Category: The BEET

Fighting Hunger and Sparking Change

1 in 8 Americans in communities across the U.S. struggle with hunger, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

In Santa Barbara, the proportion is worse, with 1 in 5 children in Santa Barbara County facing food insecurity. To raise awareness and combat the issue, Walmart, Sam’s Club, Feeding America® and Foodbank of Santa Barbara County are running the sixth annual nationwide “Fight Hunger. Spark Change.” campaign.

In partnership with Foodbank of Santa Barbara County, Walmart and Sam’s Club Santa Maria shoppers to help fight hunger in their local community. With 749 million meals achieved over the last five years, we all can help the Feeding America network secure its #1billionmeals goal. 

To support the campaign, you can:

  1. For every participating product purchased at U.S. Walmart stores, Sam’s Clubs or on Walmart.com during the campaign, the supplier will donate the monetary equivalent of at least one meal ($0.10) on behalf of a Feeding America member food bank, up to applicable limits.
  2. Donate money to your local Feeding America food bank at participating Sam’s Club and Walmart stores in the U.S.
  3. Donate at feedingamerica.org/Walmart.

Track the number of meals by visiting www.walmart.com/fighthunger.

Walmart kickstarted the campaign with a $3 million donation to Feeding America and member food banks including Foodbank of Santa Barbara County. A purchase of one of the 267 participating items helps secure the equivalent of one meal. Each Walmart and Sam’s Club will partner with at least one Feeding America local food bank, and the 18 participating suppliers include: Bush Brothers, Campbell’s, Conagra Brands, Cliff Bar, General Mills, Gold Peak Tea, Great Value, Hidden Valley, JM Smucker, Kellogg, Kraft Heinz, McCormick, Motts, PepsiCo, Post, Uncle Ben’s, Nature Nate’s Honey and Unilever.

“As we go into our sixth year of the ‘Fight Hunger. Spark Change.’ campaign, it’s exciting to approach the 1 billion mark in terms of charitable meals secured for Feeding America over the life of the program,” said Kathleen McLaughlin, chief sustainability officer for Walmart. “Food insecurity continues to affect communities across the United States. Working with Feeding America, our customers, members, associates and suppliers, Walmart and Sam’s Club aim to be part of the solution.”

Last year, those facing food insecurity in Santa Barbara County benefited from $27,516 shared with the Foodbank of Santa Barbara County from Walmart and Sam’s Club’s commitment to fight hunger.

To learn more about the campaign visit www.walmart.com/fighthunger.

About Walmart

Walmart Inc. (NYSE: WMT) helps people around the world save money and live better – anytime and anywhere – in retail stores, online, and through their mobile devices.  Each week, over 275 million customers and members visit our more than 11,300 stores under 58 banners in 27 countries and eCommerce websites. With fiscal year 2019 revenue of $514.4 billion, Walmart employs over 2.2 million associates worldwide. Walmart continues to be a leader in sustainability, corporate philanthropy and employment opportunity.  Additional information about Walmart can be found by visiting http://corporate.walmart.com, on Facebook at  http://facebook.com/walmart and on Twitter at http://twitter.com/walmart.

About Feeding America

Feeding America® is the largest hunger-relief organization in the United States. Through a network of 200 food banks and 60,000 food pantries and meal programs, we provide meals to more than 46 million people each year. Feeding America also supports programs that prevent food waste and improve food security among the people we serve; educates the public about the problem of hunger; and advocates for legislation that protects people from going hungry. Individuals, charities, businesses and government all have a role in ending hunger. Donate. Volunteer. Advocate. Educate. Together we can solve hunger. Visit www.feedingamerica.org, find us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter.

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The Many Faces of Volunteerism

April is Volunteer Appreciation Month and the Foodbank of Santa Barbara County will be shining a spotlight throughout the next several weeks on our amazing volunteers, who enable us to do our work to battle food insecurity throughout the county.

Our volunteers come from different backgrounds and places in the world. They range from toddlers to seniors. They are students, working professionals, retired members of the community and more. Some volunteers come as a group and others on their own.  They all have different reasons for volunteering and they all choose different ways to engage with the Foodbank. Through their differences, our volunteers share one thing in common: they are all helping to end hunger in our community.

