October 2011 Archives

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Last week I had the pleasure of visiting the national headquarters of Slow Food USA located on Jay Street in Brooklyn. Employees were kind enough to give me a short tour and a run-down of what they did in the office. I learned that a lot of “behind the scenes” work was carried out at the national headquarters, as opposed to fieldwork done at the local chapters. They told me that there are Slow Food USA chapters in every state except North and South Dakota. At the local chapters they organize community events and work to “support good, clean, and fair food.”
Slow Food events tend to encourage food pleasure in the community with activities such as farm tours, seasonal feasts, film festivals and taste workshops. Just recently the Slow Food USA organization hosted an event called the “$5 Challenge.” On September 17, 2011 participants agreed to share a healthy meal idea that cost less than five dollars. Over 5,572 meals were shared!
This upcoming weekend Slow Food NYC is involved in a World Food Day Rally. Manhattan residents are urged to speak out against genetically engineered foods. Participants will rally by marching from the Supreme Court Building into Thomas Paine Park. Other upcoming Slow Food NYC events include a discussion panel about the history and politics of food. This will take place on November 1st, at Barnard College.
My visit to the national headquarters was cut short because a few of the workers were headed to the Occupy Wall Street protests. They were going to examine the kitchen in Zuccotti Square and to help distribute food to the protestors. Slow Food USA supports the Occupy Wall Street Protest because protest participants are also advocating for good, clean and fair food.
Although short, it was great to get a glimpse of the Slow Food USA headquarters and to talk to the employees. I predict that, with time, this organization will continue to grow and become a prominent and important influence in our country. Park Avenue Nutrition suggests that you check out your local SlowFood USA chapter and get involved!

What Our RD’s Have to Say:

“It’s important to get back to the roots, find out where our food comes from, and appreciate the food grown locally. Supermarkets are inundated with processed foods shipped from around the world; this is neither fuel efficient nor nutritious. Instead of revolving on highly processed foods and popular crash diets, it’s crucial to focus on having a balanced, fresh diet for optimum health.”
–Alexis W. RD

A Recap: Three Reasons We Love Slow Food USA

1. They’re a nonprofit organization that focuses to “counteract fast food and fast life.”
2. They support community participation with food tastings and local foods events.
3. They encourage “good, clean and fair food.”

Check it Out!

Here’s a link to the SlowFood NYC website: http://www.slowfoodnyc.org/

-written by Fiona

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The emerging mushrooms

Last week at the Park Avenue Nutrition office we received a package; I had no idea what to expect as I tore through the cardboard shipping box.  When I peered in I discovered a smaller cardboard box labeled “Grow Your Own Mushroom Garden.”  Lisa explained that the mushroom growing kit was from a west coast company called “Back to the Roots.”  I was instantly intrigued by the thought of nurturing my very own set of edible mushrooms.

After reading more about the “Back To The Roots” company and visiting their website I became even more interested.  The company recycles Peets coffee grounds and uses them as the growing medium for the mushrooms.  They guarantee a set of pearl oyster mushrooms in only ten days.

Needless to say I immediately set up the mushroom kit and have been watching it keenly for the past couple days.  The mushrooms have just began to sprout out of the box, it’s so exciting!  Everyone I show is fascinated and slightly jealous.  When they grow enough I plan to use the mushrooms to create a delicious dinner.  Although I’ve never tasted them, oyster mushrooms are said to have a delicate flavor and a velvety texture.

Not only is it fun to grow the mushrooms, but they’re healthy too!  A serving of oyster mushrooms has only 28 calories but is packed with nutrients.  A serving provides 3 grams of protein, and noteworthy amounts of riboflavin, niacin, potassium, and pantothenic acid.  So here at Park Avenue Nutrition we give our seal of approval to the Back To The Roots company and their Grow Your Own Mushroom Garden!

 

A Recap: Three Reasons Why We Love Back To The Roots Mushroom Garden

 1. You can easily grow your own mushrooms in ten days

2. The mushrooms are delicious and healthy

3. The company is eco-friendly and recycles coffee grounds as the mushroom growing medium

-written by Fiona

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Variety of peppers at the Union Square Market

On Wednesday I decided to swing by the Greenmarket on Union Square to pick up some fresh produce.  When I emerged from the subway I was amazed at the market’s size and diversity.  Not only were there numerous vendors selling deliciously beautiful produce but there were also a substantial amount of booths dealing with sustainability and environmental businesses.  I was bombarded by Greenpeace advocates who informed me about coal pollution and alternative sources of energy.  I stopped and learned about greenroofs, rooftop beehives, solar energy, and composting.  As I continued walking I entered the food and produce section of the market and was in awe of the colors and variety.  An assortment of apples, potatoes, tomatoes, peppers, herbs, pickles, lettuce, and cheese filled my eyes.  Each bakery stand had bread more appetizing than the next.  And there was even a stand with ostrich eggs and jerky!  It took me a good half hour to get through the market, and I didn’t want it to end.

Greenmarkets are continuing to sprout throughout the city and although they may not be as large as the one on Union Square, they are definitely worth visiting.  Each greenmarket has it’s own inviting and unique atmosphere along with a medley of nutritious produce.  Not only are the fruits and vegetables cheaper than in most grocery stores, but by purchasing from a Greenmarket you’re supporting small, local farms.  Park Avenue Nutrition wants you to find the Greenmarket nearest to you and support it!

 What Our RD’s Have to Say:

“It’s nice to interact with local farmers who are so passionate about what they grow.  I love the cooking demos because they teach new ways of using seasonal vegetables.  And being able to ask questions about ingredients is important for those who have allergies.  Overall, the greenmarkets are a great way to meet new people!”

-Alexis W. RD

A Recap: Three Reasons We Love Greenmarkets

 1. You’re guaranteed to have a good time!

2. They help you support local businesses!

3. They’ll help you eat more nutritiously and educate you about the environment and sustainability.

 Check It Out!

 Here’s a link to the greenmarket website: http://www.grownyc.org/greenmarket

-written by Fiona

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