After gastric bypass surgery, many experience eating difficulties

About 71 percent of the gastric bypass group, compared with 17 percent of the others, could not tolerate certain items, including red meat and foods high in fat or sugar. Water was not tolerated by about 7 percent of those who had had gastric bypass, vs. none of the others. The researchers found no link between the amount of weight people had lost and the digestive problems. Link to story

Markets could put small lists of available products together for different users of their market, including those who have digestive problems. It’s important to remember that many of these folks are just beginning to understand their problems, learning what works and doesn’t. I remember how, after my gallbladder surgery in 2007, I had to figure out what needed to come off my shopping list. It was through trial and error and asking a lot of questions and reading a lot of information that I was able to understand what worked best for me, but in the meantime, I had to give away or throw away some items I bought at first which used to be fine for me but were no longer. Another reason why vendors offering small “sample” amounts of different items can be a great way to invite new visitors (or newly fragile shoppers)  to become regular, return shoppers.

I know of at least one market outreach program that focused on these patients – the wonderful North Union Farmers Markets in my original hometown of Cleveland Oh.

Their frittata project is one of my favorite programs to pull out of my sleeve when markets ask me about ideas for working with obese or recently obese populations. (These programs make me seem smart even though what I really am is well-traveled.) Their project is shared with many other types of healthy food clients too, but I was really taken by the idea they had of working with bariatric patients through the Cleveland Clinic system.

 

More on their project:

The Frittata Project teaches young mothers (and fathers!) how to cook a nutritious meal on a budget to feed their family. The food used in the recipes we teach can be bought at our markets for around $10 (the amount we match in produce perks for EBT-SNAP/Ohio Direction Card). Workshops and demonstrations bring families together to learn how to sustain a nutritious diet while staying within their economic constraints. Our aim is to foster relationships in the community by empowering individuals to make informed decisions about the food they purchase while having the skills to prepare it. In addition to those on EBT-SNAP (Electronic Benefits Transfer- Supplemental Nutrition Assistant Program) and WIC (Women and Infant Children), the program is also open to senior citizens who participate in the Senior Farmers Market Nutrition Program by the Western Reserve Area Agency on Aging.

Our signature frittatas include farm fresh eggs, local grated cheese, a dash of grass-fed cow’s milk, and sautéed spinach seasoned with salt and pepper.

Students go home with not only new skills in the kitchen, but with cooking supplies (pan and spatula) and gift certificates for fresh and local produce from the farmers markets.

‘More on the history of this flagship market organization can be found here.

 

Farmer Veteran Coalition competes in the American Heroes Charity Challenge

Farmer Veteran Coalition was recently invited by the Craig Newmark Philanthropic Fund to compete in the American Heroes Charity Challenge from May 23 to July 6. In this competition, we’ll be going head-to-head against other nonprofit organizations that support veterans and first responders for a chance to win the $15,000 top prize.

While a little friendly competition among nonprofits is fun, more important are the funds we’re in need of raising so we can assist more farmer veterans around the country and provide them with critical items, such as livestock, used tractors and greenhouses, as they launch their farming operations.

We’ve set our goal high–$40,000—and we will be fortunate for every dollar we raise, but we believe that you, our member and supporter, are the greatest hope we have to reach our goal. Either by making a small donation or sharing this email with others who support veterans, you can help us raise crucial funds that will make a direct impact on beginning farmer veterans and the future of American agriculture.

The competition is fierce, as you can see on the challenge page here. You can visit the FVC team page here to make a donation, or you can join the team and help spread the word to those who support veterans. After all, a little friendly competition never hurt anyone.

Emerging City Champions to lead innovative food projects – Knight Foundation

I highlight the food choices, but really all 20 of them should be approached to have a partnership with their farmers markets. Here is the list so you can see what else is being proposed.

Macon, Georgia
Morgan Wright: A new community garden planted on an abandoned lot will serve community members and feature weekly farmers markets.

Miami
Danielle Bender: Public Hives will provide beehives in public places, with a protective fence surrounded by native wildflowers and fruiting trees, to ensure residents can remain a safe distance away. Programming will encourage discussions about pollinators.

Tallahassee, Florida
Jacqueline Porter: “Thrive Tallahassee” will be a series of neighborhood meals hosted in underused, historically significant spaces.

Source: <a href=”https://knightfoundation.org/articles/20-emerging-city-champions-chosen-to-lead-innovative-urban-projects”Knight Foundation

The Circular Economy | The UnSchool

Closing the loop on production, consumption, design, and the economy

The circular economy is a smarter and more effective way of producing high-need things with high-value in the economy and with much less waste, pollution, exploitation, and other negative impacts.

