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Never Mind

 

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How many of you remember Gilda Radnor’s character Emily Litella on the early days of Saturday Night Live? Remember when wrong about some thing she said or reported she would say, “Never Mind!”

Well, today I have a ‘Never Mind’ kind of update for you.

 

Who do you think does the best job of providing Americans with lower calorie foods?

Circle one:

A. The government?

or

B.  Food companies?

Well, at least in round one, the private sector – big brand Food Companies that is – are the clear winner.

According to Reuters:

A voluntary effort by the world’s largest food and beverage companies to remove billions of calories from the products they sell in the United States to help combat the nation’s obesity epidemic has far exceeded its five-year goal, according to an independent evaluation released on Thursday.

In May 2010, 16 of the nation’s biggest food and beverage companies, from Coca-Cola Co to Kraft Foods Group, pledged to remove 1 trillion calories from the U.S. marketplace by 2012 and 1.5 trillion by 2015, compared with a 2007 baseline.

In fact, as of 2012 they sold 6.4 trillion fewer calories, found an analysis by researchers at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC). [All emphasis mine.]

[Snip]

The 16 companies sold 60.4 trillion calories in 2007, which was 36 percent of total calories in packaged foods and beverages — cereals, chips, canned soup, juices, sodas, candy and more — sold that year. In 2012 they sold 54 trillion calories.

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1 a grocery storeThe other companies who participated in the campaign are: “Bumble Bee Foods, Campbell Soup Co, ConAgra Foods, General Mills, Hillshire Brands, Kellogg Co, Mars, McCormick & Company, Nestlé USA, Post Foods, the Hershey Company, J.M. Smucker and Unilever.”

You can read the entire article by clicking this link:  Slash Calories.

How Did the Food Companies Do It?

The companies lowered calories by, “….substituting lower-calorie products, re-engineer existing products to cut their calories, and reduce portion size, such as with the popular 100-calorie packs of cookies and other snacks.”

But the Food Police Still Want Regulations

However, and despite this success some critics and activists still demand that the government do more to regulate private industries to reduce calories in the food they sell.

So expect more soda bans and food fights and bans in 2014 and beyond!

1 a schoolNow Contrast the Private Sector with Government Regulations

Regular readers here know that I never thought much of the new school lunch program and guidelines that went into effect last school year.  See: Food Freedom and Update.

Well now……here’s the thing.

Early this New Year the federal government, in its best imitation of Gilda Radnor’s Emily Litella yet, said, “NEVER MIND!”

 

According to NPR ~ the salt:

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After the the [sic] school lunch program was overhauled in 2012 to curb childhood obesity, lots of kids began complaining that lunches were too skimpy.

Why? Because in some cases, schools had to limit healthy foods — such as sandwiches served on whole-grain bread or salads topped with grilled chicken — due to restrictions the U.S. Department of Agriculture set on the amount of grains and protein that could be served at meal-time.

In some districts, program participation dropped as more kids decided to brown-bag it and bring their own food to school.

That led food service directors to lobby the USDA to reverse the limits on the amount of grains, such as bread and pasta, and proteins, such as lean meat and cheese.

The USDA temporarily lifted the restrictions following many complaints. And, now, according to a new rule announced this week, [January 3, 2014] the change will be made permanent.

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DISCLAIMER: Parts of both the Reuters and the NPR articles were used under Title 17, U.S. Code, Section 107; not for “commercial” benefit but, “for nonprofit educational purposes.”

Featured Recipe    Orange BBQ Chicken

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Today’s recipe is for super busy nights. It is quick, easy, and inexpensive too. If you use some deli cole slaw, like I did, and/or other sides from a deli this meal will be on the table in less than 40 minutes.

Best of all there is VERY little clean up.

And even though the minus temps are gone, there is still a chill in the air, so having the oven on at such a high temp makes the house all toasty warm too.

I got the BBQ sauce recipe from Woman’s Day magazine. The chili powder is what makes this dish a hit!

