Last week, we began telling you about celebrity chef, Mario Batali’s “Food Stamp Challenge” initiative. For one week, the acclaimed chef challenged Americans (and his own family) to “walk in someone else’s shoes” by eating only what they would be able to buy with food stamps. Batali, the star of ABC’s “The Chew,” partnered with the New York City Food Bank to raise awareness about potential cuts to the food stamp program, which helps feed millions of Americans. The food stamp guidelines amount to $31 per person, per week, or $1.48 per meal! Instead of filling up on fresh, organic vegetables, he’s been feeding his family more beans and starches like egg and bean tacos and lentils and rice.
What this initiative brings home to us is the need for families of all income levels to educate themselves on wellness and nutrition—as well as eating and cooking options—especially at a lower income level. Mario Batali may be giving up his $4 lattes from a specialty coffee house, but most families struggle with larger and more fundamental issues, like what to make for dinner that will be healthy, and not break the bank.
Have you heard the term "pink slime" in the press lately? It's getting a lot of attention-from the USDA, to the beef industry to schools providing meals to children. We want to feature this topic in this week's blog to highlight our educational mission. We are committed to helping our Red Rabbit followers and school partners gain a better understanding of where our food comes from, and how to make informed choices about the foods we buy and consume, both as a company and as individuals. In this case, both sides of the issue are passionate and adamant about their positions...but, we'll let you decide...
The additive, known in the industry as "lean finely textured beef", is made from scraps remaining after cattle are butchered into cuts such as steaks and roasts. Processors remove the fat from trimmings and as some of these scraps are very close to the bone, organs or other "non-commercially viable parts", they are often treated with ammonium hydroxide (a.k.a., ammonia) to remove the possibility of bacteria, E Coli, salmonella, etc. The product is then mixed with ground beef, making it leaner, according to the industry, but making it more toxic according to others.