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Chicago’s Purple Asparagus Spearheads Food Literacy For Youngest Students, August 10, 2017

Those involved in the Good Food movement believe that if we are going to build a better food system, we need to promote healthier habits among our youngest eaters. Since 2005, Chicago nonprofit Purple Asparagus has put that belief to action, bringing its engaging food literacy program to children kindergarten to 2nd grade in selected Chicago schools.!

Purple Asparagus Brings Healthy Eating Lessons to Classrooms April 30, 2017

Purple Asparagus Head Spear Melissa Graham tells NBC 5’s Susan Carlson about how the organization makes a difference in the community by bringing important nutritional education to classrooms around the Chicago area.

Chefs offer their take on perfect picnic sandwiches for Labor Day, Saturday, September 23, 2016

Chicao Sun-Times talks with Melissa Graham and other chefs about the perfect Labor Day picnic sandwiches. Check out the article for her recipe for Sundried Tomato Cream Cheese Pinwheels!

WGN TV Lunchbreak: Healthy Recipes from Purple Asparagus and Launch of $10 for 10, Friday, May 22, 2015

Head Spear Melissa Graham visits the WGN Lunchbreak set to share some delicious and healthy recipes in celebration of Purple Asparagus’ 10-year anniversary

Min 1:30 – Head Spear Melissa Graham on Vocolo: Monica Eng Talks Purple Asparagus, Home Economics, and Food at Large, March 26, 2014

“We have a special food and home focused Council today with Chicago Public Media’s Monica Eng. Amongst other delicious things, we’ll talk about the push from the White House to reinstate Home Ec as a core requirement and hear from Melissa Graham, head of Purple Asparagus, a non-profit that has spent close to ten years trying to get people closer to their food.”

Chicago Parent Magazine Highlights Purple Asparagus’ Involvement at the Healthy Children’s Expo, March 3, 2014

“There is a “no yuck” zone in Melissa Graham’s house.

When Graham’s son Thor was 2, he suddenly morphed from an adventurous eater to a picky toddler. After making some mistakes, Graham decided to approach eating in the same way a parent would approach the topic of wearing a seatbelt.

Thor, now 10, was expected to eat what he was served. He wasn’t expected to like it, but he had to try it, and he couldn’t say “yuck.””

Purple Asparagus Volunteer and Chef Alia Dalal on WBBM Talking about the Healthy Children’s Expo, March 3, 2014

Speakers will cover everything from the proper way to install a car seat to understanding autism. Among them is person chef Alia Dalal, who works to educate kids about healthy eating through the non-profit Purple Asparagus.

“If you get your kids involved in meal-planning and actually cooking, they will be way more likely to try it,” said Dalal.

Melissa Graham of Purple Asparagus On Creating Healthy Habits for Life, July 25, 2013

“As Healthy Schools Campaign transitions to a new campaign for wellness in Chicago, Change for Good, we’re looking back at the ways we’ve already made great progress — particularly through the three-year Go for the Gold campaign that ended this summer. One major accomplishment: increasing nutrition education opportunities for students. HSC was fortunate to partner on this with the “culinary adventure” educators at Purple Asparagus. Read on for more about this great organization!”

Tackling Food Deserts With Rap, July 2013

“A local health food activist is teaming up with a nutrition professor to help spread the word on good eating. Fresh Moves’ Julian Champion joins the Chicago Tribune’s Monica Eng to discuss the struggles of bringing healthy food to some neighborhoods in Chicago. How can people who aren’t eating fruits and veggies daily be reached on the benefits of dumping the junk food?”

Your Choices Matter: Students’ Food Choices Evaluated With iPad App, February 26, 2013

“Our Conference theme this year is Your Choices Matter and for, one of the best choices we make is working to bring healthier, less processed foods into schools. We are big fans and supporters of the work Purple Asparagus does in classrooms exposing kids to better food choices. We’re excited to profile evaluators Sarah Rand and her colleague Amy Cassata and their work with Purple Asparagus…”

After-School Special: 10 Cool Ways to Teach Kids About Food, January 17, 2013

Organizations around the country are finding fun, innovative ways to teach students about food.

