I have been a vegetarian for about 14 years. I know it makes me healthier and it gives me great energy. I also know it’s not a magic bullet for weight loss and good health. You can do it wrong.
For example, vegetarians can start out as carbitarians. Pasta is an easy dish that pleases most everyone, making it a staple for new vegetarians. Eating lots of fruit and vegetables seems to be easy enough but what else do vegetarians eat? Where does the protein come from?
If you give up all animal products (making the jump to veganism) it can become even more confusing. You may start to rely on overly processed vegan substitutes that can be loaded with extra sugar or chemicals to make up for the missing animal ingredients. (more…)
Chocolate bars. Take and bake pizza and cookies. Popcorn. Lollipops. Candy canes. Candied nuts. The list of typical school fundraisers goes on and on, and none of it is any good for you.
True, there’s always wrapping paper, pencils or magazines, but how much of that does one family need? Many schools have come up with new and creative ways to raise funds, with the added bonus that some of these new fundraisers work hard to help improve the nutrition in the students. After all, kids who eat healthier have better immune systems, which translates to fewer missed days at school. Kids who aren’t tired due to a poor diet have more energy and often have less discipline issues – all benefits that every school could use.
Here are some great healthy fundraising ideas for your school to try:
The New York Road Runners serve over 100,000 kids a week across the country in their youth fitness program Mighty Milers. Currently available in every state in the country, NYRR provides schools with the tools necessary to host successful Fitness Fundraisers based on mileage goals. In March 2010, P.S. 269 in East Flatbush, Brooklyn, NY’s “Little Haiti,” held a quarter mile charity run for the victims of the earthquake in Haiti and raised $3,200. One year later, P.S. 269 had another Fitness Fundraiser and raised over $5,000 for the Wounded Warrior Project.
Years ago, people went to one market or general store to pick up all of the groceries and household items on their shopping list. Today, we have a variety of choices when it comes to purchasing food and beverages, from super stores and warehouse clubs to farmers markets and joining a CSA in your community.
CSAs and farmers markets are similar in that both offer local, homegrown produce to customers at prices that are often much cheaper than at the grocery store, however they can differ in price, convenience and quality depending on where your food was grown. Regardless of whether you shop at a market or join a CSA, you are receiving fresher, higher-quality produce because it hasn’t been treated with the chemicals or preservatives necessary to mass-distribute and ship it around the world.
What is a CSA?
CSA, or community-supported agriculture, is a program that lets you purchase “shares” from a farm in exchange for a weekly delivery of fruits, vegetables and other farm products like milk, eggs and dairy.
If you aren’t satisfied with the cost or quality of the produce at your local grocery store or can’t make it to a farmers market, joining a CSA program is a way to ensure that you have the fruits and vegetables you need to prepare healthy meals.
Typically, farmers will sell “shares” to the public, which may include fruits, vegetables or other types of farm products like milk or eggs. Consumers can either pick up or opt to have their shares delivered directly to their door and receive a weekly box or bag of seasonal produce.
“I’ve been participating in an individual CSA with my farmer in upstate NY for the past three years,” said Anne Maxfield, entrepreneur and founder of The Accidental Locavore. “It’s been a wonderful experience. Besides getting the freshest possible produce from a farm where sustainable farming is the standard, I’ve been exposed to all sorts of vegetables (and some fruit) that probably wouldn’t have made it into my shopping cart at the supermarket.”
Yesterday, Mayor Michael Bloomberg signed a bill that will encourage city agencies to purchase more locally grown food, and another to reduce wasteful packaging. According to WNYC, the bill will includes foods that are grown, produced and processed in New York.
“These provisions will help the city and the public better track where agencies’ food comes from and where tax dollars are spent,” Bloomberg said. “It will also result in agencies buying much more food from farms and processing facilities in the Empire State.”
The law further requires that an annual report to be published on the food the city buys. Earlier this summer, City Council became the first city government to participate in a community-supported agriculture (CSA) program. “It may cost a tiny bit more, but it saves money in the end because it can stay longer in the schools. It can stay longer in the person’s home, and it’s fresher,” Manhattan City Councilwoman Gale Brewer told NY1.