Friday Food News

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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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Friday Food News

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STARBUCKS, MCDONALD’S HEAD INTO FALL WITH PUMPKIN FLAVORS
Via Bloomberg
Restaurant chains will start offering their pumpkin-flavored fall menu items next week, including pumpkin lattes at Starbucks and McDonald’s. Food, beverage and even dog food makers are also beefing up their pumpkin offerings amid growing demand. U.S. sales of pumpkin-flavored food and drink grew 14% last year, fueling an 11% rise in pumpkin prices.  The popular fall drink at Starbucks is the latest gripe of Food Babe.  Don’t really agree with all her concerns — but I think it’s comical that she’s upset there’s no pumpkin in the drink.  It’s pumpkin SPICE, not the actual squash.  I thought people knew that?
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TECHNOLOGY TRANSFORMS THE WAY WE EAT
High-tech startups and scientists are searching to revolutionize the way we eat by reducing the country’s reliance on meat and creating easy-to-access, well-balanced meals. Experiments have created egg substitutes made out of Canadian yellow peas, in vitro meat production and liquid meal replacements.

 

THERE’S A REAL FRIENDS CENTRAL PERK COMING TO LOWER MANHATTAN

On September 17, the score will finally even out when Eight O’Clock Coffee launches its Central Perk pop-up at 199 Lafayette Street, timed to the show’s 20th anniversary. Although it will only be there for you for four weeks, it will have everything the consummate fan requires — the rust-orange couch, where visitors will be able to take “sofa selfies,” cameos by weirdo barista Gunther, even “Smelly Cat” sing-alongs. Eight O’Clock will hand out free joe every day, but intends to make it all back with a special Central Perk–theme coffee blend that’s coming to stores. 
 
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SALSA’S EXTREME MAKEOVER
If you think of salsa as a cold, chopped blend of tomatoes and onions, think again. The condiment, whose name is simply Spanish for “sauce,” can be any temperature, and chefs are experimenting with different textures, flavors and ingredients ranging from cheese to tequila.
 
MILLENNIALS SEEKING OUT HEALTHIER DINING OPTIONS
Millennials are increasingly seeking out healthier dining options and fueling a rise in snacking, trends that offer eateries a chance to boost sales and margins with smaller, healthier offerings. “The retail market is aggressively promoting snacks, but there’s plenty of room for restaurants to expand their snack programs and grab share,” said Technomic’s Darren Tristano.
 
DENNY’S GOES UPSCALE WITH FIRST NYC EATERY
Denny’s opened its first New York City restaurant Friday, with upscale features designed to fit into its lower Manhattan location. The eatery boasts wood paneling, leather booths, a full bar and a $300 Dom Perignon brunch for two.
 
LINEUP OF WEEKLY CELEBRITY COOKING COLUMNS IS EXPANDED BY AP
An expanded lineup of weekly cooking columns and food experts will be introduced by The Associated Press in the first week of September. Food Network star Melissa d’Arabian will be taking over “The Healthy Plate,” a weekly column aimed at helping home cooks discover the healthier side of everyday ingredients. Sara Moulton will launch “KitchenWise,” a weekly column that will use delicious recipes to teach basic cooking skills every home cook will want to master. D’Arabian’s arrival and Moulton’s “KitchenWise” will enrich an AP menu that also includes Elizabeth Karmel’s “The American Table,” which celebrates the diversity of simple home cooking, with a special focus on Southern cuisine and barbecue. In addition, AP Food Editor J.M. Hirsch will continue to cook up “Cooking on Deadline,” featuring easy, weeknight-friendly meals to help busy families get dinner on the table fast without sacrificing flavor.
 
FORMER SAVEUR EIC JAMES OSELAND TO LAUNCH ORGANIC LIFE
Via Eater
James Oseland, Saveur’s former Editor-in-Chief announced he is moving on to revamp Rodale’s Organic Gardening magazine with a fresh, new title Organic Life. A Rodale spokesperson shared that the new magazine will cover, “food, garden, home and well-being” and is scheduled to launch next year in March/April.
 
UBER BEGINS TESTING LUNCH DELIVERY WITH UBERFRESH
This week, the startup has now begun testing uberFRESH, a service that provides lunch between 11:30am and 2:30pm to customers in Santa Monica. The service offers a prix fix menu featuring a different selection each day that is refreshed every week for $12 per meal. The new service is available within the existing Uber app and users aren’t charged for delivery, plus no tip required. UberFRESH is just one of the delivery options Uber is experimenting with in an effort to expand its business through new avenues.
INSTAGRAM’S HYPERLAPSE LAUNCH IS QUICKLY EMBRACED BY MARKETERS
Via Adweek
Instagram’s Hyperlapse, which allows for easily created time-lapse videos, launched this week and has already seen significant participation from brand marketers. Naked Juice posted a sped-up video of people walking by a naked person with the tagline, “Don’t let life pass you by. Get Naked.”
Image credit:  Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Latte by Kathryn Buncik, salsa by Foodie Buddha

