News Roundup: Wednesday 4.2.2014

Cesar Chavez’s actions and legacy are perfectly reflected in his quote (below). We know that his work centered on uniting the voiceless. This week marks what would have been his 86th birthday, and although there is still a vast amount of work to be done before all farmworkers and other laborers are treated justly, Chavez helped change the way we feel about where our food comes from. Other items today include education and advocacy in the food movement, wasted peanut butter, some fabulous suggestions for the restaurant and meat industries, how nature makes us happy, and a whole lot more.

Words to Live By

“You are never strong enough that you don't need help.”

— Cesar Chavez

Newest News

The Legacy of Cesar Chavez Lives On
The movie Cesar Chavez, which chronicles the life and work of the the Latino American civil rights activist and labor organizer, hit the theaters timed to March 31st (Cesar Chavez Day). We found two great pieces on this film by Twilight Greenway, a review on Civil Eats and some commentary on Take Part. The bottom line: see the movie and be inspired! If you are feeling particularly moved to action, sign the pledge in the Take Part article (close to the top on the left hand side) and check out our “Get Involved!” section for more ways that you can help food-justice causes.  The Food Tank article details five great organizations who are continuing Chavez’s legacy.
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Education and Advocacy Moves the Food Movement Forward
Last week, Atlantic Monthly reported on a study that proved that eating real food was the best diet. (Tell us something we didn’t know!) But, we often need science to give even the doubters an obvious wakeup call:  for instance, that pesticides are bad for earthworms. Likewise, advocates and educators rally us and keep us informed. This week check out how effective the Slow Food movement has been, the latest lecture from Alice Waters, a great blog by Environmental Working Group on some faulty corn science, and while you’re at it, take a look at Michael Pollan’s latest tour schedule and see if he’ll be coming to your town soon!


25 Tons of Peanut Butter: Rest in Peace
Food waste is fast becoming a huge issue that must be addressed in the U.S and around the world. Case in point (or should we say, “cases of peanut butter?”): Costco will dump almost 1 million jars of peanut butter into a landfill as a result of the 2012 salmonella outbreak related to the peanut butter manufacturer, Sunland, Inc. This AP article hit most of the major news circuits last Friday, but it is worth a read if you missed this story.


Get Involved

Support Farm Worker’s Rights
In the U.S., about 85% of produce is harvested by hand! Yet, the people who are such a vital part of our food supply work in injurious (or simply exhausting) conditions. Today plenty of good folks out there follow the footsteps of Cesar Chavez, Dolores Huerta, and countless others in their efforts to change things. To make YOUR voice heard, take the Take Part pledge, write a letter to the EPA via the Pesticide action Network, learn more about a stellar new labeling initiative by Equitable Food Initiative, or poke around online to see how you can help support the people who pick our produce!


The Fast Food Frontline

Restaurants Recalibrate Recipes
A few years ago, a study found that only 4% of meals served in chain restaurants meet the USDA daily nutritional guidelines. Crazy, right?! Luckily the RAND Corporation recently did something about it. They convened a group of experts to create easily achievable performance standards for eateries. By following the guidelines we hope to see restaurants create lower-calorie meals that are higher in vegetables and lower in saturated fats. Check out the USA Today article for a synopsis, and a RAND details all of the guidelines.


How the Meat Industry Can Help?
Highlighting some inspirational partnerships between ranchers and environmental organizations, this NPR article looks at the ways in which ranching can actually help the earth.


Prevention News

Happiness: It’s Only Natural
As Wellness Warriors we know the importance of the natural world in our lives, and here’s a little more science to prove it. This Psychology Today article gathers a number of recent studies on nature and happiness. Bottom line: step away from your computer and get outside. You’ll be happier for it, and future generations may be too!


What We're Watching

Her Little Babaganoush
Seth Meyers, the newest host of the Late Late Show on NBC recently interviewed Arianna Huffington. It was a fabulous, funny and informative session in which Huffington covers the amazing power of sleep, the value of unplugging, how women are helping to change the future, and her new book Thrive. It will make you laugh...and reconsider the whole concept of success.


Wonderful Listening

Beets and Carrots versus Red #40
Food dyes abound in many products in the U.S., despite being unsafe—but that’s not the case in Europe. Many U.S. companies market the same products without dyes in the EU. Why? Laws in the EU put pressure on food companies to find natural alternatives to synthetic dyes. Dr. Michael Jacobsen and the folks at the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) are working to make the FDA follow suit. Hear more from Dr. Jacobsen about the dangers of food dyes, some hidden places where you may find them, CSPI’s work, and the ways that some companies are moving in the right direction.


Is it a Cookie or is it a healthy snack? Could it be both?
Dr. Oz is more known for his health tips than he is for his recipes, but these cookies looked too good to ignore. They are gluten-free, can be low-glycemic (with agave), and pack a great quinoa protein punch. It rides the line between a cookie and an “energy bar.” A description that makes it so you don’t have to feel too guilty when you go for seconds.
Quinoa Chocolate Chip Cookies
  • 1/2 cup natural peanut butter
  • 2 tbsp applesauce
  • 1/4 cup raw honey or agave
  • 1 tbsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/3 cup almond flour
  • 1 1/2 cups cooked quinoa (about 1/2 cup of uncooked quinoa) or 1/2 cup soaked quinoa
  • 1/4 to 1/3 cup dark chocolate chips


In a small bowl, combine the peanut butter, applesauce, honey, vanilla and salt. Add the rest of the ingredients and mix until combined. Spoon rounded tablespoons of cookies on a cookie sheet lined with parchment or wax paper. Place in the freezer to set, about 20 minutes. Enjoy!



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