by Jake Althoff, HPC member

Going to Kamp Kenwood in Wisconsin was a fun and interesting experience. It is a camp that teaches children about co-ops and about how to run them. I went there in June of 2001 to study and learn more about cooperative lifestyle and what it means to be a co-op.

—by Naomi Jackson, Membership Coordinator

—by Ellen Sushak, HPC Member

Of course, my mind was on food and eating during my trip to China last November. After all, I was traveling with eleven other dietitians.

Let me back up for a moment to provide some background. Early last spring an invitation arrived at my home from the People to People Ambassador program to join a goodwill mission of registered dietitians to China. Our goal would be to connect with our counterparts working in China. As you might guess, it cost a lot to go—time and money—but after about an hour of thought, I was sure I could find a way to do it. After all, exactly how many times had an opportunity like this come my way?

—by Kate Wagner, HPC Member

Poetry Column by Jeffrey Shotts, HPC Member

There is in poetry the great tradition of the walk. Many of Wordsworth’s poems were written while he was out walking the countryside, and the often strict iambic meter—the soft syllable, followed by a hard one—seems to enact footsteps across the lines. It is part of the Romantic tradition.

Now that the snow has, for the most part, cleared, we can walk outside again and resume the tradition. April is National Poetry Month, and with it comes a spate of new poetry titles. One such is the popular poet Jane Hirshfield’s new collection, After. One poem in it recalls the walking tradition:

—by Kate Wagner, HPC Member

Upstairs, downstairs is the relationship between celery and celery root. Celery is grown for its fat stalks, while its underground relative, celeriac, is a tuber with a mild flavor and texture, combining the crunch of celery with the smoothness of potatoes. Of these two sister vegetables, celery is the simpler one—easy on the eyes, popular, and not demanding of attention. The celery plant is gently stimulating, nourishing, and restorative; it can be liquefied, with the juice taken for joint and urinary tract inflammations. In the past, celery was grown as a vegetable for winter and early spring. Because of its antitoxic properties, it was perceived as a cleansing tonic, welcomed after the stagnation of a long winter.

—by Heidi Goar, HPC Member

“Jed, that thar’s black gold, Texas tea…”

—by Kjersti Hanneman and Nate Paine, HPC members

The two of us met while serving as Peace Corps volunteers in Haiti in 2001– 2002. We served in a rural area in the South East Department, 60 miles from the capital, Port au Prince. Haiti is a small country, but the roads and communication networks in this mountainous country are so underdeveloped, those 60 miles took four hours to cover in a truck.

Despite these barriers, there is a degree of homogeneity in the Haitian diet. One of the most common meals Haitians of all classes and locations eat is a dish called Sauce Pois. Our neighbors ate Sause Pois several times a week, and so did we. Although at times we tired of eating this dish, looking back on our experience, it is a meal rich with memories.

—by Maria Casler, HPC Member

It’s deep into winter; as the snow piles higher, the cold grows harsher, and the price of fresh produce from California skyrockets, what’s a Minnesotan to do? For those of us who aren’t willing to subsist on meat, potatoes, and onions until May, there’s a whole world of sprouting to explore. Sprouting in your kitchen doesn’t take much work or equipment, adds fantastic nutritional benefits to your diet, and provides a desperately needed bit of green when you’re missing spring the most.

Sprouts have enjoyed a spike in popularity over the past several years. Many restaurants serve sprouts with sandwiches or salads, and almost any grocery store offers boxed sprouts for sale. Still, sprouting is nothing new. Centuries ago, the Chinese learned that they could prevent scurvy on long sea voyages by sprouting mung beans on board. In Europe, beers have long been made from sprouted grains, and Russian kasha is usually made from sprouted buckwheat. There’s evidence that, as long as 2000 years ago, grains were sprouted and ground to make bread. While our ancestors probably knew little about the nutritional benefits of sprouting, we now know that sprouts are truly some of the healthiest things we can eat.

—by Maria Casler, HPC Member