Food & Nutrition | WGLT

Food & Nutrition

Kim Keenan
Eric Stock / WGLT

A health advocacy group suggests healthy food can do more than help us live longer—it can be an economic development engine.

Illinois Public Health Institute CEO Elissa Bassler said the group aims to encourage more businesses to invest in ways to improve access to healthy food, something farmers, restaurateurs and grocers can help.

"We want to look for more of those entrepreneurial initiatives and figure out ways that our economic development systems in communities (will) value that and invest in the development of that," Bassler said.

Ryan Denham / WGLT

There are signs of trouble for a new grocery store cooperative in Bloomington.

Jason Staten / Flickr

The food service industry is a volatile one. Turnover in establishments can approach 100 percent in just a very few years. 2017 was an active year for restaurant openings and closures.

Google Maps

The new restaurant in the works for Eastland Mall is not new to the community at all.

Baylee Steelman / WGLT

The Unit 5 school board is looking into bringing local food to its school cafeterias.

Windy City Wieners / Facebook

The entry of Portillo's restaurant into Bloomington-Normal appears to have had an unexpected effect on the marketplace.

Baylee Steelman / WGLT

You may like Portillo’s. But Peter Robinson loves Portillo’s.

He left his home in Waterman (near DeKalb) at 3:30 a.m. to be one of the first in line for Tuesday’s much-anticipated opening of the new Portillo’s in Normal. That’s a 90-minute drive, then another 5-hour wait, before the 10:30 a.m. opening. (By 9 a.m. there were around 12 people already in line in Normal, including Robinson.)

Ryan Denham / WGLT

Several breweries from across the state will compete during a new attraction at this year's Illinois State Fair that's tied into Illinois’ upcoming birthday.

The Garlic Press / Facebook

An anchor of Uptown Normal is closing. Owners say they are shutting down the Garlic Press Market Cafe.

Owner Sarah Bushnell McManus said the adjoining gift store will remain open. But McManus says about 15 people will lose their jobs in September when the cafe ends a 12-year run.

Cows eating
Center for Food Integrity

The public’s increased awareness of food safety has lead to perception problems for some Illinois farmers.

pixabay.com

A pizza place, one American/Chinese/Filipino place, and a barbecue place. Those are among the establishments changing on the Bloomington-Normal restaurant scene.

Creative Commons

A Bloomington restaurant whose legal status has been in question is soon to reopen.

Facebook

Epiphany Farms Hospitality Group is reaching goals in year 7 of its 10 year business plan. During  an on-location edition of Sound Ideas at Epiphany on Main, co-owner, founder, chef and farmer Stu Hummel said there was never any question of failure when the farm to fork enterprise was started.

pixabay.com

On the east side of Bloomington the former Asia location has a new restaurant. Charlie Schlenker talks about Amavarati on Hershey Road with Larry Carius who writes about the Bloomington Normal Restaurant Scene on Facebook.

Kelly's Bakery And Cafe Hosts Local Flavors Event

Jul 20, 2016
Woman cutting tomato
Colleen Reynolds / WGLT

The Local Flavors farm-to-table restaurant series continues tomorrow at Kelly’s Bakery and Café where the menu will feature roasted chicken salad on a pretzel roll, a roasted veggie pita, applesauce and sweet peach tea, all made with ingredients from Central Illinois farms.  Owner Kelly Mathy says farms who supply her use practices associated with organic farming but ingredients are not certified as organic.

Chef shows off stuffed tomatoes
Colleen Reynolds / WGLT

The local foods movement has come a long way in a short time with a bigger network of suppliers, making it easier for restaurants to source food within a 100-mile radius.  Now in its ninth year, a local flavors farm-to-fork series kicks off this month at The Garlic Press,  an Uptown Normal restaurant that was on the forefront of keeping it local.

Picture Des Moines / Flickr

Hy-Vee is voluntarily recalling two frozen food products because of possible links to listeria. The Des Moines, Iowa-based food chain with a store in Bloomington says it is recalling its frozen vegetable fried rice and frozen chicked fried rice products from all its stores.

Staff / WGLT

The College Avenue Kroger Grocery Store is preparing to move to Bloomington. The new location targeted is still on College, but on the east side of Veterans Parkway, opposite Meijer. The Bloomington City Council is considering economic incentives at their Monday meeting to facilitate the deal.

Workbench/Green Top Grocery

The organizers of what would be the community’s first co-op grocery story, Green Top Grocery, has to raise a total of $600,000 by February 29th. The organization still has about $450,000 to go. During GLT's Sound Ideas, Green Top Grocery Board Chair Melanie Shellito told Mike McCurdy, owner loans are continuing to come in at a steady pace.

Green Top Marks Milestones

Feb 1, 2016
Alexander Bazevanis / Facebook via Creative Commons

A thousand people are now owners of Bloomington's proposed "Green Top Grocery," and the co-op has raised over $900,000 this fall. That's the good news for the community grocery with an accent on local foods, and filling an existing food desert. Green Top spokesman Katie Novak says now the group needs to come up with $600,000. "If we don't raise the amount of money we need this spring, we'll have to turn back all of the funds we've raised so far to the owners who've given it to us.

McLean County Health Department

Bloomington-Normal is ranked 80th in the U.S. by Nielsen as one of the best places in the country to open a restaurant, in part because of disposable income and our proclivity to dine out. According to Nielsen, Bloomington is also ranked 9th in sales per restaurant, with establishments raking in nearly 1.2 million dollars on average. The nearly 400 restaurants in Bloomington-Normal, in addition to those in other McLean County communities are inspected twice or more per year by the McLean County Health Department and now those inspections are online.

With January comes resolutions to lose weight, new diets, and lots of advice. Earlier this month, the U.S. government issued its own advice. Limit sugar intake.  The guidelines, updated every 5 years, are based on evolving nutrition science and serve as the government's official advice on what to eat. WGLT's Mike McCurdy talks with Community Cancer Center dietitian Mary Kay Holloway about the effects of sugar and how to reduce intake.

Steffan Block / Facebook

Part of the team which established Bloomington-Normal's first food truck is back with another double-decker bus. The Bustaurant has been on the street for almost a month...and serving much of the same food fans have craved since the first bus was knocked off the street after the bus was hit from behind in a rear end collision.

Atari, Gracinha & Marco / Flickr via Creative Commons

A recent report from the World Health Organization correlates processed meats with an increased cancer risk and places the meat in the same category as cigarettes and alcohol. The WHO also categorized red meat as a probable carcinogen. There are reasons other than reducing cancer risk to cut back on meat and a variety ways to reduce red and processed meat.

By now, you’ve probably heard several news reports about the World Health Organization report that associates the eating of processed meat with a higher risk of cancer. A food scientist at the University of Illinois says that report needs to be taken in context.

Bloomington Clare House Food Pantry Closing

Oct 9, 2015
clarehouseofbloomingtonil.blogspot.com

The Bloomington food pantry that's helped area citizens since 1978  is closing. The final food distribution from Clare House will be just before Thanksgiving.