Employee Spotlight: Pamela & Burna

In honor of Mother's Day earlier this month, we're featuring a  mother-daughter pair for this month's   employee spotlight. Burna and her daughter Pamela   work in our bakery and are responsible for cooking up   the delectable cheddar scones, biscuits and muffins that  are sent out to our schools each day. Made from scratch, with love and among family,  it's no wonder this baking duo is beloved by all the Red Rabbit staff. 

How long have you been working at Red Rabbit?

Pamela: 3 years

Burna: 6.5 years

Tell us about your role at Red Rabbit.

P & A:  We  bake all the   breads, cookies and muffins that go out to schools and  we   help the allergy team prepare meals.  

What is your favorite part of the job?

P: I love being a part of a hard working and responsible team. It feels like a family. I also love knowing that  everything we make is healthy for the kids that we serve.

B: I love the community.  Everyone is always in a good mood, laughing and joking and working hard together in the kitchen.

What is your favorite Red Rabbit and snack?

P: Chicken Alfredo .

B: Lasagna  and   Cheddar biscuits.

Tell us a fun fact about yourself

P:  I am a big Law and Order fan.

Burna: I dance   Bachata and Merengue.  

How Red Rabbit Recycles

How Red Rabbit Recycles

Each day, we prepare and deliver over 20,000 made from scratch breakfasts, lunches, snacks and suppers. That's 20,000 servings of freshly chopped produce and all the rinds,  peels and seeds that come with  serving  fresh foods.  Last year, we conducted an audit of our company practices around waste management in our kitchen. Our goal was to track how much organic and non organic waste our kitchen produced daily,  so we could implement  more sustainable methods  for waste management.  In honor of Earth Day, we'd like to share our findings with you as we  get one step closer to our goal of becoming a Zero Waste to Landfill facility.   

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The Red Rabbit Guide to School Composting

The Red Rabbit Guide to School Composting

We're participating in the Earth Day celebrations by committing to composting, recycling and  reducing  the waste that we produce in our Harlem kitchen. At Red Rabbit, all of our organic  waste is composted daily.  Composting involves recycling organic materials, such as food scraps, paper, leaves   and branches, by encouraging decomposers to break them down in a controlled environment. The finished product is a valuable soil amendment, adding fertility to local farms, school gardens or classroom plantings. Read on for ways that you can start a composting program in   your school, community garden or neighborhood.

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The Truth Behind 100% Fruit Juice

The Truth Behind 100% Fruit Juice

During former Mayor Bloomberg's twelve year term in New York City, from 2002-2014, we saw all calorie counts posted at fast food restaurants, decreased sodium levels in processed foods and even  a proposed ban  on  sodas larger than 16 oz. Despite these efforts to improve the health of New Yorkers,  adults in   New York City diagnosed with diabetes went up from 8% in 2002 to nearly 11% in 2013. This disappointing statistic reminds   us we still have a lot more work to do  in the fight against  obesity  and in creating healthy futures for our children and their families.

 While recent campaigns have made us well aware of the excess calories, sugar and link to childhood obesity that stem from high consumption of soda among children,  you might be surprised to find that there's another drink  that  contains  almost as much sugar and is beloved in many homes and classrooms. Read on to find out what it is.

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Employee Spotlight: Sandra Torres

Employee Spotlight: Sandra Torres

Sandra's bountiful energy in the early mornings makes her a favorite presence around the Red Rabbit kitchen. Over her three years with the company, Sandra  has contributed her talent across all our hard-working teams,  having spent time on our packout line,  our prep crew  and most recently, serving as an Assistant Cook for our Local, Organic team.  We chatted with Sandra to learn more about her interests outside the Red Rabbit kitchen. Here's what she had to say.

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Panel on School Food Challenges Us to Do More for Our Kids

Panel on School Food Challenges Us to Do More for Our Kids

Last week's Just Food Conference left us inspired, enlightened and empowered. With over 40 workshops on food policy, food access and sustainable agriculture, we felt truly honored to be featured among such influential leaders. 

We've highlighted some of  the most re-tweeted comments from the conference below.    Join the conversation on twitter:  #justfoodconference @myredrabbit.


"This next generation knows they should be eating healthier, it's up to adults to create the infrastructure," Rhys Powell on tasking adults to take on the challenge of helping our children eat healthy.

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Employee Spotlight: John Bashant

Employee Spotlight: John Bashant

Say hello to Red Rabbit's resident Nutrition Compliance Manager.  John makes sure that in addition to being delicious,  Red Rabbit meals are compliant with USDA guidelines and that portion sizes are accurate for each age group--using spoodles helps (see photo).  But that's not all - this renaissance man also knows a thing or two about fixing a car engine.  Read on to see why John is an invaluable member of the Red Rabbit team.

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Employee Spotlight: Ligea Alexander

Employee Spotlight: Ligea Alexander

Some people might say that our education interns have the best job at Red Rabbit. Why? Because they get to cook   and play with our wonderful kids!  In addition to  assisting in our cooking and gardening labs, our interns  have an  impact on children's lifelong relationships with food. Get to know one of our star interns, Ligea, and  hear a powerful story of how she connected with a child through cooking.

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"Can You Please Pass the Broccoli?" The Many Benefits of Family Style Dining

"Can You Please Pass the Broccoli?" The Many Benefits of Family Style Dining

As parents, educators and caregivers, we greatly impact what and how our children eat,  from choosing to serve specific foods to overseeing portion sizes and encouraging children to explore new flavors. As role models, we can teach our kids to feed themselves in a healthy way. A surprisingly easy way to practice this skill   at home or in  school is  by instilling an  old approach  to mealtime - family style dining.  

