Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Beer Espresso Drinks Are On The Way

With the seemingly endless supply of new coffee stouts coming to market, somebody, somewhere had to be innovating in the opposite direction. The hunt was on for coffee complimented by beer, not the other way around. At Elk Mountain Hops Farm in Northern Idaho, a lead brewer for Goose Island Beer company confirmed that two espresso beer drinks have already been created in a partnership with Intelligentsia Coffee: the Bourbon County Macchiato and the Bourbon County Black Eye.

The Speciality Coffee Association of America (SCAA) reported a 51 percent market share for specialty cups of coffee in 2014, passing non-specialty cups for the first time ever. SCAA's data points to the growing segment of craft and speciality coffee in the midst of another beverage category experiencing ridiculous growth: craft beer. In the same year, the Brewers Association reported that the craft beer industry had practically doubled in total market share in just three years from 5.7% in 2011 to 11% 2014, totaling nearly 22 million barrels, or 44 million kegs bro.

So it should be no surprise when a former craft behemoth turned Anheuser-Busch golden ticket, Goose Island Beer Company looked to partner with Intelligentsia Coffee to shake things up. The company partnership actually extends back 13 years, most famously recognized for its Bourbon County Coffee Stout. But here I was, at Elk Mountain Hops Farm in Idaho, practically pleading Goose Island's Brewing Innovation Manager, Mike Siegel, for any hints toward a beer-influenced coffee.
White Rushing Intelligentsia

Siegel confirmed a coffee radler had been created by Jay Cunningham and Jesse Raub of Intelligentsia that included 3 0z of cold-brewed concentrate of the Kurimi Ethiopia Single Origin and 19 oz of the Goose's 312 wheat ale.

"I don't think anyone is making espresso and beer drinks with great espresso equipment, carefully filtered water and really well trained baristas," said Cunningham. "Add to the fact that we had a keg of Bourbon County [Stout] to use too, it just doesn't happen very often."

We were getting closer. That was the first instance I'd ever heard of combining coffee and beer, versus coffee being part of the brewing process. But then Cunningham confirmed that multiple beer espresso drinks had been created in tandem with the radler. The White Rushing aka Bourbon County Macchiato (pictured above) included 2 oz of Bourbon County Stout, 1 oz of Black Cat Espresso and 1 oz of steamed milk. And finally the Black Eye aka Bourbon County Black Eye included 3 oz of Bourbon County Stout and 1 oz of fresh Black Cat espresso.

So they do exist. But to my knowledge, the drinks only exists during special events between Goose Island and Intelligentsia. There's also an event series called Uppers & Downers by Good Beer Hunting, an event built on the combination of beer and coffee. This has so much promise.

More and more the drink two categories are collapsing into each other. Millions of corporate hours and dollars have likely been poured into the research and strategy towards Starbuck's beer and wine program now at 70 stores nationwide. You bet there's going to be a craft response. With the abundance of new craft breweries and artisanal coffeehouses, the opportunity for a marketing collaboration without leeching consumers from each other is to large for them pass up.

Monday, February 23, 2015

Eat, Live, Feel Good!

Healthy eating tip 1: Set yourself up for success

To set yourself up for success, think about planning a healthy diet as a number of small, manageable steps rather than one big drastic change. If you approach the changes gradually and with commitment, you will have a healthy diet sooner than you think.
Manageable portions of meats, People do not over consume meat!

·       Simplify. Instead of being overly concerned with counting calories or measuring portion sizes, think of your diet in terms of color, variety, and freshness. This way it should be easier to make healthy choices. Focus on finding foods you love and easy recipes that incorporate a few fresh ingredients. Gradually, your diet will become healthier and more delicious.
·       Start slow and make changes to your eating habits over time. Trying to make your diet healthy overnight isn’t realistic or smart. Changing everything at once usually leads to cheating or giving up on your new eating plan. Make small steps, like adding a salad (full of different color vegetables) to your diet once a day or switching from butter to olive oil when cooking. As your small changes become habit, you can continue to add more healthy choices to your diet.
·       Focus on how you feel after eating. This will help foster healthy new habits and tastes. The more healthy food you eat, the better you’ll feel after a meal. The more junk food you eat, the more likely you are to feel uncomfortable, nauseous, or drained of energy.

