Saturday, October 24, 2009

Video: Deep Fried Butter? It’s Gaining Popularity!

NBC NewschannelPublished: October 15, 2009


When Abel Gonzalez’s fried butter won the Texas State Fair’s prize for most original fried food, it was funny - not appetizing.

But the cute, little balls of gluttony have turned into a huge hit and turned some big heads.
Deep fried butter.

The State Fair of Texas prides itself on deep frying everything.Oreos, peanut butter and jelly, snickers bars, dirty boots, peanut butter cups, macaroons, twinkies. But deep fried butter is opening a new realm.

“I never had a clue that people were going to have this kind of reaction to it,“ said Gonzalez, otherwise known as ‘The Fried Butter Man’. “I just thought hey, you know, fried butter why not…never had a clue.“

But Abel Gonzalez is the architect of the fried butter phenomenon.

What kind of process do you go through when deciding to purchase fried butter?

“I always get certain things when I come to the fair,“ said one unidentified fried butter customer,
“A Fletcher’s corn dog, funnel cake and a novelty item. So this is it."

But in a strictly unofficial survey of State Fair-goers who sampled fried butter, everyone approved.

“It’s good, it’s great,“ offered one customer.

“Was there a party in your mouth?““Yes.““And who was invited?““The grape jelly.“ “Everyone was invited."

And everyone’s invited to Abel’s carney version of Sodom and Gomorrah.

By the way. Fried butter? It tastes like toast.

And Abel says the taste of buttered toast was exactly what he was shooting for.

Like pizza? Like the environment? Check out the "Green Box."

According to Environmentally Conscious Organization, Inc., an "innovative green packaging solutions" company, "The ‘Green Box’ breaks down easily into convenient serving plates while the remainder of the box converts into a handy storage container for leftovers. The perforations and/or scores that create this functionality then allow for easy storage, collapsibility and disposal. In today’s convenience-oriented and environmentally conscious world, customers young and old will embrace such functionality."

Check out their homepage.

"Smart Choices" Food Labeling Program Halts Over FDA Concerns

(AP) PORTLAND, Ore. - A food industry group is voluntarily halting promotion of its nutrition labeling program after federal regulators said such systems could mislead consumers, officials with the group said Friday.

Industry leaders launched the "Smart Choices" program in August to identify foods that meet certain nutritional standards and then highlight them for consumers with a green label on package fronts.

(click headline to continue reading...)

Friday, October 23, 2009

7 awesome examples of unnecessary "quotation marks"

Quotation marks are awesome in general, but even more so when used "incorrectly." We've compiled a few photos from around the Web that prove this point...(click headline to go to slideshow at

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Sense of Taste from a Sense of Place

Blogger April McGreger writes about her personal experiences and the many rewarding aspects of eating locally. In particular, she has enjoyed exploring her own region (North Carolina) in depth. She aptly quotes the wisdom of Wendell Berry, who says, “You’ve got to know where you are. You’ve got to consult the genius of the place.”

McGreger discusses her increased awareness that the food choices she makes are governed by the competing considerations of identity, convenience, price, and responsibility.
Sense of Place, for many people, revolves around not only physical spaces but also the food, community, and culture of a place - be it a house, a city, or a larger geographical region.

Coca-Cola Unveils Sleek, New 90-Calorie Mini Can

ATLANTA--(BUSINESS WIRE)--A little happiness in a stylish new package is coming soon to your refrigerator. Coca-Cola today introduced a new 90-calorie sleek mini can to give consumers a better way to manage their calories.

“As the world’s largest beverage company, we take seriously the need to help consumers balance calories consumed with calories expended,” said Sandy Douglas, president, Coca-Cola North America. “The Coca-Cola mini can innovation reinforces the Company’s support for healthy, active lifestyles.”

The 7.5-fluid ounce mini can carries the distinct Coca-Cola contour-shaped bottle image in white with a red background. Additional brands that also will feature the sleek mini can packaging include: Sprite, Fanta Orange, Cherry Coca-Cola and Barq’s Root Beer. It will be sold in eight-packs.

Consumers in Washington, D.C. and New York City will get a first glimpse of the 90-calorie sleek mini can when it debuts in December. The rollout will expand to the rest of the country and be well underway by March 2010.

(click title to continue reading)

Artificial Sweeteners: How Bad Are Saccharin, Aspartame?

Too much sugar will make you fat, but too much artificial sweetener will ... do what exactly? Kill you? Make you thinner? Or have absolutely no effect at all? This week marks the 40th anniversary of the Food and Drug Administration's decision to ban cyclamate, the first artificial sweetener prohibited in the U.S., and yet scientists still haven't reached a consensus about how safe (or harmful) artificial sweeteners may be. Shouldn't we have figured this out by now? (See the top 10 bad beverage ideas.)

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

The Business of Giving Exploring philanthropy, non-profits and socially motivated business, from the Gates Foundation to your donation. A fresh look

Get sustainable agriculture right this time, experts urge

Food quantity or food quality? Can the world quell starvation now and still have a healthy ecosystem over the long term?

Tough questions for anyone concerned about agriculture and its relation to hunger and poverty.

In a keynote speech at the World Food Prize symposium today, Bill Gates said he supports sustainable agriculture, welcome words to experts in the field, who say there is no short term fix.

Much as he changed the landscape on health, the world's richest philanthropist is trying to spark a new revolution in agriculture. The first Green Revolution improved crop yields, but at the expense of the environment. This time, there may be a chance to get it right.

