Category Archives: Food Origins

Bird Flu May Cancel Thanksgiving

The widespread bird flu outbreak is not only affecting egg laying chickens. According to a recent report on GrubHub (http://www.grubstreet.com/2015/06/thanksgiving-turkey-shortage.html) your Thanksgiving turkey may also be a victim of this latest outbreak of the avian disease. Over 7.3 million turkeys have been destroyed to try and stop the spread of the virus.

According to CCMP Capital, Bird flu is a virus that was first detected in Asia. Since then it has spread to Europe and the Americas. The virus spreads easily through commercial poultry flocks due to the closeness of the birds and the confined way they are raised. Elimination of the entire flocks has been the preferred method of controlling the outbreak. Bird to human transmission of the disease has occurred but is infrequent.

Turkey producers had to have the baby turkeys (called poults) on hand at the end of May in order to raise them to the proper size and get them ready for your dinner table. The USDA said that there was about an 8% shortage of poults for that deadline. If many more flocks have to be culled because of infection then a number of Americans will need to find alternatives to the most popular Thanksgiving centerpiece.

USDA statistics (quoted by www.infoplease.com/spot/tgturkeyfacts.html) show that 45 million turkeys are sold for Thanksgiving, about a sixth of the total US production. Popular alternatives to turkey include prime rib, lamb, ham and pork roast.

What Does ‘Natural’ Really Mean?

The word ‘natural’ used to mean that nothing was added to, nor taken away from, a product. The product was untouched by human hands. Nowadays natural simply means very few things have been added to the product and very few hands have touched it.
A little deep frying, a little added high fructose corn syrup, a little coloring, a little salt and viola! you have a natural product ready for consumption. This diction has physicians like Dr. Daniel Amen worried for his patients. Most people will feel good about consuming a natural product instead of a processed product, unfortunately many of those ‘natural’ products are processed products.
The word ‘natural’ has become so misleading that over 200 class-action court cases have been filed about the usage of the word by food manufacturers. Many of these class-action lawsuits have been filed in the Northern District of California and have sought for a standard definition of the word ‘natural’ so it could no longer be used to mis-lead consumers and trick them into buying an unnatural food product, i.e. one that does not grow on a tree or come from the earth. The class-action lawsuits want, for example, fruit juice that is labeled as being natural to contain nothing but fruit juice. No preservatives, no high fructose corn syrup, no artificial coloring, just juice. However, the courts which are hearing these cases have discovered there is not a standard definition for the word ‘natural’. The word really means nothing, except ‘buyer be ware’.

Chuck E. Cheese’s Trying to Appeal to Adults

When it comes to birthday parties for children, Chuck E. Cheese’s is one of the top options out there. Kids love the place. Kids enjoy the pizza and the games. Kids like the noisy atmosphere and the fun that the place has to offer. Adults, on the other hand, can barely stand the place. Adults force themselves through their children’s parties just because they care about the kids and want to give them the kind of party they have asked for.

What could make Chuck E. Cheese’s more appealing to adults? The chain seems to be hoping that they can draw adults in and get them more excited about the place by adding to their menu. Chuck E. Cheese’s is offering pizzas that are made to appeal to adults as well as adult products such as lattes in the hopes that they will get the attention and love of the adults who visit the place.

Is that enough? Can a place like Chuck E. Cheese’s become a place that adults don’t mind visiting just because they offer some new choices on their menu? Or, will adults like Ray Lane continue to visit the place only because they care about their children? at CMU.edu, they plan on doing some research to find out.

Who Grew It

With everything going on in the World today the last thing we want to worry about is our source of food . We all know that to much junk food is a bad thing , but how much thought do we put into the other food we consume? We you buy a package of hamburger for dinner do you wonder where that meat came from, or what the cow was fed? How about hormones? Now lets think about our eggs the same way . What about our fresh produce ? How much is known about the farm or the people who are farming it ?

