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April Program Recap: Laundry Camp!

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The first attempt of our April meeting was sidelined by an unwelcomed April snow storm!  The skies were clear on Thursday, April 25 and FCS Professionals and their guests were treated to a fantastic program at the Mona Williams store at Mall of America.  Our speaker for the evening was Patric Richardson, also known as “The Laundry Evangelist”, owner of Mona Williams.  Participants snacked on individual meat, cheese and cracker trays and yummy desserts while learning from Patric!

Patric’s love of beautiful clothing began as a child growing up in Kentucky.  His granny loved designer clothing but there was not a dry cleaner in town so she learned how to wash the clothing herself and passed along this knowledge to him.  Patric also studied textiles in college and learned more about fabrics and their care.  He came to Minnesota when he was hired by Neiman Marcus and then went onto a management position at Nordstrom.  He opened Mona Williams first in Minneapolis and then moved the store to Mall of America.

Patric shared more tips and tricks about laundry than one could possibly put in a blog post!  For those that were unable to attend, Patric holds public “Laundry Camp” sessions.  Tickets are free but must be reserved in advance.  Click here for dates and times.  Also, Patric has a book that will be published within the next year!

Some highlights from Laundry Camp

  • You can machine wash anything–except wedding dresses and fur coats.  Those can be washed in the bathtub!  Yes–you can machine wash your wool coat and favorite suit!
  • Never use fabric softener or dryer sheets–they coat the fabric with oil making it harder to remove stains, increase fire risk, and contain chemicals known to disrupt your endocrine system! Use wool balls with drops of essential oil instead.
  • If you have “crunchy towels” it’s likely they are full of detergent–we use way too much detergent.  One Tide Pod could wash 5 loads of laundry! Use 1 T soap or 3 T commercial detergent per load
  • Always wash on “warm” cycle–never cold.  The cold setting is too cold to activate the detergent so the residue stays in your clothes
  • Never use bleach
  • Athleisure items and swimming suits should be their own load.  Add 1 T bleach alternative to the load to get them clean.  Bacteria tends to build up in spandex.
  • If you have an extra dirty load of laundry, add 1/4 c baking soda.  He recommends getting the big bag from Sam’s Club or Costco
  • There is no such thing as a “set stain”.  Some stains take more effort–but he believes you can get out any stain
  • Treat the stain immediately before washing.  Do not pre-treat and then throw into the hamper for a few days

If you want to learn all of his tricks I highly recommend attending Laundry Camp.  His enthusiasm and wit are so endearing and bullet points just don’t do it justice!

Mona Williams is located on the first floor between Nordstrom and Macy’s.  Thank you to Patric and his assistant Martha for a wonderful evening!

February Program Recap: Beyond the Basics–The Future of Food and Food Safety

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On Friday, February 22 FCS Professionals hosted their second annual Beyond the Basics conference at the Edina Country Club.  This year’s theme was “The Future of Food and Food Safety.”

The first speaker of the morning was Kim Carlton, MPH, REHS, CFOI—MDH Food Safety Partnership Unit Supervisor.  She presented, ” The MN Food Code: The Road to a Long-Awaited Update and Beyond!” Kim first walked participants through the background history of developing the new food code.  We all quickly learned that this was certainly not an easy nor fast process!  She then explained some highlights of the new food code. A document of FAQs surrounding the new food code can be accessed here.

She also provided the following website from the Minnesota Department of Health that has many resources for food business safety.  That website can be accessed here 

After a short break, our next speaker was Craig Hedberg, PhD, MS, Epidemiologist & Co-Director of the Minnesota Center for Food Safety Excellence.  His talk was titled, “The Power of Information to Prevent Foodborne Illness”.  There are 48 million reported food borne illnesses (FBI) yearly in this country which equates to less than one FBI per 5,000 meals consumed.  In his work, they are predicting that more unusual food items will come forward as we are getting better at identifying them.  For instance, at one point it was thought that tomatoes could not be a source of FBI because they were “too acidic” but they now know that not to be true at all.  Tomatoes are less acidic than they used to be in order to be more palatable to consumers.  They have found that tomatoes soaked in salmonella contaminated water will absorb salmonella into them!

