Food

Something to chew on: Senior congregate meals serve up food and friendship

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   It’s more than the meatloaf and lemon meringue pie that draws senior citizens to congregate meals at community centers across the nation. It’s something that doesn’t show up on the daily menu. And it’s something that many seniors can’t get their daily dosage of at home. Almost as important as the nutrition served up at senior centers is the conversation shared around the dinner tables. Robert Blancato, executive director of the National Association of Nutrition and Aging Services Programs, is going across the nation doing research on the value of congregate meals for senior citizens. On Friday, he was in Bowling Green at the Wood County Senior Center for lunch with local citizens. “We know there’s a growing problem of isolation of older people,” Blancato said. So he is surveying seniors about the values of casseroles and conversations. “I’ve decided to sit with older adults and ask them myself.” Denise Niese, executive director of the Wood County Committee on Aging, said much research has been done on how home-delivered meals help seniors remain independent in their own homes. “We know the value of home-delivered meals,” Niese said. But until now, no one…


BG revelers raise their glasses and voices in memory of Robert Burns

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News   All we needed Friday night was Robert Burns processing into Naslada Bistro with the haggis. After all, we had bagpipes, and plenty of tartan, including Bulgarian chef Boyko Mitov clad in a tam o’ shanter, sash and kilt of Royal Stewart. And he wasn’t the only one baring his manly gams. Later there would be poetry and song, and traditional Scottish dishes, and of course, many rounds of whisky. The occasion was a celebration of the birth of Robert Burns, and if the bard of Scotland and bawdy bon vivant was absent is body – being dead some 220 years is a good enough excuse– he was certainly there in spirit. This is the second annual Burns Night held at the downtown restaurant. Or, as host Elliot MacFarlane said, the second and a half. Another Burns night was held Thursday. Demand for the first in 2016 prompted Mitov and MacFarlane to present it two nights this year. Burn Night Dinners are a tradition dating back to shortly after the poet’s death. Now on the face of it, a night devoted to the poetry and song of a long dead personage, with interlude grandly…


Survey to check your eating and exercising efforts

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   Public health officials want to know if you are eating your broccoli and carrots, or if you are more of a couch potato. So last week, people from various health and service agencies sat around a table at the Wood County Health District and talked about what kind of questions to pose to local residents to get a pulse on their health. Specifically, they want to know what you are eating and how much you are moving. Are there barriers to you eating fruits and vegetables – access, cost, transportation? Are there barriers to you exercising – no parks or trails, can’t afford a gym membership? The Northwest Ohio Hospital Council is coordinating efforts to check on the nutrition and activity of residents in several counties. Locally, the survey will look at the health opportunities and challenges here in Wood County. Brittany Ward, with the Northwest Ohio Hospital Council, is hoping to get at least 1,000 responses in Wood County, covering young, old, rural and urban populations. The group meeting last week was trying to narrow down questions so the online survey is manageable and not so long that people give up…


Rebecca Singer, new leader at Center for Innovative Food Technology, is rooted in farming

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News In her new position as CEO and president of the Center for Innovative Food Technology, Rebecca Singer has to deal with the entire spectrum of the food industry, from seed to package. She brings just the right mix of experience the job requires. Singer, who took over the leadership role about a month ago, has a degree in agri-business and applied economics from Ohio State, and she managed the state’s Ohio Proud program before taking a position with CIFT 15 years ago. All that is grounded on the farm. She grew up on a farm in Defiance County, and when she moved back to Northwest Ohio to join CIFT, she decided settle back there. She and her brother now manage the operation while their father stays involved in the chores he enjoys like driving the tractor. They grow soybeans and ponder all the issues that farmers face. Do they have enough acreage for a viable soybean operation? Should they transition into vegetables and specialty crops? “It lends a lot of authenticity that these are the kinds of things that go through our minds on our operation,” Singer said. Like Ohio’s weather, the agriculture sector…


BG dinner to toast poet Robert Burns

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News Elliot MacFarlane of Bowling Green, found an unusual partner in his celebration of the birth of Scottish national poet Robert Burns, Bulgarian chef Boyko Mitov. For the second year, they are teaming up to present Robert Burns Night dinners , Thursday, Jan. 26, and Friday, Jan. 27, at 6 p.m. both nights at Naslada Bistro, 182 S, Main St., in Bowling Green. Dinners in honor of Burns, around the time of his Jan. 25 birthday, have been celebrated since the poet’s death in 1796, MacFarlane, a member of the St. Andrews Society said. He has been involved in organizing such events for decades in Toledo, Detroit, Frankenmuth and elsewhere. The closest to home was years back when there was one presented at Nazareth Hall. Now, he has to drive miles, to enjoy and help others enjoy this mid-winter festivity. Last year, after working with Mitov on a Scotch tasting dinner, they decided to present a Burns Night celebration. Held one night in January, 2016, the restaurant was packed and had dozens on the waiting list. This year, the Burns dinner will be presented twice. MacFarlane said he’s had people approach him to make sure…


