FOOD TRENDS America’s Pizza Preferences Pizza is undoubtedly one of America’s most favorite meals. As such, Culinary Visions Panel, a Chicago-based trends-research firm, recently surveyed 500 consumers to determine top pizza topping picks, defined by “most likely to order at a restaurant.” The disparate array of options given to each participant were: • Meat Lovers Pizza: Italian sausage, pepperoni, ham and asiago • 4-Cheese Pizza: gorgonzola, goat cheese, mozzarella and Parmesan • Garden Pizza: whole-wheat crust, spinach, roma tomatoes and red peppers • Dessert Pizza: chocolate hazelnut spread and fresh berries • Breakfast Pizza: scrambled eggs, Cheddar and sausage • Salad Pizza: romaine lettuce, Parmesan and creamy Caesar dressing An estimated 76% of consumers prefer Meat Lovers Pizza, while 71% like to chow down on 4-Cheese Pizza. An analysis of the survey results demonstrated that gender may dictate pizza topping preferences, as does geographic location and age. Gender-wise, men tend to crave meat toppings, while more women lean toward pizza loaded with a variety of cheeses. Women are also more likely to choose the Garden or Dessert pizzas, while men are more likely to go for the other options. When it comes to veggie toppings, preferences vary by region. Midwesterners would rather have onions, mushrooms and green peppers, whereas Southerners and Northeast natives choose onions, mushrooms and tomatoes. Those in the West go for the conventional onions and mushrooms, but choose to pair these with olives, instead of green peppers or tomatoes. Age also plays a role in vegetable preferences. Those in the 18- to 34-year-old range mostly like green peppers, onions and mushrooms on their pizza. However, those in the 35- to 54-year-old demographic eat their pizza with mushrooms, olives and onions. Simple mushrooms, onions and tomatoes are the veggie toppings of choice for those 55 and older. Consumers across all age groups think of mozzarella and Parmesan as their favorite pizza cheeses, with Cheddar ranking third in most regions, except for the Northeast, which opts for Asiago instead. Mozzarella, pepperoni and mushrooms transcended gender, age and geographic differences, identified as the overall top three favorite toppings. Pepperoni, Italian sausage and bacon were picked as the three top meat additions. Any way you slice it (or top it), Americans love their pizza! HEALTH & SAFETY Stay Safe in Snowy Weather If you live in the blissfully warm climates of Arizona, Florida, Hawaii and other southern states, you can go ahead and skip this story. For the rest of us, though, who are bundled up, shivering and counting down the days until spring starts (March 20, just so you know), it’s important to keep winter safety at the forefront of our minds. Layer Up. When spending any significant time outdoors, wear proper layers to ensure warmth. Start with a moisture-wicking base layer made of merino wool, synthetic fabrics or silk. (Cotton T-shirts will make you feel wet and clammy.) Next, add an insulating layer, such as a classic fleece, and then top off the outfit with a coat or jacket that will protect you from the wind, rain and snow. Add accessories to cover your hands, feet, ears and nose, and you’re ready to head outside. Shovel Safely. Sure, you have to get that snow off the sidewalk to reduce slipping danger. But take care—the physical act of shoveling snow itself can lead to such risks as a thrown back or even a heart attack. If you have any concerns about your health, slip the teen down the street a $20 to take care of your driveway; otherwise, layer up, stretch properly first and then use your legs to lift—not your back. Take frequent breaks; if you feel chest pain or discomfort, call 911 immediately. Stay Hydrated. Wait, isn’t this a summertime tip? Actually, staying properly hydrated is a year-round concern. (As is wearing sunscreen—the winter rays are just as strong as the summer sun!) Aim for the Institute of Medicine-recommended amount of water, which is 91 ounces a day for women and 125 ounces a day for men. While you might think that evening toddy is warming you up, alcohol can actually speed up dehydration—so, as always, indulge only in moderation. For more winter weather safety tips, visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention at www.bt.cdc.gov/disasters/winter. Nutrı NET Ask a Chef www.gwu.edu/food-task-force/ask-chef If you have a burning culinary question, pose it to George Washington University Chef Robert Donis. As part of a project coordinated by the Urban Food