10 of the World’s Strangest Healthy Foods You Probably Haven’t Tried

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Beef Brains

You don’t have to be a zombie to appreciate the nutritional value of brains. Stick to the bovine variety of grey matter and you’ll take in healthy nutrients like iron and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), an Omega-3 fatty acid.
Four ounces of beef brain provide about one-fifth of the daily-recommended amount of protein for an average 150-pound person
DHA can reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease.

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Blowfish Sperm 



Fox News sent Dr. Manny Alvarez and Chris Kilham, also known as the Medicine Hunter, on a quest to find bizarre but healthy foods. Blowfish sperm was among their discoveries. According to the chefs at a Japanese restaurant, blowfish sperm contains zinc and DHA, which is considered a brain booster. 

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Marmite



Beer lovers may be excited to learn that a byproduct of the brewing process offers some surprising health benefits. Yeast extract is mixed with sodium chloride to create Marmite.
Although the quality of the taste is debatable, there’s no doubt that it offers health benefits. Marmite contains high levels of the B3 vitamin, which produces a white blood cell that boosts the immune system. 

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Raw Catfish Nuggets 



Many Americans prefer their catfish battered and fried. Instead of frying up a whole filet, go for the catfish nuggets instead. Catfish nuggets are cut from the filet and often found in the seafood section. They’re high in protein, low in calories, and provide healthy Omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin B12. 

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Millet



If you’ve ever told someone that they eat like a bird, you’re paying them a compliment. Millet is a type of grain that is used as a main ingredient in packaged bird food. If you’ve ever told someone that they eat like a bird, you’re paying them a compliment. Millet is a type of grain that is used as a main ingredient in packaged bird food. 

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Dandelion Greens



The next time you’re pulling weeds out of your garden, throw the dandelions in the good pile with your harvested vegetables.Dandelion greens are surprisingly healthy thanks to the high levels of folate, magnesium, copper, and phosphorus. Dandelion greens also contain vitamins like A, C, E, K, and B6. 

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Enoki Mushrooms



Enoki mushrooms may look like a weird plant found in a video game but they’re very real and very healthy. Some studies have linked them to a reduced risk for cancer. They are high in antioxidants and contain little to no cholesterol. Enoki mushrooms have also been used for development of cancer immunotherapy and vaccines. 

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Romanesco



Romanesco is a close relative of cauliflower but resembles some kind of fractal pattern that you might see under a microscope. In spite of its unusual appearance, romanesco provides numerous health benefits. This bizarre vegetable is rich in vitamins C and K and carotenoids. It’s also a great source of dietary fiber.  

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Blood Pudding



Blood pudding, a type of blood sausage, is a common dish served in England and Ireland and the name is an accurate description of its contents. Also known as black pudding, blood pudding is made from oatmeal and pork blood. It is high in iron, which can reduce anemia and help treat chronic illnesses such as type 2 diabetes and arthritis. 

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Hemp Milk

The hemp plant has numerous uses, one of which is hemp milk made from the seeds of the hemp plant. The seeds are ground and soaked in water. The beverage contains high levels of essential fatty acids as well as nutrients such as potassium, calcium, fiber, iron, and magnesium. Its high protein content makes it a popular choice for vegans.

Credit: Answers

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Smokers or Past Smokers : Six Ways to Cleanse and Revitalize your Lungs

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It’s been observed that even former smokers who quit years ago have traces of lung damage.

Even if one has never smoked, second hand cigarette smoke, industrial pollution, vehicular exhaust fumes and now chemtrails with downward drifting heavy metal nano-particles all contribute to some level of lung damage for almost everyone.

So whether you once smoked or never puffed on chemical-laden, radioactive (from the fertilizer) tobacco, detoxing and regenerating lung tissue may still be appropriate for you.

By the way, the notion that lung damage is irreparable is not true. With proper nourishment and nurturing, your lungs can repair damaged tissues eventually.

Right now is a great time to quit smoking. Why? In as little as 20 minutes you’ll start to feel the benefits of not smoking.

