Food list, please share it in the comments section below. Enjoy the weekend!

EAT

Gluten Free Flours                    

As alternative flours surface more and more, from coconut and corn to millet and amaranth, here is a helpful guide from Carrie Vitt of Deliciously Organic with information on those that are easy to locate or make. You’ll also find a recipe for her Gluten and Grain Free Pumpkin Whoopie Pies.

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Classic Chicken or Turkey Tetrazzini

1 Nov

This recipe has a steady spot on the dinner rotation and for good reason. It’s easy to prepare, contains no unusual ingredients and even though chicken tetrazzini might have a gut-buster reputation, can be altered to the lighter side.

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