Food & Dining
Summer's sizzling on the grill PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Food & Dining
Written by Teresa Bjork   
Friday, 20 June 2014 14:05
Early summer is by far my favorite time of year in Iowa. First of all, the weather is perfect. The temperatures are mild, the high humidity hasn't kicked in and the mosquitoes aren't yet buzzing around in full force.

Plus, I'm catching up on all the outdoor activities I missed so much during the brutally cold winter. I'm spending a lot of time on the bike trails and in my backyard garden. I'm also traveling to family get-togethers, where we gather outside around the grill, listening to the chirping birds and smelling the sizzling hamburgers while we marvel about how fast the grass is growing. (What else can we Iowans complain about when we can't gripe about the weather?)

In this edition of the Iowa Dish, we take a closer look at the prices for steaks, Iowa pork chops and other grilling favorites and why they are higher. We share summer grilling tips from an Iowa dietician and tell you about a new app to help grill foods safely.

In addition, we introduce you to an Iowa family that is making yogurt on the farm with milk from their Holstein cows. Plus, be sure to check out the latest Iowa Minute video on how cows can now milk themselves with the newest robotic milkers.

We're also sharing a winning recipe from the Iowa Farm Bureau Cookout Contest, held annually at the Iowa State Fair, for a beef roast on the grill. It's a budget-friendly cut of meat that's full of flavor.

If you have a favorite grilling recipe, or you have a question about farming in Iowa or about food in general, feel free to email me at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . We may cover the topic in a future issue. Enjoy the summer!

Sizzling Summer Give-away and more at the Freight House Farmers' Market PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Food & Dining
Written by Freight House Farmers Market   
Friday, 20 June 2014 09:36

Being at the market can work up an appetite. We have just what you are looking for. Hot dogs, Smoothies, Ice Cold drinks, and right beside you will find Brats, Gyros, Chicken and Rib Eye Sandwiches, Pizza, Shish Kebab, Fried rice oh and not to mention Kettle corn, cheese corn, Roasted Almonds and much more!

Our furry friends love coming to the market.  Well mannered dogs are welcome on a leash, except this one might need a helmet! Enjoy the market and be safe.

Upcoming events: June 21 -  A Cake Walk is scheduled for this Saturday with the proceeds going to the Friendly House Food Pantry. It will begin at 9:00 a.m only $1 per entry.

June 21- The Extension Office will be on the patio to discuss urban gardening an to answer any questions.

June 28 - Children bring a white t-shirt.  They will decorate the t-shirts in red and blue paint (fireworks theme).

You will all ways find wonderful, unique, home made and local items at the Farmers market. The whole family can have a great time at the Freight House Farmers Market every week on Tuesdays (3pm-6pm) and Saturdays (8am-1pm).

Don't wonder what is in the food that you are eating.  At the Market, you can watch it being made, talk to the producer, try a sample and eat healthy.

And last, but not least: Please take a moment and complete a brief 10 question survey so that we can better understand how we can serve you better.  As our appreciation for your time we are giving away a 5 burner gas grill and $100 dollars in market gift certificates to load it up with all those wonderful market vegetables, brats, steaks to one lucky survey taker, so be sure to enter your email address at the end of the survey to enter the drawing. You could have a market party!

Reasons to Eat Local PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Food & Dining
Written by Ginny Grimsley   
Tuesday, 17 June 2014 10:02

How Committed is Your State to Local Foods?
Physician-Chef Shares 4 Reasons You Should Care

Vermont, Maine and New Hampshire, respectively, claimed the top three spots in the 2014 Locavore Index, a ranking of each state’s (and the District of Columbia’s) commitment to promoting and providing locally grown foods.

At the bottom of the heap are Arizona, Nevada and Texas, with the Lone Star State dead last despite the fact that it’s the nation’s No. 1 cattle producer and No. 3 for crops receipts, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

“There are many good reasons to eat locally produced foods, the first among them that they’re very good for us,” says cardiologist and professional chef Michael S. Fenster, MD, (, author of “Eating Well, Living Better” and “The Fallacy of the Calorie,” (Koehler Books; fall 2014).

