FOOD NEWS: Courtesy of “Sustainable Food News”; Published by Dan McGovern

By Carol McCracken  (Post # 547)

Fore Street Chef Sam Hayward is one of the nominees for this years  Sustainer award.   The award is given annually by Chefs Collaborative, a nationwide network of chefs and culinary professionals promoting the use of sustainable foods and business practices.   The winner of the award will be announced at the awards dinner on Monday, October 4th in Boston.

Dan McGovern, publisher of the “Sustainable Food News,” was one of the judges. 

The Sustainer award recognizes a chef who has been both a great mentor and is a model to the culinary community through his/her purchases of seasonal, sustainable ingredients and the transformtion of these ingredients into delicious food.  This is a national contest with other finalists  from Seattle,  Massachusetts,  and North Carolina.

THIS IS AN INTERESTING ITEM:  For public schools interested in introducing healthier foods to its students, Whole Foods is launching a fundraising campaign to provide a salad bar in a public school in every community served by its 300 stores nationwide.  Through September 29th, shoppers may donate to the project at the check-out or make a donation online through saladbarproject.org.  Grant applications will be accepted between September l and November 1.

The salad bars will be donated to local schools through an online grant process, which is being administered by an online nonprofit.  Any public elementary, middle or high school within 50 miles of a Whole Foods store is eligible to apply with the support of the school principal,  nutrition service director and the superintendent of the district.   The application asks for basic school information such as the percentage of students enrolled in the Federal Free and Reduced Meal Program and participation  in the school’s Reimbursable School Lunch Program.   Applicants chosen based on the grant criteria and the level of the school’s commitment to sustaining the salad bar will be announced in early January.

ICE CREATM LOVERS BEWARE:  The Center for Science in the Public Interest said recently that “Nearly all flavors of Ben & Jerry’s ‘All Natural’ brand of ice cream and frozen yogurt contain ……….or other ingredients that either don’t exist in nature or that have been chemically modified.”  The consumer food watchdog said the company was being “false and misleading” in calling products with such ingredients “natural.”

The “CSPI” wrote to Ben & Jerry’s saying it would take its concerns to the US Food and Drug Administration and state attorneys general unless the companay dropped the “all-natural” claim.  CSPI said its issue with the “all-natural” claims runs back to 2002 when the nonprofit alerted the FDA and the company to what it described as deceptive use of the “all-natural” claim.  No action has been taken by either the government or B&J’s since.  Labelling them “all  natural” certainly implies that the products are top quality and deserve to sell at a higher price than others.   

The “Sustainable Food News” is published by Dan McGovern a resident of the Hill.  It is a daily, on-line only newsletter to the organic industry.   For more information, please call Dan at 749-5249.