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Friday Food News

You can count on food being in the news every day.  Sometimes confusing, always amusing.  Here’s a look at what I’ve been reading this week.

salt - Tim Sackton

POUR ON THE SALT?
via Wall Street Journal, NBC News, HealthDay

The news about salt took a dramatic turn this week when a new study suggested that cutting back on sodium too much can actually be harmful. This global research (called PURE for Prospective Urban Rural Epidemiology studies) published in the New England Journal of Medicine tracked more than 100,000 people from 18 countries over an average of three years. Those who consumed fewer than 3,000 milligrams of sodium a day had a 27% higher risk of death or a serious event such as a heart attack or stroke in that period than those whose intake was estimated at 3,000 to 6,000 milligrams. Risk of death or other major events increased with intake above 6,000 milligrams.  So it’s bad to have too much and too little.

The American Heart Association objected to the findings, and here’s a response statement from Bonnie Liebman of the Center for Science in the Public Interest, which points out several flaws in the study:

The results of the PURE studies (by O’Donnell et al. and Mente et al.) should not change advice by health authorities—American Heart Association, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and others—to consume less salt to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease.”

Dr. Suzanne Oparil, a cardiologist at the University of Alabama, Birmingham, who wrote the editorial accompanying the research said:

“My personal bias is that there are so many more important things we could do.  A diet that reduces sugar drinks and approaches the Mediterranean diet will give you more benefit than regulating the salt aspect of the diet.”

Maybe that’s true. Although I’m concerned that the public is going to be more confused that ever.  I don’t want salt to be the new saturated fat.  Just like some people may think that butter is actually good for you now, I’m worried that they’ll interpret these headlines as a green light to pour on the salt. It’s time we don’t focus on one nutrient at a time, but consider the total diet.

Here’s a video from the New England Journal of Medicine explaining the three new salt studies published in the August 14 issue.

THE FRIED CALAMARI INDEX: A NEW TOOL FOR MEASURING FOOD TRENDS 
via New York Times

I love this new Times Chronicle tool for measuring food trends — which looks at how often terms are used in the pages of The New York Times. Writer Neil Irwin uses the example of fried calamari to demonstrate the trend tracking.  ”Fried calamari made a voyage that dozens of foods have made over the years: They start out being served in forward-thinking, innovative restaurants in New York and other capitals of gastronomy. Over time, they become more and more mainstream, becoming a cliche on big-city menus, showing up in high-end restaurants in smaller cities, and eventually finding their way to neighborhood bistros in the hinterlands and chain restaurants across the country.”  Fried calamari began its rise to mass popularity in 1980. The term peaked in 1996, mentioned in 56 articles, and has come down significantly since then.  Irwin used this method to look at other foods, including sun-dried tomatoes, pesto, crab cakes and hummus — all rarely mentioned before 1980.

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PIZZA DOMINATES AMERICA’S CASUAL FOOD CULTURE
via The New York Times

In an analysis of food trends from the New York Times archives, pizza took the top spot as the nation’s most preferred casual comfort food. In the 1950s, pizza started to gain attention nationwide, and by the 1980s it surpassed the hamburger in the number of food mentions in the newspaper.

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ARE BROCCOLI STALKS THE NEXT KALE? TRENDY INGREDIENTS BEING SOURCED FROM THE COMPOST PILE
via Wall Street Journal

Just as kale was transformed from an unappealing garnish to main menu item, chefs are looking for unlikely and usually tossed-out ingredients to become the next hot trend. Jonathan Wu, chef and partner at Fung Tu in New York City, saves broccoli stalks from the compost pile by slicing and serving them with beef and oyster sauce while Amanda Cohen of Dirt Candy uses beet, celery and carrot greens in stir-fries, pestos and pies.

THE CHURCH OF SUPERFOODS GAINS MORE BELIEVERS 
via Bloomberg BusinessWeek 

The popularity of superfoods continues to soar as more consumers believe that nutritious foods can not only improve their overall health but can even replace modern medicine, according to a Nielsen survey. “Consumers are proactively using food to address their health issues,” said Nielsen’s Sherry Frey. ”I believe we’ll continue to see this grow. The aging boomer demographic and millennials are interested in health claims and fortified foods.”

chimp food

FOOD ENTREPRENEURS TO WATCH
via Food Navigator

Here’s a fun bunch of food and beverage entrepreneurs — an interesting array of marketers who have created Chimp Food (‘walk like a man, eat like a chimp’), coffee four, egg white chimps, artichoke water, hybrid burgers and kids’  tea.

