Our 2012 season is over but thanks to our partnership with the Friends of the Beatley Central Library, the fun will go on into the winter!
If you've stopped by the Friends' booth any of the past Sundays, you might have picked up this guy, designed especially to keep two very important activities together- eating and reading. If you didn't, download a PDF here
!We designed this handy bookmark for many purposes. First, to connect us to our geographical location. We are right across Duke Street from our city's biggest library, and one that sees so much activity. Thousands of people use the Route 236 corridor
EVERY DAY to access the highway and get to their schools, jobs, and other places of business. Perpendicular to that is also the Holmes Run Trail, which believe it or not, will get you to Eisenhower Avenue much faster walking than driving. There are at least ten residential towers and apartment complexes which to which it is easily accessible, not to mention all of the area between Seminary Hill and Alexandria West. The Library and the Market are in the perfect location to serve a huge portion of our fellow Alexandrians.Secondly,
we believe that eating well doesn't require a fat wallet or a nutritionist. When people are stranded at sea, they begin to crave the things that they need and will skip a fishes' flesh for its liver. Humans instinctively know what's good for them. And you know when you're skimming through Saveur the things that make you drool are usually the most colorful. Haven't you ever been infatuated with a gorgeous Cobb salad? Isn't pico de gallo like the vegetable sprinkles for savory foods?Also, consider the learning opportunities for young kids. Use the bookmark to start teaching colors, or if you're working with someone a little older introduce color theory! Take it to the grocery as a scavenger hunt list. Make spaghetti but then give it sidekick! Maybe something green for a complementary color, or perhaps orange and yellow carrots for a warm color triad
. This was made with a focus towards kids but clever parents can always find multiple lessons to teach from one thing.Finally,
this is a bookmark. Save the page with tonight's dinner recipe with it. Tuck it in your current novel. Use it at the library while browsing books to mark where you pulled something from so you can return it to the right place. You know what to do.
Hey folks! It's been a while since our last blog so we want to start off on a far more playful note than food borne illness. Actually, this was brought on by a recent trip to a big box retailer and a light background in sociology.
Here at WEFM we know that food is a strong binding material for families- we see evidence of that every Sunday. Understandably so, playing house and, in particular, kitchen, is something which children do in all cultures. Stroll down the right aisle at your local toy store and you'll find miniature versions of your kitchen appliances, utensils and even produce molded from colorful plastic. But then take a closer look.
Maybe rename to "Dorm Life Food Set"?
Eye catching, no real-life brands being subtly advertised to kids, a general assortment of fruits and veggies. Put it in the cart, right?
Well, first examine the 'health food' to 'junk food' ratio. Seems like a lot of carry out, sugary snacks and desserts for a kid's toy. At least 14 of the 125 pieces are some manner of fried potato product. They're hard to tell in one glance because there are over a hundred little pieces to look at AND all the snacks are hidden close to the border.
Still, this is not bad. Once I saw a set have the audacity to print on a mini-cereal box that it had artificial colors and flavors! Probably not the right message we want to give our little ones.
The mini-chef, playing Thanksgiving
IKEA catalogs paint such a lovely picture of this game, complete with wee stainless steel spatulas and sauciers. Their sets, while pricey, are made of soft fabrics which can be washed after someone gets a little too into pretending to eat grilled salmon.
Similarly, Melissa and Doug toys feature more fresh foods in great sets which can be applied to learn direction following, patterns and simple fractions. Also pricey, I would consider them like a nice wooden block set- something you'd be willing to keep for grandchildren.
Or do it the old fashioned (and probably cheapest) way. Include your kids in the kitchen. They're more likely to eat whatever they've had a hand in... yes, even the stereotypically dreaded veggies.Start with something simple like boxed mac 'n' cheese
is my favorite) but jazz it up! This is one of the easiest things to hack because cheese is so versatile. Before the pasta is fully cooked, toss in your mix-ins so they can heat up. Frozen veggies are easy for toddlers to scoop but a more dextrous child might like slicing up a hot dog with a butter knife (and adult supervision of course).Level up to pizza which can result in funny faced pies or the epic RAINBOW PIZZA
. Before you know it your kids will be informed eaters and your kitchen will be a total mess. But you know what? That's probably worth it.
