If you are what you eat, you might be having an identity crisis.
A new study on food fraud was released Wednesday morning by U.S. Pharmacopeial Convention (USP), a scientific nonprofit organization that helps set standards for the "quality, safety and benefit" of foods and medicines. The group runs a searchable online database of food fraud reports at foodfraud.org and nearly 800 new records were added as part of the study - a 60% increase from last year.
Food fraud, as defined by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), is the adulteration, dilution or mislabeling of goods. USP further defines food fraud in the study as "the fraudulent addition of nonauthentic substances or removal or replacement of authentic substances without the purchaser's knowledge for economic gain to the seller."
At Eatocracy, we eat like it's our job - because it is. There's no crystal ball for food editors to peer into or a Ouija board that contacts Escoffier from beyond the grave for culinary guidance. Instead, we rely on the tastemakers – the chefs, the farmers, the artisans – and our own eyes, ears and mouths to keep us informed of the latest movements in the food world. This series, Next Course, looks into what’s coming up in the food world.
"Pssst! Hey buddy, you looking for any of that there...fish goo? I know a guy."
An unusual product, popping up in hushed conversation among chefs and their fishmongers, may soon be swimming to a restaurant near you. It's fish marrow. Yes - bone marrow from fish.
Once the domain of dogs' dinners and the working class’s cucina povera, in recent years, bone marrow oozed into chef territory. Platters of sawed-open bones with rich marrow soon popped up on high-end menus across the country. Anthony Bourdain coined it "butter from god," and it gained a devout following accordingly.
Sugar cookies in every seasonal shape - from snowflakes to Christmas trees, stars to Santa hats, snowmen to holly leaves - overcrowd the dessert table this time of year. Even Santa is crying "Uncle!" for a little variety by the time he reaches St. Louis.
This year, try adding a little New York attitude to the traditional cookie swap with black-and-white cookies, a staple of New York bakeries and deli counters.
More cake-like than cookie-like, this oversized sweet is downsized into a fantastically festive treat by pastry chef Stephanie Teekaram of Kutsher's Tribeca in, where else, New York City.
"Seinfeld" fans might remember the baked good being forever immortalized in the episode, "The Dinner Party."
"The thing about eating the black-and-white cookie, Elaine, is you want to get some black and some white in each bite," said Seinfeld. "Nothing mixes better than vanilla and chocolate, and yet, somehow racial harmony eludes us. If people would only look to the cookie all our problems would be solved."
In this season of good tidings, peace and goodwill toward all, harmony vis-à-vis a cookie is a welcome addition.
An analysis in the January 2013 issue of Consumer Reports magazine revealed 69% of pork chops and ground pork that the organization sampled from around the U.S. tested positive for Yersinia enterocolitica, a bacteria that, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), can result in fever, abdominal pain and diarrhea.
Consumer Reports also found 3-7% of the samples harbored salmonella, staphylococcus aureus or listeria monocytogenes, other common pathogens for foodborne illness. Twenty-three percent of the samples contained none of the tested bacteria.
Of the 198 samples, the organization found other alleged complications with the "other white meat." The sampling also claims that some of the bacteria were resistant to typical antibiotics that are used to treat foodborne illnesses, such as amoxicillin, penicillin, tetracycline and streptomycin. Of the 132 samples with Yersinia enterocolitica, 121 of those were resistant to one or more antibiotics.
"The frequent use of low-dose antibiotics in pork farming may be accelerating the growth of drug-resistant 'superbugs' that threaten human health," said Consumer Reports.
On a normal Tuesday, Summer Pendle takes orders of duck fat fries, bluefish rillettes and roasted chicken from guests at the dining room tables made from salvaged bowling alley lanes at Northern Spy Food Co. in New York City’s East Village.
On Tuesday, October 30, Pendle found herself nowhere near normal: stranded in California due to airport closures and out of work for the unforeseen future.
“It is hard being stranded in California and watching your city crumble,” she said.
That day after Superstorm Sandy hit the East Coast, an estimated 7.9 million businesses and households up and down the East Coast – including Northern Spy Food Co. – were left without power. As of November 6, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo of New York said approximately 400,000 New Yorkers were similarly still without power.
As electricity returned this weekend and local businesses began to regain their footing, Sandy's impact had a serious ripple effect - especially for hourly wage earners in the restaurant industry, like Pendle, who lost up to an entire week of pay.
Halloween is lurking around the corner and while the trick-or-treaters that come to your door, no doubt, want the classic candy brands they know and love, Halloween parties and office gatherings scream out for homemade peanut butter cups.
Homemade peanut butter cups might seem like a mystery - just how do they get the peanut butter inside the chocolate cup anyway? Lee Zalben, the founder and president of Peanut Butter & Co., solves the riddle with this step-by-step guide for peanut butter cups made in your own haunted house.
Drake takes drink orders, greets regular customers with a warm handshake and sets the tables for the next wave of the lunch crowd. It’s a stark change from the sheepish man who patrons first encountered when Harvest Café opened its doors in the beginning of 2011.
“My goodness, it’s like night and day. You’d see the change in him week by week,” says Jean Ringhoff, a regular at the café who works at a nearby bank. “At first, he barely made eye contact.”
Drake, like the restaurant itself, now commands a second look.
Beef Products Inc. announced Thursday that the company has filed a $1.2 billion lawsuit against ABC News, three reporters (Diane Sawyer, Jim Avila and David Kerley) and others, claiming damages as a result of their reports on BPI's lean finely textured beef product (LFTB) more colloquially known as "pink slime."
"There has to be some consequences for news organizations to be more truthful," stated Beef Products Inc. founder Eldon Roth in a video extolling the virtues of the product and outlining the company's case against the news outlet. "They hurt real people, and a lot of people."
Booze, booths, canoodling and credit cards: dinner out on the town can be a recipe for awkwardness, both for diners and the staff that serves them.
A restaurant is a salad bar of human behaviors: There’s the couple on their first date, the man cashing in his bad luck on Irish whiskey at the bar, the colleagues pretending to like each other in order to impress the client.
The majority of the time, the server-customer interaction passes without incident. But, every now and again – whether in the form of a declined credit card, overserved customer or the couple getting steamy in the corner booth - it’s up to the front of the house, or waitstaff, to get things back on track and make sure other guests’ experiences aren’t negatively affected.
Severe weather striking your area of the country? Stock up on staples now and learn how to stay safe after the storm has passed.