Tag Archives: food - Page 2

Why Drinking Milk Is Just Not Right

Besides the fact that no one in their right mind would walk up to a cow’s udder and start suckling, the New York Times has an article that lists all the other reasons our dairy habits make absolutely no sense:

  • About 50 million Americans are lactose intolerant; that’s only about 17% of the entire country, but 90% of asians and 75% blacks, Mexicans and Jews. Why? Because the milk-drinking culture came from Northern Europe, where for some unknown reason — probably famine — people started drinking another species’ milk, as adults, and those whose bodies could still process milk as adults tended to have more kids than normal people. That mutation eventually became mainstream, and a few thousand years later pretty much all European adults are lactose tolerant; so, we make things like cheese and ice cream and the milk they sell in stores — which bears little resemblance to actual milk — and treat it like a sort of tonic that we actually need for our health.
  • Milk (even the non-fat kind) contains an amount of calories on par with soda, and half of it comes from sugars in the form of lactose.
  • Besides lactose intolerance, there’s a common food allergy called milk allergy, which most people have never heard of and which causes things like indigestion, constipation, headaches, and rashes. If you consume dairy often and have problems like that, try stopping for a week to make sure you don’t have an allergy or intolerance.
  • From a doctor quoted in the article: “It’s worth noting that milk and other dairy products are our biggest source of saturated fat, and there are very credible links between dairy consumption and both Type 1 diabetes and the most dangerous form of prostate cancer.”
  • Milk production is propped up by the Big Milk industry, which is composed of factories filled with tens of thousands of cows, since that level of production is the only way to make a living selling milk. The 9 million dairy cows in this industry live miserable lives and pollute the environment with a ton of methane.
  • But it’s good for you, right? Actually, you would get more calcium from green, leafy vegetables than from milk. And all your bones need to stay strong is exercise and sunshine, from which you get vitamin D.

The modern milk farm/factory. Photo from The Daily Mail.

 

Milk products like yogurt and cheese are a little better, since they’re easier to digest. But — with the exception of yogurt, which has been shown to help with weight loss — dairy should be treated more like a guilty pleasure than a tonic. And in the end, let’s face it: if you wouldn’t drink human milk, you shouldn’t drink bovine milk either.

See also:

 

From The New York Times, via Lifehacker

How To Make A Big Mac At Home

A few weeks ago, McDonald’s Canada showed us why burgers look better in ads. Now, they have another video showing us how to make a Big Mac using ingredients from the grocery store, including the not-so-secret sauce. It doesn’t give measures for the ingredients, but here’s a rough recipe for it based on the video below:

Ingredients

  • Mayonnaise
  • Sweet pickle relish
  • Classic yellow mustard
  • White wine vinegar
  • Garlic powder
  • Onion powder
  • Paprika
  • Onion
  • Lettuce
  • 2 hamburger pickles
  • 1 slice of American cheese
  • 1.5 sesame seed buns (two bottoms and one top)
  • 2 all-beef patties

 

Procedure

  1. To make the sauce, mix roughly equal parts of relish and mustard with twice more mayo, some white wine vinegar, and equal parts garlic powder, onion powder, and paprika.
  2. Dice the onion
  3. Chop the lettuce
  4. Toast the buns in a skillet
  5. Grill the burgers in the skillet, and season them with salt and pepper after flipping them over
  6. In the following order, place sauce, onions, and lettuce on both the heel (bottom bun) and the club (middle bun)
  7. Add the slice of cheese to the heel
  8. Add two pickles to the club
  9. Add patties to both the heel and the club
  10. Put the club on the heel, then the top on the club

It all seems like a lot more work and expense than a Big Mac is worth — given that it’s pretty inexpensive to buy, — but if you’re making them in bulk for a party, or just want to make sure you’re eating food made from high-quality ingredients, then this might be worth it.

See also:

From YouTube, via Lifehacker

Kool-Aid Is Creepier Than You Imagined

From Three Word Phrase, via Neatorama

Food Expiration Dates Are For Quality, Not Safety

The USDA has a webpage which explains what the four different types of expiration dates mean; from the page:

  • “Sell-By” date tells the store how long to display the product for sale. You should buy the product before the date expires.
  • “Best if Used By (or Before)” date is recommended for best flavor or quality. It is not a purchase or safety date.
  • “Use-By” date is the last date recommended for the use of the product while at peak quality. The date has been determined by the manufacturer of the product.
  • “Closed or coded dates” are packing numbers for use by the manufacturer.

