Your Table in the Valley - Q&A with the Experts on Food for Your Family

You try to get healthy food for your family, but shopping is a series of trade-offs: time, money, and convenience are all factored in.  How can you find food that is tasty, ethically produced, and fits into your budget and busy schedule? What's the difference between natural, local, and organic food? Which should you prioritize? Ask our experts; they have heard it all! They will help you decipher the confusing language and spectrum of choices in the context of a lively discussion, helping you choose the best of the harvest and the seasons.

Our panel includes Gaetano (Guy) Pajunas, of Califon Natural Foods; local farmer Helen McLaughlin of Mini Mac Farm, Long Valley, and Denise Melito, Health Coach of Bedminster. 

Guy Pajunas, raised on a local family farm and an early member of Future Farmers of America, was ahead of the times in operating a fresh organic farm stand. As a certified sports medicine trainer and rehab therapist working in the tri-county area for many years, he established Califon Natural Foods & Supplements in 2003.

Helen McLaughlin followed her passion for the small-scale, pastoral setting of raising animals at home. She kept her day job for a few years after starting Mini Mac Farm, but has realized her dreams today as a full-time livestock farmer.  Committed to quality and ever improving food standards, Mini Mac is a local favorite with year-round delivery to points all over north Jersey.

Denise Melito, CHHC, AADP is a Board Certified Health Coach who partners with women and men to lose weight, have more energy, sleep better, and become more confident in all aspects of their lives. Her mission is to inspire people with simple solutions to better nutrition, health, and lifestyle choices so that the entire family can thrive.


Your Table in the Valley is a three-part series on food in our community. Remaining dates are January 21 (Meet the Farmers) and March 18 (Watershed-Friendly Farming and Permaculture) For more information on these and other programs, please visit http://middlevalleynj.org/ or call Laura Knipmeyer at (973) 727 7962. 

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  • Laura K.

    We learned allot about the panelists in the community, but did not have enough time to address important questions.

    November 13, 2013

    • jan k.

      maybe a repeat of this discussion w/o panel to utilize the time more wisely might be of interest?

      November 13, 2013

  • jan k.

    not enough time for input from the audience. (needed balanced time). the 'experts' didn't answer many of the questions posed. some discussion offered little expertise w/o obvious (or subtle) agenda of 'selling' their services. many important concerns raised w/o concrete ways to evaluate or take action.

    November 13, 2013

  • Marnie V.

    Great idea Laura!!!

    October 30, 2013

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