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Archive for the ‘the 2nd hunger’ Category

Coming to Indy

Downtown and eastside residents, mark your calendars. A press release from Indy Food Coop.

Indy Food Co-op Targets 150
Founding Members for Kick-off of Non-Profit Grocer

After a year of behind the scenes efforts by advocates for a non-profit grocer to serve Indianapolis’s downtown and near eastside residents, the all-volunteer board of the Indy Food Co-op are ready to unveil plans. On Saturday, November 8, those interested in bringing a natural food grocery cooperative to the city’s downtown area are invited to join members of the board and others for a founding membership kick-off meeting.  The event will be held from 6:00 – 8:00 p.m. at the Earth House Coffeehouse, located within the Lockerbie United Methodist Church at 237 North East Street.

“More than ever, residents downtown, on the near eastside and around town are seeking opportunities to buy healthy, local, natural, affordable food,” said Kyle Hendrix, president of the Indy Co-op Board. “The food cooperative intends to fill this current void and meet the grocery needs for thousands of families in Central Indiana.”

Over the past months, the Indy Food Co-op has incorporated, formed a board of directors, raised funds, hired a consultant, and determined a likely location just east of downtown Indianapolis.  The kick-off meeting offers the first opportunity for those who support the member-owner food cooperative concept to get involved and invest in the important community project, Members of the cooperative will enjoy product discounts and other special offers, however, the grocery will be open to the general public to meet a wide variety of customer food, grocery, personal care and other product needs.  

“We know that many supporters have been standing by waiting for the day to help make a dream of a food co-op a reality and to become a founding member,” Hendrix continued. “The kick-off event is just that chance.”

According to the Indiana Cooperative Development Center (ICDC), there are approximately 300 such food co-ops across the country — seven of which are in Indiana. Each food co-op is a little different based upon the individual needs of the community and the co-op members. Most food co-ops are voluntary, consumer-owned organizations, owned and controlled by members to provide affordable, healthy food to members and non-members. The ICDC provides technical support and resources to Indiana groups interested in starting up cooperatives and is assisting the Indy Food Co-op in its planning.

“We invite the community to join us for this fun and informative event to learn more about Indy Food Co-op as a resource for our families, our neighborhoods, and our community at large; and, if they are inspired as we have been, attendees can also help us reach our goal of 150 founding members to leverage support from local funding entities across Indianapolis as well as create of base of shoppers to support our local co-op,” Hendrix concluded.

Attendees also will have the opportunity to provide input on co-op product offerings, as well as give feedback on proposed market names. The event will include music by local singer-songwriter Sarah Grain, and snacks will be provided by local restaurants and organizations. Admission is free, open to the public and children are welcome.

For inquiries, e-mail; or contact Kyle Hendrix at 317.631.2220.


(Thanks to my friends at Indiana Living Green for passing on this information.)


Written by Susan Gillie

October 17, 2008 at 1:45 pm

Posted in the 2nd hunger


Hoosiers may be vegetable challenged, but you can find collard greens anywhere. Bud’s on Prospect has Glory half-gallon cans prominently displayed at the front of the store. Most are processed imitations. Factory-infused hammocks and corn syrup give the humble green a globby, sweet texture.

My sister Janet’s friend and co-worker, Adrienne Bishop, gave her a recipe that’s the real deal. Hardy, husky, humble collards. They’re made “from scratch.” Not much more work than canned greens.

My sister says Adrienne is more of a shoe-a-holic than she is. That’s hard to believe because Janet has a pair of shoes to wear when she gets her newspaper, a pair to get her mail, and another pair to get her Sunday paper.

Adrienne hails from Louisville and, along with her three children, moved around when her husband was in the Air Force. Along the way she became a rabid Pittsburgh Steeler’s fan.

Now, her daughter graduated from college, a son at UNCC and her youngest son in high school, she and her husband live outside Charlotte in Matthews, N.C.

You can take the lady out of Louisville, but you can’t take Louisville out of the lady.

For my money, the best cooks (next to New Orleans) are from Louisville. Each year, Adrienne returns home for the Derby. You’ll find her at Churchill Downs on Friday, not Sunday.

Try Adrienne’s collard greens. They so delicious and so full of vitamins and nutrients, they make your eyebrows shine.

