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Ravioli Ravioli, Give Me the Formuoli

In # 9: Molecular Gastronomy, Leftovers by Trace0 Comments

Molecular gastronomical cooking is one of the newest cooking waves passing over the culinary world. It involves the altering of one of the major components of food: texture, flavor, temperature, or smell. This is accomplished by the use of isolated compounds or chemicals such as emulsifiers and acids, and using these as tools to create exciting new ways of preparing food. In my research I found an incredibly striking example of this technique. Crystal clear Ravioli. This presentation allows the person dining to see exactly what is in their stuffed pasta before they eat it. This incredible feet is accomplished by the use of lecithin, an emulsifier. In this case, it is derived from soybeans, and it is concentrated and formed into a sheet of crystal clear paper called an oblate. The paper is folded in half, crimped using a heat sealer on one edge, and then filled with any filling imaginable, as long as it has a low water content. If the filling were high in water, the film would start to dissolve from the inside out, creating an …

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Give Me the Money Sonny

In # 8: Food safety: who is responsible? by Trace0 Comments

  Dear Secretary of the USDA, Sonny Perdue, It has come to my attention that the operating budget for research in the area of food safety is a mere $25-30 million. To the average citizen, this seems an extreme amount, but to an educated food scientist knowledgeable about such things, that is not nearly enough. The United States spends an average of $150 million a year on food poisoning claims. That is 5-6 times the amount we are spending on research. I believe that the USDA should make more of a priority in research, and consider it an investment opportunity for the betterment of the country. These are my reasonings. On the USDA website, there is a list of twenty five of the top prioritized research areas. I think it is great that there are priorities like this laid out for the public to see, but upon reading over the content of your priorities, I noticed that the majority of them include the screening and detection of foodborne pathogens. This is incredibly important  I understand, but I think that an …

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Let Them Make Claims!

In # 7: Gut health by Trace0 Comments

Prebiotics and Probiotics have been around for a while, over 100 years in the case of the latter. And they have been beneficial to numerous people who have utilized them. I personally believe that the requirements for labeling of health benefits be relaxed a little bit. I am not saying that any company should be able to come up with one of these products, do some minor testing, and slap a “Good for You” sticker on their product, but I think that the ones that have gone through a decent amount of testing with significant positive results should be able to inform the customers of their benefits. Customers can be very impulsive, as well as lazy when it comes to buying products, and very few are going to go through the extensive research on each individual type of pro/pre biotic to determine if it is actually healthy or beneficial to them, they want to just look at a package, read some brief facts about it, and quickly decide what will be best. With the strict regulations that are currently in …

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Junk Food Reform

In # 2: Junk Food Dissuasion by Trace1 Comment

Obesity is a major problem in today’s society. Unhealthy food has become so readily available and cheap, that the general public consumes thousands of excess calories just because they are available, not because they need them to survive. This, combined with a general lack of exercise in the community has lead to a major problem. To solve this, I have come up with a multi-faceted plan to help dissuade people from consuming incredibly unhealthy foods. Step one is to limit the times that fast food chains are open, and the locations at which they can be built. I believe they should be open no later than 7pm, and be located no closer than 5 miles away from the center of town or center of any major residential area. This will prevent the satiation of late night snack cravings, as they would not be open, as well as prevent quick “snacks” during lunch breaks for the general workforce. This could majorly hurt fast food chains, so if they will not comply, step 2 will be attempted. Step two involves placing caloric …

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Food: The Experience Machine

In # 1: You are what you eat by Trace1 Comment

To me, food has always been about a shared experience. When I was younger I grew up watching my dad cook dinner for the family and being fascinated at how he could take a few simple, cheap ingredients he found in the pantry, and throw together a meal that accomplished three main tasks, it filled us up, it tasted good, and it gave us an excuse to sit down and talk about our day. Family dinners became so important to me as I grew up and my life got busier because it kept me connected to my home, even though I spent the majority of my time elsewhere. I knew I needed to be around food a lot in my life, so I taught myself to cook. I started making simple meals for my family, some I know probably tasted horrible, but my parents ate it anyway and were extremely supportive. I soon gained a passion for cooking and researching about food, and the only way to satisfy that was to keep trying new things. So eventually I started preparing …