Dr. Hedberg talked about PulseNet which is a public health surveillance tool. They believe that since the inception of PulseNet that 270,000 cases per year of FBI have been prevented resulting in a savings of 1/2 billion dollars in medical costs and lost productivity.  He said we are getting much better at finding outbreaks.

Following Dr. Hedberg a buffet brunch was served after and participants were able to refuel for more learning!


The next speaker was Angie Ames, the Food Safety and Quality Assurance Coordinator for Kwip Trip, Inc.  Kwik Trip, Inc is so much more than a gas station–their convenience stores have evolved to include healthy, fresh items at great prices.  They make eighty percent of their brands themselves.  Their main distribution center is located in La Crosse, Wisconsin and includes a bakery that can produce 225 loaves of bread per minute!

Last summer Kwik Trip made headlines as an outbreak of food borne illness was traced to Del Monte veggie trays sold at Kwik Trip stores in Minnesota and Wisconsin.  Angie’s presentation, “Protecting Your Brand Through Food Safety” discussed ways in which Kwik Trip has processes in place designed to minimize food safety issues and also to deal with such outbreaks.  In their quality system, the first step to protecting themselves and the public is through thorough checks of their suppliers to ensure their safety standards are on par with their own standards for things made in house.  It’s an ongoing process of audits and vendor relationships.  It was fascinating to learn of the quick action taken by Kwik Trip to minimize exposure once they were notified of the problem.  Communication went out to stores immediately with product being taken off shelves and the extra step of opening the packages prior to disposing so there was not the risk of people taking the veggie trays out of the garbage and consuming them.  Food banks were notified and corporate vending machines were emptied of the product.  The outbreak was attributed to cyclospora which was responsible for the lettuce issues of last summer as well.  After thorough testing and running cultures, they unfortunately were never able to identify the source of the cyclospora.

After a short break, the conference switched gears to the future of food.  Dr. Da-Qing Yang, PhD from The Hormel Institute of Health spoke on, “The Cutting Edge, Using Food Compounds to Treat Cancer.”  He has been researching breast cancer in mice.  In one study they looked at using calorie restriction (a 25% calorie reduction from standard diet) by means of a low fat and also a high fat (but still lower calorie) diet.  In that, they found that the mice on the calorie restricted diet had a lower instance of mammary tumors.  In a different mouse study, the mice were injected with cancer cells.  Some mice were given reversatrol (an antioxidant found in red wine) and others placebo.  One of the mice given this antioxidant did not develop mammary tumors (leading researchers to wonder if there was a mistake!).  Those mice that did develop the mammary tumors did not have the same discomfort with the tumors as the placebo mice.  For the mouse that did not develop the mammary tumors (despite being injected with the cancer cells), five days after stopping the reversatrol, the mouse developed a tumor!  Dr. Yang was quick to point out that the mice were given purified, concentrated reversatrol and this does not give us license to drink all the red wine we want.  But it was an interesting first step in the role of antioxidants in cancer prevention and treatment.

Our last speaker of the day was Amanda Archibald, founder of “The Genomic Kitchen.” Amanda is a registered dietitian and is passionate about “Cooking for Your Genes.”  She used an analogy of putting out a fire.  Would you rather put the fire out with a tea cup or with a fire hose?  The key in cooking for your genes is to consume foods that turn on your metabolic pathways to reduce inflammation. That is the fire hose! It is also not just a matter of consuming certain foods, but also preparing them in the most effective way and also serving them in such a way that you aren’t turning “off” the pathway!  She gave many preparation tips including the “hack and hold.”  With crucifers chopping releases an enzyme that makes it heat stable.  But you should wait an hour after chopping to put it to heat in order for enough time for that enzyme to be released.  Also acids can turn off the anti-inflammatory effects of the food so serve dressing on the side.  She also gave an anti-inflammatory grocery list of produce:  onions, garlic, leeks, watercress, arugula, cauliflower, radishes, bok choy, rutabaga, pink grapefruit.  For herbs/spices she recommends: turmeric, rosemary, thyme, marjoram, and sage.  Amanda is currently working with a hospital system in San Diego where they have teamed up with chefs and totally redeveloped the hospital menu to include these practices.

