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Scientists sequence genome of high-value grape, seek secrets of wine's aroma

Scientists sequence genome of high-value grape, seek secrets of wine's aroma | Gastronomic Expeditions | Scoop.it

Demystifying the chemical processes that create a wine's aroma, and the invaluable potential application of that understanding in winemaking, is the new objective of scientists in Uruguay who, with European partners, also recently sequenced the genome of the high-value Tannat grape, from which "the most healthy of red wines" are fermented.

 

Meanwhile, a quick, $1 test in development by researchers in Paraguay and Uruguay promises to reduce the economic and health burden of 3 million cases of syphilis in Latin America -- a disease readily treated and cured if diagnosed early.

 

Though seemingly disparate, the twin breakthroughs have a common midwife: the UN University's Venezuela-based BIOLAC programme, which in 2013 marks 25 years of advancing regional economic and health interests by building biotech science throughout Latin America and the Caribbean.

 

Connected at UNU-BIOLAC workshops in Montevideo, Uruguayan chemistry professor Francisco Carrau and scientist Massimo Delledonne of Italy recently collaborated on sequencing the Tannat grape, pressings of which, thanks partly to its many seeds, produces the largest concentration of tannins -- an anti-oxidant that combats the ageing of cells.

 

Wines made from the Tannat are known as the most healthy of red wines due to their high levels of procyanidins, said to be good for reducing blood pressure, lowering cholesterol and encouraging healthy blood clotting.

 

Says Prof. Carrau: "A wine made with Tannat has twice the tannins of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot or Pinot Noir. Sequencing the grape's genome will allow vintners to protect a valuable niche in the world's $300 billion wine industry."

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This is how supercomputers cook: IBM’s Watson (Master Chef Watson) dreams up creative dishes

This is how supercomputers cook: IBM’s Watson (Master Chef Watson) dreams up creative dishes | Gastronomic Expeditions | Scoop.it

A master chef can think about a combination of two, maybe three ingredients at a time. Watson, the same IBM supercomputer that won Jeopardy in 2011, can crunch through a quintillion. That's a one and 18 zeroes, as the IBM researchers like to say. But does that make their computer a good cook?

 

For about two years, IBM's cognitive computing group has been working to apply Watson's vast processing ability to food. The system analyzed about 35,000 existing recipes and about 1,000 chemical flavor compounds, which allows it to make educated guesses about which ingredient combinations will delight and, just as importantly, surprise. From there, it tries to encourage unconventional combinations — like chocolate, coffee, and garlic — in order to produce dishes that have never been made before.

 

"Creativity is the crowning achievement of human intelligence," says Steven Abrams, director of the Watson group. "Can we make a computer be creative?"

 

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Arjen ten Have's comment, March 11, 2:55 PM
does the computer write the algorithm?
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Road Kill Recipes From DeadFood.com

Road Kill Recipes From DeadFood.com | Gastronomic Expeditions | Scoop.it

Some say it is sick. Others say it is gross. Still other people think that eating Road Kill is the ultimate in recycling, "Waste not, want not", they say.

 

Whatever your beliefs, you will need good recipes to make your meal its best. That is where DeadFood.com comes in!

 

Find a recipe for all of your various road kill meats and other "exotic" meats.

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Jalisco, líder en denominaciones de origen

México cuenta con 14 denominaciones de origen (DOT) 11 agrícolas y 3 artesanales, en tanto países como la India tienen 140. Al respecto, el director del Instituto Mexicano de la Propiedad Industrial (IMPI), Miguel Ángel Margáin González, explicó que son muchos los requisitos que se deben cumplir para lograr este reconocimiento.

Condiciones biológicas, meteorológicas, sociológicas, históricas, geológicas, tradiciones y de procesos, entre muchos otros estudios tardan años para que se otorgue la declaración, pues en casi 40 años sólo se han logrado 14 productos que solicitan los gobiernos municipales y estatales sean reconocidos, por lo que se tiene que trabajar en equipo, ya que estas denominaciones de origen son importantes porque dan valor agregado al producto.

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Mezcal, tradición muy mexicana - Nota - Turismo - www.aztecanoticias.com.mx

Mezcal, tradición muy mexicana - Nota - Turismo - www.aztecanoticias.com.mx | Gastronomic Expeditions | Scoop.it

México, DF.-México produce dos millones y medio de litros de mezcal certificado anualmente.

