Happy Memorial Day! Repost 2014

“The brave die never, though they sleep in dust:  Their courage nerves a thousand living men.”

-Minot J. Savage

This blog post is dedicated with unending gratitude to all of the soldiers who have given the ultimate sacrifice.

Until Next Week… Plan Well, Pack Well, Live Well,



Money Talks

Spending dollars and what they are used to purchase reveal cultural norms, offer insight about accessibility, and provide information concerning values.  A recently published article detailing America’s consumer patterns shows the metaphorical language spoken when money talks in the United States.  A sequential list numbered one through 10 identifies the vendors holding the most coveted stakes in America’s purchasing decisions:

America is home to 14,259 McDonald’s, making this restaurant America’s second most visited shop.  Finishing in third place is Subway, in April of 2016 34.0% of Americans’ traveled to one of its 26, 960 locations.  Starbucks comes in closely behind Subway, and in April of 2016, 31.2% of Americans’ traveled to one of its 7,559 locations.  Taco Bell ranks eighth on the list with 6,121 U.S. locations and 19.3% of the U.S. population traveling to one of these locations in April of 2016.  19.2% of Americans’ traveled to Burger King in April of 2016, aiding in the restaurant’s standing at ninth place.

The above statistics quantitatively describe restaurants.  The remaining stores on the top 10 list, while not advertised or branded as restaurants, offer food and beverage products to consumers.  Walmart reigns supreme at number one on the list, and the remaining stores include: Walgreens, Target, CVS, and Dollar Tree.

How do you think this information depicts America’s cultural norms, U.S. consumer access to food and beverage products, and American values?  In your opinion, what is the language spoken when money talks in the U.S.?

Until Next Week… Plan Well, Pack Well, Live Well,


Top 10 Tips for Purchasing Quality Olive Oil

The following 10 suggestions require the engagement of your visual perception, your olfactory sense, and your palette in order to deduce authentic olive oils from fraudulent ones.  Put these helpful hints into practice and approach the olive oil aisle in the grocery store with finesse:

  1. Scan the label for an expiration date and a harvest date.  These two pieces of information verify the quality of the product.
  2. Scan the label for information pertaining to where the olive oil was obtained from.  According to Durante Cuomo of DeRomo’s Gourmet Market, “A lot of olive oil may say it was packed in Italy, but not made in Italy.  You need to know who makes the olive oil.”
  3. Ensure that the olive oil is transparent.  To that end, the product should not be cloudy in appearance.
  4. The olive oil should be housed in a bottle that is opaque and does not reflect light.
  5. Olive oil ranging in the color spectrum from sunshine to forest green is preferable.
  6. Take note of the scent of the olive oil after you’ve purchased it by twisting the bottle in a spiraling pattern in order to smell the aroma.
  7. Judging by the scent of the olive oil, decide prior to preparing a meal with it whether or not it is quality.  According to Neuman Cuomo of DeRomo’s Gourmet Market, “If it’s good it should either have an olive smell, green or grassy, or like a riper fruity olive.  If it smells like crayon, tire tread or shoe leather, those are bad smells.  Close the bottle, take it back to the store and get a refund.”
  8. Trust your palette to adapt different food pairings with olive oil.  Certain appetizers, salads, and entrées pair especially well with certain types of olive oils.
  9. Let your tastebuds determine the nutritional quality of the olive oil.  According to Neuman Cuomo of DeRomo’s Gourmet Market, “Rancid oil is not healthy for you.  It’s full of oxidation.”
  10. Refer to the following website in order to glean further knowledge about purchasing authentic olive oils:  truthinoliveoil.com

Do you have a favorite bottle of olive oil, or a go-to recipe that just isn’t the same without this product’s earthy flavor?

Until Next Week… Plan Well, Pack Well, Live Well,


My New Favorite App Is…

Sugar Rush!  A cousin of my first favorite app, Fooducate, Sugar Rush offers a comprehensive breakdown of the added and natural sugars in commercial food and beverage products.  Simply scan the barcode of a food or beverage to receive an analysis of the sugar content in said product.  This analysis also contains a “Did you know?” fact about sugar and its health effects… so each time you scan a product, you can simultaneously educate yourself about the new hot button nutrient in medicine and the media.  Sugar Rush is available to download on iPhones at no cost, and compatible technologies for Androids are currently in the works.

For a refresher on the  daily allotment of added and natural sugars for men and women, please see my previous blog post entitled: “Food for Thought – How Sweet is TOO Sweet?” https://letseatlunch.wordpress.com/2015/01/28/food-for-thought-how-sweet-is-too-sweet/

For a refresher on added sugars, please see my previous blog post entitled: “Added Sugar “Pseudonyms” and Other Super Sleuth Secrets.” https://letseatlunch.wordpress.com/2015/02/03/added-sugar-pseudonyms-and-other-super-sleuth-secrets/

If you have experience with Sugar Rush, please comment and let our community know what you think of this app!

Until Next Week… Plan Well, Pack Well, Live Well,



Let’s Talk (#8)

It’s finals week here, so this post is short and sweet:

“Just because you’re not sick doesn’t mean you’re healthy.”



Until Next Week… Plan Well, Pack Well, Live Well,