At least once or twice a year, tucked in between a report about two political leaders having a discussion and That Celebeutante's latest brush with the law, there's a wee bitty piece about some foodborne illness outbreak.
First, they begin with something to the effect of "Despite encouragement from our mothers to consume more (blank), we might want to steer clear of this particular produce for the immediate future." Then, they go on to very blandly tell us that some cases of salmonella have been reported somewhere and to refrain from eating it until the FDA gives us an all clear, which rarely happens because in two weeks the next scandal has wiped any mention of disease from our minds.
Click image to view
Ignorance is definitely not bliss if you fall victim to either salmonella or listeria, two common foodborne illnesses. A recent outbreak which has been linked to cantaloupes has resulted in two deaths this season. Always remember to wash your fruits and veggies before eating them, not only for disease prevention but to get rid of any critters and particulates which may have hitched a ride on your broccoli.
Disease isn't harbored only in growing, it can be picked up by improper handling, storage and transport
. Before you cut into the last of the summer's melons, give the outside a good scrub (with a scrubber, not your palm). Why? Pathogens can be tracked in by a knife, and that knife can cross contaminate if it is not adequately cleaned.Although tasting fresh produce is part of the charm of farmer's markets, salmonella and listeria flourish in temperatures over 41 C. So, for the sake of everyone's health,
we've made this little PSA and hope everyone takes away something more than "AVOID" and learns a thing or two about food safety.
Let's play an end-of-summer drinking game you guys. You can play all the time, driving or not, in the morning, at work and the best part is that if you play you win every time. Go down to your local mass retailer, grab the prettiest water bottle you can find and hang on to that sucker all year long. Our drink of choice will be water, the most vital substance to life, and the only side effects* are glowing skin, healthy kidneys and a happy tummy.
Image from howstuffworks.com
First, some reasons to play:
A person can live without food for weeks depending on their Body Mass Index
. In a starvation scenario, body fat can be burned for energy but once it is expended the muscle mass begins to suffer. And, since many vital organs are muscles, expiration is usually next. Of course, this is assuming the person has access to water. Without it, however, things become far more serious.
An average of 1.5 liters is lost daily in bodily fluids. On hot days, that volume accounts only for sweat and if you're not drinking enough, dehydration can set in in a matter of hours. It starts as a mild headache and lack of sweat, things that can can be easily brushed off. But with no water at all even the healthiest person would be in trouble after 4 days, and that's after the nausea, vomiting and shock.Even though water gets more advertising during the hotter months, it is by no means a seasonal beverage. You
don't need the famous "eight glasses a day" since eating regular food will cover a chunk of that intake. Just remember that water is a calorie, fat, sugar, and sodium free way to keep healthy, something many other drinks can't say the same about themselves.Before you reach for a cup of coffee in the morning, do like the Italians and grab a glass of water. "But why if coffee is mostly water?" you might ask. Yes, but caffeine is a diuretic which is why every soda hater tells you that those drinks will dehydrate you. When you eliminate fluids, especially after a fast (which sleep is) you are missing some of the water needed to do the things in the above diagram, taxing your body first thing in the morning which won't help the rest of the day run smoothly.
"But isn't fluid retention a bad thing?" Fluid retention is often caused by vitamin deficiencies, an excessively salty diet and many medications
, and drinking water actually helps to get rid of it. Despite it's commonness, it's a symptom for more serious things as well, so it's not something to be ignored.
Let's imagine a latte in the morning, a Coke with lunch, cranberry juice as a healthy refresher and some iced tea with dinner- the water goes right through you and what's left behind are fats from milk, sugars (natural or not) and caffeine. Try this instead: get that fancy pants bottle, fill it and drink some at a stop light, whenever Carly Rae Jepsen is on the radio (which, btw, is all the time), and during other quotidian events. Make up your own rules. Get your youngsters to play with you. Think of the cash saved from the aforementioned list of drinks. Let's say a latte is $2.50, a vending machine Coke and juice total $3.00 and a home-brewed iced tea is $0.50. That's six dollars a day, times five days in a work week, giving you a bonus $30 at the end of each week. Don't touch it for a year and now it's $1560, or a relaxing four day cruise in the Caribbean for two- meals included. That's right. Start now and next summer's vacation is paid for. *Too much of anything, even something as good as water, can be harmful. Don't overdo it or you run the risk of diluting your blood which can be fatal.
