Water Bad for Watermelon Crops

Consumers can find Mississippi-grown watermelons for their summer celebrations at stores and markets across the state, including these at the Byram Farmers Market in Byram, Mississippi, on June 27, 2017. (Photo by MSU Extension Service/Susan Collins-Smith) RAYMOND, Miss. - A balance of timely rain and sunny skies is essential for large, sweet watermelons, but too much rain can wreak havoc on the melons and hit producers in the wallet. Although most of Mississippi's watermelon crop is in good to fair condition, some producers are losing melons because of excess rain. According to the June 25th Mississippi Crop Progress and Condition Report by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, 45 percent of

Walmart Foundation Donates $125,000 to Mississippi Food Network

JACKSON, Miss. - Mississippi Food Network recently received a $125,000 grant from the Walmart Foundation’s State Giving Program to assist with its Feed Our Neighbors Program. The grant will be used to provide 320,000 pounds of food to the organization’s 430 member agencies serving children, seniors, individuals and families across Mississippi. “Mississippi Food Network is extremely pleased to be a partner with Walmart in the fight against hunger,” said Marilyn Blackledge, director of external affairs for Mississippi Food Network. “These funds are critical to our organization and help us address the challenge of relieving poverty-related hunger in our service area.” The grant was presented

Celebrate the Great American Holiday with a Great American Burger

The calendar says summer and its accompanying heat wave is officially here. But, there’s just something about the Fourth of July that demands an outdoor cookout. At some point during this weekend and next week’s official holiday, millions of Americans will pull out their grills, tongs, and every large platter in the cabinet and move their kitchens outdoors. Grilled steaks, ribs, and chicken are part of our culinary heritage, but juicy burgers reign supreme on this most important holiday of the summer. If you took all the hamburgers Mississippians will consume this weekend and until midnight on July 4 and laid them end to end, they'd circle the globe a couple of times. Steaks, ribs, and hot d

Mississippi to Be Featured in Season 2 of 'State Plate' with Taylor Hicks

INDIAN LAND, S.C. – Family-entertainment network INSP recently announced that the 2nd season of their popular and critically-acclaimed original series, State Plate will premiere on Friday, August 11th at 7:00PM ET, as part of the “Destination Fridays” programming block. The announcement was made by Doug Butts, SVP of Programming at INSP. “Our goal is to cover ALL fifty states,” said Butts. “And we are well on our way. Season two of State Plate will feature even more of the foods we’ve come to know and love as part of America’s cultural history. Thankfully, there is no shortage of stories to tell.” By the end of the second season of State Plate, the show will have featured more than 180 i

Make Your Summer Barbecues Sizzle

(StatePoint) With family and friends gathering to celebrate all summer long, try a new and healthy twist on some backyard barbecue essentials. Dishing on Sides Meats may be the star of the show, but no backyard barbecue is complete without side dishes. From slaws and salads to fresh fruits and veggies, making your own side dishes from scratch allows for creativity and control of what goes onto your plate. Switch up your coleslaw by shredding crisp, tart apples such as Granny Smith in your blender and toss with grated carrots, poppy seeds, white vinegar and raisins. For a tasty alternative to traditional potato salad, try blending boiled new potatoes with smoky bacon, Dijon mustard and mayonn

UM Family Remembers Jeanette Phillips for Service to Nutrition Programs

Jeanette Phillips was presented the centennial award during the 100th anniversary celebration of the Department of Nutrition and Hospitality Management, in Oxford, Miss. on Thursday, October 24, 2013. Photo courtesy of The Oxford Eagle. OXFORD, Miss. – Fearless. Gracious. Principled. Kind. A pioneer. Charming, with “a backbone of forged steel.” There is no shortage of flattering terms used when people remember Jeanette Phillips, former professor and chair of the University of Mississippi’s Department of Nutrition and Hospitality Management. Phillips, 85, died June 13. A native of Kewanee, just east of Meridian, Phillips earned a bachelor’s degree from Blue Mountain College in 1953, a master’

5 Tried and True Indoor Steak Grilling Tips

There’s nothing like a major holiday with its accompanying menu suggestions to revive one’s interest in food that’s been on the back burner. Take steaks, for instance. A couple of weeks ago in advance of Father’s Day, hundreds of suggestions on how to prepare and grill manly cuts of meat to delight dads on their special day came from every possible source. I couldn’t help but be intrigued by the recipes for mouth-watering dishes ranging from delicately sliced flank steak to robust ribeyes. A few that ended up in the must-try file include Tuscan rib-eyes with grilled vegetable skewers, vegetables and cream cheese stuffed pinwheel steaks with herb roasted potatoes, peppercorn steaks with crisp

