Showing posts with label Food. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Food. Show all posts

April 6, 2015

The Chicken-less Egg

What Came First? Today is the Egg   

We might never learn which came first, the chicken or the egg, but we already know what’s coming next: the chicken-less egg.
Old-fashioned eggs are delicious and versatile, but nowadays most are produced in industrial factory farms, a system that requires a lot of energy, is highly polluting and involves force-feeding cramped, beak-less birds. So San Francisco-based startup Hampton Creek Foods has come up with a groundbreaking alternative: a plant-based egg that is healthier, safer and (they say) just as tasty. 
1.8 trillion eggs are laid every year, and 99 percent of them are produced in ways that would make most people want to throw up.
Seeing as eggs constitute an $8 billion market in the U.S. alone, Hampton Creek’s technology has tremendous commercial potential. “I realized the most effective way to change things is through capitalism, because it’s such an aggressive and powerful force,” says Josh Tetrick, who co-founded the biotech company with his best friend, Josh Balk, director of food policy at the Humane Society.
“We want to make it easier for good people to eat in a way that is good for the planet,” he explains. “1.8 trillion eggs are laid every year, and 99 percent of them are produced in ways that would make most people want to throw up.” 

In 2011, Tetrick began experimenting in his kitchen with everyday ingredients before quickly enlisting a team of biochemists, including people who had worked with noble laureates on a cure for HIV. His team studied the molecular structures of 1,500 types of plants from 40 different countries and identified 22 varieties with egg-like characteristics, such as the ability to emulsify and congeal.
Three years later, Hampton Creek has three products: Beyond Eggs, an egg-substitute powder sold in bulk to food manufacturers; Just Mayo, a cholesterol-free (and protein-free) mayonnaise-style condiment available for $4.49 at Whole Foods; and Eat the Dough, a chocolate-chip cookie dough that can safely be eaten raw (not yet available for sale).
The recipes don’t vary much from the originals, but Hampton Creek swaps out the eggs for vegetal ingredients like ground-up yellow peas, sorghum and canola oil.
There are already other companies selling egg substitutes, but they’re made mostly of potato starch and tend to be marketed to home bakers. Hampton Creek, on the other hand, offers plant-based products and targets both consumers and large food corporations. The company’s ambitions go far beyond satisfying a few vegan foodies; it wants to make the multibillion-dollar egg industry obsolete.
To keep up with all the demands for the growing global population, we need to be more efficient, more environmentally friendly, and have more quality and affordable choices.
Hampton Creek’s plans may sound like a pipe dream, but Bill Gates sees it differently. So far, Hampton Creek has raised $30 million in funding, and Gates is just one name on its long list of high-profile investors. Others include Li Ka-shing, No. 14 on the list of the world’s wealthiest men, and Yahoo co-founder Jerry Yang.
Backers are inspired by the company’s mission to provide a sustainable solution to the impending food crisis. In 2000, the global demand for eggs was 14 million tons — a number that’s expected to reach 38 million by 2030.
But what fascinates Silicon Valley investors most is the prospect of revolutionizing an industry that has barely changed in 100 years. “When you show them that 1.8 trillion eggs are laid in such antiquated ways, they are shocked,” explains Tetrick. “As capitalists who care about profits, they say, ‘This is crazy.’” 

