Wednesday, September 8, 2010

SACG to Eat Healthier After FPC Workshop

On this wonderfully beautiful and temperate evening, a small group of gardeners gathered at the SACG to learn about the nutritional value of fresh produce from Jenna, an intern from the Franklin Park Conservatory. Jenna reviewed the new food pyramid by each type of food group and gave us each a color chart to show the proportion of each food group which we should try to incorporate into our daily diet. She also gave us a color chart showing how food portion sizes compare to regular household items, like batteries, baseballs, playing cards, computer mice.

Jenna also gave us a chart of what vitamins and minerals are in types of garden produce and how those vitamins and minerals help our bodies function. For instance, Vitamin A helps our eyes and protects against infection and can be found in melons, carrots, tomatoes, etc. Potassium is necessary for heart health and to lower blood pressurre, and can be found in sqaush, leafy vegetables, yams, etc.

Then, Jenna -- as always -- put a lot of preparation time into preparing for our workshop and had assembled samples of food for us to try. Everyone complimented the roasted and grilled vegetables she had brought to the last two workshops. This week, she brough fresh, frozen and canned samples of various food (like corn, beans, etc.) for us to compare. She also brought some homemade hummus (made from chickpeas) and gave us each a typed recipe. She also brought some vegetables grown at FPC's community garden (like peppers, turnips, radishes, cucumbers, carrots, etc.) which we could dip in the hummus.

Finally, we discussed the relative benefits of buying organic foods and locally grown foods.

Next week, our last FPC workshop will cover how to preserve food beyond the growing season (and tricks for bringing some of our food plants inside) as well as tips for cleaning up the garden. Yes, we will be talking about cleaning and gleaning. It starts at 6:30 p.m. at the SACG on Wednesday.

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