food crumbscooking, food preparation, recipes, nutrition, food science

The Food Industry is constantly trying to improve our food supply.  They search and find and try new products to increase flavor, increase shelf life, facilitate cooking, improve nutrition and incorporate the demands for good nutrition. Some products that you may hear about in the upcoming year follow.*

CHOLINE –  aids liver function, normal brain development, eye health and vision, nerve function and muscle movement and supports energy and prevent neural tube defects in fetal development. Choline is found in eggs, liver, beef, chicken, fish, broccoli and toasted wheat germ and in supplement form.

ACEROLA – is a cherry-like fruit rich in vitamin C and native to Mexico, South America and central America. Acerola contains rich amounts of antioxidants, vitamin A, thiamine, riboflavin and niacin.  It is thought to help manage diabetes, reduce signs of aging and allergic reactions, prevent certain types of cancer and improve heart health. It can be eaten raw oradded to baked goods, candies, ice creams and frozen juice concentrate. It can substitute for ascorbic acid in powdered mixes for baking.

COFFEE FRUIT – An antioxidant-rich food, it is the pulp surrounding the coffee bean.  It is considered more potent than superfruits such as acal berries. It is available as a liquid, powder or tea and can be used in energy beverages, shakes, teas, alcoholic drinks, and dietary supplements. It can be used as a  healthy aging antioxidant and can help fight free radical cell damage since it contains phenolics and chlorogenic acid.

KERNZA – Related to wheat and wholesome grains. Its main benefit is in the growing and production, it is drought resistant and does not need to be replanted every year.

MELOW YELLOW  or CURCUMIN – is a fat-soluble substance  in turmeric that helps reduce inflammation.  It is thought to act as a digestive health ingredient and may ease pain and inflammation in osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis and may have some antioxidant and cancer-fighting properties.  It is being used in teas,, curry powder, vegetables, soups, dressings, rice, sparkling water and the “yellow” in mustard. Kraft replaced Yellow 5 and 6 with turmeric.

CANNABIS Derivatives – CANNABIDIOL (CBD)  is a cannabis derivative compound (marijuana  ingredient) that has some of the medical help -anti-inflammatory and anti-anxiety help- without the “drugged” effect Patients with cancer and epilepsy have used cannabis oil with help.

BEETS – One of the new “super-foods”, some say beet roots lower blood pressure, aid cardiovascular disease and prevents dementia.  They also say beets are a good source of iron and folate, betaine (an amino acid)  as well as magnesium and other antioxidants. It is thought that beets improve stamina and increases athletic performance and has cardiovascular benefits.  It can be dehydrated and ground into a powder and used in gravies and sauces.

ARGININE – an amino acid is essential for preterm infants and some adults who cannot synthesize arginine . It is important in cell division, wound healing, removing ammonia from the body, immune function and the release of hormones. It helps the body make nitric oxide which relaxes blood vessels and some help in kidney function.

RESISTANT STARCH – helps dieters feel full but escapes digestion in the small intestine. Unripe bananas have high levels of Resistant Starch. It can replace sugar by replacing bulk.

BITTER BLOCKERS – Some plant proteins have a bitter taste. A process has been developed that blocks the bitter taste of vegan proteins.


Watch for these products on labels and in the news in the upcoming months.



  • Hartman, Lauren R., Food Processing,






Every culture has defined who shall eat with whom, how food shall be taken and how food shall be conveyed to the mouth.

Some general rules.*

Go to the table. Permit older and honored persons to go first to the table.

Take the position that your hostess has assigned to you.

A woman pauses to let the gentleman on her left assist her as she sits down.

A gentleman always assists a woman on his right. He also helps a woman on his left if there is no other person to do so.   To assist another to be seated, pull the chair out from the table slightly and then push it gently under a woman as she sits down. When only women are in the group and there are older and younger women, the younger women assist the older women to be seated, if needed.

Sit straight at the table; do not slouch or lean over the table.

Do not finger the flatware at your place setting.

The host and hostess sit opposite each other.

A woman guest or most honored woman guest sits to the right of the host. The gentleman guest or most honored gentleman guest sits to the right of the hostess. When there is no host, a hostess sits at one end of the table.

