Beecher's Flagship Foundation Pure Food Kids Workshop Has Lasting Affect on Next Generation of Younger Eaters

The Flagship Foundation is the personification of Sugar Mountain's mission to help America eat better by providing better foods. Flagship Foundation teachers partner with 4th and 5th grade teachers to enter their classrooms and teach the students about basic nutrition, wholesome food, and healthier food choices, including selecting foods that are additive free. One of the reasons that I applied to Sugar Mountain was its determination as a company to affect the food industry while also showing that business can be done while doing our best to produce top quality products.
Foundation Director Kristin Hyde and Operations Manager Jonathan Saturay have taken the foundation to new levels with their creative and energetic instruction, program analysis, and integration with the food community both locally and nationally. The Foundation already enjoyed a firm position of respect and reputation, and under their guidance, it has grown and prospered. I hope its programs will become nationally recognized someday. They're always seeking opportunities to train teachers, build partnerships with more teachers and classrooms, and opportunities to collaborate with businesses that would like to support the educational programs. Contact Kristin (below article) to get involved!
Kids Who Become Food Detectives Turn Away from Processed Junk Food,

Get Inspired to Cook


Ripple Affect is Getting Teachers and Parents to Make Healthier Food Choices


Seattle, WA – Kids love the Beecher’s Flagship Foundation Pure Food Kids workshop – we know from their smiles and cheers while they eat the wholesome chili they make in the classroom, and the pride they take outsmarting food companies marketing tactics to expose what’s really in the cereals, chips, yogurts, and beverages they investigate during the workshop.   We also know students learn key nutrition and food facts from the results of pre and post-workshop quizzes they take. 


What’s new is survey data that shows this 2 ½ hour workshop provided to 4th and 5th grade students around Puget Sound, and in a handful of classrooms in New York City, is having a long term positive impact on kids and their families’ attitudes and food choices.  It’s also having an impact on teachers in the classrooms.  

Here are some highlights from surveys of teachers who have had the Pure Food Kids workshop in their classrooms and from parents of middle school age students (grade 6-8) whose children participated in the workshop when they were in 4th grade:


·         91% of teachers found the workshop “personally informative,” with 63% reporting that it has influenced the way they eat;


·         54% of teachers said they read labels more than they used to, with 69% reporting they limit how much they eat food with ingredients they don’t recognize;


·         85% of teachers report an elevated awareness of food additives in processed foods, with 84% saying the information they learned about food additives concerns them enough to avoid foods with artificial sweeteners, preservatives and colors; and 93% checking ingredient lists to avoid trans fats or hydrogenated oils;


·         83% of teachers have shared what they learned in the workshop with friends or family, and 80% have been inspired to cook at home after the workshop;


·         65% of parents were aware their students participated in the workshop 2-4 years ago, with 70% recalling their child talking about learning what food companies say about their product isn’t always true, and 83% recalling their child learning how to read ingredient lists and to watch out for unhealthy additives;


·         79% of parents report their child reading labels or urging them to do so while grocery shopping together;


·         60% of parents report their child expressed interest in avoiding particular processed foods as a result of learning more about what the product is really made of;


·         58% of parents say their family talks more about what’s in the foods they eat now than before their child participated in the workshop, and, 65% of parents reported their child expressed interest in cooking after participating in the workshop.


·         Lending support to the push by Food Day and the Jamie Oliver Foundation to get food education into every classroom, 98% of parents in our survey felt there is a need for more nutrition education, food science and cooking skills to be offered in schools.


The fact that this generation of young people may be the first in modern history to not outlive their parents is a national tragedy. Obesity and diet-related diseases like diabetes shouldn’t be stealing children’s chance of success in school and life.  Together with other initiatives like ours across the country, we can turn this public health crisis around.


To see results the surveys including specific comments from teachers and parents made in answer to open answer questions in the surveys conducted in January, please visit this link for PDF of survey results.  


