indieats

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Archive for January 2007

One Step Forward, Two Steps Back

Originally published on indyrats.com.

Pumping iron. Lifting weights. Jogging around NIFS in-door track, our governor, Mitch Daniels, puts body (literally) and soul into promoting INShape. Commercials are running on local television stations.

The state of Indiana is stepping up its efforts to encourage Hoosiers to adopt a healthier lifestyle. Governor Mitch Daniels; Pam Smith of Martinsville, who represented Indiana on the latest season of NBC’s The Biggest Loser; and George McGinnis, a former Indiana Pacer and chairman of the Governor’s Council for Physical Fitness and Sports are helping the Indiana State Department of Health champion the 10 in 10 Challenge.
INShape Indiana, the Governor’s health initiative created 18 months ago to help Hoosiers live a healthier lifestyle, will launch the first 10-week/10-pound statewide weight loss challenge on January 15. A 30-second television spot, featuring Smith, McGinnis and the Governor, begins airing statewide today.

Our governor is not afraid to put himself out there for an innovative idea, especially an innovative idea that will save money. He doesn’t care that he’s stature challenged, sports a comb over or is donning fitness attire that was cutting edge in the 1970’s. Indiana is high up on the list of states with unhealthy lifestyles, straining our healthcare resources and creating unnecessary medical expenses. It makes us look stupid and tacky.

An innovative program and website, INShape and The Challenge are a step forward for Indiana. Log-on to the website, www.inshape.in.gov, to take the 10-week/10 pound weight loss challenge. It’s a common-sense approach. Cut your consumption of food, ramp up physical activity and you’ll feel better.

INShape’s website will make you feel proud you live in Indiana. It has practical tools that you can download and print—healthy products shopping lists, food diaries to monitor your daily intake, recipes and menus. And HOT DANG they’ve got Diversity. There’s information geared to Afro-Americans, Hispanics, people over 50, families and teens. The look, the design, the practicality of the site is impressive. One big step forward.

Now…..two steps back.

About the same time the Daniels administration was forming INShape, they created the Indiana Department of Agriculture (ISDA). Wouldn’t you think that a government so intent on improving the health of its citizenry would be supporting agricultural policies that promote healthy eating? The logic is simple. Americans are overweight because of over-nutrition. We produce too much, so we eat too much.

INShape wants us to take The Challenge and reduce our caloric intake by 250 calories a day. Our agriculture policy should match our health policy by promoting higher quality, fresher food. Wouldn’t you expect ISDA to promote local markets, sustainable agriculture, maybe even a poultry coop where small farmers could raise yummy chicken and have them processed?

Nope.Its two steps back for Indiana. What’s their initiative? Pigs. They want to double pork production in Indiana. Wasn’t it all that cheap bacon that got us fat, flabby Hoosiers in trouble in the first place?

Don’t get me wrong, I agree with James Beard that pig is the perfect food. I make my own lard and use it proudly, refusing to believe the common myth that one tablespoon is worse for your health than cocaine. You have not lived until you’ve eaten Chez Jean’s. Nibbling on a Peppy’s Grill tenderloin makes me feel richly nourished, but come on, doubling pig production?

We can’t comprehend the environmental costs or the disaster to the quality of rural life. Rolling Stone has done it for us in a recent article “Boss Hog.”
Log on to
http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/story/12840743/porks_dirty_secret_t…
and read about Smithfield Foods. Then be scared. And if you live in one of the small towns that Becky Skillman and Andy Miller are trying convince that hog production is a good thing, be very scared.

How’s our governor going to change our way of thinking and our eating habits, when his minions are out there hawking cheap, hot slop? You have to wonder.

Advance Indiana’s Gary Welch analyzed Daniels State of the State address. As he often does, he points to the obvious:
Governor Daniels “Indiana Dream” will never be achieved unless he makes a greater effort to improve our state’s image as one which respects and encourages cultural diversity. The creative class he dreams of attracting to our state are turned away by our distinctly anti-employee atmosphere. For too long state policies have been business-focused under Republican and Democrat administrations alike. His own administration’s bias was self-evident when his Department of Labor’s website was revamped to remove helpful aids to employees who’ve been beaten out of their wages by unscrupulous employers and other such matters. Although he spoke in recent days of supporting an increase in our state’s minimum wage law, he said nothing about it in his speech tonight. In fact, I can’t recall a single, direct initiative he’s undertaken since becoming governor to make Indiana a more favorable environment for employees to live and work. Our state’s civil rights law is among the weakest in the country. Why would a talented employee risk starting a career in a state which rewards bad behavior by employers?
Advance Indiana, January 16, 2007

Indiana Dreamin. I wonder the same. How are we going to attract the creative class who are turned off by obesity, ill-health, commodity food, cruelty to animals, and rape and pillage of the environment? How are we going to attract the creative class who are smart enough to know that our state’s agricultural policy is retro at best and predatory at worst?

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Written by Susan Gillie

January 24, 2007 at 11:52 pm

Moody Meats at City Market Open for Business

Originally published on indyrats.com, June 23, 2007.

June is a sunny month. This June, our June, has been especially sunny. After dark clouds and gloom, the sun shines in the new windows of the renovated central wing of City Market. 

