Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Eggscellent: Natural Egg Dyes and Egg Labelling

Eggs are on many of our minds this week with the impending arrival of a fuzzy, fictional creature. It's Good Friday and the Easter Bunny is coming. What kind of eggs will he bring to your house, and how will he color them?

In pagan culture, the egg signified the rebirth of the earth during spring. Christians adopted this symbol for the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, allegedly having occurred in early spring. Eastern Christianity has created several myths regarding the connection between the egg and the Easter story, including a claim that Mary Magdalene brought eggs to share at the tomb of Jesus, which turned bright red when she saw that Christ had risen.

With all of these associations with life and the earth, it only makes sense that the eggs that we dye for our baskets, egg hunts and rolls be good for the earth and respect life. To do this, we need to be educated consumers and understand the labeling on the cartons.

Sustainable Eggs

Three separate certifying systems have been created by egg producers.

Certified Organic: This is the only certification that is regulated by the government. To earn it, a farmer must pass an inspection showing that the eggs came from hens that eat an antibiotic-free, 100% organic diet, and are allowed access to the outdoors and sunlight. What it does not require is a certain barn or shed size or limit on the amount chickens housed inside such facilities. It also does not require that the chickens spend any time outdoors and specifically allows a farmer to temporarily confine his hens for a variety of reasons, with no definition of the term "temporarily." It does, however, require certain humane limitations including that a bird must be anesthetized prior to de-beaking, a common practice in egg farming.

Certified Humane: This certification is regulated by Humane Farm Animal Care and is concerned less with what the birds eat than with how they are treated. Hens must eat a "wholesome" and "nutritious" diet, they may only receive antibiotics in the case of disease. The certification requires that the hens have "sufficient space, shelter and gentle handling to limit stress." In Illinois, Phil's Fresh Eggs has been Certified Humane under this system. To find other producers, visit Humane Farm Animal Care's website. Organic Valley may not be "Certified Humane," on its website, it states its promise to the consumer that its eggs have been:
"Produced on family farms in harmony with nature without antibiotics, synthetic hormones or pesticides. Our hens are raised humanely and given certified organic feed—never any animal by-products—and range freely outdoors."

A note on hormones: a hormone-free claim is a bit of a non-sequitur given that hormones are never given to hens being grown for laying eggs or during the egg-laying period unless sick.

The United Egg Producers Certification: This is quite a dodgy "certification." According to Marion Nestle, the certification "merely attests that a company gives food and water to its caged hens." Unsurprisingly, a large majority of industrial egg producers have received this certification. The website is chock full of double speak. On the home page, we see a wholesome young family on their bucolic farm. There is a large section called Myth v. Fact. My favorite myth v. fact is the first:

Myth: Farmers only care about profit.
Fact: U.S. egg farmers are committed to the humane and ethical treatment of animals. Many of the farms are family-owned and operated.

While I'm sure that majority of family farmers treat their hens humanely, having recently watched HBO's "Death on a Family Farm," family-owned and operated can not necessarily be equated with humane treatment.

A Note on De-beaking: It's important to note that none of the certifications prohibit de-beaking, though the Certified Organic and Humane standards do require that the birds be anaesthetized during the procedure. Birds are de-beaked to prevent the aggressive behavior that is almost inevitable in close quarters. In the "The Ethics of What We Eat," Peter Singer identifies a handful of farmers who do not de-beak their birds. I have emailed several of the egg producers who sell locally at our farmers market to find out their practices and will report back with what I learn.

Sustainable Egg Dying

Ever since my son was born 5 years ago, we've coloring our eggs naturally. What we've done is to use the by-products of our home cooking that would otherwise be destined for the garbage or the compost bin. For example, yellow onion skins create a lovely beige shade, red, a purplish one. I'll blanch spinach, a traditional menu item on Maundy Thursday, for green. Boil some beets for red. Leftover coffee stains not your teeth for brown. The only virgin ingredients that I use are dried spices - really, how many of you are going to use up that entire jar or turmeric? I also have a huge jar of tomato powder that is past its prime (a donation from the very generous Spice House for a Purple Asparagus project) that when combined with vinegar turns up orange. When using spices, boil water to fill a bowl just large enough to hold an egg or two and add a tablespoon or more or the desired spice with a bit of vinegar. But my all time favorite natural egg dye? Red wine. Not only does it color the egg, but it gives it a sparkly sheen - I've always assumed that it's the sulfites. The best part? When your egg is done, it's cocktail time.

