Westminster Farmers' Market

  (Westminster, Massachusetts)
Bringing you local food, friends and fun.
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KFC's Atkins Diet Sandwich


Guarantied, it's not local food.  But, is it an artery clogger or an item from The Atkins Diet?

KFC has a new menu item, a bacon cheese sandwich, between two slices of fried chicken.




  Read the comments, and decide for yourself.







Westminster Farmers/ Market Report for 12-11-09

Westminster Farmers’ Market Report from Maple Heights Farm

Is USDA Organic Cereal Better For Your Children?  It Is Not For Mine!

Stop by our Holiday Market for some Christmas Caroling (by Ann Patsis) and Holiday Cheer!  This final Farmers’ Market of 2009 will be held in the DPW barn on December 11, 2009 from 3:00 until 6:00.  The barn will be overflowing with unique and locally made gift items and all the local food you need to get you through holiday all your Holiday parties!

There are many items at our market and I probably only know of about one tenth.  But, some possible ideas for you to consider for Christmas Gifts include: wine gift sets (including everything you need except the wine), warm crocheted hats and scarfs, soaps – including beautiful shaving sets, beautiful hand-painted, antique reproduction tin pieces, jewelry, photos and cards of local scenery, tote bags and ornaments and so much more.  You can easily put together a few gifts for those hard to please people on your list!  Also consider that there is really no finer hostess gift than something handmade in our own local region.  And don’t forget hostess gifts which can be something as simple as a cookie mix, jams and jellies, or handmade soaps!

Seasonal food is also available for your entertaining needs.  You will find beef, pork, cheddar, Gouda and goat cheese, winter greens and vegetables, breads, jams, and baked goods, desserts and candies, all locally produced!

Another Reason that Local Food Is Better Than Organic:

I stopped by Big Lot’s today because Russell wanted to go to the Dollar Tree, so we checked out both stores.  We just wandered through seeing what was there.  Over by the far wall is a processed food aisle and food interests me, so we wandered through.  I was actually looking for some of the children’s cereal that made the news last month.  They were the typical sugary brands (I think Fruit Loops and Captain Crunch type things) that were labeled with a nutritious stamp of approval which horrifies me and I wanted to see it for myself.  They must have been pulled from the shelves pretty quickly because (though I don’t go down the cereal aisle that often), I have yet to see this label. 

I also have searched stores for Organic Marshmallow but have yet to find it.  I don’t care to eat it (and believe me, we buy marshmallows – for s’mores and for hot chocolate), I just want it as proof to anyone that cares that organic doesn’t mean what they think it means.  The word has been taken and redefined by the USDA and by food conglomerates that want their share of the market.  Organic used to be used to describe healthy whole foods that were grown under certain conditions.  In my opinion, if the USDA calls marshmallow an organic food, that does not make it an organic food.  My definition of organic is better than that.  Now you can even buy organic corn syrup and even organic cotton candy floss (see where this link lists it as healthy?  Shame on them!).  I’m not saying we shouldn’t eat it.  But this is NOT health food and it shouldn’t be marketed as such!  Last spring, I could comfortably buy organic root beer extract knowing that it wouldn’t have corn syrup.  But no more.  In my opinion, people should not even be eating corn syrup (most of it is high fructose corn syrup or HFCS).  You can read about it in this slightly technical article.  Or just Google it for yourself.  Just read multiple articles and make your decision.  Even Mayo Clinic and Harvard University, while saying it is as safe as table sugar, use words like “as for now” and “yielded conflicting results” -- scary words if we are feeding it to our children!  And the problem is: we are eating a LOT of corn syrup.  Just read the labels, the “organic” ones too!

I never did find the box of cereal that I was looking for – and you can see how I get sidetracked.  I did come across some Clifford Crunch cereal from Cascadian Farms (the website shows a very wholesome photo of its founder Gene Kahn, but I have to go to the General Mills website to find who owns Cascadian Farm.  The thing that made me notice this box was the bragging statement that it contains 16 grams of whole grain.  That is just over ½ an ounce which didn’t seem like that much to me.  So I compared it to my favorite breakfast cereal which has four grams of fiber, no sodium, 100% whole grain, 10%RDA for Iron, 5 grams of protein, and is not fortified with any extra vitamins (I can take a pill for that).  Ingredient list?  100% Natural Rolled Oats.

News from Our Farm

At Maple Heights Farm, we will have our last batch of 25 chickens processed on December 20th, just in time for a Holiday meal if you wish (pair it with a small boneless ham and you have the makings of a terrific Christmas dinner).  These chickens are a heritage breed, Barred Plymouth Rock, and are listed by the American Livestock Breeds Conservancy.  The American Livestock Breeds Conservancy protects genetic diversity in livestock and poultry species through the conservation and promotion of endangered breeds.  Now, if you followed along with my suggested reading last summer, you will know: if you eat them, the species will recover an interesting paradox to say the least.  Our chickens have been free-ranging outside since they were old enough to survive the elements without protection (though we brought them in on Tuesday night for the first time due to the weather).  We have used a “chicken tractor” that gets moved to fresh grass every few days, providing a clean and rich source of food.  This is not your oven-stuffer roaster (we had those in October and they were delicious in their own right) but should have a more chicken-like flavor, though not as plump and tender (or mushy as some would say).    We will take orders by email or at the market on Friday.  Price is $4.00 per pound and I estimate they will weigh between 3 and 5 pounds each.  Pickup will be at our home in Westminster later in the day on December 20th.    These can be eaten fresh on or before Christmas Day or put in the freezer for later this winter.

Kerrie Hertel   





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