THE RISE OF KOREAN CUISINE ON AMERICAN MENUS
via Serious Eats

Nearly every major U.S. city now boasts Korean cuisine, from traditional barbecue to the arrival of kimchi and bulgogi on myriad menus. While immigration influenced the rise of Chinese and Japanese fare in the U.S., Korean food has only recently played catch up, partially because of a lack of Korean chef-run eateries. “We didn’t have many Korean chef-run restaurants until five years ago,” said chef Hooni Kim of New York’s Danji and Hanjan. “Chef-owned restaurants are the key to growing a cuisine. [Japanese chefs] taught Americans what real sushi was.”

CHEF ROY CHOI IS GETTING HIS OWN SHOW ON CNN
via Eater

More evidence of the Korean craze is the success of Chef Roy Choi, who started the food truck phenomenon with his widely successful Korean BBQ Kogi truck.  Coming off of the recent opening of his new restaurant in LA,  Roy Choi announced he is filming a new show for CNN. Based on various tweets, it appears the show will be named Street Food.

GLOBAL POPCORN MARKET HEATS UP
via FoodBev.com

Global launches of popcorn snacks grew more than 8% in the year ending in June, thanks to brands promoting the snack as healthier and less-processed than other bagged snacks, according to Innova Market Insights. The U.S. market accounted for more than 20% of new popcorn products, but complex flavors are becoming more popular in Europe where gourmet popcorn is starting to infiltrate the snack market.

THE FUTURE OF FOOD: HOW OUR EATING HABITS WILL CHANGE
via USA Today

USA WEEKEND asks experts: How will Americans be eating in five years? The article calls out four trends about the future of food; creating healthy food that is also delicious, farm-to-table trickle down, increased marketing for fresh foods and the end of the dieting culture.

WHOLE FOODS HIT WITH LAWSUITS OVER SUGAR CONTENT IN YOGURT
via Food Navigator , Philly.com

When you read a nutrition label, you expect the information to be correct.  Consumers demand it, FDA requires it.  So that’s why Whole Foods is in some hot water — hit by class action lawsuits over the labels on its 365 Everyday Value yogurts.  The labels declare just 2 grams of sugar per serving, yet Consumer Reports found that the amount is actually 11.4 grams.  Someone’s got some explaining to do.

 

images:  salt by TimSackton, fried calamari by Jules Morgan

 

 

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Friday Food News

Hello Friday. TGIF.  Another end of the week, another seven days full of food news.  Here’s what I’ve been reading.  How about you?

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NEW FDA RULES FOR GLUTEN-FREE
via FDAUSA Today,  LA Times

New federal rules defining the use of the term “gluten free” on packaged foods took effect on August 5.  The FDA regulations  are intended to help the 3 million Americans — a little less than 1% of the population — who have celiac disease. “This standard ‘gluten-free’ definition will eliminate uncertainty about how food producers label their products and will assure people with celiac disease that foods labeled ‘gluten-free’ meet a clear standard established and enforced by FDA,” said  Felicia Billingslea, the FDA’s deputy commissioner for foods and veterinary medicine.  Now, a packaged food labeled gluten free (or similar claims such as “free of gluten”) cannot contain more than 20 parts per million of gluten. Keep in mind, this is only for packaged food on the shelf (not meat and poultry that’s regulated by USDA) and the use of the gluten-free label is voluntary; there’s no requirement for foods containing gluten to declare that on the label.

THE GMO FIGHT RIPPLES DOWN THE FOOD CHAIN
via Wall Street Journal

Reporter Annie Gasparro has written an extensive article on the biotechnology debate, including consumer skepticism and industry response. Two decades after the first genetically engineered seeds were sold commercially in the U.S., genetically modified organisms—the crops grown from such seeds—are the norm in the American diet, used to make ingredients in about 80% of packaged food, according to industry estimates.  Now an intensifying campaign, spearheaded by consumer and environmental advocacy groups like Green America, is causing a small but growing number of mainstream food makers to jettison genetically modified organisms, or GMOs.  ”Non-GMO” is one of the fastest-growing label trends on U.S. food packages, with sales of such items growing 28% last year to about $3 billion, according to market-research firm Nielsen. In a poll of nearly 1,200 U.S. consumers for The Wall Street Journal, Nielsen found that 61% of consumers had heard of GMOs and nearly half of those people said they avoid eating them. The biggest reason was because it “doesn’t sound like something I should eat.”

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LOW VITAMIN D LINKED TO DEMENTIA AND ALZHEIMER’S DISEASE
via Time HealthDay News

A new study published online at Neurology linked low vitamin D levels with a higher risk of dementia. The international team of researchers spent six years looking at 1,658 Americans, aged 65 or older, who at the start of the study had not suffered from dementia, cardiovascular disease or a stroke.  The team found that adults who were moderately deficient in vitamin D were 53% more likely to develop a form of dementia; those with a severe deficiency were 125% more likely to be stricken with the disease.

