Time to be thankful for past, present and future

Published Oct 29, 2017 at 9:00am

We have escaped hurricanes, fires, and floods. For now be thankful for having water and food and friends to sustain, and make everyday a Thanksgiving Day. 

The Academy’s history began with about 100 dietitians who met in Cleveland, Ohio in 1917.

These trailblazing professionals gathered to make sure “the feeding of as many people as possible be placed in the hands of individuals who are trained and especially fitted to fed them in the best possible manner.”

A lot has changed since then, but not the Academy’s commitment to the transformative power of food and nutrition. 

Today the Academy founded as the American Dietetic Association (ADA) represents more than 100,000 credentialed practitioners all over the world and is the world’s largest organization of food and nutrition professionals.

We have expanded our scope to include research, publishing, philanthropy, policy and advocacy, and much more.

We have affiliates in all 50 states, as well as Puerto Rico, the District of Columbia, and overseas. The American Dietetic Association is now known as the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. 

An early historian of our organization named Mary I. Barber wrote, “An honorable past lies behind us, a developing present is with us, and a promising future lies before us.” As the Academy enters our next 100 years we can learn much by celebrating the professionals whose creativity and hard work brought up to where we are today. 

Through the years plenty of research has been conducted to discover foods and how they benefit us. Apples are a popular fall item and something many people love, that luckily has shown its nutritional values in big ways.

The humble apple has been enjoyed throughout history dating back thousands of years. A member of the rose family, the apple was considered a symbol of beauty in Greek mythology. The fruit made it’s way to North America in the 1600’s. Soon after, John Chapman earned his famous nickname “Johnny Appleseed” by planting apple seeds from Ohio to Illinois. 

More than 8,000 varieties of apples are grown worldwide, with about 2,500 cultivated in the United States and 100 of those grown on a commercial scale. Almost all apple trees today don’t actually come from seeds, but rather from a process called grafting, since most seeds will not produce the same apples from which they came. 

When it comes to nutrition, there is some truth in the saying “an apple a day keeps the doctor away.” An unpeeled apple, that is. With the majority of its nutrients found in the skin, an apple is a good source of dietary fiber and vitamin C.

Peak season is from late August to October, apples are available year-round across the country. When purchasing apples, look for a smooth skin free of bruises, with a bright color and shine. Prolong shelf life by storing fresh apples in a plastic bag in the refrigerator or in a cool, dark place. Apples produce the natural gas ethylene, so they may cause other fruits to ripen faster. 

Every variety of apple has a distinct taste, color, and texture. While some are considered “all-purpose” apples, good for snacking or cooking, others may be better suited for different culinary applications. Here are a few of the popular apples you may find in your grocery stores and local apple farms. 

Red Delicious

Originally known as the Hawk eye, the Red Delicious hails from Iowa and is known fro its deep red color and tall stature. It has a mild sweetness with a crisp, juicy texture and tough skin. The Red Delicious is best eaten on its own or chopped in salads. 

McIntosh:

Although it originated in Canada, the McIntosh has become he quintessential New England apple. It’s texture is crisp and juicy at its peak, but it quickly softens. With skin that is bright red mixed with varying amounts of green depending on ripeness, McIntosh apples can be elated fresh from the tree or used to make cider and sauces. 

Gala: 

This New Zealand variety has quickly become the second most popular apple in the United States. Gala has a waxy reddish-yellow skin and golden flesh, with a snappy, tart flavor. Gala is an all-purpose apple, making it a good choice for eating and cooking. 

Honeycrisp: 

Originally from Minnesota, this variety is pink-red in color with juicy flesh. With a mild, sweet flavor and an undeniable crunch, Honeycrisp apples are best when eaten fresh or dried and often are used in baking. 

Empire: 

Named for its home state of New York, the Empire is a cross between the McIntosh and the Red Delicious. It’s shines, red skin and sweet taste make it one of the top picks in the U.S. Best eaten fresh, Empire apples’ crunchy texture fades fast with prolonged storage. 

Dietitians each year graduate as the Agents of Change, this year they committed to the vision for sustainable nutrition, finding foods that taste good, do good, and don’t cost the earth. So this Thanksgiving try this recipe for a simple sweet!

Apple Crisp: 

4 cups sliced, peeled apples (or pears) 

3/4 cup brown sugar

1/2 cup flour 

1/2 cup oatmeal (uncooked) 

1 tsp. Cinnamon 

1 tsp. Nutmeg 

1/3 cup butter or margarine 

Grease 8x8x2 square pan. Place fruit in the pan. Combine remaining ingredients. Cut in butter or margarine. Sprinkle over fruit evenly. Bake 325 degrees for 40 minutes until fruit is soft and top is golden brown. Serve warm. Enjoy and Happy Thanksgiving!