Author Archive for Chef Andreas Kurfürst

Passion and love for my work has helped me to explore and travel to many places all over the planet. There is an amazing amount of food variety, quality and flavor combinations out there. Here, we would like to present you with some ideas; some maybe new, some old, some healthy, some sweet, some spicy, but mostly; just simply delicious and for you to enjoy! Best Wishes and Great Dishes

Stop Food Waste Day

SAVE FOOD: Global Initiative on Food Loss and Waste Reduction

Key facts on food loss and waste you should know!

33% of all food produced globally is lost or wasted every year

45% of root crops, fruit and vegetables produced globally is lost or wasted per year

25% of the food wasted globally could feed all 795 million undernourished people in the world

Food losses and waste amounts to roughly US$ 680 billion in industrialized countries and US$ 310 billion in developing countries

  • Fruits and vegetables, plus roots and tubers have the highest wastage rates of any food. 
  • Global quantitative food losses and waste per year are roughly 30% for cereals, 40-50% for root crops, fruits and vegetables, 20% for oil seeds, meat and dairy plus 35% for fish. 
  • Every year, consumers in rich countries waste almost as much food (222 million tonnes) as the entire net food production of sub-Saharan Africa (230 million tonnes). 
  • The amount of food lost or wasted every year is equivalent to more than half of the world’s annual cereals crop (2.3 billion tonnes in 2009/2010). 
  • Per capita waste by consumers is between 95-115 kg a year in Europe and North America, while consumers in sub-Saharan Africa, south and south-eastern Asia, each throw away only 6-11 kg a year. 
  • Total per capita food production for human consumption is about 900 kg a year in rich countries, almost twice the 460 kg a year produced in the poorest regions. 
  • In developing countries 40% of losses occur at post-harvest and processing levels while in industrialized countries more than 40% of losses happen at retail and consumer levels.
  •  At retail level, large quantities of food are wasted due to quality standards that over emphasise appearance.
  • Food loss and waste also amount to a major squandering of resources, including water, land, energy, labour and capital and needlessly produce greenhouse gas emissions, contributing to global warming and climate change.
  • In developing countries food waste and losses occur mainly at early stages of the food value chain and can be traced back to financial, managerial and technical constraints in harvesting techniques as well as storage and cooling facilities. Strengthening the supply chain through the direct support of farmers and investments in infrastructure, transportation, as well as in an expansion of the food and packaging industry could help to reduce the amount of food loss and waste.
  •  In medium- and high-income countries food is wasted and lost mainly at later stages in the supply chain. Differing from the situation in developing countries, the behaviour of consumers plays a huge part in industrialized countries. The study identified a lack of coordination between actors in the supply chain as a contributing factor. Farmer-buyer agreements can be helpful to increase the level of coordination. Additionally, raising awareness among industries, retailers and consumers as well as finding beneficial use for food that is presently thrown away are useful measures to decrease the amount of losses and waste.

Sources: stopfooodwaste.com & fao.org

Is Breakfast The Most Important Meal Of The Day? New Research Suggests Not

We often hear that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, especially if we’re trying to manage their weight. But new research suggests this might not be true. 

Previous studies have suggested that eating breakfast revs up the metabolism and can help dieters stop overeating later in the day.

But a new review found that eating breakfast does not appear to help people lose weight and should not necessarily be recommended as a weight-loss strategy. 

Experts from Monash University in Melbourne, Australia, examined 13 studies related to breakfast and weight in high income countries, including the UK.

The pooled results found a very small difference in weight between those who ate breakfast and those who did not, with those who skipped breakfast on average 0.44kg lighter. Those who ate breakfast also ate more calories per day – about 260 more on average.

People who skipped breakfast did not compensate by eating more later in the day, the review found.

The researchers also found no significant difference in metabolic rates between breakfast eaters and breakfast skippers – suggesting there is no evidence that eating it may help with weight loss due to “efficient” burning of calories earlier in the day.

The authors said the overall quality of the studies was low and more research is needed.

Writing in the BMJ, they said: “Caution is needed when recommending breakfast for weight loss in adults, as it could have the opposite effect.”

However, the researchers did note that eating breakfast regularly could have other important effects aside from weight loss, such as improved concentration and attentiveness levels in children.

Commenting on the results, Dr Frankie Phillips, registered dietitian for the British Dietetic Association, said: “Whilst some studies do show that people who eat breakfast tend to be a healthier weight, there is no clear benefit of starting to eat breakfast just as a tool to lose weight.

“The study shows that simply having breakfast isn’t a magic recipe for weight loss for everyone. If you do enjoy breakfast, don’t stop, but take a look at what you are having.”