Moody Meats at City Market opened for business, Wednesday, June 13. 

Moody Meats stands at the entrance of the hall, just inside the doors leading from the weekly Farmer’s Market. Clean, streamlined with pleasant, helpful staff, Moody carries organic, locally raised meats, poultry and eggs, Trader’s Point Creamery products and 25 varieties of fish. 

“We know our customers by name, we know their preferences” says store manager Ben Nilsen, “our meat tastes better, is healthier and we provide better service and custom cuts.” 

Moody Meats is owned by Adam and Lucy Moody. Much of the meat, poultry and eggs are raised on their farm in Montgomery County. Located in Ladoga, theirs is the only certified organic meat slaughterhouse in the state.

They operate a successful store in Avon and considered opening a second in Zionsville or Carmel, but city officials encouraged them to locate at City Market. 

Although City Market’s grand opening is not scheduled until August, Moody Meats is enjoying brisk business. Customers come in during lunch hour and order meats, and then pick them up on their way home from work. Wednesday market goers discover the new store and become regular customers.

I was struck by how young Ben and staff are. Diplomatically, I asked Ben if he’d had “special training or education.” A smile came to his face. He and the other butchers apprenticed on-the-job under tutelage of a skilled butcher with more than 30 years of expertise. “Older guys, who were butchers, like to ask us questions to see if they can trip us up, but we know what we’re doing,” laughed Ben. 

Moody Meats is a dream come true. I wished I could pick up the type of food I like downtown instead of having to schlep to Zionsville or Bloomington. Now I can. 

Gloomy clouds still hover over City Market. Some food bloggers dismiss it as a dumb idea, but Moody Meats makes life better for urban shoppers. 

FACTS ABOUT MOODY MEATS AT CITY MARKET 

Motto: A Very Rare Business…That is Very Well Done 

Location:   City Market, Indianapolis, Indiana 

Telephone Number: 317-687-1901 

Website: http://www.moodymeats.com

Business Hours:

Monday through Friday: 10:00 am – 6:00 pm

Saturday: 9:00 am – 4:00 pm 

Products Available at Moody Meats at City Market 

Beef: Mostly raised on the Moody farm, some local

Pork: Local farmers, mostly Montgomery County, some from Putnam County

Lamb: Local farmers, mostly Montgomery County, some from Putnam County

Chicken: Free –Range, raised on the Moody Farm

Eggs: From the Moody farm

Fish: Purchased from Dixon Fisheries, 25 varieties

Traders Point Creamery: Yogurt, Fromage Blanc and other dairy products. 

Coming Soon: Goat meat 

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Susan Gillie is a professional cook and free-lance food writer. Feel free to leave comments on this blog, or you can reach her at sgillie@sbcglobal.net.

Written by Susan Gillie

January 23, 2007 at 2:21 am

Scott Hutcheson’s Resolution Muffins

Originally published on indyrats.com

Scott Hutcheson (The Hungry Hoosier), like the rest of us, made food-related New Year’s resolutions. Continuing his 2007 resolution to eat more slow food and less fast food, he’s come up with a great recipe for an egg muffin. 

I’m not a breakfast eater. As I’ve said, oats are for livestock (am I the only one creeped by the fact that Purina makes breakfast and pet food?). When I read Scott’s recipe, I tried it right away. And, oh, those muffins are so good and so easy. They’re clouds of billowy eggs. 

You can find Scott’s recipe on his website The Hungry Hoosier (http://scotthutcheson.typepad.com/the_hungry_hoosier/). 

Try making these muffins. With Scott’s recipe, you can vary ingredients to whatever’s in your frig. You don’t need three kinds of herbs, chipotle or whatever exotic ingredient is popular. Portions are controlled, and if you have children, you can make these in smaller muffin cups. 

Just make sure you have good eggs.  

Since my New Year’s resolution is to cut down on meat consumption, I made a variation of Resolution Muffins.  

Asparagus Muffins

  • Olive oil
  • 12 Asparagus tips
  • Parmesan cheese
  • 7 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon half-and-half
  • salt
  • pepper
  • grated nutmeg

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. Lightly coat a six-serving muffin pan with cooking spray and place the pan on a baking sheet. Mix the eggs, salt, pepper and half-and-half in a bowl. 

Saute asparagus tips in olive oil. Place two tips in each of the muffin cups. Grate about 1 tablespoon of Parmesan cheese into each muffin cup. Pour egg mixture over the asparagus and cheese. Stir with a spoon to mix ingredients. Top with grated nutmeg. 

Place in the oven and bake for 25-30 minutes. Remove from oven and cool on a wired rack.  Muffins can be stored in the refrigerator for a few days or put each one in a freezer bag and freeze. If frozen, thaw and microwave for 30 seconds. 

Scott’s writing, radio and television programs contribute to the dynamic Indy food scene. He’s starting a Hungry Hoosier column for Indianapolis Monthly featuring local farmers and producers. He and Christine Barbour, another great Indiana food writer, wrote a book which will be published this Spring. 

If you haven’t read Scott’s writings or heard him on radio or seen him on TV, make it a resolution to do so.

Written by Susan Gillie

January 7, 2007 at 5:27 am

Posted in Uncategorized