You Can’t Judge How Healthy Your Food Is by Whether or Not It Rots

Every creature, no matter how noble, is eaten by microbes in the end. It’s the circle of life! So how do we explain the bits of plants and animals that make up a McDonald’s burger, or a Twinkie? Why don’t they rot? It turns out they’re not as immortal as viral Facebook memes would have you believe.

Source: You Can’t Judge How Healthy Your Food Is by Whether or Not It Rots

I’d rather eat preservatives than get botulism, given the choice.  But botulism is natural…

Learn the Essentials of Beer and Food Pairing With This Illustrated Guide

Some food and drink just go hand-in-hand: cookies and milk, pasta and wine, and hot dogs and beer, for example. But actually, beer is such a versatile beverage that relegating it to only being paired with hot dogs (and occasionally wings) would be a crime. With a wide range of weights and flavors, beer can complement any food from salads to barbecue- as long as you follow three foundational principles of beer and food pairing.

Source: The Three Foundational Principles of Beer and Food Pairing

Just in time to prep for the upcoming holiday season.

How to Become a Runner in 14 Easy Steps

One frozen January evening in 2010, I shoved a pair of pajama shorts, a decade-old sports bra, worn-down sneakers, and an 8-year-old tee shirt from a dorm dance into a backpack and trudged through the Chicago winter to the nearest gym. I mounted a treadmill, suddenly aware that I’d never been on a treadmill before. I ran to the point of total physical exhaustion: two miles.

Source: How to Become a Runner in 14 Easy Steps

Much as I often post about things scatological, I don’t think watching videos of people pooping while doing a marathon is productive.

Do You Really Need to Take Painkillers Only After Food?

Medical media recently reported that a clinicians’ reference handbook had changed advice on how to take the painkiller ibuprofen – commonly sold under the brand names Nurofen and Advil.

Source: Do You Really Need to Take Painkillers Only After Food?

I highly recommend reading this post about ibuprofen – it’s a serious risk for those of us on blood thinners.  More importantly than ulcers, overuse of NSAIDs is one of the leading causes of kidney failure.

This Video Explains What Can (and Can’t) Affect Your Metabolism

The only strictly genetic component to an “increased” metabolism is the amount of “Uncoupling Protein” you have on the inner cell membrane of your mitochondria. The more of this protein you have, the less efficient your body is at turning calories into energy so to speak. The calories are just turned into heat energy. This requires more calories to support body function.

A high concentration of these mitochondria with a high levels of UCP are located within what’s called brown fat. This brown fat is strictly used to generate and maintain body heat. The amount of brown fat that you have decreases with age, contributing to 90 y/o men wearing cardigans in the summer and a slower “metabolism.”

Also, the “eat smaller meals more frequently” is actually a fallacy. Much like “always eat breakfast,” it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. Healthy people hear it’s healthy, attach themselves to the habit, and it becomes consequentially associated with health.

When It Makes Sense to Add Extra Fat to Your Meal

Now that fat is overcoming its bad reputation, it’s becoming trendy to add it to food and drinks for health reasons—whether that’s putting butter in your coffee for dubious benefits, or swapping “Lite” salad dressing for a drizzle of bacon grease. But when does adding fat make sense, and when is it a bad idea?

Source: When It Makes Sense to Add Extra Fat to Your Meal

I was glad to see the article talk about how we’ve come to know that fat intake increases our uptake of fat soluble vitamins.  There is most certainly nutritional value in having fat in our diet.

Five Mind Tricks That’ll Make Your Food “Taste” Better

If you’re worried about impressing someone with your cooking skills, or you’re trying a new recipe for the first time, there are some mental tricks you can use on others to make your meal seem better than it really is. Here are five of the most effective.

Source: Five Mind Tricks That’ll Make Your Food “Taste” Better

Trick #6: Add salt

Some things that weren’t covered in the article, were covered in a previous one about why airline food tastes bland.

Sunlight and Body Heat Make Vitamin D Inside Your Skin

Many people don’t get enough vitamin D in their food. They still get enough vitamin D, because ultraviolet radiation creates it—usually.

Source: Sunlight and Body Heat Make Vitamin D Inside Your Skin

If you’re as fair-skinned as the average northern European, you only need about 20 minutes per day.  All you have to show is an area of skin about the size of your face.

Without vitamin D from sunlight exposure, lactose assists with the use of calcium. So, cultures with easy access to leafy greens plus sunlight or fish, calcium is taken care of and milk has no advantage. Cultures without access to leafy greens, sunlight or seafood need dairy either as a source of calcium, lactose, or both.  You can read more about it in a previous post.

What is Hydrogenation? And Why Is It In All Your Food?

Chances are you’ll eat something hydrogenated today. What does that mean? We’ll give you a quick tour of what hydrogenation is, how it’s done, and why many people don’t like it.

Source: What is Hydrogenation? And Why Is It In All Your Food?

Partial hydrogenation does not always result in trans-fats.  Most fats and oils have several of the locations with multiple bonds. Partial hydrogenation eliminates some of these. Total hydrogenation removes all the extra multiple bonds and replaces them with hydrogen. The ‘trans’ fats come about because the reactions are not perfect and every once in a while will remove hydrogen and make a double bound rather than the other way around (think: driving backwards). This in its own right isn’t bad, but the molecules flop around into an easier shape (the ‘trans’ shape) right before they shift into reverse.

Google’s A.I. Is Training Itself to Count Calories In Food Photos

At this week’s Rework Deep Learning Summit in Boston, Google research scientist Kevin Murphy unveiled a project that uses sophisticated deep learning algorithms to analyze a still photo of food, and estimate how many calories are on the plate. It’s called Im2Calories, and in one example, the system looked at an image, and counted two eggs, two pancakes and three strips of bacon. Since those aren’t exactly universal units of measurement, the system gauged the size of each piece of food, in relation to the plate, as well as any condiments. And Im2Calories doesn’t require carefully captured high-res images. Any standard Instagram-quality shot should do.

Source: Google’s A.I. Is Training Itself to Count Calories In Food Photos

They acknowledge that the count will not be perfect – a margin of 20% is what they hope for.  But this is something people will live by…  I wonder how it would handle if the picture I plate on a side dish/plate, making the portion look bigger…

While it would be a piece in the puzzle to make the counter/stovetop demonstrated in the futuristic Ikea setup, I still think most would use the software with their phone or tablet.  Google isn’t the only one looking to use big data with respect to food.