Healthy Is The New Cool
Everywhere we go, we hear about eating fresh, buying local, becoming stronger members of our communities, and of course that magic word, “Healthy.”
At this summer’s Kick-Off, Taher, Inc. rolled out an initiative to support many of these, but with a bit of a twist, to make it Cool.
“If Healthy Is The New Cool, How Cool Are You?” is based on the principles of being Fresh, Healthy, Local, Fun, and of course, Cool. The initiative is designed to help our team members participate in a judgment-free effort, to accomplish one thing each day that meets one, or several, of our principles. It might mean taking the time to meet a new grower in our community, volunteering to help teach others the benefits and ease of cooking/eating healthy, or simply walking up the stairs instead taking the elevator.
Many of us love the idea of being healthy, but we still struggle, so we made Education and Team Engagement our foundation. Last month, we extended an invitation to company employees and their families, to take an organized field trip to the Minneapolis Farmers Market and then to Chef Matt Quist’s home for our first cooking class. We ended up with 20+ team members, from all divisions of the company, who participated. Our team heard from various farmers and growers, who shared the importance of picking food when it’s ready to be harvested, what time of the year is best to harvest different items, and what exactly makes their food taste so great.
Untiedt’s Farm, located in Waverly MN, is a current growing partner that shared with our team some of the practices they use to provide the freshest produce each week. Such practices include hand picking every ear of corn each morning, and putting them into recycled bushel bags. A few of us asked if we could do some picking one day, but cordially backed out when we learned they are picking one thousand ears of corn per hour!
If you ever wondered why their sweet corn tastes so much better, you might be intrigued to know they use an heirloom seed for their corn. This means that they have used the same strand for over forty years, saving part of each year’s harvest to allow for next year’s planting!
If you’re like many of us, we often struggle to find simple (yet exciting) new recipes to use for the abundant fresh items found at the Farmers Market. After our trip to the market, we all met at Chef Matt’s to learn some simple techniques and recipes that utilized our fresh finds. Our task was to use only the food we purchased at the market to create our dishes. Some of the wonderful items we purchased included fresh caught trout from a local trout farm, homemade bacon with Hungarian pepper from a local pig farmer, as well as lots of incredible produce! We ended up creating seven of the freshest and most delicious items I’ve ever had! There was sweet corn succotash, fresh grilled trout, grilled sweet corn, and turkish peasant salad just to name a few! Many of us learned how to filet a whole trout, some secrets of simple grilled corn, and of course a new recipe for fresh succotash (recipe shown below).
In the end, colleagues became friends over an extremely fresh, delicious, and completely local lunch.