Clarified – trouble sprouts up as 20 are sickened with Salmonella
June 27th, 2011
07:30 PM ET
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In cooking, the process of clarification entails straining out extraneous muck from liquids so that they might be pure, clear and ideal for consumption. With this series on food terminology and issues we're attempting to do the same.

Another day, another Food and Drug Administration warning - and for what seems to be the millionth time in the past few months (okay - at least the fourth this year), the culprit is sprouts.

In a press release issued on Monday, the agency advised consumers not to eat Evergreen Produce brand alfalfa sprouts and spicy sprouts. The release states that these sprouts are possibly linked to 20 reported cases, including one hospitalization, of Salmonella Enteritidis in Idaho, Montana, New Jersey, North Dakota and Washington State.

While the pathogen associated with this outbreak is different from the pathogen associated with the outbreak in Europe, the FDA says it is imperative that elderly, infants and those with impaired immune systems not consume the sprouts, as they are are more likely to have a severe illness from Salmonella infection.
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The big chill - frozen treat facts
June 23rd, 2011
02:00 PM ET
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Ah, summer lovin'. It's that time of year where we rekindle our romance with that old flame of ours: Mister Softee.

Not really your type? There are plenty of other cool creations to help you beat the summer heat. Just don't have a meltdown because you're not exactly sure what the local freezer aisle is churning out.

So chill out - we've got you covered ... with a cherry on top.

From Custard to Sorbet: Your Guide to Deliciously Beating the Heat
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Filed under: Best in Life • Bite • Clarified • Culture • Dishes • Ice Cream


Clarified - farm-to-table
November 9th, 2010
02:00 AM ET
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In cooking, the process of clarification entails straining out extraneous muck from liquids so that they might be pure, clear and ideal for consumption. With this series on food terminology we're attempting to do the same.

On Wednesday, November 10th, Eatocracy is hosting its inaugural Secret Supper in Atlanta, Georgia, centered around the topic of how chefs' increasingly close collaboration with farmers figures into the preservation and evolution of Southern cooking. Take your place at the (virtual) table, by joining in the conversation and cooking along at home.

As diners become more concerned with where their food comes from and how it is prepared, the term “farm-to-table” has entered the national lexicon. Restaurants specialize in it, food and environmental activists extol its benefits and farmers markets and roadside stands live and die by it.

So what does it mean and why are we on the hunt for it?
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Filed under: Clarified • Farms • Farmstands • Local Food • Secret Suppers


Clarified - what is this gluten of which you speak?
October 6th, 2010
07:00 AM ET
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In cooking, the process of clarification entails straining out extraneous muck from liquids so that they might be pure, clear and ideal for consumption. With this series on food terminology we're attempting to do the same.

The word “gluten” is being bandied about quite a bit lately on our site and in the news.

We mentioned gluten heavily in our explainer on high fructose corn syrup; commenters kvetched about restaurants’ insensitivity to issues surrounding it in a recent lunchtime poll; Gwyneth Paltrow publicly nixed it from her diet; and there are slews of cookbooks and product lines that come out every day to cater to those living a "gluten-free" lifestyle.

Such attention doesn't go without merit. A recent study indicates that one out of 133 people in the United States is affected by Celiac disease or gluten intolerance – and that number continues to grow steadily.

Chatter about gluten is clearly on the rise - so what exactly is it?
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Clarified – high fructose corn syrup
October 5th, 2010
08:00 AM ET
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In cooking, the process of clarification entails straining out extraneous muck from liquids so that they might be pure, clear and ideal for consumption. With this series on food terminology we're attempting to do the same. No politics - just the facts about what the words mean.

There's major debate swirling about the allegedly adverse effects that high fructose corn syrup may having on Americans' diets. Opponents say it's a big factor in the US population's increasing levels of obesity. Advocates claim that it's just a natural, corn-based sweetener, and that it's being unfairly maligned.

But what exactly is it, and how is it made?
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Clarified – demystifying food terms and trends
September 27th, 2010
09:05 AM ET
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In cooking, the process of clarification entails straining out extraneous muck from liquids so that they might be pure, clear and ideal for consumption. With this series on food terminology and trends we're attempting to do the same.

As food writers and reporters, we toss out a lot of terms - sustainable, pescetarian, free-range - and just assume that everyone's on the same page. If they're not, the conversation suffers, and we can't have that, now can we?

Here's a round-up of concepts and words we've explained thus far.
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Clarified: How is genetically modified food labeled?
September 21st, 2010
04:00 PM ET
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In cooking, the process of clarification entails straining out extraneous muck from liquids so that they might be pure, clear and ideal for consumption. With this series on food terminology we're attempting to do the same.

If you pay attention to food labels, you might have to read between the lines when it comes to genetically engineered ingredients.

When Eatocracy polled readers yesterday if they would eat genetically modified salmon, approximately 45.1 percent of respondents answered: “not on your life.”

The irony of the results is that, according to the Center for Food Safety, it has been estimated that 70 to 75 percent of processed foods in supermarkets contain genetically engineered ingredients - they just aren’t required by the Food and Drug Administration to be labeled as such.
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Filed under: Bite • Clarified • Culture • FDA • Food Politics • GMO • Labels • News


Clarified: What does "genetically modified" salmon mean?
September 20th, 2010
04:00 AM ET
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Photo: AquAdvantage® Salmon in the background; a non-GMO Atlantic salmon of the same age in the foreground.

In cooking, the process of clarification entails straining out extraneous muck from liquids so that they might be pure, clear and ideal for consumption. With this series on food terminology we're attempting to do the same.

The United States' Food and Drug Administration is in the midst of public hearings to determine if it will approve AquaBounty Technologies' application for fish spawned from genetically engineered salmon eggs to be allowed for use as food. These "AquAdvantage® Salmon" grow into full-sized fish in half the time that it would take a regular salmon, and if approved, would become the first "transgenic" or genetically engineered animals to be approved for human consumption.

It's a deeply fraught issue for both fans and foes of the technology, but stripping politics and propriety aside, here's what "genetically modified" actually means in the context of fish farming.
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Filed under: Clarified • Environment • FDA • Fishing • Food Politics • Food Science • GMO • News • Ocean • Salmon • Sustainability


September 14th, 2010
09:30 PM ET
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In cooking, the process of clarification entails straining out extraneous muck from liquids so that they might be pure, clear and ideal for consumption. With this series on food terminology we're attempting to do the same.

At our sister site CNN Opinion, author, journalist and underwater filmmaker Claire Nouvian expresses her thoughts on the havoc the international deep sea fishing industry is wreaking on the millennia-old deepwater coral reefs and sponge beds at the bottom of the worlds' oceans. An "oceanocide," she calls deep-sea bottom trawling, as well as "the largest and fastest ecological crime of all time."

She writes,

"Fish are typically the last wild items on our dinner menu, along with a few mushroom species. Harvesting wild resources means being in tune with what nature can give, as opposed to what we have planned to get from it. So what can the deep sea give us? A scientist has calculated that 'sustainable' fishing in the deep Central Pacific would mean each ship would catch one fish a day. This encourages investors to 'mine' fish populations rather than to exploit them sustainably."

Again, there's that word, "sustainable." We invoked it yesterday when we reported that Whole Foods has launched a sustainability ratings labeling program for the seafood sold at its stores across the country, along with a pledge to stop selling "red rated" - or severely threatened - fish by 2013.

Then we ran a poll, asking readers, "If someone were to ask you what "sustainable" means in the context of food, could you confidently explain the concept?"
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