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Food Literacy Blog

Overview

Food Literacy Blog

Food Wiki

Agar-Agar

Recipe Heather Teoh of Eat the Wind

Vietnamese Fresh Rolls with Tofu

Food Wiki

Soluble Fiber

Soluble fibers help our bodies slow down digestion by attracting water and forming a gel. It delays the stomach from emptying its contents and thus makes us feel full. Slower stomach emptying may also have positive effects on blood sugar levels and insulin sensitivity, which may help control diabetes.  Soluble fibers can also help lower LDL (bad) cholesterol by inhibiting with the absorption of dietary cholesterol.

Food Wiki

Clean Food

The key aspect to the clean food movement is eating foods that are as close to their natural state and point of origin as possible. The movement also adopts “slow foods” lifestyle – foods that are grown, prepared and eaten without the fast food rush. For example, instead of purchasing prepared chicken nuggets from a fast food restaurant or a grocery store, they would cook their own chicken.

Food Wiki

Food Desert

Coined in 1995 by a government work group in Scotland, a food desert refers to urban and rural areas in an industrialized country where there is inadequate access to affordable nutritious foods. Food deserts are most prevalent in lower socioeconomic minority communities where there is a lack of grocery stores in close proximity.

Recipe Joanna Neft
Photo Courtesy: Keith Sutter

Sautéed Summer Squash with Almonds

Food Wiki

Crop Rotation

Crop rotation comprises of splitting the garden into four or more sections and planting a different plant species in each section yearly. With a planned rotating schedule, the gardener can make sure that every section ultimately receives each plant family. Crop rotation prevents the spread of plant diseases, reduces insect invasions, and lowers the risks of erosion and weather damage. It also increases net profits, improves soil fertility, and balances the nutrients in the soil.

Recipe Heather Teoh of Eat the Wind

Quinoa Salad with Black Bean & Corn

Food Wiki

Urban Foraging

Urban foraging is the act of gathering edible wild fruits and vegetables that grow freely in cities. It is a growing movement that’s gaining popularity with home cooks and professional chefs alike. Supporters consider urban foraging a way to reconnect with nature and avoid dealing with the industrial food system. They also believe that foraging is a way to save money (free food) and it helps to reduce waste (ripe fruits are not left to rot on the ground).

Food Wiki

Companion Planting

Different plants have natural elements in different parts (roots, leaves and flowers) that can either repel and/or attract insects, and can also help enrich the cultivation and flavor of other plants. Gardeners can plant a variety of flowers and herbs as companion plants to fit their certain needs. For example, companion plants can help to repel pests while still attracting beneficial insects.

Recipe Heather Teoh of Eat the Wind

Vietnamese Bun (Noodles) Salad with Tofu

Food Wiki

Pollination

Pollination allows plants to reproduce and fertilize, which results in the bearing of fruits. Flowers have male parts (stamen) that produce pollen and a female part called the pistil with a top part (stigma) that is often sticky. Seeds are made at the base of the pistil, and for the plant to be pollinated, pollen must be moved from the stamen to the stigma. Plants can self-pollinate when its pollen is transferred to its stigma.

Food Wiki

Shade-Grown

Certain crops can be grown in the shade and not in a clear-cut field with full sun. If you are growing the plant for the leaves, stems or buds, they grow well in the shade. Shade-grown crops mature slowly have a more intense flavor, and they include salad greens, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, Swiss chard, and coffee beans. This type of practice also is environmentally friendly as it supports biodiversity and creates less need for fertilizers. These shade grown areas are also small ecosystems that act as an oasis for migratory birds.

Food Wiki

Polyculture

Polyculture is a system of growing a diverse crop of plants that are interrelated and interdependent to one another. This system mimics the complexity of plants found in any natural ecosystem and these symbiotic relationships bring about more stability to the garden or farm.

With the variety of plants, the garden or farm can produce fruits and vegetables almost continually because they are maturing at different times. The thickness of the planting helps to eliminate weeds, and also works to keep the soil moist and cool.

Recipe Food Literacy Center
Guacamole

Guacamole

Food Wiki

Fair Trade

A fair trade certification on a product ensures consumers that cooperative farm workers have been paid a living wage and labored under safe conditions. The fair trade premium goes toward a workers’ collective to provide education, healthcare, and pension benefits. In addition, fair trade farming techniques must be sustainable. Through purchasing fair trade certified products, consumers can help revive developing countries, mitigate the exploitation of workers, and promote environmental sustainability.

Food Wiki

Permaculture

Permaculture is based on ethics and design principles that help guide individuals, households and communities toward a sustainable future. Those who practice permaculture grow crops in balance with the environment through planting several species in the same area to complement, nourish and protect one another.

Recipe Heather Teoh of Eat the Wind

Spicy Bok Choy Stir Fry

Food Wiki

Food Justice

When communities come together to practice food justice, they are exercising their right to grow, sell, access and eat nutritious food, regardless of race, gender, class or citizenship. Food justice advocates focus their efforts toward a robust local food system, healthy communities and a sustainable environment. They do this through education, community organizing and political action.

Recipe Joanne Neft

Roasted Beet Salad with Cucumber

Food Wiki

Biodynamics

Developed in the early 1920s based on the teachings of Austrian writer and social activist, Dr. Rudolf Steiner, biodynamics refers to an spiritual, ethical and ecological approach to agriculture, food production and nutrition.

Food Wiki

Iodized Salt

It is a known fact that eating too much salt raises blood pressure, however consuming too little salt is bad for health too. Specifically, we need to consume enough iodized salt. An adult needs to consume 150 micrograms of iodine a day and pregnant women need to consume from 200 to 300 micrograms a day.

