inkwell.vue.385 : Darya Pino, summertomato.com
permalink #26 of 152: David Gans (tnf) Thu 10 Jun 10 14:05
    

I see a great possibility for collaboration!  Who better to organize their
online presence than summertomato herself!
  
inkwell.vue.385 : Darya Pino, summertomato.com
permalink #27 of 152: Gail Williams (gail) Fri 11 Jun 10 10:23
    
I just got a cool email reminder for the Eat Real Festival in Oakland,
and event I loved last year.   http://www.eatrealfest.com/   

Darya, what seasonal events and festivals do you try to attend or
avoid?
  
inkwell.vue.385 : Darya Pino, summertomato.com
permalink #28 of 152: Darya Pino (daryapino) Fri 11 Jun 10 10:53
    
@gail I try to attend as many as I can, but avoid the big corporate
ones (the wannabe chocolate fest at Ghiradelli square comes to mind).
Eat Real is great. Slow Food Nation was epic. I enjoy the underground
farmers market and other events by Forage SF. There's so many now it's
hard to keep up.

I do tend to skip the expensive foodie fests (Food & Wine, etc.).
Though I'm sure they're great, I'm more of a local foodie than a snobby
foodie. That isn't really my scene.
  
inkwell.vue.385 : Darya Pino, summertomato.com
permalink #29 of 152: Gail Williams (gail) Fri 11 Jun 10 11:26
    
Say more about the underground farmers market...  I have heard about
it but not been to it.  Have you blogged about that?
 
  
inkwell.vue.385 : Darya Pino, summertomato.com
permalink #30 of 152: Darya Pino (daryapino) Fri 11 Jun 10 17:55
    
I haven't blogged about it but there was a write up this week in the
WashPost
http://voices.washingtonpost.com/all-we-can-eat/to-market-to-market/notes-from
-the-underground-mar.html
  
inkwell.vue.385 : Darya Pino, summertomato.com
permalink #31 of 152: paralyzed by a question like that (debunix) Fri 11 Jun 10 22:19
    
One of my all time favorite foodie experiences was a produce tasting
and farmers' market held at the Oakland Museum many years ago.  If I
recall correctly, the idea was to introduce local farmers to local
restauranteurs, and after a few years, they were so successful that
they stopped holding the event.  

It was initially open only to local food professionals, but then open
to the public, and you could go to booths where you could taste and
compare several varieties of strawberries, each from several different
growers.  The veggies were cooked in a more or less uniform way for the
tasting--all steamed or boiled or baked the same time/temp/etc.  So
you could learn about the differences the farmer's technique and
growing conditions make within a strain of green beans, and get a hint
of how broadly different potato types can vary.

I can't remember for sure but I think there was a small entrance fee
for the public, a few bucks to taste the stuff, and then a fabulous
farmers' market afterwards.  I still remember almost wanting to cry
when I realized I'd run out of cash before I got to Karl Matsumoto's
peaches, and couldn't buy any of them.  The stuff was that good.

Do any of the food events you mentioned provide that kind of
experience--comparisons not of processed/prepared foods, but of produce
'straight up'?
  
inkwell.vue.385 : Darya Pino, summertomato.com
permalink #32 of 152: Darya Pino (daryapino) Sat 12 Jun 10 13:43
    
Not really, but that sounds really cool! The best we get here is with
fruit or veggies that can be eaten raw. There are samples all over the
farmers market, so you can wander around and try each and see the
differences in flavor. It can vary from week to week, but it quickly
becomes apparent that certain farms just really know what they're
doing, and sometimes their price reflects the superior taste! (but not
always)
  
inkwell.vue.385 : Darya Pino, summertomato.com
permalink #33 of 152: Gail Williams (gail) Sat 12 Jun 10 14:13
    
I love that idea -- a blind tasting of produce!  You could do that
with kids, too, as a very good science observation and sensory
awareness exercise.  
  
inkwell.vue.385 : Darya Pino, summertomato.com
permalink #34 of 152: Gail Williams (gail) Sat 12 Jun 10 14:17
    
I was looking at http://www.summertomato.com/   

There is so much good stuff that it is hard to know where to start. 
Do you have a few posts that you consider your greatest hits, or that
caused the most reaction?
  
inkwell.vue.385 : Darya Pino, summertomato.com
permalink #35 of 152: paralyzed by a question like that (debunix) Sat 12 Jun 10 17:00
    
While we wait for Darya to have a moment to answer that, I'm going to
start with this week's For the Love of Food roundup of annotated links
to interesting stuff.  

I'm fascinated by the article about how tiny changes can have big
impacts on how kids eat at school--like better lighting and
presentation of fruits in the cafeteria displays.  In our cafeteria (I
work in a hospital) they're very attractively placed right next to the
registers at checkout, in always-clean wooden bowls.  

