Category Archives: news and events

Is DASH the Best Diet … Ever?

Could it be? Is there really a “best diet?” If such a thing exists, the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) eating plan may just be it. In 2017, for the seventh year in a row, an expert panel of health and nutrition experts assembled by U.S. News & World Report rated DASH Best Overall Diet.

DASH has been repeatedly lauded by expert panels for its proven plan for healthy eating, diabetes prevention and heart health. With nearly 20 years of research to support it, the DASH Diet is recommended by both the 2010 and 2015 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, the American Heart Association and the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute.

What’s unique about DASH is that it is really not a traditional diet but rather an eating plan that you can follow for life. It also works well for families, couples, co-workers and individuals. The focus is on food – simple, easy-to-prepare and tasty food. No pills or special ingredients. Simply food.

The DASH eating plan emphasizes whole grains, vegetables, fruits, lean protein and dairy foods. In fact, milk, cheese and yogurt are critical components of DASH because of the nutrients they provide. This combination of foods provides enhanced health benefits that are not seen when dairy foods are not included.

DASH was originally shown to be as effective in treating high blood pressure for some people as medications can be. Further research has confirmed this time and again, but also has shown that DASH can help reduce the risk for cardiovascular disease and diabetes while at the same time improving bone health. A 2016 study showed that a modified DASH diet with full fat dairy foods, no juice and fewer sugars maintained and enhanced the health benefits of DASH, including:

  • Similar benefit of lowering blood pressure
  • Reduced blood triglyceride levels
  • No difference in total LDL cholesterol
  • Did not reduce the blood HDL cholesterol levels

So, is it time for you to get started with the DASH eating plan? We can help with the information and tools you need. Visit https://odncouncil.org/dash/ to find DASH recipes to help you reach your daily goal for each food group.

 

 


READ MORE ABOUT DASH:

Bean and Smoked Cheddar Salad

Bean and Smoked Cheddar Salad
This tasty bean salad comes together in no time, and the smokey cheddar adds bonus flavor. No smoked cheddar? Try using sharp cheddar or pepper jack.

Serves 4

dash-recipehealthy-recipeentree-recipeSide dish recipe

 

 

Dietitian’s Tip: Build a DASH meal with this salad by adding a side of fresh fruit and a whole grain roll

INGREDIENTS
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons cider vinegar
¼ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar
¼ teaspoon black pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
¼ cup red onion, minced
½ cup celery, sliced
2 15-ounce can 50% less sodium beans (garbanzo, kidney or black), drained and rinsed
4 ounces smoked Cheddar cheese, cut into ¼ inch cubes

INSTRUCTIONS
In a large bowl combine Dijon mustard, cider vinegar, salt, sugar, black pepper and olive oil: whisk until well mixed.
Add remaining ingredients to large bowl with vinaigrette and mix until evenly coated. Serve chilled or at room temperature.

NUTRITIONAL FACTS
Per serving: 240 Calories, 11 g total fat, 4 g saturated fat, 310 mg sodium, 23 g carbohydrates, 8 g fiber, 12 g protein, 192 mg calcium

Milk Builds Strong Schools in Oregon

MLK School Jacksons_2017

Remember those old videos of Ed Sullivan introducing the Beatles? Well, it wasn’t quite that boisterous when the students of Martin Luther King K-8 School in Portland learned that they were selected to receive a brand new iPad Learning Lab. But it was close.

The donation was made possible through a charitable Jacksons Food Stores program called “Milk Builds Strong Schools,” which set aside five percent of milk gallon sales in stores throughout Oregon from October 21, 2016 to January 5, 2017. The program is supported by Dairy Farmers of Washington, Darigold and Oregon Dairy and Nutrition Council.

The Learning Lab includes 10 new iPad Pro devices with Apple Pencils and a mobile cart that can store, charge, and sync up to 30 iPad devices. This was the second year a school in Oregon was selected, the fourth year for schools in Washington and the first year ever for schools in Utah and Idaho. Martin Luther King K-8 was randomly selected in a drawing of all public schools in Oregon.

“Our partnership with the Oregon Dairy and Nutrition Council allowed us to create a campaign that benefits an Oregon school and promotes education through technology,” said Cory Jackson, president of Jacksons Food Stores.

Kiara Single, Oregon Dairy Princess Ambassador, participated in the assembly and helped with the big announcement. She shared some facts about dairy farming in Oregon with students, and said it was fitting that milk made the donation possible since this year marks the 20th anniversary of milk as Oregon’s Official State Beverage.