At meals where an honored woman sits at the host’s right, the host passes the first plate to his right to this person. He passes all other plates to his left –all the way around the table so that the next plate goes to the person seated to the right of the honored guest. If an elderly lady is seated to the right of the hostess, then she receives the first plate.

Use of the napkin. Follow the lead of the hostess. Remove your napkin when she takes hers.  Remove it with your left hand and with the help of the right hand unfold it across your lap under the table. Open a luncheon napkin fully; a dinner napkin leave folded in half. When using a napkin, blot rather than wipe with it.  Do not get lipstick on a cloth napkin.  When leaving the table, place the unfolded napkin to the left of your plate. Follow the same for paper napkins.  Do not shred or wad them.

Do’s and don’ts are not as important to remember as is to remember not to offend anyone.


Duties of the Host. The host has the responsibility of making the meal a happy occasion. The Host should sustain conversation and guide it into the right channels. The host should be a good conversationalist but should also be a good listener.  Good hosts plan so that each person has a chance to say something. Conversation should be general so that all will be interested and topics that give offense to some should be avoided. A good host dispenses hospitality. The host greets guests at the door and takes coats and hats. When the food is served at the table, rather than passed, this is done by the host.  This may include carving the meat. Serve the meat with any garnish and with potato and then vegetable, etc. Lift the carved meat between the tines of the serving fork and the blade of the knife pointed down. Use a spoon or other serving utensil to assist the fork if no carving is necessary or to serve the vegetables. The person on the host’s left may be assisting, and then, pass all plates to that person.  Lift the plate while placing food on it if that seems easier. The host may assist the hostess in bringing or removing food from the table; however either the host or the hostess should be at the table when the other is not there.

Duties of the Hostess. Plan the work so one can remain calm and collected at mealtime.  Be present and greet guests in the living room when they arrive.  One can then excuse oneself and to complete last minute preparations. The hostess invites guest to the table, takes position and directs the others to their places.  After all are seated, ask someone to say grace. The hostess takes the napkin and unfolds it across the lap. If the food is to be passed and the host is not carving or serving each plate, then the hostess starts passing the serving dishes near, without first serving self. Ask others to pass serving dishes near them. Have dishes of food passed a second time, if you planned for that. Accept a second portion so other will feel comfortable to do the same.  Continue to eat as long as any guest is still eating. When all have finished eating, clear the main course.  Then serve the dessert. Also serve the beverage, unless it was served earlier and if so, then offer seconds. When all have eaten, then you might suggest that all may be more comfortable in the living room.

Duties of Guests:  Arrive a few minutes before the appointed hour. As hosts hope the occasion will be a happy and pleasant for all, so should guests. Be enthusiastic and show an interest in the happenings. Be enthusiastic with conversation but do not monopolize it. Introduce topics of conversation that you think will be of interest to the group and stay away from controversial subjects. Make complimentary comments about the food and service.  Refrain from discussing meals eaten elsewhere. If asked, express your preference for food – light or dark meat, tea or coffee, sugar and/or cream, etc., Eat what you have taken. Leave your plate neat.  Do not talk about your diet or food allergies. After the meal you may ask the hostess if  you can help with the clean-up. If the hostess refuses, do not insist. Express your appreciation verbally when you leave and you may like to follow up with a note or phone call. You may also like to return in kind, when you can.




  • Kinder, Faye, Meal Management, The Macmillan Company, Collier-Macmillan Limited, 1968, pp 398 – 418.



You may also like:

“Setting the Table for Dinner”,, 12/29/2011

“Table Linens”,, 4/30/2013









off Energy Drinks

Esiuol5 to Nutrition — Tags:  

I have never bought an Energy Drink nor have I ever consumed an energy drink. Thus I should not be writing about Energy Drinks. However Energy Drinks have become   very popular in recent  years.  In the U.S., in 2000, the energy drink market was worth US$350 million. The industry grew by 60 percent between 2008 and 2012 in the   U.S. – by 2012 U.S. sales were over US$ 12.5 Billion.*

Energy drinks are a type of beverage containing stimulant drugs, usually containing caffeine.  They may or may not contain sugar or other sweeteners, herbal extracts,       taurine and amino acids.  Coffee, tea and some drinks like cola contain caffeine but are not considered energy drinks. Energy drinks have the effects that caffeine and sugar   provide, but there is little evidence that the other ingredients have any effect. Energy drinks are marketed to provide mental and physical stimulation as “energy” but   distinct from food energy. *

