Chef Seth Bixby-Daugherty reports that the long-waited website for Real Food Initiatives is up and running, offering resources for those joining his quest to improve school lunch programs and help kids "break the cycle of processed foods" and learn about "real food" and how to prepare it. He also includes two weeks' worth of ideas for healthful bag lunches and a few recipes to boot. Check it out at www.realfood initiatives.com.Budget cooking
A recent survey by the popular website Allrecipes.com revealed that rising food prices prompted one in five respondents to skip meals or to consider doing that to feed their children. Spurred by an increase in user searches for low-cost recipes, Allrecipes.com has launched "Cooking on a Budget" at allrecipes.com/HowTo/Cooking-on-a-Budget/Detail.aspx. The site has tips for stretching dollars and "Cheaper Than Takeout" videos, in addition to recipes.Eco-picnicking
If you're a green-conscious host who winces at the environmental impact of an outdoor party's disposable ease, check out Eco-Products compostable items. They're made from an annually renewable resource -- corn -- and include cold cups, hot cups, cutlery and straws made from NatureWorks PLA biopolymer. Plates are made from sugar-cane pulp, which usually is discarded as a byproduct. Eco-Products said its items fully compost in a commercial facility in 45 to 90 days. They're available only online at www.ecoproducts.com.
Food blogs boost print
The typical U.S. food blog reader is an affluent woman, age 25 to 34, married with no children. She consults food blogs daily, often more than once, and values a blogger's candid writing style, diverse voice and range of topics. So says Leena Trivedi-Grenier, who surveyed more than 1,800 food blog readers for her master's thesis in gastronomy from the University of Adelaide in Australia. Readers said that blogs were as reliable as print journalism on food topics, and 14 percent said they now read more print because of blogs. Still, most felt that a food blog is better at building community than print because people can comment -- although most said they never do. "This suggests that respondents prefer to be "passive participants" within a community that thrives on participatory communication," Trivedi-Grenier wrote. Sounds like the same people who cut a shared dessert in half again and again rather than be caught eating the last bite.