Community / Blogs
The opinions expressed in these blogs are solely those of the people who wrote them, and do not represent the views of WPSU or Penn State University.
Posted by Jordan Reabold on 04/15 at 08:27 AM
It seems as though Penn State has a club for everything—The Clown Nose Club, Beekeepers Club, Glee Club— the list goes on. While they all vary in their size, purpose, and popularity, I think it’s safe to say that each club plays a significant part in helping the community. One club I hadn’t heard of, until now of course, is the Community Food Security Club. Their mission “is to spread conscious eating habits to the Penn State and State College communities, to assist in the support of a local food system, and to raise awareness and support for food security.” It’s no surprise that college students don’t have the best reputation for eating habits (Ramen noodles, anyone?), so the Community Food Security Club exists to prevent bad eating habits, not only for students, but for the community as a whole.
To begin, it’s important to address what exactly “food security” is. The club describes it in this way: “Food security is having continuous access to nutritious, affordable food in order to live a healthy life.” The club exists to ensure that dining halls across campus offer an array of healthy options for Penn State students. When it comes to the community, the club promotes the use of farm-grown foods by restaurants as well as people in their homes. Caroline Meehan, the Community Food Security Club president, says, “The club started a few years ago to raise awareness on food insecurity in America and to show support for sustainable agriculture and the local food system.”
Posted by Jamie Oberdick on 04/11 at 08:30 AM
Tomorrow is practically a Central Pennsylvania holiday—first day of trout season! Our area is known across the country as a prime area for trout fishing, boasting legendary trout streams like Spruce Creek, Penn’s Creek, Bald Eagle Creek, and Black Moshannon Creek. Saturday these streams will be filled with anglers trying their luck.
There are three different species of trout to be caught in our streams, including brook, brown, and rainbow, and all are quite tasty. This recipe allows the trout’s flavor to stand more or less on its own, with assistance of two other tastes of spring, the grill and fresh local spinach.
Here is the recipe for Grilled Butterfly Trout Over Spinach (good luck tomorrow and hopefully you’ll catch something that will allow you to try this recipe!):
Posted by Jamie Oberdick on 04/08 at 09:07 AM
In 2011 Fair Food Philly and PASA (Pennsylvania Association for Sustainable Agriculture) teamed up to create a new annual marketplace for farmers and local food producers. The shared goal was to assist small businesses in growing their bottom line by providing a low-cost venue accessible to a diverse audience of potential customers. The event is the Philly Farm and Food Fest, and it is happening this year on Sunday, April 13 from 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. at the Pennsylvania Convention Center Annex.
Fest is also a fundraising event for Fair Food and PASA, with proceeds going to support our non-profit educational and technical assistance programs for food producers. Tickets for the event can be purchased here.
Posted by Jamie Oberdick on 04/03 at 07:45 AM
There is no doubt that Anthony Hopkins is one of the finest actors of all time. In fact, he is so good, he actually managed to ruin the reputation of one tasty vegetable—fava beans.
Even if you haven’t seen his role as the cannibalistic serial killer Hannibal Lector in the film The Silence of the Lambs, unless you live under a rock you’ve probably heard Hopkins’ character’s infamous quote about one of his devious meals, and how he accompanied it with fava beans and a nice Chianti. To this day, I’ve noticed that whenever you mention fava beans, that scene is mentioned. However, fava beans are not a horror, they are a tasty vegetable that has a long history as a food, going all the way back to the Romans and Ancient Greeks.
Posted by Jamie Oberdick on 03/31 at 08:03 AM
One of the best early season treats for the locavore is a fresh salad made with the first greens of the season. While some might be surprised to hear this, there are three farmers markets going on right now that offer delicious and fresh greens: Boalsburg Farmers Market on Tuesdays 2:00-6:00 p.m. at the Boalsburg Fire Hall, the State College Indoor Farmers Market on Fridays from 11:30 a.m.-5:00 p.m. at the State College Municipal Building Lobby, and the Millheim Indoor Farmers Market on Saturdays from 10:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m. at the Bremen Town Ballroom.
