Slow Food Central New Jersey’s EAT LOCAL Winter Farmers Markets

What can be better than sourcing local food? Come to the 2012 Slow Food Central NJ’s “EAT SLOW” Winter Farmers Markets in December, January and February and stock up on locally produced meats, breads, mushrooms, cheeses, wine, baked goods, sweets, pies and much more.

THE UNHAPPY TRUTH ABOUT SODA

The Real Bears

Animated Short Film Takes on Big Soda

Features Original Song by Jason Mraz, Executive Creative Director: Alex Bogusky

It wasn’t so bad when soft drinks were the occasional treat. But now sugary drinks are the number one source of calories in the American diet. With one third of America overweight and another third obese, it’s a wonder anyone is still swallowing what the soda companies are selling.

Big soda companies have billions of dollars to tell their story, but we have each other. Oh, and we have the truth. Help The Real Bears spread the truth about soda by sharing the film.

The Center for Science in the Public Interest is escalating its longstanding campaign to reduce the consumption of soda and other sugary drinks today with the release of an animated short film exposing the drinks’ unhappy health consequences.

The Real Bears tells the story of a family of polar bears who, even in their distant Arctic environment, are not immune from sunny marketing messages from Big Soda. The whole family is consuming too much soda… and is experiencing everything from weight gain to tooth decay to problems in the bedroom. Only after recuperating from a terrifying visit to Doc Fox’s chilly surgical suite does Pop Bear come to realize that soda has brought nothing but sadness to his family. In the film’s stirring dénouement, he leads his family to reclaim their health—and their happiness.

The film features an original song, Sugar, by Grammy-award winning singer-songwriter Jason Mraz which he wrote and performed with the San Diego-based rapper MC Flow.

Though consumption has declined slightly in recent years, soda and sugary drinks still are the biggest single source of calories in the American diet, accounting for about 7 percent. And while Coca-Cola, PepsiCo, and other soda companies spend lavishly to position the products as sources of happiness, sugary drinks are directly linked to obesity and diabetes. Each additional sugary drink consumed per day increases the likelihood of a child becoming obese by about 60 percent. Drinking one or two sugary drinks per day increases one’s risk for type 2 diabetes by 27 percent. The Real Bears family learns—like many real American families have—that these conditions and their complications are sources of sadness, not happiness.

“Coke and Pepsi have skillfully cultivated incredibly strong emotional bonds with consumers around the world even though their products actually cause quite a bit of misery,” said CSPI executive director Michael F. Jacobson. “The Real Bears seeks to sever some of those bonds, and to get people thinking about what they’re drinking. We don’t have their budgets but we do have the truth. And the truth is that soda equals sadness.”

CSPI turned to advertising guru Alex Bogusky, formerly co-chairman of Crispin Porter + Bogusky, for creative direction when the group decided to produce a short film aimed at repositioning soda. Among other things, Bogusky helmed advertising campaigns for Burger King, Coke Zero, Microsoft, and the pioneering anti-tobacco Truth Campaign. Marty and Adam Butler of the Austin, TX.,-based The Butler Bros. served as executive producers and asked Helskini-based animator Lucas Zanotto to direct and design.

“I like the taste of soda and I’ve had my share and I don’t imagine a world without soda,” Bogusky said. “But the reality is that over the years sugary drinks have gone from an occasional treat to an everyday, every-occasion beverage. This project attempts to contrast the marketing hype around soda with the stark reality and it is my hope that it makes some small contribution to a critical cultural awakening. We need to begin to connect the dots between what we are sold, what we eat, and how sick we have become,” said Bogusky.

“No one’s saying you can’t have the occasional soda,” said Mraz. “But by calling attention to some hazards of sugar consumption perhaps folks will choose healthier options. I have had people close to me devastated by the effects of over-consuming sugar and soda on a daily basis over many years. I hope The Real Bears inspires people to think about what they drink and make a change for the better.”

“Anyone who ever chugged a soda should watch this film,” said Morgan Spurlock, the filmmaker behind the 2003 documentary Super Size Me.

The film is available at TheRealBears.org.

