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From the Family Farm to the Family Table

Posted: May 23, 2012 2:00 a.m.
Updated: May 23, 2012 2:00 a.m.
Garlicky beef kabobs Garlicky beef kabobs
Garlicky beef kabobs
 Mama Jeanne’s stuffed peppers  Mama Jeanne’s stuffed peppers
Mama Jeanne’s stuffed peppers
Orange grilled pork with honey-mustard dip Orange grilled pork with honey-mustard dip
Orange grilled pork with honey-mustard dip

Over the last few years, there’s been a growing awareness that it really matters how food gets from the farm to the table. But not everyone knows much about the process.

The most recent Consumer Trust Research by the Center for Food Integrity found that:

      American consumers rank safe, affordable and nutritious food as their top priorities.

      Only 23 percent of Americans strongly agree that they have access to all of the infor­mation they want about where food comes from, how it is produced and its safety.

Farmers like Shana Beattie and Marie Bolt want to change that by volunteering to partic­ipate in the CommonGround program. They’ve joined with other women farmers who want to share their knowledge with the people who buy their farm-raised food.

The Beattie family raises soybeans, corn, alfalfa, beef and pork in Nebraska. In fact, they raise roughly 8 million pounds of pork annually. That’s enough to feed at least 40,000 Americans for a year. The Bolt family raises cattle and sheep in South Carolina, and Marie says it’s an honor to share her knowledge and experiences raising food.

“There are so many misconceptions about farming today. Many people seem to think that food is grown by huge corporations. The truth is, most food is grown and raised on family farms like mine.”

The U.S. Department of Agriculture reports that families such as the Beatties and Bolts operate up to 98 percent of the 2.2 million farms in America. You can learn more about these family farms and food facts, as well as join in the conversation yourself, at, and

Here, Shana and Marie share some of the recipes they make for their families. 


Garlicky beef kabobs

By Shana Beattie

Prep Time: 30 minutes, plus
marinade time

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Yields: 6 servings

1/4 cup Dijon-style mustard

2 tablespoons red wine vinegar

2 tablespoons soy sauce

2 tablespoons honey

2 teaspoons snipped fresh

2 teaspoons smoked paprika

4 cloves garlic, minced

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon ground black

Dash cayenne pepper

2 pounds beef sirloin


 In small bowl, whisk together mustard, vinegar, soy sauce, honey, rosemary, paprika, garlic, salt, pepper and cayenne pepper. Cover and let stand at room temperature for at least 1 hour to blend flavors.

Trim meat if needed and cut into 1 1/2 inch pieces. Transfer to large bowl.

Spoon half of mustard mixture over beef; toss gently to coat.

Place in zipper plastic bag and marinate for least an hour in the refrigerator.

On 10-inch skewers, thread meat, leaving 1/4 inch between pieces.

Preheat grill.

Reduce heat to medium (on a gas grill).

Place meat skewers on grill rack over heat.

Cover and grill 8 to 10 min­utes or until meat reaches desired done­ness, turning once and brushing with remaining mustard mixture halfway through grilling.


Mama Jeanne’s
stuffed peppers

By Marie Bolt

Yields: 4 servings

1 pound hamburger

1 can diced tomatoes

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon pepper

1 cup cooked rice

1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

2 cups cheese, divided

4 or 5 large bell peppers

(boil   peppers for 10 minutes and clean out)


Preheat oven to 350°F.

In large pan, brown hamburger meat, then drain.

Add tomatoes, salt, pepper, rice, Worcestershire sauce and 1 cup cheese to meat. Simmer for about 15 minutes.

Stuff peppers with meat mixture and top with cheese. Place in baking dish and bake for 30 minutes.


Honey-Mustard Dip

By Shana Beattie 

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Yields: 6 servings

6 pork chops, bone-in or boneless

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon ground
black pepper

2 medium lemons

3/4 cup orange marmalade

1/2 cup chicken broth

1/4 cup honey

1/4 cup Dijon-style mustard

3 tablespoons mayonnaise

Sprinkle pork with salt and pepper. Set aside.

Finely shred enough zest from the lemons to make 1 tablespoon. Squeeze enough juice from the lemons to make 1/4 cup.

For marinade: In medium non­metallic bowl, combine orange marmalade, broth, lemon zest and lemon juice. Add pork; toss gently to coat. Place in zipper bag and mari­nate in the refrigerator for 1 to 4 hours, turning occasionally.

For dipping sauce: In small bowl, combine honey, mustard and mayo. Cover and chill until ready to serve.

Drain pork and discard marinade. Preheat gas grill. Reduce to medium heat and place chops on grill rack.

Cover and cook about 7 to 9 minutes or until chops are slightly pink and the juice runs clear (145°F).

Variation: Orange Pork Kabobs — Cube boneless pork chops into 1 1/2 inch pieces. Marinate per directions. Place on skewers and follow grilling directions.


Food Facts

  According to the Food and Drug Administration, the agency does not allow meat to be sold with traces of antibiotics above strict safety limits.

  On average, Americans spend roughly 10 percent of their income on food, versus other countries around the world that spend roughly 18 to 25 percent, according to the educational resource The Hand That Feeds U.S.

  While organic food often is more expensive than conventional food, there is no difference in nutritional value, according to a review of 400 scientific papers on the health impacts of organic foods, published in the journal Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition.

Find more food facts at 


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