Perdue Named Agriculture Secretary FORMER GEORGIA GOVERNOR SONNY PERDUE rose above several contenders to be appointed the next Secretary of Agriculture. At press time, Perdue had yet to be confirmed to the post by the U.S. Senate. If confirmed, he will lead a diverse agency, one of the largest in the federal government, with a $155 billion annual budget and close to 100,000 employees. Perdue served two terms (2003-11) as governor of Georgia and was a member of the president’s agricultural advisory committee during the campaign. He holds a doctorate in veterinary medicine from the University of Georgia and founded a grain and fertilizer business in Georgia. SNA issued a statement from Association President Becky Domokos-Bays, PhD, RD, SNS, upon the news of the announcement: “SNA looks forward to working with Governor Perdue to support school meal programs in their mission to expand access to healthy, appealing meals that support student success. School nutrition professionals are committed to continually improving the nutrition and quality of school meals and promoting healthier lifestyles for students. If confirmed, we are hopeful Governor Perdue will work to strengthen school meal programs and help ease funding and regulatory challenges.” 2017’s TRENDIEST FOODS We’re only a little more than a month into 2017, so there’s still plenty of time to experience the food trends expected to dominate the foodservice scene this year. In late 2016, the National Restaurant Association surveyed nearly 1,300 chefs who belong to the American Culinary Federation (ACF) to get their expert thoughts about what’s going to be hot in the culinary world this year. Plus, social media site Pinterest recently released its “Pinterest 100,” which includes the most pinned foods and recipes. Here’s what both organizations discovered: • Street food is providing major inspiration, say the ACF chefs, and not just for food truck menus. Table service restaurants are now serving variations on tacos, pupusas, kabobs and other dishes that you once would only see served from a street cart. • Ethnic foods have been a hit for years, but you’re more likely to see foreign breakfasts (or, at least, foreign inspiration for breakfasts) on the menu. Among these, chorizo in your scrambled eggs or syrups with an Asian flair are hot trends. • African flavors are the new “in” cuisine. Of course, it’s a big continent, so when we say “African,” we mean peanut stews, harissa and increased use of a tagine (an earthenware cooking pot). • Comfort food is getting healthier, at least according to Pinterest users. Searches for “veggies” along with “comfort food,” rose 336% in 2016, while “Lasagna,” “Macaroni” and “Stroganoff” searches decreased by 69%, 55% and 50%, respectively. • The health trend isn’t limited to comfort food. The search term, “Zucchini Chips,” was up 83%, year, while a search for “Jackfruit” (the world’s largest fruit) rose an astonishing 420%. • Have you heard of empanadas? The folks on Pinterest sure have, as a whopping 1.5 million pinned recipes and images of this stuffed and fried savory pastry in 2016. Read More: “Pinterest 100,” http://tinyurl.com/SNMag-Pinterest100 USDA RETHINKS “SELL BY” DATES ON PACKAGING That can of tomatoes in your pantry has a “best by” date of 1/31/17, so it’s time to get rid of it, right? Not so fast, states USDA, which released revised food labeling guidelines late last year. According to the Department, American families waste up to $1,500 of food because it’s thrown out when it’s perfectly safe to eat. It turns out, the “best by,” “use by” or “sell by” dates are actually indicators of when the food will be at its best, as estimated by the manufacturers—not an actual expiration date. Because of this, USDA has requested that that only egg, meat and dairy manufacturers use an expiration label, although there’s evidence that even items such as milk and dairy can last beyond the printed sell-by dates. Still, consumers should keep in mind a safe motto to avoid food poisoning: “When in doubt, throw it out.” But be sure you’re not throwing away money at the same time. Read More: “USDA Issues Revised Guidance on Food Date Labeling,” http://tinyurl.com/SNMag-FoodDateLabels Deadly Skin Cancer on the Rise IN 2009, ONE IN 58 AMERICANS WAS EXPECTED TO DEVELOP MELANOMA, a potentially lethal form of skin cancer. Just seven years later, in 2016, that prediction has risen to one out of every 54 Americans. In fact, more than 76,000 people in the United States were diagnosed with this form of skin cancer last year. Although skin cancer is the most common cancer among Americans, melanoma is much more serious than other types, which often can be