Posted by Jordan Reabold on 03/27 at 08:33 PM
If there’s one piece of advice people get when they visit State College, it’s this: go to the Berkey Creamery. There’s a reason why Penn State fans are lined up around the block during football weekends, willing to wait as long as they must for a cone of Peachy Paterno or a half gallon for the road. In fact, every time I visit home, I bring two half gallons with me; my family and friends can’t get enough of it. While people from across the country can get Creamery ice cream delivered to them, it’s a business that we’ll always be proud to call local.
As often as we visit the Creamery, there’s so much that a lot of people don’t know about it. For instance, the proceeds from all sales contribute toward research, education, and extension programs in the Department of Food Science and the College of Agricultural Sciences. They make all dairy products on site—70 percent of the milk used comes from PSU cows, and the rest is from local farms. The milk arrives via tanker truck, and it is immediately tested for antibiotics, butterfat, and bacteria. Over 4.5 million pounds of milk is used every year on an assortment of cheeses, spreads, milk, yogurt, frozen yogurt, sherbet, and of course, ice cream. In order to ensure safety in the plant during any manufacturing process, all employees must follow the Good Manufacturing Practices.
Posted by Jordan Reabold on 03/25 at 08:30 AM
The ongoing debate for all latte-sipping, caffeine-craving coffee snobs (myself included) seems to be “which is better?” Starbucks or Dunkin Donuts? Coffee has become a necessity for so many people; we wake up, skip breakfast, grab a cup of joe to go, and get on with our day. But if you’re tired of the Starbucks employees misspelling your name, or the line at Dunkin Donuts has you fed up, try a change of pace at Café Lemont. After all, owners Michael Beck and Jodi Hakes McWhirter make it a point to stand out from the rest. “There really isn’t any other place quite like ours around.”
While Café Lemont is unique for its special events and entertainment away from the downtown State College bustle, what makes this café special is its menu. Starting with coffee, they roast organic beans on a weekly basis, and their tea is specially blended with loose leaves by Pantheon Teas, a business nearby. If that isn’t enough to pique your taste buds, their menu features light breakfasts and lunches made with ingredients from several other local businesses including Meyer Dairy, Green Heron Farm, Hogs Galore, Ye Olde College Diner, Gaffron’s Sunrise Bakery, Suzie Wong’s, and Belladonna Herbs. “All the rest is made from scratch by us,” Michael said.
Posted by Jamie Oberdick on 03/21 at 09:13 AM
Harrison’s Wine Grill and Catering has established itself as a go-to place for outstanding dining with a local food focus, but they also conduct one of the most-delicious and well-respected fundraising programs in the state. Harrison’s Eat Well Fundraising program has been awarded the National Restaurant Association’s 2010 Good Neighbor Award and the CBICC’s 2010 Philanthropy Award.
State College’s Easterly Parkway PTO and Harrison’s are once again teaming up for an Eat Well fundraiser. From today though Sunday, March 30, if you mention to your Harrison’s server that you are a supporter of Easterly Parkway PTO, Harrison’s will donate 20 percent of your check before taxes and gratuity to Easterly Parkway PTO. But that’s not all.
Posted by Whitney on 03/20 at 03:26 PM
WPSU is seeking stories about Brookville and the surrounding areas. The “Our Town” television series highlights stories from your friends and neighbors and you can be a part of the community project. We need stories about the people, places and, happenings in your area and you to help tell them.
Posted by Jamie Oberdick on 03/18 at 08:42 AM
Recently, Anne Field, a contributor with Forbes, wrote about a way for restaurants and grocery stores to meet the growing demand for local food.
Direct Local Food is an online wholesale market place for local food. It helps farmers find new buyers, manage their inventory, update buyers on product availability and new products, and track their sales. For buyers like chefs and grocers, it helps them find and order the best products, find special deals, discover and maintain relationships with new farmers, and track their orders.
