Jul 22 2016
Ever curious about who named July “National Ice Cream Month” and why there are a slew of ice cream-related events and campaigns that are centered around it? Well, you can thank Congress and Ronald Reagan. In 1983, over eight hundred and eighty-seven million gallons of ice cream were consumed in the United States. In 1984, Congress, by Senate Joint Resolution 298, designated July as “National Ice Cream Month,” with “National Ice Cream Day” falling on the 3rd Sunday of the month. President Ronald Reagan was then requested to issue a proclamation in observance of these events and called upon the people of the United States to observe these events with appropriate ceremonies and activities.
As, National Ice Cream Month goes on its 32nd year, Americans are entrenched in ice cream culture. We’ve become more innovative and more demanding. This year, the most popular campaigns appear to circle around discounted deals (or better yet, free ice cream), the newest (most daring) flavors, DIY, and healthier alternatives.
Jul 21 2016
When I was a reporter, I was skeptical of any “news” issued by businesses or other organizations. At the time (I’m dating myself here), that “news” was in the form of press releases and the occasional (rehearsed) media interview or press conference. Even when we did report on company-generated news, we researched the heck out of it to make sure it was objective – and to make sure we identified bias and included other points of view.
Fast forward to today. As a PR professional, I’ve used my skepticism to help organizations develop and deliver newsworthy content. But it wasn’t until recently that I gained a new found respect for how seriously a growing number of organizations are taking the responsibility of being a respected news source. It happened when a health care client of ours asked us to help them build a world-class news operation.
Now this client already had a well-run media relations and consumer news operation, but realized that in today’s competitive and cluttered news environment, it needed to become even more proactive and efficient in leading the discussions around health topics of interest – not just those that involved their own achievements. The challenge was finding an efficient way to involve multiple internal…
Jul 20 2016
When it comes to the calories in alcohol, I’m more of an “out of sight, out of mind” kind of person. I know they’re there, I know they factor into my daily caloric intake, but I continue imbibing while telling myself “this bottle has 100 calories in it, max.” Nothing can immediately tell me otherwise.
Don’t be like me. And, after a recent initiative by the largest members of brewing trade organization the Beer Institute, it will be easier to avoid being like me.
A historic move by some of the country’s biggest names in beer, brands like Anheuser-Busch, MillerCoors, and HeinekenUSA will voluntarily include “serving facts” (like food nutrition facts) on each can or bottle. Aside from listing calories, information about carbohydrate, protein, and fat content will be displayed. The move came after the Beer Institute announced a new initiative encouraging companies to display the information on their products. These new labels benefit consumers who have spent years unaware of the basic nutritional information of their favorite beers.
According to a recent survey conducted by the Harris Poll on behalf of Nielsen, 72 percent of beer drinkers think it’s important to read
Jul 8 2016
If you’re at all active on social media platforms, chances are you’ve seen the humorous posts revisiting the embarrassingly awful styles depicted in photos from 1970s-era mail order catalogs. There’s a world of velour leisurewear, inexplicably loud prints and wiiiiiide lapels that you can barely believe was the accepted fashion of the day. Yet when you pause to think that our grandchildren will definitely look back at images of 2016 and eye-roll about our current idea of trendy attire, you realize that each era has its own aesthetic that is very real and valid in the moment – and looks unbelievably passé in a decade or less.
Food fashion is no different.
Yes, food has a fashion. In one aspect, it’s the era-specific choice of ingredients and preparations. Increased global awareness and commerce have moved once-exotic produce such as kiwifruit and avocados to the front of our plates in a few short decades, for example. A few years ago, the average consumer had never heard of the sous vide water bath cooking technique; now after 13 seasons of “Top Chef” on TV, millions of us can name-drop it like we studied at Johnson & Wales culinary school.
Jun 23 2016
It’s the gender twist to the old saying “you can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make him drink.”
When it comes to health, men* often are cast in the role of the horse, with “water” being played by any of the health care providers he needs to see when “dehydration” (illness or injury) sets in.
I recently had my own experience with this when my husband was diagnosed with ehrlichiosis and anaplasmosis. He spent three miserable days with a fever, chills and fatigue before he even considered calling the doctor. It was the classic and highly caricaturized “man-healthcare” scenario, with excuses including:
Once all of my husband’s “yeah, buts” were addressed, thankfully, he went to see the doctor. He received the treatment he needed and is on the road to recovery. But the difficulty in getting…
Jun 23 2016
As a craft beer lover, one of my favorite things to do when traveling – or, heck, even hanging out in town – is visiting local breweries. So what makes a great brewery? Well, you need to ask the experts. And who are the experts exactly? In my book, it’s WE THE PEOPLE – the beer-lovers of the world. So in conducting my research of “must visit” craft breweries across the United States, I reached out to the coolest beer experts that I know – my friends – and asked them for their favorite brewery experiences. Whether it’s the location (at the beach, on a lake, in the heart of the city, on a mountain or in the country) or the atmosphere (funky, urban, hippy, industrial or vibrant) or the beers (innovative, flavorful, traditional or hoppy), the key thing that I learned is, visiting a brewery is really more than just popping in to get a brew. It’s a total interactive, sensory, learning experience. If you have a “successful” brewery visit, you actually gain an understanding of the culture, hospitality, flavors, people, scenery and even history of the area. That’s pretty cool.…