To do breakfast the right way, she recommended a simple breakfast of wholegrain cereal and milk with a glass of unsweetened fruit juice and a cup of tea. 

Source: Huffington Post, UK

How Countries Around the World Take Their Coffee

Coffee is a beverage that’s universally beloved (and obsessed over) by people of all nations.

You don’t need to speak the same language to appreciate the comfort of a steamy cup of Joe on a bitterly cold winter morning. Worshipping the same God isn’t a prerequisite for experiencing the always faithful boost of energy an espresso can provide at any hour, day or night.

For centuries, coffee has been a come-as-you-are kind of beverage, a conduit for communication and connection whether the person sitting across from you is considered a friend, family member, stranger or foe.

No matter where you roam in the world, coffee is most likely a given — which is why it’s essential, especially for caffeine diehards, to understand the customs and rules that govern a peoples’ coffee culture.

Here’s how countries around the world get their caffeine fix.

Café de Olla – Mexico

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According to legend, café de olla was born during the Mexican revolution of 1910. Cinnamon and piloncillo (unrefined sugar) were mixed with coffee, which was then steeped in clay pots over an open fire and served to soldiers in need of an energizing caffeine boost.

Since then, café de olla has retired from the battlefield and become an honored tradition in Mexican culture. Today, in addition to cinnamon, café de olla is often prepared with orange peel, star anise and clove, making for a truly intoxicating blend.

Café de olla traditionalists still insist on brewing the coffee in earthen clay, but in modern times a metal pot with a sturdy handle will suffice.

Filtered Coffee – Southern India

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India’s coffee fate was sealed in the 17th century when Sufi saint Baba Budan, while on a pilgrimage to Mecca, smuggled a handful of coffee beans from Yemen’s port city of Mocha back to Karnataka, India. Upon his return, Budan planted the beans;  as the story goes, he had exactly seven, which was all it took for coffee plants to sprout up all over a mountain range, making coffee plentiful in Southern India.

For an authentic cup, boiled water is poured over coffee grounds packed into a filter. This process creates a decoction, a concentrated mix of coffee that drips through the filter and into a cup. Once the coffee becomes thick, boiled whole milk and sugar are added to create the robust brew that Southern India has come to know and love.

Caffè Normale – Italy

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From Milan to Naples, caffè in Italy is hailed as both an institution and an art form. But to enjoy it properly and avoid getting the stink eye from your barista, a few rules and standards must be obliged.

For starters, all coffee in Italy begins and ends with espresso. A standard caffè normale or caffè is served black as a single shot meant to be consumed in one quick gulp while standing. Unlike in the U.S., to-go coffee is not common here, and attempting to order it this way will most likely result in a few discreet eye rolls from nearby locals.

Also contrary to coffee culture in The States, the cappuccino — a quintessential Italian drink made of equal parts espresso, milk and foam — should only be enjoyed with breakfast and never after 11 a.m. However, if you’re jonesing for an espresso with a touch of milk, the macchiato is a safe choice, and like espresso, it’s generally considered acceptable to order throughout the day.

Café au Lait – France

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Wake up in France, and you’ll most likely start your day with a tartine, a toasted baguette served with butter and jam. And you’ll probably wash it down with a creamy French favorite: the café au lait.

A simple combination of coffee and hot milk, the café au lait is traditionally served in a generously sized bowl. As in Italy, it’s considered inappropriate to consume after 10 a.m.

While France often receives bad marks for its coffee, there’s something undeniably Parisian about sitting solo at a bistro table with a café au lait and losing track of the time while watching the city and its people pass you by.

Turkish Coffee – Turkey

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Contrary to popular belief, Turkish coffee isn’t precisely Turkish. Rather, it’s an interpretation of coffee preparation that is common in the Arab world.

Regardless, Turkish coffee remains an indispensable part of Turkish heritage and culture. No social gathering or special occasion would be complete without a meticulously crafted pot.

The brewing process starts with finely ground roasted coffee beans. The beans, along with cold water and sugar, are added to an ibrik, a wide bottomed, long-handled copper coffee pot. This mixture is brought to a boil and then removed from the heat before it’s placed back on the stovetop for a second boil.

During this double-boiling process, a caramel colored foam builds on the surface of the coffee, which can be scooped off the top if desired. After cooking, the coffee sits for a few minutes to allow the grounds to settle. At this point, spices such as cardamom or cinnamon can be added for a kick of flavor.

Importantly, the coffee grounds remain at the bottom of the cup, and are not meant to be consumed. Instead, the remaining streaks of black sludge can either be tossed or used for fortune telling.

Kouhii – Japan

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Since the 1600s, Japan has slowly been cultivating its passion for coffee.

