Parents Fined For Missing Grain in Kids’ Lunches

Yoni Freedhoff wrote in Weighty Matters …..

It’s quite possible that the single stupidest school lunch policy on the planet comes courtesy of a strange interpretation of the Manitoba Government’s Early Learning and Child Care lunch regulations.

Apparently if a child’s lunch is deemed “unbalanced”, where “balance” refers to ensuring that a lunch conforms to the proportions of food groups as laid out by Canada’s awful Food Guide, then that child’s lunch is “supplemented”, and their parent is fined.

Blog reader Kristen Bartkiw received just such a fine.

She sent her children to daycare with with lunches containing leftover homemade roast beef and potatoes, carrots, an orange and some milk.

She did not send along any “grains”.

As a consequence the school provided her children with, I kid you not, supplemental Ritz Crackers, and her with a $10 fine.

As Kristen writes, had she sent along lunches consisting of, “microwave Kraft Dinner and a hot dog, a package of fruit twists, a Cheestring, and a juice box” those lunches would have sailed right through this idiocy. But her whole food, homemade lunches? They lacked Ritz Crackers.

So what say you? Have you come across a more inane school lunch policy? Because I sure haven’t.

[Kristen also updated me that consequent to parents failing to pack “balanced” lunches they’ve moved to a hot lunch program that she describes as great. So perhaps some good came out of Manitoba’s idiocy after all]

Source: Weighty Matters


The Ritz Hits the Fan in Manitoba …..

Gadget: Condiment Gun

Loading the reusable condiment cartridge

White-spotted Charr Nigiri Sushi

The Sushi

The Fish – White-spotted Charr (ゴギ)

Sushi and Noodle Meal with Vegetable Soba and Tofu

Many Sudden Cardiac Arrests Preceded by Warning Signs

Sudden cardiac arrest isn’t always so sudden, according to research presented at the American Heart Association’s Scientific Sessions 2013.

In a study of middle-age men in Portland, Oregon, more than half had possible warning signs up to a month before their hearts stopped abruptly.

Cardiac arrest occurs when the heart stops due to a failure in its electrical system. Patients can sometimes survive if they receive CPR immediately and a defibrillator is used quickly to shock the heart into a normal rhythm.

About 360,000 out-of-hospital cardiac arrests are reported each year in the United States, according to the American Heart Association. Only 9.5 percent of people who suffer a cardiac arrest outside the hospital survive.

“By the time rescuers get there, it’s much too late,” said Eloi Marijon, M.D., study lead author and a visiting scientist at Cedars-Sinai Heart Institute in Los Angeles.

The new research is part of the 11-year-old Oregon Sudden Unexpected Death Study, which involves 1 million people in the Portland metro area. Researchers gathered information about the symptoms and health history of men 35 to 65 years old who had out-of-hospital cardiac arrests in 2002-12.

Among 567 men who had out-of-hospital cardiac arrests, 53 percent had symptoms prior to the cardiac arrest. Of those with symptoms, 56 percent had chest pain, 13 percent had shortness of breath and 4 percent had dizziness, fainting or palpitations.

Almost 80 percent of the symptoms occurred between four weeks and one hour before the sudden cardiac arrest, he said.

Most men had coronary artery disease, but only about half had been tested for it before their cardiac arrest.

Researchers are conducting similar work in women.

“The lesson is, if you have these kinds of symptoms, please don’t blow them off,” said Sumeet Chugh, M.D., senior author and associate director for genomic cardiology at the Cedars-Sinai Heart Institute.“Go see your healthcare provider. Don’t waste time.”

Source: American Heart Association

Eggplant with Sweet Preserved Mustard


2 eggplants
150 g sweet preserved mustard
1 slice ginger, crushed
2 cloves garlic
1 tbsp cooking wine


2 tsp light soy sauce
1 cup water
1/8 tsp sesame oil
dash ground white pepper


2 tsp cornstarch
1 tbsp water


  1. Soak preserved mustard in water for 10 to 15 minutes. Rinse well. Squeeze out water and cut into small pieces.
  2. Cut eggplant into 2″ long thick strips. Steam for 15 minutes until soft. Remove to serving plate.
  3. Heat 2 tbsp oil in a wok over medium heat. Sauté ginger until fragrant. Add preserved mustard and stir-fry for 1 to 2 minutes. Drizzle cooking wine over and add seasoning. Toss to combine. Add thickening and simmer until the sauce is almost dry. Remove and put on top of eggplant. Serve hot.

Source: Hong Kong magazine

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