Harmons having fun in the mud!

August 14, 2011

Team Harmons “Mudd Slingers” participated in the first Mud Run MS Utah on Saturday, August 13th. The event raised money for the MS Society Utah – Southern Idaho Chapter. Our team of 4 had a great time taking on the 10k run and 30 muddy obstacles. More than 350 runners got dirty for a good cause and raised about $50,000. Start training and join us in the fun next year!

Oh, Bob’s shout at 57 seconds was a great reaction to his spectacular back flip off the Leap of Faith.



Video Courtesy of KSL.com

Fun with the family and food

August 13, 2011

Jonnell, Registered Dietitian

If you were at Harmons at Bangerter Crossing on the evening of the 5th of August you may have heard some great Greek music coming from the upper level near the Cooking School. Chef Evan and Ken, our Cooking School coordinator, held Bangerter Crossing’s first Dinner Night with a delicious five-course Greek meal accompanied by a Greek band and traditional Greek dancing. While it was a great date night with white tablecloths and fresh flowers on the tables, it was also a fun casual evening with both couples and families enjoying the food, touring the cooking school, and even burning off a few calories learning a traditional Greek dance or two. Our next Dinner Night will feature Western BBQ and will be held on August 19th. Station Park will also offer the same theme at their Dinner Night.

Looking for new ways to improve your family’s nutrition? Including your children in cooking is a great way to get them to try new foods and it is a skill they can use for the rest of their lives. In addition to the Dinner Night, our Cooking School will be hosting a monthly family healthy cooking class starting in September at both the Bangerter Crossing and the Station Park locations. Bring the kids and learn as a family to cook some healthy dishes. Our professional chefs will show you how to prepare healthy meals that your family will love!

And the winner is . . .

August 12, 2011

Shauna in Cheese

Shauna, Cheese Monger

Last week the American Cheese Society’s annual conference was held in Montreal Canada. Every year the members of the ACS get together and share their knowledge, expertise and my favorite, the cheese. At the end of the conference the awards are given out. This year was a good year for Utah.

Our own Beehive Cheese Company won four awards all together. Barely Buzzed won first place in the flavored cheese category. This is the Fourth win in five years. Their Promontory won a first place ribbon and Big John Cajun and Seahive were third place winners. I would like to offer my congratulations to Pat, Tim, Warren and the rest of the Beehive team. Your cheese’s have always been some of my favorites.

We also have Shepherds Dairy out of Erda, Utah win second place for their Fine Feta Plain and Gold Creek Farms Smoked Cheddar captured second place as well. Lark’s Meadow out of Idaho won first place for Dulcenea Sheep Milk Cheese. This was the first time for Lark’s Meadow in ACS.

All of these cheese can be found at our cheese island plus some of the other winners. Vermont Butter and Cheese Creamery won with their Creamy Goat Classic, Mascarpone, Quark, Coupole, Creme Fraiche and Cremont. Cypress Grove’s winners where Purple Haze and Humbolt Fog. Point Reyes won first with Toma and Cowgirl Creamery’s Mt Tam was a winner. Carr Valley had many winners as usual and Beechers Marco Polo got the nod this year. Last but not least is Satori with one of their winners, Merlot BellaVitano. You can find a complete list on American Cheese Society.com.

Come on in and try some of these winners and celebrate great American Cheese.

Flu Shots Are Here

August 10, 2011

Phil in Pharmacy

Phil, Pharmacy Manager

The flu shot is now available at Harmons Pharmacy. It is important to get the flu shot every year since the flu strains can change and since immunity doesn’t last through the following flu season. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states that the vaccine protects against the three main flu strains that research indicates will cause the most illness during this flu season. The CDC recommends getting the vaccine as soon as it is available and that immunizing as early as August will provide protection through the 2011-2012 flu season. Since it can take 2 weeks for the vaccine to become effective, the sooner you get vaccinated the sooner you’ll be protected. We are offering flu shots on a walk in basis to patients 9 and older. Also, we immunize against shingles, pneumonia, and whooping cough. Please call or stop by your nearest Harmons Pharmacy to learn more and get immunized.

The Education Bunch

August 9, 2011

Harmons Training & Education Department

In the Training department we have the opportunity to work with associates from all stores and departments. An especially exciting time is developing and training associates hired for new stores. Preparation for Station Park’s opening entailed over 157 additional classroom hours as well as numerous hours of store level training and job shadowing. It is always fun to get to know the new associates and share in the growing anticipation.

With Emigration just around the corner, and City Creek on the horizon, we are already well into planning and developing the necessary training and job shadowing required to prepare new associates for the openings, and the excitement is building.

From new stores to business as usual, there is always something happening. We consider ourselves fortunate to be a part of the Harmons team and partners with the most incredible group of associates around!