Sensationalist reporting may have scared you into believing that the sun is nothing but skin cancer waiting to strike you and the only way to prevent it is using SPF 100 (which, if you read this article
, is really just kind of overkill). In reality, the sun's UV rays are the main producer of Vitamin D, a fat-soluble vitamin which isn't overabundant in nature except in foods high in Omega 3s and those fortified with it such as milk, cereal and good ol' OJ.
Vitamin D is largely responsible for the proper mineralization of bone but also promotes the absorption of calcium, also a big contributor to the skeletal system. In the 19th century, studies were performed on patients with rickets and found that doses of cod liver oil, the best edible source of Vitamin D, were able to reverse the effects of the disease and in 1930 milk began to be fortified with it. With that, rickets, which was known for its telltale bone deformation, became as irrelevant to the modern world as scurvy.
Whenever cases are reported today it is usually in people who spend a majority of their day indoors (homebound individuals, office workers, video gamers), and those with darker skin as the higher levels of melanin block some absorption of the sun's rays. A recent study
published by Kaiser Permanente has also shown that women over 65 who had insufficient levels of Vitamin D tended to gain more weight than those who kept their Vitamin D at adequate levels as they aged. Now don't get us wrong; we are in no way promoting gallivanting about in the sun all day- you don't need much exposure to get your fill and besides, sunburns and melanoma are serious reasons to refrain from such activities- nor are we defaming the name of sunscreen (in fact, sunscreen is the only "beauty" product which does prevent premature aging and it should be a part of everyone's daily toilette).
But you remember how overuse of hand sanitizer bred super resilient bacteria, right?
If the infamous "they" are saying something, it's probably as fact based as a rumor. Do your research too. Don't forget "everything in moderation", protect yourself and especially kids who are more susceptible to sun damage, and absolutely do enjoy your time outdoors this summer.
The West End Farmers Market has grown substantially since it first opened. In 2007, there were about 200 visitors each week. In 2010, attendance increased to around 850 people each week! Special thanks to the following people:Yellow Pepper Patrons
Joyce Wilbur and Ed John
Nick of Nick's Night Club:
NoVa's Premier Live Country VenuePeachy Peach Patrons
Kathy Nerger and John Nerger
Mike of Mango Mike's Restaurant
: Exotic Eats. Caribean Beats.Blueberry Patrons
Rebecca A, Hillary Harms, Sarah Noble, Kelly Groth, Paula Jarvis and Natasha Fox
If you believe in the West End Farmers Market and would like to see it grow, please help us
- Red Tomato Patron $500
- Green Apple Patron $250
- Yellow Pepper Patron $100
- Peachy Peach Patron $5-$99
- Blueberry Patron FREE!
Contributions help run the market and build interconnections in our community. We promote the market and, provide entertaining events. When you support the West End Farmers Market, you support local small business, the preservation local farms and growers, and your local community. The West End Farmers Market is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. Our operation is possible with the support of groups and individuals who share our vision of the market as the nexus of community. All contributions are tax-deductible to the full extent of IRS law, and we pledge to use your contributions wisely.
All supporters are eligible to receive news and information about the West End Farmers Market by email.
Do you have a Gmail account? Are you using your Reader? Google Reader
allows you to subscribe to our blog using our RSS feed. You can easily share individual blog posts with others by simply emailing the post to them right from Google Reader!Adding our RSS feed is easy. Here's a step-by-step how-to:
- Log into your Gmail account
- At the very top left of the page, there are several links. "Reader" is the fifth one. When you click on that, you will be taken to your Google Reader.
- At the top left, three rows down, there is a button "Add a subscription." When you click on this, a box will open asking you to "Enter a search term to find feeds or paste a feed url."
- Copy in our feed url: feed://westendfarmersmarket.org/1/feed
"West End Farmers Market - Blog
" should now show up in the left column. When you click on that link, the blog posts should appear on the right and you can read them from there!At the bottom of each post there are several links. The fifth one is "Email." When you click on that, an email message opens up with the entire blog post in the body of your email. From here, you can share it with anyone!