Pomegranates are one of the sweetest parts of the Winter season. Inside those tough, pink, spherical forms are refreshing, delicious seeds which bring flavor to any dish. The problem with enjoying the pomegranate is that it usually takes a lot of prying and picking to end up enjoying the little seeds inside of it.
Although we often hear,”anything in life worth having is worth working for”, there is finally an easy way to enjoy your pomegranate! In the video below you will see how with just your palm, a wooden spoon and a bowl, you can have pomegranate seeds in as little as 10 seconds! I think he should call it “The Palm-egranate Technique”, but that’s just me. Watch the video and enjoy your seeds with ease!
Halloween is fast approaching! People have acquired their frightening or fun ensembles and decorated their homes with various Halloween symbols.Everything from ghosts on strings to scarecrows with creepy faces to motion-activated animatronics can be found in the front yards and porches of your neighbors.The most distinguishable Halloween decoration however is surely the Jack-O-Lantern!
According to History.com, the art of carving Jack-O-Lanterns was brought to The United States by Irish immigrants who used to carve scary faces into turnips in their native land to keep away the folkloric figure Stingy Jack. Stingy Jack is a man whose ghost is said to be roaming around with a burning goal after trying to trick the devil (History.com). The pumpkin is native to North America and that is why Jack-O-Lanterns are now carved out of pumpkins instead of turnips.
Photo Courtesy of facweb.cs
There are many ways to carve a pumpkin, and one artist Ray Villafane has become a world renowned master of pumpkin carving. He carves everything from zombies to football players!
To see more mind-blowing creations by Mr. Villafane, click HERE.
This Thursday, October 24th is Food Day. Food Day is a nationwide celebration and a movement for healthy, affordable and sustainable food. It is a day where people are encouraged to “Eat Real”, which essentially means lowering sugar intake, salt intake and eating meat that isn’t factory farmed. These are all things that OC Food Access promotes in its daily operations.
One part of making the most of Food Day is becoming more food literate. Food literacy is defined as: “Understanding the story of one’s food, from farm to table and back to the soil; the knowledge and ability to make informed choices that support one’s health, community, and the environment”(foodday.org).
Foodday.org has created a Food Literacy Quiz, where you can test your level of food literacy. It only takes a few moments and you’ll end up learning many interesting things about not only the structure of food and where it comes from but your own place in the global food system.
Where our food comes from and how it affects us is another part of what Food Day promotes. One way we are connected to food systems is through Farmacology. Farmacology is the study of the connection between the production of food on farms and the people who consume that food. The educational initiative, Nourish, has posted an article about the perspective Farmacology author Daphne Miller has on the relationship between farming and humans. Miller for instance explains that recipes have been passed down for generations not only because they’re delicious but because they make ecological sense. Read the article HERE.
If you are a teacher or interested in teaching about food literacy and other concepts, Nourish offers a Teacher Resource Binder.
It’s that time of the year when days get a bit chillier, cloud cover gets grayer and we find ourselves spending more time indoors with a hot beverage. During the Fall and Winter seasons, it can be more difficult to get the necessary amount of Vitamin D into our bodies. Vitamin D comes from the sun and helps with bone strength and a healthier immune system. Although Vitamin D is most commonly absorbed through exposure to sunlight, many people lack sufficient exposure to the sun in their busy indoor lives.
It is suggested that adults get 600 IUs of Vitamin D a day.
Luckily, certain food items allow those of us who have long winters or long days at the office to consume enough Vitamin D. Eggs, are one of the few food items that naturally have Vitamin D present. If you eat one yolk, you will get 40 IUs. This means if you eat 4 eggs with breakfast, you’ve already consumed about a fifth of your daily requirements.
Vitamin D can also be found in aquatic food items such as salmon, tuna, herring and sardines. Surprisingly,almost all of the U.S. milk supply is fortified with 400 IU of vitamin D per quart (National Institutes of Health). So next time you feel like staying indoors, just know that if you make some scrambled eggs, you can still get some yummy Vitamin D!
Photos Courtesy of PaneraBread.com & Achievelastinghealth.com
This month started off with a homemade experience. On October 5th & 6th, local foodies, artistic visionaries and other friendly folk gathered at SoCo Marketplace in Costa Mesa for The Patchwork Show – Edible Edition- a weekend celebration of the artistry of homemade goods. There were not only mouth-watering cakes and cookies to snack on but also 40 creative workshops presented by well-known chefs and business owners.
