Prevention programs, screenings, and other health information

20th Annual Beverly Breast Cancer Walk Set for Mother’s Day  

20th Annual Beverly Breast Cancer Walk Set for Mother’s Day  

Last year, more than 14,000 men, women and children walked the Beverly/Morgan Park neighborhood in commemoration of the countless wives, daughters and mothers who fought the war on breast cancer. Flash back 19 years, the Beverly Breast Cancer Walk (BBCW) only consisted of three pioneering women whose vision would inspire the Southland community to think pink on Mother’s Day. 

Nearly two decades ago, area resident Carol Moriarty sought treatment at Little Company of Mary Hospital’s (LCMH) Comprehensive Breast Health Center to aid her in her battle with breast cancer. After a successful plan of treatments, Moriarty found herself cancer-free with a new profound vision for life.  

In 1999Moriarty, her sister Nancy Mulcahy and longtime friend Lisa O’Brien decided to give Southland residents a local option in raising funds and awareness for the fight against breast cancer. What started as a walk among a group of friends and family on Mother’s Day quickly grew into thousands of participants and community-wide event that today has raised more than $6 million with proceeds benefiting the programs and technology at LCMH’s award-winning Comprehensive Breast Health Center. For two decades, a talented group of committee members have donated their time and talents to make the BBCW a bigger success each year 

The countless hours spent by the committee and dedicated volunteers on registration, marketing, fundraising, entertainment, and merchandising has not gone unnoticed, and  

our gratitude for what all the effort accomplishes is immense,” said Brian Lepacek, MDiv, Executive Director of the Little Company of Mary Hospital Foundation. “This year’s 20th anniversary milestone is living proof that if we join hands and talents together, we can make a difference – and save lives.” 

Over the past 19 years, BBCW support of the Comprehensive Breast Health Center has impacted the lives of thousands of breast cancer survivors. With generous community support in 2018, the BBCW was able to sustain its support of current breast health programming and continue deepening its impact with the establishment of a BBCW Crisis Fund to assist LCMH breast cancer patients with emergent financial needs within our community. Additionally, a portion of the 2018 event proceeds supported a “sister-walk” partnership with the international organization, People Helping People, bringing much-needed medical equipment, supplies and services to breast cancer patients in poverty-stricken El Salvador. 
The 20th Annual Beverly Breast Cancer Walk will take place on Mother’s Day, Sun., May 12, starting at 8 a.m. at Ridge Park, 9625 S. Longwood Dr. 

Register early to receive a t-shirt with the $30 entry fee. The entry fee for children ages 18 and under is $15. Same-day registration is $10 more for adults and $5 more for children. T-shirt availability is not guaranteed for day-of registrants. To register, go to www.BeverlyBreastCancerWalk. 

Think FAST… 

 

Eileen McNichols MSN, RN 
Director, Pastoral Care Services and Community Health 
Little Company of Mary Hospital  

May is the month that we really believe summer is coming. In healthcare, we celebrate May as National Stroke Awareness month.  With early recognition and management, the number of people surviving stroke with improved functionality is steadily improving. The old saying “knowledge is power” is certainly true when it comes to stroke. The more people are aware of risk factors , signs and symptoms, and appropriate response to stroke, the more likely we are to prevent and manage stroke in such a way that quality of life is enhanced. 

According to the American Stroke Association, “most strokes are preventable and a large percentage of the ones that happen are treatable with the right care, right away. It’s a matter of knowing what to do, taking action and spreading the word.  The risk factors for stroke include high blood pressure, high cholesterol, smoking, diabetes, carotid artery and peripheral vascular disease, atrial fibrillation and sickle cell disease.  Working with your primary care provider to manage these risk factors decreases the chances that you will have a stroke.   

Recently, stroke has gone from the third to the fourth leading cause of death in the U.S. which is monumental achievement.  If you can remember the phrase Think FAST, you can be a stroke champion and help to continue the success of minimizing the number of people who experience stroke, maximizing early access to care and improving the quality of life for stroke victims. 

