1. Approximately 75 % of the earths population is lactose intolerant. The statistics vary from race to race and country to country but overall they show an abnormal amount of individuals who qualify. (Source http://www.collective-evolution.com/2013/04/03/over-75-of-earths-population-is-lactose-intolerant-for-a-reason-dairy-is-harmful/)

    In Belgium for instance 1 in 5 persons is lactose intolerant. Contrary to what is generally thought, the lactose intolerance – that can be more or less developed – does not preclude all dairy pleasures. In Belgium, our Delhaize supermarkets offer a large range of lactose-free products, but full of flavors.

    What is lactose?

    Lactose is a sugar found in milk. It is present in cow’s milk, goat’s milk, etc. but also in their derivatives such as cheese and other dairy specialties. It can also be found in cakes, pancakes, chocolates, dressings, breads and some drugs.

    Lactase, an enzyme to digest lactose

    Some people do not digest milk and experience some digestive discomforts because their body does not produce enough lactase, the enzyme that allows us to digest lactose. It’s produced in our digestive system. In function of your lactose intolerance, you produce little or no lactase.

     

     

    Dairy products with low-lactose content 

    A small amount of lactose may not be harmful for you, if you produce a little lactase. Do not deprive yourself too fast of dairy pleasures! There is a small amount of lactose in hard cheese (Gouda, Emmental, Comté, etc.), in yoghurts and fermented milk (without added cream). You can also drink a small glass of milk. If you don’t tolerate any dairy product, you  can opt for products “without lactose”.  In Belgium Delhaize sells products specially developed for consumers with  lactose intolerance (cheese, milk, yoghurts, creams). Vegetable products based on soya, rice or almonds are also good alternatives.

    Provide your body with all the calcium it needs

    Dairy products are, above all, the food that provides the calcium the body needs. Calcium helps the body to keep healthy bones and teeth for instance*. It is even more important to consume enough calcium when you are lactose intolerant. Opt for vegetable drinks (soya, almonds, etc.) enriched with calcium (and preferably with vitamin D). Add some nuts (almonds, Brazil nuts, etc.), cabbage (as broccoli) or sardines to your dishes. They are rich in calcium.

    * as part of a balanced, varied diet and a healthy lifestyle.

    Enjoy your meals!

    This article was initially published in Delhaize Magazine August – September 2014.

    Extracts of the article were used for this post.

  2.  

    To stay in top form, start your day off right!

     

    Mom was right

    Breakfast is good for you.  It puts fuel in your tank, helps improve your concentration, and adds an important bonus by boosting your metabolism. Eating breakfast can also act as insurance against overindulging the rest of the day. Studies have shown that people who eat breakfast in the morning end up consuming fewer calories throughout the entire day.  They’ve satisfied that morning hunger level and they’re less likely to overeat during other meals or snacks.

     

    Blend it up

    If you’re short on time in the morning, make a smoothie – toss your favorite fruits and vegetables into a blender, and maybe add a little protein powder to give it some staying power.  A green smoothie can also be a way to get more vegetables into your diet.  My favorite green smoothie is a blend of a handful of baby spinach, a handful of kale, a whole kiwi fruit – with the skin on – half a banana, a handful of strawberries, and a little water or green tea. Optional add-ins include a tablespoon of chia seeds or ground flaxseed as a fiber and healthy fat supplement, plus a scoop of protein powder or unflavored Greek yogurt for added protein.

    Also in the quick and easy category is a slice of whole grain toast with some peanut butter and maybe half a banana to go with it.  Or have a serving of whole grain cereal – you’ll find many great choices at Hannaford – and add some fruit on top if you like.

     

    The bottom line: don’t skip breakfast!  It’s the key to starting off your day with a sharp mind and your engine humming.

     

    Article by Hannah Millon-Garvey, RD, LD, is a Registered Dietitian in the Hannaford Keene, Concord, and Rochester, N.H., stores.

    This article was initially published in Hannaford’s Fresh Magazine July – August 2014. Extracts of the article were used for this post.

