Sunday, October 17, 2010

Farm to School

I went to Millersville University last night to see the movie "Two Angry Moms" and hear the discussion afterward. It was really good. It told the story of two moms who mobilized school lunch reform and how they are helping others do the same thing. The words that stuck in my head were "farm to school" because the tastiest meals come from the freshest ingredients... and kids learn best when they see the whole process in action. Have you ever heard of an edible school yard? Click on the title of this post or go to this website to check out what one great Pennsylvania school is doing at:

Just may be worth a field trip!

If you want to help your school's staff and families increase their food I.Q. and get healthier hot lunches, let me know. Also, you'll find good resources on the facebook page of "Lancaster Buy Fresh Buy Local." Linda Aleci has posted some really great info! Thank you Linda.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Movie Night Friday

The public is invited to a movie screening of "Two Angry Moms" ... sorry for the late notice on my blog... but I hope you can come! There will be a movie and discussion. I've never been to any of these events... sounds intriguing to me.

Location:Meyers Auditorium, McComsey Hall, Millersville University
Time:7:00PM Friday, October 15th
Friday, October 15 · 7:00pm - 9:00pm

LocationMeyers Auditorium, McComsey Hall, Millersville University

Created By

More InfoFed up with the deplorable state of school lunches? Find out how 2 angry moms took action! Movie screening and discussion with Dr. Julie Lombardi and Dr. Adele Ruszak of Millersville University. Free and open to the public.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Don't worry...

If you can't prepare a healthy meal tonight because of time constraints, do not eat your fast food take-out with guilt and regret. Stress blocks nutrients from being absorbed. So, just take a deep breath, relax, be glad, and eat with ease and thankfulness. Slowly.

Remember that what goes into your body becomes a part of you. If your meal is poor, make sure to boost wealth to the rest of your body by drinking pure water, breathing fresh air outside, keeping a running dialogue with God, and getting 7-8 hours of sleep tonight.

For tomorrow, anticipate healthy creativity in the kitchen. Throw together a savory stir-fry with clean meat, shredded carrots, shredded cabbage, chopped broccoli, and sliced red pepper. Start your saute with onions and garlic in cold-pressed virgin coconut oil. End it with a simple sauce of Bragg's Liquid Aminos and fresh grated ginger... both can be found at any health food store or here:


Friday, October 8, 2010

My First Public Meeting in Harrisburg

My family's nutrition is sustained by local farmers. What a great concept. They do what they are good at doing... and then I buy their whole foods and milk ...and this helps farmers to keep farming. It's a great relationship.

It sounded strange to my ears the first time I heard someone say that we have to defend our rights to buy affordable high quality food from local farmers. Who are we defending ourselves from? Well, I got a taste of the answer yesterday.

I received an email invitation to a public hearing where government officials would vote on a proposed regulation which would supposedly promote milk sanitation. I am all for milk sanitation, but get this! The regulation would require PA dairy farmers to buy a machine that would bottle and cap plastic milk jugs... and this would have to be done in a separate room from the milk tanks. This sounds simple for a factory, but terribly expensive and ineffective for a small farmer. It's like using a chain saw to cut bread. My needs are being met so well by an Amish girl who fills my glass milk bottles each week with clean hands right from the clean milk tank in the clean milk house. It just works.

Food prices are high enough. If these regulations were put into place, then farmers would understandably have to raise their prices or quit farming. So, I went to Harrisburg yesterday, and I got the privilege of hearing about 20 PA dairy farmers (many of them plain folks), plead this noble case. Wow, it was an intense 3 hour meeting with lots of heart-felt testimonies from people who just wanted to keep working hard on their farms with out being over-regulated.

I arrived at the 10:00am meeting just in the nick of time. It was held on the 14th floor at 333 Market St. in front of the PA Independent Regulatory Review Commission. I would say there were 50-60 people in the room for the same reason. Many of them were dairy farmers. I bet they never saw public speaking in their job descriptions. But they did it anyway. It's nerve-wracking being in front of government officials in suits and ties... oh, and one woman chief counsel... with all the standard protocols that we know nothing about.

When each farmer would get up and tell his/her testimony (with shaking voices) telling why this regulation would be too expensive for them and ineffective, the other farmers would clap supportively for him or her. The chairman told everyone not to do that. He said this is not a broadway musical where were get applause. We need to keep to the business of the law. Well, there was so much suspense in the room, and everyone tried their best to hold their applause until the very end ...when the proposed regulation was actually voted on ...and it was disapproved by a close vote of 3 to 2. Yeah!!!! The whole room erupted in a relief of clapping and cheering that justice was served. The chairman scolded the group again saying, "I asked you not to do that!" What an interesting 3 hours.

