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Archive for January, 2012

The word “poop” either makes people squeamish or they just start laughing. It’s funny how something we all do virtually every day, is so tabu to talk about amongst adults (except when talking about your baby’s poop and then it is totally normal to talk about every aspect of it). In this video, Suzanne Somers interviews Brenda Watson, “poop expert” and they discuss how often you should have a bowel movement, what color it should be and even how it should smell.

It should come as no surprise that your poop can be an excellent indicator of overall health and especially of your digestive health. Watson reminds us of how our toxic food of today (antibiotics in food, GMOs), lack of essential minerals and low levels of omega-3s are killing all our beneficial gut bacteria. It is pretty tough for our bodies to function properly without the good bacteria. She also discusses the effect of food sensitivities and how many of us are walking around with inflamed digestive systems that are causing everything from digestive issues to weight gain.If you’ve ever wondered if your poop is normal or what could be causing those long, painful sessions in the restroom, watch this 6 minute video.

Related: Raw Milk Gets a Raw Deal

Picture this: You head into Starbucks or Peet’s Coffee for your favorite morning vice. You’re trying to be more eco, so you hand the barista a glass canning jar to fill up. Wait, what? Yes, you read that correctly. The brilliant minds behind this amazingly simple idea created Cuppow; a thin, plastic “sipping” insert that turns a wide-mouthed canning jar into your daily travel mug. When you think about it, it just make sense. Canning jars are made from heat-resistant glass, they are cheap, pretty durable, and most of us already have a few laying around. Joshua Resnikoff and Aaron Panone are the genius minds behind this ultra cool device and for $7.99* you get a reusable, BPA free, dishwasher safe, 100% recyclable Cuppow. Let’s not forget the street cred you’re going to earn toting one of these babies around. Must. Have. One. Now.

Watch this 1 minute video to see Cuppow in action. For more information and to order your own, visit: cuppow.com.

CUPPOW! from Paper Fortress on Vimeo.

 


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Tailgating amongst 100,000 Tiger fans at a LSU football game is a experience not to be missed. You know it must be special when you learn that thousands of the purple-and-gold clad Louisianians there, don’t even have a ticket to the game.  While chips and dips may make an appearance, it’s the cast iron cauldrons of jambalaya, gumbo and Boudin that take center stage. These Southerners don’t mess around with anything but the best when it comes to college football. And when it comes to cookware, it’s cast iron all the way.

There are a ton of reasons to make the switch to cast iron cookware. Perhaps the most important is that of safety. If you are still using non-stick pans, bakeware and griddles, take the time to understand the risks before you whip up your next dish. Here are the top 6 reasons why people are choosing to go back to basics with cast iron:
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On my last trip to Indonesia, I ate papaya every day for two weeks straight. This tropical fruit is typically served after dinner as it is not only sweet but also aids in digestion. The papaya is peeled and de-seeded, chopped into bite-sized chunks, and displayed with lime wedges and dainty forks. I can tell you that not once did I tire of this luscious and delectable treat.

Today, the USDA (United States Department of Agriculture) sent out a press release announcing that the Government of Japan will now allow commercial import of genetically modified papaya to Japan. The approved variety is called Rainbow papaya and it is grown in the state of Hawaii. Below, the USDA explains how and why Rainbow papaya was created:
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Your family is visiting a friend’s family for the holiday weekend. The friend generously offers to have you stay at their house. Things are going great until it’s lunchtime and out comes the florescent orange mac & cheese and fake lemonade. What do you do? Well, you have a few options: (1) tell yourself that it’s only a few meals and it won’t seriously impact the kids’ health (2) tell your host that you’d never feed your child that crap (3) come prepared in anticipation of this possible scenario.

Health is incredibly important and I’m generally in favor of doing whatever you have to do to eat healthy. However, friendship is also precious and waving your nose in the air at her meal suggestion is not advisable either. No one likes to be made to feel bad about the way they feed their family. Instead, come prepared. Here are a few suggestions to survive a junk food weekend.
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I like condiments. Sauces, dips, drizzles and sprinkles. Having the right agent for the right dish. Mushroom risotto is just that much more superb with a sprinkling of freshly grated Aged Parmesan. Toasted sourdough bread practically begs for a luscious and moisturizing spread of mayo. Given my affection for accoutrements (one of my favorite words as long as it’s pronounced with a French accent and optional grandiose hand gesture), it shouldn’t really come as surprise that I might have tempura sauce for, you guessed it, tempura. What sucks, though, is when you look at that Kikkoman bottle that’s been in your fridge (for, dare I say…years?) and take a glance at the ingredient label:

Ingredients: naturally brewed soy sauce (water, soybeans, salt), sugar, water, salt, vinegar, bonito extract (fish), natural flavoring, monosodium glutamate, caramel color, disodium inosinate, disodium guanylate, succinic acid, sodium benzoate. 

I’m not even going to start a dialogue about the possible issues of soy at this juncture, but rather stick with the other goodness that blesses this dipping agent.

Monosodium Glutamate (MSG) – This oldie but goodie just won’t go away. If you are wondering why your asthma is suddenly flaring up or what the deal is with your headache and heart palpitations, this flavor enhancer could be to blame.

Caramel Color – The type of caramel color generally used for soy sauce type products is prepared with heat and ammonium compounds (Caramel III). In February 2011 the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) petitioned the FDA to bar the use of caramel colorings produced with ammonia  due to the formation of two known carcinogens (2-Methylimidazole & 4-Methylimidazole). Great, now my “sauce” is going to give me cancer. At a minimum,  caramel coloring produced with ammonia needs to be labeled differently so consumers will know which type of caramel coloring was used.

Sodium Benzoate – This extremely popular preservative may also exacerbate asthma and in animal studies there are reports of liver and kidney issues. It has also been linked to hyperactivity.

Disodium Inosinate, Disodium Guanylate – On their own, these two additives are somewhat benign. They are not doing you any favors, but probably not going to kill you. However, I bring them up because they are virtually exclusively used in conjunction with MSG. If you see these two culprits, put the object back on the shelf and walk away.

Clearly this tempura dipping sauce is not something any self-respecting, co-founder of a food additive database website should have anywhere near her fridge. Yet, it was. I consider myself on notice. Check your refrigerators, especially those condiment containers that seem to last forever) and pantries for gems like these. Then, take great pride in chucking them. This is 2012 my friends and it is time to make the commitment to ditching the pseudo food.

Let’s be real for a minute. Does anyone actually stick to their new year’s resolutions? My Twitter feed is loaded with links to articles like, “10 Resolutions You’ll Actually Stick To!” Over the holiday, my sister-in-law asked me if I’ve ever had a resolution that worked and if yes, for how long. I started to ponder and I honestly don’t think I’ve had one work longer than a few months. But hey, don’t think that will stop me from setting new ones. Maybe 2102 will be the year!

Before I dive into my resolutions, I first want to pat myself on the back for a few food related things I did accomplish this year. They weren’t new year’s resolutions, but a goal none the less. I really should say “we” since all of these include my hubby too.
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