Friday Food News

KIMCHI DONUTDUNKIN’ CHEF: FERMENTATION IS THE NEXT BIG FOOD TREND
Via Bloomberg Businessweek

Dunkin’ Donuts has tried a kimchi doughnut in Korea and a yogurt-filled one in Greece, reflecting the rise of fermentation as the next hot food trend, said Dunkin’ Brands Executive Chef Jeff Miller. In the U.S., the trend will likely come into play as the chain expands its sandwich line, Miller said.

THAI COPYCATS FACE SCRUTINY FROM FOOD TESTING ROBOT
Via The New York Times

The government in Thailand has developed a robot to test dishes at Thai restaurants outside of Asia to determine their quality and authenticity. The “e-delicous” machine measures the chemical composition of dishes and compares them to the country’s specialties that are programmed into its processor.

N.Y. INSTALLS FARM-FRESH VENDING MACHINES
Via ModernFarmer.com

New York food purveyors are reaching tourists by selling their goods in rest stop vending machines. The farm-fresh machines dispense juices, fruit and baked goods from local eateries, exposing on-the-go diners to healthier options and increasing sales for local businesses.

HOLIDAY TREATS GET AN UNEXPECTED TWIST
Via Nation’s Restaurant News

Chefs are getting creative with holiday-inspired desserts this year, often swapping out pumpkin for lesser known squash varieties or turning traditional treats such as eggnog into unforgettable offerings, such as the eggnog ice cream sandwich from Cream in San Francisco. “The infusion of seasonal harvest ingredients into classic holiday treats provides guests with a festive dining experience,” said chef Michael Moorhouse.

STARBUCKS BRAN EFFORT STARS CUSTOMERS FROM AROUND THE WORLD
Via Advertising Age

Starbucks is showing a day in the life of its stores in a global “Meet me at Starbucks” campaign that centers on a mini-documentary filmed in 59 stores across 28 countries. The nearly six-minute film, which will have a one-minute TV version, was created by 72andSunny and shows a wide array of customers, from dancing teenagers to elderly couples.

CHEF CORPS BRINGS COUNTRIES TOGETHER
Via NPR’s The Salt

Chef Tim Byres, a member of the U.S. State Department’s Diplomatic Culinary Partnership, spent time cooking in Kyrgyzstan in an attempt to forge a connection between the U.S. and the central Asian nation. Byres said being a part of the Chef Corps showed him that culinary professionals all over the world face similar problems, such as “trying to keep a good hostess and trying to keep fingerprints off the glass door.”

 

image kimchi donut from Korea by bionicgrrrl on flickr

 

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Seeking Out Mindless Eating Solutions

SlimByDesign_HC

I recently started a column on the Eat + Run blog for U.S. News and World Report, hope you’ll follow me over there.  My first column was 7 Mindless Eating Solutions, based on the new book by Brian Wansink, Slim By Design. Hope you’ll check it out.

Here’s a look at what I wrote about:

Throughout the day, we’re constantly nudged to eat more than we intended, says Cornell professor and food psychologist Brian Wansink, who put the concept of  “mindless eating” on the map.

Since our willpower can be wimpy, Wansink believes the best approach to achieve our goals is to change our environment – focusing on those places where most of our eating occurs. Many nutritionists today talk about our “toxic food environment” as the root of the obesity problem in this country. But I’m not one who believes the universe is conspiring to fatten us up at every turn.

Even so, there are lots of temptations – at home, during our work day, when we eat out and when we shop for food. It turns out, we buy and eat most of our calories (more than 80 percent) within five miles of where we live. Wansink calls this our food radius.

We make about 200 food decisions every day, Wansink estimates. Many of these are nearly subconscious food choices. Finish it or leave it? A little or a lot? He believes that by making a few tweaks in our food radius, we can eat healthier without even thinking about it – and without dieting (which I certainly support).