But recent changes suggest that consumers have pushed back against
other 'healthy' changes that were made in the cafeteria layout a year
or so ago.  The ice cream novelties case is back, and the frozen fruit
bars that had replaced them are still there, but their case has been
moved to the back corner.  The baked chips and pretzels only have given
way again to the regular potato chips and a separate rack for the
baked ones (I have to applaud this because I'd rather have an honest,
less processed fried potato chip than the weird pseudo-food concoction
that is mostly non-potato ingredients but happens to be crispy when
baked).  And the smaller bags of nuts at the checkout have been
replaced by larger bags of nuts and trail mixes full of candied and
coated stuff and bags of outright candy.

Do you know of any research that suggests how easy it is to sustain
the success of the suggestions in the article over the long term, and
whether there is a lot of 'pushback' to restore the previous status
quo?  
  
inkwell.vue.385 : Darya Pino, summertomato.com
permalink #36 of 152: Darya Pino (daryapino) Sat 12 Jun 10 18:24
    
@gail Yes, that is the difficulty of a blog. The popular content
brings people in and sustains the blog, but then it gets buried under
new content. I've done my best to use the site design to help people
find the content they will most enjoy.

For those new to Summer Tomato, my first recommendation is downloading
the free How to get started eating healthy guide and subscribing to
the newsletter. The 25 page guide is designed to set you up to get the
most from the site. You will continue to get caught up on informative
posts in the subsequent newsletters. You can also start reading the
"Top Healthy Eating Tips" in the sidebar -- Best of Summer Tomato 2009
is a particularly good place to start. Those are my picks for the best
of the site. The "Popular Posts" are the ones that get the most
traffic. After that I recommend flipping through the Basics section in
the top sliding menu.

That should be enough to get you started with my best stuff. If one
topic in particular interests you, the tags listed at the bottom of
each post can guide you to more articles on that topic. You can also
use the search function at the upper right.

Hope this helps!
  
inkwell.vue.385 : Darya Pino, summertomato.com
permalink #37 of 152: Darya Pino (daryapino) Sat 12 Jun 10 18:32
    
@debunix That is an interesting question that I've honestly never
thought about. Generally Brian Wansink's work is rigorous and
remarkable. But I don't know how much long term stuff has been done. 

It is certain that people don't like feeling deprived of foods, and it
seems to me a big difference between what was done in the article and
what was done at your cafeteria are different in a very important way.
It sounds like in your case healthier foods were replacing unhealthy
foods, while in the article all the foods were still available but some
were in more favorable positions. This has the critical effect of
preserving the perception of choice. People hate it when they feel
decisions are being made for them, but when they feel they are making
better decisions themselves they feel virtuous, which is
self-perpetuating. The difference is subtle, but arguably critical.

I'm riffing here, what do the rest of you think?
  
inkwell.vue.385 : Darya Pino, summertomato.com
permalink #38 of 152: Therese Flanagan (therese) Sun 13 Jun 10 08:59
    
I just downloaded and read _How To Get Started Eating Healthy: The 7
Essential Steps To Getting Healthy and Losing Weight_ and I wanted to
thank you for writing it and sharing it. Your website is chock-full of
great information -- I like a bit of science with my food -- and the
name, SummerTomato, is fabulous. I look forward to trying out some of
the recipes; more importantly, I look forward to feeling better without
dieting.
  
inkwell.vue.385 : Darya Pino, summertomato.com
permalink #39 of 152: David Gans (tnf) Sun 13 Jun 10 09:29
    

Welcome to the Summer Tomato club, Therese!
  
inkwell.vue.385 : Darya Pino, summertomato.com
permalink #40 of 152: therese (therese) Sun 13 Jun 10 11:14
    
Hi, David; thanks for introducing us to Darya's web site. 
  
inkwell.vue.385 : Darya Pino, summertomato.com
permalink #41 of 152: David Gans (tnf) Sun 13 Jun 10 12:21
    
It's a life-changer!
  
inkwell.vue.385 : Darya Pino, summertomato.com
permalink #42 of 152: . (wickett) Sun 13 Jun 10 19:43
    

To change the subject, I'd like to enquire why you say you eat processed or
junk food.
  
inkwell.vue.385 : Darya Pino, summertomato.com
permalink #43 of 152: We're carrot people. (unkljohn) Mon 14 Jun 10 04:39
    
I eat mostly organic food and haven't eaten meat since about 1992, but 
every now and then, you just gotta grab a bag of chips and veg in front of 
the TV!     (my answer, not hers).
  
inkwell.vue.385 : Darya Pino, summertomato.com
permalink #44 of 152: jelly fish challenged (reet) Mon 14 Jun 10 08:39
    

One of the things I love about Darya is her non-doctrinaire approach to
eating well.
  
inkwell.vue.385 : Darya Pino, summertomato.com
permalink #45 of 152: David Gans (tnf) Mon 14 Jun 10 08:59
    

Yes.  What's the point of living a long time if you aren't going to enjoy it?
  
inkwell.vue.385 : Darya Pino, summertomato.com
permalink #46 of 152: Gail Williams (gail) Mon 14 Jun 10 10:41
    
I just stumbled on a sobering article about the local and organic food
movement.  I think one of the appeals of buying the right produce is
that it subverts politics with a capital P.  This article asserts that
the failure to support these movements on the federal level may doom
them.   

