Blog

RD or Nutritionist: What's in a Name?

January 04, 2011
Sherri Meyer, MG Registered Dietitian

Happy New Year!  Tis the season for new resolutions. If you happen to turn on any news show, you will likely hear a nutrition “professional” dispensing advice about your health for the New Year.  As a nutrition professional, it is easy for me to dismiss claims that are not backed by science, but for the general population all this conflicting advice only adds to the confusion.

Factory Farms…Yuk.

By: Denise Simmons, Corporate Chef

Factory farms dot the landscape throughout the United States. Some argue that we need to farm in this fashion to feed the billions of people in the world. I understand the concept behind this argument, but wonder at what cost are we churning out more and more poor quality meat/food in the name of combating hunger?

Factory farms are proven to be devastating to the environment. The pig farms of eastern Virginia and North Carolina have been in the news a good deal the past few years because of the havoc they’ve wreaked on the wetlands along the east coast, due mostly to vast pools of animal waste. There is also substantial data to support the theory that cattle create more methane gas emissions than the entire US transportation system. Methane gas is one of the leading contributors to global warming.
Factory farms are also a breeding ground for bacteria. The animals of factory farms live in their own waste. They are in horribly crowded conditions. These factors alone create an atmosphere much more likely to pass on the potential for food borne illness such as E.Coli & Salmonella. The recent egg recall of 2010 is a perfect example.

Then there’s the ethical questions surrounding factory farms. Factory farms are notorious for cruelty, abuse and neglect. In my opinion, they are the method of choice primarily to make money for the meat/cattle industry. Organic and pasture-raised cattle farms prove that animals can have quality of life before making the ultimate sacrifice so that we can eat. I know it costs more to raise animals this way, but I for one would much rather pay for meat raised in a humane, sustainable, healthy manner than be able to go to my local drive through and pay less than $1 for a burger.

Let’s talk a little about that $1 burger. With the growing obesity epidemic, I wonder about a society that places so much value in a food system that supports and promotes lots of cheap, fatty, high calorie food. The hamburger might only cost $1 at the time of consumption, but how much does it actually cost in terms of health care costs, lost work time, environmental clean-up, food recalls, global warming, etc?

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Dear Anthony

December 07, 2010
Denise Simmons, Corporate Chef

I came across this article on Anthony Bourdain while looking at foodie blogs on one of my favorite websites, writersnreaders. I, too, have a somewhat love/hate relationship with Bourdain…I love his passion for and knowledge of food, but sometimes find his unyielding arrogance against all that do not agree with his viewpoint and philosophy to be overbearing…or distasteful…pun intended.  Thank you Arya, author of “Taking Snarky to New Heights.”  You are definitely not alone!  But, Anthony…you know I love you…just not all the time.

Picture courtesy of WNYC New York Public Radio. Cropped and edited by Daniel Case

 

Kick The Cookies Up a Notch

December 07, 2010
Sherri Meyer, MG Registered Dietitian

I initially thought I would write about “holiday nutrition survival tips” however, Leslie beat me to it in Lighting Up The Season!  Given that it’s also the season to be somewhat indulgent, my topic shifted to baking.
 
I love making cookies and what better excuse to bake some than Christmas?!  This past Sunday I had the opportunity to decorate cookies till my heart was content at Sweet Violet Cake Company (formerly Culina).  I attended the Holiday Cooking & Decorating Workshop, and though I was clearly out of my league, it inspired me to take my holiday baking to a new level.  In fact, I informed my husband that our annual cookie decorating activity is going to be kicked up a notch this year.   One of my favorite holiday traditions is spending an evening decorating sugar cookies with my husband. In the past it has involved bowls of colored frosting, butter knives and toothpicks.  This year it will include pastry bags (!), edible glitter, squeeze bottles and of course a cup of hot cocoa!  I’m thinking they’d look perfect on this cool (southern style!) farmbasket cookie plate.
For a great cookie base, try Cece’s Cookies…yum.
 

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Local Offerings November 30th

North Carolina’s diverse climates continue to provide us with beautiful local produce from the mountains to the coast. Hot items this week are Rainbow Kale from the Goat Lady farm, and Hydroponic Spinach from Flora Ridge Farm.

Enjoy!

Reynolda Farm Market:
Red Potatoes
Cucumbers
Cabbage
Parnsnips
Red Delicious Apples
Beets
Sweet Potatoes
Acorn Squash
Spaghetti Squash
Bean Sprouts
Hydroponic Spinach
Collard Greens

Eastern Carolina Organics:
Red Leaf Lettuce
Cherry and Grape Tomatoes
Rainbow Chard

Goat Lady Vegetable Farm:
Head Lettuce
Arugula
Kale
Parsley, Dill

Other:
Chicken – Hopkins Poultry
Sausage – Neese’s Country Sausage
Flour Grits, and Cornmeal – Booneville Flour and Feed
Heavy Cream, Half and Half, Whole Milk – Homeland Creamery

My Thanksgiving

November 22, 2010
Denise Simmons, Corporate Chef

Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday.  Just thinking about it brings about fond memories of warmth, comfort and time spent together with family & friends.  My family has enjoyed the same food traditions for as long as I can remember, and my hope is that my niece will continue them with her family.  
 
Growing up, we always roasted a whole bird-the bigger the better. It was a source of pride (and, I think, bragging rights) for mom to be roasting the biggest bird of all our friends & relatives.  The smallest bird she would consider roasting (also known in the family as a pigeon) was 20 lbs. We now do a turkey breast, and while it’s much more appropriate, it just seems to lack the ‘wow’ factor of that beautifully golden brown turkey.

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Local Offerings November 8th

Still lots of great fresh local produce coming in the back door at Guilford Dining. Tony at Flora Ridge is off the list this week due to a bug problem, but should be back next week with his famous Savoy Leaf Spinach. Stay tuned!

Produce:

Reynolda Farm Market
Slicing Tomatoes
Yellow Squash
Zucchini Squash
Eggplant
Granny Smith Apples
Red Delicious Apples

Eastern Carolina Organics
Bok Choy
Cherry Tomatoes
Salad Mix
Arugula
Green Cabbage
Rainbow Chard

Other:
Chicken – Hopkins Poultry
Sausage – Neese’s Country Sausage
Flour Grits, and Cornmeal – Booneville Flour and Feed
Heavy Cream, Half and Half, Whole Milk – Homeland Creamery

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