The sauce is sweet with a kick.

This is what you will need for 3-4 people:

3 or 4 bone in chicken breasts with skin *

¾ cup BBQ sauce of your choice **

4 tablespoons orange marmalade

2 teaspoons chili powder **

Salt & pepper to taste

* Or pieces of your choice such as drumsticks or thighs

** Your favorite, hot and spicy, sweet, or plain; even home made.

IMG_8302Optional

1 or 2 oranges for garnish

2 green onions for garnish

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You may also need:

Spray oil if you do not have no-stick foil

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Here is what you do:

Heat the oven to 450 degrees F.

This may take 20-30 minutes but it is SO well worth the extra time and will make it more likely that the chicken  breasts will cook in about 30 minutes.

In fact, if you take that little extra time in heating up the oven, you will get a PERFECTLY cooked through yet very juicy chicken breast.

Line a baking sheet with non-stick foil.

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Lightly salt and pepper the chicken.

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Place the BBQ sauce, marmalade, and chili powder in a bowl and……….

IMG_8308…mix together well.

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Reserve 4 tablespoons of the sauce for drizzling or dipping later. Set aside.

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BTW – Remember, it is your patriotic duty to lick the spoon clean and spoon out all of the left over sauce in the measuring cup and eat.  This is known as Cook’s Privilege. Waste Not is my motto!!!!

Brush the sauce on both sides of the chicken and place then on the foil lined baking sheet.

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Place the chicken on the foil lined baking sheet.

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Bake 25 minutes or until the chicken reaches an internal temperature of 160F.

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NOTE: If you are making only 3 breasts, you will have plenty of sauce left, so at the half-way mark I add more sauce to the chicken breasts.

When the chicken is done let the chicken sit for 5 minutes to let juices redistribute.

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Divide the reserved sauce into small bowls for people to drizzle on their chicken or dip in the sauce as they wish.

SAFETY NOTE: Do not use any of the sauce you used to brush on the chicken with as any leftovers in that bowl has touched raw chicken.

Serve with some cole slaw and garnish with some orange slices, if using; or the green onions which I did not use.

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Bon appétit!!!

Cost

3 chicken breasts                             $6.39

¾ cup BBQ sauce                             $1.12

4 Tbspns orange marmalade             $0.84

2 teaspoons chili powder                  $0.26

Salt & pepper to taste

Total cost 3 people = $8.61
Cost per serving = $2.87
1 orange was $0.69; $9.30 total cost; $3.10 per person

Quote of the Day

The free man owns himself. He can damage himself with either eating or drinking; he can ruin himself with gambling. If he does he is certainly a damn fool, and he might possibly be a damned soul; but if he may not, he is not a free man any more than a dog.

C. K. Chesterson

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4 comments to Never Mind

  • Interesting post. I still think one of the biggest problems is portion sizes in restaurants and fast food places. People eat out and think, “this is a normal serving,” and go home and cook that. I’m willing to be wrong.

    2 teaspoons of chili powder – is the chicken really hot? It sounds wonderful.

    • Roberta

      Portion size is very important, in fact I think #1.

      NO……it is not very hot at all. Mine was very mild. The chili powder is just a back note. It all depends on what kind of chili powder you use. It is a delightful taste.

  • So… At the young age of 22, my daughter worked in that sector. She was one of the people charged with implementing the awful government policies. She spent all her time in schools and watched the kids throw away the terrible, tasteless, limited lunches– more like starvation rations. The kids hated those lunches. This is why she left her job and is getting a Masters of Public Health with a focus on nutrition and obesity. The school lunches are too restrictive- no fat, no salt, no sugar, no flavor. Foods the kids don’t like. In addition she was appalled by the fact that the programs limited the foods the kids would eat- like fruit.
    The veggies provided were veggies kids find unappealing- green peppers for example. Whatever was cheapest, that’s what was served.

    • Roberta

      Thanks for sharing, Julia. First hand experience is always best. When she finishes school I hope she can make a difference.