Well, it has been a while. My last post was entered just as I began NYU, that was 4 semesters ago. Although there is not much time to write at the moment I wanted to share the Rockefeller holiday tree. Isn’t it pretty?
Category Archives: Hey Brooklyn!
It’s the last official weekend of the summer so I decided to make use of my free time by making a very easy lunch. With a couple of plum tomatoes, fresh basil, red onion, olive oil, goat cheese and french bread you can make a light and delicious meal!
I miss Minnesota. Yes, I live in Brooklyn, but Minnesota is really my home. I will be making a trip to Minneapolis soon and I can’t wait to take part in the summer activities that are much harder to enjoy in the concrete jungle of NYC.
Things I Can’t Wait to do in Minnesota
- Visit with friends
- Take a leisurely walk around one of many lakes (Hey Nokomis, here I come!)
- Take a walk and not run into litter every 3 steps
- Go star-gazing
- Baker’s Square!
- Visit the Mall of America (cheesy, yes, but life without a mall and no car is no fun)
- Look at a tree and walk on real grass
- Ultimate Frisbee anyone?
- Go to the Farmer’s Market
- Eat lots of food
In the past few years I have made an effort to drink more milk. However, I can never finish a half-gallon carton by myself before the whole thing goes bad. Instead, I buy the pint-sized bottles when I can find them. Well, it used to be that I could find them…but not anymore.
A few months ago I made a trip to the bodega to get milk for my cereal. After I passed the sleeping cat sprawled out in front of the beer case I made it down the refrigerated aisle to where the 16oz bottles of milk are stored, or were stored. To my dismay all I found were bottles of juice (there was lots and lots of juice), Gatorade and Nesquik. All the 16oz unflavored milk had disappeared. I visited 3 other bodega’s and 2 grocery stores and I could not find a single 160z bottle of unflavored milk. I find this strange since the 16oz bottle is the perfect size for packing milk into a lunch or to drink as a snack.
Since I gave up on my hunt for the 16oz bottle of milk a while ago now I haven’t thought much about the plight of my favorite milk until one night when I caught an episode of Jamie Oliver’s ‘Food Revolution’ that airs on ABC. Jamie’s goal is to make us aware of how dysfunctional our food has become by addressing the food issues within the public school system. Unfortunately, Jamie has met a lot of resistance from school board administrators, defensive lunch ladies and even some parents.
Recently, Jamie aired an episode that takes place in L.A. where he takes a closer look at flavored milk and questions why it is allowed in our schools. Take a look at this clip from his show.
If you have an opportunity to watch the show you will be taken aback by the resistance Jamie faces from the L.A. school board (which runs the 2nd largest school system in the US). However, despite the roadblocks that Jamie has faced he has been able to make some school administrators take note that the issue of allowing flavored milk into our schools is a huge problem when many of our kids face issues of obesity and diabetes. Take a look at Jamie’s appearance on Jimmy Kimmel Live! where he and Los Angeles School District’s Superintendent John Deasy talk about the future of flavored milk in L.A. schools.
The flavored milk debate started long before Jamie Oliver entered the picture and in response the dairy industry has started the ’Raise Your Hand for Chocolate Milk’ campaign to defend the use of flavored milk in public schools. According to an article published by NPR flavored milk has as much sugar as a can of pop (chocolate milk has 3.1 grams of sugar per ounce and pop has 3.3 grams per ounce). As Oliver notes, for a child who receives milk everyday for lunch and breakfast during their school career this sugar consumption can add up quickly.
In 2009 NPR ran an article quoting Ann Marie Krautheim, Senior Vice President of Nutrition Affairs for the National Dairy Council as taking this view-point on the matter of taking flavored milk out of public schools,
“We know that when flavored milk is taken out of the school, kids’ milk consumption goes down,” Krautheim argues that children don’t drink enough milk as it is. And if schools remove chocolate milk, kids will choose less nutritious drinks. “A small amount of added sugar is an acceptable trade-off for the nutrients provided in milk,” Krautheim says.
The same article goes on to mention the big business of the dairy industry:
“It’s no wonder that the dairy industry is working so hard to protect its chocolate milk business. More than half of all flavored milk is sold in schools — that makes up about 4 percent of all milk sales in the U.S. And the lunchroom is a good place for the dairy industry to pick up new customers.
Kids will take eating habits they learn in the lunchroom into their adult lives. And that’s important for the industry, because despite all those popular “Got Milk?” advertisements, people don’t drink as much milk as they used to.