The page goes on to say that even for the use-by date, “a product should be safe, wholesome and of good quality if handled properly and kept at 40°F or below.” Things that have been continuously frozen are safe indefinitely. Otherwise, the USDA recommends to eat it by the use-by date, if the package has one, just because it’ll taste better, if nothing else. The safety issues come into play mainly when food is improperly handled, even if it’s before the use-by date. Improper handling can include leaving food out for several hours, thawing for more than two hours, contaminating it with something or being handled by filthy people. Foods should also pass the smell and look test: if it smells or looks funny, even if it’s not unsafe, it’s at least past its prime as far as quality goes.

 

For sell-by dates, on the other hand, the USDA provides a couple of charts (below) which indicate that uncooked poultry and processed meats can be kept for a day or two after bringing them home (regardless of the sell-by date), other uncooked meats for 3 to 5 days, cured ham for up to a week and eggs for up to 5 weeks.  (It also goes into some detail on eggs with the USDA shield, which are stamped with the day of the year they were packed — 001 for January 1st, 179 for June 27, 365 for December 31st — and have to be sold 45 days after that.  A calculator which converts dates into the day of the year is available at mistupid.com. Eggs should also be kept in the coldest part of the fridge, not the door.)  Cooked meats that have been processed and packed at a plant can be kept for quite a while longer: at least a few days in the package, then another few days after opening.

 

 

From USDA, via Lifehacker

Why Burgers Look Better In Ads

McDonald’s Canada made this video showing exactly how burgers are photographed and how they compare with ones made in the restaurant. It’s a very interesting and surprisingly frank behind-the-scenes look at the advertising process.

From YouTube, via Laughing Squid

Doritos Tacos Are Taco Bell’s Most Popular Product Ever

In retrospect, the question shouldn’t be “how did they come up with it?”, but rather “why haven’t taco shells always been made out of Doritos?” Face it, it just makes sense. And that’s probably why Taco Bell has sold 100 million of them in ten weeks, meaning they sold about one per American household in that time. It took McDonald’s 18 years to sell it’s first 100 million burgers. Next up: they’re making a Cool Ranch version.

 

Via Huffington Post

Salt Made From Different Kinds Of Tears

A company in London called Hoxton Street Monster Supplies sells a line of a salt supposedly made from a variety of human tears: ones of joy, sorrow, anger, as well as the ones from sneezing and chopping onions.

 

From Hoxton Street Monster Supplies, via Laughing Squid

Arbitrarily Tasty

 

From Jim Benton, via Laughing Squid

You’re Not Really Eating Kobe Beef

The world-renown Kobe beef is a delicacy that is not sold anywhere outside of Japan. Yet many American restaurants have menu items supposedly containing Kobe beef. According to NPR, they’re all lying: besides the fact that it has to come from a particular lineage of cow and has to be slaughtered in a particular region of Japan, Kobe beef is illegal to import in the United States.

 

Fake Kobe burger on the menu at Square One Burgers

 

The USDA has not approved any of the Kobe slaughterhouses to export their meat to America due to health concerns, so it cannot be legally imported either commercially or privately. The only way it can get into the country is if it were smuggled in. But since the Kobe trademark is not recognized by the US government, anyone is free to slap the Kobe name to any old beef and charge twice the price for being clever enough to do so.

But the Kobe beef you find in American restaurants is likely not entirely fraudulent: American Kobe-style beef comes from a hybrid cattle bred from the Wagyu cattle (which produces true Kobe beef), and Angus cattle, which is better suited to American climates. Besides the genetic lineage however, true Kobe beef also has a secret cattle-raising tradition which, rumors say, include being fed superior grain, beer, and even massaged with sake. The American Kobe cattle gets none of that treatment: it’s really just a genetic cousin of the Wagyu cattle that’s fatted up about a year longer than normal, and is probably organic. So it’s quality beef, but nowhere near true Kobe.

Other products are legally protected from similar counterfeiting:

  • Champagne has to come from the Champagne region in France; otherwise, it’s just sparking wine
  • Scotch has to come from Scotland, otherwise it’s just whiskey
  • Bourbon has to come from the US (preferably from Kentucky)

From NPR and ABC News

(Updated April 23rd, to include information about American Kobe-style beef.)

Sandwich Police

That is, the police in Sandwich, MA.

 

From Demotivating Posters