 So Hampton Creek sells itself on economics as much as environmentalism. Nearly 70 percent of egg production costs comes from chicken feed, so if birds are removed from the equation, the profit margins become substantially more enticing.
Not surprisingly, conventional egg producers have gone on the defensive. To discourage consumers from trying “eggless” alternatives, the American Egg Board launched a campaign called “Accept No Substitutes.”
“Consumers want natural ingredients and a clean label,” says Joanne Ivy, the board’s president. “Nothing is much more natural than an egg.”
But folks at Hampton Creek beg to differ. Their headquarters may resemble a science lab, but their products contain no artificial flavors or colors. 
And to ensure that their inventions are not only eco-conscious but also taste great, chefs from the world’s top restaurants have been hired to work alongside the biochemists. So far, the products have fooled skeptics in blind tests, including celebrity chef Andrew Zimmern, who said, “I preferred the taste of their Just Mayo to Hellmann’s, my ‘must-have’ brand.”  
Hampton Creek’s Just Mayo.
For Tetrick, eggs are just the beginning. “We are like Google’s search engine: The more we catalog, the more we can offer,” he says. Hampton Creek’s scientists have also found a plant variety that could replace sugar, and one that smells like beef.
But before it can take on the meat industry, Hampton Creek has to prove it can move beyond the healthy, wealthy, eco-friendly crowd and capture the mainstream consumer. Tetrick is optimistic. “People don’t buy mayo because they love eggs. They buy it because they love mayo,” he says. By delivering great-tasting, natural alternatives, Tetrick hopes to win them over.
Food industry analyst Roger Roberts, of PA Consulting Group, thinks Tetrick’s bid is well-timed, and that the animal-based food industry is “the 21st century’s biggest dinosaur.” 
A crucial test will come in early 2015, when Hampton Creek’s boldest product — an eggless mix for scrambles — hits store shelves. Meanwhile, the startup just signed retail partnerships with six Fortune 500 companies and, with the help of Li Ka-shing, hopes to expand to China, where their plant-based egg substitute could mitigate the risk of avian flu. 
For a company with only 55 employees, scaling could be the next challenge. “I don’t want us to spread ourselves too thin,” says Tetrick. But with heavyweight investors and a tasty product that’s also good for the environment, Hampton Creek may have cracked the recipe for abolishing factory farming, one bite at a time.

Article taken from: OZY - Smarter, Fresher, Different 

July 23, 2014

What’s in McD’s famous french fries? Not just potato and oil?

Its summer and it’s getting hot, sometimes too hot to cook at home. But wether you cook at home or not there is always lunch time. For many it means a trip for fast food. McD’s french fries have always been number one in surveys and I most admit they are my favorites. Have you ever wonder what’s in those crunchy fries?? Thanks to an article in Wired we get the answers. I most admit I was disappointed. I always thought that it was just a very fine nicely cut potato. I’m aware than in NYC restaurants are not allowed to use hydrogenated fats so I assumed it was a potato fried in some sort of vegetable or canola oil. I was disappointed. After you read this if you could let me know how you feel about it I will appreciated it. It will also prompt me to post similar articles once in a while.  

What Exactly Is in McDonald’s French Fries?

Mickey D’s uses varieties like the Russet Burbank, which have a nice oval shape and just the right balance of starch and sugar. Excess sugar can cause a fry to have brown spots where it’s over-caramelized, leaving a burnt taste and deviating from the uniform yellow-arches color. Just in case, the spuds are blanched after slicing, removing surplus sugar.
Taters can turn a nasty hue even after they’re fried—iron in the spud reacts with the potato’s phenolic compounds, discoloring the tissue. The phosphate ions in SAPP trap the iron ions, stalling the reaction and keeping the potatoes nice and white throughout the process.
In the good old days, McDonald’s fries were cooked in beef tallow. But customer demand for less saturated fat prompted a switch to vegetable oil in the early ’90s. Here, that means oils of varying saturations combined into something reminiscent of beef tallow. There’s canola (about 8 percent saturated fat), soybean oil (16 percent), and hydrogenated soybean oil (94 percent). And to replace the essence of beef tallow? “Natural beef flavor,” which contains hydrolyzed wheat and milk proteins that could be a source of meaty-tasting amino acids.
That’s right, the fries get two batches of vegetable oil—one for par-frying at the factory and another for the frying bath on location. The second one adds corn oil and an additive called TBHQ, or tertbutylhydroquinone, which at high doses can cause nasty side effects in rats (mmmm … stomach tumors). McDonald’s uses this oil for all its frying, so the stuff usually sits around in big vats, which means it can go rancid as oxygen plucks hydrogens from lipids. TBHQ acts as an antioxidant, replacing those pilfered hydrogens with its own supply.
A brief dip in a corn-based sugar solution replaces just enough of the natural sweet stuff that was removed by blanching. The result is a homogeneous outer layer that caramelizes evenly. You’ll add more sugar later when you squirt on the ketchup.
Sprinkled on just after frying, the crystals are a uniform diameter—just big enough to get absorbed quickly by crackling-hot oil. Now add ketchup and you’ve achieved the hedonistic trifecta: fat, salt, and sugar.
By: Katie M. Palmer

