Dispelling nutrition myths, ranting, and occasionally, raving


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Follow Friday: @Taste_Workshop

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Michele Redmond is a chef and dietitian in Arizona who’s passion is helping people live well through enjoyment of food. She refers to herself as a “food enjoyment eating activist”  (love it!) and says that she has no patience for promoting restrictive eating as a solution to obesity – AMEN to that! She wants to help people create their own healthy eating environments where “food is a solution, not a problem”.

When I asked Michele if there was anything in particular she’d like me to share about her, she said that she’s planning to launch her own blog next month where she’ll be ranting about “our crazy food/eating culture” so stay tuned for that. In the meantime, you can find Michele on twitter at @Taste_Workshop or on her website The Taste Workshop. Her website has information about current and past events on great topics like knife skills and cooking with fermented dairy.

When Monika (last week’s Follow Friday) suggested Michele for a Follow Friday post she told me that Michele has helped her with recipe development and that she’s “big on helping people feel confident about appreciating how our sense of taste works”. Thanks for introducing us Monika!

If you know a dietitian who I should feature in a Follow Friday post, please send me your nomination(s)!

 


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Follow Friday: Holiday donations

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This holiday season, if you’re like me, you have people on your list who are nearly impossible to shop for. Giving a donation to a worthy organization in their name is a great way to give back and honour them. Of course, there are plenty of food drives and opportunities to help people with immediate needs, but if you want to go beyond that and attempt to have more of a lasting impact with your donation, here are a few food-related organizations you might want to consider donating to:

Community Food Centres Canada has locations throughout the country and grew out of The Stop in Toronto. The Stop began as a food bank but became so much more. Now community food centres offer food literacy education; opportunities to grow and cook food with fellow community members. Many have markets and serve as hubs for community members to come together over food. This holiday season you can make a donation in a loved one’s name to your local centre, or to the organization in general through their “My Food Hero” campaign.

The World Food Programme is a donation-based organization working to fight hunger and promote food security around the world. You can learn more about donating to them, or others ways you can help here.

Food Secure Canada is devoted to bringing a national food policy to our country. Their goals are: “zero hunger, healthy and safe food, sustainable food systems.” In addition, they provide education opportunities for anyone who’s interested through webinars and conferences. You can support their work here.

On a local level, you might consider donating your time or money to a community garden, community oven, community kitchen, food security network, or a poverty roundtable.

I’m sure that there are loads more worthy organizations, these are just a few that came to mind. Feel free to add more in the comments.


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Follow Friday: @chefjacqueslamerde

This Wired article in one of my google alerts alerted (hmm… could probably do with a synonym there) me to this hilarious Instagram account. It was created by a real chef as a parody of the pretentious world of gourmet food.

How could you not love things like this dish made of “elite fish imported from Sweden”?

WHEN U HAVE SOIGNÉ INGREDIENTS, U RLLY HAVE THE OPPORTUNITY TO JUST LET THAT FOOD SPEAK 2 UR GUESTS MOUTH FOR U. U MITE NEED TO ADD A BIT OF FANCY MOSS, OR MAYBE A LITTLE ASH BUT IN GENERAL U JUST NEED SOME TWEEZERS AND A LITTLE RESTRAINT!!!! JOSE AND I CREATED THIS DISH AROUND SOME PRETTY ELITE FISH WE GOT IMPORTED FROM SWEDEN!!!! WE MADE A SIMPLE CEVICHE OUT OF THESE *SWEDISH FISH* USING SOME OF THAT GREEN MEXICAN GATORADE, AND THEN ADDED LTD EDITION BANANA BERRY MINIONS CEREAL, SOME MINI EGGS AND JUST KIND OF SORTED IT ON A PUDDLE OF FROSTIN WE MADE BLUE BECAUSE CONCEPTUALLY IT MADE A RESONATION W/ US!!!!! FUN DIP POWDER BRO DUST!!!!! #soigné #theartofplating #cheflyfe #tweezers #fourmagazine #wildchefs #hashtagfood #swedishfish #yearofthecrudo #minieggs #yassssss #minions #bananaberry #fundip #likmaid

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or this beautiful Velveeta plate?