·        Every change you make to improve your diet matters. You don’t have to be perfect and you don’t have to completely eliminate foods you enjoy to have a healthy diet. The long term goal is to feel good, have more energy, and reduce the risk of cancer and disease. Don’t let your missteps derail you—every healthy food choice you make counts. 

·       Think of water and exercise as food groups in your diet.
·       Water. Water helps flush our systems of waste products and toxins, yet many people go through life dehydrated—causing tiredness, low energy, and headaches. It’s common to mistake thirst for hunger, so staying well hydrated will also help you make healthier food choices.
·       Exercise. Find something active that you like to do and add it to your day, just like you would add healthy greens, blueberries, or salmon. The benefits of lifelong exercise are abundant and regular exercise may even motivate you to make healthy food choices a habit.

Start on tip one; tip two will follow in 48 hours!

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Sugar molecule links red meat consumption and elevated cancer risk in mice

While people who eat a lot of red meat are known to be at higher risk for certain cancers, other carnivores are not, prompting researchers at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine to investigate the possible tumor-forming role of a sugar called Neu5Gc, which is naturally found in most mammals but not in humans.
In a study published in the Dec. 29 online early edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the scientists found that feeding Neu5Gc to mice engineered to be deficient in the sugar (like humans) significantly promoted spontaneous cancers. The study did not involve exposure to carcinogens or artificially inducing cancers, further implicating Neu5Gc as a key link between red meat consumption and cancer.
"Until now, all of our evidence linking Neu5Gc to cancer was circumstantial or indirectly predicted from somewhat artificial experimental setups," said principal investigator Ajit Varki, MD, Distinguished Professor of Medicine and Cellular and Molecular Medicine and member of the UC San Diego Moores Cancer Center. "This is the first time we have directly shown that mimicking the exact situation in humans -- feeding non-human Neu5Gc and inducing anti-Neu5Gc antibodies -- increases spontaneous cancers in mice." 

Varki's team first conducted a systematic survey of common foods. They found that red meats (beef, pork and lamb) are rich in Neu5Gc, affirming that foods of mammalian origin such as these are the primary sources of Neu5Gc in the human diet. The molecule was found to be bio-available, too, meaning it can be distributed to tissues throughout the body via the bloodstream.
The researchers had previously discovered that animal Neu5Gc can be absorbed into human tissues. In this study, they hypothesized that eating red meat could lead to inflammation if the body's immune system is constantly generating antibodies against consumed animal Neu5Gc, a foreign molecule. Chronic inflammation is known to promote tumor formation.
To test this hypothesis, the team engineered mice to mimic humans in that they lacked their own Neu5Gc and produced antibodies against it. When these mice were fed Neu5Gc, they developed systemic inflammation. Spontaneous tumor formation increased fivefold and Neu5Gc accumulated in the tumors.

"The final proof in humans will be much harder to come by," Varki said. "But on a more general note, this work may also help explain potential connections of red meat consumption to other diseases exacerbated by chronic inflammation, such as atherosclerosis and type 2 diabetes.

"Of course, moderate amounts of red meat can be a source of good nutrition for young people. We hope that our work will eventually lead the way to practical solutions for this catch-22."

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Four foods that truly deserve the title of 'superfood'

(NaturalNews) Let's face it: The word superfood has become overused. This title, which was originally intended for foods whose nutritional value considerably exceeded that of the average fruit or vegetable, seems to be attached to almost any natural food these days. Mainstream health magazines are particularly guilty of this abuse, often preferring to use superfood as a marketing term rather than an objective declaration of nutritiousness.

That said, there are a small number of foods that truly deserve to be called superfoods. These tend to be exotic foods that are seldom found in the average Westerner's home, but which are packed with so many naturally occurring, bioavailable nutrients that they put most multivitamin supplements to shame. This article lists four of the best of them.