Adopt a Farmer Program Includes Oregon Dairies

Each year, Oregon dairy farmers participate in a program called Adopt a Farmer through Oregon Aglink to help promote agriculture through educating middle school students. Five Oregon dairy farm families are currently participating in this year’s program giving students the opportunity to experience a dairy farm firsthand.

The five dairies include:

  • Harrold’s Dairy in Creswell
  • Cloud Cap Farms in Boring
  • Mayfield Dairy in Aurora
  • Veeman’s Dairy in St. Paul
  • Willamette Valley Cheese in Salem

In addition to offering tours of their farms, these dairy farmers visit their adoptive classroom two to three times throughout the school year to engage students in the science behind farming. They participate in activities related to soil, water, conservation, irrigation, genetics, the farm-to-table continuum and economics.

Learn more about one of Oregon’s dairy farmers, Melissa Collman of Cloud Cap Farms and her participation in the program.

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RELATED LINKS:

Adopt a Farmer

Dairy Meets Classroom: Melissa Collman of Cloud Cap Farms

Cloud Cap Dairy, Boring, OR

Cloud Cap Dairy on Facebook

Cloud Cap Dairy on Twitter

Cloud Cap Dairy on Instagram

Oregon Celebrates School Wellness Awards

oregon-school-wellness-award-banner

Each year for the past decade, Oregon School Wellness Awards have recognized outstanding schools for their efforts to improve child health by connecting nutrition, physical activity and academic achievement. On the tenth anniversary of the awards, the Oregon Department of Education announced three new schools as recipients for 2017.

  • Adams Elementary, Corvallis School District
  • Milwaukie High School, North Clackamas School District
  • St. Paul Elementary, St. Paul School District

In partnership with Oregon Department of Education and Nutrition Council of Oregon, the Oregon Dairy and Nutrition Council serves as the title sponsor for these awards. Each award recipient receives a $2,500 cash prize, a banner, and a certificate of recognition presented at special school assemblies.

“We are excited about how this award will help shape our future wellness efforts,” said Kylie Pybus, MPH, Health and Wellness Coordinator at Milwaukie High School.

Schools are judged and selected based on criteria including school wide wellness policies and initiatives, physical education and physical activity, school meal programs and community involvement. Each one of this year’s winners were lauded for improving their standards and showing positive results in healthy student and staff behavior.

“There is clear data that student health and student learning are connected,” said Joyce Dougherty, Child Nutrition Programs Director for the Oregon Department of Education.

Oregon schools that are actively working to improve student and staff wellness are encouraged to apply for next year’s awards. To learn more, visit the wellness page on the Oregon Department of Education website.

Eight Questions for an Oregon Dairy Mom

Mary Chamberlain is a dairy farmer alongside her husband, Jason, and in-laws Warren and Lori, at Dairylain Farms in Vale, Oregon. Mary and Jason have three boys between the ages of one and seven, and she coaches a cross country running team at the local high school. We asked Mary eight questions about her life as a farmer, community volunteer, and a mother.

Why do you farm?

It’s a family tradition that goes back to our great-grandparents. I was raised on a dairy farm, and I married a dairy boy. It only made sense to work on his parent’s dairy and raise our kids to love dairy cows as much as we do. Raising calves, fostering them to cows, and giving them what they need to produce wonderful milk — that is the pretty basic description of what we do. But in reality it’s so much more.

When our first born arrived, I tried to stay home, but the farm needed an extra set of hands. I found myself pushing a stroller along as I fed calves, vaccinated cows, or checked heifers. Now on our third child, we start our mornings by heading to the barn to get milk to feed the calves, and end our day checking on the robots (we added robotic milkers last July). I’m very proud to have my boys working with us every day.

What’s life like for your kids on the farm?

They all have different levels of love for the farm and our way of life. My one-year-old just loves to watch the cows, and of course, sample their food.

Dairylain_2017_2048My four-year-old plays for hours with his farm toys in the sandbox. Every once in a while we catch bits of his make-believe land, where he is the ‘dad’ and he drives his loader and feeds the cows. We even get hints of a girl he likes as she makes an appearance in this pretend world to feed baby calves. When he isn’t in the sandbox, he loves to follow his dad around or ride along while I check on the heifers.

Our seven-year-old is starting to connect the dots that feeding animals and taking care of them is essential for them to not just survive but to helps us survive. When an animal is born, he is one of the first to let us know, and then help his dad move her to the barn. He helps with every task on the dairy. Some he hates (he thinks feeding calves is too boring) and others he loves (like picking out animals to train for fair).