Check out our NEW Great Health Section

August 9, 2011

If you are reading this blog, then you have probably been to our website, www.harmonsgrocery.com. Have you noticed a new addition to the navigation bar at the top of the page? We snuck in a ‘Great Health’ tab right in the middle of the bar! Isn’t that exciting? If you haven’t navigated around the Great Health section yet, then you don’t even know how excited you should be. OK, maybe I’m biased . . . but I think there are a lot of great features that you will find helpful related to health and wellness topics, as well as a calendar of events and so much more. Just to “peek” your interest, here is a taste of what you’ll find:

  1. Dietitian Services: Still wonder what a dietitian is doing in a grocery store?  Click on the ‘Dietitian Services’ box at the bottom of the page, or under the ‘Great Health Menu’ sidebar on the right of the page. Here you will find descriptions of the different group and individual services that we offer.
  2. Complete Nutrition: Looking for general or topic-specific nutrition information you can trust? Click on the topic titles in this section to view information brochures. Current topics include Nutrition 101, Women’s Health, Steps to a Healthy Heart, Diabetes, Celiac Disease, Healthy Eating on a Budget, and Healthy Snacking. Check back often as we will add new information monthly.
  3. Individual Services: Want to set up a one-on-one nutrition counseling with your dietitian (detailed nutrition analysis and custom nutrition plan)? Or interested in a health screening (cholesterol, blood pressure, and BMI)? You can pay for these services online, and then call your dietitian to set up an appointment time. Just click on the ‘Details’ button of the service you would like, fill in your name, phone number, and email address, and click the ‘Sign Up Now’ button.  You will then be directed to enter your credit card info, and voila . . . you’re on your way to an individual nutrition service!
  4. Calendar of Services and Events: If you click on the ‘Calendar of Services and Events’ on the right side bar, you will be directed to a calendar page very similar to the Cooking School calendar. You can take a quick look at what dates we are offering events, and if you hover your mouse over the symbols on the calendar, you can see what the offering actually is. If you scroll down the page more, you will find a more detailed description of the class, and you can even sign up! You will notice that our workshops are $5.00, but you will receive a $5.00 gift card back after you attend the class . . . . so it is really free!!! You sign up the same way as described in the Individual Services – it’s that easy!
  5. Contact Us: Do you have a question about our services or events? Feel free to send us an email and we will get back to you promptly. Also, please don’t hesitate to recommend workshops or services you would like to see in the future.  We are always open to feedback.
  6. Dietitian Blog: This is just one more way to access our weekly blog! Jessica and Jonnell will rotate blogs weekly, so you will have a new wellness blog every week!

I hope you find our new web addition helpful!  Please let us know if you have any questions, and we look forward to seeing you in future classes!


August 9, 2011
Jason in Bakery

Jason, Artisan Baker

Did you know that every Harmons cheesecake is made in store from scratch? It’s never frozen! The crust is made with real butter! The cheesecake itself is made with Philadelphia Cream Cheese and Nielsen Massey Madagascar Bourbon Vanilla. If you are not familiar with Nielsen Massey Madagascar Bourbon Vanilla, it is made with beans grown on the island of Madagascar and it’s the king of vanillas! This week they are only $12.99, that’s for the three pound cheesecake! If you ask me, that’s an incredible deal. So drop by the bakery and say “Cheesecake Please”.


Sunflower Season

August 8, 2011
Kristie in Floral

Kristie, Floral Manager

Sunflowers: A cheerful flower that reminds us of hot summer days and warm evenings throughout summer months.

The presence of this bright, and glorious bloom is often loved by all. Some, however, view it as a roadside weed traveling in the wind and rooting itself in the most awkward of places, as we have the thought, “How did those get there?” However, there is much more to learn about these human-like figures that crowd the hillsides of Tuscany and other regions of the world. They are grown in many colors as well, some of which few of us have seen, like Green Ice, burgandy and others. They grow in many semi-arid regions around the world from Argentina to Canada and from central Africa into the Soviet Union. Although a native to the Americas, the sunflower symbolized the image of the Sun Gods to the Incas and its sunny presence and edible seeds have linked the plant to humans for 4,000 years or more. The first known signs of the sunflower’s domestication by humans was around 2300 B. C. in Tennessee.

Commercially available sunflower varieties contain 39%-49% oil in the seed. In 1985-1986, sunflower seed was the third largest source of vegatable oil worldwide, following soybean and palm. the growth of sunflower as an oilseed crop has rivaled that of a soybean, with increasing production since the 1930′s. Sunflower accounts for about 14% of the world production of seed oils. (6.9 metric tons in 1985 to be exact). Additionally, Europe and the USSR produce over 60% of the world’s sunflowers.

The oil accounts for 80% of the value of the sunflower crop, as contrasted with soybean which derives most of it’s value from the meal. Sunflower oil is generally considered a premium oil becase of its light color, high level of unsaturated fatty acids and lack of linolenic acid, its blend flavor and high smoke points. In many sunflower-producing countries, sunflower is the preferred and the most commonly used oil. Currently, research is being carried out to refine the oil for use as a bio-diesel. Imagine that!

We all know about this! Delicious sunflower seeds are great in salads, granola, in breads or just plain. So good, and good for you. A perfect source of protein lightly toasted to bring out its nutty flavor.