Some of our volunteers are so committed that they feel like staff. They come 2-5 times every week and have designated projects and tasks that they have been trained to do. Other volunteers come once a week and do more general assistance like cleaning or sorting goods. We also have people that come once a month, once a year or just one time during their vacation in Santa Barbara County. Every hour that a volunteer gives to the Foodbank counts, and we appreciate each person that offers us their time.

Our volunteers are people that want to make a difference in our community. They are individuals seeking purpose and ways to give back to those less fortunate. Sometimes our volunteers are students that are serving for course credit. Other times they might be business professionals at a corporate team building event. Regardless of their reasons, we can’t do what we do without them! Our volunteers are the backbone of this organization regardless of why they choose to donate their time and talent.

If you are looking for ways to get involved with the Foodbank as a volunteer, please visit our volunteer webpage (https://foodbanksbc.org/give-help/volunteer/) or email us at volunteersb@foodbanksbc.org.

 

 

 

 

 

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Why Volunteerism is Critical

April is Volunteer Appreciation Month and the Foodbank of Santa Barbara County will be shining a spotlight throughout the next several weeks on our amazing volunteers, who enable us to do our work to battle food insecurity throughout the county.

Annually, we engage over 2,000 volunteers in nearly all aspects of our work. We rely on these generous team members to ensure that we are able to serve 1 in 4 community members.

Every day, at both our North and South County warehouses, regular volunteers join us to help sort and crate donated food, assist our agency partners in their daily shopping, and drive or ride along as our Operations team goes to area stores as part of our Grocery Rescue food recovery program. Many of these volunteers have been around for years and commit multiple mornings a week to helping out with our daily operations, effectively doubling our Operations workforce.

The Foodbank also boasts a multitude of community programs, including educational programs such Food Literacy in Preschool (FLIP), Kid’s Farmers Market (KFM), and Teens Love Cooking (TLC), in which volunteers educate local kids on nutrition. We rely on bright, dedicated, and engaged volunteers to ensure that the next generation has a healthy foundation.

Our Picnic in the Park (PIP) program, which serves kids free lunches throughout the summer at multiple sites countywide is completely powered by our volunteer base, as is our Brown Bag program, which provides low-income seniors with food staples and fresh produce at 16 sites and through a home delivery program.

These are just a few examples of the many ways our amazing volunteers power our work and enable us to widen our community impact. We will be highlighting ways to get involved with our work throughout this month through this blog and our social media channels.

If you are looking for ways to get involved with the Foodbank as a volunteer, please visit our volunteer webpage (https://foodbanksbc.org/give-help/volunteer/) or email us at volunteersb@foodbanksbc.org.

 

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Food as Medicine: An Easy-to-Digest Podcast for a healthier you.

If you missed our Food as Medicine Lesson on cruciferous vegetables, have no fear! We have turned the information into a bite-sized podcast, so you can learn about making nutritious choices wherever you are. Feel free to download and distribute to your friends!

About the Food as Medicine Program:

Food as Medicine at the Foodbank of Santa Barbara County is a free, community-based education series presenting evidence-based nutrition and food information. Professional nutritionists, consultants, and dietitians share scientific findings alongside practical food preparation techniques and prepared recipe tastings. Food as Medicine sessions highlight invaluable functional properties of food less commonly discussed on main stream media platforms. Rather than focus on nutrient content, which most people are not extensively familiar with, we engage in discussion of a functional compound uniquely available in a fresh food source and the role it has in healing the body or maintaining health.

Our first community Food as Medicine event was hosted in February and covered the topic of cruciferous vegetables. Listen to the podcast below and download the packet with tips, tricks, and recipes to follow along! If you’d like to know about the next Food as Medicine event, like us on Facebook or sign up for our email list.

Download Informational Packet

Download the Podcast

To download:

  1. Click button above
  2. Right-click with your mouse on the black part of the screen
  3. Select “Save as”
  4. Download should start automatically as a .wav file!
  5. Learn and share!