Based on years of research, Wansink has compiled these environmental design tweaks in a clever new book, out today, called “Slim By Design: Mindless Eating Solutions for Every Life.” This is not another diet book. Instead, it focuses on ways you can redesign your surroundings to stack the deck in your favor.

Here are seven ways you can eat better by changing your environment:

1. Makeover your home kitchen. The goal is to make tempting foods less visible and convenient. So try clearing your counters of any food other than a fruit bowl. Put the healthiest foods out front and center in your cupboards and pantry – with a separate, hard-to-reach snack cupboard. Get rid of the clutter and take out comfy chairs and the TV to make the room less friendly for lounging, which can lead to more grazing and snacking.

2. Rearrange your fridge. Transfer all your fruits and vegetables from the crisper bin to the top shelf of your refrigerator, and move your less healthy foods down into the crisper. Keep cut fruit and vegetables in plastic bags on the eye-level shelf of your fridge for easy grabbing. Wrap indulgent leftovers in aluminum foil or put in opaque containers.

3. Do-over your dinner table. Start by downsizing your dishes, using 9 to 10-inch plates instead of jumbo ones. Pre-plate your food from the stove or counter instead of serving family-style on the table. Use tall or small glasses for anything that’s not water. Use smaller serving bowls and teaspoons as serving spoons. Use the half-plate rule.

4. Strategize at restaurants. Ask the server to bring the water and not the bread. Don’t eat things as big as your head. Check the menu descriptions – anything described as “crispy” likely has 131 more calories, and “buttery” tends to have 102 more calories. Ask for a half-size portion or commit to taking half the meal home in a to-go bag.

5. Rethink your grocery trips. Pop a piece of sugar-free gum in your mouth before you start shopping to lessen cravings and impulse spending, or eat a healthy snack before you leave home. Divide your shopping cart in half, and reserve the front half for fruits and vegetables. Shop the healthiest aisles first: produce, lean meat, low-fat dairy and whole grains.

6. Change your workplace habits. Forget about a candy dish on your desk. People who had candy within an arm’s reach reported weighing 15.4 pounds more than those who didn’t. Pack your lunch more often, and eat with a friend instead of at your desk. When going through a lunch line, pick up a piece of fruit first. It seems to trigger a chain reaction of healthier choices.

7. Use social media. Reach out to your favorite restaurant and supermarket via Twitter to make requests. Blog, Tweet, post on Facebook or talk your successes so others can start changing their food radius and make themselves slim by design. Wansink started an online community that can help: SlimByDesign.org.

 

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Are Carrots the New Kale?

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How did carrots make their move to the front of the pack?  Suddenly, everyone is talking about carrots.  Chefs are creating innovative menu items with carrots, and home cooks are reinventing this humble root vegetable — in main dishes, sides, drinks and desserts.  Take a look at the carrot trend over at Healthy Aperture.  It’s the topic of my latest Trend Spotlight.  You won’t believe all the innovative carrot dishes our Healthy Aperture bloggers are cooking up.

image by Nick Wheeler on flickr

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Friday Food News

PicMonkey Collage

LOW-CARB VS. LOW FAT
via New York TimesReuters

No doubt, the biggest nutrition news of the week was the reporting on a new study in the Annals of Internal Medicine that seemed to extol praises on a low-carb diet for weight loss and reducing heart disease risk.  Although I encourage you to read beyond the headlines and take a look at the excellent response from Dr. David Katz, which was picked up in this great opinion piece in New York Times.  Even though the study did not conclude that we should eat a lot of meat and pour on the fat, I’m afraid the findings will be fodder for Paleo followers.  I liked this follow-up article from the New York Times reporter that wrote the earlier article on the study: New answers about carbs and fat.  I’m afraid people are more confused than ever.

In other nutrition research news:  childhood diet habits set in infancy via New York Times and Pediatrics, family meals may defuse cyberbullying’s impact via JAMA Pediatrics, and training your brain to prefer healthy foods via Nutrition & Diabetes.

