WBEZ | Food http://www.wbez.org/tags/food Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Morning Shift: Strange food to get into the mood on Valentine's Day http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift-tony-sarabia/2014-02-14/morning-shift-strange-food-get-mood-valentines-day <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/Cover goat soup Flickr pelican.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>We celebrate Valentine&#39;s Day with unusual, sexy food and a soundtrack to fit the occasion. </p><div class="storify"><iframe src="//storify.com/WBEZ/morning-shift-strange-food-to-get-into-the-mood-on/embed?header=false" width="100%" height=750 frameborder=no allowtransparency=true></iframe><script src="//storify.com/WBEZ/morning-shift-strange-food-to-get-into-the-mood-on.js?header=false"></script><noscript>[<a href="//storify.com/WBEZ/morning-shift-strange-food-to-get-into-the-mood-on" target="_blank">View the story "Morning Shift: Strange food to get into the mood on Valentine's Day" on Storify</a>]</noscript></div></p> Fri, 14 Feb 2014 08:40:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift-tony-sarabia/2014-02-14/morning-shift-strange-food-get-mood-valentines-day Global Activism: Foods Resource Bank helping small farmers abroad http://www.wbez.org/series/global-activism/global-activism-foods-resource-bank-helping-small-farmers-abroad-109559 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/wv GA-Foods Resource Bank.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>Marv Baldwin left his for-profit sales career to lead his church&#39;s effort to help small farmers around the world live sustainable and dignified lives. Baldwin has traveled to Kenya, Ethiopia, Nicaragua and several other countries. <span id="docs-internal-guid-2c9b1612-bbdd-553f-47b8-cb8824f78d31">For </span><em><a href="http://www.wbez.org/series/global-activism">Global Activism</a></em>, Baldwin talks about the course of his life and work as executive director of <a href="http://www.foodsresourcebank.org">Foods Resource Bank</a> (FRB), based in suburban Western Springs.</p><p dir="ltr">&nbsp;</p><p dir="ltr">&nbsp;</p><p dir="ltr">FRB&#39;s stated mission: &quot;As a Christian response to world hunger, FRB links the grassroots energy and commitment of the U.S. agricultural community with the capability and desire of small farmers in developing countries to grow lasting solutions to hunger.&quot;</p><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/131025307&amp;color=ff5500&amp;auto_play=false&amp;show_artwork=true" width="100%"></iframe></p></p> Thu, 23 Jan 2014 09:28:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/series/global-activism/global-activism-foods-resource-bank-helping-small-farmers-abroad-109559 How to have the best Friendsgiving ever http://www.wbez.org/blogs/leah-pickett/2013-11/how-have-best-friendsgiving-ever-109233 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/Friends, S10, The One with the Late Thanksgiving.jpg" alt="" /><p><p><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="315" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/gC11LBLgecc" width="560"></iframe></p><p>With Thanksgiving just a couple of days away, many Chicagoans are already preparing to travel home and spend time with their respective families, whether they be tucked away in the suburbs or scattered across the United States.</p><p>But for the significant number of college students and transplants who may not be able to afford a plane ticket home this year, or for those who have no family to go to, the holiday most commonly associated with food, football, and family can certainly extend to friends as well.&nbsp;</p><p>As a <a href="http://www.wbez.org/blogs/leah-pickett/2013-05/10-misconceptions-about-chicago-107424" target="_blank">Texas transplant</a> who has spent many holidays away from home while pursuing a film degree at Columbia College Chicago, I have had the pleasure of attending and hosting many &quot;Friendsgivings&quot; with similarily displaced twenty-somethings.</p><p>Some of my fondest memories have taken place around those makeshift holiday tables, as we laughed over the smorgasbord of dishes we had miraculously cooked without the use of a microwave and realized, perhaps for the first time, that adulthood wouldn&#39;t be so scary after all. As long as we had each other, we would be alright.&nbsp;</p><p>Friendsgiving has become something of a rite of passage for urban millennials; I know few young city-dwellers who have not attended at least one. And yet, an occasion to give thanks and celebrate with friends (because for many people, their friends are their family) amounts to much more than a passing trend or a buzzword for the <a href="http://www.hollywood.com/news/tv/44636122/we-rank-the-best-friends-thanksgiving-episodes" target="_blank">fab five</a>&nbsp;generation.</p><p>Ready to have the best Friendsgiving ever?</p><p>First, some universal ground rules:</p><p><strong>Offer to arrive early and help the host. </strong></p><p>As soon as the official announcement goes out, ask the host if you can lend a hand with cooking, cleaning, or dessert-frosting before the majority of guests are scheduled to arrive. Hopeless in the kitchen? Help set the table, string lights, or put up decorations instead.</p><p><strong>Do not show up empty-handed.</strong></p><p>Be a gracious guest. This applies to any party to which one is invited; but the whole point of Friendsgiving is to share what you have with others, so providing at least one token of gratitude is essential. A homemade casserole or a six-pack of locally-brewed beer is always welcome, but thinking outside the box helps too. Arriving with extra napkins, plates, cups, silverware, serving spoons, records, or a perfect playlist could save the day!</p><p><b>Negotiate the potluck beforehand.</b></p><p>When making a Facebook event or sending e-vites, also make sure to coordinate who will be bringing what. Otherwise, you might end up with more PBR than food, or three pumpkin pies and no pecan. Accomodate for guests who are vegetarian, vegan, or gluten-free, and make sure that all food groups (turkey, stuffing, potatoes, vegetables, cornbread, pie, booze) are properly covered.&nbsp;</p><p>Next, a few pro-tips:</p><p><strong>Get crafty.