Wednesday, August 15, 2001

Lifestyle

Find creative veggie ideas at Sizzlin' Harvest Festival
The Fresh Sheet

Laura Crooks
Food editor

If you have a vegetable garden, chances are you already treat yourself and family members to fresh salads. But if you're looking for new ways to use the bounty from your little piece of earth, check out the Sizzlin' Harvest Festival at the Spokane Farmers' Market this week.

Today at 10 a.m. Sylvia Wilson, co-owner of Mizuna, will demonstrate what you can do with seasonal produce.

On Saturday, enjoy music from Mas Y Mas while Spokane area chefs grill fresh fruits and vegetables for
free tastings, starting at 10 a.m. The market is located at Second and Division. The events celebrate Farmers' Market Week, Aug. 11-18. Other area markets are also planning entertainment during the week.

Organic concerns

The August issue of Environmental Nutrition raises questions about the purity of organic products as major corporations move to capture the organic market.

The article is in response to a New York Times Magazine report that half of all organic food is now produced by five companies. Even the pioneer of organic foods, Cascadian Farms, is now a subsidiary of General Mills.

Environmental Nutrition states, "The result? A dizzying array of processed organic foods, including convenience foods like frozen dinners and even junk foods masquerading as healthful."

It continues, "While EN applauds the new national organic standards, we fear a dilution of the term as more corporations jump on the organic bandwagon. Perhaps it is time to re-evaluate what we really want when we choose organic foods. Surely, organic Twinkies are not it."

Speaking of Twinkies

Researchers at McMurdo Station in Antarctica have been having fun with the cream-filled cakes. In fact, they've created their own Twinkie Club.

The 20-member club formed about a month ago when members found Twinkies available in their ice-filled world. They wrote to Hostess, the makers of Twinkies, "Our club started when a group of us gathered one Friday and ate Twinkies for our afternoon work break. Most of us had not had a Twinkie in years, and a few of us had never even had one. Well, the Twinkie break was so much fun we decided no matter what, we would meet as a group every Friday around a box of Twinkies."

They're not just eating the Twinkies. One day they used an air compressor to blast a cape-clad Twinkie across the base while everyone sang "Star Spangled Twinkie."

Hostess' marketers decided this was too sweet to pass up so they created Planet Twinkie, a Web site where they hope to post photos and tidbits from Twinkie lovers around the world. Visitors can send e-mail questions to the Twinkie Club and learn a little bit about life in Antarctica. Head to www.twinkies.com.

Trivia time

Washington dairy cows produced a record 482 million gallons of milk in 2000, according to the USDA.

We're always looking for fresh food news. Write to: The Fresh Sheet, Features Department, The Spokesman-Review, P.O. Box 2160, Spokane, WA 99210. Call (509) 459-5446; fax 459-5098.


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