Task Force, Donis answers selected questions on food, cooking and nutrition weekly. Review previous questions in the archive—your query might have already been answered! Team Nutrition Graphics Library www.fns.usda.gov/tn/graphics-library Spruce up your menus, newsletters, web pages and cafeteria signage with free graphics from USDA’s Team Nutrition. Ideal for school meal operations at the elementary level, options include MyPlate messages, Dig In! menu graphics, school breakfast icons and more. Persona www.persona-co.com Named by Time magazine as one of 2014’s 50 best websites, Persona scours your social media accounts for photos, posts and other content that you might prefer to delete to ensure a sterling reputation. It’s particularly ideal when job-searching. Calendar15 Jan15 JAN. 21-24 EcoFarm Conference 2015, Ecological Farming Association Pacific Grove, Calif.; www.eco-farm.org JAN. 23-24 Foodservice Directors Symposium & Chef Summit, National Association of College & University Food Services Miami, Fla.; www.nacufs.org JAN. 25-28 Dairy Forum 2015, International Dairy Foods Association Boca Raton, Fla.; www.idfa.org Feb15 FEB. 18-21 52nd Annual International Conference, Learning Disabilities Association of America Chicago; www.ldaamerica.org FEB. 19-21 2015 Executive Leadership Forum, Association of School Business Officials International San Diego; www.asbointl.org FEB. 21-25 AFFI-Con, American Frozen Foods Institute Anaheim, Calif.; www.affi.org FEB. 26-28 National Conference on Education, American Association for School Administrators San Diego; http://nce.aasa.org Mar15 MARCH 4-7 Green School National Conference, Green Schools National Network Virginia Beach, Va.; www.greenschoolsnationalnetwork.org MAR. 16-18 2015 Annual Conference: The Consumer Connection, Produce for Better Health Foundation Scottsdale, Ariz.; www.pbhfoundation.org MARCH 22-26 45th Food+Beverage Environmental Conference, Food Industry Environmental Council Point Clear, Ala.; environ-council.affi.org MARCH 27–30 2015 Annual Conference, International Association of Culinary Professionals Washington, D.C.; www.iacp.com Date BOOK January Financial Wellness Month National Get Organized Month National Personal Self-Defense Awareness Month National Soup Month National Volunteer Blood Donor Month Oatmeal Month Healthy Weight Week (Jan. 19-23) Meat Week (Jan. 25-Feb. 1) 72nd Golden Globes Awards (Jan. 11) Benjamin Franklin’s Birthday (Jan. 17) Kid Inventors Day (Jan. 17) Martin Luther King, Jr.’s Birthday (Jan. 19) National Pie Day (Jan. 23) National Handwriting Day (Jan. 23) Franklin D. Roosevelt’s Birthday (Jan. 30) February American Heart Month Library Lovers’ Month National Black History Month National Cherry Month Sweet Potato Month Children’s Authors & Illustrators Week (Feb. 1-7) Super Bowl (Feb. 1) Groundhog Day (Feb. 2) 57th Annual Grammy Awards (Feb. 8) Valentine’s Day (Feb. 14) Presidents Day (Feb. 16) Mardi Gras (Feb. 17) Pancake Day (Feb. 17) 87th Academy Awards (Oscar Sunday) (Feb. 22) National Chili Day (Feb. 26) March American Red Cross Month Irish-American Heritage Month National Nutrition Month National Women’s History Month National School Breakfast Week (Mar. 2-6) Dr. Seuss’ Birthday (Mar. 2) National Grammar Day (Mar. 4) Daylight Savings Time Begins (Mar. 8) Registered Dietitian Day (Mar. 11) Enter toWIN Win for Wellness Kraft’s Healthy Living RDN Recipe Contest calls for all registered dietitians, nutrition and health professionals, chefs and other nutrition-inspired consumers to submit a unique healthful recipe for a chance to win one of four grand prizes: a $550 gift card and Kraft gift basket. Enter in the categories of entrees (less than 500 calories a serving), soup, salad or side dish (less than 300 calories a serving), snack of appetizers (less than 250 calories a serving) or sweet treats (less than 250 calories a serving). Each recipe must contain at least one Kraft product. Visit http://kraft.promo.eprize.com/recipe to enter by January 15, 2015. To the Races Win two tickets to the Kentucky Derby courtesy of Trifecta Gourmet sauces. Submit a recipe that uses any flavor of the company’s all-natural sauces; five recipes will be featured on the Trifecta website and one will win the grand prize. All entries must include a photo. Submit online at www.trifectasauces.com/contest before January 15, 2015. Fancy That Use Athens® Mini Fillo Shells to create an original recipe in the spirit of the monthly theme in the Athens “Mini Fillo Shells Make it Fancy and Fun” recipe contest. Cash prizes are