And you’re also involved in your local schools?

Yes, I’m the local cross country head coach, and I substitute teach when I can (which is a bit rare these days with a one year old). Before my boys, I ran marathons and did triathlons all over the country. These days, it’s important for me to stay fit for my sanity and my health. Coaching running is great way to give back to the community and teach kids a way to deal with their own stress and worries.

With a master’s degree in dairy science and a love for running, I’m a bit of a quirky sub. I encourage getting outside to do work. I believe there is this huge connection to moving and learning that we don’t utilize in the classroom.

How important is nutrition to your family and your cows?

Dairylain Farms Chamberlain jerseyAs a three time mom in her 30s who still runs and bikes when she can, what’s in my food and my boys’ food is a concern. We all burn a lot of calories. I don’t want any food around that is just going to give a quick energy high and then leave me with a headache and cranky kids. Protein, carbohydrates, digestible and usable sugars, vitamins and minerals: that’s what I look for in all my food, and I try to balance the levels based on what we need and when we need it.

Good nutrition is also important to our cows. They are sort of like a pro-athlete; they will burnout if they don’t train and eat right. We feed the cows to increase milk supply naturally by giving them the correct amount of energy, protein, vitamins, and minerals (and plenty of water). We have to make sure their nutrition allows them to milk plenty but doesn’t deplete their bones and body.

Do you use antibiotics or hormones?

Out of 375 milking animals, we have only one that’s getting antibiotics right now. We use antibiotics on our dairy according to the label, and no antibiotics are allowed to enter the food supply. If she gets an antibiotic shot, her milk gets dumped.

I think there is a misconception that as dairy farmers we are constantly giving shots for sickness. Really we give very few. My one year old has received more doses of antibiotics for ear infections this winter than we gave the entire milking herd for the same four months. We all work hard to give our animals the best chance to fight colds and viruses on their own. When they can’t, we call the vet and get the medication they need.

As for hormones, cows don’t need additional hormones to make them give more milk, they have enough natural ones.

How do you take care of your cows and calves?

Dairylain calf feedingWe feed them, ensure they are safe, healthy and comfortable, and we provide clean homes and bedding. We give the calves blankets and warm water in the winter and cold water in the summer. Sometimes when my kids are sick, it’s hard to leave the house to work at the dairy. But the cows and calves need us too.

Cows are not humans, and sometimes they can hurt or neglect their calves. So to the calves, we are their foster parents. They depend on us to understand their language, like a wagging tail and licking tongue means ‘I’m good!’ — droopy eyes and not getting up right away means something doesn’t feel right.

How do you care for the environment?

Improving the land around us is a big priority. Since we grow our own crops for the cows to eat, there is always plenty of land that could use more nutrients. We sample the soil to decide where nutrients are needed and that’s where we spread manure from our pens and barns. It’s natural, organic fertilizer.

We ensure that the water used in our barns for cooling milk is recycled, so the cows can have plenty to drink. We are constantly looking for ways to reduce waste in all forms and recycle what we can. We use solar powered electric fences to keep the heifers in, and solar powered pumps to run our pivots to keep the fields watered and the grass growing.

Are there any parting thoughts that you’d like people to know?

Dairylain_2017_1972Just as none of us are perfect parents, there are no perfect farmers. But we honestly do the best we can do on this day, and hope for the same or better tomorrow. Every day is another chance to do even better. I trust what we do, what my neighbors do, and what our fellow friends and dairy farmers across the country do. We are proud of the quality foods that we help bring to your table and ours!

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Mother’s Day Brunch Idea: Better with Berry Butter

Mother’s Day Brunch Idea: Better with Berry Butter

Poppyseed Muffins with Strawberry Butter

Mother’s Day is on Sunday, May 14, but you knew that already, right? Of course you did, because mom is special … plus you know what’s good for you! Short changing mom on her special day is just not an option.

We’re here to help. If you’re planning a brunch, here’s an easy, unique and delicious recipe you can do to sweeten up the usual fare. This simple strawberry butter with poppyseed muffins adds color and flavor to the table. Plus it’s something the whole family will enjoy.

Follow this simple recipe, and enjoy! And don’t worry, you can take all of the credit – we won’t say a word.