</strong></p><p>On an inherently creative holiday like Friendsgiving, arts and crafts aren&#39;t just reserved for the kids&#39; table. Keep guests entertained with <a href="http://www.buzzfeed.com/mikespohr/23-clever-crafts-to-keep-the-kids-busy-on-thanksgiving" target="_blank">clever crafts</a>&nbsp;they can take home as souveneirs, like hand-painted Plymouth rocks or thankful jars. Look to design blogs like <a href="http://www.decoist.com/2013-11-13/stylish-friendsgiving-feast-decor/" target="_blank">Decoist</a>&nbsp;for direction on&nbsp;festive table-settings and other whimsical decor.&nbsp;</p><p><strong>Drink and be merry.</strong></p><p>Without the usual bevy of impressionable young children and strait-laced older relatives to accomodate, the typical Friendsgiving has become an ideal occasion for drinking games, post food coma bar outings, and endless rounds of <a href="http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2013-08-18/business/ct-biz-0818-confidential-cards-20130818_1_josh-dillon-facebook-page-co-creators" target="_blank">Cards Against Humanity</a>. If you don&#39;t drink, body-warming beverages like virgin egg nog or crisp apple cider will also hit the spot.&nbsp;</p><p><strong>Make new traditions.&nbsp;</strong></p><p>Perhaps the Thanksgiving traditions in your family include waking up early to watch the Macy&#39;s Thanksgiving Day Parade, turning the channel to college football, or playing a game of pigskin in your own backyard. The beauty of Friendsgiving is that you can either recreate these memories with your best buds or make some new ones.</p><p>Watch the Thanksgiving episodes of &quot;Friends&quot; and &quot;How I Met Your Mother.&quot; Run the Turkey Trot together. Bring a new dish (like<a href="http://www.austin360.com/weblogs/relish-austin/2013/nov/20/thanksgiving-2013-discovering-joys-friendsgiving/" target="_blank"> cheesy hashbrown casserole</a>)&nbsp;or drink (like<a href="http://food52.com/blog/8845-my-broke-friendsgiving" target="_blank"> apple rye punch</a>)&nbsp;to begin a new Friendsgiving staple.</p><p>Most importantly, let your friends know how much you care. Loved ones are the reason for the season, after all.</p><p><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="315" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/tqpPFT-F-bs" width="560"></iframe></p><p><em>Leah Pickett writes about popular culture for WBEZ. Follow her on Twitter <a href="https://twitter.com/leahkpickett" target="_blank">@leahkpickett</a>.</em></p></p> Tue, 26 Nov 2013 08:00:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/leah-pickett/2013-11/how-have-best-friendsgiving-ever-109233 Morning Shift: Authorities look to future solutions for DCFS' sometimes troubled system http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift-tony-sarabia/2013-11-20/morning-shift-authorities-look-future-solutions-dcfs <p><p>Ben Wolf of ACLU and Denise Gonzales of DCFS respond to WBEZ and Chicago Sun-Times&#39; &quot;Faces of Failure&quot;, the series exploring deaths in the DCFS system. They discuss the history of the system, and offer ideas for improvement.</p><div class="storify"><iframe src="//storify.com/WBEZ/morning-shift-authorities-look-to-future-solutions/embed?header=false" width="100%" height=750 frameborder=no allowtransparency=true></iframe><script src="//storify.com/WBEZ/morning-shift-authorities-look-to-future-solutions.js?header=false"></script><noscript>[<a href="//storify.com/WBEZ/morning-shift-authorities-look-to-future-solutions" target="_blank">View the story "Morning Shift: Authorities look to future solutions for DCFS' sometimes troubled system" on Storify</a>]</noscript></div></p> Wed, 20 Nov 2013 08:41:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift-tony-sarabia/2013-11-20/morning-shift-authorities-look-future-solutions-dcfs 'Art and Appetite' looks at 250 years of American bellies and politics http://www.wbez.org/news/culture/art-and-appetite-looks-250-years-american-bellies-and-politics-109163 <p><p dir="ltr"><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/Norman-Rockwell_Freedom-from-Want (2).jpg" style="float: left; height: 322px; width: 250px;" title="Norman Rockwell. Freedom from Want, 1942. Lent by the Norman Rockwell Museum, Norman Rockwell Art Collection Trust. " />Earlier this week the Art Institute of Chicago lifted the silver dome on its latest treat, an exhibit called &ldquo;Art and Appetite.&rdquo;</p><p dir="ltr">Featuring 100 paintings, sculptures and pieces of decorative arts, it offers a delicious romp through the victuals of 18th, 19th and 20th Century America. &nbsp;On a timely note, &ldquo;Art and Appetite&rdquo; kicks off with a &ldquo;Thanksgiving&rdquo; gallery featuring a pop art turkey by Roy Lichtenstein and Norman Rockwell&rsquo;s 1943 &nbsp;&ldquo;Freedom From Want,&rdquo; a painting that, for better or for worse, has come to define what the modern American Thanksgiving is supposed to look like.</p><p dir="ltr">And while sometimes a painted apple is just an apple, curator Judith Barter says food depictions are often served with a side of biting commentary on politics, social mores, national eating patterns and cultural decline.</p><p dir="ltr">Take, for instance, Francis Edmond&rsquo;s 1838 painting called &ldquo;The Epicure,&rdquo; depicting a gentleman eyeing a suckling pig for sale.</p><div class="image-insert-image "><div class="image-insert-image "><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/Francis-Edmonds_Epicure%20%281%29.jpg" title="Francis W. Edmonds. The Epicure, 1838. Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art, Hartford, CT. The Ella Gallup Sumner and Mary Catlin Sumner Collection Fund." /></div></div></div><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;It&rsquo;s loosely based on a previous Dutch picture from the 17th Century,&rdquo; Barter says. &ldquo;But it&rsquo;s also a political cartoon. When Andrew Jackson is president there is a large debate over sectionalism in the country: Northern banking interests versus the Jeffersonian ideal of Southern small farmers. And so the wealthy gourmand here with his snuff box and big side of beef and Madeira represents the North. He has stopped at a country inn and he is being presented with a suckling pig, which represents the prevalent meat of the South, by a simple farmer and his wife. So there are political overtones to this as well.&rdquo;</p><p dir="ltr">The exhibit also features an entire gallery of still life paintings &mdash; mostly by 19th Century &nbsp;painter Raphaelle Peale &mdash; that can be appreciated as dazzling food porn or biting commentaries on the social, economic and agricultural issues of his era.</p><p dir="ltr">This one, Barter notes, illuminates the era&rsquo;s seasonal produce as well as the kinds of glass and porcelain goods that were being exported from China at the time.