ReciPower.com offers new approach to healthy eating

Currently in the alpha stage of development, ReciPower is an easier way to keep children eating healthy during the critical stages of their development. Specifically, the website is a tool that facilitates meal choices that focus on not only nutritious food choices, but also convenience. By entering basic information in a set number of fields, the system provides users with a healthy meal plan with certain food selections, as well as the approximate total cost.

The system is also flexible, as it also gives the user the ability to mix and match different meal choices. If the current meal selection is not to your liking, you can easily replace it with a brand new meal choice, with the grocery list changing automatically. The website essentially cuts out the organizational aspect of healthy eating that plagues so many attempting to change their eating habits. Counting calories, making lengthy lists, and planning nutritious choices ahead of time is inconvenient and tiresome.

I was given the privilege of having  test run of the alpha version and I was nothing short of impressed.  I input certain key information such as how much money I had to spend on a given day, the number of people I was planning to feed, and if I had any sort of special food considerations such as wanting gluten free products. I won’t reveal all of the questions asked in order to make the personalized meal plan, but upon the completion of this information, I was instantly given an array of diverse choices.

I was given the choice of a protein based meal such as garlic-basil halibut, a complex carbohydrate such as pasta with garden vegetables, and a more unique dish with quick quesadilla pockets. The pictures presented for each item are attractive, yet this is overshadowed by the convenience of the other features. With five meals recommended to me, I was given the option to swap them out for others, or keep them on my list.

This customization ability not only makes the system cater to certain tastes, but also a budget.If I’m committed to a budget on a certain week, I can choose to include cheaper options in my plan such as slow cooker wild rice soup. On the other hand, perhaps if it has been a lucrative week in your professional life, you can choose to add more expensive options such as the salmon potato scramble. When a particular choice is selected, it even displays the exact ingredients needed for preparation, and cooking instructions.

ReciPower is a convenient tool for selecting healthy meals at your convenience. By taking account of the money you have to spend, the time you have to prepare, and how frequently you shop, it’s a system that nearly anyone can get used to. And with the obesity and diabetes rates rising at the current rate in the United States, it’s tools like this that may be the future of healthy, yet convenient, eating.

Spencer Donnelly

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Local Boulder firm spurring fresh approach to food and money

Slow Money is a local Boulder organization that is dedicated to changing the way that Americans as well as the rest of the world thinks about food and finance. Although they have a series of seven major principles that drive their vision, their basic message emphasizes that “we must bring money back down to earth.” This is encompassed by the core of their movement that argues that in the food industry, money is “too fast.” The central point being made is that companies are too large, and the finance of these companies is too complex to be efficient for everyday consumers. The belief that as a society, we must invest in food, farms, and fertility is central to Slow Money’s theme of rebuilding our economy, starting with creating new relationships and critical sources of capital in small food enterprises. Slow Money’s principles and main message can be found HERE.

I agree with this approach to food and nurturing local economic outlets before throwing your money at large corporations. It does not take more than one viewing of the documentary Food, Inc. to grasp that our modern food system is essentially an assembly line controlled by giant businesses. In 1970, thousands of slaughterhouses existed in the United States that produced the majority of beef nationwide. Only thirteen exist today, all controlled by major corporations with billions in annual revenue. I am not against efficiency in the market place, I am however against the side effects of this type of production.  Although the current system provides the best price for the consumer, it ignores dangers of the assembly line system. The food that has been made extremely cheap to buy and produce is very unhealthy when compared to alternatives. This availability and low price is also contributing to the rise in obesity and diabetes in the United States. 1 in 3 Americans born after the year 2000 will contract early onset diabetes, while minorities will have an even higher rate, at 1 in 2 suffering from early onset. This is only a brief summary of my distaste for the current food system in the United States, though I do see the economic appeal due to the business efficiency that it provides.

Slow Money is a movement that I am much more supportive of. Their main goal of making 1 million people invest 1 percent of their money into local food systems is a wonderful idea. I take this point of view not only because I would like to see a healthier and happier country, but because I think it contributes positively to local economies. By supporting local food organizations that care about the consumers that they provide their products to, this would make a positive impact to the health of local citizens. Whether it’s organic, locally grown, or just plain health oriented, contributing to the Slow Money movement seems like a much more viable alternative than continuing to buy into the large food corporations that ignore health and ethical issues with their behavior in sight of their fat bottom lines. I wish to blog more about this in the future, as I have much more to say on the issue.

Spencer Donnelly

Read more about Slow Money HERE.

Food, INC facts are HERE.

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Food Trucks Making a Debut in Boulder Parks This Summer

Food trucks in America have gained a large following and popularity throughout the country. Because of this trend, it seems that the city of Boulder is conforming by allowing food trucks more room to roam the city. This will allow those who wish to sell their food a more cost efficient and less risky way to do so. In addition, it will provide citizens of Boulder closer locations for food and beverages and more business opportunities within the food industry. This new addition of food trucks in Boulder will assist in the growth of the food industry throughout the city.

The city of Boulder plans to implement these food trucks within Boulder city parks and for late-night business in downtown Boulder for intoxicated college students. These food trucks will be allowed within the Tom Watson Park, Foothills Community Park, North Boulder Park, Harlow Platts Community Park, East Boulder Community Park, and the city’s downtown Municipal Campus during the summer.  Number of allowed food trucks and hours will differ between each park. If the Boulder City Council approves the summer pilot program, the food trucks will be able to operate in downtown Boulder this summer.

Numerous downtown Boulder restaurants are concerned about the possible increased competition from these food trucks. At this point, city officials have restricted food trucks from operating within 150 feet of restaurants and residential districts. These restrictions have drawn complaints from food truck owners because they hinder their sales, but restaurant owners are more concerned with their own businesses. Downtown Boulder restaurants pay expensive rent and are in possibly one of the most competitive food areas in the country. All this in mind, the city officials are working on a solution to cater to the needs of both restaurants and food trucks along with what is best for the city’s economy. It seems that the future is bright for the business of food trucks within the city of Boulder.

For further information on food trucks within Boulder go here.

For further information on the mobile food vehicle pilot program for parks go here.

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