Devilled Eggs
Makes 12

12 large hard boiled eggs
2 tablespoons fresh tarragon, finely chopped
½ cup mayonnaise, either handmade or Hellman’s
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Press the eggs through a fine-mesh sieve into a medium bowl. Gently mix in the remaining ingredients and season to taste with kosher salt and freshly ground pepper.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Greens from Green Youth Farm

Like every proponent of local foods, I often face legitimate questions from my globalvore friends about my dietary choices. The carbon footprint argument doesn't hold much weight for me - I've read too many counterarguments to rely upon this. Also, the suggestion that a fruit or vegetable is "greener" simply because it's grown within a certain distanc is just plain ludicrous. It's the quality of the farmer not the quantity of the miles.

My rationale for these friends is twofold. First and foremost, the foods that I buy from the farmers market taste fresher and, in my opinion, better. A second benefit, at least for me, is knowing the story behind my food. It doesn't come from nameless, faceless, farms, but instead from friends and, in some cases, my heighbors. It was one of these back stories, that made me happy to see the Chicago Botanic Garden stand at the last Winter Market at Ebeneezer Lutheran Church.

I recently learned about the Botanic Garden's Green Youth Farm program at the inaugural Growing Healthy Kids event. The Botanic Garden operates four Green Youth Farm sites. Students work 20 hours a week for 10 weeks. They participate in workshops regarding topics of food systems, sustainable food production, plant, maintain, harvest, sell and cook with fruits and vegetables, and participate in community events and markets.

The Green Youth Farm program offers students the opportunity to learn all aspects of organic farming — from planting seeds and starts to managing a hive of bees, from cooking with the food they grow to selling it at farmstands and markets.

The Botanic Garden stand staffed by the Green Youth Farm's students was stocked with pristinely fresh greens: Swiss Chard, Green Leaf Lettuce, Basil, Spinach and a braising mix of Collard and Kale. I bought them all. Late last week, we enjoyed the braising greens with a package of bratwurst from another set of farmer friends, Beth and Jody Osmund of Cedar Valley Sustainable Farm.

Bratwurst and Greens
Serves 4

4 bratwurst
2 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup diced yellow onion
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 cup red wine
1 1/2 cup tomato puree
1 bag, approximately 6 cups of braising greens, stemmed and roughly chopped

Heat a medium skillet over medium high heat. Brown the bratwurst in the skillet. Remove the sausage to a plate. Heat the oil in the pan and saute the onion until softened. Add the garlic and cook for an additional 30 seconds. Pour in the wine and cook until reduced slightly. Dump in the greens, the tomato puree and a 1/2 cup of water. Salt and pepper to taste and cover. Cook until the greens are softened and the sausage is cooked through. Serve warm.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Clean Greens: Sorrel

While the calendar tells us that it's spring, we've got a long way before the season's beauties, asparagus and strawberries, populate our markets. No, in these cold gray, March days, we need to console ourselves with the variety of greens that have begun to sprout. Alongside the celeriac, turnips, and potatoes, we've begun to see the season's early dwellers: sweet spinach, spicy watercress, and lemon-y sorrel. Sorrel is an unusual green with a tartness that is uncommon among its brethren. The flavor is clean and refreshing - evoking the verdant days we'll soon see.

At Green City Market, Three Sisters had beautiful bunches of a ruby-flecked variety, with a feathery shape. A twitter about my purchase of this beauty inspired some questions about how to use it. Years back, I had found a deliciously simply hors d'oeuvres in the dearly departed Gourmet: wrap a beet wedge and cube of fresh chevre with a sorrel leaf. Beet lovers take heed. A delicious treat, but we're not hosting a cocktail soiree anytime soon. I often turn sorrel into soup, but this tiny little bunch would make only about a teacup full. Luckily, on this same Saturday, I also bought a bit of La Quercia prosciutto and some eggs. With these two accompaniments, I set out to create an Easter brunch recipe: Baked Prosciutto Cups with Sorrel and Coddled Eggs.