FACE: Drooping on one side of the face. Ask the person to smile. 

ARM: Weakness on one side. Ask the person to raise both arms. Does one arm drift downward? 

SPEECH: Slurred speech. Is the person unable to speak or hard to understand?  

TIME:  If someone shows any of these symptoms, even if the symptoms go away, call 9-1-1 to get the person to the hospital immediately. Treatment that begins within 4.5 hours of the first sign of a stroke results in the best outcome.  

Little Company of Mary Hospital is a primary stroke center, recognized by the Joint Commission of Hospital Accreditation as a place where stroke patients receive excellent care To learn your personal risk factors for stroke, sign up for the Wake Up Call screening. You can help prevent stroke and its long term consequences if you remember to Think FAST. 

Top Programs in May 

Little Company of Mary Hospital, 2800 W. 95th St. Registration: 708423-5774. 

Health Academy — Updates on Stroke Management from the Experts: A Panel Presentation, Mon., May 13, 11 a.m. to noon. Free.  

CHEER puts the power of humor to work in your life with “Live, Laugh, Love, Wed., May 15, 11 a.m. to noon. Free.  

Wake Up Call screening, Sat., May 18, 7:30 to 11:30 a.m., a one-hour screening that could save your lifeIncludes lab work, ultrasounds of the carotid and abdominal aortic arteries, peripheral vascular screening, heart rhythm screening and more. Appointment required. $160. 

Free blood pressure screenings, every Tues. and Thurs., 10:30 a.m. to noon,  West Pavilion outside the Women’s Center. No appointment required.  

 

May is National Stroke Awareness month.  With early recognition and management, the number of people surviving stroke with improved functionality is steadily improving. The more people are aware of risk factors, signs and symptoms, and appropriate response to stroke, the more likely we are to prevent and manage stroke in such a way that quality of life is enhanced. Little Company of Mary Hospital, 2800 W. 95th St.presents  Updates on Stroke Management from the Experts: A Panel Presentation, Mon., May 13, 11 a.m. to noon. Free. Registration: 708-423-5774. Read more about preventing and surviving a stroke in The Villager  

 

 

Think FAST to Recognize Signs of Stroke

Eileen McNichols MSN, RN
Director, Pastoral Care Services and Community Health Little Company of Mary Hospital

May is the month that we really believe summer is coming. In healthcare, we celebrate May as National Stroke Awareness month. With early recognition and management, the number of people surviving stroke with improved functionality is steadily improving. The old saying “knowledge is power” is certainly true when it comes to stroke. The more people are aware of risk factors , signs and symptoms, and appropriate response to stroke, the more likely we are to prevent and manage stroke in such a way that quality of life is enhanced.

According to the American Stroke Association, “most strokes are preventable and a large percentage of the ones that happen are treatable with the right care, right away. It’s a matter of knowing what to do, taking action and spreading the word.” The risk factors for stroke include high blood pressure, high cholesterol, smoking, diabetes, carotid artery and peripheral vascular disease, atrial fibrillation and sickle cell disease. Working with your primary care provider to manage these risk factors decreases the chances that you will have a stroke.

Recently, stroke has gone from the third to the fourth leading cause of death in the U.S. which is monumental achievement. If you can remember the phrase Think FAST, you can be a stroke champion and help to continue the success of minimizing the number of people who experience stroke, maximizing early access to care and improving the quality of life for stroke victims.

FACE: Drooping on one side of the face. Ask the person to smile.
ARM: Weakness on one side. Ask the person to raise both arms. Does one arm drift downward?
SPEECH: Slurred speech. Is the person unable to speak or hard to understand?
TIME: If someone shows any of these symptoms, even if the symptoms go away, call 9-1-1 to get the person to the hospital immediately. Treatment that begins within 4.5 hours of the first sign of a stroke results in the best outcome.