     

  3. Last June , Delhaize Group’s banner Food Lion launched “Food Lion Feeds”, its renewed focus on hunger relief, with a commitment to provide 500 million meals to individuals and families in need by the end of 2020.

    The 500 million meals will come through direct company donations, partnerships with vendors, volunteerism from Food Lion employees and contributions from Food Lion customers.

    To mark the launch of the campaign Food Lion employees provided the first 1 million meals, in five cities, in five days during a “Week of Giving” in the areas where stores are located, highlighting the many faces of hunger.

    With 1 in 6 people in the U.S. facing hunger every day, it’s an issue that affects everyone from children to families, seniors, the working poor and even veterans. That’s why Food Lion is so passionate about ending hunger in its local communities.

    Food Lion Feeds is Food Lion’s commitment to ensuring that no one has to choose between dinner and paying rent or gasoline and buying groceries.

    Food Lion also invited its customers to join it in eliminating hunger. A special Food Lion Feeds reusable bag was launched for sale in the Food Lion stores. Through June 30, each time a customer purchased a Food Lion Feeds reusable bag, Food Lion committed to donate 5 meals to a local food bank. Food Lion also supplemented its customers’ purchases with an additional USD 50 000 donation.

    These and other efforts planned for 2014 and beyond are just the beginning of Food Lion’s long-term commitment to ending hunger. Food Lion wants its customers and its communities to know that it stands for hunger relief and that they can count on Food Lion every day. This is an important part of the company’s “Count on Me culture”. Food Lion sees this as an opportunity to create awareness, to engage its customers, to help end hunger in its communities and to make the lines at feeding agencies shorter.

     

    Support to this action is much appreciated.

     

    For additional information check: http://www.foodlion.com/InOurCommunity/FoodLionFeeds

  4. Fresh blueberries are one of the sweet rewards of summer. One of only three berries native to North America, wild blueberries thrive in the cool climate of Maine and Canada. Native Americans prized the berries as a tasty source of nourishment that could be easily dried to last during a long winter. Wild blueberries were first commercially harvested during the Civil War, when they helped feed the Union army. Today blueberries rank as the second most important commercial berry crop in the U.S., but they weren’t domesticated until the early 1900s.

     

    Blueberries and your health

    Low-calorie blueberries are super nutritious. Not only are they a good source of vitamin C and fiber, they’re packed with other plant compounds that have numerous roles in promoting good health. We can feel good about catering blueberries. They’re high in antioxidants – and anthocyanins, which have been linked to enhanced memory and cognitive function in both older people and children, improved blood sugar control, and increased insulin sensitivity (which can help keep the risk of type 2 diabetes at bay).

    Tips for buying and storing blueberries

    look for firm, plump, dry blueberries with a dusty white “bloom” on them (that’s Mother Nature’s way of slowing spoilage and preventing the berries from drying out). For this reason, don’t wash the berries until just before using them – they’ll keep in the fridge for up to a week. To preserve the crop, freeze some perfect berries on a cookie sheet, then place them in a resealable plastic freezer bag (rinse before eating, not before freezing). That way you can pull out just the amount you need. Of course, should you run out, there are blueberries available year-round in the Frozen aisle.

     

    Cooking with blueberries

    Eating blueberries out of hand (or bowl) is the easiest way to enjoy them. But with next-to-no prep (simply wash them), blueberries are also a breeze to use in recipes. Here are some ideas to take you beyond pancakes, muffins, and the cereal bowl sprinkle:

    * Mash a few into homemade lemonade

    * Make a quick cinnamon-spiked blueberry sauce for topping lemon, sorbet, vanilla ice cream, French toast, waffles, or Greek yogurt.

    * Sprinkle blueberries over salads – green salad and fruit salad are naturals, but they’re also tasty when stirred (gently) into pasta or grain salad.

    * Toss a few berries into the sauté pan toward the end of cooking pork or chicken

    * Wild blueberries are great in ice cream. They also make an intensely flavored sorbet. Or blend with vanilla yogurt and pour into ice pop molds.