De acuerdo con el Comité Nacional para la Sustentabilidad del Maguey, Mezcal y Destilados de Origen (Comando) son cerca de 650 pequeños productores de 18 estados del país los encargados de producir entre 15 mil y 20 mil litros de esta bebida de manera continua, principalmente en Oaxaca, Colima, San Luis Potosí y Estado de México, entre otros.


Via Red Restauranteros, Inteligencias
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ANATOMÍA DEL MEZCAL - The Anatomy of Mezcal

ANATOMÍA DEL MEZCAL - The Anatomy of Mezcal | Gastronomic Expeditions | Scoop.it

Anatomía del Mezcal se constituye de cuatro ejes temáticos: Agave, Terruño, Procesos y Mezcal. Dentro de cada eje encontrarás la información relacionada en su mayoría con dicho rubro; dado que todas se interconectan.

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Oma & Bella Cookbook

Oma & Bella Cookbook | Gastronomic Expeditions | Scoop.it
Oma and Bella is an intimate portrait of two elderly Jewish women in Berlin with humor, powerful stories, and a deep fondness for good food.

 

The Oma & Bella Cookbook is a collection of recipes from Eastern- Europe, as told to Alexa Karolinski by her grandmother Regina (Oma) and her best friend Bella.  Oma and Bella's recipes, classics of Jewish cuisine, come from decades of them recreating --from memory -- the tastes of their childhoods the war. To bring this vivid and personal cookbook into being, Alexa cooked with Oma and Bella in their kitchen, translating "handfuls" into half cups, "pinches" into teaspoons, and "platefuls" into servings.   Color illustrations by the artist Joana Avillez are interspersed throughout the cookbook. The book also includes color photographs of the two ladies by Bella Lieberberg.  Each book includes both German and English texts.

Ashish Umre's insight:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mEA6dul2rAc

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History's weirdest fad diets

History's weirdest fad diets | Gastronomic Expeditions | Scoop.it

As early as the Greeks and Romans people have been dieting. But while it was largely about health and fitness back then, it's the Victorians who really kick started the fad diet.

 

"The Greek word diatia, from which our word diet derives, described a whole way of life," says Louise Foxcroft, a historian and author of Calories and Corsets: A History of Dieting Over 2,000 Years.

 

"Dieting back then was about all-round mental and physical health. People really got a taste for fad dieting in the 19th Century. It is during this time that things tip over into dieting more for aesthetic reasons and the diet industry explodes."

 

So what are the weirdest and unhealthiest fad diets from history?

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Steve Kingsley's curator insight, July 27, 2013 1:03 PM

And I thought today's fad diets were the weird and/or just plain stupid....

Steve Kingsley's curator insight, September 12, 2013 8:55 PM

So today's fad diets have had plenty of weird and/or just plain stupid predecessors.... 

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Elysee Aromatic - Journey Into The Wine Cellar Of France's Presidential Palace

Elysee Aromatic - Journey Into The Wine Cellar Of France's Presidential Palace | Gastronomic Expeditions | Scoop.it
The wine cellar of the French Presidential Palace – the Elysée – where President François Hollande now resides, is not that far from the command center of France's nuclear arsenal.

 

Its location remains just as much a mystery. Except for authorized personnel, it is impossible to visit the wine cellar, with the entrance being vaulted shut. More than 15,000 bottles of the very best France has to offer lie within: Châteaux Ausone, Petrus, Figeac, Yquem, the prestigious châteaux of Burgundy, a collection of vintage champagnes etc. This is where the French Republic keeps its prestige and one of its means of diplomacy.

 

However, it is not so much the French president who gets to enjoy these wines; it is rather for his hosts to gauge how France's reputation lives up to reality. Virginie Routis, the sommelier at the Elysée Palace since 2007, knows exactly how political the choice of wine is: "I choose the wine according to the menu, but also according to protocol. For a head of state, there will be various well-known labels on the table, such as a Château d'Yquem with foie gras, or with meat a 1998 Léoville Poyferré, for example, which is a prestigious, second cru from the Saint-Julien vineyard, classified in 1855." And for simple parliamentarians? "Wines from smaller vineyards, but who still do very good things," she smiles.

