All Posts In News

Could the Lunches This Mom Packs Be Any Cuter?

by in News, October 7th, 2014

Bento Box MonstersIt’s not uncommon for parents, when they’re concerned about their kids missing them at school, to sneak a little note into the kids’ backpacks or special treat in their lunchboxes to cheer them up. But Li Ming, a stay-at-home mom in Singapore, has taken that concept to a whole new level with the elaborate bento boxes she makes for her two sons.

Ming says she “started bento-ing” in 2008, when her older son was in nursery school, and graduated to making the more involved, ultra-adorable charabens, or character bentos, when he began primary school in 2011. “He missed me terribly then and had problems adjusting to the longer hours at primary school. I started packing him charabens, along with lunch notes, hoping to cheer him up and let him feel my presence and love through them,” she explains on Bento, Monsters, the blog where she documents her bentos and offers recipes, tips and tutorials.

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The Foods We Eat — and Tweet About — by State

by in News, October 6th, 2014

The Foods We Eat and Tweet About by StateWe Americans have a lot to say on Twitter about the foods we eat. But what do the foods we eat — and tweet about — say about us?

In a recent study, a group of researchers at the University of Arizona sorted through more than three million food-related tweets — posted between October 2013 and May 2014, with hashtags like #dinner, #breakfast and #lunch — to spot local and regional trends. Their goal was to predict rates of obesity, diabetes and even political preferences in those regions for purposes noble (improving public health efforts) and commercial (cannier target marketing). But along the way they compiled a map highlighting the “most distinctive food word per state from the corpus of food-related tweets.”

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Food Waste: By the Numbers

by in News, October 3rd, 2014

Food Waste: By the NumbersWe shop for fruits and vegetables with the best intentions, but then bury them in the crisper and forget about them. We bring home a doggy bag, toss it in the fridge and overlook it. We make a yummy dinner and then let the leftovers go bad, eventually unearthing them only to toss them in the trash.

One neglected bunch of broccoli or container of takeout may not seem like much, but wasted food is actually a bigger issue in America than we may realize. The next time your family complains about being served leftovers, here are a few facts and figures about food waste to toss their way, culled from an eye-opening story on the Washington Post’s Wonkblog about how Americans throw away more food than plastic, paper, metal or glass:

  • 35 million: Tons of food Americans threw out in 2012, according to Environmental Protection Agency estimates

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Don’t Blame Yourself (Too Much) for Those Midnight Snack Attacks

by in News, October 1st, 2014

Don't Blame Yourself for Those Midnight Snack AttacksDo you crave healthy stuff like yogurt and fresh fruit in the morning and then, as the day wears on, hanker for greasy, fatty, sugary foods like french fries and cookies at midnight? It might help your mood (if not your calorie count) to know that you are not alone.

Data collected by the consumer technology and wearable device company Jawbone indicates that most people start the day focused on eating dairy, fruit and grains. Then, as the hours creep by, our desire for those foods declines, and our interest in foods rich in oils, fats and sugars rises. Those less-healthy cravings hit a bump at about 4pm (“Snack Time!” Jawbone’s number crunchers note) and rise precipitously after 8pm, peaking between about midnight and 4am before declining in time for breakfast the next day.

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Homemade Artisanal Sodas on the Rise

by in News, September 30th, 2014

Homemade Artisanal Sodas on the Rise“We do a lot of boiling and straining,” said Ross Hunsinger of Atlas Sodaworks as he strode back and forth between the pot of boiling root beer ingredients on the stove and the massive chinois strainer on the counter. As he led the hands-on soda making class at Portland Feast, his excitement about soda-making and soda syrups was definitely about to bubble over.

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How Low Sugar Supplies and High Prices May Affect Your Sweet Tooth

by in News, September 30th, 2014

How Low Sugar Supplies and High Prices May Affect Your Sweet ToothHere are two words that could strike fear into the hearts of sweets lovers across America: sugar shortage.

United States candy companies, including Spangler Candy Co., the maker of Dum Dum Lollipops and candy canes, and Goetze’s Candy Co., which makes the world a better place with its Caramel Creams (a personal favorite), and chocolate manufacturers like Hershey and Chocolate Truffle Co. are contending with low sugar supplies and elevated prices, Bloomberg reports.

The problem, which stems from a centuries-old tariff-based restriction on sugar imports and a trade dispute with Mexico, persists in the U.S. even though world sugar production is way up. In fact, Bloomberg notes, the discrepancy between the sugar prices in the U.S. and around the world is the biggest it has been in two years.

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$360 Surf and Turf Goes for the Gold

by in News, September 25th, 2014

$360 Surf and Turf Goes for the GoldIf, in the next month or so, you’re in Los Angeles and feeling hungry, and you happen to have a few hundred bucks burning a hole in your designer blue jeans, you may want kick your appetite Beverly Hills-style: Snack on gold.

From now until the end of October, Oliverio at Avalon Hotel in Beverly Hills, is offering deep-pocketed diners a $360 Golden Surf and Turf, so named not only because it prominently features golden-hued saffron risotto, but also because it includes, yep, pure gold.

You ought to get some kind of precious metal for that kind of coin, after all.

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People in Which Field Drink the Most Coffee at Work?

by in News, September 24th, 2014

People in Which Field Drink the Most Coffee at Work?Which profession drinks the most coffee? You probably think it’s yours. And if you’re a journalist or media staffer, hoist a mug in your own honor, because you’re right.

According to a survey of professionals conducted by the U.K.-based PR company Pressat, journalists down more cups of joe — upward of four cups a day — than those working in any other profession. Ink-stained wretches are also drenched with java. Blame the long days, late nights and pressing deadlines.

Police officers and teachers, both with high-stress jobs as well, were also found to be big consumers of caffeine, coming in second and third, respectively, on Pressat’s list of the 10 top professions for coffee drinking.

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What Pantone Color Is Your Favorite Beer?

by in News, September 23rd, 2014

What Pantone Color Is Your Favorite Beer?Beer cans are generally awash in a variety of colors: There’s the red, white and blue of Budweiser, PBR and Old Style, and the green, white and red — set against silver or gold — of a Heineken or Miller High Life. The hues on these iconic cans and bottle labels evoke beer brands, not necessarily the beer itself.

The Spanish graphic designer Txaber has taken a different approach with minimal, bright and super-appealing new beer can and bottle designs. The company has matched each of nine types of beer with the Pantone shade that suits it most precisely. Pale ale? That’s yellow: No. 604 C. Pilsner is more orangey, No. 1375 C. Imperial stout is so dark it’s basically black, No. 426 C.

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Restaurant Menus Get Lean and Mean

by in News, September 22nd, 2014

Restaurant Menus Get LeanJust a few years ago, you’d frequently find yourself, after being seated at a restaurant, perusing a menu the length of War and Peace, its pages packed with offerings borrowing from a host of cultures and cuisines, yet customized (not to say watered down) to suit American palates.

Eateries tried give us everything. But what they really gave us, we have since collectively decided, was entirely too much. And as we Americans became more food savvy, we began to suspect that restaurants, in trying to do so many things, were likely not doing any of them particularly well.
According to The Washington Post’s Wonkblog, many chain restaurants, including the International House of Pancakes, Tony Roma’s, Olive Garden, McDonald’s and Burger King, have noted customers’ distaste for epic menus and begun to scale back their offerings.

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