</p><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/Raphaelle-Peale_Still-Life-Strawberries-Nuts%20%281%29.jpg" title="Raphaelle Peale. Still Life - Strawberries, Nuts, &amp;c., 1822. Art Institute of Chicago. Gift of Jamee J. and Marshall Field." />&nbsp;Another Peale painting from the 1820&rsquo;s depicts cabbage, squash, okra, &nbsp;squash blossoms and tomatoes, which Barter notes Americans considered &ldquo;nasty smelling&rdquo; and didn&rsquo;t generally eat raw. &nbsp;</div><p dir="ltr">But the painting also features a warty, cucumber-like fruit filled with red poisonous seeds and a pointed message. &nbsp;</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;It&rsquo;s called a balsam pear,&rdquo; she said. &ldquo;At this period of time in the 1820s there is already lots of discussion about Americans&rsquo; use of their land and preserving it. Former President James Madison, in 1819, is addressing Congress and other groups about how Americans need to plow under their spent crops and rotate their crops and better take care of their land. So, to me, this [poisonous fruit among late summer crops] is a little trouble introduced into the Garden of Eden.&rdquo;</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;Art and Appetite&rdquo; also features galleries devoted to trompe l&rsquo;oeil paintings of single ingredients, others devoted to restaurant (Edward Hopper&#39;s &ldquo;Nighthawks&rdquo;) and cocktail culture, and another to simple rustic, home recipes. &nbsp;</p><p dir="ltr">While some folks may love &ldquo;Art and Appetite&rdquo; for its window into the bellies of 18th and 19th Americans (at least among a certain class of bellies), others may appreciate the more conceptual 20th Century pop art of Andy Warhol and sculptor Claes Oldenburg, whose works include a giant fried egg and pile of green beans.</p><p dir="ltr">And for those who want to take some of this back to their homes and kitchens, there is a lovely companion book ($30-$50) with fascinating analysis and historical recipes for things like &ldquo;sheepes tongue pie,&rdquo; potted pigeons and molasses cake. Some of these recipes and more contemporary American dishes from top Chicago chefs are also featured on the <a href="http://extras.artic.edu/artandappetite">exhibit&rsquo;s website</a>, which launched this week. Bon appetit!</p><p dir="ltr"><em>Monica Eng is a producer for WBEZ. Follow her on Twitter @monicaeng.&nbsp;</em></p></p> Fri, 15 Nov 2013 12:29:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/news/culture/art-and-appetite-looks-250-years-american-bellies-and-politics-109163 13 Chicago inventions and firsts http://www.wbez.org/blogs/leah-pickett/2013-10/13-chicago-inventions-and-firsts-109024 <p><p><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/Original%20Brownie%20Recipe%20at%20the%20Palmer%20House.%20Flickr%3AOkun.jpg" style="height: 620px; width: 620px; " title="The original brownie recipe at the Palmer House. (Flickr/Okun)" /></p><p>On March 1, 1893, the gates opened at the Chicago World&#39;s Fair: an entertainment wonderland attracting 26 million visitors over the course of six months with never before seen art, food, alcoholic beverages, and a newfangled bevy of technological gadgets.&nbsp;</p><p>120 years later, the Field Museum has unveiled&nbsp;<a href="http://fieldmuseum.org/happening/exhibits/opening-vaults-wonders-1893-worlds-fair" target="_blank">Opening the Vaults: Wonders of the 1893 World&#39;s Fair</a>, a 10-month long exhibit of incredible artifacts and specimens from the fairgrounds to commemorate the occasion.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p><p>A recent post by WBEZ&#39;s <a href="http://www.wbez.org/series/curious-city/your-ticket-white-city-108994" target="_blank">Curious City</a> also paid homage to the incomparable splendor of the World&#39;s Fair, and it got me thinking about the many Chicago &quot;firsts&quot; that the fair produced.</p><p>Which Chicago inventions debuted at the 1893&nbsp;fair, and which came after? And which of these can our city really claim?</p><p><strong>1. Brownies. </strong></p><p>The beloved chocolate treat was created in Chicago&#39;s&nbsp;<a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chocolate_brownie" target="_blank">Palmer House</a>&nbsp;kitchen in 1893. Bertha Palmer, wife of millionaire hotelier Potter Palmer, wanted a new dessert to serve at the World&#39;s Fair that was smaller than a cake, but still had cake-like qualities. These first brownies were baked with semi-sweet chocolate, an apricot glaze, and crushed walnuts, and they are still beng made at the hotel according to the <a href="http://www.hiltontopchef.com/recipe/the-chocolate-fudge-brownie/" target="_blank">original recipe</a>.</p><p><strong>2. Yellow pencils.</strong></p><p>In 1889, the Hardtmuth Company of Austria introduced a <a href="http://www.pencils.com/blog/why-are-pencils-yellow/" target="_blank">fancy new line of pencils</a> into the World&#39;s Fair of Paris. The pencils were made from the finest graphite in the Far East and painted with 14 coats of golden-yellow lacquer. In China, the color yellow is associated with royalty. Four years later, European producer Koh-I-Nor brought the yellow pencils to Chicago&#39;s World&#39;s Fair, where they made <a href="http://www.suntimes.com/news/steinberg/11008357-452/happy-175th-birthday-chicago-city-of-firsts.html" target="_blank">quite a splash</a>&nbsp;and officially became an American staple.</p><p><strong>3. The Ferris Wheel.</strong></p><p><a href="http://web.mit.edu/invent/iow/ferris.html" target="_blank">George Ferris</a> invented this engineering marvel to outdo the Eiffel Tower, which was the centerpiece of the 1889 World&#39;s Fair in Paris. Making its debut at the 1893 Chicago World&#39;s Fair, the first Ferris Wheel carried 36 elegantly outfitted passenger cars, each of which could fit 40 people sitting or 60 peiple standing. The wheel was dismantled in 1894, rebuilt in Lincoln Park the following year, and then sold in parts to St. Louis, where it was eventually&nbsp;<a href="http://www.hydeparkhistory.org/newsletter.html" target="_blank">destroyed</a>&nbsp;by dynamite.&nbsp;</p><p><strong>4. The zipper.</strong></p><p>First introduced as a &quot;clasp locker&quot; at the 1893 World&#39;s Fair by Chicagoan <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Whitcomb_Judson" target="_blank">Whitcomb L. Judson</a>, the original zipper was a complicated hook-and-eye shoe fastener that still wowed fairgoers as a technological marvel at the time. The zipper as we use it today &mdash; based on a system of interlocking teeth &mdash; was invented by <a href="http://www.ideafinder.com/history/inventions/zipper.htm" target="_blank">a Swedish employee</a> of Judson in 1913.