It was an amazing day of learning and networking.  Thank you to the FCS Professionals members who played a role in the planning and execution of the day!




March Program Recap: “Spring Break” at Catrinas!

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On March 18th, FCS Professionals and guests gathered at Catrinas Cerveza & Mexican Grill  at their St. Paul location for our March meeting. During the first portion of the evening, attendees enjoyed the happy hour drink specials to enhance the Spring Break vibes of the evening while they mingled and snacked on salsa, guacamole, and chips, all made in house daily.


Owners Lorenzo Tejeda and Paul Marshall then kicked off the event by sharing their story.  They have been friends for 10+ years and after working together in corporate restaurants they were ready for a change and thought, “Why can’t we open our own restaurant”? That is when the idea of Catrinas was born and they got right to work making that a dream a reality. They spent many long hour days getting their first location in Oakdale ready and on December 22nd, 2014 (yes, just a few days before the holiday), they opened their doors. They had twelve customers the first day, but did not let that deter them. 3M headquarters is about a mile away, so a few days after opening, they loaded their car and took samples for employees to try. Unfortunately, they were not allowed into the building due to security protocols. What do two guys with lots of delicious samples in their car eager to share them with people do?  Drive around campus and look for people outside on a (smoke) break, of course! Thanks to their quick thinking, it worked and those people who sampled out of the owners’ vehicle the day before, brought their friends to the restaurant the next day. Each day they got more and more new customers and as word continued to spread their customer base expanded. Today, the line wraps around the whole restaurant, but customers will tell you (and those in attendance at our event can now also agree), it is definitely worth the wait, not only the food, but the customer service and genuine appreciation shown by the owners and staff!


After their first anniversary, Lorenzo and Paul knew they had outgrown their first location and opened their second location in 2016. The trend continued and in July 2018 they opened a third location in Saint Paul -the space our event was held. As Lorenzo and Paul shared their story, we quickly learned that hard work, long hours, perseverance, determination, and great customer service, along with the power of “thank you”, really pays off. This is evidenced not only in their continuing growing customer base, but also their many awards and recognitions received.  They have won several awards including: Best Tacos in MN (twice!), Best Catering, and Best Lunch under $10.  They have been featured on a segment on Fox 9 Morning Buzz and  Pioneer Press this past November.


We also learned about the significance of the restaurant name and logo. The photo at the top defines “catrina”. The photo below is an example of a catrina.  Along with the logo, they use the slogan “Mexican to the Bone”


One thing that makes Catrinas unique is that they focus on fresh ingredients and flavorful dishes that are made by hand fresh each day – they don’t even have a microwave! The meats are all slow cooked and seasoned to enhance the flavors. They have a range of eight salsas from mild to hot available daily. Their spiciest salsa, Salsa Quemada, is an 8 or 9 out of 10 on the heat scale, yet it doesn’t burn your mouth, because they value the importance of good flavor. In addition to the standard salsas, they also have a daily salsa. Between the owners, cooks, and managers, they have at least forty salsas in their wheelhouse and are always coming up with new ones to try.


