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Food’s Cultural and Social Influence

Kimberly Distilli Uncategorized Leave a comment  
Food's Cultural and Social Influence

Food’s Cultural and Social Influence

How does food influence us? In more ways than we might imagine since we all participate in a “food culture.” In the U.S., influences on our food come from European cultures, our Native American roots and migratory cultures that came to the U.S. Traditions around food vary by family ancestry. Growing up in certain cultures means the Sunday dinner is a required event, or that certain foods are served for holidays and celebrations. Unfortunately, some of the worst habits we have as Americans also center around our food influences. Fast food culture, processed foods and eating on the go are all areas Americans could improve. These good and the bad influences come together to form our food culture. Read more


Organics: Are They Worth the Cost?

Kimberly Distilli Uncategorized Leave a comment  
Is the Cost Worth the Benefit?

Is the cost of organics worth the benefit?

You hear organic foods are healthier for you, but are they worth the cost? It’s easy to WANT to choose organic for all of your food, but eating exclusively organic products can sometimes be tough on a budget.

According to Alex Lu, a T.H. Chan School of Public Health professor….yes, you should buy organic when available and when your budget allows. This is the best way to avoid pesticides and harmful chemicals.  Read more


Teach Your Children to Eat Nutritiously

Kimberly Distilli Children, Education, Healthy Food, Healthy Living Leave a comment  
Eat Nutritiously

Harvard’s T.H. Chan School of Medicine’s Kids Healthy Eating Plate

As W.E.B. DuBois said, “Children learn more from what you are than what you teach.” Want to get the children in your life to eat more nutritiously? Start by doing it yourself.

This blog emphasizes the importance of changing one or two habits at a time in order to make lasting change. If you want to teach your children to eat nutritiously, you are teaching (and learning) skills for a lifetime. Here are a few things to try and see what works for your family. Read more


The Effect of Sugar on the Body

Kimberly Distilli Detox, Healthy Food, Healthy Living, Nutrition Leave a comment  
Too much sugar makes us want more sugar.

Too much sugar makes us want more sugar.

Early humans needed sugar to survive. They needed it for energy (glucose) and to help store fat (fructose) for times when food was scarce. In order to help them survive the human brain developed a craving for this delicious ingredient. Richard Johnson, professor in the Medicine Department of the University of Colorado, speculates that the “feel good” response modern humans get from sugar is a holdover from this early survival response.

Today, in our sugar-run-amuck world, that craving has the opposite effect. Too much of a good thing is making us sick. Most of us know it’s bad for our teeth and our waistline, but it is much more destructive than that. Overindulgence on sugar affects many areas of our body. Read more


Are there Toxins in Seafood?

Kimberly Distilli Detox, Healthy Food, Healthy Living, Nutrition Leave a comment  
Toxins in Seafood

Toxins in Seafood

Many people are concerned about the amount of mercury in fish. Unfortunately, pollution affects all of our food sources, whether fish, fowl or fruit. Making better decisions about all of the food we eat is essential, and fish is no different. Reduce consumption of toxins in seafood by deciding how often to eat fish, which varieties to eat and from where the fish come. Read more


Food Safety in a Globalized Market

Kimberly Distilli Healthy Food, Healthy Living, Nutrition Leave a comment  
smart tomato

Ensuring Food Safety for Tomatoes

Food is being shipped all over the world. In our economy, the globalization of the food supply brings us oranges in winter, pineapples and pomegranates from exotic locales, and it can help bring food to countries who are experiencing a drought or famine. Along with the wonderful benefits of a global food supply chain, though, come some hazards. Food safety becomes a bigger concern when our food comes from farther away.

How Do We Ensure Food Safety?

Since our food supply has become more globalized, it has created the opportunity for unsafe practices in the supply chain. With so many stops along the way whether during production, warehousing, or transportation, technologies have been developed to keep the supply chain free of vulnerabilities.