&nbsp;</p><p><strong>5.&nbsp;</strong><strong>The vacuum cleaner.</strong></p><p>The first manually powered vacuum cleaner was born in the basement of Chicago inventor&nbsp;<a href="http://vacuumcleanersensei.blogspot.com/2007/10/history-of-vacuum-cleaners-ives-w.html" target="_blank">Ives. W. McGaffey</a>&nbsp;in 1869. Made from wood and canvas, the &quot;Whirlwind&quot; was lightweight but difficult to maneuver, as it required the user to turn a hand crank while pushing it across the floor. The machines were sold for $25 in Chicago and Boston, until the Great Chicago Fire of 1871 incinerated all but two of them. One of these original models <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vacuum_cleaner" target="_blank">currently resides</a>&nbsp;at the Hoover Historical Center in North Canton, Ohio.</p><p><strong>6. Softball.</strong></p><p>Some sources say the sport originated<a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Baseball" target="_blank">&nbsp;in France</a> as early as 1334, while others point to the British game <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Baseball" target="_blank">rounders</a> as inspiration for what softball and baseball would later become. However, it is also widely believed that softball &mdash; a variant of baseball played with a larger ball and on a smaller field &mdash; was invented in Chicago on Thanksgiving Day 1887, when members of the Farragut Boat Club began playing <a href="http://www.asasoftball.com/about/asa_history.asp" target="_blank">indoor ball</a> with an old boxing glove and a broomstick.&nbsp;</p><p><strong>7. The electric dishwasher.</strong></p><p>After <a href="http://inventors.about.com/library/inventors/bldishwasher.htm" target="_blank">Josephine Garis Cochran</a> of Shelbyville, Ill. showed off her novel yet highly practical contraption at the 1893 World&#39;s Fair, the habitual chore of washing dishes would never be the same. The first electric dishwashers were primarily used in hotels and large restaurants until the early 1950s, when the everyday feasability of these machines began to catch on with the general public. Cochran also founded a company to manufacture her dishwashers, which eventually became <a href="http://www.invent.org/hall_of_fame/256.html" target="_blank">KitchenAid</a>.</p><p><strong>8. The film critic.</strong></p><p>Being a film critic was not considered to be a &quot;real job&quot; until 1914, when the&nbsp;Chicago&nbsp;Tribune hired Jack Lawson as the first paid&nbsp;<a href="http://books.google.com/books?id=2TEEaCrPiWsC&amp;pg=PT340&amp;lpg=PT340&amp;dq=jack+lawson+film+critic+chicago&amp;source=bl&amp;ots=ba_1VR2QcY&amp;sig=_Zb2_szoWk-x61z16IBdlO_kyj4&amp;hl=en&amp;sa=X&amp;ei=ZnxwUsDiGMThyQHP8YGAAw&amp;ved=0CDQQ6AEwAQ#v=onepage&amp;q=jack%20lawson%20film%20critic%20chicago&amp;f=false" target="_blank">full-time film critic</a>. Lawson&#39;s hiring paved the way for many more famous names to follow, including Gene Siskel at the Tribune&nbsp;and Roger Ebert at the Chicago&nbsp;Sun-Times<em>.</em>&nbsp;Ebert also became the first person to win a <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1975_Pulitzer_Prize" target="_blank">Pulitzer Prize</a> for film critcism in 1975.</p><p><strong>9. The telephone.</strong></p><p>Scottish engineer <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alexander_Graham_Bell" target="_blank">Alexander Graham Bell </a>is widely credited with inventing the first practical telephone in Boston circa 1876. However, Elisha Gray of Highland Park, Ill. was also experimenting with acoustic telepathy during this time, and filed a caveat with the U.S. Patent Office on the <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elisha_Gray_and_Alexander_Bell_telephone_controversy" target="_blank">same day</a>&nbsp;as Bell. Three days later, Bell succeeded in getting his telephone to work, &nbsp;but only after using a transmitter that matched Gray&#39;s design. Bell also drew a diagram in his notebook similar to that in Gray&#39;s patent caveat, leading many skeptics to theorize that Bell stole the invention.</p><p><strong>10. The frozen pastry industry.&nbsp;</strong></p><p>The famous&nbsp;<a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sara_Lee_Corporation" target="_blank">Sara Lee Corporation</a> of Downers Grove, Ill. began as a popular Chicago bakery chain in the 1950s, founded by Charles Lubin and named after Lubin&#39;s daughter, Sara Lee. Today, the corporation is divided into two companies: one for North American operations renamed Hillshire Brands (though the Sara Lee name remains on many of the desserts and deli products) and the other for international beverage and bakery businesses named D.E. Master Blenders 1753. Some of the most <a href="http://saraleedesserts.com">well-known brands</a> under this umbrella include Hillshire Farms, Jimmy Dean, Pickwick Tea, and Sara Lee frozen desserts.&nbsp;</p><p><strong>11. The first cartoon character.</strong></p><p>Walt Disney may have been born in Chicago, but contrary to popular belief, he did not invent the first animated cartoon character with the introduction of &quot;Steamboat Willie&quot; Mickey Mouse in 1928. In fact, that honor belongs to lesser-known cartoonists Wallace Carlson&nbsp;and Winsor McCay, who created <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gertie_the_Dinosaur" target="_blank">&quot;Gertie the Dinosaur&quot;</a> in 1914. The following year, Carlson debuted a new character called &quot;Dreamy Dud,&quot; who appeared in perhaps the country&#39;s first <a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Oup5EnKMGxM" target="_blank">afterschool special</a>&nbsp;for Chicago&#39;s Essanay Studios.&nbsp;</p><p><strong>12. Skyscrapers.</strong></p><p>Chicago&#39;s Home Insurance Building, built in 1884, is widely considered the <a href="http://www.wbez.org/blog/john-r-schmidt/2012-03-01/worlds-first-skyscraper-96741" target="_blank">world&#39;s first skyscraper</a>.&nbsp;At 10 stories high and 138 feet tall, it was also the first building to use structural steel in its frame. The building was demolished in 1931 to make way for the Field Building (now the LaSalle National Bank Building). Chicago is also home to the tallest skyscraper built by a female architect, Jeanne Gang. She and her team at Studio Gang Architects constructed residential skyscraper&nbsp;<a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aqua_(skyscraper)" target="_blank">Aqua</a>&nbsp;in 2009.