Moringa oleifera

Arguably the king of superfoods is Moringa oleifera, a fast-growing Himalayan tree whose leaves are bursting with so much goodness that researchers have nicknamed it "The Miracle Tree" and "The Tree of Immortality." Moringa leaves contain over 90 different types of nutrients in high quantities, including seven times the vitamin C of oranges, four times the vitamin A of carrots, four times the calcium of milk and three times the potassium of bananas. The leaves are also a complete protein source, since they contain all eight essential amino acids. (1) Given this nutritiousness, it's unsurprising that studies have linked Moringa consumption to the treatment of diabetes, anti-inflammatory diseases, cancer and much more.

Moringa powder is easy to purchase online, and makes an excellent natural vitamin and mineral supplement. You might also like to try Ben oil, a sweet-tasting oil made from the tree's pods that is rich in disease-fighting antioxidants.


Wheatgrass is a gluten-free food prepared from the young shoots of the wheat plant. It was popularized in the 1930s by the American chemist Charles L. Schnabel, who claimed that 15 pounds of wheatgrass is equal in nutritional value to 350 pounds of regular garden vegetables! (2) While this claim is now considered to be exaggerated, it is true that wheatgrass is one of the most nutrient-dense foods known to science.

According to spectral analysis, a mere 4 grams of wheatgrass powder supplies us with 1,600 percent of our recommended daily allowance (RDA) of vitamin E, 7,000 percent of our RDA of manganese, 15,293 percent of our RDA of riboflavin, 413 percent of our RDA of zinc and similarly astounding concentrations of other essential nutrients. (3) It is also one of the world's finest sources of chlorophyll, a powerful blood builder and cleaner. This makes wheatgrass a potent detox food as well as a superb nutrient supplement.

Chlorella and spirulina

Chlorella and spirulina are two single-celled algae that thrive in the sunniest parts of freshwater bodies. Though both of them probably qualify as superfoods individually, they become something truly special when consumed together. This is because chlorella and spirulina possess complementary rather than identical nutrient profiles. For example, chlorella tends to contain more chlorophyll and iron than spirulina. Chlorella is also better at chelating heavy metals from the body than spirulina and at repairing cell damage due to its unique growth factor. Spirulina, on the other hand, contains more protein, gamma-linoleic acid (a beneficial fat that is essential for brain function) and cancer-fighting phycocyanin than chlorella. (4) Consequently, consuming these two foods together supplies our bodies with an extremely well-rounded infusion of nutrients -- far more than the average fruit or vegetable could possibly provide!

Sources for this article include:





Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Completely Black Chickens Go for $2,500 Each


In Indonesia, there's a rare species of chicken called the Ayam Cemani. The chicken is covered head to claw in black, even down to its bones. Pretty metal, right? The bird is probably the closest thing to the fabled Black Chocobo outside your PlayStation, except this one you can deep-fry.

The Ayam Cemani features black plumage, legs, tongue, beak, meat, bones and even organs. Talk about consistency. While the chicken's blood is about the only thing that isn't black, it is a darker shade than most poultry species. The chicken's noir pigmentation is thanks to a genetic trait called fibromelanosis.

If you have the stomach to try one and can get past the complete deafening darkness of its flesh and bones, an Ayam Cemani is worth $2,500.

I wonder how they tell when it's fully cooked.

By: Peter Pham

Thursday, October 2, 2014

An apple a day could keep obesity away

Scientists at Washington State University have concluded that nondigestible compounds in apples -- specifically, Granny Smith apples -- may help prevent disorders associated with obesity. The study, thought to be the first to assess these compounds in apple cultivars grown in the Pacific Northwest, appears in October's print edition of the journal Food Chemistry.

"We know that, in general, apples are a good source of these nondigestible compounds but there are differences in varieties," said food scientist Giuliana Noratto, the study's lead researcher. "Results from this study will help consumers to discriminate between apple varieties that can aid in the fight against obesity."
The tart green Granny Smith apples benefit the growth of friendly bacteria in the colon due to their high content of non-digestible compounds, including dietary fiber and polyphenols, and low content of available carbohydrates. Despite being subjected to chewing, stomach acid and digestive enzymes, these compounds remain intact when they reach the colon. Once there, they are fermented by bacteria in the colon, which benefits the growth of friendly bacteria in the gut.
The study showed that Granny Smith apples surpass Braeburn, Fuji, Gala, Golden Delicious, McIntosh and Red Delicious in the amount of nondigestible compounds they contain.