The Real Bears

Agency: Common (Boulder, CO) and The Butler Bros. (Austin, TX)
Executive Creative Director: Alex Bogusky
Executive Producers: Marty & Adam Butler
Writers: Ronny Northrop & Ryan Kutscher
Art Director: Stefanie Hermsdorf
Account Director: Mark Ekhardt
Producer: Amanda Fox
Director/Designer/Animator: Lucas Zanotto
Music: Jason Mraz
Guitar and mix: Bill Bell
Horn parts: Grooveline Horns
Offline/Online Editor: Travis Wurges
Sound Design: Nikolai von Sallwitz
Mix: Travis Wurges
Web Design: Cyrus Clemesen

WELLNESS IN THE SCHOOLS, (WITS) inspires healthy eating, environmental awareness and fitness as a way of life for kids in public schools across the country.

Through meaningful public/private partnerships with school leadership, teachers, chefs, coaches, parents and students, Wellness in the Schools creates healthier schools and families. WITS believes that healthy bodies make healthy minds, in order to shape both we provide hands-on programs like Cook for Kids, Green for Kids and Coach for Kids. These programs create healthier meals, healthier environments and opportunities for regular play and fitness activities.

DID YOU KNOW? We spend $147 billion annually on obesity related illnesses in the United States.

In partnership with local Departments of Education, Wellness in the Schools (WITS) operates the Cook for Kids program in public school cafeterias and classrooms to promote healthy eating and combat childhood obesity.
WITS invests in training culinary graduates who work as partners with cafeteria staff in preparing daily scratch-cooked meals and educating families about the importance of eating healthy food. WITS cooks also teach children and their families how to cook healthy, delicious, and affordable recipes featuring whole, unprocessed foods through our WITS Labs, a series of seasonal cooking classes.

As a member of First Lady Michelle Obama’s Chefs Move to Schools planning team, WITS realizes the importance of engaging the culinary community, and partners with local chefs and restaurants who inspire students, lead special events, and act as wellness ambassadors.

WITS Cafe
Our program within the NYC public school kitchens works to support the implementation of scratch cooking, healthier school lunch recipes and the expansion of salad bars. WITS Cooks work alongside SchoolFood staff in the kitchen, and engage students in conversation around healthy eating, encouraging them to try new foods and menu items.

Wellness Lab
The Wellness Lab is the component of the Cook for Kids program that takes place in the classroom. Interactive cooking and nutrition demonstrations are incorporated into the school day for children and in some schools supplemental classes are offered during the evening for parents. In the Wellness Lab for children, we introduce children to seasonal produce and have them prepare and taste the produce in a variety of ways: raw, roasted and in a recipe.

WITS BITS
WITS BITS are simple and short (20 minute) classroom experiences that focus on teaching children nutrition-based lessons. WITS Cooks bring demonstrations into the classroom to teach students hands-on lessons about healthy food and eating that allow them to learn by seeing, listening, and doing.

Check out what else WITS is up to on their website.

Teachers in the Garden Series: Educating and empowering people to improve their communities through gardening and urban agriculture


The Teachers in the Garden Series is a new online garden-based curricular resource for first-time gardening teachers. This is a new pilot project for Gateway Greening’s youth programs. Each 3-5 minute video teaches a simple/specific gardening task or topic and ties with various curricular connection ideas. As the videos evolved, Gateway Greening has tried to cater them for both teachers and students. That is, each video will become more than just a tutorial but a mini lesson itself. Check out an excerpt of the lesson on Seedling Care.

After your seeds have germinated, it’s time to properly care and maintain your seedlings to ensure healthy growth and easier transplanting. Light, water, ventilation, fertilization, and thinning are 5 key steps we will talk about. In Pilot 3, we sowed broccoli seeds into 3 peat pots. Now see how these seeds have fared over the past few weeks. Which ones are doing well? Which one failed? What factors might have caused these results? Watch the video and explore these questions further!

Click here to see the full lesson!

NEW GREEN CITY at UNION SQUARE Presented by GROW NYC…


Learn How to Live Green in NYC! Wednesday October 10th from 10AM to 5PM at Union Square. Free and Open to the Public!

