November 19th, 2012
ACET staff at the SEA Life Minnesota Aquarium touch pools. Photo by Stella SiWan Zimmerman.
Recently, ACET staff traveled to the Mall of America to take in our quarterly wellness event at the SEA LIFE Minnesota Aquarium. Many of us had never been to the aquarium or had not visited it in many years. In addition to the touch pools above, ACET staff enjoyed the tanks that allowed visitors to walk under sharks, fish, and turtles as they swam around.
Have you ever been to the aquarium at the Mall of America? Tell us about your favorite exhibits in the comments!
September 14th, 2012
Grocery chain Whole Foods Market and its Whole Kids Foundation, dedicated to improving nutrition and wellness in youth towards ending childhood obesity, have announced a fundraising goal of $2 million for its Let’s Move Salad Bars to Schools program. Beginning this month, K-12 schools participating in the USDA’s National School Lunch Program are eligible to apply for a grant to bring a salad bar to their school. Schools with bronze status or higher with the HealthierUS School Challenge automatically qualify for a salad bar donation, with the requirement that the qualifying district or school wants and can support a daily lunchtime salad bar.
While the deadline for this opportunity is open, grants will be awarded based on date of approval. Complete information and application instructions can be found at saladbars2schools.org.
June 21st, 2011
Last Thursday we piled into the conference room for our monthly employee wellness lunch! We all had a fantastic time relaxing, chatting, eating delicious Chinese take-out and watching an episode of Firefly. Since I’m the newbie, I missed the first episode and had no idea what was going on—so I spent the beginning of the show with my face pretty deep in my egg foo young. But by the end, I basically knew what was going on and definitely look forward to episode three.
The delightful Cassie (a.k.a. the woman whose shoes I’m trying to fill) joined us as well! It was great to catch up with her and she seems to be thriving in her new job.
Our tasty and entertaining hour ended on a bittersweet note, however, as it was Rachel’s last day with us. We are so grateful for all she’s done here at ACET and wish her only the best as she takes on Washington, D.C.!
I guess our lunch seemed to revolve a little around new beginnings—me here at ACET, Cassie at West Suburban Teen Clinic and Rachel in our nation’s capitol. Well, new beginnings and sci-fi.
May 20th, 2011
At ACET, we occasionally have employee appreciation days, such as having catered pizza for lunch or sharing bagels in the morning. Recently, ACET staff gathered together for lunch and a show.
Each staff member ordered Chinese food from one of our traditional work haunts and we settled in to relax with an episode of “Firefly,” a show that’s well-loved by a few staff. This was the first of a monthly employee wellness activity created to show appreciation for staff.
Everyone, including myself, enjoyed the activity, but I was a bit disgruntled (and amused) to receive the following fortune cookie message:
How does your company show appreciation?
April 12th, 2011
As you may know, organic food has become a craze in our culture. Organic food has gotten a lot of attention in recent years – for good reason. Some studies, such as the 97 studies reviewed by the Nutrition Research Center, have shown that food that has been produced organically often has higher amounts of nutrients. Other studies, such as reported in Science Daily, have found little difference between organic food and non-organic foods. Mayo Clinic states that the answer remains unclear.
Just how does a product become classified as “organic?” Organic products have some strict agricultural requirements that must be met. To meet organic requirements for crops, products be grown in safe soil and have no modifications. Farmers cannot use any synthetic pesticides, bioengineered genes (GMOs), petroleum-based fertilizers, or sewage sludge-based fertilizers to help the crops grow or sustain. For organic livestock, the animals must have access to the outdoors and be fed with organic feed. As with the crops, the animals cannot be given antibiotics, growth hormones, or any animal-by-products. Bear in mind, however, that “organic” means that the product only has to be 95% organic, whereas “100% organic” requires all products to be made by natural means alone.
I’m a budget-conscious shopper, but there are certain items that I prefer to spend the extra money and buy organic. For example, I buy organic milk, which is at least double the price of non-organic milk. I choose to spend more on this because organic milk is one of the foods that has been found to have significant health benefits. In 2008, Newcastle University released a study that found that organic milk had higher amounts of beneficial fatty acids, antioxidants, and vitamins. In fact, one beneficial fatty acid was found to be 60% higher in organic milk than in non-organic milk. I also find that I prefer the taste of organic milk.
Not all products, however, are worth buying organic. You may have heard of the “Dirty Dozen” and the “Clean Fifteen.” According to the Environmental Working Group, there are certain foods that contain higher amounts of pesticides than others. Certainly it is worth taking the time to investigate which foods would be better for you to purchase organically and which foods are not worth the extra effort. Check out the list here: http://www.pbs.org/wnet/need-to-know/health/the-dirty-dozen-and-clean-15-of-produce/616/
What’s your take on organic foods?