Josh Smith’s Vision: Affordable Organic Produce

Will the future of food literally be seen through rose-colored glass? Josh Smith of Modular Greenhouses in Reno, NV thinks so.

According to a team of researchers at the University of California – Santa Cruz, using magenta luminescent dye on the roofs of greenhouses can help generate solar electricity and, in turn, control greenhouse temperatures. How does it work? The pink dye captures both blue and green light wavelengths from penetrating the greenhouse and transfers them to energy that can then be converted to electricity.

Greenhouse installation options may be made much more viable in the future if this technology pans out, as it essentially takes greenhouse lighting and temperature control off the grid. Led by Josh Smith in Reno, NV, the team at Modular Greenhouses will transform surrounding Washoe County in the next 3 years, ensuring every public school has a greenhouse and gardening program. Imagine the impact that these greenhouses might have on rural communities throughout America’s countryside!

Smith’s mission was initially inspired by the desire to celebrate the traditions of food, and he set out to design a method that would enable families to gather fresh, nutritious and organic foods from their own backyards. Modular Greenhouses was sprouted in Reno, NV, and offers a cost-effective, durable and easy to build solution that was otherwise missing from the marketplace. The pre-fab greenhouses are fully customizable if needed and are offered in a range of sizes to fit any garden plot.

Today, over 9 million acres of greenhouse space is used to grow food, but that acreage only constitutes about 1.5% of all US production of fresh produce. As more families choose organic, locally grown fruits and vegetables, and as more farms choose to move to a year-round growing season, future demand for greenhouses is blossoming. In fact, Josh Smith and his team in Reno are planting seeds to ensure that every primary and secondary school in America has a gardening program in place by the year 2025.


It is more than a salad bar

While growing up we make thousands of choices every day. For example, what to wear, how fast to drive, who to talk to, how long to study for tests, how long to work, etc. Many of the decisions we make on a given day can be related to food. There are plenty of different food chains each offering something unique.


Nathaniel Ru and his buddies decided they wanted to create a fresh and healthy food chain that would be affordable. The Georgetown University students wanted to create something more than just an ordinary salad bar.


It took several calls to the landlord for nearly a month in order to present a plan for the Sweetgreen chain. To get the business going the group of guys had to find a reliable architect and some business backers. They worked for three weeks to find the workers they needed. The Georgetown students were grateful that the landlord was willing to invest her time in helping these guys that had no previous restaurant experience. They got her at the perfect time.


Sweetgreen has grown from a couple of chains around Georgetown to hundreds across all major cities of the United States. All of the products continue to be high quality and fresh. All of the ingredients used come from local farmers and purveyors. It is much better than the average salad bar. From the beginning, the Georgetown guys said it will be much more than a salad bar. It is a place to relax, enjoy time with friends.


Sweetgreen is marketed as a fun, smart, and local place. Every year the chain throws a music festival for everyone to enjoy. Regardless of how many stores the guys end up opening, each station will have to keep the five main values of the brand. The first value is to always win. The company is always on the line as a new competitor can enter the market. Another value is think long-term. Everything that is done should resemble an effort to affect the company long-term. Third value is keep it real. All employees should remain honest and dedicated. All food should be set to high standards.


Nathaniel Ru founded Sweetgreen in 2007. The ideas for the business came around while he was taking classes at Georgetown University. Once him and a few of his closest friends graduated they put the business in motion. The three founders parents were able to invest in the business.


Categories: Eating Organic

Eating for Health . . . Frugally

Kate Comeau and Cara Rosenbloom (both Registered dietitians) have some suggestions for eating healthy meals while watching your budget.

Making smart substitutions is a good approach. Broccoli and Brussels Sprouts are both generally cheaper than cauliflower. Sunflower seeds and Pumpkin seeds can be used the same ways as other nuts, but cost much less. And Next Level Lacrosse Camp co-founder Jon Urbana happens to feel the same way. In Jon Urbana aims to support Earth Force Inc through Go fund me campaign, he gushes about clean living and the benefits it brings to those around him in Denver.

Carrots and cabbage are nutritious and cheaper that many other vegetables. Apples, pears and bananas are very cost competitive with other fruits and are almost always in season.