Little Company of Mary Hospital is a primary stroke center, recognized by the Joint Commission of Hospital Accreditation as a place where stroke patients receive excellent care. To learn your personal risk factors for stroke, sign up for the Wake Up Call screening. You can help prevent stroke and its long term consequences if you remember to Think FAST.

Top Programs in May
Little Company of Mary Hospital, 2800 W. 95th St. Registration: 708-423-5774.

Health Academy — Updates on Stroke Management from the Experts: A Panel Presentation, Mon., May 13, 11 a.m. to noon. Free.
CHEER puts the power of humor to work in your life with “Live, Laugh, Love,” Wed., May 15, 11 a.m. to noon. Free.
Wake Up Call screening, Sat., May 18, 7:30 to 11:30 a.m., a one-hour screening that could save your life. Includes lab work, ultrasounds of the carotid and abdominal aortic arteries, peripheral vascular screening, heart rhythm screening and more. Appointment required. $160.
Free blood pressure screenings, every Tues. and Thurs., 10:30 a.m. to noon, West Pavilion outside the Women’s Center. No appointment required.

You’re the Boss When it Comes to Healthcare

By Eileen McNichols, Little Company of Mary Hospital

Most adults prefer to make important decisions about their life for themselves. Not that you don’t seek input from trusted friends and family members, a pastor or other personal counselor, but ultimately the decision is yours. This is known as autonomy. When it comes to healthcare, autonomy means the right of a competent adult to make informed decisions about their own medical care.

Typically, you don’t ponder the intricacies of medical care when you are doing well. However, when crisis occurs, you may be compromised intellectually, emotionally and spiritually. Is this the best time to make decisions that can affect the rest of your life? If you were to become incapacitated, does anyone know what your preferences in a difficult medical situation would be? Would your spouse or adult child be comfortable or have the emotional ability to make a decision about medical care on your behalf if you were incapacitated?

While this may seem like a difficult topic to throw out at the dinner table, consider the alternative: Living a life in a compromised state in which you no longer have control over what is happening to you. Give your loved ones a valuable gift. Relieve them of the burden of making these difficult decisions. Make them yourself.

National Health Care Decision Week is Apr. 15-21.  Utilize this week as an opportunity to have a conversation with a trusted person about your preferences for healthcare. Complete a Healthcare Power of Attorney (HCPOA) document and designate a trusted person to be your healthcare agent, your voice if you cannot speak for yourself. This form is simple to fill out yet will play a crucial role should the time come when it is needed. You do not need an attorney and the document does not need to be notarized. This form simply ensures that your preferences will drive the decisions that need to be made about your medical care.

On Sat., Apr. 13, 2to 3 p.m., Little Company of Mary Hospital, 2800 W. 95th St., will hold a free seminar on Durable Power of Attorney for Healthcare Seminar. For information or to register, call 708- 4223-5774. For more information, and to access a simple HCPOA to download and complete, visit www.lcmh.org/yourchoice.  In other words, no matter what happens, and God willing nothing will happen, You’re the Boss.

More April Programs at Little Company of Mary Hospital (info/registration: 708-423-5774)

Annual Adult Health Fair, Sat., Apr. 6, 7:30 to 10 a.m., comprehensive lab work including a take home colon rectal screening kits. Learn about our Primary Stroke Center, how to minimize your risk of having a stroke and what to do if you suspect someone is having a stroke. Fee $75. Registration required.

Health Academy: “Here We Go Again – Updates on Colon Health,” Mon., Apr. 8, p 11 a.m. to noon, presented by Dr. Michael Hurtuk. Little Company of Mary Hospital. Free.

Skin Cancer Screening with Dr. Sonya Kenkare, Thurs., Apr. 18, 1 to 3 p.m. Free. If you have an area of concern, Dr. Kenkare will exam and provide guidance to prevent melanoma. Registration required

 

 

Home Cooking: Sticking to Healthy New Year’s Resolutions

By Kristin Boza

The magical time of year when New Year’s resolutions are made is here. At the top of most lists is getting healthy, including eating better and working out more consistently. Jenny Harkins, BAPA business member and owner of Treadfit, 10458 S. Western, shares her tips on turning a New Year’s resolution into a lasting lifestyle change.

