Tag Archives: Healthy recipes

Organic, Natural, Local, Grass-fed: What does it all mean?

Posted on: July 20, 2015

Decoding Sustainable Foods

By Amy Rosenfeld

In our efforts to be healthy and mindful when choosing the foods we eat, we often come across many environmental food terms including local, grass-fed, organic, etc. But what do all these labels mean?

Food grown or raised in an ecologically and ethically responsible manner, where the environment is protected, human health safeguarded, animals are farmed humanely, and workers are treated fairly is called Sustainable Food.

Sustainable foods are thought to reduce exposure to many harmful substances including pesticides, antibiotics, and food additives.  Many sustainable foods are also higher in nutrients and antioxidants due to limited travel time required to reach the consumer. The less time food travels, the more nutrients it contains when it reaches its destination. Eating sustainably also supports an environmentally and socially responsible food system, promoting local farmers. To help you better understand food labeling, I’m sharing the United States Department of Agriculture’s definition of several sustainable food terms. Keep reading for a wonderful Tomato, Watermelon, and Peach Salad recipe.

Common Sustainable Food Terms: (as defined by the USDA)
Local Food:
Food produced in the same geographical region as the consumer. The size of the geographical region is not specified (e.g. unspecified number of miles).
Free Range or Free Roaming: A method of farming in which animals are allowed to roam freely for a least some portion of the day rather than being confined to an enclosure for 24 hours per day. The amount of free-range time is not specified.
Natural: A product that contains no artificial ingredient or added color. The product was minimally processed meaning, it was processed in a way that does not fundamentally alter the product.
No Antibiotics or Hormones: Animals were raised without being given antibiotics or hormones.
Non-GMO: The acronym GMO stands for Genetically Modified Organisms, which refers to any food product that has been altered at the gene level. Genetically modified foods are also frequently described as “genetically engineered,” “genetically altered,” or “genetically manipulated.”
Organic: Organic meat, poultry, eggs, and dairy products come from animals raised without antibiotics or growth hormones. Organic food is produced without using “most conventional pesticides; fertilizers made with synthetic ingredients or sewage sludge; bioengineering; or ionizing radiation.” Organic food is also produced emphasizing environmental practices. In order for foods to receive an organic certification, the government-approved certifier inspects the farm for these qualifications.
Grass-Fed: Animals that are classified as grass-fed are to be provided a diet solely from forage consisting of grass, forbs (e.g., legumes, Brassica), browse, or cereal grain crops. Animals cannot be fed grain or grain byproducts and must have continuous access to pasture during the growing season.

While eating sustainably is considered by many to be better for the environment and your health, many of these sustainable food choices are often more expensive and more difficult to find. If it is affordable for your family, consider trying to incorporate sustainable foods into your family’s diet, emphasizing local choices whenever possible.  I recommend shopping at local farmer’s markets to find these sustainable options.  My advice? Mix and match sustainable food choices from your local farmers market with options from your grocery store for the best bang for your buck.

Local Northern Westchester Farmers Markets:
Chappaqua Farmers Market
Pleasantville Farmers Market
Katonah – John Joay Homestead
Mt Kisco Farmers Market
Somers – Muscoot Farm
North Salem – Gossett Brothers Nursery
Yorktown – Hilltop Hanover Farm

Try out this seasonal recipe  from CookingLight.com

Heirloom Tomato, Watermelon, and Peach Salad

(serves 8)
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1 1/2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon honey
1 tablespoon white rum
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon ground red pepper
3 cups cubed seedless watermelon
1 1/2 cups sliced peaches
1/2 cup vertically sliced red onion
1/4 cup torn fresh mint leaves
2 tablespoons thinly sliced fresh basil
1 pound heirloom beefsteak tomatoes, cut into 1-inch chunks
1/3 cup (about 1 1/2 ounces) crumbled goat cheese

1. Combine first 6 ingredients in a large bowl, stirring with a whisk. Add watermelon and next 5 ingredients (through tomatoes); toss gently. Cover and refrigerate 2 hours or until thoroughly chilled. Sprinkle with goat cheese just before serving.

Nutrition Facts (per serving): Calories 90, Fat 3.8 g, Saturated Fat 1.1 g, Protein 2 g, Carbohydrate 12.5 g, Fiber 1.5 g, Sodium 95 mg

http://www.myrecipes.com/recipe/heirloom-tomato-watermelon-peach-salad

Editor’s Note: Amy Rosenfeld, MS RD CDN is a Registered Dietitian at Northern Westchester Hospital

TwitterFacebookShare |

New York Dietician Recommends Starting an Herb Garden

Posted on: April 3, 2013

Grab the Kids and Start a Spring Herb Garden

By Amy Rosenfeld, MS, RD, CDN Northern Westchester Hospital

Responsibility, patience, and respect for nature are just some of the benefits to children who start gardens. Gardening is a magical way to get outside, exercise, and learn about nutrition. Plus, research shows that children who have gardens are more likely to try new foods and develop healthier lifelong diets.

So even if you don’t have the greenest of thumbs, start with an herb garden this spring. Rich in antioxidants called polyphenols, herbs help to reduce inflammation. Herbs flavor our cooking without adding salt or sugar. Perfect for salads, marinades, and dips, the possibilities to use herbs are endless!

Easy growing herbs like basil, mint, parsley and thyme are family-friendly and great for cooking.

Here are 4 easy steps to starting your herb garden:

1) Pick up transplant herbs as a family from your local nursery, as well as 6” pots (1 for each herb), potting soil, fertilizer (ideally organic or compost), a small gardening shovel and a watering can.

Continue reading