Food News Today Transcripts for the week of August 13th, 2012

August 17, 2012

Home gardening is still popular, gourmet camping, and are we territorial in coffee shops?

Good morning, Food News Today is sponsored by ConAgra Foods, who shares with me the desire to provide the most current, interesting, and unbiased food news.

Are consumers gardening more now than a year ago, considering the increasing food costs, and greater interest in where our food is coming from? We conducted an exclusive quick poll of the SupermarketGuru consumer panel - Here's what we found.

 Vegetable, fruit and herb gardening increased on average about 5 percent. The top 3 reasons with 71% of the results were "I enjoy home Gardening as a hobby", "I feel homegrown foods taste better" and "I maintain a home garden as a source of food for my household."  In fact, not a single panelist said they were not interested in home gardening. Now that's clear evidence people want to take some part of their food production into their own hands and that supermarkets could benefit from offering not only a more extensive line of gardening supplies, but also community programs that teach basic gardening, how to cook with homegrown herbs, or even a kids' day where children plant a tomato seed in a cup to take home and learn how to take care of the plant. Healthy eating and the benefits of fresh fruits and vegetables are always a great tie in for any type of gardening programs.

>While many coffee shops and their customers - especially those who work outside of a traditional office - value the presence of home-like personal space in a public domain, researchers from the University of California Irvine’s Paul Merage School of Business have taken a closer look at how many of these caffeine-fueled hipsters—and average Joes & Janes—go to great lengths to mark and maintain that space as their own turf.  Earlier this week I spoke with Professor Mary Gilly about her recent study and the turf wars that occur at coffee shops…

Thank you professor.

>Campicureans are people who combine their love of camping and their love of good food. The average camper is probably used to hot dogs, canned tuna, beef jerky and trail mix. Not for the campicurean, whose menu may consist of Quinoa, citrus and zucchini salad, thyme roasted potatoes, a perfectly grilled steak, a breakfast burrito and so much more. And according to Chef Donald Fawcett of Scottsdale's Renegade Canteen, “the trick to fine dining around the campfire is planning ahead - packing the right equipment, planning meals to a 'T' and prepping ingredients before leaving home." The food doesn't magically prepare itself, so the right tools make a difference. If you're interested in joining camp campicurean- try to say that 3 times fast- be sure to pack tongs, a flat metal spatula, metal grate, charcoal and lighting fluid, matches, a sharp knife, extra-duty foil, cast-iron skillet, utensils and paper towels. And of course, don’t forget the trash bags.  Prep as much as possible at home. Pack and transport the food in separate containers.  You can also wash easy to eat fruits and veggies.

And if you consider yourself a campicurean or would like to be one, let me know.  And send me a picture or video of your classy camp cuisine.

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