Farm to Table: Your Thanksgiving Plate

This time next week you’ll be wishing you owned more elastic waistband pants.

Thanksgiving is quickly approaching, so we thought it was a perfect time to educate eaters about the food on their heaping plate. Because, let’s face it: When you’re stuck at the table with the awkward uncle, you may need something to talk about.

We all know the star of the Thanksgiving Day show is the turkey.  Your turkey might have come from one of these top turkey-producing states: Minnesota, North Carolina, Arkansas, Indiana and Missouri. We know a lot of farmers in our trade territory who have put up turkey barns in the last ten years.

Did you know this about the big birds?:

  • Turkey is low in fat, high in protein and is a good source of iron, zinc, phosphorus, potassium and B vitamins
  • Cartoon turkeys you normally see are actually dark feathered or wild turkeys. Farmers typically raise a different breed of turkeys which are more efficient at producing meat. These turkeys have white feathers.
  • Benjamin Franklin proposed the turkey as the official United States bird.  Dismayed by news of the selection of the bald eagle, Franklin replied, “The turkey is a much more respectable bird, and withal a true original of America.” It makes us wonder how our diets might be different had the turkey triumphed.

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Read more about turkey farming in our area.

  • Cranberries, along with blueberries and Concord grapes, are one of three cultivated fruits that are native to North America.
  • Some cranberry vines in Massachusetts are more than 150 years old.
  • Cranberries don’t actually grow in water, rather they grow on dry land and are harvested using water because cranberries float.
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Did you know Ocean Spray is also a farmer-owned cooperative?
  • Starting in October pumpkins start to make their way onto stoops, into coffee cups and onto plates. Pumpkin Spiced What-te?
  • Squash was part of the Three Sisters, a combination of corn, beans and squash that were planted together by Native Americans
  • The stalks of the corn supported the beans, the beans added nitrogen back to the soil and the squash spread across the ground blocking sunlight from weeds.

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  • Sweet potatoes are a staple on most Thanksgiving Day tables.
  • You may have heard “sweet potatoes” and “yams” used interchangeably, but they are actually from different botanical families.
  • Sweet potatoes come from the morning glory family and yams come from the lily family.

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  • The turkey isn’t the only animal at the table.
  • Most marshmallows contain gelatin, which is a protein substance derived from collagen, a natural protein present in the tendons, ligaments, and tissues of mammals.
  • Before you consider going vegan, remember how marshmallows make the sweet potato casserole.

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We wish your family a very Happy Thanksgiving

 

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Source: American Farm Bureau Federation

When Push Comes to Shove

A great way to determine your patience and stamina is to stand in the check-out line at the grocery for an extended period of time with 1,000 other things on your to-do list. No one goes to the grocery to stand around, and yet, we seem to do a lot of that once there.

A great way to determine your overall character as a human being is to evaluate how you react at the grocery, wandering the aisles looking for Ovaltine (FYI: it isn’t with the powered drinks, coffee, or tea. It is with the ice cream toppings. Don’t ask me why, but thank me later)  on days before 1) a holiday or 2) a natural disaster.

Right?

Isn’t the absolute worst time to visit the store for ketchup, crackers and Kleenex right before something big is about to happen? That’s why in the days leading up to Hurricanes Harvey & Irma store shelves across America’s southeast began looking like this:

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When push comes to shove, Americans will stock up on absolutely anything and everything to ensure their families don’t go without.

Or will they?

A lady who was raised in our rural trade territory but has since moved to Florida shared this photo online. As we reviewed the details of her observation, we couldn’t help but chuckle.

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This was taken at a Publix in Tampa, Florida

When stock of everything else in the store appears to be depleted, the vegan section remains in order and seemingly untouched.

So this begs the question:

When push comes to shove,

where do consumers really

look for nutrition?

It would appear that when the general consumer believes that their access to food might be limited in the days to follow, they will forgo the fad marketing tactics and purchase what they think will truly provide nutrients in times of need.

It makes you wonder: why does it take a natural disaster for folks to make clear, common sense, affordable choices regarding food? Some people just think better under pressure, I guess. They’re probably the kind that end up on gameshows.

 

 

 

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You Can’t Milk An Almond

One of our employees was at a meeting Wednesday night to help plan an upcoming event to educate consumers on food production. At the table was a beef producer, a dairyman and two large animal veterinarians.

They began visiting about questions that might arise during the “where does my food come from?” conversation with consumers and one person made a simple, humorous, but very valid remark: “We need to make sure they know you can’t milk an almond.”

If you’ve ever seen an almond tree or eaten a almond, that might seem pretty obvious. But what about those consumers who really believe almond “milk” (or soy “milk”, coconut “milk”, rice “milk”, etc.) is actual milk?

It isn’t.

The American Dairy Association of Indiana has a fantastic piece of literature out that explains the differences in milk and plant-based drinks and the phenomenal advantage that cow’s milk offers consumers.

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The nutritional value of cow’s milk, compared to plant-based substitutes, is unparalleled, but let’s talk about the ingredient label of each…..WOW!

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Next time you’re at the grocery and making an effort to keep your family healthy while avoiding all the foodie marketing hype, keep this label in mind. It breaks down the facts: there is no drink with greater nutritional value than real milk. From a cow. Not a plant.

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