Chicken Soup For the Cold: 10 Chef-Approved Recipes, December 29, 2012

Refinery29 asked some of their favorite local gourmets to share their favorite recipes for the most classic of wintertime comfort foods: chicken soup.

Women of the Green Exchange, December 2012
Blindfold Magazine

“Boasting an impressive list of sustainable features that helped it achieve its LEED Platinum certification, the building houses Green Exchange, where female business owners possess stories, experiences, and ultimately, a level of success in their respective fields that is second to none.”

Heather Terhune Does December Wrap at Falafill to Benefit Purple Asparagus, November 30, 2012

For every wrap purchased during December, $1 will go to Purple Asparagus, a Chicago-founded organization which helps educate kids about healthier eating habits, including in Chicago public schools.

Thanksgiving Leftovers?! Think More Than a Turkey Sandwich, November 19, 2012

“It happens every year after Thanksgiving. People have so much turkey and other leftovers after the meal, they don’t know what to do with it. This year, Purple Asparagus is helping come up with some ideas…”

Google Hangout with Green Kid Crafts and Melissa Graham, November 12, 2012

“Penny Bauder from Green Kid Crafts and Melissa Graham from Purple Asparagus discuss tips and tricks for getting your kids to eat healthier and cultivate their interest in fruits and vegetables…”

Moroccan Spiced Soup, September 16, 2012
Dig In Chicago (video)

“We met up with the Purple Asparagus to learn how to make this great fall soup…” Blog, September 9, 2012

“What do you get when you combine delectable food, art, a farmer’s market, music, and raising money for a good cause? You guessed it! Corks and Crayons — the annual fundraiser for Purple Asparagus held on August 26th in the beautiful Green Exchange Building.”

The Cost of Nutrition: School and community efforts help kids eat well on a budget, September 4, 2012

“At Purple Asparagus, we’re fighting this [obesity] epidemic by educating children, families and the community about eating that is good for the body and the planet,” says Graham. “We believe that [all children] should have the chance to discover new-to-them wholesome foods that will change the way they think about eating and preparing food.”

Corks & Crayons Benefit
Time Out Chicago Kids, August 27, 2012

“If you’re not familiar with Purple Asparagus, it’s not only a vegetable that disappointingly turns green when you cook it, it’s an all-star local organization dedicated to helping families integrate healthy and sustainable eating into their daily lives.”

Little Locavores: Purple Asparagus, Purple Monkey and More Than Milk, Green Parent Chicago, August, 2012

“A few months ago, a feature in Daily Candy caught my eye. It highlighted a new non-profit called More than Milk that organized opportunities for new moms to volunteer with their children…”

Fish Tacos with Strawberry Salsa, July 28, 2012

“Join Melissa Graham with Purple Asparagus as she pairs fish and strawberries into a great summer meal.”

An Interview with Melissa Graham, July 2012
Community Connections (video)

“Purple Asparagus is a nonprofit organization that educates children and families and the community about healthy eating. Founding Executive Director, Melissa Graham, is here with more about the program and food that is good for the body and for the planet.”

Top 15 Crusaders for Health in the Food Industry July 5, 2012

9. Melissa Graham She’s a sustainable cook, locavore blogger, and “head spear” at Purple Asparagus, a Chicago-based organization dedicated to teaching people about healthful eating. Among the non-profit’s core goals: Changing the way our children, and by extension, our families and communities, relate to food and all things associated with it.

