Our society is obsessed with the flavor of an orange, ribbed, and often homely looking squash. And thanks in large part to a certain spiced latte, pumpkin flavoring has been used in everything from M&M’s to chili and hummus.
A flavor that’s become so ubiquitous can be downright annoying, but it’s not the pumpkins’ fault. The fact is, the ugly squash is a bona fide super food, high in fiber, potassium, and vitamins C and E. The pumpkin is also full of carotenoid, an antioxidant shown to reduce the risk of cancer. So, when done right, a pumpkin treat can be a relatively healthy diet extravagance.
We’ve compiled some delectable recipes by five celebrity chefs to give you a little pumpkin-spiration. When you decide to whip up a pumpkin dessert, remember that pumpkin pie filling and pumpkin filling are two totally different things. And you must never discard the seeds within, as they are full of healthy fats, zinc, fiber, iron, and manganese and make a pretty killer snack on their own.
Martha Stewart, the unofficial queen of Halloween craftiness, came up with this super easy recipe. You need less butter and brown sugar than you might think, plus honey, and pumpkin seeds. This recipe has all the decadence and crunch of old school peanut brittle, but the pumpkin seeds give it a nice seasonal, healthy kick. (more…)
The wheels of school lunch reform are finally starting to turn, even if pizza is still considered a vegetable.
The days of fuzzy chicken nuggets, grey burgers, and gelatinous square pizza are fading away. President Obama signed the Child Nutrition Bill three years ago, which gave the USDA authority to set nutritional standards for all foods regularly sold in schools during the school day, including vending machines, the “a la carte” lunch lines, and school stores.
Congress passed the $4 billion bill, but regular citizens are responsible for getting their attention. Although schools have started serving more nutritious foods—breads and crusts with whole grains, fruits and vegetables, salads—the war is still on. The USDA had a PR nightmare in 2012 with “pink slime”—a meat byproduct made of random cow parts and ammonia—yet schools in Iowa, Nebraska, and South Dakota continue to serve the stuff.
On a global scale, school lunch reform has been a common theme. In England, flamboyant chef, Jamie Oliver, took up the cause, and in the U.S., blogger Sarah Wu (aka Mrs. Q), First Lady Michelle Obama, and Chef Ann Cooper have carried the torch. All of their efforts worked to ensure that the future leaders of the world wouldn’t be fed the cheapest, most processed, and least nutritious junk imaginable.
There is something truly rotten about Monsanto.
The bio tech agricultural giant has been named #12 in the “prestigious” World’s Best Multinational Workplaces by Great Place to Work. A dubious award, considering this innocent Google search:
Evil, bad, unethical, and harmful. Sounds like a really great place to work, huh? More on that in a minute, but let’s discuss the merit of this particular award first.
Great Places to Work is a San Francisco-based research and consulting firm that decided three years ago to begin naming the best places in the world to work. The criteria is based on workplace culture, and companies can only be eligible for the list if they have at least 5,500 employees—40 percent of which must work outside the company’s home country.
These accolades, bestowed upon 25 companies, aren’t based on ethics, fair business practices, or community service—they are survey-based and reflect the feelings of millions of employees from thousands of different companies. All of Monsanto’s happy employees might frown if they knew about the evil practices of their employer. The fact that McDonald’s—the fast food chain that basically admitted their full-time employees couldn’t survive on their wages—made this list even more suspect.
In short, Monsanto has not won a humanitarian or global stewardship award, and probably never will. (more…)
When news broke last week of an unearthed smattering of parchment containing obese President William Howard Taft’s daily diet regimen, Mary Hartley, RD was the first person I thought of. Our resident nutrition expert with the fiery attitude would surely have a wicked take on Big Billy’s nutrition, and she didn’t disappoint.
When asked if diet and nutrition had changed a great deal since Taft’s presidency 100 years ago, she replied, “Not much. And it pisses me off!”
Now why would Mary be pissed off at Taft’s diet? First, I’ll break down exactly what he was eating.
Breakfast: gluten biscuits and lean meat
Lunch: lean meat, butterless veggies, and unsweetened fruit
Dinner: plain salad, lean meat or fish, more flavorless fruits and veggies, and one more dusty gluten biscuit
In 2003, a handful of young software developers from tiny Estonia wrote the code for a voice-over IP program and called it Skype. Derived from the words “sky” and “peer,” Skype was a video chatting and instant messaging application that allowed grad students studying abroad to chat with their significant others back home. OK, that wasn’t the only thing it was used for, but more than 10 years and $8.5 billion later—thanks Microsoft!—the uses of Skype have outgrown simple peer-to-peer communication.
The live and instant nature of Skype holds the senders and receivers of information accountable, making the program perfect for dietitians and personal trainers. Citing affordability and optimum time management, both our resident nutrition expert Mary Hartley RD, and the wellness team at Retrofit, among many others in their shared industry use Skype to counsel patients on diet and fitness.
“I could base an entire practice around Skype,” said Mary, who meets with clients in real life and over video chat. Living in New York City, Skype saves her and her patients gas money, traffic time, and office expenses. “Their (patients) appointments are booked on their Gmail calendars, they pay via PayPal before their appointment, and then we’re on,” said Mary. (more…)