How did their cooking journey begin? Lorenzo admitted that growing up in Mexico City he did not pick up his kitchen skills–if you asked him to boil water, he would’ve burned it!  When he moved to the U.S, he started working in a restaurant as a dishwasher and over time started taking on more responsibilities.  Most importantly he had an awesome mentor, the head chef, that took him under his wing. Over the years, he started tweaking recipes he learned until he developed his own style and flavor profile. Paul has worked in the restaurant industry his whole career, starting as a dishwasher and moved through various positions in the kitchen, and his interest and skills developed over time until he too developed his own style in the kitchen. Their combined skills and recipe portfolios matched perfectly to allow them to create the delicious brand that Catrinas has become.

For those who were unable to make the event or are looking for another chance to try Catrinas, they will appear this summer at Target Field as part of their Pop Up Restaurant Series featuring local restaurants. Also, to add to their vast array of choices on the menu, Catrinas also features the following specials during the week along with Happy Hour M-F 4-7 p.m. and all day Saturdays:

Monday – Gorditas

Tuesday – Enchiladas

Wednesday – Tamales

Thursday – Flautas

Friday – Fish tacos


After Lorenzo and Paul shared their story, they walked attendees through a sample platter of their various meat offerings and then attendees got to build their own dinner with the choice of Tacos, Burrito, Catrina (taco) Bowl, or a Taco Salsa with all the toppings of their choice. They also got to enjoy their choice of two traditional refreshing drinks, Horchata (sweet rice drink) and Jamaica (Hibiscus tea). While we were enjoying the meal, Colleen Glenn, Program Co-Chair, taught the traditional word to use before sharing a meal of “Provecho” which roughly translates as “Good Health”. This would be similar to saying “Salud” or “Cheers” before enjoying an alcoholic beverage. She also shared her personal connection to Catrinas. She counts the owners of Catrinas as very good friends who are more like family. Also the manager of the St. Paul location (and also designer behind the Catrinas logo), Jorge, just so happens to be Colleen’s boyfriend!  Thank you to those who attended. It was a fun event and all felt like they were experiencing a Spring Break vacation right here in Minnesota!

 Thank you Colleen Glenn for organizing this event and providing the recap! 

How to Clean Your Smartphone!

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At our recent conference, “The Future of Food and Food Safety”, the use of smart phones by food service personnel was discussed.  This article talks about the microbes that are hanging out on your cell phone and how to get rid of them!  Click here to access the article

Treating Aging as a Disease

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The following article is from “The Herman Trend Alert,” by Joyce Gioia, Strategic Business Futurist. 336-210-3548 or To sign up, visit The Herman Trend Alert is a trademark of The Herman Group, Inc.”

What if our bodies didn’t have to deteriorate as we grew older? Though aging is too broad a concept to be reduced to a single, specific disease, a new generation of researchers, sometimes called geroprotectors, has come to the conclusion that aging is a disease.

Attracting the funding needed
In their new study “Biodemographers’ Point of View”, researchers Leonid Gavrilov and Natalia Gavrilova, suggest that it is imperative to recognize aging as a disease. They believe that only by this recognition and giving aging its own individual code in the International Statistical Classification of Diseases (ICD) will we have the radical increase in funding that will prompt the development of new, efficient drugs.

Not all gerontologists agree
Other gerontologists are unwilling to think of aging as a scientific revolution in our concept of aging. Rather, the traditionalists think of this initiative more like promotion and marketing activities.

Russia is leading the way
Russia already has an aging code it uses in methodical recommendations on managing patients with physical weakness or lack of energy associated with old age. Following the design of the new geroprotectors and their Food and Drug Administration (FDA) trials, American gerontologists have successfully used the term “adult [geriatric] failure to thrive”. In Russia, the term is interpreted as “the syndrome of psychophysical fading” or “the apathy of elder age.”

An umbrella term
Aging is an overarching expression for all of the processes which contribute to the deterioration of the body as it adds years, i.e., any process involved in age-related degradation acts as a component of the aging process. Moreover, aging will never be reduced to a single, specific pathology.

Bottom line 
Aging itself is not a failure of the system, but rather a process that increases the intensity of these failures with age. We agree with the Gavrilov and Gavrilova as well as a clinical gerontologist V.M. Novoselov, that we should welcome the addition of age-related diseases to the ICD.