The Andersons announces it will exit retail business

From THE ANDERSONS INC. / PRNewswire The Andersons, Inc. (Nasdaq:ANDE) announces today (Jan. 15)  its plans to exit the retail business and close its remaining four retail stores in the second quarter of 2017. The retail closings will have no impact on the Company’s grain, ethanol, plant nutrient and rail operations. “The decision to close The Andersons stores was not easy for anyone involved,” says CEO Pat Bowe. “Choosing to cease a business that has spanned 65 years and employs about 1,050 people is tremendously difficult.” The closing will eliminate approximately 650 positions in the Toledo area and 400 positions in Columbus, of which approximately 75 percent are part-time positions. The Company will provide employees with severance packages and outplacement services to assist them in their career transitioning. During the past eight years the Retail Group has incurred pre-tax losses, including previous asset impairments, in excess of $20 million and closed three stores. The full financial impact of this closure has not been determined. The Company expects to record pre-tax impairment charges on long-lived assets related to the Retail segment of approximately $6.5 million in the fourth quarter of 2016. The Company expects to record a pre-tax charge in the…


What’s for lunch? Meatloaf wrapped up in red tape

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   Meatloaf and turkey were on the menu Thursday for the 550 Meals on Wheels recipients in Wood County. The side dish – a big helping of red tape from the state. The Ohio Department of Aging created a new rule for all home-delivered meals supported by the state, requiring the recipients to sign for the meals each time they are delivered. That may not seem like a problem, but to those who deliver the meals and to those who receive them, it’s a bit of needless bureaucracy that clogs up a pretty efficient system. Denise Niese, executive director of the Wood County Committee on Aging, said the signature requirement adds time to the delivery routes, compromises the temperature safety of the food maintained by hot and cold packs, and makes some seniors uncomfortable that they need to sign for their meals each day. But State Sen. Randy Gardner, R-Bowling Green, said he is working to remove bureaucracy from the Meals on Wheels menu. Prior to the new rule, many seniors looked at the Meals on Wheels system as a dinner being dropped off by a neighborly volunteer, Niese said. Now it feels…


MLK food drive canvasses BG neighborhoods

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News The Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service “Can” vass Food Drive matched last year’s haul of food and other necessities despite being short-handed. The drive coordinated by the Brown Bag Food Project, could have use three times the crew of volunteers to cover all the neighborhoods in the city. Still, Amy Jo Holland, Brown Bag founder, said those people reached were generous. Very few reached said no. The drive gather between 60-70 boxes of food. By late afternoon those goods, non-perishable food, hygiene items and paper goods were being boxed up to be distributed by the six organizations that will share the bounty. In addition to Brown Bag, the other organizations benefitting are: First United Methodist Church, St. Mark’s Lutheran, Broken Chains, St. Thomas More, and BG Christian Food Pantry.  Each will receive 10 to 12 boxes. That should be enough for a couple months, she said. In divvying up items, Holland said, attention is paid to the kind of service provided. Broken Chains, she said, works with the homeless, so it received all the trial size hygiene items and single serving and ready to eat food items. Homeless folks don’t have can openers,…


Center for Innovative Food Technology to host seminar on food trucks

Submitted by the CENTER FOR INNOVATIVE FOOD TECHNOLOGY Food transport, service and catering requirements will be the topic of discussion at a seminar hosted by the Center for Innovative Food Technology (CIFT), Wednesday, Feb. 22, 2017 from 5 – 6:30 p.m. at the Northwest Ohio Cooperative Kitchen (NOCK). Four experts, who specialize in working closely with mobile food companies, food service operations, caterers, and other similar entities, will address the various regulations for obtaining and maintaining licenses, food safety rules, inspections, and numerous other aspects of the industry. A growing trend within this area is the growth of food trucks.  According to a 2015 IBISWorld survey, revenue in the food truck business industry has increased 9.3 percent from 2010 to 2015, with more than 5,000 food truck businesses throughout the U.S. employing 14,000 people. Featured speakers include Brad Sherrick and Jerry Bingham from the Toledo-Lucas County Health Department, and Jillan Bodey and Julie Nye from the Wood County Health District. These processing procedures will be explained within the NOCK – a kitchen-based setting that educates and advises entrepreneurs interested in starting a food business.  Food-related business owners, aspiring entrepreneurs, and those who are producing a product to sell at markets…


MLK food drive needs help to reach all corners of BG

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News More volunteers are needed so the annual BG Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service Food Drive reach out to more households throughout Bowling Green. The drive to collect non-perishable food and hygiene items will be held Saturday, Jan.14, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., and Sunday, Jan. 15, noon to 4 p.m. The drive is being coordinated by the Brown Bag Food Project working out of Grounds for Thought in Bowling Green. According to Amy Jo Holland, of Brown Bag, said last year about 100 volunteers were able to canvas about two-thirds of Bowling Green. About 70 boxes of food was collected and was distributed to six area food pantries. The aim this year is to have enough people to reach all neighborhoods. In a Facebook post the organizers wrote: “We have had a wonderful response in previous years and hope to set a record with this year’s endeavor. As many of you are aware, there is a dire need for food donations in our area; we have a large number of food insecure people, and the area food pantries are extremely low on supplies.” They are asking residents to have their donations ready,…