Baked Prosciutto Cups with Sorrel and Coddled Eggs
Serves 4

4 slices of prosciutto
8 sorrel leaves
4 large eggs

Preheat the oven to 425 F. Push the prosciutto slices into 4 muffin cups of a tin. You could do this with silicone muffin cups. Set another tin or muffin cups on top of the prosciutto. Bake for 10 minutes or until the cups are formed and are slightly crisped. Fill a small baking dish with hot water. Lay the sorrel leaves in a x pattern in each of the prosciutto cups. Crack an egg on top of each cup and set into the baking dish. Place the pan into the oven and bake for approximately 10 minutes or until the eggs are set. Serve with bread for dipping.

NOTE: Despite the confidence that I have in the eggs that I buy from the farmers' market, I prefer not to serve the little locavore undercooked eggs. For him, I would fill the cups with scrambled eggs.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Waste the Whey: No Way!


The Local Beet has a new cheesemaker, Keighty Alvarez. I'm looking forward to reading more of her cheese recipes. Her first, Lemon Sage, is a variant on ricotta, the one cheese that I have made (other than yogurt cheese, which isn't really cheese making so much as straining). Ricotta is a super simple cheese to make, especially if you pick up one of these home cheesemaking kits from Zingerman's. In my view, however, the best result of cheesemaking isn't the cheese - I can get great cheese at a multitude of outlets in Chicago, I'm a fan of the whey. Substitute it for water, in your bread or pizza dough to give it a real boost in flavor. Fill your pizza dough with the fresh made ricotta and sausage for a Sunday night calzone.

Serves 4

1 cup whey
1 ¼-ounce package yeast
½ teaspoon honey
1 tablespoon white wine
¾ cup whole wheat pastry flour
1 ¾ cup unbleached all-purpose flour plus more for rolling out the dough
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons kosher salt
Coarsely-ground cornmeal
1 28-ounce can of tomatoes
1 large clove of garlic, peeled
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon dried oregano, crumbled
½ teaspoon good red wine or balsamic vinegar
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
4 cups ricotta
1/2 pound Italian sausage, cooked until just no longer pink

Heat the whey in a microwave for approximately 30 seconds until 110° F. Sprinkle yeast on top and add honey, stir to combine. Let the yeast mixture sit for 5 minutes while it foams. Scrape the dissolved yeast into a large mixing bowl. Add white wine, the flours, olive oil and salt to the bowl. Mix with a wooden spoon or with a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook until the water is absorbed. If kneading by hand, remove the mixture from the bowl and knead on a floured surface until it is smooth and elastic, but slightly tacky. If using the mixer, knead with the dough hook for approximately 2 minutes. Remove from the bowl before the dough is completely smooth and knead by hand for a few minutes or until smooth and elastic, but slightly tacky. Put the dough into a large bowl coated with oil and cover tightly with plastic wrap. Let rise for 1 hour. If you have a pizza stone, put it in the oven at this time. Preheat the oven to 500° F. Uncover the dough, punch it down and let rise for another 45 minutes.

While the dough is rising, make the sauce. Coarsely chop the tomatoes, preferably in a blender. Finely mince the garlic clove. Heat the oil in a medium-size sauce pan over medium heat. Add the garlic and sauté approximately 30 seconds. Add the tomatoes, oregano, salt and pepper to taste. Cook until slightly reduced, approximately 20 minutes. Add vinegar and cook for another 5 minutes.

Cut the dough into four pieces with a chef’s knife or a dough scraper. Press or roll out each piece on a lightly-floured surface to an approximately 9-inch circle. Fill each circle with equal amounts of ricotta and sausage. Fold in half and crimp to seal.


If using a pizza stone, sprinkle a sheet pan or a baker’s peel with coarsely-ground cornmeal. Set the calzone on top. With a flip of the wrist, transfer unbaked pizza to stone in the oven. If you do not have a pizza stone, bake the pizza on a baking sheet. Close oven and reduce the temperature to 450° F. Bake for approximately 10-15 minutes until the calzones are browned.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Spring Fever: Market Greens

I've just returned from Green City Market and I'm pleased to report that the Spring greens have arrived. Genesis Growers brought in bagfuls of their spicy wild watercress as well as tiny turnips with their greens still attached. Three Sisters had delicate red flecked sorrel bunches, as pretty as the tulips stationed at the stand nearby. Growing Home had bagfuls of spinach and arugula, bright in color and brimming with flavor. What a sigh of relief this sight gives me, weary from the last burst of Winter days in March. For those of you lucky enough to score a bag of the watercress, try this salad - a bridge between the scarcity of Winter and the abundance of the growing season.

