Get to Know our Summer Interns

Environment, Event, Get Involved, Health, Jobs

We are excited to host three great interns this summer! In northern Michigan, we have Emily Lesky as our Community Health Intern and Julia Linder as our Communications and Outreach Intern. In Southeast Michigan, Travertine Garcia is our Community Health Intern. These amazing ladies will help Taste the Local Difference further our mission of educating consumers about the benefits of local food and supporting food and farming entrepreneurs.

Crop Spot: Arugula

Find Local Food, Health, Kelly Wilson, Learn More

This peppery, pleasant edition to the salad bowl originated as a weed in the Mediterranean region. Since Roman times, however, this plant has been widely cultivated and enjoyed in a variety of dishes and preparations. Historically more common in Europe, especially Italy, arugula is growing in popularity in the United States thanks to its fresh, tart, bitter, and peppery flavor.

Dietitian’s Corner: Bone Health

Eat Local, Health, Paula Martin, Recipes

Bone Health is good health. According to the National Osteoporosis Foundation, 1 of 2 women and 1 of 4 men over the age of 50 will break a bone due to osteoporosis. A healthful eating plan and weight-bearing activities are important to ensure strong bones. With spring greens and local dairy now available at the Farmers Market, it’s easy to support local producers while taking care of your bones.

Eat Small: 3 Reasons to Cook Rabbit or Poultry Tonight

Eat Local, Environment, Health, Nick Jones, Recipes

Everyone is asking questions about meat lately. Is it healthy? Is it sustainable? Should we be eating it all?

While you consider what to put on the table for dinner tonight, take a minute to consider skipping the usual beef, pork, or lamb, and opt for something new.

Here are three good reasons to choose local rabbit for dinner tonight.

United Way of Washtenaw Leads Strategies for Success

Economy, Get Involved, Health, Learn More, Uncategorized

By 2030, we aspire to live in a community where your zip code no longer determines your opportunity in life. United Way of Washtenaw County fights for the health, education, and financial stability of all people. Our mission is to CONNECT people, resources, and organizations TOGETHER to create a thriving community for EVERYONE.

Give Your Kidneys a Break With Glazed Carrots

Eat Local, Find Local Food, Health, Paula Martin, Recipes, Uncategorized

Keep your blood pressure in check by eating plenty of local produce– your kidney will thank you for it. Eating a variety of fruits and vegetables ensures there is adequate potassium to balance out the negative effect salt has on our blood pressure. Kidneys regulate our blood pressure, so give them a hand, eat more potassium rich foods so they don’t have to work so hard. During March and early April, up your potassium levels by enjoying storage potatoes, onions, carrots and sweet potatoes. Dried cherries and apricots are also potassium powerhouses.

Crop Spot: Garlic

Find Local Food, Health, Kelly Wilson, Learn More, Recipe, Uncategorized

What is related to onions, leeks and lilies, keeps mythical creatures at bay, enhances the flavor of many dishes, and has antimicrobial properties? If you guessed Allium sativum (aka garlic), then you are correct!

Hailing from Central Asia and Northern Iran, records show garlic has been cultivated and used for culinary and medicinal purposes for nearly 5,000 years. There are two subspecies of garlic which all varieties can be categorized into: hardneck or softneck. Hardneck garlic produces a hard central stalk and scape (which can be harvested for a delicious vegetable side dish or pesto). Hardneck garlic tends to be a bit more flavorful and have larger, easier to peel cloves than softneck varieties. Softneck garlic has no hard central stalk, smaller cloves, and is the type we typically see in the grocery store (Note: nearly all garlic in US grocery stores is imported from China).

Slow Traditions

Eat Local, Economy, Environment, farm-to-table, Farmers Markets, Find Local Food, Health, Kelly Wilson, Stories

For me, food has always been a source of connection, a tool to communicate love, and a way to pass on family traditions. Some of my most vivid memories involve shared meals and many dishes are connected to specific loved ones in my mind. For example, my mom is chicken, rice, and carrots, whereas my dad is graham crackers dipped in milk. Apple pie and sharp cheddar cheese bring to mind my grandmother. The foods we made on our first date, kimchi and sauerkraut are my partner. These dishes provide comfort and a reminder to slow down.

Food has always been an important part of my life; however, it wasn’t until I studied abroad in Italy that I really fell in love. We toured a Parmigiano Reggiano facility, learned about Balsamico di Modena on a small family farm, and tasted traditionally cured prosciutto. Specifically, all the foods we encountered were part of a movement to preserve culturally significant foods and their traditional production practices: Slow Food.

Crop Spotlight: Turnips

Eat Local, Farmers Markets, Find Local Food, Health, Kelly Wilson, Recipes

In the dead of winter, we long for the abundance of summer gardens and farmers markets. While their bounty is hard to outshine, it is amazing to take stock of, and appreciate, how much variety is still available this time of year. Season extending techniques like hoophouses (aka high tunnels) allow us to have fresh tender greens, spinach, and cold sweetened carrots. We’re also able to find a wide range of storage vegetables: cabbage, beets, carrots, garlic, onions, potatoes, sweet potatoes, rutabaga, kohlrabi, and more! And don’t forget this month’s crop spotlight: the humble turnip.