Please credit: “The Power of Cruciferous Vegetables” from Food as Medicine by Miller R, Weiland V, and Baldiviez LM. Released: 2019. Track 1. Genre: podcast.

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The Power of Nose-to-Tail Eating

Meat is a great source of protein, but can also be very expensive. However, there are incredibly healthful ways of eating meat that don’t have to break budget, and that are more environmentally friendly than the most common options. By eating organ meats, we are ingesting a wider variety of nutrients and adding a variety to our diet that we don’t usually have.

Balance
Unlike our ancestors, today we eat mostly muscle meat. Cuts like ribeye,
prime rib, skirt steak, ground chuck, all come from muscles and share a
similar nutritional profile. Organ meats and bones carry nutritional profiles
that enhance and complement the nutrition in muscle meat. Example: The
amino acids methionine (found abundantly in muscles) and glycine (found
abundantly in bones & cartilage) both perform vital functions in the body.

Nutrient Density
Different organs contain concentrations of different nutrients depending on
which nutrients they need to do their jobs. Examples: Heart is a great source
of CoQ10, adrenal glands contain high amounts of Vitamin C, and liver is a
wealth of nutrients due to the many functions it performs and the many
nutrients it needs to do them.

You may be wondering, how am I supposed to cook that? Here’s a simple recipe for beef heart to get you started.

Ingredients:
• 1 beef heart, trimmed and cut into slices or chunks
• salt as needed
• 1/2 large shallot, roughly chopped (save the other half for the vinaigrette)
• pepper to taste
• olive oil as needed
• arugula as needed (a handful per serving)

For the vinaigrette:
• 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
• 1/2 large shallot, minced
• 1/4 teaspoon salt
• 3 tablespoons olive oil
• 1 chopped tablespoon each: oregano, parsley, chives

Method:
1. Liberally salt the beef, add the shallot and oil, toss and refrigerate till
you’re ready to cook it (an hour is optimal, but for as long as 24 hours).
2. For the vinaigrette, combine the vinegar, shallot and salt and allow to
sit for 5 or 10 minutes. Stir in the remaining herbs.
3. Grill the beef over hot direct coals. Depending on your grill and how
you’ve cut your meat, you may want to grill the pieces in a basket or
put them onto water-soaked skewers. Grill to medium rare, 2 to 3
minutes per side.
4. Arrange arugula on plates, top each with beef heart, and spoon the
vinaigrette over the meat.
Source: http://ruhlman.com/2011/08/how-to-cook-beef-heart/

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Vibeke’s Simple Arugula Salad (that her kids love)

This recipe comes from Vibeke Weiland, the chair of our board and also a certified Nutritional Therapy Practitioner practicing at Santa Barbara Wellness for Life in Santa Barbara. This is a simple recipe that she and her kids love! With it’s simple ingredients and little-assembly-required technique, it’s the perfect way to add kid-friendly cruciferous veggies to any meal!

Ingredients:
• A bunch (or bag) of arugula
• As many crumbled walnuts as you like (can be toasted or not)
• As many halved cherry or grape tomatoes as you like
• As much shaved Romano cheese as you like
• Fresh-squeezed lemon juice
• Extra-virgin olive oil
• Salt & pepper
Method:
1. Throw everything except lemon juice, EVOO and S&P into a salad
bowl.
2. Dressing is 50/50 lemon juice and EVOO, plus as much salt & pepper
as you like. I throw them in a small jar and shake, then pour over
salad just before tossing & serving.
Inspired by Arnoldi’s Arugula Salad.

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Cruciferous Veggies and a Holiday Snack

Many traditional holiday snacks can be unhealthy, expensive, and difficult. Sugar cookies? Popcorn? Those carbs will leave you hungry. Fortunately, we’re here to help! Kale has an enormous number of health benefits, and it can also be turned into a healthy snack you’ll love to share with family during the holidays. Also, at approx. $2.99 a bag, kale is a cheap and healthy alternative to potato chips.

