Simple Questions About What We Eat

I spoke briefly with another local HyVee dietitian, Kym Wroble, asking her simple questions we may all be wondering about what we eat. She also gives some suggestions on which brands of meat to buy!


Garlic Crusted Pork Tenderloin


A friend of mine is spending her time in Costa Rica lately (jealous!). She was inspired by my blog to begin her own, and boy does she have some GREAT recipes. Her blog is entitled “Pure Life” and caters to the artistic person with a love of food and travel.

If I could travel the world just as she does, I would be a pretty happy person, but instead I will just reside in Iowa City, which still has it’s positives.

I’ve heard Iowa City referred to as the “melting pot” of Iowa. There are so many foreign students who come to the University of Iowa, and the clash of this creates some pretty interesting restaurants to pop up. I think I should feel lucky to have the beautiful ped mall just blocks away from where I live!

Although I would love to eat out here every day (which is an extremely hard thing to resist), I know that I am a college student on a budget. I also realize that eating out every single day would not be the greatest decision for my health.

One of the biggest reasons I want to eat out all the time though is convenience. I am always on a tight schedule, so finding the time to cook everyday is extremely difficult.

But, with fresh ingredients, lots of color, and easy to follow directions, Joanna’s blog makes my mouth water, and want to attempt the recipes she has posted.

Her recent post on “Garlic Crusted Pork Tenderloin”  seems like the perfect fit for someone who doesn’t have a lot of time to prepare food.


Although it takes two hours total to cook, the preparation is simple, and it would be easy to do other things while the delicious dish is in the oven.

I suggest you give it a try!

An Interview on Meat with Midori Gingerich- HyVee Dietitian

Brianna Sudrla:

In recent years there has been a sparked debate about the industrialized meat market and whether or not the new methods are causing negative affects on the health of it’s consumers.

Today I am speaking with Midori Gingerich about this issue.  Midori is a registered dietitian at the Coralville, Iowa, Hy-Vee.

Well thank you for talking with me today about this Midori.

Midori Gingerich:



Just to jump right into it, my first question was do you believe that food additives affect our hormones and our health?


A long time ago we didn’t even have to worry about that because people grew their own food and made their own product, and we weren’t as concerned with the hormones and additives and things that were added into food. And, as we become more industrialized in this country, that has become more of an issue. It may affect our health. There definitely needs to be more research done on the topic.


Does meat like chicken’s with added steroids to make them grow faster and larger have an affect on our bodies?


They have done some studies where they kind of linked that the steroids in the chickens is leading to early puberty in girls, but there’s been semi links. It has not been concrete I guess I would say. So, they definitely need more research in that area is what I was picking up on. And also, what else is different in their environment than say 10 20 50 years ago as well? So is it just the hormones or is it other things we’re doing in our environment as well? But, “A” more studies need to be done, and “B” finding out what are the other causes or other things that may be causing that as well too.

You know being aware of those kinds of things, and trying to choose the lean cuts of beef as far as for our health more whole foods, staying away from the fattier cuts of beef as well.


Do you think there are certain types of meats we should sort of steer clear from?


As far as health, we want to be choosing the leaner cuts of beef like a loin or a round cut is going to be our more lean cuts. It’s not that I can’t have that porterhouse steak, but definitely monitoring how often I’m having it and what’s my serving size. But, just making sure we’re getting a variety too. I mean you can eat lean beef everyday and that’s great lean beef can actually be very good for the heart, but also making sure we’re getting in the omega-3’s from the salmon, and getting some variety in with the pork, the chicken, and the turkey as well.


Okay, would you say meat is still essential to our diet though?


Um, yeah! Meat is definitely still essential as a part of a well-balanced plate and a well-balanced meal. I mean obviously meat fits in as part of the protein portion of our diet. And, there’s other things besides meat that we can use for well-balanced protein source, but meat does offer a lot of vitamins and minerals. I mean there are people who are vegans and vegetarians for different personal reasons and that’s not a bad thing. It’s definitely about them getting a balance in their diet. But, if someone was going strictly vegan or vegetarian strictly because they think it’s healthier, you can still have a very healthy diet incorporating meat. Beef for instance, since I’m talking about that one, has a lot of iron, has B vitamins, B6 and B12, it has phosphorus, and zinc. It has a lot of essential nutrients that we wouldn’t find in our beans and starchy vegetables and things like that.


When purchasing meat is there things we should look out for?


We used to think that it was the big thing was looking at the cholesterol in the meat and food in particular for it’s effects on our heart health. We’re finding more and more cholesterol, it is important we want to monitor how much cholesterol we are taking in through dietary means, but one thing that is even more of a factor is saturated fat. So checking out for the saturated fat content in the different cuts of meat, looking for more of those lean cuts, watching for the portion sizes, or remembering the size of the palm of my hand, or the size of a deck of cards that’s one portion size. Typically your fresh meat coming out of the case, it’s again less processed than the frozen or the canned ones.


So which meat do you buy and eat?


All of the above to be honest. I’ll do the lean beef, but I do chicken, turkey, salmon and fish, here in the Midwest we don’t eat enough of that. Just trying to get the lean cuts of beef, get the plain cuts, and then I season it up when I go home too. I can marinate it myself at home, and then I know exactly what’s going on my food too.


What lunchmeat would you recommend to college students who makes sandwiches three times a week?


Yeah, yeah! And lunchmeat is a great source of protein. It tends to be, well depends what kind you buy, but there’s like the roast beef, there’s the chicken and turkey, they’re leaner cuts of meat, which is great. So I would say sticking to more of the sliced lunchmeats.


Well thank you for taking time out of your day to talk to me, I really appreciate it.


Yeah I’m glad it worked out!

**For more information on Midori Gingerich, please visit her profile on the HyVee webpage**

**Below you can find the full unedited interview**

Gestation Stalls: Where Our Pigs Live

I can’t force any opinion on anyone else, and that is not my intention with this blog. I want to provide you with some tips and recipes to choose the best meat you feel appropriate, and I want to also provide you with some resources to better understand what you are consuming.

To understand what exactly you are eating, we have to know where the meat comes from and how it is raised.

I was referred to a blog titled “Mom at the Meat Counter” by a my mom. One specific post caught my attention. Pig Housing: Gestation Stalls. It compares gestation stalls (where most pigs we consume live) to a child’s car seat (hmm…makes you think).

The truth is, I am one of those people who doesn’t know much about pig farming. But, it’s something I will take the time to learn different opinions about.

The mother behind this blog sort of wraps that idea that pigs are dangerous creatures around the reader’s head, and that is why they have to be kept in the gestation stalls- to keep people safe. They grow large, and sometimes become aggressive. My question is why do they have to be in such a small cell that they can’t even roll over? And yes, you may keep a child in a car seat for safety while the car is in motion, but these pigs are stable in one place, and locking them up until they are ready to deliver seems a bit much. Don’t some people own pigs as pets? I have heard they are smarter than dogs…

I think the solution would be this:

“Research shows that there are advantages and disadvantages of using gestation stalls. One study gave pigs the choice of remaining in a group pen or in a gestation stall and found that the pigs preferred to stay in the stalls most of the time. In a video of a farm in Indiana, the farmer has European-style gestation crates, where the pigs can choose to go in or out of the stalls. He says they stay in their stall over 90% of the time.”

I am in my bedroom about 90% of the time, because I need time alone, but at least I have the freedom to come and go as I please, and wouldn’t pigs want/deserve that same freedom to come and go as they place? These European-style gestation crates sound like a great idea to me!