By taking this class you will get a 360 degree perspective of what the circular economy is, how it applies to different levels of decision making, and theories and practices that have gone into making it work today — biomimicry, cradle-to-cradle & sustainable design strategies, and product service system models.

Source: Enroll in Course for $45

Maximizing satisfaction

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Data Matters in the Next Farm Bill

My colleague, Laurie Ristino up there in Vermont wrote a great blog about the need for data in terms of the farm bill. I remind every market and every food service organization that collecting data now is necessary for your state or national advocates to help build our farm bill agenda.

Data as a policy issue seems both prosaic and nerdy. But the absence of usable, quality data precludes the American public from reaping the value of their investment of billions in the farm bill. It’s time to unlock the ability to measure the farm bill’s impact and enhance the return.

Data is the currency of our modern economy. While often associated with the fortunes of Silicon Valley, big data is harnessed by companies that loom large in the agriculture sector to create new services and products key to their business strategies.

Professor Laurie Ristino is the founding director of the Vermont Law School Center for Agriculture and Food Systems (CAFS) and an associate professor of law. Professor Ristino is also the faculty adviser to the VLS Food and Agriculture Law Society.

Morning Consult

Dipping in to JazzFest

Sometimes being a consultant and researcher needs to be combined with more hands-on experience in actually making something or serving customers to remind me what market vendors or staff have to do and how I can help to find or create resources for them. When I feel that way, I take myself to a market or to a farm or an artist’s workshop or store to help. This last week, I was able to do just that and to experience the first weekend of the massive New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival’s 47th year, 45 of them held at the Fairgrounds in the Gentilly neighborhood. For just a little while, I became a dipper for La Divina Gelateria.

I first met gelato wizards Katrina and Carmelo when they applied to become vendors at the Uptown farmers market in 2006 or so. We knew that they weren’t likely to stay forever as vendors, but their locally sourced ingredients, business savvy and wide set of connections around New Orleans made them a good choice to become a short-term vendor, especially in those post-levee break times. See, many of our vendors had not returned yet but we did have thousands of repairing residents and first responders greedy for any sort of authenticity and regular activity flocking to our Tuesday market. We thought LDG’s energy would be helpful in those months, and it was.

They quickly moved from their umbrella spot to a few storefront locations around town, but remained regular shoppers at the markets and supporters of the organization, even selling our market t-shirts in their stores for a while. I follow them on social media and try to catch up with Katrina whenever possible, so when they let the universe know they were searching for volunteers to work their stand set up next to the Fais Do-Do stage, I emailed her. She wrote me back right away offering me a spot on the first weekend for 2.5 hours and the chance to attend the rest of the day for free (JF costs 80 bucks a day to just get in the door!) along with the use of their own locked port-a-let and tent area for crew members to hang out when not working (don’t laugh-people would pay large amounts of money to get those added items if they could.)

Food

The festival has dozens and dozens of selections of the best food in town, some of which is only available during these 2 weekends.That is because even when some of the city’s classic restaurants close, they hold on to their spot out at the fairgrounds to continue to sell their items to appreciative audiences; it helps that the festival actually has a “no carnival food” policy to guide their choices and maintain the quality.

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The yellow booths all over the map are the food booths

I well know how the festival food staff was instrumental in 2006 + in getting some of their hardest hit vendors back to the festival, doing what they could to help those struggling by finding them kitchens to work from and (rumor has it) even assisting with resources when possible. I heard about the encouraging calls from the festival staff that made a great deal of difference to many of those who lost their homes and businesses and were done without any expectation of a return by those vendors or to gain any publicity for their actions.

What everyone does know is that the presentation, food handling and prices are managed extremely well by the festival’s food staff and by the vendors who work from the extensive rules and suggestions of the festival staff. If you follow me on Facebook, you might have seen my post last Saturday about the connections between the market and the festival:

…The relationship between JF and CCFM has a long history, starting with the excellent food handling experience that the Fest food staff shared with the market (which allowed the market to write one of the best risk management systems of sampling, temperature controls and product handling of any market that I have seen) and also included a few staff who worked at both the Fest and the markets, and a whole era of food demonstrations in the Grandstand area from market vendors back in the day. …

(I maintain a tattered hope in finding a funder interested in letting me uncover best practices of fairs and festivals to build the professional skills and organizational capacity of farmers markets in areas such as production, sponsorships and educational activities- if so, certainly this festival’s experience would be one of those selected.)

