Food fun

June 19, 2012

Pick up some of the "leftovers" from our research for the food-themed Fall 2012 issue of Pacific magazine, which publishes in September.

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As we research all things food for the Fall 2012 issue of Pacific magazine, we’ve picked up some scraps that are just too tasty to waste. Some will make the magazine; some won’t. But in the meantime, here are a few of the tidbits tempting the palette:

NeverSeconds: VEG (real name: Martha) is a primary school student in Scotland who decided to start a blog documenting her daily school lunches. She includes a picture and description of the meal, counts mouthfuls to determine portion size, rates quality and healthiness, lists the price and even tracks whether any hairs were present. (She also recently started rating the ease of eating with a “stookie” or cast on her arm.) She shares comments and lunchtime reports that she receives from readers around the globe, and the site raises money for Mary’s Meals, an international organization that aims to provide chronically hungry children one meal every school day. The blog got some notoriety recently when local government—not school—officials forbade her from taking a camera in the lunchroom due to bad press over the meals, but that decision was quickly reversed. The blog, just started in April, has logged more than 5 million hits and raised more than £91,000—$14,000—which will build a kitchen and supply thousands of meals for children. Plus, it’s surprisingly interesting to see what other people eat, not in fancy restaurants but in day-to-day school meals.

CharityMiles: This new app for the iPhone and Android allows everyday people to become “sponsored athletes.” Download the app, then log in every time you get ready to take a walk, run or bike ride. The app uses the GPS mapping capabilities on your phone to log your route and track how far you go. Then, so long as you allow the app to publicize itself with a post on your Facebook account, it pays out a certain amount per mile to the charity of your choice. For example, walking and running earns 25 cents a mile, while biking earns 10 cents a mile. Supposedly the app can tell if you’re moving too fast to be exercising—say, in a car—so cheating is curtailed. I’ve used the app a couple of times and donated my proceeds to Feeding America. I have been disappointed that my cell signal tends to waver in Forest Grove, so I’ve only received half-credit for some of my walking. (Also, it would be cool if it could be used on a treadmill or elliptical, but the FAQs say they’re working on that idea.) Still, it’s a few meals for people who need them, with no money out of my pocket and no more effort than a walk I was taking anyway.

Forest Grove Summer Food Program: I will be writing more about the Forest Grove Summer Food Program in the coming weeks, but families in Forest Grove and Cornelius need to know that the program starts Monday (June 25). Free lunch for any child under 18 in Lincoln, Harleman or Rose Grove parks, Monday through Thursday through the summer (some locations have a Friday lunch, too). The meal, provided through the Forest Grove School District, is at noon. Then, from 12:30 to 3 p.m., the Boys & Girls Club and local volunteers will present activities, ranging from impromptu soccer games to arts and crafts, for anyone who shows up. Adults are welcome to join the fun, but funding for the program does require that food be for minors only. There’s no sign-ups and no special qualifications: Just show up for food, fun and a little community fellowship.

Boxers & Badgers Notes blog: Just today, the Pacific University Alumni Association posted this piece by Shawn Henry Kwaitkowski ’11 on the Boxer and Badger Notes blog. The post features a recipe for apple, sausage and brie layer with rosemary, cinnamon, sage and garlic, originally created by Kwiatkowski at Halloween 2011 in Washington, D.C. His post infuses the recipe with tidbits about his experience in D.C. and offers a culinary taunt of the season ahead. (Early though it may be, I’m focused on a magazine that publishes in September, so there’s a part of my mind already on the harvest season.) Plus, I do love cheese.