- Put up posters in the cafeteria or hallways; tape index cards to lunch-line sneeze guards.
- Engage students in trivia-type games about a food item during their cafeteria time. Use the "Fun Facts" sections to develop trivia questions.
- Use the Newsletter sample to communicate with parents about upcoming local food on the menu.
- Send home a Home Recipe so families can try a home version of food that will be served in the school cafeteria.
- Use the "Fun Facts" and photos of food items to build your own newsletter articles.
- Give teachers an announcement to read to their class about a local food item that will be served at the school.
- Supply teachers with a poster that they can put up in their classroom.
- Invite teachers to check out the classroom enrichment materials for more in-depth activities around each local food item.
Cool Stuff About Cabbage!
Cabbage is one of the earliest vegetables grown by humans. People grew cabbages for food as far back as 8000 years ago in Northern China. Cabbage has a long history of use as both a food and a medicine. Normally, we only eat the leafy head of the cabbage. Cabbage continues to be a dietary staple and inexpensive food. It is widely consumed raw, cooked or preserved. Sauerkraut (European) and kimchee (Korean) are two kinds of preserved cabbage foods. There are at least a hundred different types of cabbage grown throughout the world, but the most common types in the United States are the Green, Red, and Savoy varieties. Did you know in Minnesota, cabbage is grown at the Southern Research and Outreach Center in Waseca, as part of a University of Minnesota medical and nutrition study? Plant scientists are developing ways to enhance the plant's production of "nutriceuticals" nutrients that may have medical uses such as reducing the risk of cancer.
Cabbages are 90% water and are rich in Vitamin C and fiber. You and your family can buy cabbage the local farmers' market or FARM NAME. Try cabbage in soups or cole slaw, or try the recipe in this month’s newsletter! Today at lunch you will have the opportunity to sample cabbage in FOOD ITEM from FARM NAME/CITY.
In [MONTH] your child tried [FOOD ITEM] with locally grown cabbage from [FARM NAME] in [CITY]. Prepare this delicious recipe with your family and ask your child(ren) if they can answer the following trivia questions.
- Cabbage originated more than 8000 years ago from what area of the world?
- Cabbage is a leaf vegetable that is often preserved to make what food?
- Cabbages are a rich source of fiber and vitamin C and are ___ % water.
- Northern China. Cabbage has a long history of use as both a food and a medicine. Did you know in Minnesota, cabbage is grown at the Southern Research and Outreach Center in Waseca, as part of a University of Minnesota medical and nutrition study? Plant scientists are developing ways to enhance the plant's production of "nutriceuticals" nutrients that may have a medical use such as reducing the risk of cancer.
- Sauerkraut or kim chee
History and Origin
- To the ancient Chinese, cabbage was considered a 'cooling' food in the yin and yang construct. Cabbage is favored for pickling and is considered ts'ai or suitable to go over rice. The pickled cabbage known as Kim Chee is a staple throughout Korea.
- The cabbage we know today was developed from wild cabbage, a vegetable that was closer in appearance to collards and kale since it was composed of leaves that did not form a head.
- It is thought that wild cabbage was brought to Europe around 600 B.C. by groups of Celtic wanderers. It was grown in Ancient Greek and Roman civilizations that held it in high regard as a general panacea capable of treating a host of health conditions.
- While it's unclear when and where headed cabbage that we know today was developed, cultivation of cabbage spread across northern Europe into Germany, Poland and Russia, where it became a very popular vegetable in local food cultures. The Italians are credited with developing the Savoy cabbage. Russia, Poland, China and Japan are a few of the leading producers of cabbage today.
- People who frequently eat cabbage and other related vegetables may help reduce their risk of certain cancers such as colon and rectal cancer.
Did you know…?
- Cabbage (along with broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, rutabagas, and turnips) is a member of the cruciferous family, a group of vegetables named for their cross-shaped flowers.
- The two most common types of Chinese cabbage are Bok Choi and Napa cabbage. Chinese cabbage cooks in less time than standard U.S. types, but can be prepared in the same ways.
- Cabbage lends itself well to fermenting, and worldwide a favorite use of cabbage is as sauerkraut or kimchee.
- The odor that sauerkraut or kimchee emits comes from the sulfur content of cabbage. The sulfur may help those who eat these foods to resist bacterial infection. It is also said to aid in producing glossy hair.
How to Eat Cabbage
- Cabbage can be steamed, boiled, braised, microwaved, stuffed, or stir-fried.
- Cut up fresh cabbage, sprinkle it with lemon and enjoy it as a midday snack.
- Cabbage is delicious with your favorite tossed salad or pasta dish.
- Try adding cabbage to vegetable soup.
The above information was compiled from:
Tasting Poster (146 K PDF)
Table Top Trifold (428 K PDF)
Index Card (313 K PDF)
Use these photos as needed in newsletters, for promotional posters, etc.
Right-click on an image's caption to save a larger, print-ready version of the photo to your computer. Choose "Save link as ..." or "Save target as ..." or "Save image as ..." from the pop-up menu that will appear.
Cabbage and Other Vegetables
photo by Kent Lorentzen
Grand Rapids Farmers' Market
photo by Brett Olson
Renewing the Countryside
photo by Brett Olson
Renewing the Countryside
How to Make an Acid Indicator
Materials: One uncooked cabbage, plastic knives, large spoon, tea kettle, electric skillet or stove, paper towel, funnel, bottle with lid, water pot holders, magic marker, small paper plates. (Also have on hand items for testing such as baking soda, salt, vinegar, various kinds of fruit, baking soda, etc.)
Procedure: Put some water on to boil in an electric skillet or in a teakettle on top of the stove. Give students the small paper plates and plastic knives. Give them a piece of cabbage to cut up. Add the cabbage to the electric skillet or stove. Once the water boils, add the cut up pieces of cabbage to the water. Stir the cabbage, and then let the pieces soak for about twenty minutes. Put the paper towel over the neck of the bottle to form a funnel. Pour the water into the bottle using a funnel. Screw the lid on the bottle. Label the bottle "Indicator."
Results: You can use this indicator to test various items or foods, such as fruit, salt, vinegar, baking soda, etc. If the indicator turns pink, then the substance was acidic. If the indicator turned blue or green, the substance was alkaline. It might take longer for the color to change for some tests. If it does, add more indicator.
Cabbage Juice Indicator
Cabbage Patch Private Eye
Fermentation: Making Kimchee in soda bottles