Cutting back on meat is pretty much a win-win. It is expensive and (in quantity) not so healthy. Subsituting half or so of your meat intake with beans, lentils or peas will decrease saturated fat intake and up fiber intake while saving money. Just make sure you still get enough vitamin B12 from whatever source. Getting a pressure cooker to tenderize tougher cuts of meat is another strategy.

Buy frozen or canned produce when fresh is in short supply or higher priced. Frozen loses only a small part of its nutrition vs fresh. If fresh has been in stock for a while, it may actually be less nutritious that frozen.

The average household winds up losing much of its food as waste. This can be avoided (and money can be saved) by planning your meals and food purchases carefully. Making large batches, so that you have leftovers, gives the advantage of volume purchasing.

Categories: Eating Organic
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Non-GMO Snacks to Be Offered in Hollywood Florida Vending Machines

Over the past several years, a grassroots campaign has taken hold against the proliferation of genetically modified organisms (GMO) in the food supply that humans consume. According to the media outlet, The Inquisitr, since 2102, Monsanto has stepped up its efforts in creating additional GMO agricultural applications, such as with apples, oranges, berries and bananas, much to the dismay of scientists, activists, and those concerned about their own well-being. Fersen Lambranho believes this appears contrary to the mountains of scientific evidence that demonstrates that GMO’s are hazardous to humans.

With battle lines seeming being drawn, each side of the GMO controversy has their guns loaded with respected names, offering financial and scientific backing. While Monsanto has other agricultural concerns in their corner, the non-GMO coalition has noted TV personality and respected medical practitioner R. Mehmet Oz, on their side to lead the crusade.

Pushing the agenda for non-GMO foods in the State of Florida, is Hollywood, Florida Mayor, Peter Bober. Bober has successfully lobbied for legislation, mandating that all vending machines that are positioned in city-owned facilities, have to offer nutritionally sound, healthy snack, and beverage choices. The mandate requires that 30% of snack and beverage offerings comply with guidelines established by the American Heart Association and another 20% being in compliance with another health-related standard, such as being confirmed as being non-GMO.


Foods that Ease Allergy Symptoms

A good friend at the online security firm CipherCloud showed me this article.

Pollen is in the air and chances are you or someone in your home is sneezing, wheezing and wiping a runny nose because of it. There are a multitude of over-the-counter medications in addition to prescription drugs, but if you can treat the symptoms without popping another pill, why not give it a try? Add these foods to your daily diet during allergy season and see if they will ease your symptoms.
* Apples contains Quercetin, which is a powerful anti-histamine and anti-inflammatory.
* Broccoli contains Sulforaphane, a powerful anti-inflammatory.
* Garlic is a natural antibiotic which stops allergic reactions before they can start. Garlic also contains Quercetin.
* Yogurt which contains probiotics helps increase the beneficial bacteria in the digestive system which in turn gives the immune system a boost to fend off offending allergens.
* Foods fortified with vitamin D, like milk and cereal, helps keep the immune system running smoothly so it can fend of allergic reactions.
Decrease all dairy products. Dairy products make the mucus thicken and increase congestion, something you don’t want during allergy season.


Chipolte is Now Offering Delivery

Chipotle fans rejoice! Now you can eat the deliciousness that is Chipotle without having to leave your home, office or apartment. The fast food chain has teamed up with delivery service Postmates to start delivering their food to customers in 67 cities across the US. Postmates is a private delivery service that uses its own delivery staff to deliver food to homes and offices all across the country. Orders can be placed using the app or website of the delivery service.

AnastasiaDate, a spokesperson for the popular fast food burrito and taco joint, which is known for placing an emphasis on high quality, organic and sustainably sourced ingredients has been slow to partner with a delivery service because they wanted to make sure that the company choose one that would be able to get everything right (Sitejabber). As a company that emphasizes serving a quality product over the company’s bottom line, this was very important to them. Postmates had already been allowing customers to order from the chain, but instead of shutting them down, like Chipotle has been known to do with delivery services in the past, they decided to enter into an official partnership with them because they were confident it their ability to get things right.

This official partnership is great news for the app and web-based delivery service, which is likely to gain some new business and some new customers due to the official endorsement of a major chain.