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The Physics of Wine Swirling

Meet the new flavor of wine: fruity with a hint of fluid dynamics. Oenophiles have long gotten the best out of their reds by giving their glasses a swirl before sipping. A new study has revealed the physics behind that sloshing, showing that three factors may determine whether your merlot arcs smoothly or starts to splash.

Twirling a wineglass gently creates smooth arcs in the liquid that then circle, coating the sides of the glass. The gesture isn't just for appearances, says study co-author Martino Reclari, who studies fluid dynamics at the École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne in Switzerland. Scientists and enthusiasts alike have long known that the swirling motion mixes oxygen into a red, enhancing its flavor.

One evening over their own bottle of wine, Reclari and colleagues decided to tackle the physics of this oenological routine. The team filled up small cylinders in a range of sizes with different volumes of a cheap merlot, then set them spinning. To keep things uniform, the researchers employed gyrating machines, commonly used to mix liquids precisely in biology or chemistry labs. This week, at the annual meeting of the American Physical Society's Division of Fluid Dynamics in Baltimore, Maryland, the group reported a mathematical formula explaining how wine sloshes.
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Mexico City for Tamales, Tortas and Tacos

This is the flavor of the streets, the workers, the soul of Mexico.

 

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Change Charcoal Grilling Layouts to Improve Heat Control

Change Charcoal Grilling Layouts to Improve Heat Control | Gastronomic Expeditions | Scoop.it

Creating heat zones and heat-free zones help you avoid burning food by giving hot areas for searing and warm areas for slower more thorough grilling.When many of us first started grilling with charcoal we filled up the entire bottom of the grill and proceeded to burn most of the food. This makes the entire grill a high heat zone; most food in this situation will burn on the outside while the inside is still raw. Instead you may want to arrange the charcoal to create different heat zones to increase options.

 

Blogger Edel Alon has two methods: The first is to simply one side of your grill with charcoal leaving the other half empty. This warm/hot layout is useful when you want to create a quick sear on a piece of meat then move it over to slowly cook through and is useful when grilling chicken.

 

The second method is to have charcoal on the two sides but leave the middle third of the grill empty. This Hot/Warm/Hot layout is similar to the method above but is much hotter in the middle. It's great for making burgers or steaks.

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The Best Way to Grill Sausages: Poach Them Right on the Grill

The Best Way to Grill Sausages: Poach Them Right on the Grill | Gastronomic Expeditions | Scoop.it

Sausages may seem like the one food you don't need instructions for grilling, but actually much can go wrong. Sausages burst, burn on the outside while staying raw in the center, or shrivel up. Serious Eats' meticulous experiments show how to cook the perfect sausage: by poaching and grilling at the same time.If you're a grill master, you may already be poaching or roasting sausages in the oven before finishing them on the grill. However, with that method, Serious Eats' J. Kenji López-Alt says, you don't get as much smoke flavor, due to the short grilling time. Also, it's kind of a hassle.

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Frida Kahlo lovers, here's a chance to taste her cooking

Frida Kahlo lovers, here's a chance to taste her cooking | Gastronomic Expeditions | Scoop.it
Frida Kahlo, the cult-figure Mexican artist whose collection of photographs will be shown in a new exhibit at Long Beach’s Museum of Latin American Art , was also a cook. And to celebrate the opening of the show, MOLAA has asked Luis Navarro, proprietor of the popular local restaurant Lola’s Mexican Cuisine , to lead a cooking class based on her recipes. As a bonus, Navarro has convinced Kahlo’s nephew, an old friend of his, to participate in the event via a Skype Q&A.
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Emulating Ecosystems: A Story About Beer

Emulating Ecosystems: A Story About Beer | Gastronomic Expeditions | Scoop.it

"In nature, there are communities of organisms that interact with each other and the nonliving parts of their environment. That’s what an ecosystem is. Living organisms include plants, animals, bacteria, fungi, and more. We humans are part of the ecosystems we live in, but we don’t always contribute as much to the community as we could. Let’s look at ways some businesses have learned to start behaving more like cooperative members of nature. This story is about beer but can be applied to any business because it’s about how emulating an ecosystem can lead to less waste while supporting various industries."


