For The Love Of Food

by | Oct 22, 2010

For The Love of Food

Welcome to Friday’s For The Love of Food, Summer Tomato’s weekly link roundup.

Before we get started, I’ve been collecting feedback from readers on what you do and don’t like about Summer Tomato and how I can make it better moving forward. If you have 2 minutes, please go to my 7 question survey and let me know what you think.

Summer Tomato survey

Thanks in advance for your time. I’ll be sending out a newsletter next week with answers to commonly asked questions and requests.

On the web this week I found a simple shopping technique that can help you make healthier choices and the best cooking and recipe iPhone apps. I also explored the mysterious case of the missing mango and learned how and why to get more exercise without breaking a sweat.

I read many more wonderful articles than I post here each week. If you’d like to see more or just don’t want to wait until Friday, be sure to follow me on Twitter (@summertomato) or the Summer Tomato Facebook fan page. For a complete reading list join me on Digg. I’m very active on all these sites and would love to connect with you.

Links of the week

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For The Love of Food

by | Oct 2, 2009
For The Love of Food

For The Love of Food

Welcome to Friday’s For The Love of Food, Summer Tomato’s weekly link roundup.

I’m thrilled and delighted to see that so many of you have signed up for the Summer Tomato newsletter I announced last week. Newsletters will contain content that is not on this blog (and some other awesome bonuses in the coming months), so definitely sign up so you don’t miss out. There’s a sign up form in the sidebar.

As usual I found lots of great tips and information around the web this week. I especially like Marion Nestle’s two cents on whether recipes should include nutrition info. While I do like people to check to see how much salt and sugar they are really eating, I think nutrition info tends to make us more confused about what is healthy (hint: it’s vegetables).

I read many more wonderful articles than I post here each week. If you’d like to see more or just don’t want to wait until Friday, be sure to follow me on Twitter (@summertomato) or the Summer Tomato Facebook fan page. For complete reading lists join me on the social bookmarking sites StumbleUpon and Delicious. I’m very active on all these sites and would love to connect with you there. (Note: If you want a follow back on Twitter introduce yourself with an @ message).

I also invite you to submit your own best food and health articles for next week’s For The Love of Food, just drop me an email using the contact form. I am also accepting guest posts at Summer Tomato for any awesome healthstyle tips and recipes you’d like to share.

This post is an open thread. Share your thoughts, writing (links welcome!) and delicious healthy meals of the week in the comments below.

For The Love of Food

  • Darya Pino: 10 Reasons To Never Eat Free Food <<Did I mention my Huffington Post piece this week was picked up by NPR? Woohoo!
  • Should recipes include nutrition info? <<I love this article because it points out how inaccurate nutrition info really is. In my opinion, nutrition labels serve only to cloud your common sense. Few things with labels should be eaten anyway. (Food Politics)
  • “Anti-Atkins” Low Protein Diet Extends Lifespan in Flies <<I haven’t read the real study yet (printed it!), but this is intriguing because the life-extending properties of calorie restricted diets is usually attributed to insulin signaling (the lack of). We’ll see what becomes of this. (NewsWise)
  • Green Soup with Ginger Recipe <<To know me is to know that I love soup. This recipe is in my future. If you haven’t yet, definitely go check out Heidi Swanson’s blog 101 Cookbooks, my personal favorite recipe site. Heidi’s recipes are always amazing and awesomely healthy. She also happens to be one of the coolest people I met at BlogHer Food last week.
  • Is vitamin D your best protection from swine flu? <<Speaking of getting sick, I found this article fascinating for a bit of info toward the bottom that vitamin D supplements are not as good as real sunlight. I’m not surprised, but I haven’t heard this before. I bet vitamin D from fatty fish is better for you too. (Nutrition Data)
  • How to Choose the Fastest Line at the Market <<This article about how to pick the fastest line at the grocery store actually uses real data. I didn’t know such research existed. (Lifehacker)
  • Probiotics: Looking Underneath the Yogurt Label <<Fantastic article by Tara Parker-Pope about the health claims made by yogurts and foods containing probiotics. Personally I don’t like talking about parts of food you can’t see without running a biochemical assay, but I know many people have questions about probiotics and this article is a great place to start. (New York Times)
  • Krispy Kreme bacon cheddar cheeseburgers <<Is this not the grossest thing you’ve ever seen? Yarg. via @benhamill (ccaviness on Flickr)
  • Dropbox for iPhone Makes a Great Kitchen Aid <<I love this iPhone app already (Dropbox is online document storage that syncs across all your computers), but had never thought to use it this way for recipes. Bye bye cookbooks and recipe binders. (Lifehacker)
  • 9 Ways to Cook Lazily and Still Get Rave Reviews <<Simple and useful cooking tips from Dumb Little Man.

What are you reading?

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For The Love of Food

by | Sep 18, 2009
For The Love of Food

For The Love of Food

Welcome to Friday’s For The Love of Food, Summer Tomato’s weekly link roundup.

Thanks to all of you who humored me participated in last weekend’s completely childish melon caption contest!

The awesome commentor of the week award goes to Foodie Adventures!, because it really would take a jumbo melon to hit a head that big!

Impressive Melons

"Who wants to throw JUMBO produce at Kanye West?"