</p><p><strong>13. Deep dish pizza.</strong></p><p>In 1943, Ike Sewell invented deep dish pizza at his restaurant&nbsp;<a href="http://unos.com/about.php" target="_blank">Pizzeria Uno</a>, where delicious Chicago-style pies are still served today.&nbsp;Other Chicago food inventions include Twinkies, Cracker Jacks, Juicy Fruit gum, Oscar Mayer weiners, Jays potato chips, Italian Beef, and, of course, the Chicago-style hot dog.&nbsp;</p><p><em>Leah Pickett writes about popular culture for WBEZ. Follow Leah on Twitter <a href="https://twitter.com/leahkpickett" target="_blank">@leahkpickett.</a></em></p></p> Wed, 30 Oct 2013 08:00:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/leah-pickett/2013-10/13-chicago-inventions-and-firsts-109024 Is it ok to feed kids Flamin Hot Cheetos on a kale salad? http://www.wbez.org/sections/food/it-ok-feed-kids-flamin-hot-cheetos-kale-salad-108936 <p><p>Do healthy eaters have to ditch Flamin Hot Cheetos forever?</p><p>When this question was posed to me on Vocalo&rsquo;s Morning AMp recently, I said that these satan-colored snacks are probably fine as an accent, &ldquo;like, sprinkled on top of a fresh kale salad.&rdquo;</p><p>This hypothetical food combo cracked up&nbsp;<a href="http://morningamp.tumblr.com/">Morning AMp</a>&nbsp;co-host Brian Babylon so much that he insisted (over and over) that I give it a try.<br />And so, last weekend, I did.</p><p>First, though, I had to get the goods. As someone who has written a lot about the dangers of childhood obesity and&nbsp;<a href="http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2012-10-11/news/chi-20yearold-snack-with-high-levels-of-salt-and-fat-inspires-fanatic-loyalty-among-kids-20121011_1_ashley-gearhardt-snacks-addiction">junk food</a>, I felt more than a little uncomfortable standing in the line at Walgreens with a child and a bag of Flamin&rsquo; Hot Cheetos. It was so bad that, as I paid, I found myself saying to no one in particular that these are for &ldquo;research purposes only.&rdquo;<img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/Mateo%20kale_0.jpg" style="float: right; height: 323px; width: 200px;" title="Eight-year-old Mateo digs into a large bowl of Flamin’ Hot Cheeto topped kale salad. If the Cheetos get kids to eat the kale, is this an acceptable trade off? " /></p><p>Once home with the contraband, we chopped the fresh kale (tender younger leaves work best), tossed it in a dressing (olive oil, lemon juice, vinegar and mayonnaise), showered it with apple matchsticks and then topped the whole thing with Cheetos crushed gently in a paper towel.</p><p>Our eight-year-old and ten-year-old sat at the counter squirming with impatience for the Christmas wreath-like creation. And when they finally got their forks into it, there was no going back. They might have devoured the entire bowl if I hadn&rsquo;t explained that I needed to try it, too.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p><p>When I finally did, I understood their enthusiasm. The citrus tang of the dressing, vegetal bite of the kale, sweetness of the apple and the spicy, corny crunch of the Cheetos brought these foods from the opposite sides of the health universe into perfect balance and harmony.</p><p>Ideally, kids would eat kale salad without the Cheetos. But if some day-glo croutons can get youngsters to scarf down bowls of nutrition-packed kale, perhaps the ends justify the means.<br />I might even eat the combo again myself&mdash;when no one&rsquo;s looking.</p><p><em><a href="http://www.wbez.org/users/meng">Monica Eng</a> is a WBEZ producer. Follow her <a href="https://twitter.com/monicaeng">@monicaeng</a>.</em></p></p> Wed, 16 Oct 2013 10:35:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/sections/food/it-ok-feed-kids-flamin-hot-cheetos-kale-salad-108936 What weddings look like in 2013 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/leah-pickett/2013-10/what-weddings-look-2013-108908 <p><p><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/slow%20motion.png" style="height: 348px; width: 620px; " title="Still from a viral video by newlyweds Quang and Ellie, who had a slow-motion video booth for guests at their wedding reception. (Vimeo/Super Frog Saves Tokyo)" /></p><div class="image-insert-image ">Romantic partners of the Pinterest and Etsy era are waiting longer to tie the knot, adopting more unconventional ceremonies, and sometimes breaking from tradition altogether to keep their weddings inexpensive and quirky.&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><p>According to a study released this summer by Bowling Green State University&#39;s National Center for Marriage and Family Research, the <a href="http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2013-07/bgsu-mrl071813.php" target="_blank">U.S. marriage rate</a> has hit a new low at 31.1, or 31 marriages per 1,000 previously unmarried women. In 1920, that percentage was 92.3.&nbsp;</p><p>Meanwhile, the average age at woman&#39;s first marriage is 27, its highest point in over a century.</p><p>Other differences in wedding style are the direct result of changing social mores, from gay marriage becoming legal in <a href="http://gaymarriage.procon.org/view.resource.php?resourceID=004857" target="_blank">14 states</a>&nbsp;to a gradual decline in religious commitment (roughly <a href="http://www.pewforum.org/2013/07/02/growth-of-the-nonreligious-many-say-trend-is-bad-for-american-society/" target="_blank">a third of U.S. adults</a> under age 30 do not identify as &quot;a&nbsp;religious person,&quot; according to the Pew Research Center) likely contributing to more secular ceremonies as well.&nbsp;</p><p>So, which customs have millennial couples decided to preserve, rewrite or throw out for their nuptial day?</p><p>Here&#39;s just a sampling of 13 wedding trends that stood out in 2013:&nbsp;</p><p><strong>1. Public proposals.</strong></p><p>While I&#39;m fairly certain that I would die of embarrassment if proposed to in this manner, the recent spate of viral proposal videos has only escalated in cuteness over the years. For example, this <a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l4HpWQmEXrM" target="_blank">flash dance proposal</a>,&nbsp;filmed at a Salt Lake City Home Depot in September and now amassing over 10 million views on YouTube,&nbsp;proves that the fad is here to stay&mdash;at least for now.&nbsp;</p><p><strong>2. Creative photoshoots.