SUMTIMES WHEN IM PLATIN ITS LIKE MY BRAIN HAS A MIND OF ITS OWN AND ILL START W/ ONE INGREDIENT IM FOCUSSED ON, BUT BY THE TIME IM DONE THERE WILL BE LIKE 3 FOAMS, 14 FUNCTIONAL GARNISHES AND 2 FLUID GELS AND EVEN THO IT LOOKS AMAZIN, AND SO SO SOIGNÉ, I KNO I NEED 2 JUST THROW THE PLATE AGAINST THE WALL AND TRY AGAIN.  TONITES SPEC IS A TRIBUTE TO 1 OF MY FAVE INGREDIENTS AND IT WAS RLLY HARD FOR ME 2 NOT START TWEEZIN ON ALL KINDS OF ADDITIONS, BUT U KNO WUT BROS??? WHEN UR WORKIN W/ A GREAT PRODUCT, EVERYTHING U ADD UR ACTUALLY TAKIN AWAY FROM ITS OVERALL CRED.  SOMETIMES THE LOUDEST SHOUT IS ACTUALLY A WHISPER!!!!!!! VELVEETA BRICK CUT INTO THE SHAPE OF A CIRCLE, VELVEETA FOAM, DEHYDRATED VELVEETA SLICE TUILE, VELVEETA CREMA, VELVEETA FONDUE, CRUSHED UP CHEEZE SANDWICH CRACKER SOIL, EDIBLE FLOWERS!!!!! #100psoigné #theartofplating #gastroart #plateswagger #chefart #foodie #velveeta #negativespace #tweezers #foodporn #sponsored #liquidgold #YAAASSSSS

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Follow Friday: Local Food Week #LoveONTfood

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Local Food Week is coming up June 6-12th. I wanted to do something special to celebrate on the blog. After thinking about it I decided that I would take the week to feature stories from people working in various aspects of local food. As a Nova Scotian living in Ontario, and as I have readers from around the world, I didn’t want to limit the location for “local” food. After all, local means different things to different people and it’s very much relative to where you call home.

I put a call out on Twitter for submissions from people involved with food and I have some great guest posts lined-up for you. There’s still space for a few more though so I thought that I would put the call out to all of you. Are you a farmer? A cook? A restauranteur? A baker? A cookbook author? A food manufacturer? A food producer? A chef? A food bank or soup kitchen employee or volunteer? A brewmaster? Coffee roaster? etc. If you’re interested in writing a guest blog post to share your story/experience/opinion… please send me an email (dianamchard [at] gmail [dot] com), I’d love to give you the space here to share your story.


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Comparing apples to oranges

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Image by Timothy Neesam on Flickr used under a Creative Commons Licence

A couple of weeks ago I saw someone with “an interest in nutrition” (this according to their bio) attempting to argue with a dietitian on twitter about nutrition. She had posted something about whole grains (I can’t remember exactly what) and he had asserted that vegetables are a better source of fibre than grains and are therefore nutritionally superior. I bit my tongue and restrained my texting fingers as I didn’t want to get into a circular 140 character argument on twitter when I should have been going to bed. Instead I saved my ranting for you. You’re welcome.

I see the argument that vegetables are superior to grains as disingenuous. You remember the saying about comparing apples to oranges, right? Well, there’s a reason for that saying. It makes no sense to compare two things that are very different. Just like comparing apples to oranges is nonsensical, so is comparing vegetables to grains. Sure, some vegetables might have more fibre than some grains. But other vegetables have very little, and other grains have lots. We also don’t eat foods for single nutrients. There are different nutritional benefits to both grains and vegetables.

People often ask me if X vegetable is better than Y. The answer is pretty much always that they’re both good for different reasons. It’s like asking a parent which child they love more. I love all vegetables equally, but differently. Just because one vegetable has more vitamin C in it doesn’t make it better than another vegetable that may have more potassium.

We also don’t eat foods solely for their nutritional composition. Sometimes we actually eat them because they taste good! Eating doesn’t have to only be about what nutrients we can obtain from the food.

Eating isn’t a competition (unless you’re in an eating competition). It’s not an either or proposition. Foods work together to provide us with all of the nutrients we need. That can include both grains and vegetables.