"The nondigestible compounds in the Granny Smith apples actually changed the proportions of fecal bacteria from obese mice to be similar to that of lean mice," Noratto said.
The discovery could help prevent some of the disorders associated with obesity such as low-grade, chronic inflammation that can lead to diabetes. The balance of bacterial communities in the colon of obese people is disturbed. This results in microbial byproducts that lead to inflammation and influence metabolic disorders associated with obesity, Noratto said.
"What determines the balance of bacteria in our colon is the food we consume," she said.
Re-establishing a healthy balance of bacteria in the colon stabilizes metabolic processes that influence inflammation and the sensation of feeling satisfied, or satiety, she said.
Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Washington State University. The original article was written by Sylvia Kantor. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Jelly Fish for Dinner?

By Justin Nobel on September 15, 2014

First the bad news: Jack mackerel have been decimated, Atlantic cod populations have collapsed and Mediterranean bluefin tuna are declining at alarming rates. In fact, in recent years some marine ecologists have claimed, controversially, that all fisheries on earth could collapse by 2048. But in the tiny port town of Darien, Georgia, there’s a happier story to be told.

Thornell King’s salty 73-foot shrimp trawler, the Kim-Sea-King, steams down the muddy Darien River, past Sapelo Island’s big red and white striped lighthouse and into the Atlantic. About five miles offshore a crewmate spots, floating near the surface, a mat of gyrating grapefruit-sized globs that stretch the length of five city blocks, a slick so thick it appears as if you could walk on it.

Cannonball jellyfish.Cannonball jellyfish.

These are cannonball jellyfish. Locals call them “jellyballs.” And they will be dinner.

“Jellyballs have been very, very good to me,” says King, who has worked as a state trooper for the last 20 years, and might be the only jelly-balling cop in the country. This past season was particularly robust: King and his men caughtan estimated 5 million-plus pounds of cannonball jellyfish. At what King says is this year’s price (seven cents a pound), this equates to $350,000. Statistics are absent in this burgeoning new industry, but since King operates three of the fewer than 10 boats legally fishing jellyfish in Georgia, and there are maybe a handful in Florida and South Carolina, the market value of the jellies being fished in the U.S. can be estimated at somewhere in the low millions.

National Marine Fisheries Service data for the U.S. suggests 2,152 metric tons of cannonball jellyfish were harvested in 2011, worth $301,000, but the figure doesn’t include confidential data submitted by states, which would likely raise these numbers dramatically, and thus is incomplete.

The cannonball jellies in the waters off the southeastern U.S. are so plentiful that even the Georgia Department of Natural Resources (DNR) doesn’t know exactly how many there are. The main thing holding the industry back is the development of more processing plants.

To catch jellyfish, this funnel — capable of holding 3,000 pounds of jellies at a time — is dragged through the water.1Thornell King repairs nets with one of his crew.2
1To catch jellyfish, this funnel — capable of holding 3,000 pounds of jellies at a time — is dragged through the water.
2Thornell King repairs nets with one of his crew.
These brownish Cnidarians (from the Greek knide, or nettle, for their abilityto sting) are now the state of Georgia’s third biggest fishery by volume, behind crabs and shrimp. The first cannonball jellies were commercially harvested off the Gulf Coast of Florida in the early ’90s, and since then Darien, Georgia, has become the epicenter of the industry. In 1998, the DNR issued experimental permits to allow some harvesting, and in 2013 jellyfish became a formally regulated state fishery. “It has been a really good success story,” says DNR biologist Jim Page. “We went from a critter that back in the ’60s fishermen hated because it clogged their shrimping nets to an animal these guys have been able to take advantage of, and I imagine this fishery will continue to expand.”

With one licensed jellyfish processing plant in Darien — called Golden Island International — and another purportedly opening soon, the jellyball industry (consisting of, in addition to the plant, six boats, three of which are King’s) is a job creator. During the peak season from November to about May, it employs around 150 people, a sizable number for the town of about 1,900.