</strong></p><p>If unmarried folk must suffer through a barrage of lovey-dovey Facebook albums come wedding season, then they might as well be interesting. Kudos to <a href="http://www.neatorama.com/2013/09/26/Movie-inspired-Engagement-Photos/#!luyRl">this duo</a>&nbsp;for going full movie nerd in their engagement photos, and to <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/09/12/zombie-engagement-photo-_n_3916649.html" target="_blank">this wedding party</a> for staging a &quot;bloody awesome&quot; zombie-inspired shoot.&nbsp;</p><p><strong>3. Slow motion.</strong></p><p>After the footage from this couple&#39;s <a href="http://jezebel.com/well-this-is-one-very-adorable-wedding-video-1218944786/1225260547" target="_blank">Brooklyn reception</a>&nbsp;went viral, the clamoring for slow-motion video booths at every hipster wedding from Austin to Portland began in earnest.</p><p><strong>4. Wedding movies.</strong></p><p>Professional videographers who can make any wedding ceremony look like &quot;The Notebook&quot; or an Instagram-filtered version of Taylor Swift&#39;s &quot;Love Story&quot; are in high demand these days. Some of these mini-movies might be a little too high on the schmaltz factor; but in my opinion, beautiful videos like <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/10/03/devon-jordan-gay-wedding-video_n_4037542.html" target="_blank">this one</a>&nbsp;are reason enough to keep the trend alive.&nbsp;</p><p><strong>5. Out with the garter and bouquet toss.</strong></p><p>These <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/05/29/bouquet-toss_n_3354144.html" target="_blank">centuries-old customs</a>&nbsp;have fallen out of favor with many a modern couple, because let&#39;s face it: throwing a bouquet to a rabid horde of single ladies is<em> </em><em>so</em> 1950s, and reaching under your wife&#39;s skirt in front of 100+ guests is more than a tad bit awkward, not to mention tacky.</p><p><strong>6. In with mint green.</strong></p><p>From bridesmaids&#39; dresses to floral arrangements to trendy ombre cakes, the thousands of Pinterest boards devoted to this popular shade don&#39;t lie: a&nbsp;<a href="http://www.pinterest.com/3dmemoirs/hot-wedding-trends-for-2013-1-the-color-mint/" target="_blank">mint vogue</a>&nbsp;is upon us.&nbsp;</p><p><strong>7. Foot your own bill.</strong></p><p>With more partners choosing to marry later in life (i.e. when they are more financially stable), the old rule of the bride&#39;s parents paying for the wedding has fallen by the wayside. Considering the not-so-subtle ties to fathers selling their daughters back in <a href="http://offbeatbride.com/2010/12/the-dowry-tradition" target="_blank">dowry times</a>, this update is a decidely welcome change.&nbsp;</p><p><strong>8. Live-stream it.</strong></p><p>Can&#39;t make it to an out-of-town wedding? No problem. In the age of all things digital, you can virtually attend a loved one&#39;s ceremony via Skype, FaceTime, or a streaming company devised for this very purpose, <a href="http://www.idostream.com">I Do Stream</a>. &nbsp;&nbsp;</p><p><strong>9. More desserts.</strong></p><p>Why buy just one or two very expensive wedding cakes when you could have a more cost-effective candy table, cupcake tower, platter of cronuts, bouquet of cake pops, an ice cream sandwich bar, or my personal favorite, <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/bridal-guide/sweet-as-pie-15-wedding-i_b_2875646.html" target="_blank">wedding pie</a>?&nbsp;</p><p><strong>10. Food trucks.</strong></p><p>Forget the fancy catering service. All you need is a food truck of delicious tacos, barbeque or <a href="http://glo.msn.com/living/hottest-and-wackiest-wedding-trends-7337.gallery?photoId=57004" target="_blank">In-N-Out burgers</a> to keep your hip and hungry guests thoroughly satisfied.&nbsp;</p><p><strong>11. Spectacular sendoffs.&nbsp;</strong></p><p>Throwing rice may be the old standard for departing newlyweds, but modern weddings have kicked the tradition up a notch with sparklers, flower petals, bubbles, and even <a href="http://offbeatbride.com/2011/09/rice-tossing-alternatives" target="_blank">glowing lanterns</a>&nbsp;released into the sky for extra drama.</p><p><strong>12. No bridal party.</strong></p><p>Back in March,&nbsp;<a href="http://www.today.com/style/death-wedding-party-couples-scale-back-1C8923876" target="_blank">Today.com</a>&nbsp;reported &quot;the death of the wedding party,&quot; citing a trend of more couples deciding to scale back financially and skip the stress of bridal parties altogether. Apparently, &quot;the days of having 15 bridesmaids are over,&quot; although no word yet on whether the amount of bridezillas will also decline as a result.&nbsp;</p><p><strong>13. Mason jars.&nbsp;</strong></p><p>In case you hadn&#39;t heard, <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/09/17/mason-jar-ideas_n_3943075.html" target="_blank">mason jars are the new wine glasses</a>.</p><p>What other wedding trends have you noticed this year?</p><p><em>Leah Pickett writes about popular culture for WBEZ. You can find Leah on&nbsp;<a href="https://www.facebook.com/leahkristinepickett" target="_blank">Facebook</a>,&nbsp;<a href="https://twitter.com/leahkpickett" target="_blank">Twitter</a>&nbsp;and<a href="http://hermionehall.tumblr.com/" target="_blank">&nbsp;Tumblr</a>.</em></p></p> Tue, 15 Oct 2013 08:00:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/leah-pickett/2013-10/what-weddings-look-2013-108908 Should children meet their meat? http://www.wbez.org/sections/lifestyle/should-children-meet-their-meat-108872 <p><p><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="460" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/oUqhG1fHLBQ" width="620"></iframe></p><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fapi.soundcloud.com%2Ftracks%2F114447731" width="100%"></iframe></p><p dir="ltr">On a recent sunny September morning, a crowd of Chicago foodies pulled up to Faith&rsquo;s Farm in Kankakee County to learn about where their meat comes from.</p><p dir="ltr">Four black hogs romped around a straw-filled trailer in the front yard snuggling, squealing and sniffing at all the newcomers to their home.</p><p dir="ltr">One of them wouldn&rsquo;t make it through the day, but she didn&rsquo;t know it. Unlike the majority of hog farms in this country, Faith&#39;s Farm smells sweet and features herds of jolly looking black hogs roaming its 30-plus acres. &nbsp;&nbsp;Although these pigs weren&rsquo;t used to hanging out in a trailer, they looked pretty relaxed, surrounded by relatives and pals from their herd. Farmer Kim Snyder said she was trying to keep their surroundings as normal as possible.