About Your Host: GrowNYC is a hands-on non-profit which improves New York City’s quality of life. Whether it’s operating the world famous Union Square Greenmarket, building a new community garden, teaching young people about the environment, or improving recycling awareness, if you’re a New Yorker, GrowNYC is working near you! Make a donation to support a better NYC.

  • Relevant, action-oriented workshops led by The New School and others
  • Interactive art projects and presentations
  • DIY tutorials on weatherization techniques and much more
  • Walk through “Recyclarium” and learn how 3Rs work hosted by Sims Metal Management
  • Learn about New York City’s Bike Share program with Citibank
  • Watch chefs go head to head at a Solar Cook-Off with locally grown, seasonal food
  • Make Green Art for all ages
  • Onsite textile and cell phone recycling
  • Buy farm fresh produce at one of the country’s largest and best Greenmarket
  • Meet local leaders in the sustainability movement

www.grownyc.org/newgreencity

Vertical Gardening by Derek Fell

Notable author and gardener Derek Fell has tried and tested thousands of varieties of vegetables, flowers, and fruits and recommends the best plants for space-saving vertical gardening. His grow-up, grow-down system also shows which ground-level plants make good companions underneath and alongside climbing plants. Best of all, many of Fell’s greatest climbers and mutually beneficial plants are available in seed packets in every local garden center.

Vertical Gardening: Grow Up, Not Out, for More Vegetables and Flowers in Much Less Space by Derek Fell

The Year-Round Vegetable Gardener by Niki Jabbour

In The Year-Round Vegetable Gardener, Nova Scotia–based gardener and writer Niki Jabbour shares her secrets for growing food during every month of the year. Her season-defying techniques, developed in her own home garden where short summers and low levels of winter sunlight create the ultimate challenge, are doable, affordable, and rewarding for gardeners in any location where frost has traditionally ended the growing season.

The Year-Round Vegetable Gardener: How to Grow Your Own Food 365 Days a Year, No Matter Where You Live by Niki Jabbour

Four-Season Harvest by Eliot Coleman

If you love the joys of eating home-garden vegetables but always thought those joys had to stop at the end of summer, this book is for you. Eliot Coleman introduces the surprising fact that most of the United States has more winter sunshine than the south of France. He shows how North American gardeners can successfully use that sun to raise a wide variety of traditional winter vegetables in backyard cold frames and plastic covered tunnel greenhouses without supplementary heat.

Four-Season Harvest: Organic Vegetables from Your Home Garden All Year Long by Eliot Coleman

Change Comes to Dinner by Katherine Gustafson

How vertical farmers, urban growers and other innovators are revolutionising how america eats.

Change Comes to Dinner: How Vertical Farmers, Urban Growers, and Other Innovators Are Revolutionizing How America Eats by Katherine Gustafson

The Veggiecation Program, empowering children for the love of vegetables.

Veggiecation offers cooking classes that are educational, fun, healthy, and tasty! Cooking experiences make a positive and lasting impact and we now have the ability to bring a variety of Veggiecation activities and cooking classes to a larger spectrum of events!

Big changes start small. The beginning of your children’s lifelong healthy habits can start with a simple nibble from the veggies they will learn about, work with while preparing meals, and most importantly, have fun with!

A Perfect Healthy and Educational Activity for:

  • School Classroom Visits
  • School Assemblies
  • After-school Programs
  • Summer Camps
  • Girl Scouts
  • Boy Scouts
  • 4-H Clubs
  • Birthday Parties
  • Youth Farmer’s Markets
  • Health & Environment Fairs
  • Family Reunions
  • Community Block Parties
  • Community Picnics
  • Religious Gatherings
  • Veggiecation Parties

If you do not see anything that describes your event on the list above, do not hesitate to contact us, we will try our hardest to supply your children with a tasty and life-changing experience. Big or small, we will work with all!

Currently, we are available in all of New York City, Northeastern New Jersey, and Southwestern Connecticut. Contact us if you are interested in becoming a part of growing team of national Veggiecators!

Healthy School Food asked schools to offer plant-based entrees as a healthy option, provide nutrition education that includes information on multi-cultural and plant-based eating patterns, promote farm to school programs, and more.