Via Miguel Prazeres, Ashish Umre
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Scientists sequence genome of high-value grape, seek secrets of wine's aroma

Scientists sequence genome of high-value grape, seek secrets of wine's aroma | Gastronomic Expeditions | Scoop.it

Demystifying the chemical processes that create a wine's aroma, and the invaluable potential application of that understanding in winemaking, is the new objective of scientists in Uruguay who, with European partners, also recently sequenced the genome of the high-value Tannat grape, from which "the most healthy of red wines" are fermented.

 

Meanwhile, a quick, $1 test in development by researchers in Paraguay and Uruguay promises to reduce the economic and health burden of 3 million cases of syphilis in Latin America -- a disease readily treated and cured if diagnosed early.

 

Though seemingly disparate, the twin breakthroughs have a common midwife: the UN University's Venezuela-based BIOLAC programme, which in 2013 marks 25 years of advancing regional economic and health interests by building biotech science throughout Latin America and the Caribbean.

 

Connected at UNU-BIOLAC workshops in Montevideo, Uruguayan chemistry professor Francisco Carrau and scientist Massimo Delledonne of Italy recently collaborated on sequencing the Tannat grape, pressings of which, thanks partly to its many seeds, produces the largest concentration of tannins -- an anti-oxidant that combats the ageing of cells.

 

Wines made from the Tannat are known as the most healthy of red wines due to their high levels of procyanidins, said to be good for reducing blood pressure, lowering cholesterol and encouraging healthy blood clotting.

 

Says Prof. Carrau: "A wine made with Tannat has twice the tannins of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot or Pinot Noir. Sequencing the grape's genome will allow vintners to protect a valuable niche in the world's $300 billion wine industry."

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En dos días, el tequila mexicano sumó 800 millones de consumidores en India y China exportarán: 2 millones de litros

En dos días, el tequila mexicano sumó 800 millones de consumidores en India y China, gracias a los acuerdos comerciales con ambos países que permitieron el reconocimiento de la Norma Oficial Mexicana de esta bebida y la exportación de la denominación “100% de agave”.

 

El martes pasado, los presidentes de México, Enrique Peña Nieto, y de China, Xi Jinping, firmaron un acuerdo en el que los chinos se comprometieron a quitar, en forma definitiva, las barreras arancelarias a la bebida azteca por tradición.

 

El acuerdo representa una medida para buscar un mayor equilibrio en la balanza comercial de ambos países, donde México presenta un déficit de 51 mil millones de dólares al cierre de 2012.

En dos días, el tequila mexicano sumó 800 millones de consumidores en India y China, gracias a los acuerdos comerciales con ambos países que permitieron el reconocimiento de la Norma Oficial Mexicana de esta bebida y la exportación de la denominación “100% de agave”. El martes pasado, los presidentes de México, Enrique Peña Nieto, y de China, Xi Jinping, firmaron un acuerdo en el que los chinos se comprometieron a quitar, en forma definitiva, las barreras arancelarias a la bebida azteca por tradición. El acuerdo representa una medida para buscar un mayor equilibrio en la balanza comercial de ambos países, donde México presenta un déficit de 51 mil millones de dólares al cierre de 2012. “Se tomaron acuerdos que se habían pospuesto por 6 años, y una muestra es el haberse concluido (…) la instrucción para que el Gobierno –chino– permita el acceso de todas las categorías de tequila”, dijo Peña Nieto en conferencia de prensa, tras reunirse con el mandatario asiático.

Este contenido ha sido publicado originalmente por SINEMBARGO.MX en la siguiente dirección: http://www.sinembargo.mx/06-06-2013/645441. Si está pensando en usarlo, debe considerar que está protegido por la Ley. Si lo cita, diga la fuente y haga un enlace hacia la nota original de donde usted ha tomado este contenido. SINEMBARGO.MX
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Brighton & Hove Food and Drink Festival: 5 - 13 September 2013

Brighton & Hove Food and Drink Festival: 5 - 13 September 2013 | Gastronomic Expeditions | Scoop.it

The Brighton & Hove Food and Drink Festival is the largest festival of its kind in the south of England, running every Easter and for ten days in September.

 

With local producers, growers, restaurants, bars and food retailers firmly at it’s heart, it’s a showcase of the fantastic food, drink and hospitality to be found in the city and surrounding Sussex.