Track Calories Realistically
What you eat must be used by your body, otherwise those calories will end up as fat around your midsection. Harkins stays on track by using the MyFitnessPal app. “The app allows you to track your food and workouts throughout the day. I set realistic goals and program my macro percentages to 40 percent carbohydrates, 30 percent fat, and 30 percent protein,” she said. “By setting realistic goals and eating a balanced diet, I am not depriving myself of a specific food group and am able to maintain my goal weight.”

Find an Accountability Team
While calorie tracking is a great way to hold yourself responsible for what you eat, let’s face it — it’s hard sometimes. That’s one reason why Treadfit started the Focus on You Challenge to urge participants to eat right, work out, and lean on one another when the healthy lifestyle change gets difficult.

The five-week challenge begins on Jan. 7. Participants commit to completing four to five Treadfit classes a week, plus following the Treadfit Focus Food List. “Everyone who joins will attend a pre- and post-assessment, plus a nutritional workshop. During our first Focus on You Challenge, participants lost an average of seven pounds and eight inches,” Harkins said. The fee for the challenge is $25, which does not include Treadfit classes.

Simplify Your Menu
Harkins finds it easy to stay on track by eating almost the same thing for breakfast and lunch each day. “I usually have an RXBAR for breakfast with a coffee, and Crunchmaster crackers with some type of nut butter for lunch,” she said. “I aim to make a healthy dinner five nights a week for my family, usually with a balance of healthy protein, like ground turkey or chicken, carbs and fat.”

Snack Smartly
Three p.m. is the time when even the healthiest eaters hit a slump. Plan ahead by making a quick and healthy snack to avoid the pitfall of chocolate and cookies. Harkins makes a smoothie bowl, which satisfies her sweet tooth and gives her a much-needed protein boost late in the day.

Smoothie Bowl Recipe

Place the ingredients in a blender:
A splash of skim milk
Greek yogurt
Frozen berries
Two scoops of collagen protein (available at Southtown Health Foods)

Blend.  Harkins tops off her smoothies with a sprinkle of granola, coconut and honey.

Cherished Angels Brings Solace to Grieving Parents

By Abby Johnson 

They are Angel Moms and Angel Dads. Once a month, they gather at Little Company of Mary Hospital’s (LCMH) Family Birth Center, 2800 W. 95th St., for the Cherished Angel monthly perinatal loss support group. This is a safe zone, a place where the loss of a child through miscarriage, stillborn or infant death can be felt- and grieved.  

Dr. Kathryn Gardner, a volunteer on the LCMH Perinatal Loss Committee, leads these sessions. She is a psychologist who helps women cope with fertility, pregnancy and perinatal loss. The grief and anger that follows a perinatal loss can be overwhelming, she said, adding that Cherished Angels provides a needed outlet. 

“People don’t know what to do when this kind of thing happens to them,” Gardner said. “They’re experiencing such turmoil that just taking the step to look for help can be too much.” 

Gardner believes every woman should receive specialized care. When LCMH contacted Gardner with their idea for the Cherished Angels program, she was thrilled and immediately hopped on board. It was the perfect opportunity to show parents that there is hope, and that peace can be found. 

This month is especially important for the Cherished Angels. October is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month, a good time for spreading the message that resources are available.  

“It’s common to feel lonely after experiencing something like this,” she said. “This group helps show the Angel Moms and Angel Dads that they’re not alone. Other people are going through the same thing. There are others who understand.” 

Even those who aren’t comfortable talking openly about their pain are welcome at the coping sessions, said Gardner.  

“If you’re someone who just wants to listen, that’s fine, too,” she said. “Everyone is welcome to speak as much or as little as they like.” 

This month’s Cherished Angels support group will take place on Thurs., Oct. 20, 10:30 a.m. to 12 p.m. in the hospital’s West Pavilion. Guest speaker Rachael Sedor will discuss skills for coping with anxiety and anger, as well as her own experience with perinatal loss. 

