Kale (in a bag)  Yesterday I bought kale in a bag.  The price was $2.78 for a pound that was already rinsed and trimmed.  It appears to be the small leaf variety that I prefer and I cooked it all today.  I do not live near a Farmer's Market (which is why I am a fan of mobile markets) and am unwilling and uninterested in traveling past four or five grocery stores to get to one.  I am also someone who believes that the produce in my local grocery store is healthy and fresh.  Truthfully, it is also less expensive when sold at a big retail store.  I did notice on the bag that my kale came from a NC farm about 2 hours away. The only issue I have with the product is the suggested cooking ideas on the back.  They are to add 1 lb of country ham or chicken stock or 2 tbsp of olive oil.  Though the oil is the healthy variety of fat, that suggestion adds 60 calories to each of the four servings.

Commodities  It is probably obvious to you that I have been studying our food supply and food system lately.  Mostly I am learning about how it has changed over the years.  From this, I have learned what the 9 major food or agricultural commodities are and wanted to share that with you.  I wrote this list on an index card, but I did not write the source!  I think it might have been in an article I read.
  • Milk and Milk Products
  • Meat, Poultry and Fish
  • Eggs
  • Legumes(beans), Nuts and Seeds 
  • Grain Products
  • Fruits
  • Vegetables
  • Fats, Oils and Dressings
  • Sugar, Sweets and Sugar Sweetened  Beverages 
Fish The  3 dietary indices we've reviewed recently all make reference to the importance of fish in a meal pattern.  However, most suggest that the 2+ servings a week be from oily fish.  So, besides salmon, what are the choices and within those choices, which are not also high in mercury?  An unlikely source, the Skin Cancer Foundation, provides an answer to both questions.  Of course, they had an additional parameter in mind when they put their list together - Vitamin D.  Salmon is the only non white-flaky fish that I like.   Most of my favorites are not oily - and thus not on the list.  The worst is that my second favorite that provides Omega 3s is canned tuna fish.  I know that tuna steak and albacore canned tuna are high in mercury, but consumer reports cautions me that canned light tuna, though better - should also be restricted. 
Gluten = Calories?  Several companies make meatless "chicken" nuggets.  My favorite variety comes from the brand Health is Wealth.  I buy the vegan ones which are usually available at Whole Foods or Earth Fare stores.  I have been having trouble finding them lately.  I like this particular variety because they are nutrient dense and calorie dilute with 120 calories for 85 grams.  Quorn and Boca both have similar products, but Quorn is 210c/85g.  The other day I saw something similar to what I like from Health is Wealth- the only difference was that it had "gluten free." on the box.  I snatched them right up and only when I got home did I realize that they had 170 calories per serving - 40 more than the usual brand.  No big deal - but WHY?  I checked the website and compared the breading ingredients.  In place of the whole wheat flour (where the gluten is) they used rice flour and corn meal - YUK.

Cure Cancer  I noticed that someone had a picture of all these different colored ribbons on their Facebook page with the caption, Cure Cancer.  Sure.  But how about we do what we can to prevent the many cases, if not all, that have some origins in lifestyle.  A healthier food environment would be a good place to start.

Food Safety I read a great commentary by Drs. Silver and Bassett who were employed by the NYC Department of Health at the time the article was published.  They refer to our food as being "too salty, too fatty, too sugary and too rich in calories."  Thus it is unsafe.  They note that when salt, sugar, saturated fat and even calories are taken in excess - they cause bodily harm.  The best line was,  "Simply waiting for the food industry to self-regulate while telling the public to "just say no" to the ubiquitous supply of unhealthy food is clearly a failed strategy."  Ubiquitous means that something is everywhere or used all the time.  (So - see the cancer note on making a healthier environment)