Food & Dining
The Iowa Dish Thanksgiving Edition PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Food & Dining
Written by Teresa Bjork   
Tuesday, 26 November 2013 13:26

Welcome to The Iowa Dish!
With the holiday season fast approaching, and the Thanksgiving dinner with all the trimmings just a few days way, we're excited to share our latest e-newsletter, The Iowa Dish.

When entering our recent "Iowa Farmers Feed Us" grocery giveaway, you told us that you were interested in learning more about food and farming in the state.

Our goal with "The Iowa Dish" is to spark a conversation about how our food is grown and raised, and to introduce the Iowa farmers who work to feed families here at home and abroad. Plus, we'll serve up quick bites on food safety, nutrition and meal trends. And of course, we'll share some of our favorite in-season recipes.

We've got a lot more recipes and information to share as well as future contests, so please look for our semi-monthly e-newsletter in your email inbox. We look forward to dishin' with you about Iowa food and farming.

Teresa Bjork
, sr. features writer, Iowa Farm Bureau

Let's Talk Turkey
While Thanksgiving turkeys get all the attention this time of year, Americans actually eat more turkey year-round nowadays compared to our grandparent's generation.

Here in Iowa, our farmers are on the leading edge of the deli turkey trend. Read more.

USDA Organic

What do the labels mean?
If you're into bargain shopping, then you are probably checking out the grocery store ads right now, trying to find the best deal on a Thanksgiving turkey. Is it worth paying more for a "gourmet" bird with all the labels? Read more.

Sizzlin' Trend: Turkey on the Grill

With the growing popularity of year-round outdoor cooking, more Americans are planning to grill, smoke or deep-fry their turkeys this year to free up oven space for their favorite Thanksgiving sides. Read more.

Antibiotics: Is Meat Safe? Find out more here.

Do you have a question or topic that you would like me to cover in a future issue of The Iowa Dish? Drop me a note This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

CommonGround Volunteers Discuss Food on Popular Morning Show PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Food & Dining
Written by Cassie McCloud   
Thursday, 21 November 2013 12:57
Lifetime Network's "The Balancing Act” welcomes farmers to discuss popular food and farming issues

CommonGround volunteer Sara Ross sits down with Danielle Knox to discuss GMOs.

ST. LOUIS (Nov. 21, 2013) – CommonGround volunteers will share how they grow and raise food for America's families with the hosts of popular Lifetime TV morning show, "The Balancing Act.” The four-segment miniseries will air throughout the next three months, with the first episode airing Monday, Nov. 25 at 7:00 a.m. (EST/PST).

Viewers will get the chance to learn from American farm women about:

Understanding Cost of Food in America with CommonGround (Airing Nov. 25 and Dec. 6)
Mary Courtney, a Kentucky farmer and CommonGround volunteer, provides a way for moms looking for answers about food to connect with and get real, credible food information from moms who grow and raise it.

"'The Balancing Act' provides a great forum to connect with moms across the country and let them know that farmers just like me want to share the story behind how American food is grown and raised,” said Courtney.

- Recipes From American Farms To Your Kitchen (Airing Dec. 5 and 12)
Ohio farmer Kristin Reese shows off her cooking skills while teaching viewers about family farms in America. Reese also shares her favorite holiday recipes.

"I am often shocked that many people do not know 96 percent of the farms in America are family-owned and operated,” said Reese. "It is wonderful to be able to share facts like these with the moms who tune into national television programs like the 'The Balancing Act.'”

- Food Myths and GMOs (Airing Dec. 19 and 26)
Iowa farmer Sara Ross leads the conversation about popular myths surrounding biotechnology, often referred to as GMOs.

"We are thrilled to work with 'The Balancing Act' to create television that will really dig deeper into some of the hottest food topics,” said Ross. "There is such a strong desire here to really delve into every aspect of American food, and, as farmers, we bring a unique perspective on issues like GMOs, organic food and the local food movement to an audience that is hungry to hear from women who share their experience and concerns, but also have first-hand knowledge on these subjects.”

- Understanding How Farmers Raise Healthy Food for Our Families (Airing Jan. 14 and 21)
Nebraska farmer and rancher Dawn Caldwell shares health news you can use regarding food safety. Caldwell breaks down food-safety myths and gives valuable tips to prepare meat and produce at home.

"People often forget to take the proper safety precautions with food once they get it home,” said Caldwell. "As a farmer dedicated to raising a healthy food supply, I want Americans to also pay attention to how they prepare the food they feed their families.”

More than 400,000 women watch "The Balancing Act” every day, offering a perfect opportunity for CommonGround to share the truth about food with the women who buy it.

About CommonGround
CommonGround is a grass-roots movement to foster conversation among women — on farms and in cities — about where our food comes from. The United Soybean Board (USB) and the National Corn Growers Association (NCGA) developed CommonGround to give farm women the opportunity to engage with consumers through the use of a wide range of activities. USB and NCGA provide support and a platform for the volunteers to tell their stories.

Have a question about your food? Find CommonGround online:

About The Balancing Act airing on Lifetime Television
Now in its sixth year, "The Balancing Act” continues to empower women in all aspects of their lives. The mission at "The Balancing Act” is simple – the show strives to help today's modern woman balance it all by bringing them exceptional solutions to everyday problems. Entertaining, educational and trusted by women, viewers can tune in to America's premier morning show, "The Balancing Act,” on weekday mornings at 7:00 am (ET/PT) airing on Lifetime television. For additional information or to view a segment visit

St. Ambrose Occupational Therapy students providing a Traditional Thanksgiving meal to area refugees PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Food & Dining
Written by Mary McNeil   
Thursday, 21 November 2013 12:30
(Rock Island, IL) Approximately 50 refugee families from eight countries speaking eleven different dialects will gather for a traditional Thanksgiving meal and family reading night thanks to the effort of some local college students.  The Church of Peace Family Reading Night will take place on Thursday, November 21 from 6:00-7:30 pm.

