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January, 2011

Parsnips

By Mark Mulcahy
Parsnips – Parsnips are high in fiber, and a good source of calcium, magnesium, potassium, Vitamins C, E, and B6, iron, thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, and zinc, and man oh man, if you haven’t had a parsnip lately do yourself a favor and pick some up soon.

ParsnipsRoast them with some beets, rutabagas, and potatoes that have been tossed in olive oil and a little salt and pepper and you’ve got the start of something special for dinner.

The list goes on and on. The nationwide study of fruit and vegetable consumption found that only 26 percent of the nation’s adults eat vegetables three or more times a day. Can you believe that, with the great selection that Melissa’s has to offer? Only one quarter of adults. Wow! Even more dismaying is that the amount of vegetables consumed has barely changed since 2000. This seems quite surprising when you consider that in 2009, there was record growth of farmers’ markets across the U.S. and the total U.S. organic consumer product sales grew 5.3%, reaching $26.6 billion, of which fruits and vegetables made up 38% of that growth.

Or how about the fact that easy-to-use packaged salads hold the #1 spot for all organic produce items sold. And it’s not like we haven’t had plenty of reminders… There have been at least two decades of public health initiatives, such as More Matters, as well as even stricter government dietary guidelines. What is it going to take to get folks to eat more produce? Well Melissa’s is doing it’s part with great produce, an easy-to-use website, and wonderful books such as Everyday Cooking with Organic Produce and Melissa’s Great Book of Produce by Cathy Thomas.

Tips for Eating More Vegetables

Use these fun, easy tips to make sure that you get your vegetables every day!

  • Add fresh vegetables like bell peppers, broccoli, spinach, mushrooms, or tomatoes to your eggs and omelets.
  • Dip slices of sweet potato in a mixture of egg substitute and nutmeg and bake on a lightly greased pan in a 425° oven for 20 min for tasty sweet potato fries.
  • Pile spinach leaves, tomatoes, peppers, and onions on your pizza.
  • Try veggie instead of meat lasagna.
  • Add fresh broccoli, green beans, corn or peas to a casserole or pasta.
  • Add lettuce, tomato, onion, sprouts, cucumber, etc. to sandwiches.
  • Order salads, vegetable soups, or stir fried vegetables when eating out.
  • Choose beans, coleslaw, corn on the cob, or a side salad instead of French fries Snack on raw veggies like baby carrots, pepper strips, broccoli, and celery.
  • Make fruits and vegetables visible in your home by having fresh fruit out on the tables or countertops and cut up carrots or celery in the fridge.
  • Pick up ready-made salads from the produce shelf for a quick salad anytime.
  • If you already eat enough vegetables, perhaps you can help a friend by packing a few extra carrots in your lunch and offering them to others with some ranch dip. Or inviting someone over for veggie pasta and salad. We won’t change things overnight but we can make a difference.
So grab a Melissa’s organic carrot and lets crunch our way to better health!