Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Study: Too Many Hungry Idaho Children

Posted By on Tue, Apr 14, 2015 at 11:44 AM

A new study out today by Feeding America confirms what too many Idahoans know already: that an increasing number of men, women and children are going to bed hungry in a number of regions across the Gem State.

According to the survey, pushed out by the Idaho Food Bank, a stunning 15.6 percent of Idaho's population doesn't know where their next meal will come from. The percentage is even worse—21.1 percent—when it comes to Idaho children experiencing food insecurity.

“Even as the economy improves, food insecurity is not diminishing in most areas of our state. The need for our services has yet to see a decrease," said Idaho Foodbank CEO Karen Vauk.

Some of the highest percentages of families experiencing food insecurity were found in Madison County (21. percent) and Lemhi (10.7 percent), Shoshone (19.5 percent) and Adams (19.1 percent) counties. For children, some of the hardest hit counties were Lemhi (29.8 percent), Adams (2.6.4 percent) and Shoshone (26 percent) counties.

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Saturday, March 14, 2015

Video: Have Your Eggs With a Side of (Kevin) Bacon

Posted By on Sat, Mar 14, 2015 at 10:55 AM

Here's the latest sign of the pending apocalypse: Kevin Bacon is doing egg commercials.

The prolific actor is the new spokesman for America's egg farmers and new ads in print, on TV and online feature Bacon and eggs.

"Nobody knows eggs better than bacon," says Bacon, in the first online ad from the American Egg Board.

A national fear of rising cholesterol levels caused egg consumption to plummet in the 1970s, so producers formed the American Egg Board, which has been promoting eggs' nutritional benefits ever since (the AEB came up with "The Incredible Edible Egg" slogan in 1977). That effort got a big boost when, last month, a government advisory panel working to shape new dietary guidelines said available evidence showed no significant relationship between heart disease and dietary cholesterol.

Now the AEB has gone all Footloose and fancy-free with a new marketing push starring the Hollywood celebrity. 

Someone should have thought of this sooner. 

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Happy National Pi Day. How About a Slice?

Posted By on Sat, Mar 14, 2015 at 10:41 AM

Every March, math nerds enthusiasts celebrate the mathematical constant pi, the ratio of the circumference of a circle to its diameter. Pi is used for calculations involving volume and surface of sphere-like objects like wheels and planets, and it is an infinite string of numbers, usually represented as 3.14. Today, March 14, 2015, can be written as 3.14.15, leading some to near hysteria—it is, after all, a once-in-a-century occurrence.

“On Pi Day, I will think about the nature of a day, as Earth’s rotation on its axis carries me on a circle 34,000 km in circumference, which I calculated using pi and my latitude,” said Marc Rayman, chief engineer and mission director for NASA’s Dawn spacecraft.

In the meantime, there are a number of ways to have fun with pi. For example, there's the Find Your Pi Day website, which can determine where in the string of pi numbers your birthday falls.

There is also a Pi Day Challenge on a website from the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory that invites the public to map a distant planet using pi.

Then there are the delicious food-related celebrations, with more than a few pi-zzerias are getting into the act such as Eagle's Blaze Fast-Fired Pizza, which is selling whole pi-zzas today for ...  $3.14.

And Marie Callender's Restaurant and Bakery is celebrating with this infographic, illustrating how their Pi Day fusion involves taking a pie out of a 400-degree oven, walking to a counter at 3 mph and slice one-ninth of the pie at a 40-degree angle.

Today is an official U.S. holiday: The House of Representatives passed House Resolution 224 in 2009, designating March 14 as National Pi Day. 
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Blue Bell Pulls Frozen Snacks After Deaths Linked to Listeria

Posted By on Sat, Mar 14, 2015 at 10:06 AM

Blue Bell Ice Cream has pulled 10 of its products from store freezers in the shadow of three deaths and two cases of illness linked to Listeria-contaminated products made by Blue Bell Creameries. All five incidents of were in Kansas.

According Blue Bell's website, this is "the first product recall in the company's 108-year history." 

