Brand FNV (Fruits and Vegetables): Worth a Try?

In 2013, Michael Moss wrote a long and highly entertaining piece for the New York Times Magazine about putting the advertising firm Victor & Spoils to work on making up a campaign to sell, of all things—broccoli.

The theory: marketing sells junk food so why not fruits and vegetables?

At last week’s meeting of the Partnership for a Healthier America (the industry support group for Let’s Move!), First Lady Michelle Obama announced that Victor & Spoils had created a for-real campaign to sell fruits and vegetables to moms and teens.

Meet brand FNV.

And don’t miss the video.

Some people who attended the meeting found this on apples in their hotel rooms (thanks to Marie Bragg for sending).

FNV apple marketing

The produce industry considers this campaign to have “monumental implications” for its sales.

In other words, it is expected to work.

I’ve written about such campaigns in 2010 and in 2013.

As I said in 2013:

Marketing is not education.

Education is about imparting knowledge and promoting wisdom and critical thinking.

Marketing is about creating demand for a product.

But such campaigns clearly work. The 5-A-Day for Better Health campaign in the early 1990s increased F&V consumption—for as long as it lasted.

Although this campaign raises the usual questions about marketing vs. education, and what happens when the funding runs out, it’s not aimed at young children.

I’m wishing it the very best of success.


What Oils to Use When

what oils to use when

Hi friends! I’m still traveling (you can see what I’m up to on Instagram), but I wanted to pop in this morning with a post that I’ve been meaning to write for about a year now: breaking down what oils to use when. This is a topic I always found a little confusing, so researching and writing this post was helpful for me, too. I’ve organized the oils into categories based on what you’re going to do with them (salad dressings vs. stove top cooking vs. baking.), since I thought that was most helpful.

The key with determining what oil to use when is looking at its smoke point, which is the temperature at which that oil starts to break down. You want to avoid this breakdown point, as when the fat breaks down, it will release free radicals (and can give the oil/dish an acrid flavor, too). In general, unrefined oils, like those in the salad/dipping category, have lower smoke points than refined oils, so you want to avoid using them in high heat situations.

Best Oils for Salad Dressings and Dipping

Oils are extracted from nuts and seeds through mechanical pressing. Cold-pressed/raw/”virgin” oil is bottled immediately after this process, and retains its minerals, enzymes, and other compounds. These compounds don’t hold up well to heat, and can make the oil more susceptible to rancidity, but they add nutrients and a richer flavor, so if you’re making a heat-free dish like a salad or a dipping sauce, you’ll want to use cold-pressed/raw/virgin oil.

best oils for salad dressing

Here are some examples of oils that are great in salad dressings and for dipping, along with their smoke points to illustrate why they fit into this category. I make simple salad dressings at home by mixing one of these oils + lemon juice + balsamic vinegar + dijon mustard. Delicious!

  • Flaxseed Oil (225°F)
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil (320°F)
  • Pumpkin Seed Oil (320°F)
  • Unrefined Walnut Oil (320°F)

Best Oils for Stir Frying or Sautéing

Refined oils have higher smoke points, which makes them better for sautéing and frying. To produce an oil with a higher smoke point, the oil is processed to remove some of those extraneous compounds, like minerals and enzymes. This gives the oil a longer shelf life, a more neutral flavor, and a higher smoke point. One example of this is Extra Light Olive Oil.

best oil for stir frying or sauteing

Here are some examples of oils that are good for stir frying, along with their smoke points. You’ll want to look for oils with at/above about a 400°F smoke point when cooking at high temperatures, like stir frying. You can get away with a slightly lower smoke point (about 350°F – like that of Coconut Oil) for sautéing, since the pan won’t get quite as hot as with stir frying.

  • Avocado Oil (520°F)
  • Extra Light Olive Oil (468°F) or Virgin Olive Oil (420°F). You’ll want to avoid stir frying with Extra Virgin Olive Oil, as its smoke point is only 320°F. (This was news to me – better go buy some Extra Light or Virgin Olive Oil!)
  • Vegetable oils like Canola Oil (400°F), or Soybean, Sunflower, or Safflower Oils (all 450°F)
  • Dark Sesame Oil (410°F) or Peanut Oil (450°F) – great for Asian dishes due to their flavor.
  • Grapeseed Oil (420°F)
  • Macadamia Nut Oil (413°F) – also tasty in salad dressings!

