Food & Health


Food, Nutrition & Health

Fill Up On Cool Summer Salads
By Lisa Franzen-Castle, UNL Extension Nutrition Specialist

Image of saladAny way you toss it, a main dish green salad is an easy, nutritious meal especially on a hot summer's night. National Salad Week is in July, and summer is a great time to fill up, and not out, on fruits and veggies in a lightly dressed salad! Check out the following tips on how to make salads spectacular this summer.


Got Milk?  June is National Dairy Month
By Lisa Franzen-Castle, UNL Extension Nutrition Specialist

Image of Dairy ProductsOnly 30 percent of Americans meet their recommended intake of calcium, and the U.S. Surgeon General's office predicted that by 2020, half of all Americans older than 50 will be at risk for fractures from osteoporosis and low bone mass. June is National Dairy Month and dairy foods can help close the gap; they supply not only calcium, but also potassium, magnesium and vitamin A, nutrients that most Americans don't get enough of. Current recommendations state that children 2 to 3 years old should get 2 cups of dairy foods daily, children 4 to 8 years old should get 2 ½ cups daily, and males and females 9 years and older should get 3 cups daily. This includes low-fat and fat-free milk, as well as cheese and yogurt, since these foods are also valuable and tasty sources of essential nutrients.


Benefits of Beans
By Lisa Franzen-Castle, UNL Extension Nutrition Specialist,
and Carlos A. Urrea, Ph.D. Department of Agronomy & Horticulture
Image of bean soup
Find the recipe for Rosemary Chicken with White Beans, along with other great recipes, at

Many have heard the popular tune of 'beans, beans, the magical fruit, the more you eat the more you...,' well you know the rest. Although beans are not a fruit, they may be considered magical because they fit under not one, but two food groups.

Within USDA's MyPlate they fit under the vegetable and protein foods group because they are so packed with vitamins, minerals, protein and fiber.

When it comes to US dry edible bean production, Nebraska ranks first in production of great northern beans, second in pinto beans, and fourth in all dry edible bean production. Dry bean production is concentrated in western Nebraska, with Scotts Bluff, Box Butte, and Morrill counties accounting for nearly half of production. Check out the following health benefits and tips to eat more beans and how the Nebraska dry bean breeding program is working to develop more durable and healthy varieties of dry beans and chickpeas.


Windmill Image

10 Reasons to Buy Local Nebraska Food

  1. Local foods taste better- Produce in the supermarket normally has spent days on the road or in cold storage; however, at a farmers market it has been picked within 24 hours of your purchase. Buying at a farmers market means produce have been allowed to ripen to its peak flavor when you buy it.
  2. Stay in touch with the seasons- Enjoying seasonally ripened foods allows YOU to reap the benefits of fruits and vegetables at their peak tastes and for a fraction of the cost.
  3. It's an experience- Buying local gives YOUR family the opportunity for a unique experience. Whether you go to a farmers market or even to the farm itself you get the chance to meet and find out where your food is grown. There is also the sweet treat of a chance for a free taste test!