The love affair began during Japan’s self-imposed isolation period, when Dutch traders brought coffee (aka koffie) through Nagasaki. At first, the Japanese disliked the drink, but once the isolation period ended and coffee flooded the island, reaching a wider range of taste buds, coffee experienced a surge in popularity.  

In the early 1900s, the first kissaten cafes began popping up in Japan, attracting writers and artists looking for a comfortable spot to enjoy a fresh cup. In the 1980s, when Japan experienced unparalleled prosperity, coffee shops began to take over the country, ushering in the coffee culture that prospers in Japan today. (In the country, coffee is called kouhii.)

In recent years, specialty coffee shops in Japan have turned coffee into a distinct art form, cleverly using milk foam to sculpt anime characters, rabbits, kittens and puppies.

Ethiopian Coffee Ceremony – Ethiopia

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Both a spiritual practice and a social activity, Ethiopia’s elaborate coffee ceremony dates back centuries and remains an integral part of daily life.  

Traditionally, each ceremony lasts up to three hours and is performed three times a day. To begin, the woman of the house prepares the ceremonial room by burning incense to ward off evil spirits. Next, a jebena, a clay coffee pot, is filled with water and set on a pile of hot coals. The hostess then takes a handful of raw coffee beans, adds them to a large pan and shakes them over an open fire to remove the husks.

Once clean, the beans are roasted and crushed by hand with a mukechawooden bowl, similar to a mortar, and a zenezena blunt-end cylinder identical to a pestle. The grounds are placed in the jebena, now filled with boiling water, and once ready the coffee is served to the guests of the ceremony. The ritual is then repeated two more times.

Kahvi – Finland

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Imagine a world where workplace coffee breaks are mandatory. Where every piping hot cup of java is served alongside a flaky cinnamon roll, and where drinking 10-plus cups of coffee a day is considered normal.

For coffee aficionados, there is such a place, and it’s called Finland.

Recognized as the world’s top coffee consumer Finland is a place where locals refuse to live without their kahvi, even during times of war. According to one source, during World War II, when coffee disappeared, desperate yet resourceful Finns boiled pine bark, potato peels and anything else they could find to approximate a close-enough-to-coffee substitute.

Luckily, Finland’s coffee coffers are beyond replenished now, and finding the stuff, even in the most remote corners of the country, is never an issue. And if you’re fortunate enough to be invited into someone’s home for coffee, it’s considered rude to refuse the offering.

No matter how many cups you’ve already had.

Viennese Coffee House – Austria

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The heart of Austria’s coffee culture has been beating for over 300 years inside Vienna’s elegant, chandelier-lit coffee houses.

It all started in September 1683 during the Siege of Vienna, when defenders of the city crushed the invading Turks of the Ottoman Empire. As the Turkish troops retreated, the Austrian forces swooped in and collected their abandoned coffee beans, along with other treasures. On that victorious day, Vienna’s love affair with coffee began, and coffee houses started popping up across the city.

While most of the original cafes in Vienna have been renovated, many of the customs that inspired UNESCO to add the Viennese coffee house to the 2011 intangible cultural heritage list remain untouched. Locals still refer to the establishments as extended living rooms, where it’s okay to spend your entire day sitting, reading, nibbling on strudel or discussing the day’s news.

The coffee itself, after 300 years, is still served on a small silver platter, with a polished silver spoon, a few cubes of sugar and a glass of water.

Café Touba – Senegal

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Sheikh Ahmadou Bamba, creator of the Mouride Brotherhood and founder of the city of Touba, first introduced café Touba to the country of Senegal in the late 1800s. Initially, Bamba exclusively shared this coffee — which is boiled with Selim pepper, a warming spice — with his followers, who needed the extra energy to remain awake during long chanting sessions.

Over time, the drink spread across Senegal, and today the people of this West African country not only enjoy it, but consider it a symbol of their identity and a staple of their culture.

Much like Turkish coffee, Touba is boiled with cloves, sugar and Selim pepper. However, unlike with the Turkish style, the resulting brew is aerated by rhythmically pouring the coffee back and forth between two cups before serving.

Cà Phê Trúng – Vietnam

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In 1946, in response to milk shortages triggered by the First Indochina War, Nguyen Van Giang, a bartender at Hanoi’s Sofitel Legend Metropole Hotel, began adding whisked egg yolks to coffee as a substitute for milk. Patrons of the hotel immediately embraced his creamy, caffeinated invention, and soon Giang opened Café Giang, where his infamous egg coffee, or cà phê trúng, became fixed in Vietnam’s coffee culture.

In addition to whisked egg yolks, the modern version of cà phê trúng includes sugar, condensed milk, cheese and even butter. The result is a decadent coffee that has often been compared to tiramisu or a creamy Cadbury egg.