Beet, Watercress & Fennel Salad with Creamy Pink Peppercorn Vinaigrette

For 6 servings

3 medium beets, greens removed
1 bulb fennel
1 bunch watercress
1 teaspoon pink peppercorns
2 teaspoons good white wine vinegar
1 teaspoon good mayonnaise (I prefer Hellman’s)
2 tablespoons grapeseed or canola oil
Kosher salt to taste
Coarse sea salt, optional

Preheat oven to 350° F. Wrap the beets in aluminum foil and roast on the oven’s center rack for 1 ½ hours or until tender. Rub off their skins and cut into quarters.

Crush the peppercorns by enclosing them in a paper towel and smashing with a flat metal round, such as the bottom of a metal measuring cup or a meat mallet. Combine the vinegar and peppercorns in a small bowl. Add the oil by droplets, stirring with a whisk to emulsify the mixture. Add mayonnaise and whisk until well combined. Add salt to taste.

Very thinly slice the fennel, use a mandoline if available. Soak in a bowl of ice water for at least 30 minutes. Remove the thicker stems of the watercress. Wash and dry.

Arrange the watercress on a platter and place the fennel and the quartered beets on top. Dress with vinaigrette and garnish with coarse sea salt, if desired.
Do-ahead notes: The dressing can be made one day in advance, whisk just prior to serving. The beets can be roasted and the fennel sliced one day before.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

The Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Month


Most days in most months, I think that I've got it pretty good. I'm head over heels in love with my husband. I have a terrific son, who is almost always a source of laughter and inspiration to me. We live in a comfortable home in a city a we love. As for my job (or jobs), I always say that while it's less lucrative than my lawyer days, it's far more rewarding. So on most days in most months, I feel pretty lucky.

And then March roars in and takes me down like a lame gazelle on an African plain. I can't remember exactly when it started, probably because it has been going on for as long as I can recall, but March is routinely a series of misfortunes and mishaps. The traumas and bad luck ranges from the mundane to the profound. To provide some context, here are a few examples:

- I've had more than my share of break-ups in March, including separating from and ultimately divorcing my first husband.

- Last year, we embarked on a minor home renovation project (insulating an extension) only to learn that the back of our house was in shreds from water damage hidden from us by the prior owners more than doubling the cost of a simple project.

- Two years ago, we were forced to rip out a whole wall of cabinets when I stumbled upon a Rattus norvegicus (that's fancy talk for brown rat) taking up residence in our laundry room, slithering through a gap left at the base of our basement wall. At least we knew he was dead, when the stench of rotting flesh emanated from the walls.

My health has not been immune from this streak of misfortune. In March 2007, I came down with a nasty case of shingles just weeks before I was scheduled to cook for our now FLOTUS, Mrs. Obama (fortunately the dinner was scheduled for April and the medication went into overdrive starting April Fool's Day - of course).

I could go on, but it hurts to relive these previous Marches, especially when this one has followed an equally icky pattern.

This year started out with a bang. On March 1, I received news so disappointing that I'm not the first person to blog about it and it's only gone downhill from there. Several friends have noted that I look tired. Others have seen my scowl-like frown and turned on their heel when approaching. Not such a terrible idea, who knows bad luck is catching.

I've tried all sorts of solutions, remedies, distractions to at least soothe the troubled mind. One of my favorite food-related means of chasing the March blues is comfort food. Everyone's got their version, whether it be chicken soup or macaroni and cheese. Mine is the silky strands of slow simmered swine. When March started its downward spiral, I pulled out a beautiful bone-in pork shoulder from Cedar Valley Sustainable Farm. After searing the exterior, I cooked it with the gentle heat of my All-Clad slow cooker in a mixture of apple cider and onions. After a day in the fridge, I pried off the layer of golden fat, returned the meat to a simmer, while I boiled a batch of Pasta Puttana's luxurious butternut squash noodles. After plating, I snapped a few pictures of it and then sat down to enjoy it with my son, my darling husband, and a glass or two, or three of wine.