Schools are the place where students go to learn, and part of what they learn about, at least in certain grades, is nutrition. While what they are taught about nutrition is influenced by the food industry, and is therefore less than ideal, it is at least far better than how most American’s are eating these days. When schools offer foods and beverages that are inconsistent with what students are being taught, the hypocrisy is not lost on students. Schools act “in loco parentis” (in place of parents) and when children pass through the front doors of a school, parents expect that their child will be cared for and protected while they are at school. The school food environment is a microcosm of the food environment in our society, and it contributes not just to obesity, but also to setting children up for heart disease, cancer, type 2 diabetes, behavioral problems, and poor health regardless of whether the student is overweight or not.

Cool School Food in New York City and Ithaca are partnerships between the New York Coalition for Healthy School Food, the school districts, businesses and organizations to develop, test, and implement plant-based, made from scratch, international bean-based recipes in school cafeterias. The program seeks to introduce the recipes with promotional events and educational materials designed to make trying new foods and learning about their health benefits both fun and exciting. In Ithaca, Cool School Food is also a Farm to School Program, featuring locally grown, organic beans and grains grown at Cayuga Pure Organics!

FARMERS MARKET COALITION

Communities regain a figurative “town square”, experiencing connecting with other farmers markets nationally.

We applaud the explosive proliferation of farmers markets in the USA. In 1994, there were approximately 1,755 farmers markets in the United States. In 2010 their numbers have more than tripled — to approximately 7,100. In excess of 3 million consumers shop and more than 60,000 farmers sell at these markets annually. The United States Department of Agriculture estimates that these markets generate at least $1.3 billion in consumer spending each year. The Farmers Market Coalition is driven by three complimentary goals. We call it our triple bottom line. Farmers earn fair prices for the fruits of their labor by selling directly to consumers. Consumers gain access to fresh, nutritious, local produce.

http://farmersmarketcoalition.org/,

Farm To Fork Across America: Julie’s Adventures With Bio-Nutrient Soil, A Sea-Crop Story

Julie Brothers shares her personal story of using Sea-Crop®.

So now, six months later, study complete, results tabulated, what did this bio-nutrient density study reveal, and what exactly does bio-nutrient dense soil imply?

Paradoxically, the health of just two feet of soil largely determines the quality of the world’s food. A hot new scientific frontier, the study of bio-nutrient dense soils is modeling this two feet and its impact on nutrient uptake. The premise is that a rich, healthy soil dramatically increases a crop’s nutrient content, while sustaining soil quality. That being said, the study results where astonishing.

The amendment used, Sea-Crop®, is a microbial stimulant derived from the mineral density flowing from mountain streams into oceans. Sea-Crop® is mined from this flow and from underwater volcanic sources rich in minerals and the basic elements for plant life. After desalinization, it is ready for use.

To note just a few of the significant increases found in all six crops: cauliflower, swiss chard, carrots, beets, fennel and spinach, the average increase in crop yield was 62%, protein increased 13%, Brix test increased 35% and Phenolics 10%.

Try Sea-Crop® today!

Veggiecate the Nation!

Veggiecation

The Veggiecation Program is a nutrition education program that was designed to help educators easily integrate nutrition, cooking, and gardening concepts into their established academic lesson plans. A Certified Nutritionist and school food service expert, Lisa Suriano, created the program after recognizing a need to educate about and market vegetables to young children.   She sought out the expertise of a team of elementary teachers and school food chefs to develop resources that were effective and accessible to a broad range of educators.

Veggiecation lessons and materials can be used in a variety of settings: school classrooms, lunchrooms, after school programs, summer camps, hospital clinics, health fairs, personal homes and now Whole Foods Markets!

The program offers standards-based lesson suggestions, simple recipes & supporting academic materials to increase acceptance and consumption of vegetables among students.  These meaningful interventions such as tastings, classroom lessons, activities and food preparation expose students to vegetables increasing the number of daily vegetable servings consumed.

The Veggiecation Program is now active in 29 states across the nation including 100s of schools in NYC and is on a mission to “Veggiecate the Nation!”