     

     

    This article was initially published in Hannaford’s Fresh Magazine July – August 2014.

    Extracts of the article were used for this post.

     

     

  5. Waste from plastic bags is a global environmental problem that particularly affects island nations such as Indonesia. Used plastic bags often end up polluting the ocean, endangering sea life and washing up as garbage on the coast line.

    Reducing the use of these bags aligns with Delhaize Group’s-wide goal of becoming a Zero Waste organization by 2020. So in 2013, Super Indo, our banner in Indonesia, launched an ambitious, year-long campaign to encourage our customers to shop with reusable bags.

     

    A big kick-off

    Our program, “Gunakan Reusable Bag, Dapatkan Cashback” or “Use a Reusable Bag, Get Cash Back,” offered shoppers cash back on their purchases when they used a reusable bag or cardboard box. Customers received 100, 200 or 300 Indonesian rupiahs (IDR) for purchases of IDR 50 000 to IDR 100 000, IDR 200 000 and IDR 300 000, respectively.

    Customers who did not want to apply their cash-back award to their bills could instead choose to donate the amount to the Indonesian Solid Waste Association (InSWA). InSWA supports the Wise Waste Management Campaign, which educates the public about the importance of reducing waste. To create excitement for the program, we organized “I Choose to Reuse,” an event on Jakarta’s weekly Car-Free Day. On a Car-Free Day in February, we invited the public to exchange used plastic bags and other containers for a free, reusable bag. We also asked participants to sign a pledge promising to use fewer plastic bags.

    An equally big response

    More than 2 000 people signed the pledge that day – a world record for the largest number of people ever to take such a pledge, according to the Museum of Indonesian Records. As part of the festivities, we created a 4-meter tall “waste monster” from the plastic bags and polystyrene we collected, to remind the public that trash is an environmental menace. InSWA gave us an award recognizing Super Indo as the most active supermarket for customer education in terms of reducing plastic bag use.

    The cash-back campaign continued throughout the year in all 117 Super Indo stores.

    Thanks to the program, thousands of customers have begun using reusable shopping bags. Their cash-back donations to InSWA totaled more than 37 million IDR.

    We plan to extend the cash-back program to continue inspiring customers to change their habits and adopt reusable bags.

     

    This article was published as a case study in Delhaize Group’s 2013 Sustainability Progress Report. Click here to access the full report.

  6. Jul 16 2014

    Poptails

    Poptails – cocktails to savor like sorbets – are THE summer trend. The ice cream is made with custard and a fruit flavor or purée. Choose fruits with many different colors and serve a good dose of vitamins to your guests.

    Is it a drink? A sorbet? One thing is certain: gourmets from all over the world are fond of them. In any case, poptails are fun and good for the figure. They are really easy to make. All you need is a blender, sticks, lemons, peaches, melons and… a beautiful sunny day. Poptails can be made of a mix of fresh and simple tastes, or an overlapping of flavors like in a traditional cocktail. In this case, put the poptail in the freezer for one hour after each new layer so that the different flavors do not mix together. You can add a few drops of alcohol, but don’t worry: the poptail will also be delicious without.

    Creativity matters!

    This picture was taken with minced fruit.
    Mix them before making your poptails.

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    This article was initially published in Belgium’s Delhaize Magazine of June-July 2014.

    Extracts of the article were used for this posting.

  7. Rhubarb is one of the first plants to pop up when the weather warms. Its presence on spring and summer menus provides a much-needed injection of tartness, an acidic tang welcomed by palates grown weary of winter’s rich, more substantial foods. Ruby-hued rhubarb may be the most familiar, but some varieties remain quite green and others are primarily pink. Whether that color corresponds to the stalk’s sweetness level (or lack of thereof) is debatable, but regardless, this bracingly sour vegetable (no it’s not a fruit) will enhance your meals.

    http://eatineatout.ca/rhubarb-coffeecake/

    Rhubab and your health
    People have been growing rhubarb for a long time. Recorded cultivation dates back to ancient China, where rhubarb’s roots were dried and used medicinally to treat myriad conditions (herbalists still use rhubarb as a treatment, moistly for digestive disorders). Rhubarb boasts a bevy of beneficial phytochemicals, as well as sprinkling of nutrients, including vitamin C and potassium. Rhubarb is also excellent source of vitamin K, with a cup of cooked rhubarb providing over half the day’s requirement for this nutrient.

