Tag Archives: fruits and vegetables

NYC’s Green Cart Initative

20 Aug

pr036-08As the movement towards a healthier food system has become an increasingly popular topic in our society, the movement towards pragmatic solutions to address food access issues has grown as well. With public discourse surrounding the state of our health, awareness has grown. Opportunities have presented themselves, and solutions have been brought forth.

One solution that is working in NYC is the Green Cart Initiative: bringing fresh fruits and vegetables into neighborhoods without much access to such produce.

Thanks to the Illumination Fund, the NYC Green Cart Initiative has created more than 900 new jobs, offering micro financing opportunities and providing neighborhoods with better access to fruits, vegetables and healthier food choices.

The fund has just published a fantastic and inspiring cookbook, called the NYC Green Cart Fresh Food Pack, a collection of 20 recipes in both Spanish and English, featuring food items available at the green carts and authored by chefs, healthcare professionals and green cart customers and vendors themselves! Check it out here.

We look forward to featuring other practical solutions to addressing the state of our health in our blog, and in the meantime, check out the documentary “Apple Pushers” which provides a face to the Green Cart Initiative.

Feel free to share other stories that help solve local food issues in your communities.

Photo courtesy of nyc.gov

children asking for seconds on raw kale

30 May

6025692440_543276b369We taught a cooking class at PS 261 during their wellness week, and made a quick and tasty strawberry, banana and kale smoothie using greek yogurt and honey.

We started our class with a big stretch and a few jumping jacks to get us in the smoothie mood. Then we tasted kale raw, and asked for feedback from our students. Most of them didn’t really like the taste, they said it tasted like grass and other not-so-delicious things. We then explained all of the health properties of the fruits and vegetables we were blending, and stretched some more. We blended up the ingredients, and passed around smoothie cups for all.

They couldn’t wait to dig in! As you can expect, they all loved it. So we asked them if they could taste the kale in the smoothie? Some said yes, others said no. Then we asked if anyone wanted to bring back some raw kale to their classrooms as a parting gift. They all showed an enthusiastic amount of hands and fingers, and we passed out cups full of kale leaves. Some even asked for seconds, and we snacking on the leaves!

It’s a true gift to be able to spread the message to children that food has healing properties, and by eating well we become stronger, brighter and more brilliant!  Thank you to PS 261 for hosting us, we had a blast!

Photo courtesy of photofarmer

Shopping matters

16 May

slide01For those 501c3’s looking to help educate the public on how to eat healthy on a budget, you should take a look at these available grants. Grant applications end on June 13, 2012, and if you have any questions feel free to reach out to cookingmattersgrants@strength.org

In order to cook at home it’s important to shop well, and wisely. Here are some tips for eating healthy on a budget from Cooking Matters:

  • Compare unit pricing: This is an important step in deciding what goes in your cart and why. By choosing the more affordable option, you can save a lot of money! For example, if you have the option between a 32oz bag of brown rice for 4.3 cents per ounce, or a 16oz bag of brown rice for 7.3 cents per ounce, what would you do? To save money you would chose the first option, as you would get more rice for your buck.
  • Practice reading food labels: Comparing nutritional information can help you make healthier choices. Here is some general information that may help guide you when looking at the nutritional value of foods, and here is some more specific information that will help you learn the percentages of these nutrients that your body needs.
  • Identify whole grains: Whole grains provides us with fiber, iron and B vitamins. Make sure to read food labels, and try to buy products with the least amount of ingredients. Also, when buying breads take a look to make sure that whole wheat is the first on the ingredient list, which means the bread is made up of mostly that ingredient.
  • How to buy fruits & vegetables on a budget: Chose frozen fruits and vegetables with no sugar, salt or fat added. The ingredient list should list the vegetable or fruit only. Look for canned fruit that is only packed in it’s own juices, and make sure to rinse them before eating. Rinse canned beans or vegetables to remove some of the sodium that is added for preserving the food. When buying local, try heading to the farmers market or stand at the end of the day for reduced price items. Even better, if you have access to a garden plot, back or front yard, patio, or even windowsill, try planting your own vegetables and herbs!

For our readers out there, feel free to share your money saving tips for healthy eating all year round.

Photo courtesy of cooking matters