Calling all taste buds

Kindred Kitchen, the food business incubator in north Minneapolis, is seeking food experts to critique the potential businesses emerging from its most recent 15-week program. Graduates will be showing their stuff during its annual food show and buyers fair, at 6:30 p.m. May 24. Store buyers or managers, market managers, food brokers or distributors interested in featuring local producers are needed to help as judges by completing brief feedback worksheets for the exhibitors. Interested? Contact kathy@kindredkitchen.org. The event, open to the public, showcases business strategies, but also tasty samples. Kindred Kitchen is located on W. Broadway, but the food show will be at Plymouth Christian Youth Center, 2210 Oliver Av. N., Mpls.

Serving the seniors

This is how a bandwagon begins: Sunrise Senior Living, a Virginia company that operates 311 senior communities in the United States, Canada and United Kingdom, has launched a Senior Eats food blog highlighting senior-friendly recipes and food news. The blog promotes healthful eating, seasonal celebrations and recipes designed with seniors' health, taste and dietary needs in mind. Recipes will focus on using natural herbs and spices, as well as many local and fresh ingredients. Check it out at www. SunriseSeniorEats.com.

We're No. 10!

Minneapolis-St. Paul is the nation's 10th freshest metro area, according to a survey by Ziploc, the food storage people. Here's why: Almost 40 percent of us have a vegetable garden (compared with 30 percent nationally). We have 49 fast-food restaurants per 100,000 residents (elsewhere, the ratio is 59). We have 2.16 farmers markets (compared with 1.45 nationally) per 100,000 residents. Ziploc has teamed with Rachael Ray to help us store all this produce. For ideas and recipes, visit www.facebook.com/ziploc.

Better for You dinners debut

Lunds and Byerly's have developed a new line of frozen entrées that toe the line regarding nutrition. Consider: no artificial flavors, colors or sweeteners, preservatives, hydrogenated oils, or high-fructose corn syrup; no more than 600 milligrams of sodium, nor more than 25 grams of fat, nor more than 600 calories. Need a yes? That would be flavor, without relying on excess sodium and fat. We found the barbecue beef zesty, the chicken and polenta comfortingly cheesy, and the gluten-free Sante Fe rice and beans both filling and attractive. (Is that spinach? Yes!) Microwave prep is preferred, making a meal ready in 5 to 7 minutes.

KIM ODE