Freshly Milled Flour: Worth the splurge

Agriculture, Find Local Food, Learn More, Mieko Diener

The flour that we typically buy from the store is not usually something we given a second thought to, just a bland, white pantry staple without much character. At least, that’s was how I felt until I worked for a farm that grew and milled fresh, heirloom wheatberries into whole grain wheat flour. It completely changed my perspective on flour. If you love to bake or just want to make something extra special, I urge you to give this whole new sensory experience a try. 

A Word on Waste: Part II

Food Waste, Mieko Diener

This article is part of a four-part series on buying, storing, preserving and composting foods to prevent waste.

In the previous article I discussed the massive impact food waste has on global greenhouse gas emissions. According to the UN, if food loss and waste were its own country it would rank third, behind the US and China, in global greenhouse gas emissions. The toll on the environment from food waste is staggering, but the upside is that in developed countries like the US, most waste occurs at the consumer level meaning we can actually do something about it. 

A Word on Waste: Part I

Find Local Food, Food Waste, Learn More, Mieko Diener

This article is part of a four-part series on buying, storing, preserving and composting foods to prevent waste.

Throwing out spoiled food is already a bummer, but many of us are unaware of the major impact food waste has on our environment and economy both locally and globally. Did you know that 40% of food produced in the US ends up as waste? There is a certain amount of spoilage that occurs at every stage of the food supply chain between production and plate, but in this country the biggest piece of that pie comes from consumers. Not only does the energy that went into producing, packaging and shipping that food go to waste, but when food ends up in a landfill it breaks down anaerobically and releases greenhouse gases. According to the UN, food loss and waste accounts for 8% of total global greenhouse gas emissions. That’s a lot considering the competition, aviation only contributes 1.4%.  The global cost of all this wasted food is a staggering $940 billion, around $161 billion in the US alone. That breaks down to around $2,000 a year per family. 

6 Ways to Handle CSA Overload

Eat Local, Find Local Food, Health, Know Your Farmer, Learn More, Mieko Diener

I love my CSA, for getting the freshest local veggies, knowing that I am supporting the farmers in my community, connecting with likeminded neighbors and investing in my local food system – it’s the best. But sometimes I get a little overwhelmed with just how many gorgeous veggies I come home with every week, and I know I’m not alone. Here are a few tips and tricks, if you’re like me and you love your CSA, but need strategies for using everything effectively.

Eggs: Unscrambling the Science

Find Local Food, Health, Learn More, Mieko Diener

If it seems like every few years the recommendations for eating eggs changes, that’s because it does. The issue is that egg yolks are a rich source of dietary cholesterol, but do not contain saturated fats which co-exist in most other sources of cholesterol like red meats. Cholesterol is an important structural component in all animal cells but having too much in our blood is associated with increased risk of heart disease. What has been challenging for scientists to figure out is the relationship between the cholesterol we eat and our blood cholesterol. It has been well established at this point that eating more saturated fat can increase blood levels of unhealthy cholesterol and lead to heart disease, but the understanding of dietary cholesterol on its own is still murky. 

Crop Spot: Pawpaw a.k.a. “Michigan Banana”

Crop Spot, Eat Local, Find Local Food, Learn More, Mieko Diener

If you’ve never heard of the pawpaw, you are not alone. This mysterious fruit is native to the Midwest, but defies commercial production and is rarely seen in stores. However, with increasing interest in native crops and local agriculture, you can expect to hear more and more about the pawpaw, officially named Asimina triloba, and with many fun, colloquial names including “Michigan banana” and “hillbilly mango”.