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College Freshman – The Highest “At Risk” Class for Food Insecurity

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Touch the Soil News #247 As is mostly the case, the more widespread a problem is acknowledged, the more actively humanity immerses itself in some corrective action. The latest news is that college freshmen are in the highest class of Americans to face food insecurity. Researchers from Arizona State University and the University of Minnesota administered surveys to college freshmen living in dormitories at a large, diverse public university. The study revealed that 34 percent of freshman experienced food insecurity over a 30-day period. That increased to 35 percent over a 90-day period. These rates are over twice the national average of food insecurity. The study showed that food-insecure students…

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Will City Parks Give Way to Food Forests?

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Touch the Soil News #239 Folks in Lincoln, Nebraska have been working on a new kind of community space – one of the first of its kind in the U.S. It is loosely called a Food Forest. A food forest is a place where food and the cultivation of food is carefully chose to sustain people. Called the Southern Heights Food Forest, the project is a 2-acre space that includes a research-based outdoor classroom, a community garden, an urban agriculture plot and a place for all ages of people to come together. Instead of a city park with grass and trees, it is a space that educates about food, creates…

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Ancient Grains – People Want Something Different

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Touch the Soil News #191 The research company “Packaged Facts” has recently reported on the stellar rise of ancient grains in U.S. diets. Unlike modern hybrid “gluten” wheat grains – that have removed diversity from human diets – ancient grains are providing a nutritious alternative. The most recent data is for the 52 weeks ending 7/13/14. Following is a short recap of their treks to greater use: Sales of Kamut, also known as Khorasan Wheat, are skyrocketing Kamut – sales up 686 percent. Kamut is the trademark name for Khorasan Wheat. This ancient grain is a wheat species whose kernel is twice the size of modern-day wheat. According to legend,…

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The Fastest Growing (Small) Food Companies (Part 2 of 2)

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Touch the Soil News #190 Thanks to research from Inc. 5000, we have some insights into the 10 fastest growing food companies and the trends they are setting. These examples, open our minds to lots of opportunities in food and smaller-scale farming. Following are the last 5. Logo courtesy of Deliver Lean Deliver Lean. This company was inspired by the idea that workers are more productive after a fresh, healthy lunch. This Florida meal delivery service grew its revenues 3,000 percent since 2011. http://www.deliverlean.com/googlesummer2014/ Logo courtesy of Kill Cliff Kill Cliff. This company’s vision is to provide functional recovery drinks. The drinks are fortified with B, C, and E vitamins,…

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The Cartoon Adventures of Peter Puffin and Freddie Frog

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Touch the Soil News #167 Let us introduce you to Peter Puffin and Freddie Frog. They will be with us once a week as they explore the food-chain world. Peter and Freddie will share their non-human perspectives. Want More? – Sign up below Special Deals Ahead…Sign up!

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When it Comes to Food – The Three Big Ominous Shadows Humanity Faces (Part 1 of 3)

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Touch the Soil News # 161 An old wisdom says big future events cast big shadows in the present. This is not trying to predict the future, but simply looking at the shadows showing up on the paths humanity has elected to travel upon. If we don’t like the shadows, humanity can choose a different path if it so chooses. One of the difficulties that arise when detecting big shadows is what to do about them. Since our readership is made up of folks with diverse backgrounds, experience and knowledge, we’ll just leave answering that question to our readers. As we present the three dilemmas, we could not assess which…

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Impossible Foods – Getting the Google Eye

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Touch the Soil News # 148 To get a more complete picture of what is going on here, a few words about Impossible Foods. Impossible Foods was created by Patrick O. Brown, MD, PhD and a Stanford University Biologist. The business is three years old and is located in Redwood City, California. To date, Brown has assembled an impressive staff of researchers and developers to include over 50 scientists, farmers and engineers. Their goal – make the best meats and cheeses you’ll ever eat – from plants. The team looked at specific proteins and nutrients from greens, seeds, and grains to recreate a very realistic experience of meats and dairy…

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What Are Food Hubs? Can They Help You Become A Successful Local Farmer? (Part 1 of 2)

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Touch the Soil News # 140 A few years back while visiting La Montanita Food Cooperative in Albuquerque, New Mexico, we learned about local food hubs. The Co-op had asked its 8,000 members about where the Co-op should source its food. The message came back loud and clear – source food locally and regionally. The Co-op was interested in not only fresh and local, but protecting and developing the areas food shed. A food shed strives to enhance the production, processing, delivery and consumption of food within a regional geographic area. A food shed normally incorporates enough area (and customers) to support diverse food production and processing. To fulfill their…

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The Nation’s Top 100 Restaurants – Can You Find Your Favorites? (Part 2 of 2)

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Touch the Soil News # 138 Here are restaurants #50 to #1. Surprising is the Starbuck’s Coffee is the nation’s #2 restaurant. Restaurants #50 to #26 #50) Steak ‘n Shake                        $952,000,000 #49 Bob Evans                                 $959,900,000 #48 Bojangle’s                                  $1,000,000,000 (one $billion) #47 Culver’s                                       $1,000,000,000 #46 Waffle House                             $1,100,000,000 #45 Ruby Tuesday                            $1,200,000,000 #44 Five Guys Burgers n’ Fries      $1,200,000,000 #43 Wawa                                          $1,200,000,000 #42 Zaxby’s                                       $1,300,000,000 $41 Red Robin                                  $1,400,000,000 #40 Carl’s Jr.                                    $1,500,000,000 #39 LongHorn Steakhouse            $1,500,000,000 #38 Golden Corral Buffet               $1,700,000,000 #37 Jimmy Johns’s                          $1,800,000,000 #36 TGI Fridays                               $1,800,000,000 35 The Cheesecake Factory            $1,800,000,000 #34 Whataburger                             $1,800,000,000 #33 Texas Roadhouse                     $1,900,000,000 #32 Hardee’s                                      $2,100,000,000 #31 7-Eleven stores                           $2,100,000,000 #30 Cracker Barrel Country Store $2,100,000,000 #29 Panda…

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The Nation’s Top 100 Restaurants – Can You Find Your Favorites? (Part 1 of 2)

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Touch the Soil News # 137 The Nation’s Restaurant News just finished up with its top 100 restaurants listing for 2015. Did you know we Americans spend as much eating out today as we do eating at home? Other statistics from the NPD Group reveal that the average cost of going out for a sit-down meal is only $7.00 per person? This average includes sit-down meals at fast-food restaurants, which are the most frequented. According to the U.S. Census, the USDA and research from the NPD Group, the average in-home meal costs about $2.50. This means that- on average –one out of every four meals eaten in America is in…

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