Last month marked the one-year anniversary of Cherished Angels. Gardner’s main goal remains the same: To provide emotional support for parents during this difficult time. 

“I just want everyone to know that tranquility is within reach.”  

For more information, email cherishedangelsupport@lcmh.org. 

Allyship Across Identities

By Bonn Wade, LCSW 

“It’s hard. It’s uncomfortable. I never know what to do or say.”  

I was sitting with a friend who had just shared a racist incident that had happened at work involving two people from different backgrounds. He felt badly that he froze up when witnessing a racist comment in the co-workers’ interaction. His awkwardness immobilized his ability to be of support to the person who experienced the harm or to check in with the person who inflicted said harm. He didn’t do or say anything. 

Like my friend, many of us struggle with what to do in situations that involve racism, sexism, homophobia, discrimination against people with disabilities, and other forms of unjust treatment. How can we become allies instead of bystanders? 

According to The Anti-Oppression Network,  “Allyshipis . . .  a lifelong process of building relationships based on trust, consistency and accountability with marginalized individuals and/or groups of people.”  

What does it mean to truly be an ally to others across differences and identities? How does one actively interrupt oppression in our everyday lives when it is often unpopular to do so? Additionally, what happens once we have interrupted the oppressive behavior or incident? How do we bring about healing justice for all involved and create broader lasting change within communities, workplaces and schools? 

Being an ally isn’t only about acknowledging our unearned advantages and saying all the right things to avoid hurting others. At the core, allyship is aspiring to learn about privilege, power and what it means to build authentic relationships across differences. Ultimately, allyship is about amending oppressive structures or patterns in our lives. We all need to do this work. 

These ideas may prove helpful:
Start Learning! Don’t rely on others to educate you.  Read up on privilege, power and identities. You might start at the Organizing for Power, Organizing for Change website. 

Be Humble! You will make mistakes; others may call you out. Be reassured that trying is the important first step of being an ally. Remember, these issues are bigger than you. If we stay stuck in hurt feelings we only perpetuate oppressive behavior. 

Take Action! Find ways to plug yourself in. Join local groups that are working on the issues, such as the Southwest Chicago Diversity Collaborative 

On Sat., Nov. 9, 3 to 5 p.m., I will host Solidarity 101: Allyship Across Identities, a workshop exploring intersecting systems of power and privilege, at Beverly Therapists, 10725 S. Western Ave.  The interactive workshop will offer space to check our own assumptions and begin to unlearn dominant norms. We’ll begin to recognize ways we can work to identify and eliminate harmful power imbalances in our lives. There will be time for questions and discussion. Register at 773-330-2544 or www.beverlytherapists.com. 

(Bonn Wade has been a social worker and therapist for 23 years and actively trains on diversity and cultural humility topics.)

School Lunch Hacks for Busy Parents

By Kristin Boza 

There’s a certain pleasure in packing school lunches for your kids; it’s a simple way to show them you care during a long day apart. Well, at least that’s how it feels during the first week of school. The labor of love often turns into just another chore to churn out on hectic mornings.  

Moms of Beverly/Morgan Park came together to share some of their best tips, tricks and hacks to make school lunch packing easier than ever. 

Bento Boxes Provide Variety 

Bento boxes, which are usually found built into lunch boxes, contain several small compartments for packing food. They offer a great solution for picky eaters and give parents an opportunity to pack quite a few options. Consider cutting up half of a sandwich for the largest container, then include a sampling of fruit (grapes, cut-up strawberries, and blueberries fit perfectly in the small spaces), hummus, carrot sticks, and perhaps even a couple fruit snacks or chocolates for dessert.  

Post a Menu  

St. Barnabas School mom Moira Benton solved the “What’s for lunch?” question by developing a weekly menu for her four children. She created a simple Word template with spaces for two Post-It notes per day and hangs it on the fridge, so the kids always know what they are eating for breakfast and lunch.  