treated and/or removed. Research published in December 2016 in JAMA Dermatology concluded that the number of early stage melanoma instances has increased drastically over the past several years. This indicates that the disease is being detected earlier, although certain lifestyle practices—tanning and UV light exposure—is also pushing up the numbers. Consider this your regular reminder to always wear sunscreen. Read More: “Melanoma,” http://www.skincancer.org/skin-cancer-information/melanoma 3 Ways to ... Protect Your Identity 1) SET-UP TRANSACTION ALERTS WITH YOUR BANKS AND CREDIT CARD COMPANIES. These companies have high-tech algorithms that detect fraud, so you could get a text message to your phone before you discover something shady is going on. 2) AVOID ATMS WHENEVER POSSIBLE. If you have to make a deposit or withdraw cash, go to a teller inside during bank hours. ATMs are the most likely places that your financial information will be stolen, or “skimmed.” 3) SET UP THE ABILITY TO REMOTELY WIPE YOUR PHONE. Think about how much personal information your phone holds— you have bank apps, Facebook and more, all residing in your pocket or purse. If your phone is lost or stolen, you will want to remotely wipe it clean as soon as possible, so thieves can’t access any of that info. PROMO PLANNER MARCH National Craft Month National Nutrition Month National Peanut Month National Sleep Awareness Week (Mar. 2-9) National School Breakfast Week (Mar. 6-10) Read Across America Day (Mar. 2) National Employee Appreciation Day (Mar. 3) Registered Dietitian Day (Mar. 8) Spring Begins (Mar. 20) World Water Day (Mar. 22) APRIL National Pecan Month School Library Month Passover (Apr. 10-18) Administrative Professionals Week (Apr. 23-29) Hans Christian Andersen’s Birthday (Apr. 2) World Health Day (Apr. 7) Thomas Jefferson’s Birthday (Apr. 13) NBA Playoffs Begin (Apr. 15) Easter (Apr. 16) Earth Day (Apr. 22) MAY Food Allergy Action Month Mental Health Month National Salad Month National Military Appreciation Month Children’s Book Week (May 1-7) National Police Week (May 14-20) Batman Day (May 1) School Lunch Hero Day (May 5) Kentucky Derby (May 6) Mother’s Day (May 14) For more holiday and promo ideas, visit the 2016-17 Promotional Calendar at http://www.schoolnutrition.org/promocalendar. “TUESDAY” TIDBITS SNA Invited to Provide Input on Dietary Guidelines On January 10, 2017, SNA President Becky Domokos-Bays, PhD, RD, SNS, participated in a workshop to discuss the implementation challanges of the Dietary Guidelines for Americans (DGAs). She affirmed the commitment of SNA members to work with stakeholder groups to promote healthy lifestyles for children. “As we all work together to achieve this goal, we want to avoid the quest for the perfect diet becoming a roadblock to progress in improving our children’s dietary choices,” Domokos-Bays noted. The event was presented by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine’s Committee to Review the Process to Update the Dietary Guidelines for Americans. 115th Congress Gets to Work U.S. Representative Don Young (R-Alaska) introduced the first school meals bill of the 115th Congress. H.R. 203 intends to “improve the efficiency of summer meals.” The bill would redefine “areas in which poor economic conditions exist,” setting the eligibility at 40% free/reduced-price, instead of the current 50% mark. In addition, the bill would provide reimbursements for meals served during after-school hours, weekends and holidays during the regular school calendar. USDA Outlines Flexibility for Target 2 Sodium Requirements Target 2 sodium requirements are scheduled to take effect on July 1, 2017. On January 6, USDA released a guidance memo offering some flexibility, given the challenges many operators have revealed in meeting this target. School food authorities (SFAs) are still expected to comply with the federal rule, but if the SFA demonstrates it’s working toward compliance, it will not incur fiscal action during the Administrative Review. USDA’s Food and Nutrition Service plans to continue to assess ongoing challenges in order to develop technical assistance. New Year Brings New State Action State legislatures in Mississippi and Kentucky wasted no time in kicking off their legislative sessions by introducing three bills with implications for school nutrition operations. Kentucky’s SB 1 provides an enforcement measure for changes to personnel evaluations that would involve fines being disbursed to the local foodservice fund. In Mississippi, HB 103 and 104 reinforce federal nutrition standards and require schools to serve low-fat meals and snacks to students diagnosed as overweight and/or those whose