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The Balloon

In Molecular Gastronomy by IrwinLeave a Comment

If we are talking about the most unusual recipe that is based on the molecular gastronomy style of cooking, the dishes created by Grant Achatz, head chef and co-owner of Alinea in Chicago and his team should definitely be mentioned. Long regarded as one of the best avant-garde cuisine chefs globally, Achatz graduated from the Culinary Institute of America and worked at Thomas Keller’s The French Laundry, where he rises up to the position of sous chef before leaving to become the executive chef of Trio at Evanston, Illinois, and then opening up his first restaurant, Alinea, in 2005, which is currently ranked 15th globally. Achatz also owns two other restaurants, Next and Roister, and an experimental bar, Aviary. The dish that is the standout from his 20-course menu is probably the balloon, created by Alinea executive chef Mike Bagale. Probably the first ever legitimately floating food ever created, the balloon is made out of green apple toffee that is inflated with helium, and tied down using a string made out of dehydrated green apples, and weighed down using a …

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Food Safety

In # 8: Food safety: who is responsible? by IrwinLeave a Comment

When food is intended to be cooked by the consumer, the implication is that the producer will guarantee the safety and quality of the food produced when it is cooked properly, or according to the instruction. Of course, this would mean that the producer can guarantee that the food is microbiologically safe after it is cooked. For example, chicken that has reached an internal temperature of 148oF for three minutes will kill 99.999999% of salmonella. However, it should be noted that when the food is still raw, the bacteria will still be alive, and living bacteria can produce toxins that have adverse effects to the human body even when the food is cooked properly. This is why having the freeze by or sell by date label on the food is important to be remembered as freezing prevents this from happening. Thus, in most cases, the responsibility should fall on the consumers to read the label and cook and handle food properly to prevent food poisoning from occurring. This includes cooking to a desired temperature, not leaving meat out in the …

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Gut Health Claims

In # 7: Gut health by IrwinLeave a Comment

What consumers want are products that satisfies their needs and desires. Of course, the position that best serves the consumer’s interest will be the position that provides the most accurate health claims. The problem with relaxing the criteria for health claims is that companies will just use health claims as a marketing tool to sell their products. Let’s face it, in the end, a business exists to make profits for themselves. Even if they focus on probiotic food and beverages, their goal is to make as much money as possible for the investors. A strict scientific standard will ensure that if a health claim is approved, then it is going to be accurate and proven to be true. If the criteria for health claims are relaxed, companies can put them on their products and charge a premium for them, which will only serve to benefit the companies, just like how Dannon used exaggerated health claims on their Activia yogurt and DanActive Dairy Drink. Of course, it is true that there have been various studies regarding the effects of probiotics and …

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Labeling GMOs

In # 5: Labeling GMOs by IrwinLeave a Comment

President Barack Obama has signed the Safety and Accurate Food Labeling Act of 2015, which creates a federal standard for labeling foods with Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO) ingredients. Over the years, production of GMO crops have been steadily increasing. Of course, this is without the opposition of people suggesting that GMO ingredients are untested or unsafe. The Act that was just signed will require additional labeling by companies who uses GMO ingredients in their product to show as such. This author holds an opinion that there should be mandatory labeling for GM foods, but adequate objective scientific research should be presented to the public for them to have more knowledge on the advantages of GMO over non-GMO crops and its safety. GMOs could be considered unnatural due to the fact that they are artificially engineered, instead of occurring naturally. Thus, this alone is a very strong reason why GMO containing products should be labelled. Even though this will increase the product costs, it is important for the public to know if their food contains GMOs. It is not a matter …

IrwinLabeling GMOs
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You Are What You Eat

In # 1: You are what you eat by IrwinLeave a Comment

I’m a Chinese Indonesian, and thus, I grew up eating Chinese and Indonesian food the most. This mostly consists of seafood, chicken, and pork. A western meal would be something my family have from time to time, reserved for special events, or when the cravings set in. I was not a fan of most vegetables, except for Chinese spinach, spinach, and broccoli. I was a very picky eater, and will not eat food if it looks unappetizing to me. However, I become more adventurous as I grow older, and nowadays I am willing to try anything just for the sake of trying it. This includes creating marinades without following recipes from scratch (Orange juice is amazing to marinade chicken with). Family, religion and ethnicity have never restricted me from eating different types of food. In fact, my parents allow me to try new things, even if it is something that they themselves do not enjoy eating. This is how I had first discovered sushi. It would be amazing if I am able to eat sushi every day. To me, there …

IrwinYou Are What You Eat