“I create menus for breakfast and lunch, and they are a life saver. Plus, I use Post-It notes so the menu is easily changeable,” she said. “We even use it during vacations and summer; it just makes life easier. The Post-Its are great for any unexpected changes, like if we’re out of something or it’s hot lunch day at school,” Benton said. 

Crustless Sandwiches  

Uncrustables are found in the freezer section at any grocery store, but often contain undesirable preservatives or additives. However, they are perfect for picky eaters who can’t stand the sight of a crust of bread. Lisa Forde, who has one daughter at Mother McAuley High School and another at St. Barnabas School, sometimes makes a batch of her own version of Uncrustables using a Pampered Chef sandwich cutter. The sandwiches can be made ahead of time and frozen (see recipe below). 

Think Outside the Sandwich 

Get as creative as the kid’s palette will allow and build out a lunch with a variety of healthy foods. Forde says her daughters will choose to pack hummus with pita chips or carrots, or even spinach salad topped with strawberries. She uses the Rubbermaid Brilliance salad set or sandwich set, which provide small individual containers to pack foods that can later be mixed together; one favorite lunch is a mix of yogurt, granola and berries all separated so they don’t get soggy by lunchtime.  

“Uncrustable” Sandwiches 

Bread 

Nut butter (soynut or sunflower butter can be used for children with allergies or attending a nut-free school) 

Jelly 

Instructions
Make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich as usual, but concentrate the filling on the center of the bread only. 

Take a sandwich sealer tool or even a large glass cup and place it over the sandwich, pressing down until the bread is cut through. Before removing the sandwich sealer or glass, gently remove the crust. 

Lay the prepared sandwiches on a baking sheet, uncovered, and freeze for two hours. 

Once frozen through, remove the sandwiches and place in individual baggies or wrap in plastic wrap. 

Keep frozen until ready to use. Either send the sandwich to school frozen (it will thaw by lunchtime) or microwave for 15 seconds if eating right away. 

 

Y-Me: Working and Playing for a Cure

By Laura Casey  

Most people know me as Ms. Laura from Graver Park, where I worked for 18 of my 30 years at the Chicago Park District. My favorite days were welcoming all the moms, dads and toddlers for morning programming and organizing youth volleyball leagues.  

While I have been a part of the community through my role at the Chicago Park District, for the past 15 years I have been playing in and volunteering for Ginger Rugai’s Y-Me Softball Tournament. Four years ago I took on the role of Board Chair. This volunteer role has been inspiring. The mission we declared, is “Together We Can Find a Cure.”  

Naturally, in the beginning I was concerned taking on this position would be too much of a commitment, but, deep down, I knew it was the right thing to do.  

These days it’s hard not to find someone not touched by breast cancer. Two of my dear friends, also sisters of our Board Secretary, were diagnosed with breast cancer, and although they had been in remission, unfortunately, the cancer metastasized and they lost their battle. This experience gave me renewed drive to volunteer my time, join the committee and eventually lead the board.   

Since 1994 our tournament has been growing and today we have over 60 teams with more than 1,200 women coming together in Mt. Greenwood for a day of competitive softball. But more than that, they come together to honor all those touched by breast cancer and especially the survivors of this terrible disease.  

This year’s Y-Me Softball Tournament will be held Sat., Aug. 25, St. Christina Fields and Mount Greenwood Park, 111th and Central Park. Team rosters and fees are due by Aug. 23. Players, volunteers and donors can find complete information at y-mesoftball.com.  

A highlight of the Y-Me Softball Tournament day is the three-inning survivor game. The survivors who are playing may be newly diagnosed or 25 years cancer-free. While this game is fun, it is more about courage, strength, hope and faith: by playing, the survivors give back to others and share the strength of their journey. 

It is with great pride that I stand among the board with such creative minds! They are always looking for ways to increase awareness and funding for Breast Cancer Research. This year, Open Outcry Brewing Company created a Y-Me craft beer and donated a portion of the proceeds directly to our cause. We are planning eat-and-earn fundraisers at Buona Beef and other local restaurants.  