The Beecher’s Flagship Foundation is a nonprofit 501 (c) (3) organization working to “Change the Way America Eats” through our programs to educate and empower people to make healthy food choices for life.   Flagship Foundation operates a dynamic, commercial-free, no-cost, nutrition education and cooking program called Pure Food Kids Workshop for elementary school students that is supported by Beecher’s Handmade Cheese and sister companies which donate 1% of all sales to help fund the Foundation.   Since 2006, the program has turned more than 60,000 kids (and their teachers) into food detectives, empowering them with information and skills to make healthy food choices for life.   Our approach is to spark curiosity in students about what’s really in the food they are eating, providing a chance for hands-on investigations of products, and skills for how to understand nutrition labels and ingredient lists.  Our workshop also teaches kids to beware the marketing tactics food companies use to get people to buy their products.  Best of all, kids get the opportunity to cook and enjoy a wholesome, delicious chili right in their classrooms.

# # #



“Changing the Way America Eats”


Kristin Hyde

Executive Director

Beecher’s Flagship Foundation-Pure Food Kids Workshop




Super Bowl 48!

From the Seahawks website

Well, this is a first for me. Our home team is going to the Super Bowl playing against (technically) my other hometown team.

Yah, in case you missed it, the Seattle Seahawks are playing the Denver Broncos. In the Super Bowl. Naturally, our city is so excited even our construction sites sport blue and green lights. And our local Japanese American grocery store, Uwajimaya, even changed their lantern lights. Oh, and the downtown Target sells Seahawks t-shirts. 

Anyway, this is also the first time we want to host a Super Bowl viewing. Normally, Top and Spurs - aka Uncle Wayne and Aunt Marilyn host, but they've retired to South Carolina.  So, we wanted to partially fill that void. So, next idea: host the party yourself. Unfortunately, we quickly ran into some snags.

First, I'm out of town until Friday night, so there isn't a lot of time to shop and prep the condo. There's also the issue of chairs - we have enough seats for 6 people - 10 if you count on the dinner chairs. And, we have a one bedroom apartment with more square footage in our actual bedroom than in our living room. So, instead, a chef friend offered up her living room as long as I brought the food. So... we're hosting! (sort of) It's actually more "Chef Renata to the rescue!"

What's on the menu for the Super Bowl viewing?

Well, I'm bringing Beecher's Handmade Cheese macaroni and cheese and a bunch of toppings to make a mac & cheese bar! Tada! Crumbled bacon, spicy bell pepper peperonata (which is actually served at Liam's), pulled pork (Maximus Minimus food truck), mushroom duxelle, roasted Brussels sprouts, lump crab, marinara sauce, roasted apples. That should do it for us.

(As an aside, Liam's serves their mac & cheese with pickled fennel stems, kale crisps, Mama Lil peppers, and non-smoked pork belly crisps, and I borrowed heavily from the inspiration and brain storming behind that)

Okay, what else would be at a Super Bowl party?

I also turn to favorite recipes and other Game Day foods. Newspapers and magazines, blogs and brand companies' recipe pages, and even Pinterest are sharing recipes. It's tempting to get really elaborate and spend your Sunday morning stuffing fancy little finger foods and puff pastries. But honestly, many of your guests would prefer to select familiar foods, probably. But since I'm a fledgling chef, I would like to be a little elaborate with the foods I serve.

PCC had some cool recipes listed that look tasty, like the Bubbly Hot Shrimp Dip - homage to spinach artichoke dip but a little sexier. Or how about Hazelnut and Sun-Dried Tomato pate?  Or fine, how about just Deviled Eggs - but the Cooking Light French-style version?

What if you don't want to cook?

Well, our friends at Whole Foods Market have appetizers and other ideas available if you don't have time to cook. Check out what they have to say.