The Food and Drug Administration said Friday it had been notified that Listeria bacteria was found in samples of Blue Bell products. The contamination was traced to a machine used for making ice cream sandwiches and other frozen products. The machine is now off-line.

click image Blue Bell recalls 10 products following deaths linked to Listeria contamination. - COURTESY BLUEBELL.COM
  • courtesy
  • Blue Bell recalls 10 products following deaths linked to Listeria contamination.
The products affected are below: 
  • Chocolate Chip Country Cookie SKU #196
  • Great Divide Bar SKU #108
  • Sour Pop Green Apple Bar SKU #221
  • Cotton Candy Bar SKU # 216
  • Scoops SKU #117
  • Vanilla Stick Slices SKU #964
  • Almond Bars SKU #156
  • 6-pack Cotton Candy Bars SKU #245
  • 6-pack Sour Pop Green Apple Bars SKU #249
  • 2-pack No Sugar Added Mooo Bars SKU #343
Consumers are urged not to eat any of the products listed.
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Monday, February 16, 2015

Life's Kitchen Makes Plans for New Facility

Posted By on Mon, Feb 16, 2015 at 12:11 PM

Life's Kitchen operates in a commercial kitchen near Capitol Boulevard across from Boise State University. The nonprofit will soon have a new home in Garden City. - JESSICA MURRI
  • Jessica Murri
  • Life's Kitchen operates in a commercial kitchen near Capitol Boulevard across from Boise State University. The nonprofit will soon have a new home in Garden City.

Plans are in place to redevelop the commercial kitchen that is currently home to Life's Kitchen, a nonprofit organization invested in helping 16-20 year-olds learn skills and find placement in the foodservice industry. According to Life's Kitchen Executive Director Jeremy Maxand, those plans mean razing the current facility.

Maxand isn't particularly worried, though, because Life's Kitchen just announced plans to build a new facility in Garden City.

The new location will be on a 35,000-square-foot lot south of the Waterfront District, near the Visual Arts Collective, Payette Brewing Co., the Greenbelt and the Boise River Park. The Life's Kitchen board of directors purchased the lot at the corner of Clay and 34th streets in December 2014.

Boise architecture firm CSHQA is designing the new 12,4000-square-foot facility, which will cost around $2.5 million. Fundraising for the new facility is underway, and construction is slated to begin in the summer of 2017. Maxand doesn't expect a gap in the kitchen's training program while the new space is being built. Operations will continue in the current Life's Kitchen location until construction is complete. 

"Our current site has served us well," Maxand said in a news release. "But we know this space won't be around much longer, and we need more efficient and well-designed training space, and a kitchen that can keep up with the amount of food we produce each day.

The move will allow for a number of changes: an increase in the 16-week training program from 15 to 25, an increase in charitable meal production from $105,000 to more than $300,000 annually, training for adults ages 21-26 in the evenings, resources for start-up food businesses such as storage, production space and a test cafe; and healthy cooking classes for younger kids. The new Life's Kitchen facility will also help revitalize a low-income neighborhood.

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Sunday, January 4, 2015

Boise Food Truck Owner Gains National Attention

Posted By on Sun, Jan 4, 2015 at 12:26 PM

  • Brown Shuga Soul Food
Yvonne Anderson-Thomas is known around Boise as the owner and chef of the Brown Shuga Soul Food food truck, which parks at many high-profile events like Art in the Park.

She makes barbecue chicken, pork shoulder, collard greens, sweet potato pie, and macaroni and cheese, all with a little "heart and soul." She also makes appearances on KTVB's Saturday morning cooking show, but come April, she'll be featured in a national magazine.

KTVB reports that Anderson-Thomas will appear in a feature about food trucks in Woman's Day magazine this coming April.

"They sent a photographer in from New York and I told her it would have been nice if they could have flew me to New York," she told KTVB. "I wouldn't have minded that at all."

On her success, she said she's "just thankful to God for just seeing me to where I am today. Being a single woman is kind of hard and being a business owner gets even harder sometimes, but I just keep plugging away at it." 

According to her website, there's never been an absence of adventure in Anderson-Thomas' life. She grew up in Maryland, married a serviceman who took her to places like Iceland and Germany and ultimately the Mountain Home Air Force Base. She started making food for military parties and opened up a bakery.

After a divorce, a mortgage, an attempt at nursing school and a child to raise, she opened her food truck and catering company in 2011 to fill a niche she saw in the Boise restaurant scene. 

Her webpage states that "The pride of being the mistress of her own destiny and the enjoyment of making people happy with good food keep [Anderson-Thomas] going through days that start at 6:30 a.m. with kitchen prep and don’t end until the last dish is washed and dried at midnight."

