Category Archives: Amazing Food

Leave Baby Animals Alone in the Spring  

BabyBirdsIt is Spring and during this time of year we may run into small adolescent animals without visible parents around. Our instinct is to help them, pick up that baby bird, capture that small deer and take them to get help. However, this is completely unneeded. Chances are these animals are fine, being taken care of by their parents and in no need of help. In fact dealing with, moving, or catching apparently deserted untamed life can hurt or eventually execute the creature and can put your safety at risk.

More often than not a baby animal that seems, by all accounts, to be abandoned are essentially sitting tight for their mom to return. For example baby deer are normally covered and have little fragrance, which helps them stay undetected by predators. Many other species, including rabbits, have a comparative procedure with their young, concealing them amid the day while the grown-ups are searching for nourishment and different assets.

Remember in most places removing animals from the wild is illegal, as is feeding them. Touching wild animals can also expose you to thinks like rabies, roundworm, ticks, and other diseases and parasites that can be transmitted across species.

So leave that baby bird, its mom is likely nearby, parenting in nature is hands off sometimes and you should be too.

Save the Planet with a Garden

vegetable-gardenThinking of a home garden evokes a lot of imagery; big white houses, lots of green, older women bent lovingly over their growing plants. However, gardening is not limited to this ideal image—starting your own produce centered garden is easy, accessible, and a great way to start taking small steps to saving the planet.

Reducing your carbon footprint by starting production of food at home is more important than you might think. On average 1,500 miles is traveled before food ever winds up on a plate. Imagine all the gasoline needed to make it to your grocer, imagine all the energy wasted on keeping the produce fresh. Burning fossil fuels is not only bad for us, but it is also bad for the very food that is grown and transported all the way to our homes. Climate change could easily render certain foods extinct.

Growing your own food allows you to control the pesticides that go into crafting your garden. The EPA considers 60% of herbicides, 90% of fungicides, and 30% of insecticides carcinogenic. Obviously that is no good, and certainly something we need to watch out for. What easier way to control how much pesticides go into your food than growing it yourself.

A home garden can be done wherever you live, whether it is a large house or a small apartment. While making a garden in a large space is much more simple, being crafty about your small space doesn’t have to complicated. Window boxes, small balcony potted plants, and community gardens are easy fixes to making a place to produce food even in the smallest of apartments.

There is no reason not to give it a shot!

Getting around with Eater Minneapolis

Minneapolis is a food city. If you didn’t know, you do now. While the “Juicy Lucy” has a special place in everybody’s heart, there’s so, so much more. Where to begin? How about Eater MinneapolisEater 38”? Contested or not, I think the magazine has done a fine job of highlighting some of the best eats in the Twin Cities. Even better, this list is made up of restaurants suggested by the readers and then narrowed down by the editors. –It’s an interesting way to have glimpse through a local’s eyes. You’ll find obvious choices like Chef Gavin Kaysen’s Spoon and Stable, which became a hit the moment Kaysen announced he’d be heading home from NYC. However, the editors at Eater made sure gems like Al’s Breakfast make an appearance, too. Al’s is a tiny place sandwiched between two buildings in Dinkytown. It’s modest, simple, and delicious.



 The folks at Eater have synched up with the seasons, as well. Click over to their Heat Map for a curated list of restaurants that are warming up the local food scene. You may not find the classics here, but you’ll be sure to learn about up and coming operations like Betty Danger’s Country Club (which will defy expectations), Surly Brewing Company’s new location, or the eclectic Pilgrimage Café. And if you still haven’t found the perfect springtime fit, the magazine has been so kind as to create a list of restaurants ready to bloom any day now.

There’s clearly no shortage of choice here in Minneapolis, and never before has making a decision been so delicious. Bon Appetite!

Will Lions Go Extinct by 2050?


When you think of endangered animals, particularly big cats, you think tigers. They have become one of the prominent faces of the current struggle of endangered animals, along with Polar Bears, Rhinos, Pandas, and so on. Is there another face we’ll come to associate with possible extinction? The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service director Dan Ashe says yes. The new face? African Lions. The three main threats they face are habitat loss, loss of prey due to the bushmeat trade, and human-lion conflict. The human population boom in sub-saharan Africa will only exacerbate these issues. The African Lion is already listed as “Vulnerable to Extinction” by the International Union for Conservation of Nature.

Hope is not completely lost, though. “We can be successful here,” Ashe said, “We can change the course of events. The U.S. has great experience in wildlife management and hopefully we’ll be able to bring that to bear in working with our African partners.”