Source: www.farandwide.com

Most Instagrammable Desserts in the U.S.

Creamberry’s Cotton Candy Burrito

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What’s better than a regular burrito? How about one made of cotton candy.

Customers at Creamberry in Las Vegas can order this cavity-inducing confection stuffed with all of their favorites. The Cotton Candy Burrito combines your choice of ice cream flavor with a variety of candy toppings, all wrapped inside brightly colored cotton candy.

New Territories’ Bubble Waffle Ice Creams

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New York City-based ice cream shop New Territories has embraced a Hong Kong street food trend — the bubble waffle — and combined it with artisan ice cream flavors like earl gray and honeycomb.

With a light and airy cone and tons of tantalizing toppings, these desserts are true culinary works of art.

Alinea’s Edible Helium Balloon

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Introducing a dessert that’s lighter than air — literally.

You might recognize this Chicago restaurant from its appearance on the Netflix series “Chef’s Table.” The three-Michelin-starred restaurant, Alinea, is known for inventive culinary creations and its edible helium balloon is no different. Made from inverted sugar flavored with natural fruit essences, this helium-filled speciality hovers over diners’ tables attached to a string made from dehydrated apple.

Dominique Ansel Bakery’s Chocolate Chip Cookie Shot

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From the bakery that brought you the cronut comes the next big thing in dessert innovation.

New York City’s Dominique Ansel Bakery created the chocolate chip cookie shot the year after the cronut, and it has since drawn similar lines of customers. The comforting treat combines a warm chocolate chip cookie shaped like a shot glass with homemade, cold-infused Tahitian vanilla milk that visitors pour into the treat themselves before enjoying.

In addition to its location in New York City, you can find the Dominique Ansel Bakery in Los Angeles and London. 

Kamehameha Bakery’s Poi-Glazed Donut

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From the outside, the donuts at Honolulu’s Kamehameha Bakery in Oahu look totally normal. But break one open and you’ll discover a gooey, vibrant purple center.

The bakery’s poi-glazed donuts — which pay homage to the traditional Hawaiian dish, made from fermented taro root — have drawn crowds since 1971.

Bonus: this bakery opens at 3 a.m., which means it’s perfect for late-night cravings.

Jardin at Wynn Las Vegas’ Fleur Cake

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The phrase “almost too pretty to eat” has never been more true than at the Jardin at the Wynn Las Vegas.

The restaurant’s fanciful fleur cake perfectly resembles a pot full of pansies. While the edible pansies are real, the terra cotta pot is actually a layered chocolate cake coated with cocoa butter spray.

The dessert takes at least an hour to assemble and has quickly become one of the Jardin’s most requested dishes.

Sugar Factory’s King Kong Sundae

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This aptly named behemoth sundae starts with 24 scoops of ice cream covered in hot fudge, caramel and strawberry sauce. Toppings include — but are certainly not limited to — sliced bananas, toasted marshmallows, chocolate chip cookies, gummi bears and giant lollipops.

The impressive sundae is finished with lit sparklers and serves a cool 14 people. Try it with friends at any of the Sugar Factory’s multiple U.S. locations, including in Orlando, Las Vegas, Chicago and New York City. 

Chocolate Chair’s Dragon Breath

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The Dragon Breath at Los Angeles’ Chocolate Chair is as much a dessert as it is a performance. These crunchy puffed pearls are filled with liquid nitrogen and have a hint of fruity flavor that many customers say is akin to Fruit Loops. The pearls break open when bitten into, releasing the nitrogen and transforming the eater into a smoke-breathing dragon.

This sweet shop isn’t just blowing smoke — Dragon Breath has made serious social media waves.

Black Tap’s Crazy Shakes

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If there was ever a dessert that could give you a cavity just by looking at it, it would be one of Black Tap’s monstrous milkshakes. With locations in New York City and Las Vegas, Black Tap’s makes self-proclaimed “crazy shakes” that almost need to be seen to be believed.

These ice cream creations are true gravity-defying feats that are sure to stun your taste buds and your followers.

Southern Norway is home to the world’s largest underwater restaurant

Are you ready for a wUNDERful 18-course gourmet marathon – five meters below sea level? Check out the first underwater restaurant in Northern Europe.

Now you’ll have yet another good reason for visiting Southern Norway: Having dinner at five metres below sea level. “Under” in Lindesnes is Europe’s first and the world’s largest underwater restaurant. “We’ll attract tourists from all over the world. That is our goal,” says Gaute Ubostad, one of the founders of this very special restaurant project.

The underwater restaurant “Under” will definitively put Southern Norway on the dining map, both in Norway and throughout the world. And there might be stiff competition for a seat in the restaurant. 

