Category: Community Written by Minehaha Forman
More than 200 people packed into the DMC Sinai Grace auditorium on Wednesday afternoon to help launch the hospital’s “Say ‘No’ To Soda Pop” campaign.
Sinai Grace Hospital President and CEO, Dr. Reginald Eadie, declared that November is now “National Say ‘No’ to Soda Pop” month. Eadie spoke about the health threats of sugary, carbonated drinks from a medical standpoint.
“The evidence is overwhelming that soda pop causes significant harm to our bodies,” Eadie said. “Just as Cigarettes, 30 years ago, were discovered to be linked to the leading causes of death in our country (heart attack, stroke, kidney failure and cancer), soda pop is too. Now, we’re realizing this in the healthcare industry.”
Eadie said that concrete data shows obesity is directly related to excess caloric intake. He said the leading source of excess caloric intake in America comes from soda pop.
That doesn’t mean diet pop drinkers are off the hook.
“For the diet soda pop drinkers, diet pop contains aspartame, which, unknown to many soda pop drinkers, actually increases your cravings and intake of excess sugar,” Eadie said.
Just by drinking one can of soda pop a day, a person can gain an average of 30 pounds over the course of a year, according to Eadie.
While there was no talk of creating legislative restrictions on soft drinks at the rally, Eadie said that soda consumption is a major factor in the rise in childhood obesity across the nation, which leads to serious health problems later in life.
“Childhood obesity, in my mind, has caused more damage than hurricane Sandy could ever do,” Eadie said.
City council President Charles Pugh shared personal testimony on his experience with soda pop and weight.
“I lost 60 lbs since last July and I am the strongest and healthiest I’ve ever been. I used to have abs like a keg and now … you could wash clothes on my abs,” Pugh said, noting that it’s not just pop that contains excess sugar. “I attribute one half of my weight loss to giving up not only pop, but sweet tea, lemonade, and juice. If you ever put a cranberry in your mouth you would spit it out because it is so bitter. So how can you drink a glass of cranberry juice? Because it’s full of sugar. We need to realize how much sugar we’re consuming.”
Both Pugh and Eadie said that the no soda pop campaign is not meant to slam soft drink companies, but to educate consumers.
“This is not a war on the soda pop industry, this is a war on the lack of knowledge that American soda pop drinkers have in terms of the harmful effects that it causes,” Eadie said.
Pugh urged companies like Faygo to explore new options when considering beverage production.
“Horse and buggy companies went out of business once the car was created,” Pugh said. “I might not drink pop but I still need to drink something. I will buy Faygo water… I will buy Vernor’s water choice. If all of them offered tea that was unsweetened I would buy it. If [soft drink companies] would offer choices that are more healthy and join the movement they could make more money.”
Other supporters of the campaign spoke about their intentions to cut out pop, as well as past decisions to leave the sweet, fizzy drinks alone.
Wayne County Commissioner Irma Clarke-Coleman admitted to ditching what she called an addiction to sugary soft drinks.
“I was a pop-a-holic,” she said. “I could not walk by the refrigerator without getting a pop.”
Clarke-Coleman said she stopped drinking soda and started adhering to an exercise regiment a couple years back after she noticed significant weight gain. “If you drink 64 ounces of water a day you won’t want pop,” she said.
Rev. Horace Sheffield, director of the Detroit Association of Black Organizations, said he was on board to cut pop from his diet. “ I saw how much weight [Charles Pugh] lost after cutting out pop. I thought I’d get on that program,” he said.
Sheffield said he was no stranger to the grim consequences of excess pop consumption. He shared a personal story of his mother’s battle with diabetes, which led to her passing at the age of 44. “We can fight for civil rights but if we’re not healthy what difference does it make?”
All attendees at the event took a pledge to completely cut soda pop from their diet for the month of November.
The spirited rally attracted prominent local leaders, activists, and high school students as well as hospital employees.
Senator Bert Johnson (D-Detroit) said he and his family intend to keep the pledge to cut out pop. “We’re kicking pop in our own home,” Johnson said. “Before today, we had talked about it … [now] we’re gonna take the plunge.”
Last Updated on Thursday, 01 November 2012 10:36
Category: Community Written by WWJ
DETROIT (WWJ) – Some may say it’s impossible to have too much candy. For the rest of us, here are some options for where to unload it.