Sea Salt & Vinegar Kale Chips
Serves 1 compulsive snacker or 2 “normal” people.
Ingredients:
• 1 bunch kale
• 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
• 1 tablespoon olive oil
• ¼ teaspoon coarse sea salt (more/less to taste)
Method:
1. Preheat oven to 135ºF (Dehydrate), or the lowest temperature it will
go. Can also use a dehydrator if you have one.
2. Wash and dry kale leaves. Strip the green kale leaves from the thick
ribs.
3. Save the ribs for something else
(https://www.epicurious.com/ingredients/9-ways-to-cook-kale-stemsarticle).
4. Cut or tear the kale leaves into your desired size of chips, knowing
that they will shrink a bit while baking.
5. Combine the vinegar, oil and salt in a large bowl. Add the kale
leaves, then use your hands to toss and massage the kale for 1-2
minutes until it is soft and slightly darker.
6. Spread out the kale in a single layer on a dehydrator rack or two.
Dehydrate for 2 hours (if oven temp is higher than 135ºF you will
need to shorten this), or until the kale is crispy and no longer soft.
Remove and serve immediately, or store in a sealed container for up
to 1 week.

Sea Salt and Vinegar Kale Chips

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Irina’s Sweet & Sticky Brussels Sprouts

Back to Crucifers!

We just can’t get enough of them. They’re so important for a healthy diet, AND extremely tasty and versatile. Check back for a new recipe each week!

Irina’s Sweet & Sticky Brussels Sprouts
Ingredients:
• 2 pounds cleaned Brussels sprouts, cut in half
• Olive oil or avocado oil
• salt to taste
• 2 tablespoons balsamic reduction
• 1 cup Medjool dates, pitted and chopped
• 2 teaspoons lemon juice (optional)
• 1/2 cup shaved toasted almonds (optional)
• 2 tablespoons honey
Method:
1. Preheat oven to 350ºF.
2. Toss the halved Brussels sprouts with enough olive oil to lightly coat
and spread into a single layer on a baking sheet.
3. Bake at for 30 minutes, or until sprouts are a bit crunchy on the
outside and soft on the inside.
4. Once cooked, let the sprouts cool for 5-10 minutes. While still warm,
add balsamic reduction, salt, dates, lemon juice (if using), almonds (if
using) and honey. Mix until well combined.
5. Serve warm.
Irina Skoeries, www.catalystcuisine.com.

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Using Food Prep to Make Healthier Choices

I was talking to my dad about some barriers that are faced when it comes to eating healthy. We have access to an abundance of fresh fruit and vegetables, whole grains, and legumes all packed with health-promoting nutrients and yet we opt for microwaveable meals and packaged foods. Making our own food is the best way to control the ingredients and know exactly what we are eating, but sometimes our busy schedules have a bigger say in what we are able to eat in a time-crunch. As much as I love looking at the food-bloggers post of colorful bowls of food and perfectly placed produce on the plate, I personally don’t have time to throw together extravagant meals. As someone working 40+ hours a week between 2 jobs, taking classes and finding as much time as I can to ride my bike, I am all for convenience without sacrificing my health, so here’s a few tips that I have picked up to make sure that I don’t have to spend a ton of time making food and have more time to do the things that I want to do.

1. Simplify your meals.

Eating healthy doesn’t need to mean outrageous salads with 25 ingredients and some fancy dressing. One of my go-to meals is a burrito bowl: the base of rice or quinoa, some greens like kale or spinach and then some legume like lentils or beans usually topped with avocado, nutritional yeast and salsa or hot sauce. That alone will cover most of your nutrient needs and is packed with fiber and a mix of carbs, fat and protein to keep you satisfied. If the rice or quinoa is made beforehand, it takes less than 5 minutes to throw it all in a bowl. I’ll do the same thing with cooked sweet potato; I’ll l just throw it in a bowl with some greens and some sort of sauce topping, and it’s good to go. These foods pack well too and can be taken to work.

2. Meal Prep. Meal Prep. Meal Prep.

This is something that I struggle with too but I am SO glad when I put aside an hour on Sunday and cook up a big pot of rice or quinoa and bake some sweet potatoes in the oven. Then, during the rest of the week, I can just toss them in the microwave, add beans, add greens and I’m good to go. This will save you time and money in the long run and prevents those hungry runs to costly and unhealthy fast food places. Check out the Roberts Technology Group website for more ideas.