I am so proud to say that ALL of the proceeds from our fundraising go to support the breast cancer research of Dr. Kay McLeod, Breast Cancer Researcher for the University of Chicago, Ben May Institute. Since 2015 our organization has raised over $200,000 and assisted in real progress to eradicate this terrible disease. Ginger Rugai’s Y-Me Softball Tournament is a 501©3.  

Thank you to my fellow board members for all their time and talents making this a great day working towards a common goal: a cure. 

Cooking with Summer Produce

By Kristin Boza 

With the 95th Street Farmer’s Market in full swing, there’s an abundance of delicious, fresh and local summer produce available. As you head to the market at 95th and Longwood Drive each Sunday, 8 a.m. to 1 p.m., keep in mind these tips for choosing and preparing seasonal produce from local chef and Beverly/Morgan Park resident Alvin Green. 

Talk with the Farmers
Farmer’s markets are more than simply places to buy fresh food. They are an opportunity to speak directly to the people who are cultivating the food you are purchasing, so you can get a better understanding of where your food is coming from.  

“Find out what’s really in season by asking the farmers questions about their food,” Green said. “You can even find out about their ‘second harvest’, which may not be the perfect ‘supermarket ready’ foods we’re use to, but this produce is great for cooking now and freezing so you can have fresh and healthy food all winter.”  

Anything in-season will be cheaper and more flavorful, since it is in abundant supply locally and fresh from the vine without being packed and shipped from warmer climates. 

Choose Fresh Foods That You Will Actually Eat
Green advises farmer’s market shoppers to buy foods that they’ll actually eat. Gather up fruits and veggies that have imperfections, such as an odd shape or small size.  

“So much food in this country never makes it to market because of imperfections, which means it is ultimately wasted,” Green said. “I’ve found that a farmer’s ‘second tomatoes’ [the second harvest of the seasons, usually a smaller yield] make the best tomato soup or pasta sauce. Even food that is a little past its prime will still make flavorful smoothies or soup.” These imperfect foods usually are priced lower than produce without blemishes. 

Buy Now, Eat Later
“Use everything and go back to the way people used to eat. They didn’t throw anything away,” Green said. Normally cast-off ends, peels and odd sized pieces of produce can be saved to make a vegetable stock that will keep for months in the freezer.  

For example, buy corn on the cob at the market, but don’t discard the cobs. Instead, create a corn stock that will act as a base for soup or polenta. Put cobs in a pot, cover with water and simmer. You can also make vegetable stock with the ends of carrots and other vegetables from the scrap pile.  

“This cuts down on food waste and works with nearly any vegetable. There’s still a lot of flavor and nutrients in these parts of the vegetable. I freeze the stock in quart size bags and it’s great to pull out in the middle of winter to make soup that will taste a lot better than canned soup,” Green said. 

Adding produce to dishes that traditionally don’t contain them is another great way to use up the farmer’s market bounty while adding more vegetables to the diet. Green developed a recipe to use a zucchini surplus in a popular breakfast food; check out this recipe: 

Alvin Green’s Zucchini Pancakes 

Ingredients 

2 cups grated zucchini 

2 large eggs, slightly beaten 

2 Tbsp. chopped green onion 

1/2 cup all-purpose flour 

1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese 

1/2 tsp. baking powder 

1/2 tsp. salt 

1/2 tsp. garlic powder 

1 tsp. Italian herb seasoning blend 

1/4 cup olive oil, or as needed 

Directions 

Blot grated zucchini with paper towels to remove excess moisture. Stir zucchini, eggs and onion in a large bowl. Mix flour, Parmesan cheese, baking powder, salt, garlic powder and Italian herb seasoning blend in a separate bowl; stir flour mixture into zucchini until batter is just moistened. 

Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Drop rounded spoonful of zucchini batter onto hot oiled pan; cook 2 to 3 minutes per side until golden brown. Set aside and keep warm. 

Add more oil to pan as needed and continue with remaining batter.