As a food scientist, there are certain words on food labels that really irk me.
The term “natural” is a great example of this.
There’s no definition for what natural means in the food industry. Any company can slap the word natural on their food products, yet I’m guessing most consumers assume there’s some rhyme or reason behind the term.
If you’re a person that shops for natural foods, I highly suggest starting to look for the word organic instead.
Any foods labeled organic follow strict rules set by the government. Producers are regulated and audited by the…
There’s something about inventions that are discovered by accident that I find simply delightful.
Whether it be Post-it Notes, penicillin, or as you probably guessed — Pop Rocks — these strokes of serendipity always make for great stories.
Now, I’m guessing you might be asking yourself what the heck was someone trying to do when they made a discovery as peculiar as Pop Rocks?
Make an instant soda tablet of course!
William Mitchell was a research chemist at General Foods, which was later renamed Kraft Foods, when he was experimenting with ways to carbonate hard candy.
Let me pause here…
If you think the olives you buy in the grocery store are unpalatable, count yourself lucky that you’ve never tasted the fresh fruit.
Picked right off the tree, olives are considered inedible due to the high amount of a bitter compound called oleuropein. And most of the processing of olives is done specifically to remove this molecule.
As far back as the Roman times, humans learned to process olives to reduce the amount of oleuropein. The Romans soaked the fresh fruit in water supplemented with wood ash. …
A handful of cheese companies have found themselves the subject of some pretty salacious headlines like The Parmesan Cheese You Sprinkle on Your Penne Could Be Wood and the FDA Finds Wood Pulp in Major Parmesan Cheese Brands.
As a food scientist, this type of flashy news always catches my eye. I’ve seen so many exaggerations, misunderstandings, and deceptive tactics that I always feel inclined to investigate.
And I found it hard to believe that chunks of wood were being tossed into cheese all willy nilly. There’s too many laws and regulations for that to fly.
But there is some…
If you watched the Super Bowl, I doubt you’ve been able to forget the Oatly commercial.
In case you missed it, the Oatly CEO is sitting at a piano and belting out “oat milk, it’s like milk but made for humans” for about 30 seconds straight. It was uhh… unique to say the least.
To be honest, I’m not sure what the CEO really meant by “it’s like milk but made for humans,” but it did get me thinking about oat milk and how it would compare to cow’s milk. Was it healthier? Worse?
You better believe I ventured off…
ne week I’m feeling the urge to eat healthier, so I stock up on all my fruits and veggies. Suddenly, a week has somehow flown by and I have the realization that I haven’t planned my meals very well. Everything is on the verge of spoiling.
Soon the guilt about the amount of food waste begins to set in and the following week I skimp on the fresh produce.
And the cycle begins again.
So I’ve come up with a solution of sorts that I’ll share here for anyone else trying to balance eating their fruits and veggies while limiting…
Have you ever been in an argument where it’s clear you’re wrong, but you just can’t admit it? It feels like yielding to the other person after taking such a strong stance would be unbearable.
Welcome to the dark versus light meat argument in my house.
I grew up eating white meat while my boyfriend typically cooks with dark meat. As I’m sure you can guess, this has led to some debating.
At first, I didn’t really notice a difference — so I took a stand for white meat. It’s what I grew up with.
But, with each meal that…
Maybe you can remember when farm-to-table first swept through the nation?
It was the late 2000s, I was a teenager living with my parents and distinctly remember when one restaurant first advertised its menu as ‘farm-to-table.’ This was big news where I come from; Not a lot happens in small-town Wisconsin.
As a white, middle-class family this advertisement practically sucked us through the front door of the restaurant. Farm-to-table you say? Oh, how classy.
While I will always be able to cherish the memory of feeling “fancy” at a farm-to-table cafe in rural Wisconsin, this old trend is quickly being…
Have you ever watched someone decant wine?
It’s always struck me as a stunt. Some weird ritual that fancy restaurants invented to make the rich feel special.
If you haven’t heard of decanting — it’s the process of pouring a bottle of wine into another piece of glassware and letting it sit for 10 minutes to 2 hours. The glassware can be all sorts of funky shapes and sizes, but it’s meant to expose the wine to oxygen.
It’s this process of “oxygenating” wine that has always struck me as absurd. …
In 1938, one food was responsible for 25% of all the foodborne illness in the US.
Care to venture a guess to which?
If you’re not sure, let me give you another clue.
This food caused a bunch of nasty diseases like tuberculosis, brucellosis, salmonellosis, diphtheria, scarlet fever, septic sore throat, and dysentery.
What’s your best guess now?
I’m betting good ole’ milk didn’t come to mind, but it used to be deadly (and raw milk still is). …
Food scientist by PhD. Sharer of food structure, processing, nutrition, trends, & history. Disprover of food myths, lies, & misinformation.