The American Farm Bureau Federation announced recently that the cost of a Thanksgiving dinner for ten will cost just under $50.00, or about $5.00 per person.

Thanksgiving fact

I’m thankful for the relatively inexpensive cost of food in America and that I get to spend Thanksgiving at home with my family. What are you thankful for?


Four Food Buzzwords and What They Really Mean

“All natural”

“Locally grown”

“But it’s organic”

“I only eat grass-fed beef”

We’ve all encountered these phrases, whether they came up during conversation or were printed across the produce bin at the grocery store. Do you really know what they mean? Continue reading

Jumping on the Gluten-Free Bandwagon

If you’ve ever had the thrilling opportunity to accompany me to the grocery store, you have probably seen me randomly stop  in the middle of a packed grocery aisle and exclaim, “SERIOUSLY?!”, causing the few people immediately surrounding us to stop and stare. I’m usually yelling at the product sporting a label in bright, bold colors that advertises it’s lack of a certain product (for example, gluten, which seems to be on EVERYTHING lately).

Lately, gluten-free diets have been THE diet to go with for whatever ails you, even going so far as a supposed cure for tiredness (have you tried sleeping?) and lack of energy (maybe incorporating some fruits and vegetables into your diet would help?). There have been lots of articles circulating on social media the last few weeks that discuss whether people who are “gluten-free” even understand what gluten really is. Continue reading

My Beef with Chipotle

Chipotle makes delicious burritos, and I doubt that many will argue against that. But their marketing strategy is a little off. Is it effective for selling burritos? Yes, very effective.

When I say that their marketing strategy is a little off, I mean that it seems to contradict their stated beliefs. They are all about supporting family farmers, local farms, sustainably-raised food, organic produce, and antibiotic-free meat. And there is nothing wrong with any of that. It is your choice to choose what foods you want to consume and Chipotle’s choice to choose what foods they want to serve. (See my previous post, Choices, for more). But the way that Chipotle is advertising this is what has gotten me and many members of the agriculture industry all fired up. Continue reading

Less Food Labeling?

In November, the Wall Street Journal published an article entitled “Some Food Companies Ditch ‘Natural’ Food Label”. While this has not necessarily been the center of attention lately, especially not in Central Illinois with the recent tornado damage, it is relevant to everyone who eats food that comes from the grocery store. Basically, many food companies are choosing to remove the “natural” label from their products (think Naked juice or Goldfish). There have been lawsuits over the “natural” claim that say that there is no guidelines behind the label, so literally anyone can use the label on their product if they choose to do so.

In case you’re not an avid reader of the Wall Street Journal (nor forced to read it for a politics class), here’s the link to the article that was published about a month ago now.

I’ve blogged about labeling before (see “Are We OVER-Labeling” for more), and it seems that the American public is thinking along the same lines as I do. Labeling is not a bad thing, it’s just when we have too many labels or labels that have few to no requirements is when it gets confusing. Labeling has become more of a marketing tactic Continue reading

College Diet: Black Bean Soup

One of my favorite leftovers is this black bean soup recipe. It’s a classic that my mom used to make and submitted in a variety of our church and school cookbooks. I’ll give you the “official” recipe, and then the college student version. :)

BLACK BEAN SOUP: Continue reading

Pumpkin Rice Krispie Treats

Not only do I love agriculture, but I love to be in the kitchen. School has definitely been kicking my butt this semester, but I still find some time to relax and de-stress in the kitchen. I made these cute pumpkin rice krispie treats today for a club meeting. I saw pictures on Pinterest but couldn’t find a recipe, so I made my own. Enjoy! Continue reading