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Published: Sunday, 4/13/2003

Healthy eating attracting consumers

Eating healthy is a priority that's gaining consumer interest. Not only are natural and organic produce and foods on the rise, the alliance of natural and wholesome products with fast food is increasing. In addition, organics is extending to other areas of life, and sustainable agriculture is a hot topic.

  • In March Paul Newman, President and Founder of Newman's Own Inc., philanthropist and actor, joined with McDonald's executives to announce an exclusive alliance to serve Newman's Own all-natural salad dressing with McDonald's new Premium Salads.

    This replaces Salad Shakers and all previous dressings. “McDonald's have three premium salads - California Cobb, Caesar, and Bacon Ranch - and four salad dressings: California Cobb, which was specifically made for McDonald's; the Ranch and Creamy Caesar are Newman's Own Dressing, but are restaurant-style, and Light Balsamic Vinaigrette is the same you would find in the supermarket with 50 percent less fat and calories as compared to Newman's Own regular balsamic vinaigrette. Sales of McDonald's salads are up,” according to McDonald's spokesman Jeff Kane in Columbus.

  • In addition, Nell Newman has written The Newman's Own Organics: Guide to a Good Life (Villard, $14.95) which offers advice on how to improve one's health and the health of the environment. She is the daughter of Newman and Joanne Woodward.

    She covers food, gardening, transportation, energy, and water, communication, shopping, pet care, and other areas of life. A resource directory for each chapter gives practical information.

    Ms. Newman launched Newman's Own Organics: The Second Generation with partner Peter Meehan in 1993. Her commitment to organic foods and sustainable agriculture led her to convince her father to let her establish an organic division of Newman's Own. She is a supporter of sustainable agriculture.

  • Also promoting sustainable agriculture is the Humane Society of the United States.

    “Supporting humane, sustainable agriculture systems such as local farmers' markets, local food cooperatives, and community supported agriculture programs helps animals, improves the environment, and supports farmland preservation,” says Robert Hadad, director of farming systems for HSUS.

    If you include meat in your diet, purchasing animal products from local family farmers gives you an opportunity to have a voice in how the animals are raised. Grass-fed, pasture-raised, and free-range are advised. Ask local farmers how they raise animals, advises the society.

  • The Cook's Garden Catalogue is an organic seed company. Catalog co-founder Ellen Ecker Ogden shares the garden-to-table recipes in her first cookbook, From the Cook's Garden (William Morrow, $29.95). Recipes include Baby Carrots with Tarragon, Baby Beets with Horseradish Butter, and Pattypan Squash with Ricotta Stuffing.

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    Upcoming events:

    A new cooking series, Barbecue America, will be shown on WBGU-TV at noon on Fridays beginning April 18. Hosted by Rick Browne, the 13 half-hour programs will feature everything from Texas-style brisket, Memphis-style ribs, and Northwest salmon. Mr. Browne is a member of the National Barbecue Association and the Kansas City Barbecue Society.

    As part of the Master-Pieces of Ohio: A Bicentennial Celebration lecture series will feature Masters of Food from Ohio lecture at 6:30 p.m. April 23 at the Main Branch of the Toledo-Lucas County Public Library at 325 Michigan St. downtown. The event, held in the McMaster Family Center for Lifelong Learning, is free and open to the public. Speakers will include Tony Packo, Jr., Gus Mancy, and representatives from Sofo's, Skyline Chili, and Bob Evans restaurants. Tom Helberg of the Let's Eat Toledo television show will moderate the panel.

    The Girl Scout Gala featuring celebrity chefs with desserts made with Girl Scout cookies will be 7 to 11 p.m. April 25 at Inverness Club. A grazing buffet will include a roast peppered sirloin carving station and hearty hot and cold hors d'oeuvres. Celebrity chefs preparing the desserts include Tracy Russell of Navy Bistro; Kendall Gigax of Kendall's Gourmet Cheesecake; Peter Swick of Inverness Country Club; Dennis Lange of Pumpernickel's Deli & Cafe; Dorothy Bryan of Cake-Arts Supply; Dolores Dobelbower of Owens Community College; Matt Goller of Tangos, and Ed Smolenski of the Courtyard at the Navy. Tickets are $75 each. Deadline is April 21. For tickets and information, call 243-8216.



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