Advocate Medical Group, Link to .MP3 audio clip, Healthy Habits Campaign, July, 2012

Turning Purple for Kids’ Health
June 28, 2012

“It’s not about saying, ‘This is healthy food and you should eat it,’” Graham says. “There’s definitely a place for that but that’s not who we are. We’re about telling the story of food.”

iCarly’s Reed Alexander partners with Purple Asparagus to lead a cooking demonstration for CPS Students, May 04, 2012, Posted in Hipsqueak blog by Matt De La Peña on May 5, 2012

“The jovial Nickelodeon star has kept busy promoting healthy eating habits to kids through his website—an online destination for nutritious recipes and tips for living a healthy lifestyle. By partnering with local and national health organizations such as Chicago’s Purple Asparagus and The Alliance for a Healthier Generation, Alexander is helping to change the food culture for young people. ”

One Teacher’s Experience

PDF Download – 7.5MB, School Nurse News, Page 28, March 2012

Tenants finally stream into Green Exchange, by Judith Nemes. Crain’s Chicago Business, February 09, 2012
“The long-awaited Green Exchange is finally buzzing as more eco-minded businesses started moving in just after the new year…”
Read more here and stay on top of Chicago business with our free daily e-newsletters!

Inside the Fridge: Melissa Graham, February 1, 2012

“Inside the Fridge welcomes Melissa Graham. Melissa, a former attorney, is the founding Executive Director of Purple Asparagus, a 501(c)(3) non-profit dedicated to educating families about all things associated with good eating, eating that’s good for the body and the planet.”

Who wants a kumquat? Non-profit exposes kids to seasonal food – Hosea Sanders, ABC 7, January 20, 2012 (CHICAGO) (WLS) — “Chef Melissa Graham helps even the pickiest of eaters learn to love veggies and fruits…”
The do’s and don’ts of holiday eating with kids | Well Community November 23, 2011

“Get tips for teaching your children healthy habits and fail-proof recipes for the kids table”

Apple Extravaganza – Apple Crumble, Baked Apple, Apple Smoothie Recipes, Kenmore Live Studio, November 03, 2011.

“Here at the Kenmore Live Studio Melissa Graham of the Purple Asparagus demonstrates how to prepare a cranberry apple crumble in a jar…”

Your Guide to Gourds, October 31, 2011

“Visiting farmers markets and getting ready for Thanksgiving, you’ll likely encounter a dizzying variety of squash. Some of the more unusual varieties of gourds can be intimidating because many people simply aren’t sure how to use them.”

Interview With Melissa Graham of Purple Asparagus, The Lunch Tray, July 28, 2011. “Among the group’s core principles are propositions like, ‘Eating close to the ground is good’ and ‘Bringing children and families back to the table strengthens the bonds of family, no matter how extended’…”

What’s for Dinner: Beef and Vegetable Kebabs, A Dinner – Recipe from Little Locavores, Daily Candy, Kids, July 28, 2011.

“…Melissa Graham, founder of nonprofit Purple Asparagus and blog Little Locavores. Our latest inquiry: What’s the beef with antibiotics in meat?

Purple Asparagus Helps Kids, Families, Communities Eat Healthier, USA Characters Approved, July 26, 2011.
“…Purple Asparagus takes a much more direct approach, bringing chefs, fresh produce, and hands-on fun into schools with its Delicious Nutritious Adventures™ program.”

What’s a Purple Asparagus? April 26, 2011

“Believe it or not, there are varieties of asparagus that are purple in color, but that’s not what I’m talking about today. Purple Asparagus is an amazing local non-profit organization that teaches kids, families and the community about eating that’s good for the body and good for the planet.”

Natural Egg Dyeing with Purple Asparagus (Video), 2011, WGN Tv, April 22
Kids Eating Healthy (Video), WCIU the U, April 11, 2011.

“Giving kids a lesson in healthy eating, Purple Asparagus offers educational programs that make fruit fun and vegetables very delicious.”

Purple Asparagus Wins Good Eating Award For Teaching Kids About Seasonal Foods, Huffington Post, March 21, 2011. “Six years ago, Melissa Graham was at a crossroads. She had made partner at McDermott Will and Emery, but to get to the next level of partner would require an enormous time commitment at the office. Meanwhile, she’d just had a son.”
Healthy Kids with Melissa Graham
Kenmore Live Studios (video)

“Here at the Kenmore Live Studio Melissa Graham of The Purple Asparagus talks about her non-profit organization that teaches families and children about healthy, sustainable eating by focusing on nutritious, delicious, sustainable, and seasonal foods.”