16 CULINARY TRENDS SWEEPING THROUGH NEW YORK CITY
via The New York Times

I thought this list of New York City culinary trends was fun.  Predictions include pig and fish collars, free house-filtered water and seafood charcuterie such as Oceana’s lobster terrine and smoked gravlax.

TEA CONSUMPTION CONTINUES TO GROW IN U.S.
via The Washington Post 

The American tea market is now over $10 billion and growing. Black tea is the most popular type, but consumption of lesser-known teas such as rooibos and white tea is growing the fastest. Coffee demand has remained fairly stagnant, indicating some consumers may be replacing it with tea.

ARTISANAL FOOD HALLS REPLACE MALL FOOD COURTS
via Chicago Tribune

Food courts are being replaced with high-end food halls with gourmet offerings such as small-batch ice cream, artisanal coffee, high-quality breakfast sandwiches and butcher and cheese shops. “People are tired of shopping malls and supermarkets,” said developer Shaheen Sadeghi. “There’s a resurgence of food artisans and non-chain operators.”

SURVEY REVEALS CHANGING FOOD-BUYING PREFERENCES
via Washington Post

Millennials have different priorities than previous generations when buying food, according to a Food Marketing Institute report. They are more likely to shop and make shopping lists at the last-minute, and they are more likely to base those lists on specific recipes. The report also shows that more consumers are concerned about the sources of the food they buy and the ingredients in the items, compared with a 2007 survey.

THE MOST INNOVATIVE WOMEN IN FOOD AND DRINK
via Fortune

Fortune and sister publication Food & Wine have identified the top 25 women who influence the way we eat and think about food. The list features CEOs, Founders, philanthropists, TV Hosts, Producers and more. Noted women include Christina Tosi of Momofuku Milk Bar, Giada De Laurentis, Gina Gallo of Gallo Winery and Kim Jordan of New Belgium Brewing, among others. See article for the full list.

PASTRY CHEFS REACH FOR FRESH PRODUCE
via The Tennessean 

Vegetables are taking a  starring role in today’s trendy desserts such as pureed beet cake, kale gelato  with cinnamon and sweet corn ice cream. “I think people are more open to  trying unusual flavors,” said Lisa Bachman Jones, head baker at Fido in  Nashville, Tenn. “Our vegetable cakes and muffins have been really  popular.”

CARROT CRAZE HITS NATION’S TRENDY RESTAURANTS
via Nation’s Restaurant News

Carrots’ nutrient content,  naturally sweet flavor and versatility are making them the darling of trendy  restaurant menus. Chefs are pureeing, roasting and caramelizing the root  vegetable to create side dishes, condiments, appetizers, ice cream and  doughnuts.

 

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Tracking Food Trends

beet noodlesOne way I track food trends is to see what foods are being submitted to Healthy Aperture, the online food photo gallery I created with fellow dietitian Regan Miller Jones.  It’s a visual way to see what people are cooking, what ingredients are hot, what combinations are becoming popular and what cuisines are trending up.  These curated photos — from some of the best healthy food bloggers you can find — are among my best barometers.

I write a Trend Spotlight for the Healthy Aperture blog (which I hope you’ll follow), and my topics are often based on what I see being submitted by our blog network.  We also have boards on Pinterest, which is another great way to spot food trends.  Hope you’ll follow Healthy Aperture on Pinterest, too.  And check out my own boards on Pinterest, I have one board on Pinteresting Food Trends.

Here’s a look at some of the trends I’ve written about on Healthy Aperture:

Non-Wheat Noodles

Falafel Finds New Followers

A New View of Fries

Power Bowls on a Roll

Ancient Grains Get a Wake-up Call

Get to Know Miso

Middle Eastern Spices Go Mainstream

Casseroles Make a Comeback

New Love for Lentils

Image credit: Winter Caprese Beet Noodle Pasta by Inspiralized

 

 

 

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