This story originally appeared on Grist.
When I was little–7, 8 years old–I used to be able to put away a steak with a gusto that my father remains proud of to this day. He happily recounts a meal we had in snow-covered central Wisconsin: A table full of my WASPy relatives watched, awestruck, as a tiny girl quietly devoured a massive steak with minimal ceremony. For as long as I can remember, one of my most beloved father-daughter traditions has been steak frites night–just the two of us, eating towering plates of grilled red meat and fried potatoes. Read more
This week, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) told food manufacturers to stop using partially hydrogenated oils (PHOs), the major source of artificial trans fats in processed foods ranging from nondairy creamers, to baked goods, margarine, and microwave popcorn. The move, the FDA said, “is expected to reduce coronary heart disease and prevent thousands of fatal heart attacks every year.” Read more
Timothy Burke describes his trick for making spring rolls with rice paper, which is notoriously difficult. With a bit of translation from his mom, the shy eight year old said, You dip them in a wide plate of hot water, and turn them, then take them out of the water and place them on another plate before they get soft. Then you add the vegetables and roll it up fast. Easy. Read more
In early May, a group of children lined up along tables to press small cookie cutter shapes into blocks of cheese. Next, they were given skewers and fruit and asked to design their own shish kebabs.
Teacher Kinga Kelly extolled the virtues of eating colorful foods–like bright red strawberries and deep purple blueberries–to the group. “What is the benefit of eating the rainbow?” she called out. “We get nutrients,” they called back. “Iron! Vitamin C for your immune system! Vitamin E for your skin! Vitamin A! Vitamin D for your bones!” Meanwhile, the thud of dribbled basketballs echoed from a gymnasium down the hall. Read more
When it comes to marketing to children, the food industry has long argued that it should regulate itself. In fact, 12 of the largest food companies in the world–including Coca-Cola, Kraft, Mars, McDonalds, and Nestlé—belong to a coalition that years ago established the Children’s Food and Beverage Advertising Initiative (CFBAI), a voluntary effort by the leading food and beverage companies to rein in their marketing of unhealthy foods and drinks to kids. Read more
As a pastry chef with 20 years of experience under her belt, Emily Luchetti was tired of being asked why she’s not overweight. As the Chief Pastry Officer at Big Night Restaurant Group in San Francisco and Board Chairman of the James Beard Foundation, she has been perfecting the art of making pastries with fresh, seasonal ingredients. But that doesn’t mean she thinks dessert should be eaten every day. Through her work, Luchetti says, “I’ve learned how to put it all into perspective—how to deal with having sugar around me all the time and still lead a healthy life.” Read more
Could the source of our protein be the most pressing environmental question of the day? Bill Gates seems to think so. The software tycoon has invested in two big plant-based protein start-ups: Hampton Creek and Beyond Meat, and has gone so far as to declare plant-based protein the future of food. Read more
Americans are obsessed with protein. We buy high-protein bars, high-protein cereals, protein-fortified drinks, and eat meat, eggs or dairy at nearly every meal. In fact, we eat more meat per capita (mostly pork, poultry, and beef) than any country in the world, more than 175 pounds per person per year. But why? Read more
Throughout human history, if you wanted to make a dish taste like strawberry, you had no choice but to add a strawberry. But in the 19th century, scientists began to understand how to synthesize flavor chemicals, whether from plants or from byproducts of coal processing, to evoke familiar flavors. While the technology to evaluate the flavor molecules of a particular food have become increasingly sophisticated in the past century, the basic concept of synthetic flavor has remained unchanged. Until now. In this episode of Gastropod, molecular biologists explain how they’re designing yeasts to ferment the tastes of the future. Read more
The Paleo diet has been promoted as the optimal diet, offering the eater a plethora of benefits including weight loss, disease prevention, and improved health. It is designed to mimic what our hunter-gatherer ancestors ate and includes grass-fed meats, nuts, seeds, eggs, fruits, vegetables, and some oils. Foods to avoid on the diet include all grains, cereals, dairy, beans, and potatoes, as well as processed foods, sugar, salt, and refined oils. Read more