</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;If I left her sitting on a trailer by herself, she would become stressed,&rdquo; Snyder explained.</p><p dir="ltr">This was the fifth year Snyder brought together Chicago area chefs, &nbsp;craft brewers, wine makers, and farmers for a day of learning, cooking, breaking bread&mdash; and slaughtering animals. &nbsp;</p><p dir="ltr">It was 2008 when Snyder launched the event with farmer Harry Carr and chefs Bernie Laskowski of the Park Grill and Cleetus Friedman of the Fountainhead as co-sponsors.<img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/hog%20slaughter2.PNG" style="float: right; height: 215px; width: 320px;" title="Visitors to Faiths Farm, including kids, watch a humane hog slaughter. Some people believe this is important to witness while others think its wrong. (WBEZ/Monica Eng)" /></p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;I think it was six or seven years ago that I first did a farm dinner here on Faith&#39;s Farm,&rdquo; Friedman said. &ldquo;And after I saw the impact of how it affected people, I said we should really bring chefs down here and connect them to their food...So they could see the process and literally touch it and be a part of it.&rdquo;</p><p dir="ltr">For me and a lot of chefs, the trip to Faith&#39;s Farm each year serves as an important reminder of what must be sacrificed for us to produce and eat the meat we love so much.</p><p dir="ltr">As the slaughter draws near a nervous pall falls over the group. Snyder prepares the visitors for what they are about to see. &nbsp;She explains that Sam, the butcher, will shoot a 22 caliber bullet into to the hog&rsquo;s brain. But it doesn&rsquo;t end there. &nbsp; &nbsp;</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;It&rsquo;s not going to drop and not move,&rdquo; she warned. &ldquo;It&rsquo;s going to move. We will confirm brain death by eye dilation and once Sam has confirmed brain death he will continue the process, you can ask questions and he will will show you how to skin and properly eviscerate the animal.&rdquo;</p><p dir="ltr">As if that wasn&rsquo;t scary enough, the butcher issues yet another warning, saying &ldquo;Before we get started, if anyone is squeamish, you can&rsquo;t stand blood or the cracking of bones or if you can&rsquo;t handle guts, you might want to step away.&rdquo;</p><p dir="ltr">A nervous silence falls over the group as Sam sharpens his knives then picks up his rifle and approaches the trailer.</p><p dir="ltr">Within moments the rifle goes off and the hog is kicking wildly on the ground. Sam grabs her leg and holds on tight to prevent injury to him and the animal, herself.</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;Hogs kick harder than any other animal when they die,&rdquo; he says. &ldquo;I&rsquo;ve seen hogs shatter their femur going down.&rdquo;</p><p dir="ltr">Once she stops kicking subsides the pigs legs are tied with chains and she&rsquo;s hoisted in the air. In one swift motion, Sam cuts the jugular and carotid arteries around her neck. &nbsp;</p><p dir="ltr">The gathered group swallows hard as they watch the scarlet blood stream into a bucket.</p><p dir="ltr">Snyder breaks the silence by saying that she wishes all of her hogs could be processed right on her farm like this so that they could live and romp with their herd until the very last minute.</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;This animal was born here and lived her life free,&rdquo; she said. &ldquo;And so she felt no stress.&rdquo;</p><p><iframe align="left" frameborder="0" height="100" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fapi.soundcloud.com%2Ftracks%2F114451791" width="300"></iframe></p><p dir="ltr">The same can&rsquo;t be said for all of the visitors in attendance. Fountainhead cook Andy Spetz, stood a few feet from the action, visibly moved by the process.</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;I&rsquo;ve seen butchery from dead animals but this is the first time I&rsquo;ve actually seen it from the point of the killing and it&rsquo;s going to make me go back to my kitchen and really think twice about everything I&rsquo;ve been doing,&rdquo; he said.</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;One of the biggest things is just thinking about where your food is coming from that that understanding that these were a live animal that somebody cared for and loved and is now sacrificing for everyone here to enjoy it. It&rsquo;s a very powerful thing.&rdquo;</p><p dir="ltr">Mark Sabbe is a sous chef at Merxat a la Plancha. This is his second year.</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;I think it&rsquo;s really important for anyone who works in food to understand where it comes from,&rdquo; he says. &ldquo;As a chef I want to understand how the animals are raised and how they are killed and what goes into breaking it down&hellip;.Once you&rsquo;ve met Kim and you&rsquo;ve been to her farm and you see the way she takes care of her animals it&rsquo;s really difficult to buy commercial [pork] again.&rdquo; &nbsp;</p><p dir="ltr">Edward Kim is the executive chef at Ruxbin and Mott Street. He brought members of both his kitchen and his dining room staff.</p><p dir="ltr"><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/01.jpg" style="float: left; height: 233px; width: 350px;" title="(WBEZ/Tim Akimoff)" />&ldquo;The average person when they go the grocery store, their meat comes in a cellophane package and doesn&rsquo;t even seem like an animal,&rdquo; he said. &ldquo;One of the greatest lessons I can teach my staff and cooks is to respect the food and remember that protein was a living animal. It&rsquo;s not fun to watch the harvesting of animal but it really brings it home that this was a living being and you are going to make sure that pork and chicken and try your best and make it taste as good as you can.&rdquo;</p><p dir="ltr">Over the years, I&rsquo;ve interviewed a lot of chefs at this event who felt transformed by the experience. But I&rsquo;ve also interviewed the kids&mdash;mostly city kids whose allowed them to witness the slaughter.</p><p dir="ltr"><a href="http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2010-08-26/opinion/ct-talk-eng-slaughter-column-20100826_1_meat-bacon-hogs">Three years ago, I took my own seven year old daughter Miranda.</a></p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;It made me feel sad and kind of grossed out because I don&rsquo;t like seeing dead stuff,&rdquo; she said. &ldquo;But after it, I thought a lot more about what I&rsquo;m eating.