Hannibal Regional Blog


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Certified Organic

Organic Food

The Statistics

• 8 out of 10 parents purchase organic products “at least sometimes,” according to a 2013 survey by the Organic Trade Association (OTA), and fresh produce is the leading category of organic purchases.
• Organic food sales make up about 4% of the $760 billion annual food sales in the U.S., according to an industry survey conducted for the OTA by Nutrition Business Journal.
• In 2014, 51% of parents surveyed by the OTA said that cost limited their organic purchases.

Why Shop Organic?

Organic shoppers are typically health conscious and convinced that organic foods and beverages “are healthier”. Also fueling the organic trend is the concern about the environment, interest in where food comes from, how the food was grown, and the desire for “clean eating”. There is a growing population of people who like to see environment-friendly companies/industries, and offering organic foods is one way that companies get that reputation.

The Truth about Organics

• The “USDA Organic” designation refers to a unique set of sourcing, growing, harvesting and processing methods, and does not mean that a product is healthful, more nutrient-dense or safer.
• The term “organic” is often misinterpreted. Many consumers assume that “organic” means “nutritious,” or “more nutritious” than conventional foods when this is not always the case. For every study that says organic food is nutritionally superior, there’s another study that says the differences are insignificant. There are several variables that can impact the nutritional composition of food crops, such as variations from field to field and growing season to growing season.
• In 2014, 51% of parents surveyed by the OTA said that cost limited their organic purchases. As a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist, affordability is a big factor when discussing appropriate food choices with patients/clients. Consuming the recommended amount of nutritious conventional foods such as fruits and vegetables is more beneficial and far more important than consuming a limited amount of organic fruits and vegetables. For example, 1 serving of organic fruit may be 2-3 times the cost of 1 serving of conventional fruit, thus a household with a limited food budget would likely consume less produce if recommended to buy organic.
• It is important to note that organic potato chips still contain calories, fat and sodium, and organic cookies still contains calories, fat and added sugar.
Just because it is organic, does not mean it is healthy, and just because it is non-organic does not mean it is not healthy.
• Pro Organic: Organic foods are often locally grown and support small families which is both healthful and environmentally friendly! Organic foods may offer many benefits to your health but do your homework first and know who you are buying your food from and where it was grown (preferably the USA)!
• Take home message: choose more whole foods and less processed foods, choose more fruits and vegetables, whole grains, lean meats and low fat dairy, regardless of whether they are organic or not. 

Breakfast Casserole HannibalRecipe Request: “A Healthy Breakfast Casserole”
Recipe Re-Do: Garden Vegetable Crustless Quiche
Breakfast casseroles are popular because they are a one-dish meal and can be prepped the night before and baked the next morning. Most casseroles call for croissants/bread, whole milk or heavy cream, lots of cheese, high sodium cream soup and fattening meats.  However, a breakfast casserole can be very nutritious while still being a big hit Easter morning, or for any meal. The recipe below is packed with nutritious vegetables and provides more than 1/3 of the recommended amount of calcium per day. 

9 large eggs
1 cup (6 ounces) shredded reduced-fat extra sharp cheddar cheese, divided
1 cup (6 ounces) shredded reduced-fat Monterey Jack cheese, divided
1/2 cup skim milk
1/2 cup all-purpose flour (about 2 1/4 ounces)
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 (16-ounce) carton fat-free cottage cheese
Cooking spray
4 cups sliced zucchini (about 4)
2 cups diced potato 
1 cup diced onion
1 cup finely chopped green bell pepper (about 1)
1 (8-ounce) package pre-sliced mushrooms
1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
2 tomatoes, thinly sliced

Preheat oven to 400°.
Beat eggs in a large bowl until fluffy. Add 1/2 cup cheddar cheese, 1/2 cup Jack cheese, milk, flour, baking powder, salt, and cottage cheese; set aside. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add zucchini and the next 4 ingredients; sauté for 5 minutes or until tender. Add the parsley and sautéed veggies to egg mixture. Pour mixture into a 3-quart casserole dish coated with cooking spray. Top with the remaining 1/2 cup Jack cheese and cheddar cheese. Arrange tomato slices over cheese. Bake at 400° for 15 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 350° (do not remove dish from oven), and bake for 35 minutes or until lightly browned and set.

Yield: 12 servings 
Nutritional Information:
Calories per serving: 209
Fat per serving: 7.8g
Saturated fat per serving: 3.6g
Protein per serving: 17g
Carbohydrates per serving: 17.9g
Fiber per serving: 1.9g
Cholesterol per serving: 158mg
Sodium per serving: 514mg
Vitamin A 31.1 %
Vitamin C 32.3 %
Vitamin D 9.6 %
Calcium 35.2 %

Katie Foster, RDN, LD - Hannibal Regional Hospital

Savor the Flavor of Eating Right!

During National Nutrition Month our Registered Dietitians want to help you Savor the Flavor of Eating Right!  Our Dietitians have each chosen a quick tip to help you maintain your healthy eating goals or help you on your journey to better.  

Katie Foster, RDN, LD says to try a couscous salad, "Couscous is slightly lower in calories than most pastas and higher in Selenium. Couple that with vegetables, lite salad dressing and the healthy fat in olives, you have a winning combination!"

Marie Niemeyer, RDN, LD, CDE, reminds you, "If you really want a dessert, make it better for you by choosing one with fruit, nuts (walnuts have omega-3’s), and oil vs. solid fats. Share the piece or reduce portion size to save calories."

Nancy Hays, RDN, LD says to try a Pork Chow Mein, "By using very lean pork (low saturated fat), lots of vegetables (with phytochemicals and antioxidants) and low sodium ingredients, this recipe packs in nutrition and taste for everyone!"