Goggles on, boys and girls. The test kitchen food processor is wobbling like a Tilt-A-Whirl at the county fair. Before the tidbits go wild, let's dish:
Think before you eat. Friday's Food Revolution Day is part of celebrity chef Jamie Oliver's initiative to raise awareness for better food education and cooking skills across the world. Events are planned in Winter Park on Friday and in Cocoa on Saturday.
Winter Park High School will host student activities such as planting grow boxes, demonstrating 10 simple recipes that novice cooks could make at home and conducting a blind taste test of fruit and vegetables. Students will receive handouts with the recipes and nutrition information.
In Brevard County there will be free food tastings, exercise demonstrations and information on healthful living at the Cocoa YMCA, 1519 Clearlake Road, from 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Saturday. You can get more information at the Facebook page Food Revolution Day Space Coast.
For those who would like to get involved in less structured ways, Oliver suggests:
•Explore farmers markets that showcase growers and producers. Local examples include the Winter Garden Farmers Market in the downtown historic district; Blue Bayou Market on County Road 48 in Yalaha (next to the Yalaha Bakery); L&L Farm's Market, 1025 S. State Road 415 in New Smyrna Beach; or Long & Scott's Country Market, 26216 County Road 448A in Mount Dora near the Zellwood city limit.
•Host a dinner prepared with locally grown food and artisanal products such as sweets, sauces and honeys. Grocery stores such as The Meat House in Winter Park and Whole Foods Market in Orlando and Winter Park, and farmers markets are great sources for these specialty foods.
•Seek out local eateries that support local farmers and less processed foods. Good choices include Cress in DeLand; K Restaurant Wine Bar in Orlando's College Park; Cask & Larder, Ravenous Pig, Luma on Park, all in Winter Park; Spanish River Grill in New Smyrna Beach; and Dandelion Communitea in Orlando.
Oliver, who came to fame as Food Network's "Naked Chef," has spearheaded the movement, which emphasizes whole foods and moderation.
"Food Revolution Day is all about people power," says Oliver. "I was amazed and massively inspired by our first global day of action last year, when we managed to get over 1,000 events organized in 664 cities across the world. This year, the response has already been incredible. The Food Revolution has reached 75 countries."
There is also a live Google+ hangout planned for Friday, during which Oliver will be connecting with the global community. For more information, check out foodrevolutionday.com.
Where's the beef. Florida is home to one of the nation's largest cattle ranches (Deseret straddles Orange, Seminole and Osceola counties) in the United States and ranks 10th in the nation in the number of beef cows. Cash receipts from the sale of cattle in Florida in 2011 reached nearly $500 million, making Florida's beef industry a profitable component of our state's agricultural industry. May is Florida Beef Month and you can visit floridacattlemen.org to learn more. Today at my blog, OrlandoSentinel.com/thedish, check out some easy to prepare beef recipes for your spring menus.
Heather McPherson can be reached at 407-420-5498, Twitter@OS_thedish and email@example.com. Follow daily food news at OrlandoSentinel.com/thedish.
Get the dish
Check out the Morning Mix with Scott McKenzie recipe of the week, Shrimp & Green Beans, at OrlandoSentinel.com/thedish.