3. Buy what you’re going to eat.

Make sure to have some staple foods that you buy and know you can make a meal with. For me that’s: oatmeal, frozen berries, rice, quinoa, potatoes, beans, spinach, kale, frozen veggies, avocado and, right now, apples. Once you have your staples, feel free to venture out and try some new foods and maybe challenge yourself to try cooking a new vegetable, but don’t continue buying romanesco broccoli or purple sweet potatoes every grocery visit if they’re just going to sit at the back of your fridge for 2 weeks then end up in the trash. This can take some trial and error. Personally for me I know I do not eat pears, chard, or beets regularly enough to keep them in my regular grocery haul. Sometimes I’ll throw them in my cart if I have a recipe in mind, otherwise I know I’m just wasting my money.

Written by Taylor Brower.

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Food as Medicine: Cruciferous Veggies

What’s a crucifer?!

It’s not as scary as it sounds, we promise. A crucifer is simply the name of a category of plants that have 4 leaves in an “X” shape. While they’re fairly common vegetables, like broccoli, kale, and brussels sprouts, most people have no idea of the enormous health benefits that these veggies and greens contain.

This particular category of plant contains a chemical called sulforaphane, which has four main benefits for your health:

  1. It is essential for the liver to remove toxins from the body. Toxins in your body can be anything from pesticides on food to pollutants in the air to alcohol.
  2. Sulforaphane signals the body to make more of its own antioxidants. Antioxidants are extremely important for you body to fight off free radicals. Free radicals are destructive molecules that occur naturally as our cells burn fuel for energy and contribute to cancer, dementia, and aging. If someone you know is suffering from dementia check out these care agencies sheffield, that are specialized to help those with dementia.
  3. By doing both of the above, sulforaphane helps to activate genes that help fight cancer.
  4. Similarly, sulforaphane also makes sure our bodies are repairing the daily damage that happens to our DNA through sun exposure, smoking, and radiation.

If you’re like us, then after reading that, you’re super excited to eat some cruciferous veggies! But what are they, and how can we (tastily) eat more of them?

Cruciferous Vegetables  and Cruciferous Greens

  • Broccoli/Broccolini/Romanesco
  • Arugula
  • Brussels Sprouts 
  • Collard Greens
  • Cabbage (incl. Napa & Chinese) 
  • Kale
  • Cauliflower
  • Bok Choy
  • Horseradish / Wasabi 
  • Tat Soi
  • Kohlrabi
  • Mizuna
  • Maca
  • Mustard Greens
  • Radish/Daikon Radish
  • Shepherd’s Purse
  • Turnip
  • Watercress
  • Rutabaga
  • Land Cress

*** Includes sprouts or microgreens of any of the above.

Tips and Tricks:

  1. Pre-cut crucifers like Brussels sprouts, cabbage, or cauliflower 40 minutes before cooking. This allows enough time for the myrosinase and glucoraphanin to comingle and create sulforaphane.
  2. If you don’t have time to wait 40 minutes for sulforaphane to form before cooking, simply add mustard powder or another raw crucifer to cooked crucifers when eating.
  3. If you’re using frozen vegetables like broccoli or cauliflower, add mustard powder or another raw crucifer to the meal to activate the sulforaphane, as frozen veggies tend to be parboiled before packaging.
  1. Increase your daily sulforaphane intake by adding sprouts or microgreens to your meals.

 

Cauliflower Fritters

Makes about 20 fritters.

Ingredients:

  • 1 head cauliflower
  • 8 pieces organic bacon (Applegate Sunday bacon or bacon from a farm that feeds their pigs well)
  • 1/2 cup scallions
  • 1 1/4 cup grated cheese (I prefer a sheep cheese like petit Basque orManchego but any melty cheese will work)
  • 1/4 cup Pecorino Romano cheese
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup breadcrumbs (I use gluten free bread crumbs or substitute chickpea flour)
  • Salt and pepper

Method:

  1. Lightly steam cauliflower. Let cool and rice it in a Cuisinart.
  2. In a bowl combine riced cauliflower and the rest of the ingredients.
  3. Fry in avocado or olive oil until dark brown on each side.
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