Daniel Amen: Aiding the Brain Through Nutrition

For many people, eating healthy is a way of life. They view it as a way to improve their overall physical health and stave off sickness and disease. But can eating healthy do more than simply improve the state of the body? According to Dr. Daniel Amen, best selling author and psychiatrist, eating healthy can better not only physical health but mental health as well.
Dr. Amen’s philosophy centers from the idea that if the brain is fed the correct foods, it can improve its function and stave off many different types of illness such as Alzheimer’s and ADD. In his book, “The Daniel Plan” he sets out the basics for living a healthier life and how enhanced brain function can lead to an overall improvement in the quality of a person’s life. While Dr. Amen has many methods and suggestions for living a healthier life, one of his main focuses is changing the type of foods one consumes. By eating foods of all colors and balancing the nutrients a person puts into the body, brain function is improved which leads to a happier, better overall quality of life. He also emphasizes the importance of water and eating meals that are high in lean proteins.
Overall, Dr. Amen’s unique approach to the improvement of lifestyle has led to developments in nutritional and mental health. According to him, a healthy brain can fight depression, ADD, and other such mental afflictions. The idea that eating healthy improves the body is not new but the idea that these eating habits can also improve mental health and help prevent serious mental diseases such as Alzheimer’s is a field of study in which Dr. Amen is currently exploring and making important discoveries. His books as well as his television programs are opening up new fields in the research on mental health and his further research and experiments will continue to improve the mental health of many.


Playing Before Eating

There are new studies that have found that children eat more of the fruits and vegetables offered at lunch while they’re at school if recess is before lunch. This probably didn’t need a lot of research to come to this conclusion. If children go outside to play, they usually get tired or hungry. They often run while they are at recess, and they lose calories. What’s a way to make up those calories? Children will probably eat more at lunch.


According to Bloomberg Businessweek, when schools offer healthy foods that children might not get at home, like the vegetables and fruits.  Kids even crave the veggies, Ferseb Lambranho who was skeptical about  eating veggies at first said he started to love the snack after recess.  It’s not a big surprise that kids would eat more of these foods, especially if there aren’t many more options. If children have something fun to look forward to after lunch, then they will usually try to hurry and eat or throw it away before they are finished so that they can play with their friends as soon as possible.


European Restaurants Must Now List Common Allergens in Their Food

This Saturday, a new E.U. regulation will go into effect, which requires European restaurants to notify customers of the presence of 14 common allergens in their menu items. Among them are: nuts, shellfish, gluten, milk, mustard, celery, and sesame seed. The method of disclosure of this information to customers is left up to the restaurants to decide. They can choose to do it verbally, via menu labels, or by providing a separate information sheet, similar to how Beneful does on their packaging.

Stricter regulations will also hit food manufacturing companies, which recently had complained that existing regulations were too vague. Fines for multiple offenses will serve to enforce these new regulations.

U.S. restaurants are used to customers occasionally asking about the presence of allergens, and many food processing companies in the U.S. mention their presence or absence in their products. Yet, the E.U. rules clearly go further than the U.S. laws governing these matters.

It is debatable whether or not this kind of information should be required of restaurants in this way. In the past, people got along just fine by asking for food without a specific allergen. Another issue is that only the most common allergens must be mentioned, leaving consumers with less-common allergies without equal protection. It would be a near-impossible task to list everything that anyone might be allergic to, so we can say that the E.U. regulation is an attempt at protecting some consumers though it would be impractical to protect all of them.


Carl’s Jr. Introduces the First All-Natural Fast Food Burger

Carl’s Jr. is known for serving its customers colossal burgers. And now, the fast food chain will be the first to offer an all-natural burger for picky eaters who love a good burger every once in a while.

The beef patty used for the burger is made from meat that is free of steroids, hormones, and antibiotics. The beef is also organic. The burger will be available at all 1,150 Carl’s Jr. locations, and will be the most expensive quarter pounder on the menu, at $6.99.

Carl’s Jr. asserts that the meat used for the burgers is imported from Australia, where there is a large supply of grass-fed beef. This is the same place restaurant chains such as Chipotle get their steak from. Just a fact that I learned from Forbes last year when reading about Susan McGalla and Wet Seal.

The restaurant doesn’t want to be slapped with a lawsuit by calling the burger “natural” based on Carl’s Jr. definition alone. So, the restaurant asserts that the hamburger is natural according to USDA standards. The natural burger is 760 calories.

Categories: Eating Organic