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Eat for Luck

December 30, 1998

Eat for luckAll materials courtesy of California Dry Bean Advisory Board | National Pork Producers Council | USA Rice Federation

Believed to bring luck for the New Year, staple foods like beans, rice and pork also add great taste and nutrition to meals throughout the year.

Eating blackeyes and rice for New Year's luck has become an American tradition, made popular by Hoppin' John, a flavorful Southern dish that combines blackeyes and rice.

In the South, blackeyes are thought to hold the power of one's destiny; around the world, beans like blackeyes are said to represent coins in the pocket - true good fortune.


Rice is a symbol of prosperity, abundance and good luck.

[cont. from lifestyle]

In Minnesota and other areas of Scandinavian-American heritage, rice pudding is a perennial part of holiday cuisine. Cooked with one almond, custom says the person who finds it will marry within a year.

In many cultures, the pig also symbolizes good fortune, because a family that owns a pig is guaranteed to eat well. Pigs represent moving heartily into the upcoming year, which is symbolized by the common movement of the pig - forward with its snout to the ground. As a result, many New Year's meals are centered around great-tasting cuts of pork.

Prosperity plus

Besides their potential for bringing good luck on New Year's Day, today there are many healthy reasons to serve lucky foods like blackeyes, rice and pork year-round.

A One of the most nutritionally complete foods, blackeyes are packed with protein, complex carbohydrates and other essential vitamins and minerals. Blackeyes are also the best vegetable source for folate, an important B vitamin that can help reduce the risk of heart disease, certain birth defects and several types of cancer.

A Rice is a staple food for two-thirds of the world's population. A wholesome and nutritious cereal grain, rice has qualities that make it ideally suited for special dietary needs. Rice contains only 103 calories per half-cup serving, is cholesterol-, sodium- and fat-free, is a complex carbohydrate, is nonallergenic and is easy to digest.

A The most widely eaten meat in the world, lean pork is not only flavorful, but also part of a healthful diet, with 31 percent less fat than just 10 years ago. With less fat per serving than chicken, roast pork loin provides your family with a great-tasting source of protein, iron and other important nutrients.


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