A lot goes on behind the scenes in the nonstop effort to bring produce to our plates. Before we even lay eyes on our dinner as we hunt it among the grocery store aisles, it must be picked, sorted, transported, weighed, and priced. But before even that, before the myriad middlemen have had their say about it, the food in question must first be grown. In the case of vegetables, specifically root vegetables, rarely is this process seen. Everybody knows that the magic of restocked shelves has to start from a seed, but that growing period that occurs immediately after … Read more
There's something about cookbooks that has always amazed me ever since I was a child. Cookbooks have a story-telling quality where the pictures hold as much influence as their complementary textual directions. Have you ever caught yourself staring at a photogenic plate, struggling to imagine what it might taste like or if it was something in your realm of cooking skills? Like a great children's story, visual cookbooks capture the imagination of taste and encourages us recreate what the cook/artist shares before us, without information overload.
That mainstay from youth, the "suicide"--that's several different flavors of soda mixed together in a single glass to create one insanely sweet concoction, in case you're not in the know--is finally available on demand without having to fiddle with half a dozen 2-liter bottles.
Coca-Cola's nonstop marketing machine has introduced "Coca-Cola Freestyle," an online and real-world system that allows corn syrup (or Aspartame, for you Diet Coke drinkers) addicts to create their own soda "mixes."
The online component allows Facebook fans to fiddle with hundreds of combinations of various Coke brands and flavors, and an app for Android and iOS provides a related game. The apps also direct you to the nearest physical Coca-Cola Freestyle machine, where you can actually try out your deliciously decadent and dangerous-to-diabetics creation. There are currently more than a thousand "mix your own" dispensers in select restaurant chains, including some Burger Kings, Domino's Pizzas, Pei Wei Asian Diners, and other spots.… Read more
When large egos meets instant criticism, sparks tend to fly in real time.
So it proved in a Houston restaurant the other night when the management took exception to a customer's socially networked opinion.
She overheard a conversation in which a bartender said something none too flattering about another Houston bar-owner.
The culinary world in Houston--with which I have some small familiarity--is at least as touchy as it … Read more
When discovering the benefits of having a food processor, one of the first realizations is the simple fact that it should have been purchased a long time ago. That is because food processors are incredible time-savers. As the RPMs ratchet up, the blades spin and whatever needs slicing or chopping is reduced to the desired consistency in seconds. It all happens so fast there almost isn't enough time to consider how much time cumulatively would have been saved if the purchase had been made a long time ago. Almost.
One of the first things that new food processor owners … Read more
A psychology professor and an electrical and computer engineering professor at Clemson University in South Carolina have teamed up to develop a watch-like device that tracks wrist-roll motion to count how many bites the wearer takes.
In the lab, they report, their Bite Counter has been more than 90 percent accurate in tallying bites regardless of the food, utensil, container, or user.
They say the device, which can be turned on and off at will, is something of a pedometer for eating. It's certainly not tracking types of food. But even if it's intended to monitor mere quantity of consumption, it can only be so accurate.… Read more
The Food and Drug Administration is looking for input on a new proposal that would let it regulate certain medical apps that run on mobile devices.
Noting that today's crop of mobile medical apps can perform a variety of tasks, from counting calories to helping people monitor their weight to letting doctors view patient scans, the agency wants to ensure that such apps are safe.
"The use of mobile medical apps on smartphones and tablets is revolutionizing health care delivery," Dr. Jeffrey Shuren, director of the FDA's Center for Devices and Radiological Health, said in a … Read more
Chip giant Intel procured over 1,493 gigawatt-hours of renewable energy in 2010.
That's according to a survey of over 1,000 companies that was conducted by Bloomberg New Energy Finance in conjunction with wind turbine giant Vestas Wind Systems.
The index developed from this new survey is called the Corporate Renewable Energy Index (CREX). (For a PDF of the white paper on the survey, click here.) For its inaugural release the CREX released rankings of companies based on the amount of renewable energy they procured both in 2009 and 2010.
For 2010, the top five companies with the largest renewable electricity procurement were: Intel, clothing retailer Kohl's, Hong Kong electric company CLP Holdings, supermarket chain Whole Foods Market, and the Dutch telecom Koninklijke KPN.
For 2009, the ranking was Deutsche Telekom, Intel, PepsiCo, BT Group, and clothing retailer Kohl's.
Keep in mind that no one is suggesting these companies are gleaning electricity directly from local solar or wind farms. While some companies do directly support renewable-energy projects, over 80 percent of the renewable electricity procured by the companies surveyed was purchased in the form of renewable electricity credits (RECs).
And while Intel procured the most renewable electricity in 2010 at over 1,493 gigawatt-hours, on a percentage basis it's actually Kohl's that wins. In 2010 the retailer purchased so many RECs, it statistically can say it garnered 100.4 percent of its energy from renewable sources.
In conjunction with the CREX, Vestas also had TNS/Gallup conduct a survey on wind energy procurement in particular.
When it comes to wind, Whole Foods tops the list. The supermarket chain gets 100 percent of its electricity from wind energy, followed by North American bank Toronto-Dominion Bank at 78 percent, and software giant Adobe Systems at 65 percent, according to the Global Consumer Wind Study 2011.
Epicurious for Android lets you bring your handheld device into the kitchen and to the grocery store to serve as a cooking companion, and it's one of the best in the category. The home screen gives you quick links to specific categories of recipes (e.g. recipes for kids, party snacks, cocktails), but by entering a keyword into the search box at the bottom of the interface you can browse more targeted online recipes.
If you want even more control over your search, you can skip the search box and hit the search button at the bottom of the … Read more
Restaurant blogging has many nuances.
You can try, in general, to be constructive, like The Tablehopper. You can try to be artistically idiosyncratic like Orangette or From Lips to Fingers. Or you can decide to make chefs quake in their clogs like Frenchman Francois Simon who once said: "I start judging the minute I come in."
Perhaps that is the set of mind and soul espoused by a Taiwanese blogger (last name Liu) who wandered into a Taichung beef noodle restaurant. If so, it's an attitude that has reportedly landed her her in jail.
You see, the … Read more