The Defining Health Crisis of Our Generation

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Donna Williams, founder of Field Goods

The leading causes of death in the developed world are due to unhealthy lifestyles. The shame is that this health crisis is preventable. The question is why these needless deaths are occurring and what can we do about it. These two excerpts from respected publications highlight the issue.

In a February 2nd article published by the World Economic Forum, Nancy Brown, CEO of the American Heart Association, writes that: “Cardiovascular disease, cancer, diabetes and chronic respiratory disease…together they are the world’s leading cause of preventable death, and represent the defining global health crisis of our generation.

A 2015 study in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine concluded that chronic conditions such as heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, diabetes, obesity and cancer could be cut by at least in half if people adopted healthy lifestyles such as regular exercise, diets low in sodium and added sugars, and abstained from using tobacco.

Making the healthy choices easier is part of the solution.

breaking barriers

Communities, corporations and countries all must play a role in making the healthy choices easier and creating a culture of health. Adopting healthy diets is as much about individuals making a conscious decision to eat better as it is about removing the barriers. Our intent to eat healthier is often overwhelmed by our beliefs that eating healthy is too expensive, time-consuming, inconvenient, and hard.

I founded Field Goods on the principal of making healthy eating easier. The ideas of “creating a culture of health” and “achieving behavior change” were woven into the product. Field Goods’ service is designed to be inexpensive, convenient, and fun. Education is a critical product feature to help people learn that preparing healthy food can be fast and easy. The service is offered as a subscription to help foster the habit of eating healthy, rather than relying on conscious decisions.

And, finally, Field Goods is a community event. When our drivers drop off our colorful bags filled with produce from small farms to our employer and community pick-up locations, the organizations are making a powerful statement about the importance of a healthy diet to all their employees and constituents.

Over time we have learned that Field Goods does change behavior and create a culture of wellness. We hope that our model inspires organizations and individuals to look at the issues of changing lifestyle behavior in a holistic way. To learn more, please read the results from the Field Goods Diet Study and the FujiFilm Case Study by going to this page.

Here Comes the Sunchokes

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roasted jerusalem artichokes We are really excited to bring you sunchokes AKA jerusalem artichokes this week! If you’re a Field Goods old timer then you’ve had them before and this is maybe less exciting (maybe not, it’s sunchokes, people!) but we only get them once or twice a YEAR.

These silly looking tubers are the root of sunflowers native to eastern North America and have that nutty sweetness of sunflower seeds and oil. Their flavor lends itself well to a puree or soup, even subbed for mashed potatoes. The easiest sunchoke dish is, as always, roasted with olive oil, salt and pepper (hey, if it ain’t broke don’t fix it). No need to peel – blanch quick for a crispy skin later, cube, and bake at 400 for 40 minutes. Sunchokes are super versatile, so be brave and try something with ’em! Here’s a recommendation from a James Beard Award winning chef:

“Try doing them instead of twice-baked potatoes. Boil them until they’re cooked through. When they’re warm, smash them with the back of a pan; the sunchoke skin is stronger so it doesn’t splay as much as a potato. Then fry them in some oil and throw in bacon, onions, garlic and rosemary, then browned butter at the end. They’re so, so delicious.”  More winners here. 

Breaking News in the Herb & Allium category:  We are mixing things up this week with Yacon Root, which is neither an herb or an allium. However, it is an adventurous specialty so we thought we would give it a go. Yacon is super nutritious and crunchy and sweet like an apple. It is widely eaten in South American as a fruit.

GOOD NEWS about the snowstorm:  For those of you with canceled deliveries because of the snow chaos, we want you to know that the extra food was donated to the High Hill United Methodist Church Food Pantry in Athens, NY and the Catskill Animal Sanctuary… a great place to visit.


This Week’s Field Goods Favorite
Jerusalem Artichokes

jerusalem artichokesJerusalem Artichokes are starchy sunflower tubers. Their nutty taste resembles a cross between artichokes and potatoes or water chestnuts. Like potatoes, sunchokes can be eaten with or without the skin, which has great nutritional value. Roast, sauté, bake, boil or steam. Raw sunchokes make a fantastic snack or addition to salads.

Roasted Garlic Sunchokes
Shaved Sunchoke Salad with Parmesan and Arugula
Fried Sunchoke Chips with Rosemary
Sunchoke and Pear Salad

Snack Time

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buffalo cauliflower bitesVeggies don’t have to be relegated to the side dish. Veggies make great snacks! We’re not talking chomping on a raw carrot (though you should feel encouraged to do so), we’re talking about making some delicious savory bites for between meals and movie nights. Pretty much anything vegetable can be spun into a snack creation with a little oil and a well-timed sprinkle of salt – we’ll try to make anything into chips, and usually it works!

Here are some ideas for ways to snack, Field Goods style: 
1. Blackened green beans: basically keep cooking these babies until you think, “oh gosh, have I gone too far!?”
2. Potato chips: no brainer, use a mandoline for uniform thickness and try sea salt and dried herbs on ’em.
3. Buffalo cauliflower bites: these are our favorite snack ever, apologies to all other snacks. Quickly bread, bake, dunk in Frank’s Red Hot, bake again, and eat the entire bag of buffalo cauliflower in one sitting. Or, you know, exhibit some self control – we heard that’s a thing. Whatever.
4. Carrot fries: We’ve tried a LOT of different fries (parsnip, potato, kohlrabi, celeriac, etc.) and it’s such an easy, fun approach to veggie consumption. Don’t forget! Fun is an essential ingredient in all recipes and life in general.


This Week’s Field Goods Favorite

cauliflowerMicrowave for about 2 minutes to start the de-thawing process. Spread the florets evenly on an aluminum foil-lined tray and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese, salt, and pepper. Bake at 425 for about 20 minutes.

Cauliflower Mac and Cheese
Cream of Cauliflower Soup
Cauliflower Rice