“There’s a direct relationship between our food, our environment, our genetics and our health. Eating locally grown foods gives us our most nutritious meals, most flavorful meals. Few choices have as many personal ramifications as that which we decide to stuff into our gob.”

He offers four more reasons – “the tip of the iceberg lettuce, so to speak” -- to go localvore:

•  Money: Eating organically, eating fresh and finding the seasonal local foodstuffs can be expensive – if you do all your shopping at the supermarket, Dr. Mike says.

“Finding healthful produce at venues like a local farmer's market can result in prices that are at least comparable, if not substantially less than, those at the megamarket, which has the additional costs of shipping from the nether regions,” he says.

Likewise, visiting a local fishmonger can result in tasty bargains compared to flash-frozen fish flesh. Shopping for what is bountifully in season, and thus locally overstocked, can mean big savings.

“Finally, by purchasing items produced locally, your money strengthens the local economy and helps sustain the people producing the types of food stuffs that you wish to sustain yourself upon,” he says. “That is the smiley face circle of life.”

•  Freshness: In some ways, it’s amazing we’re alive considering all the food we eat that’s dead, Dr. Mike says, noting almost 60 percent of the modern Western diet is prepackaged, preserved and processed.

“Any time we manipulate our comestibles in such a fashion, we add compounds that are not naturally found in them or remove parts that are,” he says. “Those pre-cut vegetables in the supermarket may be convenient, but they started losing nutritional value and flavor as soon as they were sliced and diced.”

Because local growers don’t have to add preservatives or pick produce weeks early to ensure they’ll produce will keep during shipping, local foods can be consumed at the peak of freshness and ripeness – when they taste their very best.

•  Rhythms: Our great hairy ancestors have always been omnivores.

“There is ample evidence that the reason we as a species became the smartest kids on the block is that we took advantage of a varied diet.  This hardwired drive for diversity in dining is also one reason why restrictive diets that seek to severely limit what we consume almost always, ultimately fail,” Dr. Mike says.

By leveraging the seasonal and cyclic variations that naturally occur, your palate will never become dull and monochromatic, he promises.  A pleasant dining experience directly lights up our primal happy-happy joy-joy place, an experience that contributes directly to overall well-being.

•  Sustainability: All the reasons for purchasing high-quality ingredients locally ultimately circle back and rest upon the concept of sustainability. In knowing where your food comes from, in being able to ascertain both what it contains and what it does not contain, you take a proactive step in determining your own health and wellness, Dr. Mike says.

By focusing on procuring the best for you and those who depend upon you, you act to sustain yourself and your family. By affecting such a posture, you deliver local impact.

“With enough people acting locally, the impact becomes regional and if enough people demand control over their foodstuffs then, like a crazy cat video gone viral, it can have a global effect.”

About Michael S. Fenster, MD

Michael Fenster, M.D., F.A.C.C., FSCA&I, PEMBA, is a board-certified interventional cardiologist. Also known as “Dr. Mike,” author of “Eating Well, Living Better: The Grassroots Gourmet Guide to Good Health and Great Food,” (, he combines his culinary talents and Asian philosophy with medical expertise, creating winning recipes for healthy eating. A certified wine professional and chef, Dr. Mike worked professionally in kitchens prior to entering medical school and maintained his passion for food and wine throughout his medical career.

State of Iowa Finalist in Roll Call’s Annual “Taste of America” Competition PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Food & Dining
Written by Iowa Restaurant Association   
Monday, 16 June 2014 08:49
State of Iowa Finalist in Roll Call’s Annual “Taste of America” Competition

June 12, 2014 – West Des Moines, IA – Iowa is in a battle to the finish in Roll Call’s Annual “Taste of America Competition.”  Iowa’s entry of “bacon” has advanced to the Final 8 among favorite regional foods, and is now battling against some tough competitors from seven other regional finalists including stiff competition from entries such as Maryland’s crab cakes and Illinois’ deep dish pizza.