So will the Lion go down the same path as the Tiger? With conservation and education, all big cats, including the Lion, could bounce back.

A New Kind of Health Wearable

Smart watches and fitness trackers have permeated the market with heart rate monitors, calorie counters, sleep trackers, and pedometers that are rolled into one device, contained in a small wearable on your wrist or clipped onto your clothes. TZOA is a completely different type of app-connected health wearable that is in development and crowdfunding right now: it is a “wearable enviro-tracker that measures UV and air pollution”.


(Image via TZOA)

TZOA clips to your clothes, much like a FitBit, and measures air quality and UV in real time using advanced sensor technology. By using the wearable, the data you collect will create a crowdsourced map from all users, showing actual environmental data as you collect it. Additionally, the wearable device will recommend ways to alter your environment when it could be harming your health. If the fire in the fireplace or the burnt food on the stove is impacting the air quality around you, TZOA will alert you to open a window or go to a different room.

TZOA is not yet available to consumers, but if you’re interested, check out the device, team, and rewards behind TZOA on Kickstarter:


Payne Avenue is Becoming a New “Eat Street” on the Twin Cities’ East Side

Chef Anderson’s beef tartare – Credit:  Benjamin Carter Grimes

Chef Anderson’s beef tartare – Credit: Benjamin Carter Grimes

To the delight of curious palates, entrepreneurial restaurateurs are moving into St. Paul’s Payne-Phalen neighborhood and reinventing a handful of historic buildings. Menus are ripe for exploration. Diners can find anything from traditional pupusas at Tazmal Pupuseria, to “food for drinking” at Ward 6, a take on Korean barbeque at Cook St. Paul, or beef tartare served on a frozen salt block with house made potato chips (pictured above) at Tongue in Cheek.

Chef Leonard Anderson is responsible for the last creation. He owns and runs Tongue in Cheek with his wife, Ashleigh Newman, and another fine-dining cohort, Ryan Huesby. The trio’s approach can be characterized as “eclectic” and “meat-centered.” What’s more, they define their mission with an uncompromising devotion to only use animal products that are sourced humanely and sustainably. The carnivorous may begin with sautéed claims or steamed pork buns and move on to the “Pasture Pork Belly,” served with sweet potato, porcini, chestnut and baby carrots. Herbivorous friends need not fret! Tongue in Cheek also offers a 7 course vegetarian tasting menu, in addition to the “Daily Vegetarian Delight.” The dessert list is short and sweet. It’s headlined by their “Chocolate Ode to the Dome,” an experiment in lyricism, to be sure, and closes with raspberry lemongrass ice for a simple resolve.

Click here for more information about one of Payne Avenue’s newest and most adventurous eateries.

The Bible of Barbecue

“All-in-one” is a phrase that’s used frequently to describe everything from computers to insurance plans, but never for a book. The company JWT Brazil changed that with Biblia Definitiva Do Churrasco: The Bible of Barbecue. I love amazing food and learning about new delicacies and ways to prepare old classics. This book, while only released to “master barbecue chefs” right now, is a masterpiece on its own: each page in the book serves a purpose in the preparation of the perfect barbecue, from prepping to serving. The book is a mix of artistic typography, useful tools, and culinary how-tos. Creating a meal is accomplished by deconstructing the book: tear out pages to season your steak, light your grill, and clean your countertop. A knife sharpener, cutting board, apron, and serving plate are all inside the wood-bound Bible. Check out the video below to see more of the extremely unique and useful all-in-one book.

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Sustainability, Business, Good Food, and the Future of Burger Restaurants?

When you think of upscale dining, are touchscreen tables and environmentally-conscious operations the first things you imagine? Nick Bergelt, founder and CEO of Charbar Co. at the Hilton Head in South Carolina wants to change that. About ten years ago he set out to transform the restaurant industry by tackling inefficiency. He worked to decrease the amount of garbage sent to landfills, the overuse of electricity and water, and even to maximize the time of employees.

While in school at the University of South Carolina’s Moore School of Business, Nick Bergelt opened his first sustainable restaurant. He made sure that local food was served, wind and solar energy powered the space, and waste was diverted from landfills. He used the model from that restaurant he sold to create a more technologically integrated, but still sustainable restaurant.

In 2012, Bergelt opened Charbar Co. in his hometown with features like computerized table ordering and sustainable business operations. In addition to the high-end technology, Bergelt makes sure that the food is high-end as well; he is not talking about the price, though, he is referring to “gourmet tastes that you may not associate with a burger”. Nick Bergelt has laid the foundation for a future of restaurants that integrate technology, sustainability, and gourmet food.

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