Yield: 12 muffins

indulgent-recipe

 


Prep time: 15 min   Cook time: 15 min

INGREDIENTS

For the Strawberry Butter:

2/3 cup chopped strawberries
2 tablespoons sugar
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
1/4 teaspoon salt

For the Almond Poppyseed Muffins:

1 1/3 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) butter, softened
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs
1 1/2 teaspoons almond extract
3/4 cup sour cream
1 tablespoon poppy seeds

INSTRUCTIONS

For the Strawberry Butter:

Sprinkle strawberries with sugar and mix well. Let stand at room temperatures 30 minutes to 1 hour. Drain off liquid and discard or reserve for another use.

Add drained strawberries, butter and salt to bowl of electric mixer. Mix until well incorporated and fluffy, about 3-4 minutes. Serve immediately or refrigerate until ready to serve.

For the Almond Poppyseed Muffins:

Preheat oven to 450°F and butter muffin tin.

In medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda and salt.

In large bowl, cream together butter, sugar, eggs, almond extract and sour cream. Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients and mix until combined. Stir in poppy seeds.

Fill muffin tins about 2/3 full each with muffin batter. Bake for 12-16 minutes until toothpick inserted into center comes out clean. Allow to cool on wire rack. Serve warm with strawberry butter.

Strawberry Butter with Almond Poppyseed Muffins
Courtesy of the American Butter Institute and Crème de la Crumb

 

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Eight Questions for an Oregon Dairy Mom

Back to School: Literacy Project Helps Bridge Gap

Mary Swearingen and class

by Mary Swearingen, dairy nutrition consultant and Oregon Dairy Women member

Twenty years ago, I was in the third grade when my cousin (a county dairy princess at the time) visited my class to give a presentation — it was the same year milk became the Official State Beverage of Oregon. Twenty years later, I returned to read to three first grade classes at Mary Eyre Elementary School in Salem on April 12.

Mary Swearingen AITC Lit Project

The opportunity was made possible by a literacy project organized by Oregon Agriculture in the Classroom. In all, 72 students listened attentively and discussed where our dairy products come from, how dairy is part of a well-balanced diet, and everything our farmers do to care for their cows.

I work as a nutrition consultant for a feed company in Harrisburg, and because the literacy project activity focused on nutrition, I brought feed samples with me and explained that I help farmers create balanced diets for their cows.  Students got to see and smell alfalfa hay, flaked corn and almond hulls.

We talked about how cows are amazing at recycling byproducts, or leftovers from food production. I feel that it was important to volunteer for this year’s literacy project because the book answered the ever so popular question: does chocolate milk come from brown cows? A common misnomer among consumers, the book illustrates that all breeds of dairy cows produce white milk.

Mary Swearingen and cowIt was a really great opportunity to help bridge the gap between the farm and the classroom. After all, our milk and dairy products don’t just come from the dairy case. As a treat for all the students (and teachers) I brought 75 pints of chocolate milk with me, and the students all loved it.

At the end of the presentation, I opened the floor to questions and by far my favorite was from a concerned student asking, “in the middle of the day when the farmer is trying to sleep, doesn’t he get tired of hearing those cows moo all the time?”

I grew up as a city kid, but spent most of my school breaks working on my aunt and uncle’s dairy in Stayton picking berries and feeding calves. It didn’t take long to develop a passion and love of the farm, to see the hard work and effort it takes to dairy was quite literally a life-changing experience.

I went from one extreme to the other, wanting to be a teacher to Veterinary Medicine, and ultimately to animal nutrition.  I got involved in 4-H Livestock my freshman year of high school and participated in the Oregon Dairy Women’s Dairy Princess Program. These experiences have led me to see the importance of educating our youth and advocating for our farmers and ranchers.


The Oregon Dairy and Nutrition Council proudly sponsors Oregon Agriculture in the Classroom’s 2017 Literacy Project. More information is available at oregonaitc.org/programs/literacy-project.

School Culinary Trainings Spice Up the Menu

Culinary Trainings with Garrett Berdan

Sponsored by the Oregon Dairy and Nutrition Council and the Oregon Department of Education, Child Nutrition Programs, a new series of five popular culinary training events are underway to help improve school cafeteria menus for Oregon students.

For the past seven years, Chef Garrett Berdan, RDN, has been coaching child nutrition program professionals at regional trainings on cooking innovative, healthy meals using nutrient-rich, local foods. At the training events, participants prepare and taste test 15 actual recipes they can bring back to their students.

The preparation of healthy meals for students emphasizes nutrient-rich foods, because studies show that well-nourished kids perform better at school. Participants practice menu planning, weights and measures, knife skills and other culinary techniques.