“It’s time for us to show some serious Iowa pride,” said Jessica Dunker, president and CEO of the Iowa Restaurant Association.  “Iowa restaurants and at-home cooks alike have shown a nearly endless level of culinary creativity with bacon—it’s time to brag about it.”   People can vote through June 20th at Roll Call’s Taste of America website:

Iowa bacon was one of 64 foods from across the country featured in the competition which started in bracket format on May 12th.  Iowa made its way to the Final 8 by beating out Ohio’s Buckeye Candy, Missouri’s Ice Cream Cone, and Wisconsin’s Mac and Cheese.  The champion will be the state food that receives the most votes during the final round. The winner will be announced at a reception at the Congressional Baseball Game at Nationals Park in Washington D.C. on June 25, 2014.

Since 1909 the Congressional Baseball Game has pitted Senate and House members of each party against one another on the baseball field to raise money for charity.

Help Iowa be featured at the big event by voting today at .


Iowa Restaurant Association

The Iowa Restaurant Association is an advocacy organization supporting Iowa’s industry with educational and promotional programs across the state.

National Launch of Revolutionary App to Know What's in your Food! PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Food & Dining
Written by Jeff Sonnenburg   
Friday, 13 June 2014 14:58

Jeff Sonnenburg, Executive-Director, “It started when I was simply trying to find products without aspartame. I couldn't believe the amount of hours I was spending looking on the back of long complicated labels over and over. I was also seeing all the millions of people who were actively trying to get legislation passed to have GMO's (Genetically Modified Organisms) listed on labels. I thought why can't a consumer have their own virtual label through a mobile-app where by scanning the UPC-code anyone can see just the information they personally care about.”

“I also decided to include information such as GMO that is not always publicly available. Finally when I saw a television news report about a child who had died of a peanut-allergy, I saw how hard it was for 3.3 million people who have a peanut-allergy to figure out what products have peanuts or are made in factories with peanuts. I was shocked how totally unsuspecting products have peanuts in them. This seemed essential for the over 100 million Americans who have special dietary needs."

Affinity is a mobile-app and site where anyone can decide what information about a product they want to know. It also recommends alternative options for the same type of product that is more according to your preferences. To save you time it your previous choices and products you already scanned.

We are starting our crowdfunding now for the Peanut-Allergy Edition to be out before Halloween and then the GMO Edition and Prescription-Drug Food-Interaction Edition will follow one per quarter. We will be rolling-out a web-site in the next 30 days for crowdsourcing for people to search our database for type of products they want without peanuts and to beta-test the functionality for the app. We are getting ready to do the same each quarter following for GMO and prescription-drug food-interactions.

A pre-launch event will be on Tuesday 17 June 2014 from 6:30pm to 7:30pm at Theo's Java Club (side-stage room) 213 17th St. Rock Island, IL where we will have a five minute video of the app and product-database. We want everyone's input on what you want to know about your food by simply swiping your mobile. We want to know what do you want it to keep track of to make your shopping choices easier and quicker. We'll be making a national video for crowdfunding kick-off! We will also be taking applications for coders, developers, data-key-entry and general staff.

Mighty River Ventures is a local incubator for mobile-apps and sites that already has six apps in the pipeline. We have monthly brainstorming online and local master-minds where people can bring their ideas for us to scope them out for viability, development costs and revenue potential. We will soon be including a youth program where they will be offered work-study to learn coding skills and have fun making viral videos.

eff Sonnenburg, Executive Director, has been an Executive Business Consultant for Cap Gemini with such clients as Utilicorp, TWA, DSI and consulted privately for Humane Society, Human Factors and MindPlay including speaking at the United Nations. Many of his references are at


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