 

Rated by the New York Post in February 2012 as one of the world's leading local food events, the festival also runs and supports food activity throughout the year including farmers markets and the Brighton Restaurant Association.

 

Explore our website and tuck in to Brighton & Hove with us!

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Climate change, wine, and conservation: Climate change could shift regions suitable for wine production

Climate change is expected to impact ecosystems directly, such as through shifting climatic controls on species ranges, and indirectly, for example through changes in human land use that may result in habitat loss. Shifting patterns of agricultural production in response to climate change have received little attention as a potential impact pathway for ecosystems. Wine grape production provides a good test case for measuring indirect impacts mediated by changes in agriculture, because viticulture is sensitive to climate and is concentrated in Mediterranean climate regions that are global biodiversity hotspots. Here we demonstrate that, on a global scale, the impacts of climate change on viticultural suitability are substantial, leading to possible conservation conflicts in land use and freshwater ecosystems. Area suitable for viticulture decreases 25% to 73% in major wine producing regions by 2050 in the higher RCP 8.5 concentration pathway and 19% to 62% in the lower RCP 4.5. Climate change may cause establishment of vineyards at higher elevations that will increase impacts on upland ecosystems and may lead to conversion of natural vegetation as production shifts to higher latitudes in areas such as western North America. Attempts to maintain wine grape productivity and quality in the face of warming may be associated with increased water use for irrigation and to cool grapes through misting or sprinkling, creating potential for freshwater conservation impacts. Agricultural adaptation and conservation efforts are needed that anticipate these multiple possible indirect effects.

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Montelobos Mezcal Joven

Montelobos Mezcal Joven | Gastronomic Expeditions | Scoop.it

Crafted in Oaxaca from 100% agave espadin, this lightly overproof, unaged mezcal is a classic example of the spirit from head to toe.

 

The nose of Montelobos is intensely smoky, with a barbecue-like sweetness underpinning the char. On the tongue, it follows through on this promise. A rush of fresh barbecue smoke, followed by intense vegetation — not just agave but green beans, asparagus, and artichokes. Sounds nasty, sure, but it works, much like a plate of grilled vegetables on the campfire… with a sausage on the side.

 

The finish is mouth-filling and long, fire, brimstone, and deep savory notes. Solid mezcal start to finish, with an extra little kick due to a touch higher alcohol content.

 

86.4 proof.

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Fructose has different effect than glucose on brain regions that regulate appetite

In a study examining possible factors regarding the associations between fructose consumption and weight gain, brain magnetic resonance imaging of study participants indicated that ingestion of glucose but not fructose reduced cerebral blood flow and activity in brain regions that regulate appetite, and ingestion of glucose but not fructose produced increased ratings of satiety and fullness, according to a preliminary study published in the January 2 issue of JAMA.

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Steve Kingsley's curator insight, July 27, 2013 1:07 PM

Blood sugar IS glucose, so this should not be surprising, but common sense. 

Steve Kingsley's curator insight, September 27, 2013 5:44 PM

Common sense... glucose IS blood sugar. 

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The Vine Nerds: How Data Is Revolutionizing the Art of Winemaking

The Vine Nerds: How Data Is Revolutionizing the Art of Winemaking | Gastronomic Expeditions | Scoop.it

Perched high atop Pritchard Hill,Ovid Napa Valley’s vineyard boasts a majestic view of Northern California’s wine country. From the front of the property, you can see all the way to the Mayacamas Mountains that divide Napa and Sonoma counties.

 

This breathtaking tableau is lost for the moment on Thibaut Scholasch, who’s crouched in the vineyard, gently parting clusters of blueberry-sized cabernet sauvignon grapes. “This is a pipe,” he says, holding a vine between his thumb and forefinger. “Water flows right underneath the surface.”We all learned in grade school how a plant conveys water and nutrients to its extremities. But Scholasch, who holds a PhD in grape growing, understands this distribution process far more intimately. With this particular vine he knows precisely how much water is flowing in the pipe at any given moment. That’s because he can see inside.

 

Scholasch tugs on a section of Velcro and peels back a layer of insulation, revealing a sap-flow sensor. About 3 inches long, it’s a simple device consisting of a heating element, two thermometers, and a transmitter. “There are two wires that measure the temperature, one before the heat is applied and one after,” he says. The difference between the readings indicates the amount of water present. The system, while simple, is powerful enough to unravel thousands of years of farming practices.