    Tips for buying, storing and cooking rhubarb
    Rhubarb is typically sold loosely or in bunches with the inedible leaves (they’re poisonous) already removed. If you’re harvesting your own, be sure to cut off and discard the leaves. Rhubarb will keep well in a plastic bag in the refrigerator for several days. Rhubarb also freezes nicely. Cut the stalks into ½ to 1 inch (1 to 2,5 cm) pieces and pack them into resealable plastic freezer bags (you do not have to blanch them first unless you want to). Rhubarb is also delicious canned in a sugar syrup or as a jam. Note that rhubarb is quite acidic and will react with some metals like aluminum, so cook it only in a stainless steel or enamel pot.

    Cooking with rhubarb
    Because rhubarb is tart, it’s something few people eat raw. Cooked, sweetened rhubarb is quite versatile, though it’s most often served as a dessert – think strawberry –rhubarb pie. That popular combination is a natural, but there are other fruits that play nice with rhubarb – such as raspberries. Looking for the unusual ways to ring in the rhubarb season? Consider these:
    • Make a simple syrup with equal parts sugar and water and infuse it with sliced rhubarb; add it to lemonade for a pretty pink version
    • Use chopped rhubarb instead of cranberries in muffins
    • Use some of your froze rhubarb as an ingredient in homemade cranberry sauce or a fruit compote
    • Roast some rhubarb (cut it into 1 or 2 inch – 2,5 to 5 cm – chunks) with a sprinkling of sugar and some fruit juice (cranberry or orange might be nice) for a delightful oatmeal mix-in or yogurt topper
    • Make a chutney with rhubarb, oranges, and raisins to perk up pork, duck, or lamb

    http://www.pbs.org/parents/kitchenexplorers/2013/05/23/rustic-strawberry-rhubarb-tart/

     

    This article was initially published in Hannaford’s Fresh Magazine of May-June 2014. Extracts of the article were used for this posting.

  8. Read more about how we are doing this in our 2013 Sustainability Progress Report, available online today.

    At Delhaize Group, we put the customer at the center of everything we do and keep a close eye on industry dynamics that matter to our communities and local markets.

    Today, we are proud to present to you our 2013 Sustainability Progress Report. In it, you will find a summary of achievements Delhaize Group and its Operating Companies have made in light of our “Supergood” Sustainability Strategy launched in 2012.

    Our 7th annual sustainability report details Delhaize Group’s progress in addressing important dynamics of climate change, resource scarcity and consumer health needs within our industry for our local communities.

    This year, our progress report delivers a short summary of overall Group results as well as distinct “bite-sized” chapters for each Operating Company. Read the full report online here: http://sustainabilityreport.delhaizegroup.com. Our press release is available in English, French and Dutch online at our web site : http://www.delhaizegroup.com.

    We’d like to take the opportunity here in our blog to bring a little more context to the industry dynamics and challenges we faced in 2013 while achieving progress toward our 2020 ambitions. 

    Let’s start with what is on the minds of our key stakeholders (customers, associates and communities): 

    • Health of our communities and associates
    • Food Safety throughout the supply chain
    • Sustainable Agriculture practices within our selection and sale of products
    • Climate Change impacts from our operations and our products
    • Local Communities supported economically
    • Food Security with changing global supply and demand of food products  
    • Waste minimization through our selection and sale of products
    • Human Rights & Labor Rights protected across our supply chains and operations

    Biggest challenge in 2013: supply chain transparency

    High profile cases in 2013, such as the horsemeat scandal that impacted our sector in Europe and concerns about Genetically Modified Organisms in the US, have made supply chain transparency a critical issue for many consumers. These concerns have reinforced our commitment in 2014 and beyond to redesigning how we source products and track data to meet demands for increased transparency.