Availability of fresh food, exercise linked to healthy living

St. Paul, Minn. — Efforts to bring a supermarket into an underserved St. Paul neighborhood shine a light on a often overlooked fact: where we live has a direct effect on how we eat, exercise and ultimately, how healthy we are.

At the corner of Maryland Avenue and Clarence Street, just south of Lake Phalen in St. Paul, there's a Cub Foods store. A year ago, there was no supermarket here. There was a bar, an express lube, and a car wash.

Back then, people in this neighborhood had to travel at least a mile to get to a supermarket. Now, the grocery store is filled with fresh fruits and vegetables, ethnic foods of all kinds, and lots of choices.

Seasonal Eating Help From the Vegetannual

Written by Kim Ukura
From Eat.Drink.Better.
Published on September 25th

I recently heard a claim that people of my generation (I’m 23-years-old) are so disconnected from the food system that we can’t identify the correct season for our fruits and vegetables. At first, I scoffed at this idea – of course I know when to eat plants, that’s easy!

Turns out, I have no idea. I looked at a list of vegetables and beyond pumpkins, which I know are fall plants because I carve a jack-o-lantern every October, I couldn’t place any of them. Strawberries… maybe early spring? Lettuce… I didn’t think lettuce had a season?

I’ll admit defeat – I’ve been spoiled by supermarkets that show me tomatoes and carrots and lettuce and spinach year round, and I probably can’t identify the season for any of them. During my dieting phase at the end of college, these vegetables were staples of my daily eating whether they were in season or not. I’m so used to seeing them all the time it never occurred to me there was a better or worse time to eat them until I started listening to Barbara Kingsolver’s Animal, Vegetable, Miracle on audio book.

Study Upends Comfort-Food Theory

Posted October 7, 2009
By Peter West
HealthDay Reporter

WEDNESDAY, Oct. 7 (HealthDay News) -- During times of stress, many people will reach for that favorite bag of chips, soft drink or snack cake for a dose of quick comfort -- or so conventional wisdom holds.

But, a new study from the University of South Carolina takes aim at that comfort-food theory and contends that people undergoing significant change in their lives often pick unfamiliar, even healthier foods and lifestyle options.

"I am personally a creature of habit. That's why I am so interested in how people adapt to change," said lead researcher Stacy Wood, Moore Research Fellow and associate professor of marketing at the University of South Carolina. "While comfort foods do have a soothing function and really do make us feel good, we don't turn to them as readily as we think we do."

Wood's research, titled "The Comfort Food Fallacy: Avoiding Old Favorites in Times of Change," was published in the Journal of Consumer Research.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Food labeling confuses many people, critics say

At first it may seem only right for Dean Foods, the nation's largest organic dairy producer, to roll out a line of yogurts and milk marketed as "natural."

But Dean's announcement in the last week of June alarmed advocates of organic food, who say the burgeoning market for less-expensive "natural" foods reaps billions from consumers while guaranteeing little or nothing in exchange. Certified organic food products are regulated by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and produced by farmers and manufacturers under a strict set of rules. But the agency defines the term "natural" only for meat and poultry. In the rest of the food industry, the meaning is largely up to the producer.

Fresh, Fresh, Exciting: Near East Side Dwellers Get Boxes of Green Goodness

by Melinda

Detroit's Near East Side boasts an overabundance of gas stations and liquor-lotto marts, where residents are more apt to find rows of Colt 45 and Fritos, rather than bundles of fresh greens or bushels of apples. These neighborhoods are in general a prime example of a community in the city without easy access to quality grocery stores and fresh produce.

That's not the case this summer, however.

Kale, zucchini, tomatoes and cucumbers are just some of the veggies packing a nutritional punch this summer for Near East Side residents as part of a new initiative called Fresh Food Share -- a program that brings boxes of fresh produce to locals who contend with the absence of nearby grocery stores. At the same time, the program is building a stronger sense of community within a racially, ethnically and economically diverse area of the city.

Greenbacks for greens...

Fresh Food from City Soil

By Winstina S. Hughes
Brick City FarmsWinstina S. Hughes Lorraine Gibbons, of Maplewood, and John Taylor, who are partners in a sustainable farming business in Newark.

It’s raining softly outside the hybrid. We’re parked at a once-empty lot at the corner of Spruce Street and Washington Street near Lincoln Park in Newark, home to Brick City Urban Farms. John Taylor is explaining how seamlessly the pieces fell into place for the business venture on the site.

It started with an idea and then a call to Lorraine Gibbons, a colleague who lives in Maplewood and designs edible gardens as part of school curriculums. She also created the edible gardens for both Seth Boyden Elementary in Maplewood and the garden for the township’s historical house, Durand Hedden.

“I said, ‘Lorraine, I’m impressed with your work designing edible gardens at schools. We want to start an urban farm in the city,’ ” Mr. Taylor said.

Farm Fresh Food in School Lunches

The Live Healthy Nevada County Food and Nutrition Action Committee is trying its best to introduce healthy, fresh foods to area schools. “We are very keen to get programs implemented throughout Nevada County,” said Aimee Retzler.

Live Healthy’s pilot program is with Hennessy Elementary in Grass Valley. By partnering with Riverhill Farm, the program is finding success with nutrition education, bringing more fruits and vegetables into the diet, and bringing the farm to school. Recently the summer school class took a fieldtrip to Riverhill. “It’s fantastic hands-on learning,” said Retzler. Children went from plot to plot, learning about how food is planted and grows. As they learned, they harvested, and at the end of the tour, they made a huge salad. So excited about the food they had helped pick, the class chose to eat it instead of the school lunches that had been packed.