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How To Make A Salad That Doesn't Suck: A Guide For The Nutritionally Unvirtuous

How To Make A Salad That Doesn't Suck: A Guide For The Nutritionally Unvirtuous | Gastronomic Expeditions | Scoop.it
Even the more willing salad-eaters among us tend to think of salad as the culinary equivalent of floss, i.e. as a depressing incarnation of grim, miserable healthfulness wagging a finger of admonishment from the most boring sector of the table. At family functions, you scoop some onto your plate with the same shrugging resignation with which you put in your yearly appearance at a church service: Ah hell, better heap some of this crap on there so Grandma won't get on my case.

Hey, maybe if I dump half a bottle of ranch dressing on it, you think, brightening, then it'll be more like somebody just spilled a harmless fistful of lawn clippings into an otherwise delicious puddle of mayonnaise!

Friends, that's not what a salad is meant to be. A salad, well executed and embraced as an opportunity to stuff more things that are good into our bodies, should be a carnival of lively flavors, textures, and colors. It should excite your eyes, exercise your teeth, and make your palate sing with joy. You should stare at it intently while you eat, lustily mixing and matching its various ingredients on your fork; you should finish before you're ready to be done and then nudge your dumb salmon toward the edge of your plate to make room for more salad. It should be a glorious, indulgent feast: healthful, sure, yeah OK, but mostly delicious and diverse and fresh and ecstatic.
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Steve Kingsley's curator insight, July 27, 2013 1:14 PM

Make them with REALLY fresh ingredients straight from your garden or nearby farm/market stands and they WILL BE delicious!

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People who read food labels stay thinner, study finds

An international team of scientists headed from the University of Santiago de Compostela has found that reading the labels on food products is linked to obesity prevention, especially in women. According to the study which used data from the United States, female consumers who consult food labels weigh nearly 4 kilograms less.Along with the Universities of Tennessee, Arkansas (USA) and the Norwegian Institute for Agricultural Finance Research, the University of Santiago de Compostela has participated in a study on the relationship between reading the food label and obesity.

 

The results indicated that the body mass index of those consumers who read that label is 1.49 points lower than those who never consider such information when doing their food shopping. This translates as a reduction of 3.91 kg for an American woman measuring 1.62 cm and weighing 74 kg.

The data was taken from the annual National Health Interview Survey (NHIS) performed by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC -- http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/nhis.htm). Some 25,640 observations were collected on health and eating and shopping habits. These included various questions on whether participants read the nutritional information in supermarkets and how often.

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Steve Kingsley's curator insight, July 27, 2013 1:17 PM

One can argue about the "cause and effect" relationship here - but what really counts is the result, doesn't it?

Steve Kingsley's curator insight, September 12, 2013 8:49 PM

We can and should have a debate about the "cause and effect" relationship here - but what really counts is the result, doesn't it?

Jamie Robins's curator insight, March 10, 3:32 AM

Is this true of all readers of labels or is there a marketing angle associated with these claims?

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For the Most Flavorful Steaks, Check for Marbling (and Other Steak Grilling Tips)

For the Most Flavorful Steaks, Check for Marbling (and Other Steak Grilling Tips) | Gastronomic Expeditions | Scoop.it

If you want the juiciest, most flavorful steak you can cook, look for plenty of fat throughout the meat. Serious Eats' guide to grilling steak says marbling is a more important quality to look for than just the grade of the beef (Prime, Choice, or Select).

 

Why is this? Well, that marbling is responsible for both moisture and that beefy flavor:

 

As well-marbled meat cooks, the fat will slowly melt, adding juiciness built right into the meat. Non-marbled meat might have plenty of fat on the exterior, but it doesn't enhance the steak in the same way. Sort of like the difference between drinking a glass of chocolate milk or drinking the milk then shooting the chocolate syrup.

 

Flavorwise, almost all of the compounds our tongues sense that give us the thought "ooh, that's beefy" are found in the fat. In fact, if you take the fat out of a piece of beef and replace it with lamb fat, it'll taste like lamb. Want chicken-flavored beef? Cook lean beef in chicken fat.

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