parents have made a request. Tuesday Morning is SNA’s free weekly policy e-newsletter. Subscribe at http://www.schoolnutrition.org/Newsletters/TuesdayMorning. INGREDIENTS FOR HEALTH: KIWIFRUIT To enjoy these small, fuzzy green fruits, all you need is a spoon. TRY THIS. Kiwi can be added to a smoothie for a nutrient-packed drink. Combine a peeled banana, peeled kiwi, kale, milk, honey and ice in a blender, and whizz away! Pour into a glass for a refreshing snack. NUTRITIONAL PROFILE. If you thought oranges were the best source of vitamin C, think again—one serving of kiwi has twice the vitamin C as an orange. It also contains as much potassium as a banana, plus a healthy amount of lutein (which protects your eyes), vitamin E (a powerful antioxidant) and fiber (which has so many benefits, we can’t even begin to name them). HOW TO EAT. Wash the fuzzy exterior, and then cut it in half. Get a spoon and dig in! Of course, you can also peel it, then slice or dice it and add it to a fruit salad. If you wondered where kiwifruit originated, you simply have to look at the name—the fruit is named after the Kiwi bird, which lives in New Zealand READ MORE: “Kiwi Nutrition: 10 Surprising Benefits,” https://draxe.com/kiwi-nutrition SNA Member Wins Food Network Competition JASON SMITH, a cafeteria manager at Isonville Elementary School, board member of the Kentucky School Nutrition Association and SNA member since 2014, applied a combination of Southern charm and old family recipes to win Food Network’s Season 3 Holiday Baking Championship in December. Smith became the first home baker (i.e. non-professional baker) left standing at the end of the multiple elimination round competition. School Nutrition checked in with Smith for an exclusive interview about his experience. Congratulations! How did you first find out you were selected to compete? I was standing in the checkout line at Walmart. My cell phone went off and I saw the Food Network number and thought, ”Ok, this is either good or bad.“ I handed the checkout woman my money clip and said, ”I’ve got to take this call, it’s an emergency, please check me out and I’ll come back later.“ I went out to my car and the man from Food Network said he was 99 percent sure I was going to be one of the contestants. I was totally speechless. When I got off the phone with him, I started driving home and forgot my money clip and my stuff at the store. I cried all the way home, because it was just so overwhelming to think a country boy like myself from Kentucky was fixing to be on national television. Where did your interest in baking come from? I got started baking when I was about six years old. Growing up on a farm, all the kids would help with the crops in the fields all day, while my grandmother and mom would be cooking in the kitchen. I thought, ”This is for the birds, I want to be in the kitchen helping granny.“ So, I asked if I could stay in the kitchen and help, and my grandmother said that she’ll take care of that. Granny knew my love was in the kitchen and believed I had the kind of talent to be a really good home baker. I think she saw something in me before I did. Throughout the competition, you said you wanted to honor your grandmother, mother and aunts, by featuring their baking style. Growing up with their heritage recipes, I wanted to showcase the memories that I had and show that I appreciate all they have ever given me. To do that on national television was really something special. I understand you had some “secret” ingredients, such as using sauerkraut juice in cake batter. As far as I could tell, sauerkraut was my great-grandmother’s recipe. Back then, people who lived in the Appalachian Region did not have the money to buy oils, sugars and other expensive ingredients, so she had to figure out a way to bake a cake with something other than lard, which in a cake does not come out too good. She had some leftover sauerkraut juice and figured, “Why not try it?” The cake ended up a big hit and nobody ever knew what was in it. I can tell you it is the most moist cake that you have ever put into your mouth. Winning the competition has made you very well known. There are two expressions that I used in every episode: “Lord Honey” and “Sweet Baby Jesus.” The other day I was eating lunch at a restaurant and a woman just walked up to me and said, ”Lord Honey—I just had to say that to you.“ She said she was from New York and had never spoken with a Southern accent before, but the more she listened to me on TV, the more she picked up my accent! Read More: For more reflections from Smith, visit http://tinyurl.com/SNMag-JasonSmithInterview.
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