    Our 2020 Strategy continues to propel our journey to “Supergood”

    Our vision at Delhaize Group is to be the sustainability leaders – to be “Supergood” – in all our markets by 2020, through full commitment to sustainable private brand products, waste reduction, healthier lifestyles, and employment of a diverse associate base that reflects our values and communities.

    To achieve our ambition, we establish specific targets for the whole Group supported by locally-led goals embedded in our operations. We recognize that this kind of operational commitment must start at the top and we are proud to say that these areas of commitment are fully endorsed by our President and CEO Frans Muller.

    The following 2013 accomplishments are beginning to tackle the industry dynamics:

    • Sustainable private brands: Delhaize Group made important strides in supporting sustainable agriculture and healthier eating. One example is Alfa Beta’s launch of its sustainable seafood initiative, ensuring that its fresh seafood will be 100% sustainably sourced. A second example is the fact that our percentage of Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI)-certified private brand suppliers rose to 82%.

     

    • Zero waste: Delhaize Group succeeded in reducing waste through innovations in its operations world-wide. For example, its Delhaize America banners reduced their waste sent to landfill by 19% and the average Group-wide recycling rate increased to 56%.

     

    • Everyday practices: Delhaize Group took responsibility for minimizing one of the industry’s largest contributors to climate change – refrigeration emissions. It installed state-of-the-art transcritical CO2 refrigeration systems in two stores (one in Belgium and one in the U.S.) to test how the Group can dramatically reduce its climate change impact from refrigeration. The company reduced emissions from refrigerants by 8% per square meter in 2013 alone.

     

    • Employment of a diverse associate base: Delhaize Group is being recognized for employing a diverse associate population that represents its surrounding communities. For example, the Human Rights Campaign recognized Delhaize America as one of the best places to work in the U.S.

     

    “These are the kinds of examples that embody our values of integrity and determination, and our intention to do what is right,” said our President and CEO Frans Muller. “I am encouraged by the progress Delhaize Group made in 2013 in addressing the concerns that matter to local customers and the communities we serve.”

    We like to hear your questions and comments! Please post them below or send them to use directly at sustainability@delhaizegroup.com.

     

     

     

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  9. Spring is the ideal time to eat the best asparagus. Light, healthy and refined, they are suited for simple, fresh and greedy pleasure. Here is some information on how to select, store and cook them. 

    http://www.planzdiet.com/lifestyle/14-things-you-never-knew-about-asparagus/

     

    A bit of a history
    In the Mediterranean region where asparagus come from, the Egyptians and the Greeks already used them for their contraceptive and aphrodisiacs virtues. The Greeks dedicated this plant to Aphrodite, the goddess of love. The Romans initiated its cultivation and as from the Renaissance, asparagus found a treasured place in the vegetable gardens. Some varieties contributed to build the reputation of soils as Mechelen or Leuven.

    The varieties
    White asparagus are grown covered in sand mounds. They are harvested just before the buds come out of the ground. Protected against light, they are nice pearly white and particularly mild. Green asparagus are white asparagus that have been exposed to light. Their taste is stronger and more bitter. There are many varieties of asparagus. If most of the varieties produce indifferently white and green asparagus, they have different sizes. Tasty and thick, the white asparagus Delhaize Taste of Inspirations are specifically grown for Delhaize. The early white asparagus in bunch and the Belgian extra white asparagus are selected for their taste and freshness. The fine white asparagus 365 are more affordable and the baby white asparagus have a light taste. Discover the baby green asparagus and the green asparagus in bunch. Low-calorie, rich in fibers and thus improving transit time, the asparagus is also diuretic and rich in vitamin C. It also contains phosphorus and vitamins of B group.

    Selection and storage
    The asparagus in your store have already been carefully selected. They are straight and smooth, with firm and tight tips. The ends are not too dried nor too dark, proof of the best quality. Ideally, they should be consumed soon after purchase. But you may store them for 2 days in the refrigerator crisper, wrapped, tips up in a damp cloth.