Melissa Graham Wins 2011 Good Eating Award, Chicago Tribune, February, 2011. “All of these Good Eating winners have enhanced the food scene in Chicago with their accomplishments. Take a look at their impressive contributions.”
How Cool is That?, Rachel Ray’s Yum-O!, January 15, 2011. “Founded in 2005, Chicago-based Purple Asparagus is a nonprofit organization dedicated to bringing families back to the table by promoting and enjoying all the things associated with good eating.”
At White House’s Behest, Chefs Move to Schools, By Jane Black, Washington Post, October 12, 2010.

“The third-graders at Chicago’s McAuliffe Elementary School were a tough crowd. They liked the story of “Little Pea,” the twisted tale of a good little vegetable who tries valiantly to eat all his candy before having spinach for dessert…”

Chicago chefs spice up schools’ new push for healthy eating, Chicago Tribune, October 4, 2010.
“Healthy food education gets a boost from Chicago chefs who are volunteering to work with schools…”
Lunch lessons: Chefs in White House adopt-a-school program have work cut out for them, Chicago Sun-Times, August 24, 2010. “The adopt-a-school program is an arm of Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move! initiative, which hopes to end childhood obesity within a generation.”
Of food, family, hostas and confiers, Talking with Mike Nowak of Go green or go home, August, 22, 2010
Chicago’s Purple Asparagus Advocates, Educates and Connects, iVillage, May 12, 2011.

“Years before the First Lady’s Let’s Move campaign and Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution, a small Chicago-area nonprofit called Purple Asparagus formed with a twofold goal: to create a community of people who cared about seasonal, sustainable food, and to spread that message to families with children…”

Purple Asparagus Kids Learn Their Organic A, B, Cs, November 11, 2010,
Conscious Living TV (video)

“Watch this episode of Conscious Living TV, as we attend Chicago non-profit, Purple Asparagus’ 5th annual fundraiser at Uncommon Ground restaurant. We chat with Melissa Graham, founder of Purple Asparagus–on the first certified organic rooftop farm in the U.S., peruse a farmer’s market run by kids, and enjoy plenty of yummy organic food.”

Growing Healthy Kids: Eat Your Homework, Edible Chicago, Spring 2010. “Edible Chicago explores the local and sustainable food movement while also celebrating the role that food plays in our lives.”
Teaching Kids About Organic Food, Conscious Living TV, February 27, 2010 – Video Content
5 Reasons for Optimism on the School Food Front, Lettuce Eat Kale, May 06, 2011. “For now, a little roundup, a cheat sheet of sorts, to bring you up to date on recent developments. And don’t worry, even though it’s testing week in my town, there won’t be a quiz after you read this list.”
Eat Green, Cheap!, La Vita Cucinare, February 03, 2010.

“Pinching your pennies, but still looking for earth-friendly produce? Here’s how to eat responsibly on a budget.”

5 Tips on Keeping Produce Fresh!, Medill Reports, April 29, 2010. “If you spend that extra time to put it away properly, you will be able to keep the produce fresher longer, protecting your investment.”
Weekend Guide, Tasting Table, April 27, 2010.

“Catch a free screening of What’s On Your Plate, a new documentary about kids and food politics … Both screenings–hosted by food photographer Grant Kessler and local non-profit Purple Asparagus–will be followed by group discussions about kids, politics and local food.”

Let’s (Re)Do Lunch, Mindful Metropolis, April 2010 – Growing Healthy Kids Takes Aim at the Health Crisis facing Chicago’s Kids, by Caitlin Murray Giles.
Take Your Kids to the Farmers’ Markets .MP3 Audio File, Green Thoughts Podcast on WTMX, April 23, 2010

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