Zinfandel Emerging Into Fuller Bodied Wine

Zinfandel has taken a strange and often twisted course in its evolution. Even more so than pinot noir, zinfandel's route has enough ups and downs to make a sober person tipsy. Once the pride of Italian immigrants who found California's hot regions had ideal growing conditions, zinfandel struggled to gain footing in a market that idolized noble French varieties like cabernet sauvignon and pinot noir. It's struggle has been worsened internationally by its near exclusivity to U.S. soil. With a few exceptions, zinfandel is not planted anywhere else, although it is thought to be a relative of Italy's primitivo grape and has its origins in Croatia. It's certainly not the only grape variety confi

MSU Dining Takes the Cake in International Competition

This carnival-themed cake, designed by State Fountain Bakery Lead Decorator Angel Jennings, recently won Aramark’s Employee Appreciation Day cake competition. (Submitted photo) STARKVILLE, Miss. — A cake designed and created by MSU Dining staff has won an international Aramark competition. The carnival-themed cake, designed by State Fountain Bakery Lead Decorator Angel Jennings, recently won Aramark’s Employee Appreciation Day Cake Competition, beating Aramark teams from around the world. “This is no small feat as Aramark Employee Appreciation Day includes national, as well as global, accounts within all lines of business,” said MSU Dining Marketing Coordinator Keri Lum. “We at MSU Dining ar

The Food Factor: Introducing Brent Fountain

The Food Factor presents the best, research-based information related to food, nutrition, diet, and healthy lifestyles. Our host, Natasha Haynes, is an experienced educator with the Mississippi State University Extension Service who has spent over 15 years sharing tips for healthy living with Mississippians of all ages. She brings food science down to earth and makes it useful for today’s families. Click here to view previously aired shows and be sure to follow The Food Factor on Facebook and Twitter.

Aplos Restaurant to Bring Taste of Mediterranean to Jackson's Highland Village

Chef Alex Eaton of The Manship Wood Fired Kitchen JACKSON, Miss. - Aplos Restaurant, a new fast fine dining concept offering gyros, salads and pizzas, is coming to the northeast corner of Highland Village’s newly renovated courtyard. The restaurant is the brainchild of Alex Eaton, Chef and Owner of The Manship Wood Fired Kitchen at 1200 State Street in the Belhaven neighborhood near downtown Jackson. Since opening in 2013, The Manship has evolved into an award winning fine dining hot spot offering seasonal southern meals with a Mediterranean twist. Aplos will offer a twist on traditional Greek dining by infusing Lebanese and Italian influences. Eaton called on experiences from a host of trip

Take Simple Steps to Avoid Foodborne Illnesses at Summer Outings

COLUMBUS, Miss. – As temperatures rise, there also comes the need to store foods promptly and keep them refrigerated at a certain temperature in order to avoid food poisoning. Amanda Dahl, interim director of the Culinary Arts Institute and instructor of nutrition at Mississippi University for Women, offers ways to enjoy summer outings. Dahl explained that foodborne illnesses tend to increase in the summer due to increased bacteria in warmer temperatures and the difficulty of handling and preparing food outdoors. “Bacteria thrive the most in the temper danger zone (40-140 degrees), so keep cold food below 40 degrees (in cooler or in fridge) and warm food above 140 (in chafing dishes or on gr

Enjoy the Crystal Springs Tomato Festival on June 24th

Let’s talk tomatoes. First off, despite the botanical fact that tomatoes are fruits, the case of Nix v. Hedden, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that tomatoes are vegetables. (The Tariff Act of March 3, 1883 required a tax to be paid on imported vegetables, but not fruit, therefore a case was filed as an action by John Nix and his brothers against Edward Hedden, collector of the Port of New York, to recover back duties paid under protest.) History aside, tomatoes are chocked full of nutrients, including being a great source of lycopene. They are known for their outstanding antioxidant content, which is linked to heart health. Tomatoes are known to strengthen the bones and lower cholesterol. Ther

