31 July 2009

News: House Approves New Food-Safety Laws

It's about time -- but is it enough?

House Approves New Food-Safety Laws

By William Neuman
Published: July 30, 2009

“No legislation like this has moved forward this far in decades to overhaul the food safety laws,” said Erik D. Olson, director of food and consumer product safety issues at the Pew Charitable Trusts. “It’s a pretty historic moment.”

Read the entire article at The New York Times.

15 July 2009

Edible History of Humanity by Tom Standage

In our ongoing effort to highlight new and noteworthy publications related to food, Edible History of Humanity by Tom Standage, grabbed our attention. Historical and cultural overviews of certain foods, or geographical locations of food production and consumption, are always of particular interest. Edible History of Humanity certainly fills the criteria. An overview from Barnes and Noble:

"From the bestselling author of A History of the World in Six Glasses, this is a riveting history of humanity told through the foods we eat.

Throughout history, food has done more than simply provide sustenance; it has acted as a tool of social transformation, political organization, geopolitical competition, industrial development, military conflict and economic expansion. And today, in the culmination of a process that has been going on for thousands of years, the foods we choose in the supermarket connect us to global debates about trade, development, and the adoption of new technologies. An Edible History of Humanity is a journey through the uses of food that have helped to shape and transform societies around the world, from prehistory to the present.

Drawing on genetics, archaeology, anthropology, ethno-botany and economics, the story of these gastronomic revolutions is a deeply satisfying account of the whole of human history. "

Edible History of Humanity
by Tom Standage
Publisher: Walker & Company
Pub. Date: May 2009
ISBN-13: 9780802715883
288pp, hardcover


Available online at Barnes and Noble.

10 July 2009

The Healthiest Foods On Earth

Photo© Wojtek Kryczka/iStockphoto

More and more items keep appearing in the press, from major news organizations, to weekly neighborhood newspapers, and a legion of blogs and manufacturers' web sites (the site for high fructose corn syrup site is hilarious) on the importance of proper nutrition through "whole foods" especially natural and organic. Now, from Forbes:

"What is the best diet for human beings?

Vegetarian? Vegan? High-protein? Low-fat? Dairy-Free?

Hold on to your shopping carts: There is no perfect diet for human beings. At least not one that's based on how much protein, fat or carbohydrates you eat."

Read more at The Healthiest Foods On Earth by Jonny Bowden.

Nutrition Data

Nutritiondata.com is a site chock full of information on various foods, restaurant menus, and more, including:

>Nutrition glossary: Common nutrition terms defined

>Estimated Glycemic Load™, IF (Inflammation Factor) Ratings™, and omega-3 to omega-6 ratios and their effects on your body

>Fast-food nutrition facts for restaurants like Arby's, Burger King, McDonald's, Starbucks, and more

>Sensible diet advice

>Find foods highest in any vitamin or mineral or lowest in carbs, saturated fats, or sugars

>Help for newly diagnosed diabetics

>Diet and heart health

>Gaining weight the healthy way

>Weight loss tips, news, and tools

>My ND: Create and analyze recipes, track your diet, and save your favorite foods

>Can calorie restriction extend your life?

>The latest in the low-carb debate

>Nutritional supplements: Do you need them?

>Quick start: Just one click stocks your My Foods list with foods that fit your diet, such as low-carb, low-calorie, low-fat, heart-healthy, quick and healthy, or super-nutritious

If you are truly interested in what is contained in foods beyond what is included in an item's nutrition label, you will probably find yourself spending a good deal of time here exploring some of your favorite edibles.

Read more here.

06 July 2009

Mark Bittman's Kitchen Express: 404 Inspired Seasonal Dishes You Can Make in 20 Minutes or Less

Author of How to Cook Everything, Mark Bittman's new cookbook, Mark Bittman's Kitchen Express: 404 Inspired Seasonal Dishes You Can Make in 20 Minutes or Less, looks like it could be another worthy addition to your culinary library. Bittman's offerings in The New York Times are always informative, often off-beat, and usually quite entertaining -- especially the videos.

Synopsis (from Barnes and Noble):

"Cooking can be one of life's essential pleasures, even when you have to put dinner on the table every night. Now, with Mark Bittman's trusted voice as your guide, quick, easy, and fresh meals are always a realistic option.

Presented here are 404 dishes -- 101 for each season -- that will get you in and out of the kitchen in 20 minutes or less. Mark Bittman's recipe sketches provide exactly the directions a home cook needs to prepare a repertoire of eggs, seafood, poultry, meats, vegetables, sandwiches, and even desserts. Add a salad here, a loaf of bread there, and these dishes become full meals that are better than takeout and far less expensive.

These 404 recipes are as delicious and sophisticated as they are simple: Make the most of summer produce with Scallop and Peach Ceviche or Apricot Cream Upside-Down Pie. When the air starts to cool, try Salmon and Sweet Potato with Coconut Curry Sauce or Broiled Brussels Sprouts with Hazelnuts. On a cold winter night, warm up with White Bean Stew served over crusty slices of olive oil-brushed baguette. Or welcome spring with Shrimp with Asparagus, Dill, and Spice or Poached Eggs and Truffled Arugula Prosciutto Salad.

Because good ingredients are the backbone of delicious home cooking, Bittman includes a guide to the foods you'll want on hand to cook the Kitchen Express way, as well as suggestions for seasonal menus and lists of recipes for specific uses, like brown-bag lunches or the best dishes for reheating. With Mark Bittman's Kitchen Express, you can have dinner on the table in not much more time than it takes to read a traditional recipe."

Mark Bittman's Kitchen Express: 404 Inspired Seasonal Dishes You Can Make in 20 Minutes or Less
by Mark Bittman
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Adult Publishing Group
Pub. Date: July 2009
ISBN-13: 9781416575665

Available online at Barnes and Noble.

03 July 2009

Maplerama 2009; Tomato Maple Salsa Recipe

Here is an idea for summer vacationers in the Vermont area this July: The Maplerama 2009, will take place in Bennington, Vermont, on July 24, 25, 26, 2009.

"The Bennington County Sugarmakers will be hosting Maplerama 2009 on July 24, 25 and 26, 2009. The event will be held at Colgate Park in Bennington, Vermont in conjunction with the First Annual Shires Maple Festival. Friday afternoon and evening will feature a trade show and cocktail party; Saturday will provide a full day of sugar house tours with a Saturday night banquet. On Sunday there will be additional tours or technical sessions and a barbeque. Participants will also be able to enjoy the food and activities of the Maple Festival which will run from 10AM to 9PM on Saturday and 10AM to 5 PM on Sunday (times to be confirmed)."

For more information and registration, go to Maplerama 2009.

And also, from vermontmaple.org website, a recipe from Maple Syrup is a Natural in your Summertime Cooking!


6 big ripe tomatoes
1 large vidalia onion, small dice
2 red bell peppers, small dice
1/2 habenero pepper, minced
1 jalepeno pepper, minced
1 T. garlic, minced
1 bunch scallions, chopped
2 t. chopped chives
2 T. chopped dill
2 T. chopped cilantro
2 T. chopped parsley
2 T. lemon juice
1 T. lime juice
1/3 c. VT maple syrup
2 T. soy sauce
1/2 t. cayenne
1 t. cumin

Cut tomatoes in half across the width and scoop out
the seeds. Chop tomatoes into 1/2 inch cubes.
Combine liquid ingredients and toss with everything
else. Add salt and black pepper to taste. Cover and
refrigerate overnight for full flavor saturation. Stir
occasionally. Serve with big, solid tortilla chips or
over grilled meat or fish. This will last one week in
the refrigerator.