Anyone can see that being a food vendor at a festival that attracts 60,000* people per day on a slow day and double that on a big day and runs for 7 days over 2 weekends requires some planning, effort and some sleepless nights.

So LDG’s tent became my workplace for a little while last week. They offer 8 kinds of gelato under a double tent, close to the main walkway that meanders around the infield.

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This is owner Carmelo on Day 1 at his tent, telling food writer, radio and tv host Poppy Tooker that the espresso machine was malfunctioning and the affogato was not ready to go yet. She was clearly horrified but gracious about the lack of espresso since she gladly came back the next morning.

 

Once I got in the tent, Katrina gave me a 2-minute tutorial on where to stow items, what each person would be doing and what was being offered that day.  The flavors were: Milk chocolate, butter pecan, cookies and cream, creme brulee, red cream soda, strawberry balsamic, azteca (spicy) chocolate, and salted caramel. She told me to pull 3 full scoops each time and how to know if it was to be in a cup or cone. She explained the precise actions that would happen for each order.

I was assigned as a dipper, standing next to the other (more experienced) dipper on a tiny platform (that I almost stepped off 2 or 3 times without noticing ) with my back to the cashiers but within earshot and sight of my expediter. The platform is necessary cuz the cooler is raised off the ground (per food storage guidelines),  allowing the machinery to work better on the grassy infield which also means water intake from flooding is less of an issue in case of rain (as happened on the first Sunday, delaying opening of the festival for 3.5 hours.**)

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Owner Katrina working as a dipper when it got very busy during a shift changeover.

The other dipper did 60-70% of the orders as her cashier was nearer to the list of flavors and mine was sitting in a camp chair which made her hard to see when you walked up. However, she made up for it with a flair for customers and energetic calls to those standing out front and for orders ( “Come on up folks! Order here.” “AFFOGATOOO AzTECa please!”  “Twooooo milk chocolate cones please!” )

My expeditor was a young woman visiting New Orleans, there to be an intern for a season for local community initiatives. She was excited about the opportunity to get into JazzFest, able to help a local business and was a hard worker.

I did fine for the first 2 hours keeping up with my minimal orders without problem. Then, the crowds came. Interestingly, even though the gates open at 11 or 11:30 each day, thousands of attendees don’t arrive until well after 3 pm even though the stages shut down by 7:25 pm with no exceptions. The biggest names draw those who only come for their show and who don’t care to wander the grounds seeing what else is available at the 11 other stages and the dozens or so craft and demonstration areas. (I know- it makes locals crazy.)

So my last half hour the orders came fast and thick and still, for the most part I kept up. The other dipper had explained how to place a cup or cone as each order was called at the flavor asked for and then dipping each and handing to the expediter. All went well until a slew of affogato-style cups came which meant each time the expediter had to leave the area and walk across the tent to the espresso machine, waiting for the shot to be added, then to walk it back to the customer. As a result, I had to dip each regular cup or cone, step off my platform and hand it to the customer myself. It mostly went fine but I give my expeditor lots of credit for helping me catch up when she got back.

Other more experienced staff were also on hand to help,  watching levels of gelato, switching out them quickly between orders and cleaning the scoopers as needed in the 3-part set up for washing, rinsing and sanitizing.

Still, except for a few that I missed hearing and delayed in getting out for a minute or two, my expeditor and I  did fine and the good news is once that person gets their gelato in hand, all delay is forgiven.
When Katrina thanked me and let me go, I was grateful to have done the shift and even more grateful that I had not impaired them too badly on my initial run. I learned the complexity of a simple gelato cup and the teamwork it takes to make great food happen on a grassy area of a festival.

(Next week: I’ll be holding down the fort at my pal’s St. Charles Avenue shop while she vends at the Contemporary Crafts section of JazzFest.)unnamed.jpg

*From Wikipedia: Record single day attendance was 160,000 for the Dave Matthews Band and Mystikal on Second Saturday, 2001. Elton John in 2015 probably drew 130,000+, and that’s the only other time they’ve passed 100,000.  The old record was 98,000 on Second Saturday in 1998, when Jimmy Buffett headlined.  Typical attendance is 60,000 on a weekday, 80-90,000 on a weekend.

 

** Sunday: torrential rain and tornado warnings delayed the opening of JF until 3 pm and left the vendors camped out in the Grandstand building, hoping the water would not make it in their tents. Some of these folks were not so lucky..18222686_10154661461639366_739334513336050751_n.jpg18194856_10154661461674366_793755088390801239_n.jpg