First We Eat: #LifeatPromega, The Culinary Experience

The Promega Culinary Garden
In the Promega garden. (L to R): Logan Morrow, gardener; Nate Herndon, Promega Senior Culinary Manager; Mike Daugherty, Promega Line Cook and Gardener

First we eat, then we do everything else.–MFK Fisher

Swatting away mosquitoes one July morning in the garden on the Promega Madison, WI, campus, Senior Culinary Manager Nate Herndon leans down and pulls back the leaves of a squash plant, revealing the bright yellow flowers that in a couple of hours will highlight a seasonal special on the lunch menu at one of the company’s cafeterias: green onion-cream cheese stuffed fried squash blossoms served on a grilled jerk pork tostada with black beans and cilantro sauce. Herndon explains that dishes made from scratch with high-quality, locally sourced (and sometimes unexpected) ingredients are the rule at Promega Madison kitchens, where it’s not uncommon to find entrees like house made ramp garganelli with oyster mushrooms and asparagus, braised beef ragu with house made buckwheat parpadelle pasta and baby kale, or fried perch tacos.

Food is an extension, a daily demonstration, of our overall commitment to sustainability, the community and employees

Many companies are realizing the benefits of upscaling their corporate cafeteria offerings. Some are engaging employees with ever-changing theme lunch menus or energy drinks on tap. Others are echoing the popular farm to table movement. But Herndon explains that Promega’s sensibilities surrounding the importance of food goes way beyond simply following popular trends. Continue reading “First We Eat: #LifeatPromega, The Culinary Experience”

Want Your Kids to Eat Their Vegetables? Start Them Early and Give Them Water

As I write this, a can of diet soda sits open on my desk (where I am eating my lunch) and I am fighting the urge to supplement my lunch with a bag of chips out of the vending machine. The reusable, BPA-free glass I keep at my desk for ice water sits neglected, as does the apple I brought in my lunch. So why, if I have an apple sitting right there, am I tempted to visit the vending machine for chips? New research suggests that the blame could lie with that can of diet soda.

The study, made available online ahead of publication (1), found that from a very early age, people associate sweeten drinks with salty and higher fat foods such as pizza and French fries (or chips). Perhaps partly as a result of this association, young people (ages 19–23 years) viewed unfavorably the pairing of a sweetened drink with raw or cooked vegetables. The test subjects showed strong reactions (either positive or negative) to the pairing of sweetened drinks with certain foods. In contrast, water didn’t evoke strong any reactions indicating that it was viewed as reasonable complement to most food. Continue reading “Want Your Kids to Eat Their Vegetables? Start Them Early and Give Them Water”