Friday, January 30, 2009

A sweeter option

Worried about the reports of mercury in high-fructose corn syrup, which seems to be in many processed foods? First, cut down on your consumption of processed foods. If there is an ingredient listed that you can't pronounce or your grandmother didn't use in her baking, skip it. If you are still craving a sweet, carbonated drink, look for CocaCola made in Mexico (some Mexican groceries carry it), or if you like fruity flavors, try Jarritos or Hansen's brand soft drinks. Or buy seltzer water and add your own flavored sugar syrups, or Torani Italian syrups, to your taste.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

The bacon explosion

I can't compete with the Bacon Explosion, featured in the New York Times today.  But suffice to say, with 5,000 calories and 500 grams of fat, just one of those logs could go a long way in food security for whole village.

Moral of the video below: Maybe you shouldn't be putting something that can catch fire like that into your body. Or if you insist, use a smoker, not a grill.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

A billion hungry people

Soaring commodity prices pushed the number of people without enough food close to 1 billion last year, according to the UN Food and Agriculture Organization. Prices have been falling since July, partly because of a drop in fuel costs, but they are still a third higher than they were in 2005 and 61 percent higher than in 2000, the Food and Agriculture Organization says.

At a two-day food security conference in Madrid sponsored by the United Nations that ended yesterday, delegates from 95 countries met to discuss the food crisis that has stoked social unrest in many parts of the developing world and is threatening to push millions more people into hunger

Food security refers to the availability of food and one's access to it. A household is considered food secure when its occupants do not live in hunger.

Alex Wijeratna, a food rights campaigner for Action Aid, an anti-poverty agency based in London, told the International Herald Tribune that the most important message to emerge from the meeting was the need to include smallholder farmers in new agricultural strategies.

"If you're going to tackle hunger, you have to be talking to the people who are growing food all over the world," Wijeratna said.

The Global Call to Action Against Poverty, an alliance of civil society movements, contrasted the slow pace of initiatives to defeat poverty with governments' relatively nimble response to the banking crisis.

"The fat cats of the financial world got huge governmental support within months," the group said in a statement. "Not so the starving street cats."

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Breakfast on the go

If you need to be somewhere in a hurry, but still want a hot breakfast, a fried egg sandwich is the way to go. Heat a nonstick skillet over medium heat. When hot, put down four slices of bread and heat until toasted. Remove from skillet. If you'd like, add a tablespoon of oil. Crack two eggs into it. Season to taste. After 30 seconds, break the yolk and the white that surrounds it. Cook until the egg is set up, then flip. Add slices of sun-dried tomatoes (or slices of fresh ones with seeds removed) or canned Ortega peppers, cut in half with the seeds removed and top with a slice of cheese. Cook until the cheese melts, put on the toast and serve.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Food-label buzz words

The following definitions from the FDA can help you become a smarter shopper:

Calorie Free – fewer than 5 calories per serving.
Fat Free – less than half a gram of fat per serving.
Light – must contain one-third fewer calories than the regular version of the same product.
Low Fat– no more than 3 grams of fat per serving.
Low in Sodium – no more than 140 milligrams of salt per serving.
Low in Cholesterol – no more than 20 milligrams of cholesterol or 2 grams of saturated fat per serving.

Remember: Just because foods claim to be low in fat, sodium, or cholesterol doesn’t mean they’re low in calories. You have to look at the food label to get that information.

When looking at the food label, remember to look at “Serving Size” and “Servings Per Container.” The figures listed for calories, fat, and other ingredients are only for a single serving. Because there may be more than one serving in the package, you may need to multiply calories, fat, and other ingredients by the number of servings listed on the label to discover the nutritional contents of the entire package.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Beer haiku

OK, not every one is a gem, but for beer lite (as opposed to lite beer), 
go to
for gems such as this one:

A glorious buzz
Comes from good people, good food
And plenty of beer