8 ways the food industry can hijack your brain Excess sugar, fat and salt are just some of the tricks that get us to overeat

Excess sugar, fat and salt are just some of the tricks that get us to overeat

In the 21st century the food industry is creating and marketing unhealthy food in much the same way that tobacco companies manufactured and sold cigarettes in the 20th century.

But overeating doesn’t only affect people who are overweight. In fact, more than 70 million Americans have become conditioned to overeat, and it affects people of all different weights. Dr. David A. Kessler, the dynamic and controversial former head of the Food and Drug Administration who took on big tobacco in the 1990s, now takes on the food industry in “The End of Overeating: Taking Control of the Insatiable American Appetite” (Rodale, 2009). In his book, Kessler pulls back the curtain to reveal how the food industry and its scientists really operate. (Read more at: msnbc)

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{Photography by Jimmy MacDonald}

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The Best Meals On The Planet

On June 30, 2009, in Business, by lor3nzo

Bangkok Panorama

#6 Bombay Brasserie, London

Known as the Samundari Khazana (translated directly as Seafood Treasure) is a big ol’ plate of lobster, beluga caviar, sea snails, and 23-karat edible gold foil. It’s important to make sure you get all your minerals. It’s all seasoned with Iranian saffron (the most expensive kind) and topped with Devon crab and white truffle. The fish and seafood are both marinated in chilli and tamarind paste. It’s all part of a well-ballanced, £2,000 meal . . . (Read more at: mademan)

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{Photography by Dennis Wong}

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8 Surprising Uses for Olive Oil

On June 29, 2009, in Featured, Headline, Life, Random, Zen, by lor3nzo

Olive Oil

Olive oil has many valuable uses beyond cooking, from personal care to home improvement, natural remedies and beyond.

Olive oil is more than a cartoon character, historic symbol of peace and glory or food staple of the much-vaunted Mediterranean diet. It is actually tremendously useful stuff, finding applications in personal care, home improvement, green cleaning, natural remedies and other areas.

It’s long been reported that there are a number of health benefits of olive oil. As a foodstuff it has a high concentration of monounsaturated fatty acids, which studies show promote “good” cholesterol (HDL) while lowering “bad” cholesterol (LDL). Olive oil is also known to be gentle on the digestive system, and even may help prevent gallstones and soothe ulcers. Good quality olive oil contains valuable vitamins and nutrients, and it is loaded with antioxidants, which many believe help protect the body from cancer.

These days there are an increasing array of organic and boutique olive oils offered for sale, some of them quite pricey. In general, the less processed an oil the more nutrients it contains, although the more expensive it tends to be. “Extra virgin” olive oil comes from the first pressing of olives, and retains the most flavor and aroma. Most better brands are also advertised as “cold pressed,” meaning they aren’t heated up beyond room temperature during processing. Unsurprisingly, high heat can damage the flavor and nutrients in the oil. “Virgin” olive oil generally comes from the second pressing. Cheaper brands sold as “regular” or “pure” olive oil are made with chemical refining and filtering, which standardize and neutralize flavors and acid contents. They have lower nutrient levels as a result.

To help protect the fragile environments of the Mediterranean and elsewhere, it’s a good idea to buy organic olive oil when you can. It also will tend to be of high quality and flavor, great for spaghetti, oven-roasted vegetables, fresh salads and many other dishes.

It’s true that you won’t be consuming the olive oil in a number of the uses below, and part of the point of this post is to help you save money by suggesting alternative uses to things you already have, so you don’t have to make a trip to the store and buy some additional products to get the job done. Therefore, we’d understand if you preferred to use the cheapest, lowest-grade oils for some of these tips. You probably aren’t going to crack open that vintage bottle of herb-infused oil your aunt brought you back from Tuscany in the event that you have a squeaky door (Read more at: The Daily Green)

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{Photography by Foodista}

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Tomato pill ‘beats heart disease’

On June 1, 2009, in Featured, Headline, Life, by lor3nzo

Tomatoes

Scientists say a natural supplement made from tomatoes, taken daily, can stave off heart disease and strokes.

The tomato pill contains an active ingredient from the Mediterranean diet – lycopene – that blocks “bad” LDL cholesterol that can clog the arteries.

Ateronon, made by a biotechnology spin-out company of Cambridge University, is being launched as a dietary supplement and will be sold on the high street.

Experts said more trials were needed to see how effective the treatment is.

Preliminary trials involving around 150 people with heart disease indicate that Ateronon can reduce the oxidation of harmful fats in the blood to almost zero within eight weeks, a meeting of the British Cardiovascular Society will be told at Ateronon’s launch on Monday. (Read more at: BBC.com.uk)

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{Photography by Sylvar}

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Quinoa: A Sacred, Super Crop

On May 29, 2009, in Featured, Life, by lor3nzo

Quinoa

What was a sacred crop to the Incas has been classified as a “super crop” by the United Nations because of its high protein content. It is a complete protein, which means it has all nine essential amino acids. It also contains the amino acid lysine, which is essential for tissue growth and repair, and is a good source of manganese, magnesium, iron, copper and phosphorous.

While many think of quinoa as a grain, the yellowish pods are actually the seed of a plant called chenopodium quinoa, native to Peru and related to beets, chard and spinach. The plant resembles spinach, but with 3- to 9-foot stalks that take on a magenta hue. The large seed heads make up nearly half the plant and vary in color: red, purple, pink and yellow.

In the Andes Mountains, where they have been growing for more than 5,000 years, quinoa plants have overcome the challenges of high altitude, intense heat, freezing temperatures and little annual rainfall. Peru and Bolivia maintain seed banks with 1,800 types of quinoa. It has been grown in the U.S. since the 1980s, when two farmers began cultivating it in Colorado.

As I stumbled my way toward healthful eating in my early vegetarian days, I turned again and again to these ancient seeds. They can be prepared equally well as a savory or sweet dish. A variation of a breakfast cereal, for example, with honey and dried fruit, is delicious. (Read more at: NPR)

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{Photography by Net Efekt}

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