July 3, 2014

Flatten your belly with new information from studies: Dr.Oz


In the mood to blast belly fat and boost weight loss? Dr. Mehmet Oz says he has the answer for flattening your tummy with the newest discoveries. He revealed them on his talk show Monday, including tips on high-fat dairy backed by a new study.
When it comes to stubborn sags and fat bags, belly fat ranks on the top of the list of hard-to-budge spots. Dr. Oz says one key is to implement safe solutions for boosting your metabolism and thus accelerating weight loss. But if you think that means cutting fat, you're wrong.
Dr. Oz advises avoiding fat-free and low-fat foods, because they often replace fats with sugar. He recommends eating Swiss cheese, which is high in calcium, to flatten your belly.
And a new study supports his claim that full-fat dairy foods are safe. Researchers challenged the theory that eating dairy foods high in fat, such as cheese and butter, increase the risk of dying, reported Medical Xpress on Monday.
After completing their study, they found no risk of cardiovascular disease or other problems. Instead, they discovered that high fat dairy is healthy, said dietitian Therese O'Sullivan.
"Dairy fat has been shown to increase the good cholesterol in the blood," she revealed. In addition, the beneficial bacteria can "help with our gut biome," which has been shown to boost weight loss.
In addition to dairy, Dr. Oz recommends healthy fats such as avocado and olives. And to season that avocado, try hot sauce, which Dr. Oz says boosts your metabolism.
Another metabolism booster is green tea. Dr. Oz recommends two cups a day.
Seeking a supplement? Try L-Arginine, which helps your body burn more fat when you exercise. In addition, use acacia powder to stay full and cut down on your food.
For weight loss weapons, eat foods high in water, says Dr. Oz. Examples include cucumbers, watermelon and strawberries.
Do you suffer from carb confusion? You're not alone: Many dieters are unsure about the difference between "good" carbs and "bad" carbs.
Dr. Oz recommends choosing sweet potatoes to replace carbohydrates made with white flour. Theyre high in fiber (but skip the butter and marshmallows).

December 19, 2013

Has Your Expensive Steak Been Glued Together?

Thumbnail image for beef.jpg

Most of us, one time or another, have gone to large gatherings that served food during the occasion. The event may have been a 50th birthday, bar mitzvah, wedding anniversary, etc. Chances are included free with the meat was some glue, an adhesive enzyme.
 These enzymes are used to bandage meat remnants together. Did you ever wonder why the pieces of beef are all same uniform size when the plates hit the table. Corporate butchers actually mesh them together so they look like clones. It is done so well you don’t notice all the tiny pieces that make up your piece of steak. Taste is like what you are expecting so any difference is not recognized by your palate.
The sticky material is made of protein-like substance called transglutaminase. Some is made from blood plasma components that cause clotting in pigs and cattle. It can also be made from bacteria.
This glutenous material is mainly used for meals in restaurants, on cruise ships and for weddings.
Heat kills any disease-causing bacteria on the outside of the meat. With these glues, the beef under the glue may not reach the proper temperature to decontaminate the underlying surface. This risk is significantly increased when ordering a rare or medium-rare serving.
There have been links to food poisoning from consumption of steak. Since the diners never knew their meat was glued together, correlations about something that was invisible is very difficult to prove. This can also be done with fish, chicken and other meats.
Renovating Your Mind has discovered this video clip from Australia that shows how meat glue works seamlessly to trick our senses.

