All Posts In News

Why You End Up in the Slowest Supermarket Line

by in News, July 21st, 2014

Why You End up in the Slowest Supermarket LineIs it you, or does it feel like, no matter how hard you try to pick the shortest, fastest-moving line at the grocery store, most of the time you make the complete wrong call and end up crawling along at a snail’s pace, stuck behind someone who needs a last-minute price check on an item or is fumbling around for his or her frequent-shopper card or is simply bent on chit-chatting the afternoon away with the cashier — while customers who come after you and slide blithely into other lines are out of there in record speed?

It’s not just you.

“When you’re selecting among several lines at the grocery store, the odds are not in your favor. Chances are, the other line really is faster,” science writer Adam Mann explains in Wired. “Mathematicians who study the behavior of lines are called queueing theorists, and they’ve got the numbers to prove this.”

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The Milkman Returneth (Glass Bottles, Bow Tie and All)

by in News, July 18th, 2014

The Milkman Is Back (Glass Bottles, Bowtie and All)Do you remember the good old days — back before supermarkets and shopping centers swept into the suburbs and milk was routinely pasteurized, homogenized and contained in plastic — when the milkman, dressed in his crisp white uniform, used to come in his truck or horse-drawn wagon, glass bottles clanking, and a set fresh daily supply of dairy on your doorstep?

Yeah, me neither. But even those who are too young to have had personal experience with the family milkman may feel nostalgic about the simplicity and the directness of the farm-to-table connection his cap-and-bow-tie-wearing image evokes. That collective sentimentality, as well as an interest in buying local, a commitment to quality and the lure of time-saving convenience, is the driving force behind a new (old) trend: the return of the milkman.

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Why We Really Need to Refrigerate Eggs (and the British Don’t)

by in News, July 17th, 2014

Why We Really Need to Refrigerate EggsTo refrigerate or not to refrigerate — that is the question about eggs that several media outlets have been scrambling to answer in recent days.

The recent ovo-interest appears to have been whisked up by a Business Insider article in which writer Dina Spector wondered why we refrigerate eggs here in the United States while people in Europe and the U.K. are weirdly chill about chilling eggs, generally leaving them on the counter with the non-perishable foods. “Why doesn’t anyone in the U.K. freak out over eggs sitting in room temperatures for days on end?” she demanded to know.

It turns out that the different approaches to refrigeration here and abroad stem from differences in the way eggs are treated to prevent salmonella poisoning during farming and processing.

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The Foods That Boost Your Mood Are Not What You See in the Movies

by in News, July 16th, 2014

Salmon RecipesIt’s a movie cliche: The protagonist, depressed after being dumped by the boy she digs, berated by her boss and blown off by her best friend, sits in the gloomy kitchen half-light, taking a spoon directly to a pint of ice cream or scarfing down a sad-looking cupcake. She’s using sweet treats and highly refined carbs to scuttle the blues and boost her mood — possibly while wearing unflattering pajamas, watching bad TV, and trying to ignore concerned and/or skeptical looks from her cat.

The scene has become a Hollywood trope, in part, because we recognize in it our own impulse to turn to comfort foods to boost our spirits — along with our blood sugar — when life gets us down or stresses us out. But, NPR reports, the relationship between food and mood is likely more complex than that.

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Tofu Finally Gets Some Respect

by in News, July 15th, 2014

Tofu Finally Gets Some RespectA show of hands, please. Who here loves tofu? Anyone … anyone?

Tofu, also known as bean curd — which, let’s remember, is coagulated soy milk pressed into a soft block — is a food many of us have learned to accept. Low in calories and packed with protein, iron and other nutrients, it’s undeniably healthy and is a staple of vegetarians and diet-aware eaters.

Still, flavorless and bland and with a consistency that can be hard to pin down, tofu is a food few of us truly adore. “It’s not likely that tofu will become anyone’s favorite food; this we know,” is how Mark Bittman began his defense of tofu in The New York Times last week.

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Guess Which Country Spends the Least on Food?

by in News, July 14th, 2014

Guess Which Country Spends the Least on Food?Pop quiz: The residents of which country spend the lowest percentage of their household budget on food?

A) Pakistan
B) Russia
C) China
D) United Kingdom
E) United States

The correct answer may surprise you. It’s E.

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Spray Cake (Think Whipped Cream) Is Now Actually a Thing

by in News, July 12th, 2014

Spray CakeIs a ready-to-bake cake you spray like whipped cream from a can (and then pop in the oven or microwave) “the future” of dessert? That may be an overstatement, but Spray Cake, an award-winning product created by a couple of Harvard University undergrads, does seem increasingly poised to gain some millennial market traction.

Back in April, Harvard sophomores Brooke Nowakowski and John McCallum took top honors in the Harvard Innovation Lab challenge, along with a $10,000 prize, for their innovative cake in a can (not to be confused with cakes you bake in a can).

Nowakowski told the Boston Herald that the team planned to use to the award as a “launchpad” to bring the product, originally created for a science-of-cooking class, to market.

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7 Tips to Help You Avoid Getting Food Poisoning

by in News, July 11th, 2014

7 Tips to Help Avoid Getting Food PoisoningYou had a great time at the summer picnic, sampling a little bit of everything. Hot dogs, burgers, macaroni salad, potato salad, fruit salad, buttered corn on the cob — your paper plate was heaped high with them all. You left feeling full and satisfied. But you woke up the next day feeling sick as a dog with food poisoning. How do you know which food was the culprit?

Figuring out the “guilty” food item in a food-poisoning outbreak can be tricky, but IBM scientists have designed a new computer system that aims to expedite the process, the company recently announced. The system uses algorithms, visualization and statistical analysis to parse retail and public health data, and then figure out which products are likely to blame in a food borne disease outbreak. And while it can’t predict an outbreak in advance — at least, not yet — it can shorten the time it takes to locate the source and halt the spread before more damage is done.

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Guy Fieri’s Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives Nominated for Primetime Emmy Award

by in News, July 10th, 2014

Guy Fieri's Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives Nominated for Primetime Emmy AwardFresh off of Bobby Flay’s win in the Outstanding Culinary Host category for Barbecue Addiction at the 2014 Daytime Emmy Awards comes another prestigious nomination for Food Network – Guy Fieri’s Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives has been nominated for a Primetime Emmy Award in the Outstanding Structured Reality Program category. This is the second time in a row that the show, featuring Guy as he travels the country locating the best bites in every city imaginable, has been nominated. Winners will be announced at the ceremony on Monday, August 25, 2014.

For a full list of nominees, click here.

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A Panda’s Perfect Birthday Cake

by in News, July 10th, 2014

YouTube Preview ImageIt can be challenging to bake a birthday cake that will meet the demands of a 1-year-old or someone with strict dietary constraints. But even those of us who are especially good at baking cute confections or have a file full of vegan and gluten-free cake recipes have probably never faced quite the same birthday-cake challenge zookeepers at the Taipei Zoo confronted this past weekend: What do you make for the panda who has everything on the occasion of her first birthday?

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