The heat and wind didn’t stop nearby food lovers from scoping out the delicious and beautiful goods produced by their neighbors. OC Food Access Coalition and The Harvest Club made an appearance with a colorful booth depicting “A Healthier Food Drive”. A healthier food drive would be a drive in which the food donated to local food banks or shelters had lower sodium, less sugar, higher protein and higher fiber. The display highlighted our mission to make healthier food drives a reality with our food bank partners The Orange County Food Bank & Second Harvest Food Bank along with the organization Slow Food OC.
Many locals expressed interest in OCFAC & The Harvest Club’s devotion to providing sustainable, nutritious food options to the people of Orange County. We hope that the smiling faces who spoke to us about their passion for food movements and volunteering will join us under the trees in future harvests!
Photos Courtesy of Nicole Stevenson & Sonora Ortiz
As much as 40% of all of the food produced in The United States is discarded due to misunderstandings of expiration dates. Wouldn’t it be nice to not have to worry about expiration dates anymore?! One food item virtually never goes bad. No, it’s not spam or condensed milk. It’s that sweet syrup produced by buzzing little beauties- honey! Honey keeps for so long mainly because it is dehydrated with a low water content of 0.6, preventing the substance from fermenting. It is composed of glucose and fructose which provides its sweet flavor.
Although honey is probably the sweetest deal you can get on a food item, it does come at a high price when all factors are accounted for. Honeybees must tap two million flowers to make one pound of honey. According to agday.com, a hive of bees must fly over 55,000 miles to bring us this one pound of honey! Honey bees have been dropping rapidly across the globe in the last decade, but luckily there are initiatives to keep bees buzzing in Orange County including Backyard Bees, who are keeping hives alive!
All of those servings of strawberries and cream… and that lovable little character Strawberry Shortcake with the striped stockings – no berries anywhere! Foodbeast.com reveals that in order for a fruit to be considered a berry it by definition must be “a fleshy fruit produced from a single ovary”.
According to Nora Landis-Shack: “the surrounding flesh around the seed isn’t derived from the fruit’s ovaries but from the receptacle in which the ovaries are found”.
We shouldn’t expect the strawberry to be known by any other name anytime soon, but it’s a freaky food fact indeed!
For more fun food facts check back to The Harvest Club blog every Friday!
On September 14th, 2013, Whole Foods Market (Jamboree & Laguna Niguel teams) and The Harvest Club joined forces to harvest an old commercial orchard in Villa Park. The harvest was booked with volunteers in honor of Whole Food Markets Kids Day of Service.
The harvest in Villa park had 18 pairs of helpful hands, big and small, including 7 Whole Foods team members. Whole Foods provided water, fruit, rise bars, and a salad lunch to all the volunteers present at the harvest.
In two hours, the harvesters managed to pick 1300 pounds of oranges! Over a thousand pounds of fresh, juicy produce for Orange County residents! The many boxes of oranges were delivered to South County Outreach and Saddleback Food Pantry.
The Whole Foods Team expressed interest in helping The Harvest club in the future, and we can’t wait!
Sunday, September 15th was a day of cooperation. The Harvest Club and S. Groner Associates Inc. teamed up in the city of Orange to harvest oranges from a local couple’s backyard. When the volunteers arrived, the four orange trees were covered in plump, bright Valencia oranges.
When the group of volunteers was done harvesting, sixteen boxes of oranges had been filled!
A total of 750 pounds of Valencia oranges were gathered and taken to Second Harvest Food Bank. The fruit gathered that day will provide a nutritious food option to over 2,000 Orange County residents!
This is just one of the many harvests that have been taking place this year. Volunteering with The Harvest Club allows homeowners, business owners and local do-gooders to make an impact in their community.
The Patchwork Show, a modern handmade festival, is coming to Costa Mesa! Southern California’s Creative Food Summit will be at the SOCO shopping center the 5th & 6th of October! The summit will host an array of creative organizations which will present the edible world in a new way for Orange County residents. Participants in the summit range from OC Weekly to Whole Foods to Slow Food .The event will have various hands-on workshops which will cover crafting and food making. Workshops will include everything from a crash test in cocktail making to watercolor painting! There will also be cooking demos which will have all your mouths watering! If you are looking to learn something new and taste all the goods the OC area has to offer bring your hungry mouths and free hands to SOCO in two weeks. The Harvest Club will have a booth at the event on both dates, so please stop by and say Hi!
For more information about the event check out their website!