It's very interesting... here's an excerpt:

"Obama seems to want to boost visibility and demand for organic food,
but his policies don't offer meaningful support for the people who grow
it. Doling out a few million dollars to clean up organic certification
or connect local farmers with existing USDA programs is farcical and
tragic -- at current levels it would take 50 years of USDA organic
research spending to match what it laid out for conventional ag
research in 2010 alone. Meanwhile, rural farm populations continue to
decline. Less than a quarter of all U.S. farmers are under the age of
45."

http://prospect.org/cs/articles?article=slowed_food_revolution
  
inkwell.vue.385 : Darya Pino, summertomato.com
permalink #47 of 152: Darya Pino (daryapino) Mon 14 Jun 10 10:44
    
@wickett I searched through the conversations and couldn't find where
I said I eat junk food. Could you show me what you're referring to?

That being said, I consider all bread or ANYTHING made with flour or
sugar to be processed food and I do eat it occasionally. I consider
tofu processed food and I eat it every now and then as well.

I really don't eat what I consider junk food. The occasional slice of
bread or dessert that I eat are usually exquisite, from talented local
artisans or homemade. Probably as industrial as I get is an occasional
bite of Ben & Jerry's (I blame my bf for that!).

I found myself in a Safeway the other night, the first time I had been
in one in years (I shop for food at the farmers market, my local
produce shop and occasionally Whole Foods). I was horrified by what was
there, just row after row, shelf after shelf of pure junk. It was a
bit shocking to realize that pretty much the only thing I would buy
there is alcohol. Check this out: http://yfrog.com/1q2n9gj

So no, I wouldn't say I eat junk.
  
inkwell.vue.385 : Darya Pino, summertomato.com
permalink #48 of 152: David Gans (tnf) Mon 14 Jun 10 11:11
    

I had a similar experience a few weeks ago, while on tour.  I couldn't find a
restaurant, walking along the main drag in Fallon NV, that didn't give me The
Fear.  So I went into the Safeway, conveniently open late.  Just for the hell
of it, I bought a Lean Cuisine.  And some fruit, to be sure, but - I nuked
that Lean Cuisine in my room.

It is not food.  It tasted awful, the textures of the various components were
horrifying.

It's no wonder our society is so unhealthy.
  
inkwell.vue.385 : Darya Pino, summertomato.com
permalink #49 of 152: . (wickett) Mon 14 Jun 10 15:01
    

Darya, the mention you made to eating junk or processed food was in your
summertomato blog and I was curious about why.  Unfortunately, I cannot find
the exact quote at the moment.  Many possible reasons popped into my mind,
certainly some were so as not to appear doctrinaire or self-righteous, or 
because an occasional bite or meal is assumed not to do much harm, or you 
were hungry, or you wanted better to connect with readers who truly are eating 
horrendously, or....


I had a similar experience to David's in eastern Washington state.  I was 
hungry.  We went into a market filled with teenagers at lunchtime.  We 
were as alien to them as they were to us.  We scoured the shelves and come 
up with a can of sardines.  We routinely keep cans of sardines, almonds, 
and water in the car at home, but weren't in our car at that moment.  I 
was grateful to the sardines, but would have chosen to remain hungry 
rather the eat what those poor kids were queuing up to purchase.


Another question:  I'm quite interested in the history of how the US 
managed to get into the current food mess.  Kellog and Post were health 
nuts; the chemists who concoct junk are themselves sons, daughters, 
possibly parents.  Who would/do they feed it to?  I know that people flog 
cigarettes and other harmful and addictive substances, but how did we 
become a nation of purveyors and eaters of tasteless, flavorless, 
non-nutritious, fattening, disease-producing, expensive items called 
processed food?
  
inkwell.vue.385 : Darya Pino, summertomato.com
permalink #50 of 152: Darya Pino (daryapino) Mon 14 Jun 10 19:34
    
@wickett Hopefully my last explanation was mostly satisfying. I
remembered since writing it though, that I do have a penchant for
Mexican food, especially in Southern California where I grew up (it's
amazing there, 10x better than SF). I still wouldn't call it junk food,
but let's just say I don't skip the tortilla chips.

As for your question, I'd point you to two resources. The first is a
book called The Omnivore's Dilemma by Michael Pollan (who David
mentioned earlier). The second is a book called Fast Food Nation by
Eric Schlosser. I think these explain well what happened to food in the
US. To summarize, government subsidies for corn and soy made the price
so low that the big food companies needed to figure out new ways to
sell it all. Thus the birth of junk food (mostly corn and soy). No one
knew how bad all this stuff was back then. The problem is now that we
know, it's very hard to go back. Hopefully enough people will choose to
start voting with their forks and opting out of the industrial food
chain to send a message that we want our real food back.
  

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