Posted by Jamie Oberdick on 03/14 at 08:39 AM
From Friends & Farmers Co-op, an update on their recent membership push and other news:
The Friends & Farmers Co-op membership kickoff was a tremendous success—more than 200 people attended the event. The co-op now has 88 Founding Members and sufficient capital to fund its marketing study.
Membership in Friends & Farmers requires an equity payment (you can read more about that payment under “How and Why of Signing Up” here). The equity payment is not a fee, nor is it dues. It is not an annual charge. It is a one-time investment that brings with it ownership in a community-owned enterprise—in this case, a grocery store—that is democratically controlled.
Posted by Jamie Oberdick on 03/12 at 08:47 AM
Believe it or not, it’s time to plant peppers…indoors, that is. Generally, you want to start pepper seeds inside about 6-10 weeks before last frost to give the plants time to grow and produce peppers. If you haven’t bought seeds yet, area stores have seeds in stock now, and if you want more variety, you can go to any number of online seed vendors to make your order and get the seeds in time to start.
As for what to plant, there are countless varieties of hot peppers out there to try. Here are six varieties that are sure to spice up your life this summer:
Posted by Jamie Oberdick on 03/10 at 09:02 AM
March is often a tease to those of us weary of winter’s cold, snow, and ice. One day we may have pleasant mild weather, the next, biting wind and snow.
But really, we’re entering the end-of-life phase for Old Man Winter. As the glacier that was covering Central PA continues to shrink, and mild days become more frequent, the harbingers of spring become more frequent. Here are five signs of spring, local food style:
Posted by Jordan Reabold on 03/05 at 10:46 AM
While there are plenty of restaurants in State College that pride themselves in their use of locally-made ingredients, the list continues to grow. Recently, the highly revered Nittany Lion Inn made the switch to use local ingredients in their menu with hopes of supporting other local businesses, expanding their menu, and of course, pleasing the palates of customers.
Andrew Monk, executive chef of the Nittany Lion Inn, explains the process that was necessary in order to begin serving local food. “We had to change the thought process on menus and make a list based on our needs,” he said.
Specifically, Andrew addresses the importance in valuing the different needs and preferences of all customers alike, including vegetarians, vegans, and guests visiting the hotel from all over the world. Everyone has their own personal taste, and the restaurant offers an array of options. He stresses, “You want to please their needs, and you have to take as many steps as you can to get there.”
Posted by Jamie Oberdick on 02/27 at 11:48 AM
If you read Local Food Journey, you are probably well aware of the Friends & Farmers Cooperative project, which is a food cooperative in State College committed to showcasing the best local products in support of a strong local economy. The good news is you can finally join Friends & Farmers at the Membership Kickoff Celebration to be held Sunday, March 2, from 3:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. at the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Centre County. You can RSVP here.
Along with signing up founding member/owners, the Celebration will have a lot to offer attendees. It will feature performances by local musicians including Andy Tolins, Scott Mangene, and Paul Brigman & Friends; opening remarks by State College Mayor and local food advocate Elizabeth Goreham; local food donated by various local vendors such as Webster’s, Harrison’s Wine Grill, Tait Farm, Byler Goat Dairy, Katz Raw Foods, Stone Meadow Farms, and Sweet Sunrise Bakery; kids activities led by the Penn State Community Food Security Club, and more. “The whole setup of this event is ‘drop-in,’ meaning you don’t have to come and be there the whole time,” said Michele Marchetti, local freelance writer and Friends & Farmers board member. “The idea is you come when you want, you hear some music, you get some food, and of course, sign up to be a member.”
Most recent entries
- Penn State food security club promotes healthy, local eating
- Tuesday, April 15, 2014
- By Jordan Reabold in Local Food Journey
- A perfect recipe for your first day of trout season catch
- Friday, April 11, 2014
- By Jamie Oberdick in Local Food Journey
- Philly Farm and Food Fest a showcase of Pennsylvania local food
- Tuesday, April 08, 2014
- By Jamie Oberdick in Local Food Journey
- Taking back the reputation of fava beans
- Thursday, April 03, 2014
- By Jamie Oberdick in Local Food Journey
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