  • Brown Shuga Soul Food Facebook Page

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Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Oregon Seed Company Markets 'Ketchup 'n' Fries' Hybrid Plant

Posted By on Wed, Dec 31, 2014 at 10:01 AM

Potato farmers beware.

The Oregonian reports this morning that an Oregon seed company is selling a hybrid of potatoes and tomatoes in one plant, dubbed "Ketchup 'n' Fries." The plant, developed in the United Kingdom, boasts the so-called "TomTato," a thin-skinned white potato attached to a vine of cherry tomatoes.

The Cottage Grove, Ore.-based Territorial Seed Company has just sent out its 2015 seed catalog and it includes the TomTato, which the company says can grow in a 10-gallon container.

According to The Oregonian, the plant was a product of grafting, not genetic engineering, from the SuperNaturals Grated Vegetables company in the U.K. The British company says that since potatoes and tomatoes are closely related, they graft well together.

The TomTato has been sold in Britain for more than a year but this is the first time the hybrid is being marketed in the Pacific Northwest.

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Thursday, December 25, 2014

Video: Illness Linked to Gourmet Ice Cream Triggers Regional Recall

Posted By on Thu, Dec 25, 2014 at 11:36 AM

A particular brand of gourmet ice cream, distributed in Idaho and several other states, is being recalled following two hospitalizations and the shutting down of some Seattle specialty ice cream parlors.

KIRO-TV reports that Washington state health officials have linked illnesses to products that are being recalled by Snoqualmie Gourmet Ice Cream. Two men, both in the 50s, were hospitalized after eating the products. 

As a result, the company has voluntarily recalled nearly a year's worth of ice cream because of possible listeria contamination. The recall covers products manufactured Jan. 1 and Dec. 15 of this year, and includes all flavors and sizes of ice cream, gelato, custard and sorbet.

The Seattle Times also reports that a number of specialty ice cream shops in the Seattle area that receive much of their product from Snoqualmie have temporarily closed, but hoped to reopen after Christmas.

If you have any Snoqualmie ice cream at home, check the code on the bottom before you eat it; the company says the date codes included in the recall “either end in ‘4,’ e.g. XXX4 (pints and cups) or are listed by date: January 1, 2014 through December 15, 2014 (trays and tubs).” 
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Monday, December 8, 2014

UPDATE: Empty Bowls Raises $35,500 for Idaho Foodbank

Posted By and on Mon, Dec 8, 2014 at 3:42 PM

  • Farzan Faramarzi

Monday, Dec. 8

The numbers are in, and this year's Empty Bowls fundraiser, put on by the Idaho Foodbank, raised $35,500 that will go to benefit the hungry in Idaho. 

The funds raised are enough to provide 142,000 meals.

It was also the fifth year that Moxie Java produced a music mix in concert with the fundraiser, Idaho-Ho-Ho, which debuted at Empty Bowls and will continue to be available during the holiday season at Treasure Valley Moxie Java locations or at the cafe's website

Nov. 28, 2:07 p.m.

This morning, the Idaho Foodbank held its 17 annual Empty Bowls event at the Grove Plaza. That's where a line stretching around the block was waiting to select hand-painted bowls and eat soups provided by a selection of local chefs. Boise Weekly took to the streets to meet some of the attendees, hosts and volunteers.

  • Farzan Faramarzi
  • Farzan Faramarzi
  • Farzan Faramarzi
  • Farzan Faramarzi

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Sunday, November 9, 2014

Scouts Pick Up 147K Pounds of Food in Treasure Valley's Second Largest Food Drive

Posted By on Sun, Nov 9, 2014 at 10:00 AM

There are scores of efforts throughout the year to help stock the shelves of the Idaho Foodbank, but few are more successful or widespread than the annual "Scouting for Food" campaign.

On Saturday, scouts spread out across the Treasure Valley to participate in the region's second largest annual food drive. Donation bags were distributed through the past week, and residents filled the bags with canned and shelf-stable food for the scouts to pick up.

As of late Saturday, preliminary results tallied more than 147,000 pounds of donated food. It's expected that more than 122,500 meals could be provided with the food, benefiting an area—from Ada and Canyon to Elmore and Gem counties—where an estimated 93,000 people are food insecure, including 35,000 children.
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