One way we see damage to the supply chain is in the increased number of food recalls that occur. The FDA’s website lists eight pages of food recalls for the first four months of 2016. National recalls have the effect of undermining confidence in the supply chain, and increasing prices. Recalls cost money and time, and that expense is passed along to the consumer.

According to FoodLogistics.com, the number of recalls per year in the U.S. has almost doubled since 2002. This is due to regulatory changes, as well as the increasingly globalized food supply chain. Food contamination cost U.S. health authorities $15.6 billion per year.

We can take steps to mitigate these concerns over the safety of food. Growing your own fruits and vegetables is an excellent way to make sure you have healthy food to eat. Reducing chemical pesticides on your property will ensure healthy produce for your family. Purchasing from a local famer reduces the number of “stops” food has to make, thus reducing the chance of spoilage and contamination.

Whether you purchase food from a local farmer’s market or by becoming a member of a local Community Shared Agriculture (CSA) program, you will have access to locally grown products. Learn about what type of pesticide methods your farmers use and their effects. Shopping locally gives you the chance to talk to the farmer directly. Also consider local farms for butchered meats and dairy products. When you do purchase produce from grocery stores, be sure to wash fruits and vegetables with a natural produce wash, or a homemade combination of water and vinegar. Knowing who grows your food is a great way to reduce the length of your supply chain and stay your healthiest.


GMOs: Concerns and Benefits

Kimberly Distilli Healthy Living, Nutrition Leave a comment   ,

 

Investigate your food sources

Concerned about GMOs? Investigate your food sources.

One of the most controversial topics lately has been the concerns and benefits of genetically modified organisms, or GMOs.  It’s easy to find a variety of opinions and lots of disagreement on this topic. One area that most people can agree on is the definition of a genetically modified food. By definition, a genetically modified organism occurs when DNA from one organism has been altered with DNA from another organism. In the case of food, this is usually done with the intent to provide some benefit to the food supply. Concern arises out of fear that these changes may have unintended harmful effects or that large corporations will hold an inordinate control over the food supply. Read more


Need to Reduce Sodium? Try Cooking with Flavors

Kimberly Distilli Healthy Living, Nutrition Leave a comment   ,
reduce sodium

Learn to reduce sodium in your food.

Reducing sodium is often discussed, but infrequently acted upon. Estimates suggest that one in three Americans have high blood pressure. Reducing the amount of sodium we eat could help to reduce the number of Americans who have high blood pressure. Some of the biggest sodium culprits include lunchmeats, hot dogs and canned soups. Other foods that tend to be sodium-laden are unexpected items like frozen foods, boxed cereals, breads and rolls. To find out how to reduce your sodium intake, read on.

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Fats: Saturated or Unsaturated?

Kimberly Distilli Uncategorized Leave a comment  

iStock_000058613538_MediumThe term “game of inches” is often applied to football, but it is just as apt for a healthy diet. Small changes over time typically result in a healthier lifestyle than large, dramatic changes that only last until willpower expires. One of the ways to conquer inches in healthy eating is to make better choices in the fats we eat.  Read more


Does Coffee Hydrate You? Is it Too Good to Be True?

Kimberly Distilli Healthy Living, hydration, Nutrition Leave a comment  

Looking to stay hydrated? Love your morning cup of coffee? Turns out coffee and hydration are more compatible than you may believe.

Coffee versus Water

Beverage Plan, hydration, does coffee hydrate you

Sample Beverage Plan, created by Harvard’s T.H. Chan School of Public Health

So, does coffee hydrate you? A Harvard study recently compared the hydration effects of drinking water and coffee, and found very little difference. Coffee does have a mild diuretic effect, but this effect is reduced in regular coffee drinkers since they build up a tolerance, giving coffee a great ability to hydrate as well as wake you up. Even more important, coffee also contains natural polyphenols, which have antioxidant properties, so in addition to helping with hydration, coffee also holds the potential to boost your body’s ability to fight diseases like cancer, cardiovascular disease and high blood pressure. Read more