Wednesday, June 17, 2009


I grew up in the country, eating corn straight off the stalk and enjoying fresh fruits and vegetables from neighbors' gardens and field all summer long. As an adult I've learned to appreciate eating fresh, local and seasonally, and I am a weekly visitor at a local fruit and vegetable wholesale market that I adore. 

This past weekend I had the opportunity to hit up the Reading Terminal Market in Philadelphia. The photo at left is from a vegetable stand inside the market. This place has everything from delis and salumerias to a creperie, chocolate stalls and ice cream stands. You can find pretty much everything there. 

The New York Times had a story last Thursday about the 1000 fresh produce carts that hit the streets in the poorest neighborhoods of the five boroughs - places food and health experts called "food deserts" for their dearth of fresh and non-packaged foods. The fruit and veg are low-priced, and customers are already lining up daily to purchase a healthy alternative to the fast-food joints that line the blocks. 

The Houston Business Journal reported on the city's third-annual Lemonade Day, which raised over $500,000 for local charities by selling over two million glasses of lemonade. The event is hosted by Prepared 4 Life and sponsored by Imperial Sugar as a way to reach at-risk kids and teach basic business principles. Organizers said there were 27,400 stands this year compared to 11,200 in 2008. 

And lastly, I know this is not fresh food or even probably nutritious, but when I was in a pharmacy on Monday looking for dog treats to promote the learning of sit, stay and lay down by my favorite Akita/black lab/German shepherd mix I saw beef jerky. This falls into the category of "Food That Is Gross But I Have A Strange Fondness For." I did resist the urge to purchase them, so the following story on, out of Iowa, on the company Beef'n Up the Troops caught my eye. Ted and Dee Ann Paulsrud have sent over 64,000 beef sticks to troops in Iraq over the last two years. Dee Ann noted that what keeps her going is the personal thank yous and emails she gets from the grateful troops.

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