From Whole Foods blogger Kate Demase 
A Whole Foods Market ‘A-Game’ appetizer for the big game –

Wings for just $7.99 a bucket Jan. 31 – Feb. 2
Date of sale:               Friday, January 31 – Sunday, February 2
What’s on sale:          Chicken wing buckets
Promotion:                  $7.99/ea (US) 
Fumbling last minute for a snack to bring to the big game party this weekend? Whole Foods Market wing buckets are a great wing man and are on sale for just $7.99 per bucket Jan. 31 – Feb. 2.
The big game is the second biggest day for food consumption in America, so come prepared with a bucket of wings from Whole Foods Market for only $7.99. You’ll be sure to impress your guests with these chicken wings with flavors like barbeque, buffalo and super-hot atomic.
What you really need to know about these wings:
Whole Foods Market goes the extra yard to ensure you get the best quality possible. Kick the antibiotics, added hormones* and animal byproducts, not the bucket! Our wings come from chicken farms certified by the Global Animal Partnership’s 5-Step™ Animal Welfare Rating program. Each bucket will have approximately two and a half pounds of wings.

Home Remedy, one of the newest brands in the Tom Douglas Restaurant family nestled in the Via6, is also offering items for the Super Bowl. But not just items, they have chicken pizzas, buttermilk and Tabasco fried chicken, and French onion dip. Like they said, you can really "Feast Like a Beast."  You can actually order your items online - but you really should stop by the little bodega and check it out. Here's the link for the order form.

However you celebrate, make sure you're shouting loudly for the Seattle Seahawks as they take on the Denver Broncos!

I'm In! Are you?

Shamelessly borrowed from Home Remedy


From Whole Foods - Recipes to help you stick to your New Year's Resolutions

Photo borrowed from the Seattle Met

Check out this note from our friends at Whole Foods Market

This time of year, sticking to those New Years Resolutions becomes harder as we settle back into our routines. Well, Whole Foods Market is here to make sure you keep to your goals--whether it's following a certain diet or just eating a few more greens and to feel your absolute best.
With so many resources on Whole Foods Market's recently updated site, there's plenty of inspiration to keep you going--check out the website. For now, though, here's a breakdown of some of the highlights:
The Four Pillars of Healthy Eating from Whole Foods Market
1. Focus on Whole Foods. Foods in their most essential, basic forms are the best ingredients for nutritious and tasty meals. Try foods without artificial flavors,  preservatives, colors, sweeteners, etc.
2. Eat Plan Strong. Any diet can flourish with a focus on plant-based foods. The majority of your meal should  contain raw and cooked veggies, fruits, beans, etc. to keep your body functioning at its best. Eat a colorful variety of plants to ensure you're getting the best nutrients for your body.
3. Choose Healthy Fats. Healthy fats are part of a healthy diet, and can be found in nuts, seeds and avocados. Try to minimize or eliminate extracted oils and processed fats on a daily basis. These healthy cooking techniques are a great place for continued inspiration.
4. Consider Nutrient Density. Vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients are essential for your health. Eating veggies in all colors will help you get the most out of your diet.
The four pillars serve as a great foundation to start the year off on the right foot, and in keeping with eating whole foods and colorful veggies, why not try out some of these easy recipes in the kitchen? Some of our favorites are:
Zesty Quninoa with Broccoli and Cashews - perfect side dish for any type of meal
Tofu Ricotta - pair it with lasagna, stuffed shells or pizza!
Red beans and rice soup - a favorite for Mardi Gras, but perfect to try out now!
You can find all the healthy recipes here.
You can also check out the weekly meal plans we've created, which are sure-fire way to stay on track. There's even shopping lists to help keep you organized! I'm a fan of the Healthy Comfort Food Favorites meal plan. You can view all of the weekly meal plans here.


Beecher's Handmade Cheese - New York City - on ABC News

Now for some holiday fun, here's a short clip from ABC news that shows off cheese making at the Beecher's Handmade Cheese location in New York City. If you visit the city, they're in the Flatiron District. Pretty cool.

Merry Christmas, dear readers!