June 15, 2013

10 MYTHS About The American Food You BUY-Eat

food myths in america
Top 10 All-American Food Myths
(Photo: Jamie Grill/Getty)

Author and journalist Tracie McMillan went undercover along the American food chain—as a picker in the garlic fields of California, a stocker in a Detroit-area Walmart, and a kitchen worker at a Brooklyn Applebee’s—to write her myth-busting book The American Way of Eating. Her astute observations about our food system got our attention well before they rankled Rush Limbaugh, who attacked her book on-air. Here she shares with us her top 10 American food myths, in her own words.
Myth 1
Only the affluent and educated care about their meals; the higher your income, the more you will know about, and care about, what you eat.
The desire to eat well is universal. In a recent survey of low-income families, 85 percent said eating healthy food was a priority. Despite achingly low wages and long work days, sometimes at two jobs, the people I lived and worked with found creative ways to supplement their diets with fruits and vegetables—traveling long distances to farmers’ markets where their food stamps were doubled on produce, or through meal-sharing, or small gardens.  
Myth 2
In America, the land of plenty, we grow more than enough food for everyone to eat nutritiously. If we could distribute it more evenly and make it affordable, we could all eat well.
We all know Americans need to eat better, but the truth is there aren’t enough fruits and vegetables grown here to make it possible. The U.S. food supply contains less than 60 percent of the vegetables required to meet recommended daily allowances, and less than half of the fruit. To change that, the U.S. would need to more than double the acreage devoted to fruit and vegetable crops.

Myth 3
The price of produce is directly proportional to farm worker wages; lower prices mean lower wages, and vice versa.
The bulk of food costs are tied to transportation, processing, and marketing—a full 84 percent. A very small portion goes to farm labor. And the sad reality is, many farm employers routinely cook the books to underpay workers, recording fewer hours than were worked in the field to give the illusion that workers earn minimum wage. When I picked garlic in California, the highest wage I earned was $3.40 an hour. This was entirely illegal—and entirely common. If wages went up for everyone—via a minimum wage hike—the USDA estimates that food prices would increase by less than one percent. Similarly, if the wages of farm workers alone increased by 40 percent, the average American family would see this as a $16 per year increase in their grocery costs.
Myth 4
Rich people spend more on food than the poor.
Poor and working-class families spend a much larger share of their paychecks on food than the affluent. In 2010, households earning from $5,000 to $35,000 a year spent 16 to 35 percent of their income on food, whereas those earning $70,000 a year or more spent 8 percent. Imagine spending a third of your income on food! Our current food system makes eating healthy very difficult for a lot of Americans.
Myth 5
Finding nutritious food is as easy as going to the supermarket; if you can’t afford organic food, grocery stores offer abundant conventional produce options. It’s a matter of choosing good food over junk food.
All over our country, but especially in urban areas, there are communities where the primary grocery options are in liquor stores and convenience stores. Produce, if it’s offered, is often paltry and past its prime. People living in these “food deserts” spend a great deal of non-work time driving (if they have a car; and gas is not cheap) to get to a supermarket. It’s hard to believe if you live in an area where there are plenty of grocery stores that there are communities where they don’t exist. But it’s true.
Like water and electricity, real food—not processed, packaged food—is a natural resource all our communities should have ready access to.
Myth 6
Convenience foods—like Hamburger Helper—are time and money savers. Eating healthy is more expensive than eating junk food.
Food companies don’t want us to know it, but most of the convenience they’re selling us is an illusion. When I tried to make a from-scratch version of Hamburger Helper, I expected it would be faster, and it was: by one minute. In fact, a study of dual-income families’ cooking habitsfound that those who use convenience foods don’t save any time on meal prep. But what really shocked me was the price comparison. Making Hamburger Helper from scratch saved me 69 percent off the cost of the box, and 42 percent on the overall price of the meal.