There are over 4,000 chemicals in tobacco smoke and at least 69 of those chemicals are known to cause cancer.

The best way to avoid most chemicals, GMOs, artificial sweeteners, high fructose corn syrup (HFCS), excess sugar and bad salt is to eliminate junk and processed foods and sodas. Minimize meat, dairy and wheat to reduce excess mucus. Adding ginger, onions, garlic and cayenne helps eliminate excess mucus as well.

1 - Exercise more outdoors, away from traffic if possible. Breathing exercises can be used to help strengthen lung tissue. Yoga offers some, and there are others as well.

2- Eliminate household toxins that are part of detergents, cleansers, bleaches and chemically scented “air fresheners”.

There are many chemical free substitutes available at health food stores, even Target has a few on hand. Ditto for cosmetics and bodycare products. Buy only aluminum free deodorants for starters.

Pesticides must go as well, and there are alternatives that aren’t toxic for humans.

All toxic commercial pesticides emit caustic gases or vapors (off-gassing) that irritate the lungs.

3 – Improve your indoor air, which can be even worse than outdoor air.

Try to replace carpeting with other flooring or at least vacuum and steam clean often. Beware of furniture or clothing that’s been fire proofed. Flame retardants off-gas carcinogenic compounds.

You may want to look into commercial air cleaners. Or simply get some nice indoor plants that add life to your dwelling while removing toxins.

4 – Herbal remedies for lung issues are abundant. You’ll need to determine which type of herb is appropriate for your situation.

Antitussive herbs reduce respiratory spasms; expectorant herbs loosen mucus; demulcent herbs sooth irritated tissue; and antimicrobial herbs resolve infections.

Here’s a good overall guide for respiratory healing herbs.

Licorice root is one that pretty much covers all those attributes. It can create side effects for some because of its glycyrrhizin content. But licorice extract products are available with the glycyrrhizin removed. This is known as deglycyrrhizinated licorice or DGL licorice.

Lobelia, ironically known as Indian tobacco, helps clear the airways for easier breathing. It even works for asthma attacks.

5 – Detoxing is necessary for any regeneration or rebuilding.

Eliminating or reducing your toxic load relieves your immune system and allows the process of growing new tissue to occur.

Item (1) of this article is an absolute prerequisite to detoxifying. Then, foods such as chlorella and cilantro consumed often can help detoxify heavy metals, especially from the liver. Zeolite in its raw powder form (not liquid) is very useful.

Make sure you drink plenty of purified fluoride free water and find ways to sweat more. If you can, use a far infrared sauna somewhere; you’ll have the best level of sauna. But conventional sauna’s still do the job.

6 – Serrapeptase enzymes are very powerful enzymes capable of eating up scar tissue, heavily calcified tissue or hardened mucus deposits.

Credit: Underground Health

All Natural sometimes isn’t All Natural – Yogurt Products Found to Contain Aspartame and Artificial Colors

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If you’re buying so-called “All Natural” yogurt sold at the grocery store, you might assume the phrase means the product contains nothing artificial or synthetic. After all, that’s the definition of “all natural.”

But food marketing companies can get pretty sneaky about using the term. They know the FDA doesn’t regulate “all natural” claims, so technically any food product can be claimed as “all natural” even if it contains artificial sweeteners, synthetic chemical coloring, hexane solvent chemicals, laboratory-derived antibiotics, toxic heavy metals and anything else imaginable. (Seriously, you could mix jet fuel into yogurt and still label it “All Natural.”)

That’s probably why Natural News has found that some yogurt products claiming to be “All Natural” contain aspartame and artificial coloring chemicals – two ingredients which are clearly not natural.

When you buy yogurt, don’t forget to read the ingredients labels

As these two yogurt products clearly demonstrate, when you buy yogurt, make sure you really read the ingredients labels. “All Natural” doesn’t mean it’s natural, and the “Greek” adjective on yogurt products doesn’t mean it’s made in Greece.

 Claims of “All Natural” have zero meaning in the real world. Such claims are frequently used to mislead consumers rather than inform them about what’s really in the product. In fact, when you see the claim “All Natural” on a food product, this should be a red flag to immediately read the ingredients label and find out whether the claim is true.


“Get off the Phone Now!!!” – The Top 5 Phones with the Highest Radiation

Is your sunscreen bad for you? Scientists discuss Cancer & Sunscreen

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According to a June 2014 article featured in The Independent (UK), a major study conducted by researchers at the Karolinska Institute in Sweden found that women who avoid sunbathing during the summer are twice as likely to die as those who sunbathe every day.

The epidemiological study followed 30,000 women for over 20 years and “showed that mortality was about double in women who avoided sun exposure compared to the highest exposure group.”

Researchers concluded that the conventional dogma, which advises avoiding the sun at all costs and slathering on sunscreen to minimize sun exposure, is doing more harm than actual good.

That’s because overall sun avoidance combined with wearing sunscreen effectively blocks the body’s ability to produce vitamin D3 from the sun’s UVB rays, which is by far the best form of vitamin D.

In the USA, vitamin D deficiency is at epidemic levels. Ironically, vitamin D deficiency can lead to aggressive forms of skin cancer. A ground-breaking 2011 study published in Cancer Prevention Research suggests that optimal blood levels of vitamin D offers protection against sunburn and skin cancer. 

Additionally, vitamin D protects the body from diseases like multiple sclerosis, rickets (in the young), tuberculosis, inflammatory bowel disease, type 1 diabetes, inflammatory bowel disease, rheumatoid arthritis, systemic lupus erythematosus and Sjogren’s syndrome. 

According to the Vitamin D Council, researchers at the University of Alabama at Birmingham recently reported that “lack of sun exposure may lead to cognitive decline over time.”

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A DISSIDENT DERMATOLOGIST

Bernard Ackerman, MD, (deceased 2008) was one of the world’s foremost authorities on the subject of skin cancer and the sun, sunscreens and melanoma skin cancer risks.

Below are Ackerman’s views excerpted from an article in The New York Times (July 20, 2004), titled “I BEG TO DIFFER; A Dermatologist Who’s Not Afraid to Sit on the Beach”:

The link between melanoma and sun exposure (dermatology’s dogma) is unproven.There’s no conclusive evidence that sunburns lead to cancer.There is no real proof that sunscreens protect against melanoma.There’s no proof that increased exposure to the sun increases the risk of melanoma. 

A 2000 Swedish study concluded that higher rates of melanoma occurred in those who used sunscreen versus those who did not.

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SUNSCREENS: CANCER-CAUSING BIOHAZARDS

Elizabeth Plourde, PhD, is a California-based scientist who authored the book Sunscreens – Biohazard: Treat as Hazardous Waste, which extensively documents the serious life-threatening dangers of sunscreens not only to people but to the environment as well.

Dr. Plourde provides proof that malignant melanoma and all other skin cancers increased significantly with ubiquitous sunscreen use over a 30-year period. She emphasizes that many sunscreens contain chemicals that are known carcinogens and endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDC).

Environmentally, she notes: “In areas where there has been much exposure to ED [endocrine disrupting] chemicals, coral and other sea populations have died off and the prevalence of dual-sexed fish has risen.”

Dr. Plourde’s research on mice and sunscreen exposure also showed increases in both pup and maternal mortality as well as reproductive issues in subsequent generations.

Additionally, the book documents how sunscreen chemicals have polluted our water sources including oceans, rivers and municipal drinking water. Worse yet, testing revealed that 97% of Americans have sunscreen chemicals in their blood!

Dr. Plourde’s book also has a chapter on the importance of vitamin D3 to health, and she posits that the widespread vitamin D3 deficiency is linked to overuse of sunscreen combined with sun avoidance in general.

Credit: Real Farmacy

World Cup Dishes: Feijoada, Brazilian Black Bean Stew (Go USA Go!!!)

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Feijoada, Brazilian Black Bean Stew Receipe

INGREDIENTS

1 pound (450 grams) dry black beans

4 Tbsp olive oil

1 pound (450 grams) pork shoulder, cut into chunks

2 large onions, sliced

1 head of garlic, peeled and chopped

1 pound (450 grams) carne seca or corned beef, cut into chunks 

1/2 pound (225 grams) fresh sausages, such as chorizo or Italianvsausage

1 pound (450 grams) smoked sausage, such as linguica or kielbasa

1 smoked ham hock or shank

3-4 bay leaves

Water

1 14.5 ounce can (411 grams) of crushed tomatoes

Salt

Directions

1 Pour boiling water over the black beans and let them sit while you prepare the rest of the stew.

2 Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium-high heat and brown the pork shoulder. When it has browned, remove the meat from the pot, set aside and add the onions to the pot. Brown them, stirring occasionally, scraping up any browned bits from the bottom of the pot. Sprinkle a little salt over the onions and add the garlic. Stir well and sauté 2 more minutes.

3 Add back the pork shoulder, and the other meats and add enough water to cover. Add the bay leaves, cover and bring to a simmer. Cook gently for 1 hour. Drain the black beans from their soaking liquid and add them to the stew. Simmer gently, covered, until the beans are tender, about an hour and a half.

4 Add the tomatoes, stir well and taste for salt, adding if it’s needed. Simmer this, uncovered, until the meat begins to fall off the ham hock, which will probably take 2-3 hours.

Serve with white rice and hot sauce. A classic side dish would be sautéed collard greens.

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Happy Father’s Day Meal: Kansas City Barbecue

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Ingredients:

BARBECUE RUB:

2 cups sugar

1/4 cup paprika

2 teaspoons chili seasoning

1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1/2 cup salt

2 teaspoon black pepper

1 teaspoon garlic powder

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BABY BACK RIBS:

1 rack Baby Back Ribs

Barbecue Rub

Apple juice in a spritzer

2 cups BBQ sauce, your favorite

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Directions

Combine all ingredients in shaker and use as “rub” on the following meats. 

Peel membrane off the back of each slab. Then rinse the slab off to get rid of bone dust. Dry with cotton towel. Take shaker of “rub” and lightly coat both sides of meat.

Preparing smoker: Put charcoal in chimney with paper underneath and light. (Do not use charcoal lighter-it will taint the flavor of the meat.) Let coals get hot, about 30 minutes. Transfer coals into smoker, and add 1 hickory log per hour on top of charcoal if smoker is big. (Adjust if using small smoker.) 

Wait until temperature of smoker reaches 220 degrees. Leave damper open so you don’t trap stale smoke in chamber. Over course of cooking, maintain heat with additional coal and wood, as needed. After placing ribs inside smoker, spritz with apple juice once an hour. After about 3 hours, when meat is nice dark color, spritz one last time and wrap in foil. Let ribs cook in foil for another 2 hours, giving you a total cook time of 5 hours. You can feel when the ribs are tender rather than rubbery (they bend rather than bounce back).

Unwrap them (carefully), lift them out of juice and place on cutting board, brush on room temperature BBQ Sauce. Slice into individual ribs and serve.

 

 

I’LL HAVE ANOTHER: DRINKS & BUKOWSKI (T.G.I.F)

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I’ll have another

Drinks & Bukowski

Written By Ryan Fu @fu_beatz 

The Sazerac Cocktail

“THE PSYCHE HAS BEEN BURNED
AND LEFT US SENSELESS,
THE WORLD HAS BEEN DARKER THAN LIGHTS-OUT
IN A CLOSET FULL OF HUNGRY BATS,
AND THE WHISKEY AND WINE ENTERED OUR VEINS
WHEN BLOOD WAS TOO WEAK TO CARRY ON”


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The Sazerac cocktail is to New Orleans what the margarita is to the southwest. It is reported to be the first cocktail every invented (at least in the United States). Antoine Amadie Peychaud, a Creole apothecary, is given the credit for first inventing the Sazerac cocktail in the 1830s. In 1795, he immigrated to New Orleans from the West Indies and opened a drugstore called Pharmacie Peychaud. Like many “chemists” of his day, he sold his own patent medicine; Peychaud’s Bitters, a proprietary mix of aromatic bitters said to relive his clients’ ailments. His medical toddy soon became very popular and friends gathered regularly to sample his late-night drinks.

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 sugar cube
  • 1 1/2 ounces rye or American whiskey
  • 2 dashes of Peychaud’s Bitters
  • Dash of angostura bitters
  • Dash of absinthe (can substitute Herbsaint, Pernod, or Ricard)
  • Twist of lemon peel

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Tequila Sunrise

“That’s the problem with drinking, I thought, as I poured myself a drink. If something bad happens you drink in an attempt to forget; if something good happens you drink in order to celebrate; and if nothing happens you drink to make something happen.”  -Charles Bukowski, Women

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The primary use of grenadine is to color a drink, which is most evident in a Tequila Sunrise. The Tequila Sunrise is yet another drink in the long procession of cocktails born during the Prohibition era. Marion Gorman and Felipé de Alba, in The Tequila Book, suggest that the Tequila Sunrise was invented at the Agua Caliente racetrack for Californians who spent the night betting on the horses while drinking too much. The cocktail was considered to be a morning pick-me-up for the bettors—hence the name Tequila Sunrise. While absolutely plausible, the story may be just one more instance of the need to historicize a cocktail.

INGREDIENTS
  • 1 1/2 ounces white tequila, iced
  • 4 ounces cold, fresh orange juice
  • Dash of grenadine
  • Slice of orange

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Lemon Drop Martini Cocktail

“I ONLY WANT SWEET PEACE AND KINDLINESS WHEN I AWAKEN — BUT THERE’S ALWAYS SOME FINGER POINTING, TELLING ME SOME TERRIBLE DEED I COMMITTED DURING THE NIGHT. IT SEEMS I MAKE A LOT OF MISTAKES AND IT SEEMS THAT I AM NOT ALLOWED ANY.”

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The lemon drop martini, a drink inspired by the lemon drop candy, has been around since the 80′s, or at least that’s when it became most popular. The original recipe consisted of vodka, fresh lemon juice and sugar, nothing more. It was a simple, easy to make and refreshing cocktail. But unfortunately, over the years bartenders and mixologists have practically ruined this drink by turning it into a sugary, syrupy mess that no longer represents what it used to be in any way. They’ve replaced the fresh ingredients with pre-made mixes and have added things that just don’t need to be there.

INGREDIENTS
  • Fine sugar, for rimming the glass
  • 1 thin lemon wedge
  • 1 1/2 ounces vodka
  • 1/2 ounce freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1/2 ounce Simple Syrup
  • Ice
  • Lemon twist, for garnish

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Strawberry Daiquiri

“SHE WAS DESPERATE AND SHE WAS CHOOSEY
AT THE SAME TIME AND, IN A WAY, BEAUTIFUL, BUT SHE DIDN’T HAVE QUITE ENOUGH GOING FOR HER TO BECOME WHAT
SHE IMAGINED HERSELF TO BE.” –
FACTOTUM

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No one is quite sure who made the first strawberry daiquiri, but the classic daiquiri made without strawberries has quite a bit of history. According to tradition, the daiquiri was created by Jennings Cox, an American mining engineer working in the little town of Daiquiri, Cuba. The story goes that Cox was entertaining guests and ran out of gin, so he turned to mixing rum and lime juice instead of making a gin lime rickey. Chances are, though, that the locals in Cuba had been enjoying daiquiris long before Cox was credited with inventing the drink in 1905. The daiquiri remained a Cuban secret until 1909 when Admiral Lucius Johnson, a US Navy medical officer, discovered the drink and brought the recipe back to the Army and Navy Club in Washington D.C. The drink was further popularized in the 1940s, when strict trade agreements made most kinds of liquor difficult to obtain. Rum, however, remained easy to import thanks to President Roosevelt’s Good Neighbor trade policy, which favored Cuba and other Latin American countries.

INGREDIENTS

  • 1.5 oz Aged Puerto Rican or Jamaican rum
  • .75 oz Fresh lime juice
  • 1 oz Rich simple syrup (two parts sugar, one part water)
  • 1 Strawberry
  • 6 to 10 Ice cubes

Garnish:  Orchid and cocktail umbrella

Glass:  Margarita or wine goblet

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Blow Job Shooter

“There’s nothing to mourn about death any more than there is to mourn about the growing of a flower. What is terrible is not death but the lives people live or don’t live up until their death. They don’t honor their own lives, they piss on their lives. They shit them away. Dumb fuckers. They concentrate too much on fucking, movies, money, family, fucking. Their minds are full of cotton. They swallow God without thinking, they swallow country without thinking. Soon they forget how to think, they let others think for them. Their brains are stuffed with cotton. They look ugly, they talk ugly, they walk ugly. Play them the great music of the centuries and they can’t hear it. Most people’s deaths are a sham. There’s nothing left to die.”
—The Captain Is Out to Lunch and the Sailors Have Taken Over the Ship, 1998

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The sheer amount of sexual puns we could make about this drink are staggering, but for the sake of modesty we’ll refrain. It’s a pretty tasty drink, though! The Amaretto and Irish cream play off each other wonderfully.

Ingredients:

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Caipirinha

“THE NINE-TO-FIVE IS ONE OF THE GREATEST ATROCITIES SPRUNG UPON MANKIND. YOU GIVE YOUR LIFE AWAY TO A FUNCTION THAT DOESN’T INTEREST YOU. THIS SITUATION SO REPELLED ME THAT I WAS DRIVEN TO DRINK, STARVATION, AND MAD FEMALES, SIMPLY AS AN ALTERNATIVE.”

 Sunlight Here I Am: Interviews & Encounters 1963-1993, 2003
Caipirinha-ToastFresh made Strawberry Caipirinha

There are many stories about the caipirinha’s origin. The best known is one that begins around 1918, in the state of São Paulo. According to information, the caipirinha as we know it today would have been created from a popular recipe made with lemon, garlic and honey, indicated for patients of Spanish flu—and which, today, is still used to cure small colds. As it was quite common to put a little alcohol in any home remedy in order to expedite the therapeutic effect, rum was commonly used. “Until one day someone decided to remove the garlic and honey. Then added a few tablespoons sugar to reduce the acidity of lime. The ice came next, to ward off the heat,” explains Carlos Lima, executive director of IBRAC (Brazilian Institute of Cachaça). – Wikipedia

INGREDIENTS:

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Coors Light

“THERE WAS NOTHING REALLY AS GLORIOUS AS A GOOD BEER SHIT—I MEAN AFTER DRINKING TWENTY OR TWENTY-FIVE BEERS THE NIGHT BEFORE. THE ODOR OF A BEER SHIT LIKE THAT SPREAD ALL AROUND AND STAYED FOR A GOOD HOUR-AND-A-HALF. IT MADE YOU REALIZE THAT YOU WERE REALLY ALIVE.”

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5 Unhealthy Foods Engineered To Be Addictive

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There are three reasons Americans’ love affair with snacks is growing– along with their waistlines: the ubiquity of junk food, the ubiquity of  junk food advertising, and stealth food technology. People who polish off a whole bag of chips or cookies at one sitting (usually in front of TV) are often doing exactly what the product was designed to do–be addictive.

Have you noticed the overpowering something-in-the-oven smell that wafts up when you walk past a Subway?  Mark Christiano, Subway’s Global Baking Technologist, insists the aroma is not pumped outside to entice passers-by and adds that the bread recipe is “proprietary.” But in the war for your food dollar, all tactics are clearly on the table including the way a food smells, looks, and feels in the mouth. Nothing is left up to chance.

“Food technologists” use  $40,000 devices that simulate a chewing mouth to test and perfect chips, for example. “People like a chip that snaps with about four pounds of pressure per square inch,” says Michael Moss, author of  Salt Sugar Fat: How the Food Giants Hooked Us so technologists seek “the perfect break point.”

Fat is a big part of the food technology stagecraft too because it promotes crunch, creaminess and contrast, blends flavors and even lubricates mouthfuls so that people eat faster. And, speaking of fast eating, people who wolf down their food do not entirely have themselves to blame–the actual time it takes  to chew food has shrunk. “In the [45 years] that I have been in the food business, we used to have foods that we chewed 15 times and 20 times and 30 times before we swallowed,” says Gail Vance Civille, of the consumer research firm Sensory Spectrum. Now most foods only have to be chewed 12 times and  “you’re in for the next hit to get more pleasure, says Civille.

Of course sugar, salt and fat themselves can be addictive as Häagen-Dazs or Krispy Kreme junkies can attest, but food technologists have a clear equation for designing hyper-rewarding, hyper-palatable foods. They fabricate “complex formulas that pique the taste buds enough to be alluring but don’t have a distinct, overriding single flavor that tells the brain to stop eating,” says Moss.

Here are some foods deliberately designed to hook you at the first whiff or taste.

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1. Soft drinks

Half of Americans drink a soft drink every day and many people say they are addicted. This is not an accident. To create Cherry Vanilla Dr Pepper, for example, food technologists tested  3,904 “tastings”  or versions for “dryness,” “gumminess,” and  “moisture release,” the right mix of  cherry, vanilla and Dr Pepper flavoring and of course color.

Of course caffeine is one reason people get hooked on soft drinks. Constant exposure to caffeine makes your brain compensate by decreasing the number of receptors for its  own “stimulant,” norepinephrine, which makes you seek the stimulation from an outside source. But there are other probable “addictors” as seen in Mountain Dew, arguably the most addictive of the soft drinks (including among some gamers who reportedly drink it nonstop). While Dew certainly packs a lot of caffeine, it derives its fizzy bite from phosphoric, citric,  malic and tartaric acids, all kept afloat by a controversial additive known as BVO or brominated vegetable oil. Beverage companies are starting  to drop BVO, which the public has turned against because it is also a flame retardant. But Dew will likely keep its bite.

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2. Cured Meats

Even people who would give wide berth to a Slim Jim or Kentucky cured ham have been swept up in the Bacon Everywhere movement with bacon added to everything from gum and candy to ice cream. Unfortunately the bacon flavor everyone loves is created by ingredients no one loves–nitrites. Sodium nitrite, also found in ham, pastrami, salami hot dogs and sausages,  inhibits bacteria, lengthens shelf life and imparts the pleasing taste and color that add to these foods’ appeal. But, and it is a big  but, during the process of cooking, nitrites combine with other chemicals  to form carcinogens which many  health organizations warn against.

Can’t bacon be made without nitrites? Yes and no. “America’s Test Kitchen had the results of their bacon testing and they disliked the nitrite free sample because it was too pale and didn’t taste like bacon,” says one post on the web site  chowhound. “Nitrates add plenty to flavor. You’ll find bacon producers who attest to that all over Google,” says another post.  The  New York Times food writer R.W. Apple himself states that “nitrates provide some of the characteristic bacon flavor, and the only nitrite-free bacon I have sampled tasted more like roast pork,” defending the safety profile of the chemicals. The web site Livestrong agrees that nitrites “give cured meats that characteristic smoky flavor and pink color that make them irresistible,” but suggests that people limit their intake and  “have a salad” instead.

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3. Microwave Popcorn

Have you ever tried to surreptitiously make yourself a microwave popcorn at work and found it is impossible to disguise? Microwave popcorn sends off an immediate olfactory alarm to everyone on your floor and probably the floors above and below you. Not only do they know you are not working but  snacking they want some microwave popcorn too.

The irresistible smell is from the butter flavoring chemicals like  diacetyl and Pentanedione which are dissipated into the air by the heating process. And, not surprisingly, there are questions about their safety. While lawsuits have been brought and won by workers in microwave popcorn manufacturing plants who developed “popcorn lung” from working around diacetyl, consumers are also apparently at risk. Two years ago,  Wayne Watson was awarded $7 million when he sued the manufacturer and retailers of microwave buttered popcorn that caused him to develop “popcorn lung” after eating two bags daily for 10 years. The potentially fatal respiratory disease is usually a condition called constrictive bronchiolitis obliterans in which the smallest airways of the lung become scarred and constricted, blocking off movement of air.

Since diacetyl concerns have been raised, many manufacturers have dropped the ingredient. Some still use the potentially harmful slippery nonstick surface coating PFOA  on the popcorn bags, however–another reason to “resist” microwave popcorn and make your own. Especially if you are eating it twice a day like Watson.

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4. Salty, Roasted Snacks

Like sugar, people can become addicted to salt and the only way to “kick,” say experts, is to go cold turkey and let your taste buds return to normal. But there is another reason that salty snacks like potato chips, French fries, toasted crisp breads and even non-salty roasted breakfast cereals can be irresistible. These foods have undergone the “Maillard reaction,” explains New York University food expert Marion Nestle which “causes baked, fried, and toasted foods to turn attractively  brown and taste yummy.” Cooking carbohydrate-rich foods at temperatures high enough to produce a yellow or brown surface usually means that acrylamide has formed. And, you guessed it, acrylamide is a  cancer-causing and potentially dangerous chemical. Once again, the chemicals that make food irresistible are the ones we should resist. The state of California actually sued potato chip makers for failing to warn California consumers about the health risks of acrylamide in 2005.

There is something else that makes us crave salty snacks, They are designed to have “vanishing caloric density” or the ability to melt in the mouth, writes Michael Moss. “If something melts down quickly, your brain thinks that there’s no calories in it . . . you can just keep eating it forever,” food scientist  Steven Witherly tells him during an interview for his book.

Potato chips have another hook, say food experts. Their coating of salt, fat and sugar found in the starch of the potato itself reward the brain in a triple punch. The starch is actually absorbed more quickly than sugar, which causes glucose levels in the blood to spike and the body to yell “more!” A  New England Journal of Medicine study of 120,877 women and men found the most weight-inducing food they ate was potato chips.

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5. All Fast Food

Fast food, of course, is predicated on cravings and addictions. Why else would it fast–including drive through windows? Why else would its overriding features be salt, fat and sugar? Eighty-three percent of people who eat outside of their home do so because of “cravings” a recent study revealed and 75 percent who visit restaurants more than once a week do so for a specific dish they crave.

While McDonald’s has  never been toppled from the number one burger position that Wendy’s, Burger King, Carl’s Jr, Jack in the Box and Hardee’s crave, its  Chicken McNuggets opened it up to fast food  chicken lovers and were also an instant success. Unfortunately, McNuggets are probably the McDonald’s item with the most problematical chemicals. They are made with dimethylpolysiloxane, an anti-foaming agent used in, believe it or not yoga mats, propylene glycol, an antifreeze ingredient and autolyzed yeast extract which “artificially enhance[s] the taste and crave-ability of food,” says  Healthy Living.

Clearly, sweet, salty and fatty foods can be hard to resist, especially when they are ubiquitous, cheap, marketed around the clock and fast. But just to be on the safe side, Big Food has also added   addictive chemicals to amp up the “irresistibility.

Source:

www.alternet.org

Tre’s Kitchen- Post Mother’s Day Meal (Crawfish & Crab)

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Written by Tre Saunders (Uncle Dudes) Facebook

Well you want to start with:

 4 quarts of water 2tbs of salt,

 2 lemons cut into quarters,

 1 package of crawfish boil seasoning.

 Bring that to a rapid boil.

 One lb of crawfish, 1\2 lb of crab legs (snow or king)

3 lbs of new potato cut in half, corn on the cob cut in half or 1/3.

And spicy Andouille Sausage.

Boil the potatoes first once the potatoes are fork tender take them out of the water and server them.

Then put the rest of ingredients into the pot and return to a rapid boil for 10mins.

After remove the ingredients from the water pill and enjoy.