What this insight means to us
We have only begun to see the result of a focus on slowing down the aging process. Developments in personalized medicine will make a significant difference in this realm, allowing us to provide each person with a roadmap to slowing down the aging process with the right lifestyle choices, including nutrition, exercise, and light and sound therapies.


Enhancing Life Through FCS Professionals

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Being a member of a professional organization has a wide assortment of benefits. FCS Professionals prides itself in delivering relevant programming and providing numerous opportunities to network and make important connections. For the savvy member, key information or connections from these benefits, can be put to immediate use within their scope of work or personal life. Here is what Karen Smith, one of our members, has implemented from FCS Professionals over the past several years:

Work Life: As a Monticello School Instructor

* Invited Belinda & Bobbi Jensen to visit gardens created for foods classes at a Monticello School, resulting in a story being showcased on KARE 11

* Invited two FCS Professionals members to speak on careers in the food and health industry to students

* Toured the Byerly’s Maple Grove with the 8th grade Culinary Club (75 students), led by a Byerly’s Food Expert, a connection via FCS Professionals

Work Life: As a Healthy Oilseeds Employee

* Became part of FCS Professionals mentor program and received excellent coaching to transition from teaching to business

* Hired one of the food safety consultants at a Food Safety Conference to do third party certification at Healthy Oilseeds

* Took class from Food Safety Consultant to become FSPCA certified

Personal Life:

* Networked and made friends, of numbers too numerous to mention, with other FCS Professionals members

* Brought daughters to meetings including one which featured a member panel sharing information about their careers

* Members provided personal stories and experiences to her high school daughter who was writing a paper “Women In Business & the Glass Ceiling”

* Purchased her home kitchen appliances at ALL, Inc. after a meeting and tour held there

* Sorted and organized home spice cabinet after a meeting presentation by a McCormick Spice employee

Being a member of FCS Professionals is a real bargain! Amy Lindgren, a Twin Cities career consultant, believes the networking benefit alone is worth the cost of membership. Help us spread the word as a way to grow our organization! Share these benefits with two to three students, friends, relatives or neighbors who would benefit from joining. We have the tools that will enhance their work and personal life!

2019 Trends Forecast Available Soon

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FCS Professionals may remember Suzy Badaracco of Culinary Tides, Inc who spoke at our annual meeting a few years ago.  She is offering a 15% discount on pre-orders of the 2019 Trends Forecast prior to its release on February 20.

2019 predictions explore:

  • Government – cybersecurity, plant proteins, obesity, e-fairness, GMO
  • Health – weight wellness, active aging, natural energy, carb shift, Keto, Cannabidiol
  • Technology – narrowcasting, order, delivery, GMO, blockchain, packaging, AI, colors
  • Consumers – clockless eating, transparency, invisibly healthy, brand activism, sustainability
  • Travel –digital detox, mystery trips, dark travel, cross-generational, glamping, second cities
  • Beverage – infused ice, hard cider, seasonal, plant milk, fermented, lagers, florals, functional, tea/coffee infused, and global retro cocktail
  • Flavor & Cuisine – micro ethnic, plant-based, pickled, alternative flours, wild game, cannabis, foodceuticals, fruit and vegetable cousins of the cool kids

If interested, visit her website 

January Program Recap: An Evening of Awesomeness

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On Thursday, January 10 FCS Professionals and guests gathered at the Cambria Gallery in downtown Minneapolis for “An Evening of Awesomeness”.  The evening began with an antipasti skewer paired with a glass of Cantina di Capri “Piazza Grande” Lambrusco Rose wine.  A time for mingling in the gallery was held prior to the official start of the program.


