Taking Root #22

Munch Night Kickoff 2015 with “Watermark”

By Gini Bramlett

For the Calapooia Food Alliance

A new year brings new opportunities, new attitudes and new activities. The Calapooia Food Alliance is starting out 2015 offering all three. On Friday, Jan. 23 the CFA will host its first “Munch Night” of the New Year with a feature documentary from multiple award winning filmmakers Jennifer Baichwal and Nic De Pencier, and renowned Photographer Edward Burtynsky. “Watermark” brings together diverse stories from around the globe about our relationship with water: how we are drawn to it, what we learn from it, how we use it and the consequences of that use. Full of soaring aerial perspectives, this film shows water as a terraforming element, as well as the magnitude of our need and use.

Come join our 2015 kick-off Munch Night at the former Corner Café on Main Street in Brownsville for this thought-provoking film along with a delicious meal home cooked by members of the CFA, great company and a stimulating discussion. Everyone is invited to share the evening with us.

Don’t forget to bring your own place settings, flatware, and cups/glasses to help us keep paper out of our landfills. A donation of $10 per person is suggested for a fun and educational evening.

For more information, call 541-654-2052.

Whole Grains: what are they?

There’s a lot of talk about the importance of eating whole grains. Even if you are determined to add more to your diet, how do you know you are actually getting whole grains?

Let start with what “whole grains” really means. A 100% whole grain contains three things: the bran; which is the outer coating or shell, the middle is the carbohydrate aspect, which is the endosperm; and the germ; the very inner reproductive part. All three of these layers must be present for it to be considered “whole grain.”

On the flip side, refined grains are ones where the outer bran and the inner germ are removed during milling, leaving only the refined, processed, carbohydrates.

The most important reason to eat whole grains in your diet is they are loaded with fiber, iron, antioxidants, vitamins, proteins carbohydrates and minerals, most of which are missing when you remove both the germ and the bran in the milling process. Sure, removing these two important parts of the grain increases shelf life, but is the nutrient loss really worth it? Just store whole grains in the refrigerator. Problem solved.

Whole grains also contain fiber which aids in digestion and slows absorption. Fast absorption from eating too many processed foods raise sugar levels and contribute to diabetes.

Next thing is to learn to recognize what you’re buying, and how labels can be misleading. Here’s a quick tip: Unless you see the word “whole,” it’s not. Sometimes you see labels that boast: 100% wheat. This is a marketing trick leading consumers to believe they are getting something they are not. This does not mean 100% whole wheat. It just means that the product contains wheat. White processed, bleached flour is wheat. See what I mean?

It is recommended that a quarter of your dinner place be grains, and half of that be whole grains.

Get healthier this year by incorporating more whole grains into your diet. You’ll feel better! Quinoa, buckwheat, millet, wild rice and many others are available at most grocers in the bulk food’s section. Often they even have free recipes for the taking. Try a new one next time you shop. 

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