Written by Susan Gillie

March 3, 2008 at 3:34 pm

Posted in the 2nd hunger

5-minute artisanal bread

Indy is bread wasteland.

All over the country people are making and selling great bread, but in Indianapolis it’s mediocre and pricey. I know, I know, somewhere in the 12th (or is it the 13th?) largest city someone’s making decent bread. There’s bound to be a baker, tucked away, making bread comparable to the finest in Chicago or New York. He or she is in Zionsville, or Danville, far off and inconvenient.

You can drive all around half the state in search of free-range chicken, but bread needs to be close at hand.

Listening to Splendid Table, I was intrigued by 5-minute artisanal bread. Zoe Francois and Jeff Hertzberg, devotees of the no-knead school of breadbaking, developed a recipe for artisanal bread that requires only four ingredients (yeast, salt, water and flour) takes no time and no kneading.

I’d meant to make Mark Bittman’s no-knead bread. Every food blogger in the universe made it and raved about it. This recipe seemed a better deal, bread on demand.

I mixed it, refrigerated it overnight, pulled it out the next morning and baked it. Hot, homey, boozy, yeasty, crunchy bread. Not artisanal bread, but bread nonetheless.  

The principle behind no-knead bread is wet dough. High water content lets you skip the kneading. It also makes messy, wet, gooey dough that’s hard to handle and shape.

The authors say it gets better with age, but my bread tasted the same. Even though my bread didn’t live up to the oohs, aahs and coos bestowed by Lynne Rossetto Kasper, I’ll make it again.

Children should make this recipe. They delight over rising dough. They relish messy textures. They can make loaves to their taste and size. They can decorate bread with seeds, nuts and dried fruits. They can make pizza.

Children who make this bread fall under the spell of real bread and learn there is more in life than microwaved Poptarts.

Recipe notes: The recipes says use a pizza peel, but you don’t need it. Place wax or parchment paper on a cutting board and use a spatula to move the bread onto the pizza stone. You can also substitute a cast-iron skillet for the broiler pan, much more convenient. You have to have the pizza stone, but you should own one anyway, they’re inexpensive ($10-$15) and you can find one anywhere.

Written by Susan Gillie

February 25, 2008 at 2:28 pm

Posted in the 2nd hunger

Weight Watchers Made Me Fat

Originally published on


Overindulgence takes its toll and it’s the time of year when we vow to lose weight, once and for all. Newspapers, television, magazines are at it, reporting the latest weight loss advice, parading svelte “half their size” dieters to show us we can do it. INShape Indiana’s ads target flabby Hoosiers, and today’s Indianapolis Star reports 16 companies are joining the good fight.

In the midst of all this enthusiasm, Weight Watchers is the gold standard of weight loss. Many of those “half-people” profiled in People magazine lost 100+ pounds by joining Weight Watchers. In an industry based on vanity, riddled with gimmickry and quackery, Weight Watchers towers above others. Their program follows government guidelines, adapts to latest scientific findings about weight loss, nutrition and healthy lifestyles. Clarian, in its “Call for Change” offers on-site meetings to its employees.

Not everyone embraces the program. Weight Watchers success rate is no different from other weight loss programs. Since 1981, obesity skyrocketed in the U.S., especially among women.

I’m not impressed because Weight Watchers made me fat. I joined the program, ate amazing amounts of food, lost over 30 pounds, gained it all back, plus a few more, joined, rejoined and ended up weighing a whopping 236 pounds. The good news is I finally came to my senses, did my homework, went back to eating the way I did before Weight Watchers, and am a normal weight.

I started Weight Watchers in the late eighties. After years of wearing a size 10, I’d gone to a 12. Health was the last thing on my mind. I wanted to look good in clothes.

First meeting, horrors of horrors, I weighed 167 pounds. Goal weight was 158-132. I dedicated myself to the program, measuring and recording every morsel of food. I bought prepackaged popcorn, rice cakes, sugarless jams, low-fat everything, and, of course, all the Weight Watchers frozen dinners.

Diligence paid off. I was a size 8 bitch and looked smashing.

Trouble was I’d traded real food for processed and was hungry all the time. I tried sneaking around. I’d be good all week, weigh in, sit through a meeting, then head for the nearest restaurant for a platter of nachos. Soon the dam broke; I was sneaking away from work in the afternoon to buy one-pound bags of candy.