14232013504_3b94b9faf6_zSLIM BY DESIGN REGISTRY
via Brian Wansink

Brian Wansink and his colleagues at Cornell have launched a Slim by Design Registry to track people who are slim and have found ways to stay slim.  I tweeted about this yesterday and it caused a ruckus — some people thought it was offensive and sneaky to “trick” your family into being slim.  Dr. Wansink says it’s simply about habits that promote a healthy weight — like the illustration above.   What do you think?  Here’s a description:

The purpose of this Registry is to discover and to share these secrets in a way that can help slim people stay slim, help their family become slim, and can help the rest of us to slim down by learning some of the secrets and rules of thumb they’ve come to adopt over the years.There are huge numbers of slim people. But here’s what’s interesting: If you ask slim people what makes them slim by design, they can’t tell you. Their Slim by Design habits have become so natural, they don’t even realize that they scout out the buffet before they pick up a plate or that they serve food from the stove instead of putting it on the table “family style.”

A number of years ago, researchers founded a National Registry called the National Weight Loss Registry. The concept was simple. If you had lost 30 lbs and kept it off for 3 years, you could join the Registry. It gave hundreds of thousands of people insights into how to take weight off and keep it off. But there’s something important that’s missing – there are huge numbers of people who are skinny and don’t really seem to try. Correction: they seem to have simple rules of thumb, principles, or benchmarks that lead them to take less, order less, or eat less.

Here’s Dr. Wansink explaining the new Registry:

MENU DESIGN CAN ENCOURAGE DINERS TO MAKE HEALTHIER CHOICES
via The Atlantic online
Lots going on with Brian Wansink.  In another study, he says a simple redesign of menus can encourage diners to choose healthier dishes. Use graphics, colors and creative fonts to highlight vegetable and whole grain dishes and put items at the top and bottom of columns to boost sales.

WE EAT ALONE HALF THE TIME, SAYS NPD GROUP
via Food Navigator    The Wall Street Journal

Do you frequently eat by yourself?  You’re not alone. Or, I guess you are alone.  More than half of all eating and drinking occasions now occur when people are alone, according to the market research firm The NPD Group.  U.S. consumers eat breakfast alone 60% of the time and dine on a solitary lunch 55% of the time.  Much of this is due to busy schedules and more people living alone (highest level of single-person households in U.S. history), but NPD says we’re also becoming more individualized in our consumption behavior.

SURVEY: ALMOST EVERYONE SNACKS DAILY
via Bloomberg Businessweek

A Nielsen study finds that 91% of people are daily snackers, and that 17% are snacking more this year than last. It’s a matter of differences between the sexes, too: Women prefer chocolate, candy or cookies, while men are more likely to go for chips or pretzels.

CRONUT CREATOR COLLABORATES WITH FASHION DESIGNER TO LAUNCH NEW FROZEN TREAT
via New York Post

Dominique Ansel, the pastry chef responsible for the Cronut, shifted attention to frozen desserts with his latest creation, “Pop It! Ice Cream Sundae in a Can.” The ice cream treat is a collaboration with fashion designer Lisa Perry and will be sold from a food truck in East Hampton, N.Y. on Saturday while supplies last.

GRANDSON OF DORITOS INVENTOR SETS SIGHTS ON HEALTHY, SUSTAINABLE EATERIES
via NPR

Grandson of the inventor of Doritos and CIA graduate Tim West wants to shed his snack food past and pave the way for healthy, affordable fare in the heart of San Francisco. West recently operated a pop-up beans-and-veggie restaurant called Cool Beans and plans to open a permanent sustainable, health-focused restaurant by the end of the year.

AN APP TO HELP STOP FOOD WASTE
via NPR

The U.S. wastes 40% of its food which costs America’s economy an estimated $165 billion a year. New York-based app developer PareUp aims to help reduce this number by letting users connect with restaurants and grocery stores to buy excess product before it’s thrown out. Using the app’s platform, food retailers can showcase inventory and indicate excess items together with a discounted price and time when they’ll be ready for sale. People using PareUp can then call dibs and get up to 50% off items for sale. The app’s online marketplace is set to launch in early August and the mobile app will be available on Apple Store by mid-September.

FRESHDIRECT AND FOODILY TEAM UP TO DELIVER RECIPE INGREDIENTS
via Crain’s New York

FreshDirect and Foodily unveiled a new recipe-delivery service called Popcart that will let shoppers order ingredients from specific recipes. “What we really aim to do with this is to deliver a completely new experience for consumers, where they can move from a recipe that inspires them to the actual ingredients to make it in a 24-hour period,” Foodily CEO Andrea Cutright said.

 

Images: crackers by Anant Nath Sharma, milk by Rubert Ganzer, family rituals by Brian Wansink

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