Omega-3 Potential Benefit to Those with ALS

By Heide Kennedy, Arizona Farm Bureau Communications Intern


A recent Drink One For Dane Event at Dutch Bros.

For the past two years, I’ve been working at a Dutch Bros coffee shop. One thing that is unique about Dutch Bros aside from its incredibly huge menu is that they frequently do “Give-Back Days” where a certain amount of money from each drink sold goes to a particular charity. The largest Give-Back Day that they do is called Drink One for Dane, in honor of one of the founders who died of the disease, Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), formerly known as Lou Gehrig’s disease. This neurological disorder affects motor neurons, the nerve cells in the brain, and the spinal cord that control voluntary muscle movement and breathing.

On Dutch Bros Give Back Days, all of the money made at every stand within the company is donated to further the research for a cure for ALS.

As mentioned earlier, ALS is a neurodegenerative disease that affects the nerves and spinal cord, reducing the ability to control muscle movements over time. Patients diagnosed with ALS typically don’t live very long following diagnosis. While a cure still has yet to be found, a recent study found that a greater blood concentration of omega-3 fatty acids was linked to a slower progression of ALS in patients afflicted with the disease. Specifically, of the patients observed, there were fewer deaths and less worsening of symptoms in those who consumed the most omega-3s compared to those who consumed the least.

Omega-3 fatty acids are found in foods such as walnuts, flaxseed, fish, pumpkin seeds, and canola oil to name a few. Fish oil supplements are also a good way to get more omega-3s in your body. In addition to the benefits that omega-3s have on ALS, they also benefit our health in many other ways. Check out the following articles from Fill Your Plate to read more!


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Mexican Cuisine is High in Phenolic Compounds

By Heide Kennedy, Arizona Farm Bureau Communications Intern

Photo courtesy Chitokan via Pexels.

 Any time that we have family from out-of-state to visit us in Arizona, they typically always want to have Mexican food at least once while they are here. Usually, the reason is because Arizona is one of the few places where you can actually get amazing, authentic Mexican food!

Besides being incredibly delicious, did you know that Mexican foods and the common ingredients such as grains, spices, legumes, and vegetables used in this cuisine are high in phenolic compounds? These phenolic compounds are plant micronutrients that play a role in energy metabolism, have anti-inflammatory and antiallergic properties, and positively impact diseases such as diabetes, obesity, metabolic syndrome, and cardiovascular diseases.

It’s important to note though that this doesn’t necessarily mean that all Mexican foods are healthy. For example, tortilla chips, deep-fried burritos, and quesadillas are still full of excess fats and simple carbs. But more traditional Mexican foods such as mole or rice, beans, and meats are definitely nutritious options.

So, enjoy your Mexican foods and all the phenolic compounds that they have to offer!

Check out the recipes page on the Fill Your Plate website for some healthy, delicious Mexican food ideas!

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The 6 to 1 Grocery Shopping Method

By Heide Kennedy, Arizona Farm Bureau Communications Intern

Have you ever walked up to your fridge, opened the doors, and found only half a pickle, the little bit of leftovers from last night’s takeout, and about two ounces of milk left in the jug? While I’m no dietician or nutrition expert, I’d say that’s a pretty clear sign that it’s time for you to hit the grocery store for a re-stock! But sometimes grocery shopping isn’t always enjoyable, whether that be because of inflation and higher prices, the hassle of going out and actually doing the shopping, and then having to decide what and how much to get.

Photo Credit:

Luckily, there are different ways to approach grocery shopping to help save money and make the process smoother and easier. One method is called the 6 to 1 method, thought up by TV personality and chef Will Coleman.

The basics to the 6 to 1 method are listed below:

  • Only make 1 weekly trip to the store, or 2 if it’s for a big family.
  • Don’t go to the store with a predetermined list but do have meal ideas or inspiration in mind.
  • Buy the foods that sound good and that you actually want to eat.
  • Purchase 6 vegetables, 5 fruits, 4 proteins, 3 starches, 2 sauces, spreads, or seasonings, and 1 fun treat.


There are quite a few benefits to the 6 to 1 method.  The main benefit is that it takes into consideration 3 big factors when it comes to grocery shopping: Taste, price, and healthfulness. By having you buy only a certain amount of foods and having you only buy the foods that you’ll actually want to eat, you’ll be cutting down on overspending and food waste. Also, this approach to shopping and meal planning promotes eating all in moderation.

This is just one grocery shopping strategy that you can try out, many others exist as well too. The key is to find what works best for your budget, your family, your diet, and your schedule! Luckily, we have many more articles on Fill Your Plate about grocery shopping tips, and lots of healthy recipes!


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Zucchini – A Versatile and Nutritious Veggie!

By Heide Kennedy, Arizona Farm Bureau Communications Intern

My mom absolutely loves gardening, especially in the summer. Each spring when she starts to plant her summer garden, she always makes sure to grow lots of rows of zucchini. Not only does it thrive and produce an overabundance of zucchini, but it’s also a delicious, nutritious, and very versatile squash to cook with.


Don’t miss out on these fresh in season vegetables for the summer! (photo credit:

According to registered dietician Alina Petre, zucchini is a great source of nutrients, all while being low in calories. It is full of vitamin A and antioxidants and might benefit heart health, blood sugar levels, digestion, and vision.

When it comes to cooking with zucchini, the possibilities are endless. It can be used in sweets such as zucchini bread, cookies, or muffins, julienned for a low-carb pasta alternative, or it can always be grilled, roasted, or sauteed as a delicious side dish!

Zucchini grows very well here in our Arizona climate. Try growing some yourself or look for locally grown zucchini next time you’re at the store or farmers market!

For some yummy zucchini recipes, check these out from Fill Your Plate! These zucchini recipes are numerous and diverse.

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Dairy 101 – USDA Plans to Change Flavored Milks in School Lunches

Chocolate Milk

 (photo credit:

By Heide Kennedy, Arizona Farm Bureau Communications Intern


How many of you were told growing up that white milk comes from white cows, while chocolate milk comes from brown cows? People tried telling me that as a kid, but being a kid who grew up in a family that raised cattle, I knew it was definitely a lie. All milk is white, regardless of the color of the cow. The only thing that makes different colors and flavors of milk are artificial colors and flavors and a whole lot of sugar.

Flavored milks are super popular with kids, which is one of the reasons that they have been included in school lunches for so long. After an analysis found that flavored milk products were the largest contributing factor to sugar in school lunches, the USDA is working to reduce the amount of sugar in milk products distributed in schools by 2025.

This is to be accomplished either by milk product producers altering products to meet the limited sugar requirements, or schools choosing to serve only unflavored milk products. The former option is most likely, as according to the USDA’s release, 90% of milk producers have already committed to changing their products to meet the new guidelines. However, it is up to the school districts to decide whether they will continue serving the lower-sugar chocolate and strawberry milk or not.

Regardless, milk is still a highly nutritious element of a child’s diet, so it’s important to make sure that they are still consuming an adequate amount of dairy products each day. We’ve been writing lots about dairy this month since it’s National Dairy Month. Check out some of our previous dairy articles and keep an eye out for those to come! And remember, all milk is white regardless of the cow’s color!


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