Food Wiki

Food Insecurity

Food insecurity is when there is limited/uncertain physical and economic access to obtain nutritious and safe foods to maintain a healthy and active life. A lack of basic knowledge on food use (basic nutrition and care) also contributes to food insecurity.

Food Wiki

Factory Farming

Factory farming refers to the process of raising livestock in confinement at high stocking density in farms that operate like factories – producing the highest output at the lowest cost. The main products of factory farming are meat, milk and eggs for human consumption. Factory farming is controversial as it consists of industrialized animal cruelty, widespread environmental destruction, resource depletion, and animal and human health risks.

Food Wiki

Sustainable Agriculture

The principle of sustainable agriculture is that we must meet our present needs without compromising the future generation’s ability to meet their own needs. Integrating the three main goals of environmental health, economic profitability, and social and economic justice, sustainable agriculture is the responsibility of farmers, laborers, policymakers, researchers, consumers and retailers.

Food Wiki

Food Security

Food security: when all members of a household have access and ability to acquire nutritionally adequate and safe foods on a regular basis.

Recipe Jillena Hernández

Grandma Kaye’s Matzo Ball Soup

Food Wiki

Glycemic Index

Using a scale of 0 to 100, Glycemic Index (GI) ranks carbohydrates on their rate of conversion to glucose within the body. Higher values are given to foods that cause blood sugar (glucose) levels to rise the most rapidly in the body. Pure glucose is used as a reference point and is given a GI of 100.

Food Wiki

Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Omega-3 fatty acids (also known as polyunsaturated fatty acids) are considered essential fatty acids; they are necessary for the body to function normally but the body can’t produce fatty acids. You can get these fatty acids through eating foods like fish and other seafood such as algae and krill, some vegetables, and nut oils. There are several types of omega-3 fatty acids: EPA and DHA are found in certain fish including salmon, sardines, tuna and halibut, and ALA is found in flax seeds and vegetables like kale and collard greens.

Recipe Heather Teoh of Eat the Wind

Spicy Korean Chicken Stew (Dak Bokkumtang)

Food Wiki

Complex Carbohydrates

The main function of carbohydrates is to provide energy for the body. There are two types of carbohydrates – complex and simple. Complex carbohydrates are found in vegetables, whole grain bread and cereals, whereas simple carbohydrates are found in table sugar, honey, milk, white flour and fruits.

Recipe Amber K. Stott

Potato & Roasted Garlic Soup

Food Wiki

Trans Fat

Trans fat, also called trans-fatty acids, is the product of adding hydrogen to vegetable oil through hydrogenation, which makes it solid and extends its shelf life.

Recipe Heather Teoh of Eat the Wind

Vegetarian Thai Coconut Soup

Recipe Heather Teoh of Eat the Wind

Singapore Fried Rice Noodles

Food Wiki

Farm to School

The Farm to School Network is a program based in Chicago that connects K-12 schools with local farms to serve healthy meals in school cafeterias; improve student nutrition; provide agricultural, health, and nutrition educational opportunities; and support local and regional farmers. The program also helps students understand where their food comes from and how their choices affect their bodies, the environment, and their communities.

Recipe Amber K. Stott

Warm Spiced Nuts

Recipe

Asian Chicken Salad with Pomelo

The pomelo adds a sweet and sour citrus flavor to the salad, which complements the vinegar and soy sauce–based dressing. This recipe is inspired by my good friend and amazing home cook Kari Murphy. Check out the fun facts, history and nutrition of pomelo.

Serves 4 to 6

Food Wiki

GMO

GMO (Genetically Modified Organism) refers to any plant or animal that is genetically engineered. In the U.S., it is legal for farmers to produce and sell GMO products, whereas in Japan and Europe, it is illegal until further tests can prove that GMO products are safe.

Recipe

Tossing for Good Luck: The Chinese New Year Salad

The Year of the Rat strikes on January 25 and Chinese people around the world will celebrate it for 15 days. During this time, they will wear brand new clothes, visit family and friends, and have auspicious meals together. In Singapore and Malaysia, friends and families will mark the occasion by tossing together a large plate of Yu Sheng, a salad of raw fish, fruits and vegetables, to ensure a lucky, prosperous and healthy year for all.

Recipe Andrew Wilder of Eating Rules

Start the Day Right with Müesli

Food Wiki

Foodshed

Coined in 1929 by Walter Hedden in his book How Great Cities are Fed, foodshed refers to the physical area defined by a construct of food resource–where it is produced, how it is transported, where it is consumed. Your backyard tomato patch is a personal foodshed. So is the farm in Mexico that produced the bananas you bought at the grocery store.

It’s important to know the foodshed of what you eat so you can make informed decisions regarding where your money goes.

Recipe Ann, Grange Contest Winner

Meatless Monday: Panade Soup

 

Food Wiki

Community Supported Agriculture (CSA)

CSA, or community supported agriculture, has become a popular way for consumers to buy local and seasonal produce directly from a farmer. The consumer purchases a “share” (or membership) from a farmer and in return, they receive a box of fresh produce (or coffee, meat, or whatever else the producer chooses) each week throughout the farming season. Some CSAs allow you to choose every-other-week schedules, adding extra things like handmade pasta or nuts, or even different sizes of boxes.

Recipe Ann Martin Rolke

Nutty Pumpkin Lasagna

Recipe Amber K. Stott

Soft-Boiled Eggs

Recipe Amber K. Stott

Baked Mexican Sopes with Fresh Corn Flour

Recipe Heather Teoh of Eat the Wind

Kabocha Squash Thai Red Curry

Recipe Amber K. Stott

Fast Enchilada Sauce

Recipe Amber K. Stott

Pumpkin Cornbread Muffins

Recipe Andrew Wilder of Eating Rules

Dad’s Homemade Granola

Recipe Food Literacy Center

Basil Guacamole

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