The special night will consist of eating a traditional Thanksgiving dinner and then reading to refugee families.  St. Ambrose University graduate students from Dr. Christine Urish and Dr. Terry Schlabach’s Occupational Therapy classes have been collecting books to read and give to the refugee children.
The graduate students began collecting books when their classes began in August and have at least one book to give every child on Family Reading Night.  Several of the OT students will be reading to the entire group, playing guitars and singing songs.  In addition to supplying the refugees and all of their families with a full dinner, they will receive a sack filled with full size self-care supplies (shampoo, soap, toothpaste, toothbrushes, deodorant).

The immigrants are attending “English as a Second Language“classes funded by the “Lights ON for Learning” program at the Church of Peace.  The Rock Island County Regional Office of Education oversees the 21st Century grant that is a cooperative effort among Black Hawk College, the Regional Office of Education and the Church of Peace.  The students are from many countries with the majority being from Myanmar (used to be called Burma), Iraq, and Africa (Burundi, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Tanzania).

Lisa Viaene, the Site Coordinator of the Family Literacy Program, says the partnership with St. Ambrose has been wonderful for the students and the refugees.  “The professors and students have been an integral part of our English as a second language program at the Church of Peace.  They have volunteered numerous hours already this semester and prepared projects to help our students with functional life skills.  On Family Reading Night the refugees will be introduced to new foods, learn new songs and get to hear some children's stories before leaving with a book and a bag
of personal hygiene products."

Tammy Muerhoff, the Superintendent of the RIROE, says the program has helped so many families adjust to their new life here in the Quad Cities. “The funds provided through the 21st Century Community Learning Centers grants and our partnership with Black Hawk College have offered refugee families an opportunity to become familiar with English as a second language, a new community, and customs.  Having local students take an interest in their well-being is heartwarming and vital for their education.”

News Releases - Food & Dining
Written by Kristen O’Sullivan   
Monday, 18 November 2013 14:21
(Eau Claire, Wisc.)--- Erbert & Gerbert’s Sandwich Shop, the national sandwich chain known for its flavorful gourmet subs, is expanding to the Quad Cities, adding five locations in the next three years. The company plans to add 10 to 15 total locations in Iowa over the next 3-5 years, targeting Cedar Falls, Waterloo, Clinton, Iowa City, Dubuque, Des Moines, Cedar Rapids, Council Bluffs, Sioux City, Davenport, Quad Cities and Ames for growth. Erbert & Gerbert’s also plans to add 25 to 40 total locations in Illinois over the next 3-5 years as well.

According to Technomic, 96% of consumers polled purchase sandwiches at least once a week. Unique flavor combinations, such as cranberry wasabi chicken, feature on the menu alongside classic options. Erbert & Gerbert’s offers extreme flavor with a relaxed, vintage atmosphere reminiscent of its Wisconsin roots. The satisfying sandwiches provide a healthy meal, and also serve vegetarian options. Expansion after success in initial Midwest markets will allow Erbert & Gerbert’s flavorful message of quality ingredients and zesty tastes to grow nationwide.

“After celebrating a huge milestone this year– our 25th anniversary – and our success throughout the country, we are very excited about coming to the Quad Cities to serve local residents,” said Chuck Schwalbe, director of marketing for Erbert & Gerbert’s. “We look forward to introducing locals to Flavornation – which stands for quality and being different. It’s about sandwiches you can’t find in a normal sub shop – it’s part of our culture.”

About E&G Franchise Systems, Inc.

Founded and headquartered in 1988 in Eau Claire, Wis. The system currently has 70 locations open and operating with 26 additional in development in Wisconsin, Minnesota, North and South Dakota, Colorado, Georgia, Oregon, and Texas. For franchise information, visit Erbert and Gerbert’s website at or call 800-283-5241.

Give Thanks – Holiday Recipes, a Chance to Win Groceries & Dairy Farmers PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Food & Dining
Written by Dairy Makes Sense   
Wednesday, 13 November 2013 16:49

The crisp air, the jewel-toned trees and a bounty of pumpkins can mean only one thing — fall is here and the holidays are right around the corner. Midwest Dairy Association thanks our 9,100 farm families across the Midwest who work 365 days a year to provide a fresh, local and nutritious product. We also thank YOU for supporting farmers by cooking with and enjoying milk, cheese and yogurt. Cheers to a happy holiday season!

Midwest Dairy wants to help you get a jumpstart on your holiday planning. Our new Gift of Dairy Pinterest board organizes our favorite dairy holiday recipes, entertaining tips and gift ideas. Pick your favorite ideas to enter to win a $250 grocery gift card!

Enter now

With 70 prize-winning Brown Swiss cows, dairy farmers Lloyd and Jane Gunter have their hands full. But, each fall, they add to their  work load, operating a pumpkin patch and corn maze. Read about the unique ways the Gunter family ensures visitors leave the maze and pumpkin patch with more than just pumpkins.

Learn now

From pumpkin spice lattes to pumpkin bread, the fall cooking season is all about pumpkin, pumpkin, pumpkin. Before you whip up your next  dish, learn how dairy enhances the flavor profile of your favorite pumpkin recipes.

Find out how

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