Archive for Fresh

Vending Machines Go Farm Fresh

Posted in News links with tags , , , , , , on October 1, 2014 by bistrokids

In 2013, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo set aside $2 million for a marketing campaign known as Taste NY, as well as a $60 million tourism initiative called “I Love NY.” As part of the initiative, visitors can now partake in programs such as local wine trails, where they can sample New York made wines. But perhaps more surprisingly, they’ve gussied up those much-maligned roadside features: rest stops. In addition to stores featuring local products and farmers markets, the state is now tackling vending machines, long-recognized sources of less-than-local fare.

Vending machines, invented near the beginning of the first century, have a surprisingly long past. According to Kerry Seagrave’s “Vending Machines: A Social History of the Devices,” the first one was coin-operated and designed to sell holy water. In 1888, food vending machines got their start with the advent of gum dispensers selling tutti-fruitti gum at train stations in New York City. By 1950, vendors had the ability to sell refrigerated sandwiches. Yet outside of the brief automat craze, few bothered to sell perishable goods. Until recently, the machines were mostly used to sell the 4Cs: coffee, cigarettes, cola and candy.



Schools Restore Fresh Cooking to Schools

Posted in News links, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , on August 22, 2011 by bistrokids

GREELEY, Colo. — The idea of making school lunches better and healthier has gathered steam in many parts of the nation in recent years, but not equally for every child. Schools with money and involved parents concerned about obesity and nutrition charged ahead, while poor and struggling districts, overwhelmed by hard times, mostly did not.

This midsize city in northern Colorado, where 60 percent of the 19,500 students qualify for free or reduced-price meals, is trying to break the mold. When classes start on Thursday, the district will make a great leap forward — and at the same time back to the way it was done a generation ago — in cooking meals from scratch.

Factory food took over most American schools in a rolling, greasy wave of chicken nuggets and pre-prepped everything over the last few decades. Now, real ingredients and spices like cumin and garlic — and in a modern twist, fiber-laden carrots snuck in where children do not expect them, like pasta sauce — are making their return to the cafeteria tray.

Getting ready for that counterrevolution here in Greeley involved a weeklong boot camp to relearn forgotten arts like kitchen math — projecting ingredients to scale when making, say, 300 pans of lasagna, which cooks were doing this week — and to brush up on safe cooking temperatures for meat.