An interesting find is that of the sunflower’s florets itself. The center of the sunflower – the focal point, the personality, the face – is quite technical in it’s composition. This detail has been studied and formulated by mathmaticians such as Leonardo Fibonacci (a 13th century Italian mathmatician from Pisa, Tuscany). The complex structure is based upon the famous “Golden ratio” where the growth rate of successive numbers gives a ratio which converges on 1/2x(1=/5)=1.618, known as the “Divine Proportion” or “Golden Section” of geometry and aesthetics in nature. “Divine Proportion” -something every woman has dreamed of! It’s fascinating to me that someone, a genius of course, thought of this using this flower’s intricate face, if you will, to discover an actual rythm for something scientists are fascinated by to this day. In simple terms, this equation means that there can be 34 spirals in one direction and 55 in the other direction. In the larger sunflowers, this quantity increases both directions. The symmetry and logic of a sunflower’s flower structure and perfection has astounded and fascinated artists and mathmaticians alike. And to us it’s captivating as we view it’s presence, we may not even know why we like them so much? Perhaps it is the symmetry and we don’t even realize what it is we find that captivates us.

Read more about the fun facts at www.lifeinitaly.com and www.hort.purdue.edu/newcrop/afcm/sunflower.html

Sunflowers are now in season at a Harmons near you and the “icing on the cake” as we celebrate 79 years being your neighborhood grocer. Visit your Harmons Floral department throughout the month of August to see some new varieties and come celebrate with us!

The chiles are coming, the chiles are coming!

August 5, 2011
Derick in Produce

Derick, Produce Manager

They are almost ready and I can almost taste them. There is nothing better than the taste of freshly roasted chiles from New Mexico and Utah. Guess what else? Green chiles are surprisingly nutritious. One medium green chile contains 182% of your daily vitamin C requirement. What a great way to stay healthy this winter with your stockpile of green chiles in your freezer! Another amazing fact about eating chiles or other spicy foods is that they can aid in weight loss through thermodynamic burn, which increases your metabolism and will help you burn more calories! So come down and get your freshly roasted bushel at one of our select locations.

Starting Friday, August 12th we will be roasting chiles at the following stores, days and times:

Wheat Starch Study

August 3, 2011
Dave for Gluten Free

Dave, Gluten Free Advocate

I have heard a lot of talk about wheat starch possibly being gluten free, so I did some research and came across this article on celiac.com about a study in Finland. Please keep in mind that this study was performed in Europe, where they do have different standards as far as acceptable gluten intake for celiac sufferers, so take it with a grain of salt and do not think I am endorsing the consumption of wheat starch. I personally have chosen not to take the risk on wheat starch until more research has been done mostly because there is no way to get all of the gluten out. As and as far as I am aware, no study has been able to fully answer what a safe level of gluten is. In the US, our government uses 20ppm (parts per million) as our maximum standard and time will only tell if that standard will remain.

Researchers recruited 90 adults who had been eating a strict gluten-free diet for at least a year, and randomly assigned them to one of three groups. Depending on the group assignment, participants consumed drinks daily containing wheat-based glucose syrup, wheat-based maltodextrins, or a placebo with no wheat starch. The amount of glucose syrup or maltodextrins given to the participants in the first two groups was comparable to the amount of gluten a person might consume while eating an average amount of processed foods.

Effects of the wheat starch products were tested in several ways. To determine whether the trace amounts of gluten were sufficient to trigger an immune reaction, researchers examined biopsies of the small intestine for signs of inflammation and damage, and tested the blood for specific antibodies that are elevated after gluten consumption.  Small intestine biopsies taken after 24 weeks of wheat starch product consumption did not show increased damage or inflammation compared to biopsies taken before the study began, or compared to biopsies of subjects consuming the placebo.  Similarly, levels of antibodies were not increased by daily consumption of this very small quantity of gluten.

Because eating gluten reduces nutrient absorption in people with celiac disease, blood levels of iron, folic acid, and calcium were tested in all three groups before and after the 24 week study.  Concentrations of these nutrients did not decrease in any of the groups during the study, indicating that nutrient absorption was not affected by this amount of wheat starch consumption. Additionally, gastrointestinal symptoms such as diarrhea, indigestion, constipation, abdominal pain, and gastro-esophageal reflux, did not increase significantly in any group and none of the patients who suffered from dermatitis herpetiformis developed a rash during the study.

Results of this study suggest that the trace amounts of gluten in processed foods containing wheat starch products were not harmful for most people with celiac disease. Although additional studies will help clarify the issue, it may be unnecessary for people to avoid these products, making it easier to adhere to a “gluten-free” diet.

Kaukinen K, Salmi T, Huhtala H, et al. Clinical trial: gluten microchallenge with wheat-based starch hydrolysates in celiac disease patients:  a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study study to evaluate safety. Alimentary Pharmacolgy
Aliment Pharmacol Ther. 2008 Aug 17.Departments of Gastroenterology and Alimentary Tract Surgery, University of Tampere and Tampere University Hospital, Tampere, Finland