The Cambria Gallery is not just home to samples of beautiful countertops but also has a bar, kitchen space, and even a stage.  The walls are adorned with photographs and autographs from musicians who have stopped in for a concert in the gallery.  WCCO radio is located upstairs and several musicians who are touring the radio stations will then stop for a concert.  The Cambria Gallery offers free event space including a conference room for 10 and they can hold up to 250 people in the actual gallery space.

Program co-chair Gerry Luepke introduced the evening’s speaker Leslee Miller.  Leslee is a certified Sommelier and owner of Amusee and Sip Better . Amusee is her wine consulting business and Sip Better is a wine club.  When not working with her two businesses you can find her making appearances on local television like The Jason Show, sitting on the MN Grape Growers Association, and even teaches courses at the University of Minnesota.

Leslee provided a wealth of information during the course of the evening (too much to recap here!) but here are a few bits of information!

  • When pairing wine and food match to either the preparation of the dish, sauce, or the dressing
    • Heavier sauces (think Caesar or creamy) you can lighten up with something acidic.  Heavy food + lighter wine = balance
  • If your dish is spicy do not go acidic with the wine.  Try a Malbec
  • Pork and Syrah go well together
  • Pair a sparkly rose with a meat and cheese tray
  • Vegetarian dishes like curry —> Pinot Noir, Grenache
  • What grows together, goes together!


She also talked at length about health conscious choices with wine.  Many are concerned about monitoring sugar intake in food yet forget to think about how much sugar they are consuming in wine.  Popular brands like Apothic and Yellow Tail are full of sugar (as much as a can of Coke!).  Leslee recommends choosing old world wines with a lower alcohol concentration (9-13%) to reduce sugar consumption.  She said our first wine we tasted was between 0-5 calories per 5 oz glass.  This is a link to her recent segment on the Jason Show talking about this very topic!


The wines served throughout the evening were interesting and paired perfectly with our small bites.





December Program Recap: Quincy Street Kitchen

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On December 11, FCS Professionals and guests gathered at Quincy Street Kitchen in Minneapolis for our December meeting.  Quincy Street Kitchen is a new business started by FCS Professionals member Kristen Olson and Rose Daniels.  Kristen’s background is in food styling, food photography and recipe development. Rose is a designer and has owned a company called Rose&Co.  They met at Chef Camp where Rose is the creative director and Kristen is a counselor!  Their passion is food and drink and together they have formed a business that helps businesses (big and small) to support and build their food brands through strategy, design, recipe development, photo and video content.  They even host parties and events (such as ours) in their beautiful studio space.

Members and guests were treated to delicious food including a cheese &  charcuterie board, flatbread pizzas, spa water, hot apple cider, and assorted dessert bites while listening to Rose and Kristen describe their journey in the past year getting their business up and running!  As an added treat, they gave an excellent food photography demonstration in which they taught the group various tricks and tips in food styling and photography.






Take Charge of Your Career!

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As you move through your career after college, it’s important to plan your career path; don’t leave it to chance! Nicole Norfleet, a writer for the Minneapolis Star Tribune creates a list of initiatives that need focus during the various work life age decades to put yourself in charge of your career. Here is a sampling from her list:

* In your 20’s, gain work experience in your field, look for leadership opportunities, connect with good networking groups and find a mentor.

* In your 30’s, take charge of your career by identifying your long-term work goals and continue to look at the job market for a better or higher paying job via your network group.

* In your 40’s and early 50’s, determine if you need more education or certification for advancement and consult with a life coach (a mentor). If you want or need to look for a different job, the best place to look is within the network group.

* In your late 50’s and early 60’s, make a career exit plan, network with other others that have retired and look for self-satisfaction within your career world. Giving back through mentoring is an excellent way to share your career knowledge.

Three initiatives remain consistent throughout all the work life decades. They are leadership, networking, and mentoring. Food & Consumer Science Professionals offers members opportunities in those three areas; take advantage of them! If you aren’t a member or know of someone who should join, it can be done on our website   The original Star Tribune article can be found here


Thank you to Marge Ryerson and Gerry Luepke for providing this article and summary.