Myth 7
Most of America’s produce is grown in the Heartland.
Farms in the Midwest are primarily dedicated to growing commodity crops like rice, wheat, soy, cotton, and corn. In 2008 we spent 42 percent of the nation’s farm subsidies on these crops (used primarily for sweeteners, fuel, animal feed, and grain) and just 5 percent on fruits and vegetables. Our fresh produce is grown largely in California or overseas.
Myth 8
Small farmers are the backbone of our agricultural system.
Farming has become an industrialized process, and most communities are fed by a shrinking number of very large farms, rather than a vast network of small, independent ones. Today, 6 percent of farms, at an average size of more than 2,200 acres, generate 75 percent of farm sales, making the 2010s an era of unparalleled economic concentration in agriculture. The vast scale of these farms is no accident: As supermarket chains consolidated in the 1990s, creating huge demand centered at one company, farmers had to get big, too. After all, a chain of 200 stores doesn’t need just one pick-up full of green peppers, but several semi-trucks’ worth. And those who couldn’t get big simply had to get out.
Myth 9
Walmart is the best solution to food deserts.
Walmart got to be our country’s largest grocer by leveraging massive quantities of scale, but here’s the thing: those economies require industrial food, boxed stuff that can sit around without going bad. Healthy food like produce can't be made as cheap. And though one in four American dollars spent on produce is at Walmart, it’s not necessarily the cheapest place for it. When I worked at Walmart, produce at my local supermarket was cheaper by 8 percent, and the meat cheaper by 17 percent. Walmart may draw you in with deals on the processed stuff – these are called loss leaders – but as soon as you start putting the fresh stuff in your cart, you may actually end up spending more.
Myth 10
Restaurants serve meals prepared from scratch, using raw ingredients and recipes.
Many restaurants do, of course! But just as many, from the least to the most expensive, and to varying degrees, are food assembly lines where workers simply heat, arrange, and serve food delivered to their back doors frozen or in bags. Chefs I worked with at Applebee’s lamented the time when they actually cooked food!

May 14, 2013

China is Killing Us

As I pointed out in the past China is killing us not just by poorly manufactured goods but the big problem is the food. They don’t have controls to make farmers avoid banned chemicals that we end up eating here. The best plan is to try to consume our goods here.

In the past couple of months, there has been one report after another about food scandals in China. The most recent one was (if that’s possible) the most stomach-turning yet: meat from rats, foxes and minks was found to be packaged as mutton.
904 people have been arrested for “meat-related crimes,” China’s official Xinhua news agency reports:
Pork adulterated with clenbuterol, cooking oil recycled from leftovers in restaurant kitchens, pork from diseased pigs and toxic gelatin for medicine capsule production have all been found by police in recent years, with the latest case involving making fake mutton and beef from rat, fox and mink by adding chemicals.
Small wonder that in Hong Kong, which imports much of its food including vegetables and eggs from China, an organic foods movement has sprung up. The South China Morning Post reports that Hong Kong residents now consume some four tons of organic produce a day. That’s a mere drop in the bucket — 0.23 percent — of the 1,400 tons of produce eaten daily, but certainly a sign that people are willing to go out of their way find food that hasn’t been “treated” with substances one would rather not consume. There are now 400 organic farms in Hong Kong; ten years ago, there were only 20.
The food scandals in China also alert us all to the importance of seeking out vegetables, fruits and other foods that we can trace the origins of and that are grown locally, especially at a time when the U.S. imports about 20 percent of its food and is likely to start importing more.
Even though so much more of our food comes from far away, less and less of it is being inspected to ensure it is safe. The Food Safety Modernization Act was signed into law in 2011 with such concerns in mind, but Congress has yet to provide enough funds to the FDA to fully implement the law. The White House’s 2014 budget does call for an increase in the FDA’s funding, but “most money would come from fees that the food industry and Congress oppose,” says the New York Times.
Four years ago, the FDA inspected food plants and safety programs in 32 countries. But last year, it only did so in ten countries. ”Thanks” to the sequester, the FDA will be able to perform even fewer inspections than it does currently, the  New York Times underscores. Since 2010, the Agriculture Department’s foreign inspection budget has declined 18 percent. While it says it will be focusing on inspections in countries with a history of food safety problems, it will not be conducting annual inspections of every country that exports products to the U.S.
The sorts of food scandals (such as the discovery in 2008 that milk formula for babies was being “supplemented” with melamine) that seem to have become near-routine in China do not occur in the U.S. But we do hear plenty about outbreaks of food poisoning, including one in April in which at least 73 people in 19 states became sickened with salmonella from Mexican cucumbers.
Will it take a scare about our food supply like those occurring in China to alert Congress about why we really, really need to step up inspections of food that other countries export to the U.S.?
{Adam with care2care}