I went from 138 pounds to 175 (8 pounds more than when I started Weight Watchers). I rejoined, lost 25 gained 32. The spiral continued. I went from 175 to 182 to 190. Then I went over the edge, 200 lbs, and never went back to Weight Watchers. I stayed in the 210-220 range for a number of years, jumping to a whopping 236 pounds.

January 2004, I woke up one morning and realized, “I can’t live like this.”

Obesity didn’t create health problems. My cholesterol, glucose and blood pressure were normal. But my legs hurt, my body was sluggish and I just didn’t feel right. There was one other problem. I gained weight because I was eating more, and as I ate more, I was never full, always hungry. I felt like a starving madwomen, always on the lookout for food, food, more food.

I had no idea what to do. I knew not to go to Weight Watchers, or to any other weight loss program. I also knew not to listen to any weight loss guru’s advice. If what they were saying was true, then why was I (along with the rest of the country) fatter?

I remembered Julia Child. In the 1980’s, when so many of us embraced the low-fat lifestyle, Julia knew better. Diet food is what you ate while waiting for the steaks to cook. Cholesterol became the enemy and egg hysteria swept over us. Julia suffered ridicule but stayed the course and spoke the truth. She pointed out the obvious. Foods high in nutrition are high in cholesterol. She advocated a lifestyle of moderation and portion control. In her memoir, My Life in France, she calls it the belly-control system. Pull your stomach away from the table. 2004, I followed Julia’s advice.

I cut down the amount I ate, nothing drastic, just 300-500 calories a day. Within a few months I lost 12 pounds.

Here’s the kicker. I stayed at that weight for a few months, cut down the amount again. I’d lose another twelve pounds, level off, and reduce the amount of food. I didn’t exercise until I was less than 200 pounds. I did’t shell out a lot of bucks for a gym.

I just walked.

By the end of 2004, I weighed less than 200 pounds. By the end of 2005, I was in the 180’s. In 2006, my weight dropped to the 170’s. Last fall, I broke the barrier, I weighed 168.

Just one pound heavier than when I joined Weight Watchers and thrilled to be so thin.

As I lost weight, my eating habits changed. To keep from being hungry and over eating, calories needed to count, so food had to taste better. I dumped convenience foods for simple scratch cooking. I banned low-fat foods from my life. They taste artificial and make me hungry. I put real cream, not skim milk in my coffee, cutting down to one cup a day.

I quit listening to common wisdom about “healthy” foods. Oats are for cattle, not humans, and soymilk is a crime against humanity (and as we are finding out, not all that good for us). I read, Food Politics by Marian Nestle. It explained in clear language why I and so many people have a weight problem. Food is a growth industry and we have grown along with it.

The problem isn’t just a matter of personal choice, or ability to control one’s behavior. It’s a political, economic issue in which our country needs to make a major shift in thinking and behavior. Last year I read Mindless Eating Why We Eat More Than We Think by Brian Wansink, research that compliments what Nestle is saying.

As we enter 2008, I thought about making a weight loss goal and decided against it. I’m a size 12, look great in clothes, with great health and stamina. All my numbers are in order, so why bother? Instead, I’m concentrating on things that will make a difference. Restrict consumption of animal protein to 18 ounces a week. Add more calcium to my diet. Spend my food dollars wisely and support local farmers, markets and restaurants that commit to food as quality of life not just quantity of profit.

November, 2005 I started my job as a cook. One of my customers lost over 100 lbs. One day while I was on a break, I sat down with her and exchanged weight loss stories. She’d lost weight through Weight Watchers and espoused the low-fat, eat all the vegetables you want mantra. I knew it wouldn’t last, but she was so proud of her accomplishment. I didn’t tell her Weight Watchers made me fat.

Sure enough, hunger hit her with a vengeance last year and she’s packed it back on. When I see her now, she avoids me. She smiles and waves, but looks down so our eyes won’t meet. She doesn’t want to show her shame; she doesn’t want to show envy. I want to take her by her shoulders and tell her, “It’s not your fault.” You were told lies. There’s a way to do this.

I can’t invade her privacy; I can’t get through to her. I can share what I know, however, with you readers. If you want to know more about managing weight, or just want support and encouragement, feel free to contact me.

Email me at susan@

Written by Susan Gillie

January 5, 2008 at 4:42 am