“We aim to become a spearhead in order to have success in the international market. I believe it’ll be an attraction that makes that more people consider it exciting to come to Norway and combine a visit here with other things,” says Ubostad.

First, largest and research-friendly

The restaurant “Under” is built out in the sometimes-harsh waters at Spangereid in Lindesnes municipality, Norway’s southern tip. The underwater restaurant and tourist attraction opened in March 2019.

Here, the way of thinking is innovative, big and original:

  • In fact, Under is the world’s largest underwater restaurant with seating capacity for 100 guests. On normal nights it will serve 40 guests.
  • This wonder at Lindesnes is also the first underwater restaurant in Europe.
  • Several research environments that are focused on the development of knowledge within marine biology are involved so as to provide guests with an enhanced experience. 

A treat for architecture enthusiasts

The building itself is an architectural gem. It is reminiscent of a rock formation that is rising out of the sea; almost like a kind of art installation. The award-winning architect firm, Snøhetta, has designed the spectacular building.

Half-sunken into the sea, the building’s 34-meter long monolithic form breaks the surface of the water to rest directly on the seabed five meters below. The structure is designed to fully integrate into its marine environment over time, as the roughness of the concrete shell will function as an artificial reef, welcoming limpets and kelp to inhabit it. With the thick concrete walls lying against the craggy shoreline, the structure is built to withstand pressure and shock from the rugged sea conditions. Like a sunken periscope, the restaurant’s massive window offers a view of the seabed as it changes throughout the seasons and varying weather conditions. 

A monumental glass wall provides panoramic views of the sea

When you step into the restaurant, your unique undersea journey begins. Here you can descend all the way to a depth of five metres without a diving suit. Just walk down the stairs. At the mesanin there is a bar with a relax area where guest can sit before and after the meal. 

Down in the restaurant, the notion of an “ocean view” takes on a whole new meaning. There, a huge glass wall will give you an unique insight into the bustling life in the sea (Skagerrak) outside. 

You will get to watch all sorts of fish species swim by, depending on the time of year. Normal fish species in this area is pollack and cod, colourful wrasses, urchins, crabs, lobsters in gladiator battles, spiny dogfish (i.e. mini sharks) and distinctive seaweed and kelp in the changing seasons… And you can see a live performance of the roaring, stormy sea when nature is in turmoil.

Seals have also been observed outside the window, but marine researcher Trond Rafoss hope it will not visit very often, as it scares the other fishes away.

Locally caught fish, seabirds and wild sheep on the menu

Of course, the restaurant experience is not just about the fish that swim by outside. The fish and seafood that is served on your plate is a very important ingredient. Naturally, there will be an excellent selection of seafood at Under. But you also have the option of tasting seabirds and wild sheep that have grazed in the archipelago nearby. 

The head chef at Under is named Nicolai Ellitsgaard Pedersen, and that means that the food is something to look forward to. Pedersen was formerly the head chef at the acclaimed gourmet restaurant “Måltid” in Kristiansand city centre, and he has also worked at the Michelin-starred restaurant Henne Kirkeby Kro in Denmark. 

Source: www.visitnorway.com

Hilton to recycle one million bars of soap by Global Handwashing Day

Hilton’s Hilton Garden Inn, Hampton by Hilton and All Suites brands are launching the Clean the World Challenge in partnership with Clean the World.

Embassy Suites by Hilton, Hilton Garden Inn, Hampton by Hilton, Homewood Suites by Hilton and Home2 Suites by Hilton will challenge hotel owners and team members to collect bars of soap left behind by guests to be recycled into one million bars of new soap by Global Handwashing Day (October 15) for Clean the World to distribute to communities in need.   

Clean the World’s mission aligns with Hilton’s Travel with Purpose initiative, the company’s corporate responsibility strategy. By 2030, Hilton commits to cut its environmental footprint in half and double its social impact investment. As part of these goals, Hilton has committed to send zero soap to landfill in addition to Hilton’s brand standards for Embassy Suites by Hilton, Hilton Garden Inn, Hampton by Hilton, Homewood Suites by Hilton and Home2 Suites by Hilton brands across the US, Canada, Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic.

Through its soap recycling partnership with Clean the World, Hilton has contributed to the distribution of more than 7.6 million bars of recycled soap, resulting in more than two million pounds of soap and amenity bottles being diverted from landfills. The discarded soap is crushed, sanitized and cut into new soap bars. Bathroom amenity bottles are re-purposed for hygiene kits or recycled. By recycling these products, Clean the World provides soap to those in need, ultimately preventing diseases and reducing mortality rates around the world.

