Four Reasons I Love to Visit the Farmers Market

It’s Sunday again. Strolling on a street filled with stands of savory produce on a sunny Sunday is always a good idea. At the farmers market, I can pick up fresh produce at a bargain price and get tasty and healthy ingredients for cooking. But aside from taste and health considerations, there are more why I love to visit the farmers market.  Continue reading

Restoring the Good Old Flavors in Tomatoes — A New Technology

TomatoesWhile reading the online ScienceDaily today, I came across a piece of interesting food news: scientists at University of Florida have discovered the key to restoring great tomato flavor. According to the news release, during the past 50 years or so, commercial tomatoes have gradually lost their original tasty flavors. To put the flavors back to tomatoes, scientists have studied the DNA in a tomato gene (called “alleles”), identified the chemical combinations for better tomato flavors, and used genetic analysis to replace alleles in modern tomato varieties so that they can be more flavorful.  Continue reading

Say No to Food Waste—A New Idea

I once blogged about what we can do to reduce food waste when I discussed how we as individuals can reduce food waste in our daily routines. Today, I read a very interesting news article on Huffington Post that talks about a new initiative to reduce restaurant food waste: buy leftover buffet food at huge discounts at local restaurants.  Continue reading

Diversity at School Lunch—Is It Necessary and Realistic?

I came across an interesting article in today’s The Washington Times: some schools in Des Moines, Iowa are working to make their lunches more ethnically diverse — adding meals like enchiladas with pinto beans and chicken rice with sweet and sour sauce. They are doing so to accommodate an increasingly diverse student population. To read this news article, click here.

Delving deeper into the article, I see that one of the triggers for this new initiative is that some immigrant students went home for lunch and never returned to their afternoon classes. To keep the students on campus and to show hospitality, the schools came up with this diversity lunch idea.

This is a wonderful initiative. I applaud the kindness and generosity of the schools!

But is it necessary? Or, is it realistic for most schools to serve tacos, fried rice, chicken nuggets, etc., all at the same time? 

Continue reading

Let’s Clean Our School Cafeterias!

School CafeteriaAccording to collective wisdom, we high school students spend the best time of our school days during the lunch break. We all desire a clean and comfortable environment for the lunchtime fun. However, recently, due to surging government budget cuts, we are seeing increasingly insufficient cleaning and care being devoted to our school cafeterias.  Continue reading

What Can We Do to Reduce Food Waste?

Image1For many of us, tossing away food from plates, fridges, bags, and/or storage is a routine that we take for granted. When we discard food habitually, we rarely pause to consider the consequences of our actions.

According to a recent press lease by U.S. Department of Agriculture:  Continue reading

How Much is Too Much? — Thoughts from the New Dietary Guidelines

Today, the federal government issued its much-anticipated update to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans.  For a read of the new guidelines, click here.

Most of the new guidelines sound familiar: eat more fruits and vegetables, consume more seafood and whole grains, and  cut down on salt, refined grains, sodium, saturated fats, and trans fats.

One new recommendation stands out: we should limit added sugar consumption to no more than 10% of daily calories.

How much added sugar amounts to 10% of daily calories?  Continue reading

The Debate on Healthy School Lunch – A Year in Review

12-26-2015.Image1It has been almost three years since the enactment of Nutrition Standards in the National School Lunch and School Breakfast Programs by the U.S. Department of Agriculture in January 2012. Under this rule, schools are required to increase the availability of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and fat-free or low-fat fluid milk in school meals; reduce the levels of sodium, saturated fat and trans-fat in meals; and meet the nutrition needs of school children within their calorie requirements. How has this rule affected the students across the country? What is the reality of today’s school lunch systems in America?  Continue reading

Farming with Nature – Reflections from an Urban Farm

In the heart of the Silicon Valley urban area, on the bank of the San Francisco Bay, there is a historic farm where vegetables are cultivated and livestock are raised in traditional farming ways. Here, we see organic vegetables that have the garden-fresh look you cannot find on the shelves of large-chain grocery stores. Here, we find grazing livestock happily roaming on natural pastures. Here, we witness crops being harvested and freshly supplied to our local community year round. And here, we feel closer to nature and to our community.

Located in Fremont, California, Ardenwood Historic Farm is home to more than 20 picture2different fruits and vegetables as well as over 10 different farm animals, serving the much-appreciated local farmers’ markets for more than 360,000 residents in the Tri-Valley area.

On a recent visit to the farm, I asked a worker why he has worked on the farm for 15 long years.  Continue reading