The glimmer of comfort was short lived. Thor came upstairs when called, clearly agitated. "I think I swallowed a penny." My usually smart 6-year old who's never, ever ingested any other kind of inedible object has chosen on this particular day in this particular month to eat a penny. The thought of comfort had passed with visions of coins sliding down his esophagus.

Perhaps, my recipe for braised pork will provide some comfort for others surviving the Winter blahs.

Me? I'm moving to Australia, at least until April.

That is unless anyone has an idea on how to cure such bad luck. If so, do tell. I've still got 6 days to get through.

Cider Braised Pork

1 medium pork shoulder, preferably bone-in
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 large onion, thinly sliced
1/2 cup sparkling apple cider
1 cup apple cider
2 cups chicken stock
a bouquet garni of thyme, parsley, bay leaf, 1/4 teaspoon fennel seeds, 1/8 teaspoon Szechuan peppercorns, 1/8 teaspon coriander seeds, and 1 clove
1 tablespoon coarse grain mustard
1 tablespoon cider vinegar

Dry the pork shoulder and season with salt and pepper. Heat a Dutch oven or slow cooker insert over a medium-high flame. (If using a Dutch oven, preheat the oven to 350 F). Brown the pork shoulder on all sides. Remove to a plate. Reduce the heat to medium low. Add the butter. When the foam subsides, dump in the onion and cook until soft and light golden, stirring frequently. Pour in the apple cider and bring to a boil. Cook for 1 minute. Pour in the apple cider and chicken stock and add the bouquet garni. Bring the liquids to a simmer. Return the pork to the pot. Put the slow cooker insert onto the pan or place the Dutch oven into the oven and cook for 4-6hours or until the pork is very tender. If possible, let the pork come to room temperature and refrigerate so that you can easily remove the layer of fat from the top. Serve on top of noodles or mashed potatoes.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Politics of the Plate: Illinois Residents Take Action on Obesity Today

Today is the last day to submit written testimony to the Illinois Department of Public Healthy on the Obesity Prevention Initiative Act.

Those wishing to participate in these hearings may sign in to testify at each location. Please limit oral testimony to three (3) minutes. Please provide a written copy of your testimony.

If you choose to submit testimony, the IDPH has asked that you consider the following questions:

* What are examples of effective programs and interventions to address obesity?
* What policy, program, and coordination solutions exist to address the obesity epidemic in Illinois?
* How can Illinois work more effectively to combat obesity?

Please send your testimony to with “Obesity Initiative” in the subject line. The deadline for written testimony is March 15, 2010.

The following is my letter written on behalf of Purple Asparagus.

March 15, 2010


Illinois Department of Public Health

Re: Obesity Initiative

Having attended the public hearing in Chicago on the Obesity Prevention Initiative Act, the panel has clearly been inundated with statistics about the obesity problem that plagues our city and our state. Attendees offered many cogent and insightful solutions for this persistent and devastating health crisis ranging from training health professionals to stage interventions to increasing physical activity opportunities for all Illinois residents. What was conspicuously absent were ideas for increasing access to fresh local produce.

Purple Asparagus is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to bringing families back to the table by promoting all things associated with good eating. For the past five years, we have provided nutritional education in schools, at community centers, farmers' markets, and health fairs in which we teach children and families how to incorporate fresh and seasonal produce into their diets in a joyful way.

In our experience, the parents who attend our workshops do not lack the will to combat the obesity problem that plagues their communities and families. No, instead, they lack the resources, both the money and the access to fresh, local foods.

We strongly feel that a good portion of any funding in an anti-obesity campaign should be provided to initiatives intended to increase access to good, fresh, and local food in the food deserts that are far too prevalent in our city and state. To do this, we recommend the following community based solutions:

• Replicating New York City's Green Cart program where mobile food vendors are provided licenses to sell as long as they do so in identified food deserts, preferably ones in which the vendors reside.
• Replicating the Wholesome Wave's double value program for farmers' markets that has turned out to be such a resounding success at the 61st Street Farmers' Market.
• Creating non-profit food incubators in underserved communities to develop food entrepreneurs from within the communities themselves. To correspond with this initiative, the Department of Public Health should work with Business Licensing to ensure that the regulations governing these incubators are clear.

By increasing access to good, fresh, and local foods, while increasing physical activity and nutritional education, our communities will make great strides to combating the pernicious scourge of childhood obesity.