May 3, 2013

Hundreds of Arrests in Beijing For Selling Fake Food

China fake meat

I don’t know about you but whenever I see 'Made in China' on  something I have to buy and can’t find an American (North or South)  substitute I get very nervous. Particularly if it has to do with food. I  love fish, but because the most price friendly is almost always chinese I stop eating fish. The chinese have  to get control of their exports otherwise their financial recovery is in danger.  This particular arrest doesn’t say that the chinese authorities are in control but that they are bursting with fake meat or badly grown fish ( fed with contaminated feed). Lets not even talk about their other stuff like toys and furniture.  For this market like you can see on the picture the problem is as big as China is.
(Upi reports the following below). adamfoxie*

BEIJING, More than 900 people were arrested in the past three months for selling fake or tainted meat in China, officials said.
The arrests were part of a national crackdown on "deep-seated food safety problems" that need to be addressed, an official, whose name was not reported, told China's state-run Xinhua news agency.
Officials said they discovered nearly 400 cases of meat fraud and seized more than 20,000 tons of fake meat.
Authorities discovered cases in which suppliers used hydrogen peroxide to process chicken claws, and others injected water into meat to increase its weight, CNN reported.
In one case, suspects made fake mutton using meat from foxes, mink and rats after adding chemicals, Xinhua reported Thursday.
An official said investigators will now focus on dairy products after a high-profile case in which melamine, a compound used to make resins, was found in baby milk formula.

This particular Video is a report on fake rice:

April 13, 2013

A Food Chain Will Be Offering Cannabis-Fravored Mayonnaise

French fries and mayonnaise
A chain of Dutch fast-food restaurants is about to roll out a new condiment that is certain to appeal to stoned college students everywhere: Cannabis-flavored mayonnaise.
As Americans know from that famous scene in Pulp Fiction, mayonnaise is the condiment of choice to accompany french fries in parts of Europe, and Manneken Pis — a chain of eateries named after a famous resident of Belgium — is one of Amsterdam’s most popular spots for friet. But before eager backpackers hear “Amsterdam” and “marijuana” together in the same sentence and jump to conclusions, be warned that the recipe does not contain the active ingredient tetrahydrocannabinol, commonly known as THC.
“It’s just about the taste,” says Albert van Beek, owner of Manneken Pis,  reports Sky News. “We specialize in sauces and we constantly want to diversify. I had the idea because I smell the cannabis coming from the coffee shop opposite my chip shop in Amsterdam every day.”
The Netherlands has long had some of the world’s most liberal laws regarding recreational drug use, and plans to stop tourists from frequenting Amsterdam’s famous marijuana-selling “coffee shops” were scrapped less than six months ago.  Still, to make sure nobody gets the wrong impression, Sky News reports that the menus at Manneken Pis will clearly state that the mayo won’t get you high.

April 9, 2013

Red Meat is Linked to Heart Disease Via Bacteria in Your Gut

A new study has linked red meat to heart disease via the growth of bacteria in the gut that causes plaque in the arteries. (Justin Tallis/AFP/Getty Images)
What do you think?
A new study has shown new links between eating red meat and heart disease.
Researchers at the Cleveland Clinic found that the fatty composition of meat was not solely to blame for meat's tendency to increase heart disease risk.
They found that there is a link between gut bacteria, increased risk of heart attacks and a compound found in meat called carnitine.
"Carnitine metabolism suggests a new way to help explain why a diet rich in red meat promotes atherosclerosis,"said lead author Stanley Hazen, of the Cleveland Clinic.
The complex connection goes something like this.
When we eat meat a compound is created in the body called trimethylamine-N-oxide (TMAO) as bacteria from the digestive tract breaks down carnitine.
More TMAO leads to the creation of plaque in the arteries causing atherosclerosis.
Atherosclerosis, in turn, causes heart disease - the leading cause of death in the developed world.
The study authors looked at over 2500 patients and found that as carnitine levels and subsequently TMAO levels increased, heart disease risk rose.
Those who had vegan and vegetarian diets showed low levels of TMAO.
Carnitine is also found in products like energy drinks and weight loss supplements.

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