    In the kitchen
    Remove the end of the asparagus spears by holding the asparagus with both hands and bending gently. The end will snap off at its natural breaking point. Peel the white asparagus on a table from tip to end with a vegetable peeler. There is no need to peel green asparagus. Cook them rapidly. Steaming is preferable. If you choose boiling, put them, tied in a bunch, in salted boiling water so that the tips are not immersed in water. Then, plunge them into a bowl of cold water and ice cubes to stop the cooking and drain. The asparagus is delicious when fried, grilled over low heat or raw. Its bitterness goes well with the fat of the egg, butter, cured meats, smoked fish or parmesan but also with the acidity of lemon or fine vinegar. The green asparagus is fond of hazelnuts and grilled peanuts.

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    White asparagus on the Flemish way
    Time: 25 min. For 6 people

    http://www.njam.tv/recepten/asperges-op-vlaamse-wijze

    1,5 kg (3 lb 5 oz) of white asparagus – 3 eggs – 150 g (5.30 oz) of butter – ½ bunch of flat-leaf parsley – the juice of 1 lemon – salt – ground black pepper

     
    1. Break the end of the asparagus and peel them with a vegetable peeler. Tie them with a kitchen twine in order to make a bundle. Plunge the asparagus into a deep pan filled with cold water. Add some salt. Bring to a boil and leave to simmer for about 10 to 15 minutes depending on the size of the asparagus. Take the bundles out of the water and leave to drain.

     

    2. Cook the hard-boiled eggs. Shell them and mash them with a fork. Chop the parsley. Melt the butter in a saucepan and add the lemon juice. Whisk the preparation. Remove from heat and add some salt and pepper. Add the hard-boiled eggs and the chopped parsley. Mix.

     
    3. Spread the asparagus on the plates and coat them with sauce.

     

    4. Enjoy!

     
    Nutritional value per serving
    261 kcal – 7.6 g (0.27 oz) of protein – 23.4 g (0.82 oz) of fat – 6.1 g (0.21 oz) of carbohydrates

     
    Which wine to choose?
    Douro Altano 2012 White
    The Symington family, best known for her port wines, also produces wines such as those from Altano, in the Douro valley. This white wine is perfect to accompany asparagus

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     This article was initially published in Belgium’s Delhaize Magazine of April-May 2014.
    Extracts of the article were used for this posting.

  10. Spring’s here, the sun is shining again and the world is full of shiny happy people! But wait, if nature is booming around you, why is it that you are feeling irritable, listless and unable to concentrate? Well, you might have spring fatigue. And you’re certainly not the only one. Many people feel it, but don’t worry: spring fatigue is not a disease. It’s just your body having difficulties adapting to the seasonal changes. 

    http://www.smh.com.au/lifestyle/diet-and-fitness/springtime-is-tired-time-20120823-24nz5.html

     

    This mood usually sets in sometime between the end of February and mid-April and is caused by longer daylight hours and higher temperatures. When the temperature rises, our bodies consume more energy, leaving us feeling sluggish. A lack of sleep can also contribute to spring fatigue, as people tend to wake up earlier as nights grow shorter.

    Since spring fatigue is not an illness, there is no treatment. By introducing small changes into your daily routine, the period of exhaustion can be greatly reduced:

    -Sleep: Try waking up at the same time each morning to combat the fatigue. A 20-minute nap after lunch can also help generating energy.

    -Sports: Do more sports! Any form of activity will do, it’s especially good to exercise outdoors. This will help you fill up your vitamin D reserves.

    -Food: Try to achieve a diet where one third of your food consumption comes from fresh vegetables or fruits. Eating plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables supplies the body with an extra portion of vitamins and minerals.

    -Drink: Drinking a sufficient amount of fluids is also part of the prevention program. Try to consume 1,5 to 2 liters per day.

    Other effective solutions against fatigue include sauna, massage and spending more time outdoors. Most important of all is to take it easy. Don’t worry too much about the symptoms too seriously. Your body has been brought out of its accustomed rhythm. So give it some time to adjust and go with the spring flow!