I'm sure this is not the end of the story. The Independent Regulatory Review Commission felt that the PA Dept. of Ag. could resubmit a proposed regulation that was separate from the federal standard of mechanized bottling and more suited for small farmers. I appreciate the regulations which keep us safe, but I will support our Pennsylvania farmers as the experts they are in their field. When I got up to speak at the meeting, I simply said that as a raw milk consumer I trust my local farmer's milk sanitation practices because he is serving the same milk to his own family, and he is an intelligent man with many years of expertise in food safety.
Love live trustworthy farmers! Long live just law makers!

P.S. For more information on behind the scenes defenders of local sustainable agriculture, go to

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Baked Pumpkin and The Country Barn

I went on a field trip with my 3rd grader's class yesterday to "The Country Barn" on Donnerville Rd. in Lancaster. Great place, but man... was it cold and wet! We lived to tell about it and had fun anyway. The kids got to walk through the muddy fields and choose their own live pumpkin to pull off the green vine. They also got to watch 4 pigs race and yell suuuu-weeee and all that good stuff. Farmer Jim made a point of informing the kids of where their food comes from. He dug up potatoes for them to see. He was a wealth of whole foods information. He held one of his free-range chickens and her fresh brown egg as he asked the kids how many eggs do most chickens lay in one day? Most of the kids thought it was about a dozen or more. The correct answer is one... with an average of 360 eggs per year per chicken. Brown eggs come from colored chickens and white eggs come from white chickens. It was all good information for the non-farm kids and grown-ups... which would be most of us.

When I (with pride) told Farmer Jim that I had just boiled a big pumpkin the other day and made pumpkin cake roll and pumpkin pie, he informed me that I had poured all the nutrients down the drain after boiling. Hmmmm.... I said to myself, deflated. He said, "Bake your pumpkin and it will be the best tasting pumpkin you've ever had, and it will keep it's nutrients. I have to agree. And will definitely do that next time. Makes sense.

To bake your pumpkin, just wash it, cut off the stem, cut in half, scoop out the seeds and strings, lay it face down on a baking sheet and bake at 375 degrees for about an hour or until soft. Cool. Scoop out the flesh and throw away the peel. I've attached a recipe for pumpkin spice cookies that looks fabulous from "natural papa's" website.

"The Country Barn" is open to the public. You can interact with the animals or shop at their farm market. Here's the website:

Have another cheerful rainy day! I gotta keep telling myself that. Ha!

Monday, October 4, 2010

Pumpkin seeds

We went to Lancaster Farm Fresh's stand at Central Market on Saturday, and each of our kids picked out a favorite pumpkin for carving. They were sooooo excited! Each drew a picture on his and her pumpkins, and we cut the tops off and pulled out the seeds and guts.

After washing the seeds and letting them air dry overnight, I cracked open one of the white hulls and pulled out the tender green seed inside. Yum! I also like to buy a bag of pumpkin seeds from the natural food store (always buy them from the refrigerated section so you know they are fresh) and add this nutrient-dense food to berries and yogurt.

The rest of this post is some great info on pumpkin seeds from Whole Food's website:
Pumpkin seeds, also known as pepitas, are flat, dark green seeds. Some are encased in a yellow-white husk, although some varieties of pumpkins produce seeds without shells. Pumpkin seeds have a malleable, chewy texture and a subtly sweet, nutty flavor. While roasted pumpkins seeds are probably best known for their role as a perennial Halloween treat, these seeds are so delicious, and nutritious, that they can be enjoyed throughout the whole year.

Tips for Preparing Pumpkin Seeds:

While most stores sell pumpkin seeds, it is fun and easy to make your own. To do so, first remove the seeds from the pumpkin's inner cavity and wipe them off with a paper towel if needed to remove excess pulp that may have stuck to them. Spread them out evenly on a paper bag and let them dry out overnight.

Place them in a single layer on a cookie sheet and light roast them in a 160-170ºF (about 75ºC) oven for 15-20 minutes. By roasting them for a short time at a low temperature you can help to preserve their healthy oils.

A Few Quick Serving Ideas:

Add pumpkin seeds to healthy sautéed vegetables.

Sprinkle pumpkin seeds on top of mixed green salads.

Grind pumpkin seeds with fresh garlic, parsley and cilantro leaves. Mix with olive oil and lemon juice for a tasty salad dressing.

Add chopped pumpkin seeds to your favorite hot or cold cereal.

Add pumpkin seeds to your oatmeal raisin cookie or granola recipe.

Next time you make burgers, whether it be from vegetables, turkey or beef, add some ground pumpkin seeds.

Nutritional Profile
Pumpkin seeds are a very good source of the minerals phosphorus, magnesium and manganese. They are also a good source of other minerals including zinc, iron and copper. In addition, pumpkin seeds are a good source of protein and vitamin K.