Clean the World was founded in 2009 with a mission to save lives while simultaneously protecting the environment by providing recycled soap and other hygienic products to families in need. Over the last decade, the organisation has contributed toward a 60% reduction in the death rate of children under the age of five dying due to hygiene-related illnesses. Hilton has worked with Clean the World since its launch to help overcome this epidemic in various countries, as well as in times of natural disasters.

Source: www.hoteliermiddleeast.com

Brain food: 6 snacks that are good for the mind. What can you eat to make you smarter?

Eating well doesn’t just boost your strength – the nutrients in food are also excellent fuel for the brain. US scientists have discovered that a handful of walnuts a day can help improve your memory. Adults who ate 13g of walnuts every day performed significantly better on cognitive tests than those who didn’t, and so walnuts have been added to the growing list of foods for geniuses. But what other snacks can make you smarter? Here’s a few of the foods you should eat to help strengthen your brain.

 

Blueberries

Researchers from Tufts University found that blueberries don’t simply improve memory – they can actually reverse memory loss. A study published in the Journal of Neuroscience found an extract of blueberries eaten every day led to a reversal of nerve cell damage in rats. After eating their daily dose of berries, the rodents learned faster, had a better short-term memory and had improved balance and co-ordination. The humble blueberry is truly a superfood for your brain cells.

 

Salmon

Some healthy eating devotees take a regular dose of pure fish oil but if you can’t stomach the dietary supplement, eating plenty of salmon is an excellent alternative. Salmon is rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which are crucial for a healthy diet, and offers a sizeable portion of docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). Not only are fatty acids good for the heart, but DHA has also been found to boost neuron function in the brain.

 

Avocado

Avocados may be fatty, but they contain extremely healthy unsaturated fats, which help to keep brain cell membranes flexible. The monounsaturated fatty acids in avocadoes work to protect nerve cells in the brain and have been found to improve the brain’s muscle strength. The same fats lead to healthy blood flow and lower blood pressure and both of these, in turn, help the brain to function at its optimum capacity.

 

Whole Grains

The brain is like all other bodily organs and relies on a steady flow of energy to perform at its best. Our concentration skills are linked to the brain’s supply of glucose. Whole grains with a low GI (glycaemic index) are a healthy brain food as they slowly and steadily release glucose into the bloodstream. Other carbohydrates are a more unstable source of glucose – white rice and pasta will cause energy levels to peak and then crash, leaving your brain feeling weak and exhausted.

 

Broccoli

Broccoli is a source of two crucial nutrients that help improve brain function. Vitamin K helps to strengthen cognitive abilities while Choline has been found to improve memory – people who eat plenty of broccoli perform better on memory tests. Broccoli also includes a sizeable serving of folic acid, which can help ward off Alzheimer’s disease. Studies suggest that a lack of folic acid could lead to depression, so eating plenty of broccoli could also keep you happy.

 

Dark Chocolate

Who says that healthy food can’t be delicious? Cocoa can improve verbal fluency and cognitive function in elderly people, while eating a daily portion of dark chocolate has been found to improve blood flow to the brain. So don’t feel guilty about that chocolate bar – your brain will thank you.

 

 

Source: www.telegraph.co.uk

Think organic food is better for you, animals, and the planet? Think again

What we eat is seen as more important than ever. And everywhere we are urged to go organic: we are told it is more nutritious, it improves animal welfare and helps the environment. In reality, that is mostly marketing hype.

In 2012 Stanford University’s Centre for Health Policy did the biggest comparison of organic and conventional foods and found no robust evidence for organics being more nutritious. A brand-new reviewhas just repeated its finding: “Scientific studies do not show that organic products are more nutritious and safer than conventional foods.”

Likewise, animals on organic farms are not generally healthier. A five year US study showed that organic “health outcomes are similar to conventional dairies”. The Norwegian Scientific Committee for Food Safety found “no difference in objective disease occurrence.” Organic pigs and poultry may enjoy better access to open areas, but this increases their load of parasites, pathogens and predators. Meanwhile the organic regulation against feeding bee colonies with pollen supplements in low-pollen periods along with regulation against proper disinfection leads to sharply lower bee welfare.

Organic farming is sold as good for the environment. This is correct for a single farm field: organic farming uses less energy, emits less greenhouse gasses, nitrous oxide and ammonia and causes less nitrogen leeching than a conventional field. But each organic field yields much, much less. So, to grow the same amount of wheat, spinach or strawberries, you need much more land. That means that average organic produce results in the emission of about as many greenhouse gasses as conventional produce; and about 10 per cent more nitrous oxide, ammonia and acidification. Worse, to produce equivalent quantities, organic farms need to occupy 84 per cent more land – land which can’t be used for forests and genuine nature reserves. For example, to produce the amount of food America does today, but organically, would require increasing its farmland by the size of almost two United Kingdoms. That is the equivalent of eradicating all parklands and wild lands in the lower 48 states.