</p><p dir="ltr">WBEZ digital editor Tim Akimoff brought his 12-year-old son Carson this year, too. Some of the aspects of the slaughter took him by surprise.</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;I didn&rsquo;t think there would be as much blood as that,&rdquo; the 12-year-old said. &ldquo;I used to think the meat we eat came from more around the stomach, but I learned it comes from around the thighs.&rdquo;</p><p dir="ltr">But do they think it&rsquo;s OK for parents to let their kids see it?</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;If they know their kid well and they think that they are too sensitive to see it...then they shouldn&rsquo;t,&rdquo; Miranda said. &ldquo;But if they are just being overprotective...then they should let them go.&rdquo;</p><p dir="ltr">Carson agrees.</p><p dir="ltr">&ldquo;I think it&rsquo;s good to see where your meat comes from because it&rsquo;s how we get our food,&rdquo; he says.</p><p dir="ltr">After the animals are quartered and moved to the freezer to chill, Snyder takes first timers on a tour of the farm where cows, chickens and hogs largely roam free.</p><p dir="ltr">Others cool off in the shade while listening to the tunes of cowboy singer Kent Rose.</p><p dir="ltr">After the tour, the chefs descend on Snyder&rsquo;s large kitchen to prep their potluck dishes, while others work to break down the carcasses. Right before sun down they load long outdoor tables with platters of grilled vegetables, rosemary rolls, farro salad with roasted squash, beet and goat cheese salads, braised goat and vanilla cake and deeply chocolately brownies.</p><p dir="ltr">By night&rsquo;s end, each will go home with a souvenir ceramic cup, several pounds of fresh pork and a some new insights on the meat they serve in their kitchens and restaurants.</p><p dir="ltr">Monica Eng is a WBEZ web producer. Follow her&nbsp;<a href="http://twitter.com/triciabobeda">@</a>monicaeng.</p><div>&nbsp;</div></p> Tue, 08 Oct 2013 16:27:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/sections/lifestyle/should-children-meet-their-meat-108872 EcoMyths: Is fresh cafeteria food an oxymoron? http://www.wbez.org/series/ecomyths/ecomyths-fresh-cafeteria-food-oxymoron-108814 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/EcoMyths-School Lunch.jpg" alt="" /><p><p><strong><u>3 Reasons of Hope for Healthy School Lunches</u></strong></p><p>Reheated frozen chicken nuggets, mushy green beans, and jello have long been staples in many school cafeterias. But the times they are a changin&rsquo;. Efforts are being made across the United States to bring fresh, local foods to kids at school. Today, on <em>Worldview&rsquo;s </em>monthly <a href="http://www.wbez.org/series/ecomyths"><em>EcoMyths</em></a> segment, Jerome McDonnell and I talked with Liz Soper of <a href="https://www.nwf.org/Eco-Schools-USA.aspx">Eco-Schools USA</a> to get the fresh facts.</p><p>Many factors have come together to create this new trend toward providing fresh foods to schools. According to Liz Soper, these include Michelle Obama&rsquo;s campaign to get kids moving and eat healthy. In addition, the growing awareness of large food deserts in many urban areas has increased the need for schools to provide the best possible nutrition for children during the school day. In food deserts, their parents may not have access to buy fresh food in their neighborhoods, so school may be where kids get their healthiest meal of the day.</p><p><iframe frameborder="no" height="166" scrolling="no" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fapi.soundcloud.com%2Ftracks%2F113395618" width="100%"></iframe><strong><u>3 Reasons School Lunch is Going Healthy:</u></strong></p><p>1) Local, organic, fresh food is becoming a national priority.</p><p>2) School districts around the country are growing fresh foods to provide to their school cafeterias.</p><p>3) Kids perform better in school when they eat fresh food.</p><p>Liz reminded us that local, fresh food is coming to the forefront not just in schools, but in restaurants, communities, and in the culture in general. Community gardens are popping up all over the country. In addition, people are buying memberships in CSAs (Community Supported Agriculture), which are local farms that deliver weekly crates of fresh, locally farmed produce to their members. This is happening due to increased interest in providing healthy foods for our families and ourselves. Plus, people prefer the taste of freshly-picked produce vs. that which was picked before it was ripe and shipped across the country.</p><p>This exciting development in schools can be seen in many of the largest public school districts across the country. Chicago, Los Angeles, Denver, and Burlington (Vermont) all have implemented programs in which the school district grows produce and delivers it to its own cafeterias. Some of these school gardens are right on school grounds, so the students have an opportunity to plant, nurture, and harvest produce themselves. Liz told us that kids are much more likely to eat a fresh cucumber or bean if they have grown it themselves &ndash; and they like it! As she says, most kids are used to eating beans out of a can, so there is a transition period as their taste buds move towards preferring fresh and natural.</p><p>Eco-Schools USA, Liz explains, works with schools to develop green teams that do a food assessment and create a plan of action they can implement. They encourage schools to take small steps and help gradually kids transform the way they eat. The Eco-Schools programs help the kids make the direct connections between fresh foods and their communities.</p><p>Liz also suggests that school performance is enhanced when kids eat healthy too. Studies show children have more energy and are more alert when they eat fresh, whole foods rather than sugary or processed foods. Not only does eating fresh foods help fight obesity, but studies show that a healthy diet may improve students&rsquo; math scores.</p><p>Overall, it seems movement towards healthy food in schools is good for communities, great for kids&rsquo; health and energy levels, as well as helping school performance. That seems like a recipe worth following!</p><p>To learn more about this myth, listen to the podcast of today&rsquo;s show or go to EcoMyths Alliance website to <a href="http://www.ecomythsalliance.org/2013/09/fresh-school-lunch-is-an-oxymoron/.">read further about why there is hope for healthy school lunches</a>.</p></p> Tue, 01 Oct 2013 09:36:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/series/ecomyths/ecomyths-fresh-cafeteria-food-oxymoron-108814