In a recent article on www.eater.com things such as choosing were to eat and drinking fair trade coffee verse cheap store brand coffee that taste pretty close to each other, has us all scratching our head stated Kevin Seawright. We all want to do what’s right , but a fact that was pointed out is even if we go with a more ethical approach we still are not helping our local farmers.The cost for American farmers to take a health stand and go more natural almost doesn’t pay and America makes it hard to get the right certifications at a low rate to benefit the farmers. After all they do need to make a living. It’s easier to get healthier outsourced food . It’s time for America to take a stand and help get our food healthy and safe.

Sugar Addiction a Reality

You love sugar and you can’t imagine what your everyday diet would look like without a “healthy” dose of sugar in it. You like things sweet and you want to be able to enjoy your dessert without feeling guilty about it. You’re not addicted to sugar, you just enjoy it. Or… could it be that you truly are addicted? Could sugar addiction be a reality? Could sugar addiction be a problem that this world is facing, one that this world will be facing more and more in upcoming years?

Ricardo Guimarães BMG said it has been said that giving up sugar can cause some of the same reactions in your brain and body as giving up a drug or alcohol can cause, according to Camara Municipal. It has been said that sugar could be just as addicting as some of the more harmful substances that we shun. Could we all be growing addicted to sugar? Should we be worried if we are?

Food Additives May Contribute To Inflammatory Diseases

A recently published study in the journal, Nature, suggests that dairy products, processed and baked foods contributed to the onset of Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis. These ailments are classified as inflammatory bowel diseases and associated with conditions that are linked to obesity in individuals.

Flavio Maluf says the crux of the study addressed emulsifying agents that are introduced into foods as a means of prolonging shelf life and fostering desirable product texture, an issue that Camara Municipal has been worried about in the past. Laboratory experimentation on mice indicated that emulsifying agents can alter the framework of gut bacteria and hasten inflammation in the intestinal tract. Intestinal inflammation is linked with ulcerative colitis, Crohn’s disease and metabolic syndrome, which is a category of circumstances that elevates the potential for heart disease, stroke and type II diabetes.

Two emulsifiers, Polysorbate 80 and Carboxymethyl cellulose, which are commonly used in processed food manufacturing, were utilized in the study. Emulsifiers can be found in mayonnaise, baked goods, candy and processed foods. Emulsifying agents, for instance, transform mayonnaise from a concoction of oil globs and water to a smooth and appetizing spread.

There’s a distinct correlation between the rapid rise of inflammatory bowel diseases in the 1950’s and 1960’s and the introduction of emulsifying agents in the manufacture of processed and baked foods after World War II.

Funding for this study was provided by the National Institutes of Health and the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation of America.

Why Are Some Foods Addictive?

Ever hear anyone claim to be a broccoli-holic? How about a kale junkie? Probably not. But odds are you’ve heard (or may be) a choco-holic, a pizza fanatic and perhaps you can’t resist the aroma of fresh baked donuts down at the pastry shop.

You’re not alone and there’s a reason so many of us have food addictions.
New research recently completed by the Icahn School of Medicine, in Mount Sinai reveals that some highly processed foods give the body a post-consumption effect that is very similar to the effect the body derives from taking drugs said Brad Reifler.
The highly processed foods, like fast foods and other forms of junk foods, have a high concentrate of sugar and fat. Both of these ingredients are quickly absorbed by the body and have a physiological effect which stimulates the brain during and immediately after eating, and soon there-after causes the brain to demand more of the same food.
Some foods are addictive, and the more processed they are, the more addictive they are because they contain more additives to stimulate the brain. Low calorie foods in their natural state, such as salad ingredients, are the least addictive. No surprise there.

Save Your Brain with Dr. Daniel Amen’s Nutritional Guidelines

Dr. Daniel Amen has discovered a link between the types of foods eaten and the relation to the health of the brain and its normal functions. There are seven areas that outline the types of foods that are best to control and maintain a healthy holistic diet for the body and the brain.