Very truly yours,

Melissa Graham
Purple Asparagus

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Growing Healthy Kids

The statistics are staggering. I'm not much for numbers and yet I can even quote the stats by heart:

- 1/3 of American children are obese (2/3 of American adults)
- For the first time since the marvels of modern medicine, health experts are predicting that children will have a lower life span than their parents (2-5 years)
- 10 percent of America's health care bills are obesity-related, whether it be treatment for diabetes, hypertension or joint injury and this doesn't even include mental health related costs
- Illinois has the fourth highest rate of childhood obesity.

It's bad.

To combat this national scourge, First Lady Michelle Obama recently announced her "Let's Move" campaign with an ambitious goal of ending childhood obesity in a generation. While I agree with some commentators that the initiative's dependence on industry cooperation seems too hopeful, I believe that the national attention brought about by this announcement moves the ball far down the field on this important issue.

In light of the recent unveiling of the White House program, I wanted to share some news of a local initiative intended to pool resources in this important battle.

On January 24, the non-profit that I founded, Purple Asparagus, with the help of a tireless committee,* spearheaded the first Growing Healthy Kids event at Logan Square Kitchen. The Sunday lunch meeting brought together approximately 30 organizations dedicated to educating children about nutrition, gardening, the environment, and, in general, how to lead a healthy lifestyle. It was an event that our board had long tossed around at our meetings. Ultimately, we wanted to provide groups working with Chicagoland kids around issues of food and wellness an opportunity to meet and learn more about one another so that we could find ways to collaborate. As we all know, the issues facing our city's children are huge and daunting and no one organization can solve them alone.

Photo Credit, Grant Kessler

In attendance were representatives from the following groups:

Academy for Global Citizenship
Chartwells Thompson Hospitality
Chicago Botanic Garden
Common Threads
Food Atelier
Fresh Connections
Green Sugar Press
Good Food Project
Gourmet Gorilla
Green City Market
Growing Power
Healthy Schools Campaign
Organic Life
Seven Generations Ahead
Share Our Strength
Slow Food
The Kids' Table
Urban Worm Girl
We Farm

Other groups, like CLOCC (The Consortium to Lower Childhood Obesity) and Openlands were unable to attend, but provided their contact information for upcoming events and programs of Growing Healthy Kids.

We were treated to a surprisingly delicious from Chartwells, CPS main food service company, who donated the winning lunch from Healthy Schools Campaign's 2009 Cooking Up Change Event: Chicken Jambalaya and Tomato and Cucumber Salad. We also enjoyed fair trade, sustainably raised coffee from Crop to Cup.

Photo Credit, Grant Kessler

We've heard almost uniformly positive comments from the event - the only small criticism was that it wasn't long enough. Imagine that, a 2 hour Sunday afternoon business meeting that wasn't long enough! It goes to show how much we have to say to one another.

Going forward, the Growing Healthy Kids list will act as a listserv providing to its members news about events like Seven Generations Ahead's Fresh From the Farm Training and CLOCC's meeting of the Healthy Teacher Network. We also plan to meet for an April GHK Green Drinks at Uncommon Ground to continue our networking efforts. Ultimately, we hope to organize a health fair that will be open to parents, teachers, and administrators who will be able to learn about the programs available to promote healthy lifestyles among their parents and students.

In a few weeks, Purple Asparagus will be posting on its site ( the first version of the Growing Healthy Kids brochure, which provides information on the mission and initiatives of each of these organizations. It's already been a tremendous resource for those of us in the group and has set off a series of meeting between individual groups. For example, in just this week, I've had meetings or calls with CLOCC, Organic Life, and Fooditude.

If you know of an organization that should have been included, but wasn't, please email me at We want this group to be as expansive as possible.

The only effective way to achieve Mrs. Obama's important goal is to work together, children with parents, parents with schools, non-profits with for profits and of course other non-profits. To borrow a phrase from her campaign, let's stop citing statistics and wringing our hands and let's move.

Are you working on any programs in your communities to combat obesity? Please share any successes, challenges, etc.

*Committee members: Nancy Lufrano, Tim Magner, Nora Gainer, Sara Gasbarra, Melissa Tobias, Trish Rynolds, Ryan Kimura.
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