This year’s series includes stops in Klamath Falls, Ontario, Lincoln City, Central Point and Aurora, Oregon. Trainings were held last year in Albany, Hermiston, McMinnville, Central Point, Salem and La Grande. Schools and childcare programs in each region are invited to participate in the two day training free of charge.

“Using quick, tasty and healthy Food Hero recipes and a little creativity, schools can really spice up their menus without breaking the bank,” said Crista Hawkins, RDN, LD, Director of School Programs for the Oregon Dairy and Nutrition Council. “We’ve invited a lot of guests to come and try the good food at these events, and they’re consistently impressed.”

As part of an ongoing commitment to youth wellness and education, Oregon’s 228 dairy farm families and 29 dairy processors are involved with schools across the state, supporting programs such as this training.

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Ontario Culinary Workshop FUTP60 Yogurt Station
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Nutritious cooking: Child nutrition programs get healthy refresher course
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Cooking Up New and Nutritious Recipes for School Kids

Southeast Asia Dairy Trade Mission Updates

Asia's buying power

Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam   |   Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia   |   Singapore

April 22 – May 4, 2017

The following are updates provided by Pete Kent, Executive Director of the Oregon Dairy and Nutrition Council, from the 2017 Dairy Trade Mission to Southeast Asia.


MAY 11, 2017

Following on the successful trade mission to Southeast Asia, Pete Kent sat down with Mateusz Perkowski, of the Capital Press to provide a recap and discuss next steps for delivering dairy products from the western United States to new markets in Vietnam, Singapore and Malaysia.

Oregon dairy industry builds trade ‘pipeline’ to SE Asia
Capital Press, May 11


MAY 3, 2017

As we come toward the conclusion of our Southeast Asia Dairy Trade Mission, we discover artisan cheeses and ice cream from the western states are showing up in Malaysia and Singapore high-end grocery stores. These are but two dairy products currently being shipped to the region by U.S. dairy companies.

Southeast-Asia-grocery-store-cheese-room

Britton Welsh, cheese maker for Utah’s Beehive Cheese, stands with Jason’s Grocers cheese manager, in front of a selection of cheeses from Beehive Cheese.

As we’ve seen in hotels, restaurants and grocers, natural cheeses are increasingly being consumed by a growing middle class. Even whole cheese rooms are now present in the higher end stores, which feature artisan and specialty cheeses worldwide. Still, the selection of U.S. cheeses is sparse.

On our 14-day mission, which we complete this week, we’ve visited with importers, store managers, U.S. Dairy Export Council representatives, and agricultural trade officers from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. All have pointed to growing opportunities for U.S. dairy products in several product categories for the region.

Upon our return, we will be working as a region to further plan our next steps in developing a collaborative effort to help open the channels to new markets, especially for our western region’s small to medium sized companies and dairy cooperatives.


APRIL 28, 2017

In day seven of our SE Asia Dairy Trade Mission, we’re struck by the number of construction cranes that line the skyline as we complete our first day in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

We arrived here in a very early morning, after completing four days in Vietnam, including the 2017 Food and Hotel Vietnam trade show. There we were able to sample our cheeses, in addition to viewing other dairy innovations from worldwide.

Trade shows such as Food and Hotel Vietnam allow for key connections, sample testing, and a look at other dairy innovations produced worldwide including cheese candy, smoked butter, and specially formulated barista milk.

In Malaysia, the building growth is just one indication of the economic growth in this ASEAN nation, where we are seeking new export opportunities for western dairy states.

Today in between drenching rain storms, we visited with importing food distributors, who service the growing segment of high-end restaurants, hotels, and quick serve restaurants.

Our goal is to further the connections we’ve made in the past year, with particular emphasis on artisan cheeses and dairy ingredients. While U.S. dairy is still relatively absent in these emerging nations, the desire for U.S. dairy products is increasingly becoming stronger.


APRIL 26, 2017

A growing population, increasing middle class, and one of the world’s faster growing economies make Vietnam a key country of interest for potential growth in U.S. dairy exports.

The country is the first stop of a Southeast Asia dairy trade mission, now underway. Attended by 14 representatives of dairy processors, supporting agencies and organizations from Oregon, Washington, Utah and Arizona, the mission begins with Food and Hotel Vietnam. The three-day trade event includes the U.S. Dairy Export Council (USDEC) exhibit of which we are a part.

From here, we’ll travel to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, and then on to Singapore to complete our 14-day trade mission. With more than 30 meetings, events, and activities scheduled, our goal is to help expand markets for U.S. dairy in collaboration with USDEC, with an emphasis on artisan cheese and dairy ingredients.


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