Some of the stories that clicked for BG Indy in 2016

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News If you ask those of us involved with BG Independent News, the biggest news of 2016 was that we got this enterprise started and weathered our first year. This has been a great venture that has both challenged and rewarded us, if not enriched us. We pride ourselves on writing the best stories about Bowling Green, its immediate surroundings and area arts and entertainment scene. We’ve been heartened by the fact that we’ve had close to 160,000 users and 600,000 page views since the website was launched in late January. For that Jan McLaughlin and I thank you, our readers. It’s been a great ride. As we start a new year, we thought we’d go back and see just what stories drew the most traffic in the previous one. I decided on a top 30 of the more than 1,700 stories we’ve published. That includes the bylined stories that make up the heart of BG Independent News, but also Community Voices, Opinion, Obituaries and Newsbreak (though not the event listings that get lumped into What’s Happening in Your Community). (See the list of links at the end of the story.) The story that drew…


Hirzel Canning blends tradition & innovation in products packed with the flavor of Northwest Ohio

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News When Prohibition knocked Carl Hirzel’s upstate New York brewery out of business, he turned his knowledge of fermentation toward making another product. “He took his technology for making beer and turned it to making sauerkraut,” said his great-grandson Steve Hirzel. By then Carl and his wife, Lena, had joined his brothers in the Toledo area.  “The company literally started in the kitchen,” Hirzel said. Hirzel Canning & Farms continues in operation 93 years later with a fifth generation moving in to keep the firm moving forward. And the company still makes sauerkraut, originally sold under the Deer Lodge brand now as Silver Fleece. Business is good for the tart fermented cabbage, Hirzel, president of Hirzel Canning, told the Bowling Green Exchange Club Tuesday. The company is still looking toward fermentation as a way to develop other products for an increasingly fickle consumer. Hirzel said company’s success is rooted in the Great Black Swamp. “In our backyard we’ve been given a garden to grow our crops. … Half of products we get are within 10 miles of the facility.” Those products now are centered on tomatoes, which the company turns in salsas, pasta and Sloppy…


Thanksgiving feast feeds 600 guests in BG

By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN BG Independent News   The menu included 30 roasted turkeys, countless industrial sized cans of mashed potatoes and green beans, and of course, plenty of pumpkin pie with whipped cream dollops on the top. This Thanksgiving dinner was no place for timid cooks – not with 600 famished guests invited. As the guests filed by, their plates were heaped with the turkey and generous helpings of all the trimmings. “It’s just like a real Thanksgiving,” said Lynn Eck, who has coordinated the Community Thanksgiving Feast at the Bowling Green Community Center for the last six years. The meal, donated by members of Grace Church and Christ Church in Bowling Green, has been an annual tradition now for 25 years. The dinner welcomed the hungry, the lonely, the old and the young. “There are a lot of familiar faces,” Eck said as she looked out from the busy kitchen at the line of guests. “For a lot of people, this is their Thanksgiving.” “For me, it’s my favorite day of the year,” Eck said. “It’s like having your whole family over – a really big family.” The thought of serving 600 turkey dinners would be enough to…


Sweet things to taste, hear, & read on tap at library

From WOOD COUNTY DISTRICT PUBLIC LIBRARY Concerts, a holiday cookie bake-off and tasting, and an author visit help usher in the season at Wood County District Public Library (251 North Main St., Bowling Green). Give yourself a break from the hustle and bustle of the season, and stop by the library for these programs. Tuesday, November 29, 7 pm. Students in piano studies at Bowling Green State University’s College of Musical Arts return to the WCDPL Atrium for another virtuoso concert. This last concert in the BGSU Fall Concert Series at the library features selections from the work of nine master composers, including that of Bach, Beethoven, Schumann, and Brahms, as well as the work of Alexander Scriabin, Gabriel Fauré, Alberto Ginastera, and Sergei Prokofiev. Sunday, December 4, 2 pm. The Great Holiday Bake-off takes place in the Library Atrium. Bakers and cookie tasters are needed! Tasters are invited to come and sample cookies, then vote on their favorites. To enter the bake-off, bakers are asked to bring 2 dozen cookies and their recipe. Multiple cookie entries are accepted, how ever bakers should a recipe for each type of cookie type. For purposes of determining contest winners, bakers will be…


Brown Bag Food Project has a place of its own

By DAVID DUPONT BG Independent News The Brown Bag Food Project has moved into its own place. The project, which provides emergency food and other supplies to people in crisis, has taken up residence at 115 W. Merry St., Unit B, in Bowling Green. It had been operating out of the home of founder Amy Jo Holland’s mother. Now Brown Bag will start holding regular hours for people to drop off food and other household items and for people in need to pick up deliveries. The office will be open Monday and Wednesday, 5 to 8 p.m., and Friday and Saturday, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Holland said people can still call at other times. The number is 419-960-5345. Brown Bag provides five-days of food and sanitary products. The idea is to step in at a time of most need and to direct families to get more permanent assistance. People can only use the service once in a six-month period. According to the project, about 15 percent of people in Wood County experience food insecurity.   Holland said the project assists about 200 people a month. Gwen Andrix, member of the board, said they get a couple calls a day….