A few local dental offices will be glad to take your unwanted Halloween goodies for a good cause.
Bright Side Dental is offering a chance to win prizes for those who donate their candy in their Third Annual Halloween Candy Buyback Program.
Last year, the Bright Side Dental offices in Royal Oak, Sterling Heights, Canton and Livonia collected over 700 pounds of candy that was sent overseas to service members. This year, a new location in St. Clair Shores will be joining the program.
“We were so proud of the kid’s from our various communities last year. We hope that the kids will be just as inspired to donate their candy this year,” said spokesperson Pam Lenning.
For every pound of unopened candy, kids will be given a raffle ticket for a chance to win a gift. Kids can bring in no more than 10 pounds of candy. (For locations and directions, visit this link).
Orchard Maple Family Dental in West Bloomfield is hosting their first Halloween Candy Buyback Program Nov. 1 to Nov. 3. Your child must be present along with the candy in order to receive a $1 reward for a pound of candy. Click this link or call 248-851-2876 for more information.
In Macomb County Dr. Carl Papa buys back candy at $1 per pound and sends them overseas to troops in Iraq and Afghanistan. Click this link or call 586-772-0100 for the location.
Also on the east side, The Gentle Dentist will buy back Halloween Candy for $1 per pound and send it to Operation Gratitude for troops overseas, as well as local charities such as Kids of Detroit. For more information, visit this link or call 586-247-3500.
Last Updated on Thursday, 01 November 2012 08:31
Category: Community Written by AJ Williams, Chronicle Web Editor
Da'Lano Bass, The southeast Michigan Boys & Girls Club Youth Of the Year, delivered the ball to the mound for the first pitch at the World Series on Sunday at Comerica Park. Da'Lano was accompanied by his father, Eddie Bass.
(Photo Credit: Norris Howard)
Last Updated on Monday, 29 October 2012 09:27
Category: Community Written by David Muller, MLive
DETROIT, MI - Two and half years in the making, Ye Olde Butcher Shoppe, a gourmet grocery store created by brothers Michael and Peter Solaka, opened its doors to eager Midtown Detroit residents this past Saturday.
The Solaka brothers had originally intended to open the 8,100-square-foot store at 3100 Woodward Ave in May of 2010, but problems with the ownership of the building - the Solakas are leasing it - kept the grocery store in legal limbo.
Michael Solaka told MLive in August that he and his brother have already invested some $500,000 into the store, which will have a full meat counter and butcher, a full deli counter, a salad bar, a bakery and a large variety of beer and wine. The store will feature a wide selection of Michigan- and Detroit-sourced products.
Peter Solaka states, “We want to provide a place where you can come in and put together a great meal all in one place. Our pricing will be the same as comparable stores in the suburbs. Since so many people have to drive there for their groceries as it is, I think we will compete well in the Detroit market.”
Store hours will be 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sundays.
The brothers signed a lease on the building a year before Whole Foods planned its 20,000-square-foot location at Mack and Woodward avenues. The Midtown Whole Foods is scheduled to open in mid-2013.
The name for the store is a throwback to a trio of stores owned by the Solaka family under the same banner in the 1970s and 1980s.
Last Updated on Tuesday, 30 October 2012 11:59
Category: Community Written by Minehaha Forman
In a city where liquor stores often double as grocery stores, fresh, affordable produce is often hard to come by for Detroit residents. This is especially true for low-income households that receive food assistance and have to stretch a set monthly food allowance.
But there’s good news for Detroiters on food assistance looking to eat healthier and still save money. The Fair Food Network, a nonprofit organization founded on the belief that everyone should have access to fresh, sustainably grown food, is working to boost healthy eating patterns though fresh food incentives.
The Fair Food Network’s Double Up food Bucks (DUFB) program offers a large inventive to get people to buy local, fresh produce and make healthier, affordable choices for their families.
Any person on the State’s Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) can double their food tokens at most Michigan farmers markets including Eastern Market at no extra charge to their bridge card. The DUFB program allows SNAP shoppers who spend $20 at farmers markets to get up to $20 extra in market tokens that can only be spent on fresh, Michigan grown produce.
DUFB works not only to provide low-income families with fresh fruits and vegetables, but it also is an incentive that greatly benefits Michigan farmers and the economy.
The offer is a win-win situation according to Rachel Chadderdon Bair, director of the DUFB program. “We have lots of great feedback from customers. People are very excited about the program,” she said. “There’s been a huge increase in food assistance customers at market.”