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Red Rabbit Gift Guide: Ideas for Tots, Teachers & Foodies

Red Rabbit Gift Guide: Ideas for Tots, Teachers & Foodies

Whether you're looking for the perfect gift for your food curious toddler or a housewarming present for the family next door, we've got you covered.  Check out Red Rabbit's holiday gift guide for creative gift  ideas for kids, teachers, and lovers of good food. 

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Tips for "Choosy" Eaters

Tips for "Choosy" Eaters

‘No! Yuck! Gross!' 

If you've been around children during meal time,  you've probably heard them express these sentiments when presented with  unfamiliar foods.

At Red Rabbit, we've  been creating  our made from scratch meals and serving them to  kids for  over 10 years, so we've come across  our fair share of cautious eaters.  Luckily,   we know a thing or two about getting children to try new foods – and enjoy them! 

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Employee Spotlight: Jonathan Vargas

Employee Spotlight: Jonathan Vargas

Here at Red Rabbit, one of the most important jobs is delivering made from scratch food from our Harlem kitchen to our partners across New York City.  That's where Jonathan Vargas comes in. Navigating the chaotic streets and highways of NYC late at night or at the break of dawn, Jonathan always arrives at his schools with a big smile on his face. Read on to hear why this Red Rabbit team member of over three years loves his job in this month's employee spotlight.

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Employee Spotlight: Valerie Collins

Employee Spotlight: Valerie Collins

Each month, we'll highlight one of the many incredible employees at Red Rabbit that help spread our mission of bringing healthy, made from scratch meals to schools.  

Meet Val, an Operations and Services Associate at Red Rabbit. If you've ever called the Red Rabbit office, you've most  likely  spoken to Val,  who is the voice  of our help line from 7 am - 4 pm each day. Born and raised in NYC, Val is a full time mom and college student majoring in Business management. Read our interview with her to find out how she got her start at Red Rabbit and how she got her nickname.

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Why Fresh Is Best

Why Fresh Is Best

We've   all   heard about the   benefits  of   purchasing   locally grown and seasonal produce,   while  limiting  our spending on  processed and packaged foods.

At Red Rabbit, we  adhere to the belief that  fresh food  tastes better and is better for us, which is why we use  whole foods in all of our made  from  scratch meals. But why are whole, fresh foods actually better for us, and what's the harm in overly processed foods?  Read on as we  investigate the answers to these  questions.

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Fall Harvest, 3 Sisters Tacos Recipe

Fall Harvest, 3 Sisters Tacos Recipe

Autumn in New York is an exciting and rewarding time to be a fruit and vegetable lover.  As Grow NYC’s What's Available chart demonstrates, fall months offer New Yorkers an incredible variety of available produce, with upwards of 40 different local vegetables easily found at farmers markets across the city.  

One veggie we’re sure to see lots of in the coming weeks and months is winter squash.  Squashes come in many shapes, sizes, colors, and flavors, making them the perfect candidate for fall cooking as well as a great option for fall themed decorating at work and around the house. 

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Top 5 Kitchen Tools for Kids

Top 5 Kitchen Tools for Kids

Using kitchen tools to transform foods into a meal can make cooking even more exciting for children. The Red Rabbit Education Team relies on these high-quality, kid-friendly tools to create safe, fun-filled, educational cooking environments for our students.

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A Better No-Nut Butter

A Better No-Nut Butter

With the prevalence of nut allergies at our children’s schools and our own workspaces, we often have to forgo the creamy goodness of nut butters made from almonds or peanuts.  That is, until now.  There's a new   butter in town that's been getting quite a lot of attention here at Red Rabbit as the perfect alternative to peanut butter. Our culinary team has been experimenting with new breakfast and snack options that highlight this savory butter, whether paired with jelly in a sandwich or smeared over a rice cake.

You might be surprised to discover that this alternative treat comes from a humble   legume, the soybean, which is used to make Soy Nut butter. This seriously delicious, nut-free alternative can be used in any recipe or snack that traditionally calls for a nut butter.  

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My Child has a Nut Allergy. What Next?

Peanuts are not Nuts

Sneezing, hives, difficulty breathing, or nausea–are all allergy symptoms to peanuts.

According to the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (AAAAI), more than 3 million people in the United States report being allergic to peanuts, tree nuts or both, and approximately 1% of the U.S. population has a peanut allergy.  Nearly half of the 150 deaths attributed to food allergies each year are caused by peanut allergies.

People with peanut allergies often are concerned about possible reactions from tree nuts; however, tree nuts are botanically unrelated to the peanut, which is a legume. It is estimated that 25 to 35 percent of people with peanut allergy have sensitivity to tree nuts, as well. The biggest reason people allergic to peanuts should be careful of items with tree nuts is that they are often manufactured around equipment that has touched peanuts (this is called “cross contamination”).

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Water: To Bottle or Not to Bottle?

Water: To Bottle or Not to Bottle?

We're in the heat of summer, and hopefully we're all drinking plenty of water...but do you drink a lot of bottled water? Well, you aren't alone. Americans drink billions of gallons of the stuff every year - 8 billion in 2009 alone! We choose to drink bottled water for many reasons: convenience, health, safety, taste and what-have-you – and why not? It's a great alternative to sweetened beverages like soda and iced tea, both drinks that contribute greatly to growing public health issues as well as our growing waistlines. But is bottled water better than tap? Is BPA in plastic bottles truly harmful to our health? How much water do we even need to drink?? These answers and more you'll find in this week's action packed Red Rabbit blog!

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