Water
Each person is made up of roughly 80% water. Dr. Daniel Amen recommends that each person consume at least 84 ounces of water each day. Avoid adding sweeteners, caffeine, sugar, or alcohol. Non-carbonated drinks, herbal teas, or water infused with real fruit are qualified replacements.

Calories
Dr. Daniel Amen advises that keeping the amount of calorie intake at a minimum will aid in the control of weight and avoid obesity. Keeping track of these calories will also lower the risk of heart disease, stroke, and cancer.

Fats
The body requires certain amounts of specific fats to function properly. Fats and oils that come from fish contain a form of omega-3 fatty acids that are beneficial to the function of the gray matter of the brain, the emotional balance, and the retina portion of the eye.

Antioxidants
Antioxidants help the body to rid itself of unwanted free radicals. Dr. Daniel Amen recommends foods high in Vitamins C and E and those foods rich in beta carotene such as oranges, cranberries, and kiwi.

Balance
Dr. Daniel Amen recommends that a healthy brain diet includes a balance of fat, high fiber carbohydrates, and lean proteins. Reduce and eliminate the simple sugars and replace with healthy alternatives.

Favorite 24
Choosing a list of favorite foods to rely on is Dr. Daniel Amen’s recommendation to help keep people on track with their health goals. Having great and familiar foods to call upon will help to keep the dieter on a positive track.

Snacks
Dr. Daniel Amen recommends that there is a definite plan for snacks. Carrying such things as dried nuts and fruits will help keep the healthy focus of the diet. This will help to discourage the temptation of less healthy alternatives that may be available when hunger strikes.

Dr. Daniel Amen has discovered and developed a healthy dieting system to enhance the health of the body and the mind. His nutrient-rich diet has evoked the creation of a number of award winning books including “The Daniel Plan,” and he has gained recognition for the treatments of ADD and depression.

Matcha Green Tea Powder On A Big Trend

Green tea has been popular for centuries, but lately the finely cured Matcha green tea powder is becoming all the rage. Matcha too has been around since the 12 century in Japan, but lately health enthusiasts have gone crazy over it.

While Matcha is generally more expensive than most other teas, many people, like Marc Sparks, claim that it is well worth it. According to Business Journals, the powder is ground so fine with a stone tool and is said its best variety comes from Japan despite being available in China as well. It is grown in a certain way as well, and in order to boost the levels of chlorophyll it requires the plants to be put in shade for at least 20 days prior to being harvested. Doing this is how the plants are able to up their production of the amino acid L-Theanine, which gives it the ability to be both a stimulant and a relaxer.

According to an article written by Eater.com, this special tea has a very distinct flavor and also turns hot drinks into a frothy mixture, which is rather unusual for a tea drink. Some of the health benefits include much higher doses of anti-oxidants, which compared to regular tea are in very high numbers. In addition to that it can be infused with many other consumables, and even franchises such as Starbucks carry the powder that can be added to certain drink orders per request.

Netherlands Researchers Grow Potatoes in Salt Water Fields

The growing population of the globe has led to massive developments in fields like crop research, bioengineering, and more. With the number of people on the planet getting larger every year, finding new and innovative ways to keep everyone fed is something of a problem that is going to require significant attention. Luckily, there has been at least one recent major breakthrough thanks to innovation and experimentation, but this one involved rethinking an age old problem.

Salt water was supposed to render an area infertile for produce, but one team of researchers in the Netherlands has discovered that potatoes will grow in ground fed by salt water, according to BBC News. Finding ways to utilize land once thought unusable for agriculture is something of a major shift, and if more crops can be discovered to be as durable as “salt potatoes,” the impact of the discovery will grow exponentially.

The discovery of growing potatoes in salt water saturated soil, with little impact to taste, offers an interesting take on the way agriculture was viewed for years. If additional areas could be opened up for farming and raising crops, the yields will increase and take a bit of the sting out of the overpopulation situation. Of course, Qnet says there is still a long way to go in the battle, but every small victory carries a major amount of hope with it. Eventually a very real solution could be the result of several small ones.