It’s not just the customers that benefit from doubling their food dollars at farmer’s markets, she said, but local farmers earn more as well.
“It absolutely affects the economy. Every Double Up Food Buck is an extra dollar going to a Michigan famer. The farmers are very positive and excited about the program,” Chadderdon Bair said.
Since it began as a Detroit pilot program in 2009, DUFB, which is funded through a collection of private companies and organizations, has seen rapid growth. In the first two years the program distributed more than $700,000 additional dollars to SNAP recipients who shop at farmers markets and buy Michigan produce. That’s not counting 2012 numbers.
“Since the beginning, over $3 million in food assistance and Double Up food comps have been spent with local growers and food producers,” Chadderdon Bair said, adding that a formal economic analysis is in the works.
The DUFB program started in Detroit and has expanded to serve more than 75 market sites throughout the state. DUFB is the only statewide food assistance incentive program in the county.
How does it work? When a SNAP recipient gets tokens from their Bridge Card at a participating farmer’s market, those tokens are matched—no strings—for up to $20 dollars. That way a $20 grocery shopping trip to the market turns into a $40 one without having to spend any extra money from your Bridge Card.
But DUFB isn’t the only program provided through the Fair Food Network. In fact, the nonprofit’s mission to work with local groups to remedy problems within the local food system is served through many different approaches.
One Fair Food Network program, Strengthening Detroit Voices, serves as a connector between resources the organization provides and active groups within the city.
“We want to make sure that local legislators, churches and community groups are aware of our programs,” said Terrance Hicks, project manager of the Strengthening Detroit Voices and Detroit Grocery Incubator programs. “We want to cast a wider net so a larger section of the community has the opportunity to work with the Fair Food Network as a resource.”
The Grocery Store Incubator is a Fair Food Network pilot program that Hicks also works closely with. The three-phase program lasts 12 weeks during which fellows who participate get specialized training on how to run a successful city grocery store catering to the unique demands of an urban landscape. The idea is that with more training and expertise among food-related entrepreneurs, Detroit can escape its reputation as a food desert and offer more affordable, healthy food not provided at liquor stores.
“This is a pilot,” Hicks said. “Right now the fellows who graduated are working on a food industry niche in Detroit that is not necessarily grocery a store.”
Another program the Fair Food Network plans to test out is an extension of DUFB into existing local grocery stores in addition to farmer’s markets. Next June, the Double Up Food Bucks incentive will be available at three Detroit grocery stores. The stores have not been announced yet, but one will be on the East side of Detroit, one in Southwest and one in the Northwest portion of the city.
The Fair Food Network was born after the Fair Food Foundation, a non-profit arm of Bernie Madoff’s investment management firm, lost funding due to legal troubles with its parenting company.
Six months later, Oran Hesterman, who served as the Fair Food Foundation’s President and CEO, resurrected the organization into a national, independent nonprofit and called it the Fair Food Network.
One thing Fair Food Network Program Director Meredith Freeman wants people to know is that it’s a collaborative effort that has made the organization successful in its mission to provide access healthy food.
“It’s worthy to know that there are so many players in Detroit that are collaborating and actually making some headway,” Freeman said. “We know each other, we trust each other and we really support each others talents and efforts. That’s really important.”
Freeman noted that the Fair Food Network works with in close partnership with many projects in the city including The Greening of Detroit, The Detroit Black Food Security Network, Gleaners Food Bank, The Eastern Market Association, Detroit Public Schools and many more.
While the notion that Detroit is considered a food desert is controversial, Freeman said there’s a reason Detroiters flock to major food chains in the suburbs.
“It’s not just the number of grocery stores but what kind of grocery shopping and how people feel inside the stores,” Freeman said.
The number of grocery stores in the city is not a fair measure of Detroit’s food access according to Freeman. It’s the quality of the food sold and the retail experience that counts. “Are the grocery stores clean? Do they offer variety? Is there a welcoming feel?” These are the questions that were asked in a recent Detroit grocery store survey, she said.
“There may be 80 independent grocery stores in Detroit but there are not 80 stores that people want to shop at,” Freeman said. “We have a food retail leakage. Millions of dollars leave the city [to find] fresh, affordable food.”
Last Updated on Tuesday, 30 October 2012 10:49
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