But surely organics avoid pesticides? No. Organic farming can use any pesticide that is “natural”. This includes copper sulphate, which has resulted in liver disease in vineyard sprayers in France. Pyrethrin is another organic pesticide; one study shows a 3.7-fold increase in leukaemia among farmers who handled pyrethrins compared to those who had not.

Conventional food, it’s true, has higher pesticide contamination. Although it is still very low, this is a definite benefit of organics. However, using a rough upper estimate by the head of the US Food and Drug Administration’s Office of Toxicology, all conventional pesticide residues may cause an extra 20 cancer deaths per year in America.

This pales in comparison to the impact of organics. If all of the United States were to go organic, the cost would likely be around $200 billion annually from lower productivity. This is money we can’t spend on hospitals, pensioner care, schools, or infrastructure.

Such economic impacts also have life and death consequences. Research shows that when a nation becomes $15 million poorer, it costs one “statistical” life, because people are able to spend less on health care and good food. This means that going organic in the US will kill more than 13,000 people each year. Scaling these findings to the UK would indicate that while extra pesticides in conventional cause perhaps four deaths each year, the UK going completely organic would cost £22 billion per year, resulting in more than 2,000 extra deaths each year.

Organics is a rich world phenomenon, with 90 per cent of sales in North America and Europe. Despite a fivefold increase in sales over the past 15 years just 1 per cent of global cropland is organic. That’s because almost half of humanity depends on food grown with synthetic fertilisers, excluded by organic rules.

Norman Borlaug, who got the Nobel Prize for starting the Green Revolution, like to point out, that organic farming on a global scale would leave billions without food. “I don’t see two billion volunteers to disappear,” he said.

Essentially, organic food is rich people spending their extra cash to feel good. While that is just as valid as spending it on holidays, we should resist any implied moral superiority. Organics are not healthier or better for animals. To expand to any great scale would cost tens of billions of pounds while killing thousands. Indeed, a widespread organics revolution will increase environmental damage, and cut global forests.

When the designer Vivienne Westwood famously exclaimed that people who can’t afford organic food should “eat less” she may have had the best intentions. But she was also incredibly out of touch. The rest of the world needs more and cheaper food. That isn’t going to be organic.

 

 

Source: www.telegraph.co.uk

8 Food trends you will see in 2019

1. “Ugly” food will shine.

Food companies have long been in the habit of trashing ingredients that aren’t pretty enough to sell, but conscious consumers are catching wind. The battle against food waste isn’t new—chef Dan Barber’s wasteED campaign encourages the use of food scraps and “ugly” produce in restaurants, and plenty of farmers and merchants outside of the big supermarket chains have never been shy about selling misshapen goods. But it’ll gain even more momentum in 2019.

2. Faux meat will be your go-to snack.

According to the Whole Foods report, snacks like mushroom-based faux cracklin’, soy-based jerky, and mushroom “bacon chips” will continue to gain momentum in 2019, as an alternative to classic packaged meat snacks like beef jerky and pork rinds.

Taub-Dix is on board with this shift to faux-meat snacks. “The protein that comes from plant foods can count towards your daily intake,” she says. While individual plant-based proteins aren’t complete proteins, you can get all of the essential amino acids (the building blocks of both protein and our own lean tissue) by eating several different types of plant-based protein.

Meat alternative snacks made with vegetables, like mushrooms, generally don’t have much protein, but are still a nutritious snack choice. Just keep noshing on other healthy plant based snacks, too, advises Taub-Dix.

3. Coconut water will have competition.

For years, coconut water has been marketed (to great success) as a hydration miracle, hangover cure, and all-around delicious alternative to regular old water. In 2019, look out for other alternative waters to take over the beverage case.

The KIND Healthy Snacks Trend Report calls out two in particular: “Maple water, which contains less than half of the sugar of coconut water, as well as cactus water, which is promoted for skin revitalization.” While these slightly sweet waters won’t hurt you, the Academy of Nutrition Dietetics says to be wary of their lofty claims. They won’t do a better job of hydrating you than regular old H20, and they have sugar without any fiber, so drinking too much could lead to a blood sugar spike.

4. Vitamins and supplements are on the outs.

Although we’re more wellness-obsessed than ever, the KIND trend report predicts that processed vitamins and supplements will finally be on their way out. Instead, we’re shifting toward a sharper focus on meeting nutrient needs with whole foods. This isn’t new. The USDA dietary guidelines clearly state that “nutritional needs should be met primarily from foods, and the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics has long advised meeting nutrient needs by eating as varied a diet as possible, instead of relying on expensive vitamins and supplements (which, BTW, don’t need FDA approval and may not even contain the nutrients they say they do).