Explore Hattiesburg's Culinary Scene on City's New Tourism Website

HATTIESBURG, Miss. - VISITHATTIESBURG™ officially launched its new website recently, which features a comprehensive listing of Hattiesburg’s restaurants, attractions, places to stay, and meeting facilities. With fresh and relevant content, visitors are encouraged to “craft their own HBURG adventure.” In 2016, Hattiesburg hosted more than 1.8 million visitors, including leisure and corporate travelers. The new website provides clear and concise information for existing visitors and will serve as a primary marketing tool for Hattiesburg’s tourism economy. The online tool can serve as a resource for those who live in or around the Hattiesburg area as well. “Our new site is filled with valuable

Fire Up the Grill, Pour a Glass of Wine

Good timing is often the handmaiden of success. That certainly applies to the family founders of Hahn Family Wines, the largest growers in Monterey’s Santa Lucia Highlands. Purchasing what were horse and cattle ranches in Santa Lucia Highlands in Monterey County for $3,000 per acre in 1979 was superlative timing -- the vineyard land now sells for $70,000 per acre. Another good piece of timing was the decision in the early 1990s to expensively rip out perfectly healthy but underperforming Bordeaux varietals to plant more appropriate, cool-climate pinot noir and chardonnay. Today, pinot noir dominates the Santa Lucia Highland AVA. Pinot noir thrives in cool winds from Monterey Bay and warm sun

The Food Factor: Smoothie Starter Packs

The Food Factor presents the best, research-based information related to food, nutrition, diet, and healthy lifestyles. Our host, Natasha Haynes, is an experienced educator with the Mississippi State University Extension Service who has spent over 15 years sharing tips for healthy living with Mississippians of all ages. She brings food science down to earth and makes it useful for today’s families. Click here to view previously aired shows and be sure to follow The Food Factor on Facebook and Twitter.

Amazon to Acquire Whole Foods Market

Whole Foods Market has one location in Mississippi, which is located at Highland Village in Jackson. SEATTLE, Wash. & AUSTIN, Texas — Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) and Whole Foods Market, Inc. (NASDAQ:WFM) today announced that they have entered into a definitive merger agreement under which Amazon will acquire Whole Foods Market for $42 per share in an all-cash transaction valued at approximately $13.7 billion, including Whole Foods Market’s net debt. “Millions of people love Whole Foods Market because they offer the best natural and organic foods, and they make it fun to eat healthy,” said Jeff Bezos, Amazon founder and CEO. “Whole Foods Market has been satisfying, delighting and nourishing customer

New Restaurant Coming to The District at Eastover in Jackson

JACKSON, Miss. - Jackson native Ray-Scott Miller today announced he will open a new restaurant in The District at Eastover called Fine & Dandy. Scheduled to open this fall, Fine & Dandy introduces a fresh approach to Southern hospitality that will be evident in the restaurant’s food and service, but also in its modern yet comfortable dining space, thoughtfully designed to deliver an experience perfect for sharing time with family or drinks with friends. "The best times in life are made around a table and the Fine & Dandy team is excited to continue the tradition of setting those tables for our guests,” said Miller. “To do this, we want to create a cool, comfortable place in which you want

'Week of the Blueberry' a Tasty Success

My fascination with blueberries began with a phone call last week about chicken spaghetti and missionaries. It ended with three new recipes for the tiny morsels of juicy goodness that, enjoyed over a scoop of vanilla ice cream, baked in a succulent pie or cake, or eaten alone, will get me through the summer. If I have to narrow it down, blueberry cake, lemon-blueberry dessert, and Vanishing Blueberry Pie are the top three treasures from what I call the "Week of the Blueberry." First, a friend called to ask if her lunch menu was substantial enough to feed the missionary family from church. My friend planned to prepare a large dish of chicken spaghetti, green salad with Mississippi Comeback dr

Health and Hunger Atlas Addresses Food Insecurity Around Mississippi

OXFORD, Miss. – The University of Mississippi Center for Population Studies has developed an extensive reference guide to poverty, hunger and chronic health problems in the state, the Mississippi Health and Hunger Atlas. Modeled after the Missouri Hunger Atlas, the resource is the first iteration of its kind in Mississippi and in the South. This atlas addresses high rates of food insecurity and poor health outcomes, two important issues in the state. "Alarmingly, while national food insecurity trends are declining, Mississippi's rates are rising," said Anne Cafer, assistant professor of sociology and anthropology and co-coordinator of the atlas project. "For the last 15 years, Mississippi ha

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