Tag Archives: health

Anyone Take the “Eat Local” Challenge?

Just Food Co-op featured their third annual “Eat Local” challenge, running from Aug. 15 to Sept. 15.

Just Food Co-op is challenging community members to eat 80 percent of their diet –that’s four out of five ingredients–from food produced in the five-state region for four weeks. Those taking the 80% challenge are Leading Locavores. Folks not quite ready to do 80% can still take the Challenge by becoming Local Learners. Local Learners pledge to eat five local meals per week.

Just Food had some great handouts available to help with meal planning and menu ideas, as well as an easy-to-read chart highlighting the peak harvest for various types of produce.

I’m a very strong theoretical supporter of eating local, especially with such a generous definition of “local”, but I wasn’t up to the challenge this year. The timing of the challenge coincided with a lot of travel and some additional complications to meal planning. However, it would be very interesting to hear from others who took the challenge. Was this the first year you’d done it? What did you find to be the most difficult aspect of eating local, if any? What made the most impact? Will this make any difference in your long-term eating and shopping plans?

Northfield’s heroin problem: one year later

Northfield News Managing Editor Jaci Smith’s column in today’s paper is titled Heroin is here and it is a problem.

And one thing I was never completely confident of was the breadth of the “problem.” I could never really get an answer, even after I began working here, on the veracity of Smith’s numbers. He said that as many as 250 young people were abusing opiates in Northfield. I’m pretty confident now that he was right.

Reporters Suzanne Rook, David Henke and I have interviewed dozens of individuals on both sides of the battle: those who either knew of someone or themselves took or sold heroin and OxyContin (a pharmaceutical opiate) and those who were trying to save the abusers. We’ve spoken with medical officials, school officials, state health officials, county health and public safety officials and statisticians.


Here are the links to the Northfield News ‘Heroin One year later’ series of stories (final six not yet published):

Here are the links to the drug-related blog posts and podcasts we’ve done here on Locally Grown in the past year:

Drugged, sliced, and bound: day surgery at the Northfield Hospital


I saw Northfield Hospital emperor Ken Bank this morning (we were both loading up on drugs at GBM) and told him I was going to blog my surgery experience yesterday at his house of pain. Not to worry, I told him. The staff who I had contact with were terrific.

It started the moment I walked into the Day Surgery unit at 6 am and met the nurse, Laurie LaMoore (from Cannon Falls, I later learned). After I changed into one of those flattering hospital gowns, she noticed I was cold and brought me a heated blanket. Heated! I should have asked for a hot toddy, now that I think of it.

Then anesthesiologist Jim Moy arrived and he spent probably 20 minutes carefully explaining all the details and rationale for everything he was about to do. It included a story of his own rotator cuff surgery, which I really appreciated. (His injury, like mine, can legitimately be blamed on our offspring.)

Since I have two shoulders, but only one in need of repair, every subsequent staffer I met subjected me to a line of questions, eg: who are you, why are you here, what’s your address, which shoulder, etc.  All that, of course, to prevent surgical debacles like removing the wrong kidney. It was reassuring to know that these folks were following the guidelines to the T.

shepleys I saw my surgeon, Bob Shepley (shown here with some babe he picked up at the Governor’s Ball) just before I faded into the sunset. Bob did my ACL a few years back and since that worked out well, I thought I give him some repeat business. My sweetie was there to greet me in recovery (she also had great things to say about the staff) and I was on my way home in a shoulder sling strapped to my body before noon. Piece o’ cake.

After a long nap, Robbie and I went to see Wall-E at the Southgate (hilarious). I hit the sack around midnight as the surgical block was wearing off (at the precise time Jim Moy predicted). A bag of ice and a Tylenol got me through the night and I was back blogging at my corner office at 6 am.

I do feel a nap coming on, tho. I better get one in before the kiddie parade begins. Photo duty left-handed today.

How would you shop for a shoulder MRI?

shoulder-MRI Now that Robbie and I have switched our Blue Cross Blue Shield health insurance policy to a High Deductible Health Plan (HDHP) & Health Savings Accounts (HSA) called Options Blue, it’s in my interest to start thinking like an informed consumer.

I hurt my shoulder (landed on it while snowboarding a few months ago) and all the usual remedies have not worked. Next step, sayeth Dr. Bob Shepley, is a shoulder MRI.

It seems to me that a shoulder MRI is a commodity, like getting a throat culture. Price and convenience are primary factors.

I started shopping earlier this week, but rather than describing what I’ve been learning ahead of time, I thought I’d post it for discussion first.

As a Northfielder, how would you shop for a MRI?