“The per capita consumption of fluid milk, in all of its formulations, has been declining in the U.S. since the 1960s,” says Cameron Thraen, a dairy economist at Ohio State University.There are no statistics showing how many schools have kicked chocolate milk off the menu so far. But clearly, it’s enough to worry the dairy industry.”
Read the whole article here: http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=121238407
Regardless of where you stand on the flavored milk debate, there is no logic in adding sugar in order to ‘trick’ kids into drinking milk or any other healthy food. For those of us who rely on local bodegas or free school lunches to provide us with healthy options it would be in our interest to pay attention to people like Jamie Oliver and maybe think about starting our own food revolutions.
Sigh. Today was my first day of a two-week jury duty stint. Day one of 10 complete. Sigh.
For those who have not had the pleasure of performing their civic duty, I would like to say, yes, it is as boring and torturous as everyone claims. Thank goodness my boyfriend gifted me a Nook for the holidays.
For those of you who have served you know that the snacking opportunities during the day are limited to the vending machines outside of the courtroom. Well, the vending machines did not provide anything great to eat so I spent most of the afternoon planning what I could make for dinner when I got home.
I decided to break out the blender to make the first smoothie of 2011. However, someone failed to refill the ice tray (ahem, roomie) and my smoothie turned out to be more of a blueberry juice. To make up for the lack of thickness I added a little cool whip for fun.
Cool whip and blueberries do the trick when trying to forget, for a moment, the remaining 72 hours of jury duty that I have yet to complete.
Every once in a while I will pass by the Jell-O aisle in the grocery store and suddenly develop a craving for chocolate pudding. I will buy a box or two because it is an easy and quick desert, but I never get around to actually making the pudding. In theory pudding is always a good idea especially with cool whip, but I can never finish a whole batch and end up wasting most of it.
It wasn’t until I paid more attention to the back of the box that I became more interested in making the pudding. I turned the box over and saw that there was a recipe for chocolate pudding pie and I immediately thought… chocolate pudding + pie = best desert ever! This is a simple and easy desert, all you need are a few simple ingredients. Give it a try!
Classic Chocolate Pudding Pie Directions
You will need:
1 box of Jell-O Cook & Serve chocolate pudding mix
2 cups of milk
9 in graham cracker pie crust
- Stir 2 cups of milk into dry powder mix in a small sauce pan over medium heat, bring to full boil while stirring constantly
- Cool pudding for 5 minutes and then pour into pie crust
- Refrigerate 3 to 4 hours
- Top with cool-whip and serve
My discovery of Foodtown was an epic revelation that ensured I was not doomed to shop at the Bodgea on my block. Thank goodness! I was grateful to find a nice grocery store in my neighborhood, but there was still an obstacle at hand. The location of Foodtown is about a mile from my brownstone. This is an easy distance to walk when going to the store, but too far to walk back from with an arm full of heavy grocery bags. The subway is not easily accessible either, both locations being 2 very long blocks away from the grocery store. A cab ride home from the store would cost any where from $8-$12 dollars, totally a rip off for the short distance I need to travel. The bus, another lousy option, is unpredictable and always too crowded. As it turned out, my decision was just to walk home with my heavy bags. Hey, I can always use the exercise, right?
Walking home with my groceries is a decision I force myself to make and I regret it every single time. The weight of each plastic bag pulls on my fingers making my shoulders feel as if they are going to pop out of their sockets. I constantly have to stop and reshuffle the bags to regain feeling in my arms. It is a miserable experience that I continue to endure because- I love to eat fresh food. It is a slightly humiliating experience too as the old ladies shuffle past me with their granny carts. They look at me as though I have no sense at all. I would be lying to say that I didn’t agree with them. Using a granny cart would make the experience of walking home a little more bearable, but then there is the issue of getting the granny cart full of groceries up a three floor walk-up. Sigh.
It suddenly makes sense why there is an abundance of Bodegas in Brooklyn. My obsession for fresh food is the only thing that motivates me to endure the obstacles of getting to and from the grocery store. But, Bodegas seem to be nothing more than a lazy answer to a city’s need for easily accessible grocery stores. What they offer is usually not fresh or nutritious, but always over priced. I am happy to see movements such as Green Carts (mobile vendors that sell fresh produce), the farmers market and Farm Share programs make their way into my neighborhood, but it is still not enough. In the end, my hope is that one day access to fresh food will be a right and less of a privilege.