We may have no choice but to eat foods that make sense ecologically — or can at least thrive in a changed environment.
At the Golden Island plant, the jellies are dried and shipped to China and Japan, where they are cut into long, thin strips and served in salads with cabbage and teriyaki sauce. If prepared right, the jellyfish are crunchy, like a carrot. Jellyfish are popular in China, along with other sea creatures like geoducks (those gigantic phallic clams from the Pacific Northwest) for similar textural reasons.

But these sorts of foods are being embraced well beyond Asia. And as climate change and the global industrial agriculture system continue on what many view as a doomed course, we may have no choice but to eat foods that make sense ecologically — or can at least thrive in a changed environment. Jellyfish, prolific breeders with low metabolic rates and the ability to eat almost anything (some breeds just ingest organic material through their epidermis), have survived in unfriendly environs for centuries. But in the end, even jellyfish are prone to humanity’s insatiable appetite; the reason why the Georgia cannonball jelly industry is booming, according to at least some involved in the industry, is because the creatures have been overharvested in parts of Asia.Proteins are perhaps the biggest hurdle to feeding a growing planet. “I am not a doomsdayer,” says Dr. Paul Rozin, a biocultural psychologist at the University of Pennsylvania, but he does believe that our ecology is threatened. Not only are the world’s fisheries in trouble, but the meat industry has received increasing criticism for inhumane practices.

When the boat returns to shore, jellies are vacuumed onto a conveyor belt before processing.When the boat returns to shore, jellies are vacuumed onto a conveyor belt before processing; Outside Golden Island International; Partially dried jellyfish in brine, ready to be shipped to Asia.
“What we eat and how we produce it needs to be re-evaluated,” states a 2013 United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization report on edible insects. The paper points out that insects already form part of the diets of at least 2 billion people. Rearing insects uses less land than traditional livestock, and insects can be equally if not more nutritious and are more efficient at converting feed into protein. Crickets, for example, need 12 times less feed than cattle (and half as much as pigs and broiler chickens) to produce the same amount of protein. “The case needs to be made to consumers that eating insects is not only good for their health,” reads the U.N. report, “it is good for the planet.”

Still, for now, most Americans are averse to eating bugs — or jellyfish. But Rozin points to sushi as an example of how tastes can change. In the 1950s, average Americans would have politely spit into their napkins if served raw fish. Now even residents of deeply landlocked metropolises can eat fresh sushi at a Japanese restaurant. But the main lesson is one of foodonomics. Sushi is associated with worldliness and wealth, even though you can now find it at most malls; i.e., sushi was popularized from the top down.

“The question is, what is it about a particular animal that makes it more disgusting than others?” asks Rozin. “We don’t want to eat bats; we don’t want to eat rats; we don’t want to eat cats.” Why don’t we want to eat jellyfish? Rozin believes it could be because of the sliminess factor. Yet other slimy foods have gotten around this to thrive in America — most notably oysters.

Outside Golden Island International.1Partially dried jellyfish in brine, ready to be shipped to Asia.2
1Outside Golden Island International.
2Partially dried jellyfish in brine, ready to be shipped to Asia.
Back on the coast of Georgia, King says he doesn’t think Southerners will ever appreciate the jellyfish. “I don’t want to disrespect,” says King, leaning against the shiprail of the Kim-Sea-King as summer thunder rumbles in the distance, “but if I take something home to my wife for dinner, it’s not going be jellyballs.”

At nearby Golden Island International, though, a Friday afternoon jellyfish taste test is underway. April Harper, Golden’s spunky manager, has chopped celery into thin slices and shredded carrots. To this she adds a teriyaki vinaigrette and slivers of jellyfish. Moments ago, the slightly diaphanous product looked like a granny’s shower cap, but cut into strips and put in the salad it resembles a tiny bowl of linguine, and Harper says it is very refreshing. The samples are for the fishermen, most of whom are unfamiliar with the product they are out there catching, but Harper plans on inviting other Darien residents soon. The company plans to push the product on the American market after completing research on its nutritional value.

“Right now, you go into a sushi restaurant and you order a squid salad,” says Harper enthusiastically. “I mean come on, I think we can beat the pants off a squid salad!”