To your health: Fight chronic disease with basic marinara sauce

By Leia Kedem

Did you know that eating pasta can help prevent cancer, cardiovascular disease, osteoporosis, cognitive problems and even skin damage? If it's topped with plenty of classic marinara sauce, it can.

Tomatoes, the primary ingredient in marinara, can prevent blood clotting and have anti-inflammatory properties to prevent a whole host of chronic conditions.

WIC food program could be casualty of government shutdown

CHAMPAIGN — Thousands of Champaign County moms, infants and preschoolers in a government nutrition program stand to be affected by an extended federal government shutdown, a local public health official says.

Tempted by an apple? It's worth the health benefits

By Leia Kedem/University of Illinois Extension

When fall arrives, there's nothing more satisfying to me than biting into a fresh, juicy apple that's as crisp as the autumn air. Sure, we can get apples any time, but they're never as plentiful, affordable and downright delicious as during the last quarter of the year.

HALO committee plans food presentation

DANVILLE — People can learn more about foods that are full of fiber and can be delicious and easy to prepare at a cooking demonstration at the Village Mall County Market on Sept. 4.

"Fun Foods & Fiber" will be presented by the Women Aware Committee of the HALO Project.

Growing your own vegetables has multiple benefits

By Dave Shiley, University of Illinois Extension 

Food bank gets more than $30,000 in donations

URBANA — The Eastern Illinois Foodbank says it will be able to expand its school food pantry program in the upcoming school year with the help of a new donation.

The $29,882 donation from Project Goodstart was one of two the food bank announced Tuesday, along with a $5,000 gift from Ameren Illinois.


CHAMPAIGN — The spinach, lettuce and collard greens are already planted.

Strawberries, squash, tomatoes and a lot of vegetables are on the way.

And there's more sprouting at Prosperity Gardens on Champaign's North First Street: expansion plans.

Champaign County United Way short of goal by 9 percent

CHAMPAIGN — Contributions to the United Way of Champaign County are running behind, with less than three months left to meet the agency’s $3.3 million goal.

As of Tuesday, the United Way had raised a bit over $3.03 million, about 9 percent behind where fundraising was at this time last year, says United Way President and CEO Sue Grey.

'Traffic' symbols help with calorie labels on menus

CHAMPAIGN — Mushroom and swiss burger, 820 calories: Stop.

Crab cake sandwich, 350 calories: Go.

Adding traffic symbols like stop, caution and go signs — along with calorie labels — to restaurant menus can reach a broader group of diners than just calorie labels alone, a recent study suggests.

Prosperity Gardens program gets grant

CHAMPAIGN — The American Cancer Society has awarded the Prosperity Gardens program in Champaign an $8,850 grant to expand its work with students in an alternative education program.

The grant was one of 30 youth obesity prevention community grants totaling $360,000 to nonprofit organizations across the state.