awarded monthly to 10 entrants through February 28, 2015. Visit www.phyllo.com to discover this month’s theme and enter the competition. Limit to Win It Taste of Home challenges you to enter your favorite holiday desserts recipe using just 12 ingredients or fewer for a chance to win $500. Categories include cakes & tortes, cupcakes, cheesecakes, brownies & bars and pies & tarts. If you can’t make the January 26 deadline date, enter Taste of Home’s Easy Holiday Baking Recipe Contest—also offering a $500 cash prize and requiring 12 ingredients or less. Categories for this contest include cookies, cakes, pies, cobblers, breads and biscuits. The deadline is February 27, 2015. Enter at www.tasteofhome.com/contests. For the Children Recognizing National Childhood Obesity Awareness Month, the American Council on Exercise has launched the Ash Hayes Scholarship. For 25 accepted applicants each year, the scholarship will provide a set of ACE Personal Trainer Certification study materials and aids, access to a state-of-the-art eBook, as well as the ACE Academy Elite, an interactive video-led study program. Applicants must demonstrate they are currently working, or planning to work, with youth in a professional setting at schools, medical facilities, recreation departments, fitness facilities or community centers. For more, visit www.acefitness.org/ash-hayes. Community Service The Walmart Foundation is accepting applications through its Community Grant Program. Through the program, grants of up to $2,500 will be awarded to local nonprofit organizations within the service area of individual Walmart stores in support of initiatives in the areas of hunger relief and healthy eating, sustainability, women’s economic empowerment and/or career opportunities. K-12 schools are eligible. Requirements and deadlines vary based on each grant opportunity; visit Foundation.walmart.com for more information. Whole-Wheat Winner Enter the 2015 National Festival of Breads competition by submitting an original recipe in which the flour used is at least 50% King Arthur unbleached wheat flour, as well as employing one of a variety of Red Star yeast products. All entries must include a short history of the recipe and a photo. Enter in the adult bakers category if you’re over 18; there is also a youth category for ages 12 to 17. The grand prize for youth bakers is a $300 scholarship. The adult grand prize is $2,000 cash, plus a trip to attend a baking class of their choice at the King Arthur Flour Baking Education Center in Norwich, Vt. Enter before January 16, 2015, at www.nationalfestivalofbreads.com. The contest is open to those who do not make a majority of their income from baking. FEDERAL REGULATIONS Congress Gives Schools Regulatory Relief Just as this issue of School Nutrition was heading to the printer, Congress passed the Fiscal Year 2015 Omnibus Appropriations Bill. While ostensibly a funding bill to prevent a government shutdown, the legislation includes a variety of non-monetary provisions, including language to provide schools with greater flexibility to plan healthy school meals that students will eat. At press time, President Obama was expected to sign the bill. The bill provides relief in two key areas. The first maintains Target 1 sodium levels and suspends further sodium reductions for “meals, foods and snacks sold in schools” until scientific research supports them. In addition, the bill allows states to establish an exemption for schools struggling with the requirement that all grains offered with school meals must be whole grain-rich and allow them to meet the July 2012 50% mandate. According to USDA’s own data, participation in the National School Lunch Program has declined and related food, labor and administrative costs have risen since the new nutrition standards were implemented. “Congress has taken a critical first step,” says SNA CEO Patricia Montague, CAE. “SNA appreciates Congress’ dedication to ensuring the regulations achieve the goals of the Healthy, Hunger- Free Kids Act ... and heeding the concerns of students, families and school nutrition professionals.” “Although well-intended, some of USDA’s rules went too far, too fast, and ended up driving students away from healthy school meals while unnecessarily driving up costs for schools,” notes Montague. “SNA will continue to work with USDA and Congress in the coming year to advocate for common-sense changes to improve the regulations and protect the financial viability of school meal programs.”
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