The dairy industry is in the process of making an attempt that may or may not surprise you: asking that the “artificially sweetened” label be dropped from dairy products when they contain sweeteners such as aspartame. In this day and age, it seems as though companies and industries are becoming sneakier and sneakier with the ingredients placed in their products. However, if this specific measure is approved by the FDA, serious implications could occur.
Being diagnosed with a food allergy can be very overwhelming. You know that you have to avoid certain foods in order to feel better, but reading food labels and cutting out foods you’ve always eaten can be confusing. Let’s talk a bit about why and how you need to avoid certain foods in order to live a healthy lifestyle.
A food allergy is an autoimmune disorder. What does that mean? It means that your body’s immune system produces antibodies (which normally protect against infectors) in reaction to a food which is normally found and tolerated by the body. According to the FDA, each year 30,000 Americans go to the emergency room; 2,000 of those are hospitalized and 150 deaths occur each year from severe food allergies. I’m not using these numbers to scare or intimidate, but the avoidance of food allergens is the best preventative way know to curb these sometimes serious reactions. The symptoms of an allergic reaction can range from non-existent, to gastro intestinal disorders, to anaphylaxis (which can be life- threatening). Whatever the symptoms are, it’s very important to avoid your allergen and the foods that contain it.
Thanks to the world of Twitter, I bring you a cool video from SunsetMagazine.com. In 3 minutes and 9 seconds you will: see an awesome below-counter fridge, wish you were French so you could appear as effortlessly eco-chic as the woman in the video, and perhaps feel a tad bit crappy for not doing more. Do you have a fantastic tip for reducing waste in your kitchen? Please share!
Thanks @LisaBraithwaite for tweeting!
I’d been seeing “Greek-style” yogurt for quite some time before I actually tried it. My first thought was why the heck did I wait so long? This stuff is tasty. It’s thick, uber creamy, tart, and satisfying. Apparently, I’m not the only one licking my spoon. 5 years ago Greek-style yogurt was a $60 million business in the US. Fast forward to 2011 and sales are predicted to be $1.5 billion. Everyone wants a piece of the action and yogurt giants, Dannon and Yoplait, are scrambling as tiny player, Chobani, sky rockets to #1 with 10% market share in all yogurt.
Yogurt is often called a “superfood” and for good reason. It’s high in protein and the live cultures (probiotics) and helpful bacteria help maintain the healthy flora in our gut. A recent long-term study, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, found that yogurt was inversely associated with weight gain. The more yogurt the participants ate, the less they gained weight. The popularity of yogurt shows no signs of slowing down as just last year, The Dairy Council of California named yogurt as the food trend of the decade. If you haven’t tried Greek-style yet, you’re missing out. Here is a helpful Q&A on this special variation of yogurt:
While scrolling through my wall today, I stumbled upon this infographic from visualeconomics that Dr. La Puma posted on his Facebook page. I love checking out food related infographics and found this particular one interesting. Let’s see, we eat more fats & oils than chicken, more sugar & corn sweeteners than red meat, and crazy amounts of dairy (631 lbs per year if you combine cheese & dairy). The total amount of fruits and vegetables (688 lbs) looks decent, although I wish I could see a stat on what percentage of that number is fresh vs. heavily processed (aka. Campbell’s canned vegetable soup and the 29 lbs of potatoes in our french fries). I’m not entirely sure what “beverage milks” means. Does it include chocolate milk or is it just non-dairy “milks” such as almond, hemp, soy, etc., or all of the above?
What really caught by eye, though, was the section down below that shows the average American consumes 24 POUNDS of artificial sweeteners per year. 24 pounds? That’s about what my daughter weighed when she was 2 years old (and coincidentally, the size of the average giraffe heart…fun fact). If you think you’re not consuming artificial sweeteners, think again. They are hiding everywhere. It’s the saccharin in your iced tea, the aspartame in your diet soda, and the sucralose in that ice cream bar. Even your chewing gum has been infiltrated as it’s virtually impossible to walk into a grocery store and buy a pack without artificial sweeteners. These innocuous powders also lurk in diet foods, products marketed to diabetics, and all sorts of no-sugar treats. Even Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf uses artificial sweeteners in their “no sugar” beverages (I honestly thought that they were made without any sweetener until I actually asked). If you want to reduce your intake, start by reading labels. Once you spot these guys, make the commitment to try a new brand that doesn’t contain artificial sweeteners, make it yourself, or better yet, give it up altogether. Can’t quit yet? Yes, you over there drinking your Diet Coke. Start by reducing your intake until you can break the habit altogether.
Check out the infographic down below for details and tell us what you find significant.
Source: Visual Economics
Dairy, dairy quite contrary
How does your bacteria grow?
With metal grates and heated plates,
And filthy cows all in a row.
Ever wonder how your milk gets from the cow to your bowl of cereal? Grist.org just did a great story on dairy. Essentially, milk goes through a 3-step process of pasteurization, homogenization and fortification. Here is a list of must-know terms from today’s milk production.
Pasteurization is the process of using heat to destroy microorganisms in foods. Do you know the difference between pasteurized, ultra-pasteurized, and raw? Here are the 4 main ways dairy is pasteurized:
High Temperature Short Time (HTST)
This is the most common method of pasteurization in the U.S. HTST uses metal plates and hot water to raise milk temperatures to at least 161F/72C degrees for a minimum of 15 seconds, followed by rapid cooling.
Ultra Pasteurized (UP)
Milk or milk product is heated to 280F/138 C degrees for two seconds. UP results in a product with longer shelf life, but still requires refrigeration. Most organic milk is ultra pasteurized to extend the shelf life.
I love ice cream. I love Cold Stone’s Signature Creation, Mud Pie Mojo (coffee ice cream, Oreos, peanut butter, roasted almonds and fudge). There is something about those two spades mushing up my gooey concoction on a freezing marble slab that makes me happy. I’m a label-reading-freak and yet I somehow seem to turn a blind eye when out for an after-dinner treat. Just a quick look at this “creation” tells me that I’ll be eating a boatload of sugar along with a highly likely dose of hydrogenated oils and high fructose corn syrup. But what about the ice cream itself?