As usual there were a ton of great articles this week around the web. I can’t say enough good things about what Monica Reinagel is doing over at her Nutrition Data blog and podcast. Luckily I also learned this week that health podcasts can help you lose weight!

Check the links below to find some great ideas on how to preserve summer herbs, what to do with fresh shelling beans and some tricks to keeping your brain sharp.

Oh, and did you hear that a new study found organic produce is actually more nutritious? Share your thoughts in the comments.

I also encourage all of you to sign this petition against the Smart Choices food labeling program, which has been widely criticized as a slap in the face to both consumers and health experts. It’s easy and I had no trouble unsubscribing to their mailings after I got the first one.

I read many more wonderful articles than I post here each week. If you’d like to see more or just don’t want to wait until Friday, be sure to follow me on Twitter (@summertomato) or the Summer Tomato Facebook fan page. For complete reading lists join me on the social bookmarking sites StumbleUpon and Delicious. I’m very active on all these sites and would love to connect with you there. (Note: If you want a follow back on Twitter introduce yourself with an @ message).

I also invite you to submit your own best food and health articles for next week’s For The Love of Food, just drop me an email using the contact form. I am also accepting guest posts at Summer Tomato for any awesome healthstyle tips and recipes you’d like to share.

This post is an open thread. Share your thoughts, writing (links welcome!) and delicious healthy meals of the week in the comments below.

For The Love of Food

What stories moved you this week?

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What’s For Dinner? Ask Your iPhone

by | May 11, 2009

locavore-app

Healthy eating can sometimes seem like a daunting task. You know you should be eating local, seasonal ingredients and lots of vegetables, but how do you know what to get? Once you have it, how do you cook it?

Enter iPhone. I can confidently say that my iPhone has made my life more convenient than any single electronic device since my first laptop. Sure plain cell phones are great, but honestly text messages annoy me more than they improve my quality of life.

An iPhone offers so much more than calls and texts, especially when you delve into the world of applications or “apps.” Apps are third party software programs that can be downloaded to your phone to perform specific (usually awesome) functions. Apps are what set iPhone apart from all other phones. Today I’m going to tell you about two apps in particular–Locavore and Epicurious–that can be used together to help you decide what to do for dinner.

Locavore ($3) is an app that finds all the farmers markets near you along with the produce in season in your area. It does this according to your physical location on earth using the built in iPhone GPS. Isn’t that brilliant? (Yes, I’m totally jealous that I didn’t make this app myself.)

I get questions every week about how to find a good farmers market in a given area. Honestly I had never had an answer much better than “Google it.” With Locavore’s “Markets” feature, you get a list of farmers markets in your area ranked by their distance to you. If you click on the market you want to visit it gives you all the essential information, such as what time of year it runs and its hours of operation. Locavore also allows you to browse by region (U.S. only) or specific food to find seasonal availability.

The farmers market information used by Locavore is from a website called Local Harvest. Even if you do not have an iPhone Local Harvest is a fantastic resource for finding farms, markets and CSAs near you. When you have located the market you would like to go to be sure to check near the bottom of the information paragraph for the last time the site was updated. In my experience farmers are not particularly tech savvy and often forget to update their websites. I always recommend calling before you go, just to confirm the market still exists and hasn’t changed its hours.

In the Locavore app, once you have found your market you can check the “In Season” feature. This will give you a list of items that are supposed to be in season in your area (information gathered from the Natural Resources Defense Council website).

Unfortunately, the list is more an approximation of reality than a true market browse through. I’ve been following my own market on Locavore since I first downloaded the app several weeks ago, and I’d say it is about 90% accurate. Definitely I have seen the list include some items that are not available and I would not expect to be available this time of year in my area (e.g. boysenberries). Also, my market is large and specialized enough that there are always unique finds that the NRDC does not know about.

You can, however, get an idea of items that should be easy to find. To avoid hunting down ingredients that may not be available, be sure to check the pie graph icons to the left of each item. These represent the number of months left until that specific vegetable or fruit goes out of season (again, this is approximate and depends substantially on the weather). If there is less than one month left, you probably shouldn’t plan your entire meal around that one ingredient since there is a good chance it won’t be there. If the pie is full (green), that means you can find the item year round in your area. In general, the Locavore produce list is fairly thorough and accurate and can be used to create a seasonal dinner menu.

One of the coolest features of Locavore is its connection to the recipe website Epicurious. If you find a seasonal ingredient you would like to try but need ideas on how to prepare it, simply click the item and a page will open to show you all the states it is available along with the its Wikipedia listing (in case you aren’t sure exactly what it is) and a link to Epicurious. If you follow the Epicurious link it takes you to a list of recipes using your ingredient. Click the dish that sounds the most delicious and get a complete recipe and shepicurious-appopping list. Use this to make sure you get all the ingredients you need at the market.

Conveniently Epicurious has its own app (free) if you already know the ingredient you want to use and do not need to find a farmers market. You can search by meal, event or specific ingredient, and create shopping lists for your favorite recipes. As you can imagine, I’m particularly fond of the “Healthy Lunches” option. Another bonus is the Epicurious app contains the entire contents of the Big Yellow Cookbook by Gourmet.

Overall Locavore and Epicurious are both fantastic apps for anyone interested in cooking local, seasonal meals. Together they are a powerful resource for finding ingredients and cooking the best seasonal meals possible.

Have you used either the Locavore or Epicurious iPhone apps?

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