April 2011

Beyonce Knowles officially joined Michelle Obama’s “Let’s Move” campaign on Wednesday with the release of her music/exercise video, “Move Your Body”.

She throws her towel in the ring in the fight against childhood obesity following the likes of Ellen Degeneres and Jamie Oliver – celebrities who have also used their star power and influence to bring light to this important issue. The video takes place in a busy school cafeteria cum dance floor. Beyonce sings flanked by student backup dancers. The “move your body” message and school lunch atmosphere effectively show the dual importance of physical activity and a healthy diet in combating obesity.


Harvest of the Month Recipe for April

These roasted baby red bliss potatoes are a delicious, healthier alternative to french fries. When done perfectly, the cut halves turn golden brown and the skins shrivel slightly, creating a thin layer around a pillow-soft  interior. Delicious on their own, these potatoes are also a great start for potato salad.

Roasted Baby Red Bliss Potatoes
Yield: 8 servings


3 lbs. baby red bliss potatoes
2.5 tbsp vegetable oil
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
1 clove fresh garlic or 1 tsp garlic powder


  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
  2. Rinse potatoes and towel dry or let air-dry for an hour.
  3. Place dry potatoes in a large bowl and add the oil, salt, pepper and minced garlic.
  4. Transfer potatoes to a baking sheet and spread out in one single layer. Do not crowd the potatoes.
  5. Roast for 35-40 minutes until very soft on the inside.
  6. Serve immediately

Potatoes are April’s harvest of the month. Look out for roasted potatoes on the Local Lunch Thursday menu.

Potatoes hail originally from Peru where they have been grown in Peru for more than 8,000 years. A recent survey found more than 4,000 varieties of potato grown in Peru. Many farmers have specific potatoes for fields for different altitudes, different sides of the mountain, and different precipitation levels.

Potatoes eventually found their way to Europe and in Ireland overtook other staple crops such as rutabagas. By 1800 the potato made up nearly 90% of Ireland’s harvest. Most of the island grew only one variety of potato – the Lumper. Between 1845 and 1852, nearly one million Irish starved or died of malnutrition and another one million emigrated when blight struck the Lumper potato crop.

While the potato can provide calories and moderate nutritional value cheaply, Americans do not consume potatoes healthily. Americans ate 42.4 pounds of fresh potatoes in 2005 as well as 53.6 pounds of frozen potatoes and 16 pounds of potato chips. Moderate consumption of non-fried potatoes can contribute to a healthy diet, but not if potato consumption decreases the amount of yellow, orange, and green vegetables consumed.

Harvest of the Month Potato Poster