[print this page]

The Bean Scene
September 18, 2006

Daniel Sumner, PhD, UCA,
Davis, noted at the recent Society for Nutrition Educators (SNE) annual conference that if consumers followed the average recommended guideline of 7 servings of fruits and vegetables a day, vegetable and fruit demand would increase by 10%, a boost of about $10 billion to that industry. Northarvest Bean home economist Lynne Bigwood participated in the conference, distributing dry bean cooking and nutrition information.  Beans are one of the few foods that fall under two categories of the USDA Food Guide Pyramid: Vegetables, as well as Meat and Beans.


Educating educators about bean nutrition

Schools are placing a greater priority on improving nutrition: for example, many schools are implementing new policies that restrict or prohibit vending machine sales of high-fat foods and snacks, with high sugar carbonated and caffeinated beverages switched to bottled water, juices and milk.

A number of nutrition educators and food service personnel are also going back to school this fall with information on including beans in school lunch menus.

Northarvest Bean home economist Lynne Bigwood participated in the N.D. School Nutrition Association annual conference this summer, as well as the Minnesota School Food Service Association state conference.

Bigwood encouraged attendees to use beans in their menus to help meet USDA school nutrition requirements.  Attendees at both events sampled Black and White Bean Salad (recipe on page 27) and received The Bean Cookbook, as well as other materials relating to dry bean nutrition.

Many of these same educational materials were distributed by Bigwood at the Society for Nutrition Educators (SNE) annual conference, also this summer.  She notes several highlights from the national meeting:

Global Issues, Local Impact  That was the theme for this years SNE meeting. Fiorella Ceruti, World Food Program School Feeding Unit of the United Nations, said her organization is involved in making food aid decisions, and it can be difficult to prioritize food aid needs. This group currently works in 48 counties around the world and receives 50% of that food aid from the
U.S.  Local governments must request support and there is not enough aid for everyone who needs it.  This group usually provides an in-school meal and monthly take-home rations for 80% school attendance.  Many times they provide that help to families with school age girls to ensure that girls are educated.  The average cost per day is 19 cents or $34 a year.  Their goal for 2015 is to reach 50 million children.


Weight Woes  Suzanne Piscopo, University of Malta, Home Economics office, said the European Union has many of the same nutrition and health problems as the U.S.  They have begun a Health Promoting Schools program to improve education and health; the effort uses the local Home Economics teacher to train the primary school teachers.  (More information is available by Googling healthpromotingschools).

Dr. Enrique Jacoby, Pan American Health Organization, showed a slide of what he calls the Real Food Pyramid  a grocery cart piled high with boxes of processed food.  Its a reflection of what are too often poor dietary habits, rather than the more exemplary USDA Food Guide Pyramid.  It doesnt help that processed food ads dominate the media, overshadowing reliable nutrition information and making the complexity of food choices more difficult.

Farm Bill, Nutrition Goals  Valerie Brown, PhD., CA Dept. of Food and Agriculture, recommended that the new farm bill be more in tune with supporting nutrition goals.  As well, Fred Kirschenmann, Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture at Iowa State University, suggested that the next farm bill be called the Food and Farm Bill, and said it could be the Next Nutrition Frontier.  He suggested that the cost of food be based on nutrient value.  At the same time we have reduced our food cost and nutrient value of many foods, we have increased our expenditure on health care to record levels.

Kirschenmann advocated five healthy food and community food and farm policy program goals:  end hunger and increase healthy food access, create a food and agriculture system that enhances health, increase local and regional food security, orient research and development programs to promote innovative solutions to problems and protect the health and economic opportunities of vulnerable people  including family farmers.

NHB Helps Sponsor Eat Smart, Play Hard Program

The Northarvest Bean Growers Association helped sponsor the Eat Smart, Play Hard program designed to encourage and teach children, parents, and caregivers to eat healthy and be physically active.  The campaign offers resources and tools to convey and reinforce healthy eating and lifestyle behaviors that are consistent with the Dietary Guidelines for Americans and the MyPyramid Food Guidance System.

Eat Smart, Play Hard information, featuring NDSU Bison athletes, is being distributed throughout N.D.  Teachers receive a set of 16 mini-lessons on the MyPyramid and food safety, as part of the educational component. Bean recipes are included in the Eat Smart, Play Hard campaign.

The Eat Smart, Play Hard web site for parents:
The Eat Smart, Play Hard web site for kids: 



Other Headlines

Email Newsletter icon, E-mail Newsletter icon, Email List icon, E-mail List icon Sign up for our Email Newsletter
For Email Marketing you can trust


Northarvest Bean Growers Association | 50072 East Lake Seven Road | Frazee, MN 56544
Ph: 218-334-6351 | Fax: 218-334-6360 | Email: