You Are What You Eat

Some lunchtime observations from perusing the news… Today’s papers bring a wide variety of interesting articles related to food. They seem to fall into two categories: new and unusual food, and food safety.

In the new and unusual food category, we have the following:

  • Today’s Washington Post has a review of the increasing variety of Gluten-Free Beers available. Specifically, it discussed four brews: New Grist, from Lakefront Brewery in Milwaukee, is made from a syrup of sorghum and rice; Redbridge, a sorghum- and corn-based amber lager; Toleration Ale, from Hambleton Ales in Melmerby, England, fermented from “specially prepared non-malt dark sugars”; and Dragon’s Gold, a pale lager from Bard’s Tale Beer Co., brewed from two kinds of malted sorghum. It is unclear how safe these are; the government has not set a definition for “gluten free.” New Grist tests around 15ppm; Dragon’s Gold is below 3ppm; the others are unknown. Still, it might be an option. I know my wife has picked up some GF beer, but I don’t think she’s tried it yet. I will note there was a recent Gluten-Free Beer Festival.
  • The Los Angeles Times is reporting about the appearance of Goat’s Milk Ice Cream in grocery stores. The frozen confectionary, produced by Laloo’s Goat’s Milk Ice Cream Co. comes in flavors including Vanilla Snowflake and Chocolate Cabernet and supposedly takes like the real thing. Might be good for those who have trouble with cow’s milk.
  • The Los Angeles Times is also reporting about some new fast foods in Los Angeles. Food discussed includes fast-food sushi from Famima!, and from Pinkberry, frozen yogurt in original (plain) and green tea, come with your choice of fresh fruit toppings: diced strawberries, mangoes, kiwis, bananas, blueberries, boysenberries. Green tea frozen yogurt–sounds yum!
  • The daily_news_blog is reporting that Ben and Jerry’s has introduced a new flavor, Amercone Dreams, in honor of Stephen Colbert. Described by Ben & Jerry’s as “the sweet taste of liberty in your mouth,” Americone Dream consists of vanilla ice cream with fudge-covered waffle cone pieces and caramel. This was done to combat the well-known liberal agenda of frozen desserts. The blog wonders what would be an appropriate flavor and name for a Bill O’Reilly ice-cream. I don’t know, but it would leave a bad taste in my mouth. I’m sure the O’Reilly Flavor would end up in the flavor graveyard.

In the food safety arena, there are a couple more interesting articles:

  • The Washington Post is noting that those that eat peanut butter should be on the watchout for Salmonella. Specifically, certain jars of Peter Pan or Great Value peanut butter that have a product code on the lid that begins with the number “2111.” These are related to a salmonella outbreak that has slowly grown to nearly 300 cases in 39 states since August. They were all produced by a single ConAgra plant–again, pointing out the risks of central food production.
  • So you think you’re safer eating food in your office? The Daily News is reporting that an office desk harbors far more bacteria than your workplace restroom, and for woman, chances are the desk has more germs than a male co-workers’ desk. I won’t go into the gory details (read the article), but sanitizing your desk, keyboards, phones, palm pilots, knicknacks, etc. regularly might not be a bad idea.