Best Oils for Baking

You can get away with a lower smoke point oil for baking, so the key here is flavor. You’ll want a neutral oil – something that’s not too overpowering (unless that’s the point, like in my Citrus Zest Cake made with blood orange olive oil)!

  • Canola Oil
  • Grapeseed Oil
  • Coconut Oil (350°F) – a good vegan alternative to butter, although not exactly a neutral flavor, so this one depends on the dish – you can’t usually taste coconut oil in baked goods, though, unless you use a ton of it)

What are your favorite oils? How and when do you use them?

What Oils to Use When originally appeared on fANNEtastic food | Washington D.C. area Registered Dietitian | Recipes + Healthy Living + Fitness on March 2, 2015.

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Recommended Reading From the Weekend Newspapers

Several newspaper articles this weekend struck a chord with me. In the New York Times magazine, David Amsden wrote about New Orleans-born John Cummings, a white 77-year-old “trial lawyer who has helped win more than $5 billion in class-action settlements and a real estate magnate whose holdings have multiplied his wealth many times over.” Cummings […]


8 Count Lunge and Squat

Originally posted 2010-06-08 09:59:17. I don’t deny or hide my love for booty exercises. I mean, I like having a nice little bump, but I’m not trying to have the saggy crease line that we often see being offered up as “sexy.” Um, no thanks. That’s not a fit booty. I’ll pass! LOL Pay close […]

The post 8 Count Lunge and Squat appeared first on A Black Girl’s Guide To Weight Loss.


Cold Soba Noodle Bowl

Cold Soba Noodle Bowl | @naturallyella

Cold Soba Noodle Bowl | @naturallyellaCold Soba Noodle Bowl- America's Test KitchenCold Soba Noodle Bowl | @naturallyella

It seems that once February hits, so do the release of wonderful cookbooks. Next to the long list of baby items to order, I have nearly as long of list of cookbooks I would love to cook my way through. So when America’s Test Kitchen reached out to me and offered to let me take a peak at an advanced copy of their new vegetarian cookbook, I jumped at the chance (I’m in love with ATK radio on NPR).

I think what I enjoy most about their new book is it’s more than just recipes. This cookbook includes a lot of tips extremely helpful to cooking vegetarian (like how to cook tofu well) which is really at the core of what I love about America’s Test Kitchen: cooking and learning. Plus, with so many recipes, there’s something for everyone.

I’m completely smitten with noodle bowls and so I thought I would share this beautiful recipe from the book. I took a couple small liberties (added sesame seeds and some greens) and used some wonderful purple radishes I picked up at the co-op. This is a one of my favorite types of lunch: one I can whip up quickly but feel satisfied until dinner!


ATK was nice enough to offer a copy to one lucky reader! To enter, comment below with one of your favorite types of vegetarian meals (like, “lentil tacos!” or “grilled veggies!”). Giveaway will run until Wednesday night at 8:00pm CST and winner will be emailed on Thursday morning!)

Cold Soba Noodle Bowl
Prep time
15 mins

Cook time
10 mins

Total time
25 mins

Author: Erin Alderson
Serves: 4

  • 14 ounces dried soba noodles
  • Salt
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • ¼ soy sauce
  • 3 tablespoons mirin
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • ½ teaspoon grated fresh ginger
  • ¼ teaspoon wasabi pasta
  • 4 radishes, trimmed and shredded
  • 2 scallions, sliced thin on bias
  • 1 tablespoon sesame seeds
  • ½ cup micro greens (see note)

  1. Bring 4 quarts of water to boil in a large pot and add noodles along with 1 tablespoon salt. Cook the noodles, stirring often, until tender. Drain the noodles, rinse with cold water, and rained again, leaving noodles slightly wet. Transfer to large bowl and toss with oil.
  2. Whisk the soys sauce, mirin, sugar, ginger, and wasabi together in a bowl, then pour over noodles, add radishes, scallions, and sesame seeds and toss until well combined. Sprinkle with micro greens before serving.
  3. Noodles can be refrigerated up to one day and refreshed with warm water and oil as needed.

I didn’t have nori on hand, but the original recipe calls for sprinkling the bowl with nori instead of the sprouts.

Recipe is from American’s Test Kitchen’s new cookbook, The Complete Vegetarian Cookbook (in stores now) with a few small changes on my end.


I was provided a review copy of this book but all thoughts and opinions are my own.

continue reading

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