5. Jackfruit will be the new go-to meat substitute.

Jackfruit is a popular meat alternative already being used in place of items like barbecue pulled pork,” according to the Whole Foods trend report. The fruit is native to Southeast Asia, and is also grown in parts of Africa and South America. Americans have been using it as a meat substitute for a few years now (thanks to a stringy texture that mimics pulled pork or beef), but 2019 will be the year that pulled jackfruit really takes off.

6. You might finally learn how to bake bread.

“Bread baking is on the rise, especially when it comes to fermented loaves like sourdough,” according to the Pinterest’s 100 top trends for 2019. Kuhn agrees that people are increasingly interested in cooking more at home, and that baking bread can be a fun and delicious culinary experience.

But, she says it’s still totally fine to just buy your loaf. “On the market today, there are a lot of extremely healthy breads, so you can find great options,” she says. Look for 100-percent whole grain on the label, and mix things up by trying a bread baked with a new-to-you grain, like amaranth or kamut.

7. Your grocery shopping experience will go high-tech.

Tired of going to the Supermarket and sue at the check-out lane? Now many Supermarket chains and even Amazon offer to purchase all of your food items directly online, then deliver to your doorstep. You get fresh, chilled and frozen foods with a click of the mouse, delivered daily. Great for elderly and people who are not

8. Your fruit basket will get a tropical spin.

Sick of kiwi, blueberries? You may be in luck.                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Whole Foods is predicting that tropical fruits like guava, dragonfruit, starfruit, and passionfruit will take center stage this year.

If you’re sick of your usual apple a day, swap in one of these tropical fruits every once in a while. Different fruits have slightly different nutrient profiles, but all are packed with fiber, vitamins, and healthy carbs, explains Keri Gans, R.D., author of The Small Change Diet. Any type of fruit is a great choice for a snack or as part of a meal, and changing things up can help keep you excited about getting your five-a-day.

source: www.womanshealthmag.com

New Restaurant at The Essex

This month The Essex, the culinary resort and spa, opened a new restaurant called Junction. The new restaurant will focus on fostering chef and diner relationships with tableside conversations and food preparation.

The restaurant’s decor uses kitchen tools in the lighting, sculpture and design features.

Diners can create their own three-course tasting menu from the small plate, large plate, and cheese/dessert offerings ($50 per person) or put themselves in the Chef’s hands with a full-table, five-course tasting menu ($85 per person). Locally-sourced ingredients will be featured, as well as a long wines, cocktails, and beer menu.

Junction’s private dining room, The Tasting Room, seats eight to 12 discreetly tucked behind a reclaimed barn door. Custom tasting menus can be crafted with the Chef in advance.

Junction is open from 5:30 to 9:30 p.m. Reservations can be made online through Open Table or by phone at 764-1489.

The resort’s Director of Culinary Operations Shawn Calley will oversee Junction’s culinary team featureing Michael Clauss, Junction chef, and Alex Casimir, executive chef, all of whom take their turn overseeing the guest experience in the dining room nightly.

Junction replaces the restaurant Amuse, which closed in March. Amuse featured diner-chef interactions and a $75 prix fixe menu at a “Chef’s Table,” which was popular and the inspiration for the new restaurant, the resort said.

Winner dinner

Guests at the The Vermont Fresh Network annual forum dinner, which was held Sunday at Shelburne Farms, voted on their favorite dishes and the tally is in. This year’s honor is shared by two dishes that tied for the most “best bite” votes: The crew at Antidote, in Vergennes, won with their Thai chili glazed smoked Misty Knoll Farms(New Haven) turkey lettuce wrap, topped with minted Norris Berry Farm (Hinesburg) cucumber salad. Top honor also went to the Perfect Wife, in Manchester, with its house smoked Boyden Farms (Cambridge) beef brisket and short ribs with a mustard slather and spiced rub.

Woodchuck opens new cidery, visitor center

Woodchuck Hard Cider officially opened its new cidery in Middlebury, Wednesday. The $34 million cidery, which has been under construction for the last 15 months, is the latest growth spurt for the company that started making cider from a two-car garage in Proctorsville 23 years ago. Woodchuck is one of the largest hard cider companies in the U.S.

“Through the years Woodchuck has had a couple different houses, but Vermont has always been our home,” said Woodchuck CEO, Dan Rowell.

The cidery is 100,000 square feet and houses 23 cider tanks and a new bottling line. It features a timber-frame visitor center, gift shop and tasting center.

Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., spoke at the ribbon cutting, along with several other local and economic leaders.

Source: http://www.burlingtonfreepress.com