Most of the effects of energy drinks on cognitive performance, such as increased attention and reaction speed, are primarily due to the presence of caffeine.  Advertising for energy drinks usually feature increased muscle strength and endurance, but there is little evidence and there is no scientific consensus to support these statements.  There is no good evidence that the other ingredients in energy drinks provide benefits. The dietary supplements may be advertised that they provide detoxification, sustain mental process, protect heart health and reduce muscle fatigue. There is no good evidence to back these claims. *

A caffeine intake of 400 mg per day is considered safe for adults.  Adverse effects associated with caffeine consumption in amounts greater than 400 mg include nervousness, irritability, sleeplessness, increased urination, abnormal heart rhythms and dyspepsia.*

Use of alcohol and caffeine at the same time may increase rate of alcohol-related injury.  Energy drinks can mask the influence of alcohol and a person may misinterpret their actual level of intoxication. Energy drinks can blunt the feeling of intoxication and may lead to heavier drinking and thus alcohol-related injuries. Both caffeine and alcohol are diuretics and may cause dehydration and the use of a stimulant (caffeine) and a depressant (alcohol) at the same time, sends mixed messages to the nervous system and may cause increased heart rate and palpitation.*

Excessive or repeated consumption of energy drinks can lead to cardiac problems and psychiatric conditions like anxiety.  In Europe, energy drinks containing taurine and caffeine have been linked with the deaths of athletes.*


Some persons should never use energy drinks such as persons with heart disease or high blood pressure. Others may also want to avoid or limit the amount of energy drinks – teenagers, pregnant and breast-feeding women, and young children.

The dangers of energy drinks are being recognized.  Persons with underlying heart conditions have gone into cardiac arrest after just a few drinks. Energy drinks can cause a more forceful heart contraction which can be harmful. It is advised that teens consume no more than 250 ml energy drink per day and not before or during sports or exercise. Other dangers are increased anxiety including full-blown panic attacks, insomnia- some people can’t sleep, diabetes-drinks that are high in sugar can over tax the pancreas, drug interaction with prescription drugs-especially those taken for depression, addiction, risky behavior which may lead to injury or legal problems, jitters and nervousness – causing some people to shake or have anxiety, vomiting, allergic reactions, high blood pressure, niacin overdose – (causing skin flushing, dizziness, rapid heart rate, vomiting, itching, gout, and diarrhea).**

So if one plans to consume an energy drink – do so in moderation (adults-no more than 400 mg caffeine per day). Be aware of the possible dangers.


* Wikipedia – Energy drink

**  Caffeineinformer, Cafeine 101, Top 14 Energy Drink Dangers







For OSTEOPOROSIS – it is Calcium plus –

Calcium, alone, is not enough. It takes more than calcium to build strong bones. It also takes protein and exercise.*

To prevent osteoporosis, we are advised to get three servings a day of dairy products – milk, yogurt, cheese.

Recently we are learning that calcium, alone, is not enough. Protein is also important in the daily diet – especially animal and dairy protein.  Meat, fish, eggs and milk are also necessary to build strong bones and prevent osteoporosis.

Also it is being realized that exercise is important to build strong bones. Exercise with load-bearing exercise such as running or jumping activities helps strengthen bones.

Thus to build and maintain or strengthen bone, it is advised to combine, calcium intake, protein intake and exercise daily.

For calcium – dairy products are excellent plus some leafy vegetables like kale and foods Osteoporosis and low bone mass is a health concern for U.S. women and men aged 50 and older.  It is estimated that almost 44 million women and men aged 50 and older are at risk for osteoporosis.*  We have been told to get enough calcium.

like tofu and fortified cereals are good sources of calcium.

For protein – meat, fish, eggs and milk – hamburgers, chicken, hard-cooked eggs and milk.

For exercise – running, walking, dancing, stair climbing.


As they say – “eat right’ and get moving to build and maintain strong bones.


Also see:  Calcium & Bone Health,, 4/29/2015





* Hernandez, Pamela, CPT, Osteoporosis Prevention – Thinking Beyond Calcium,, July 24, 2017.


















Esiuol5 to Nutrition  

We’ve all heard it a million times – Eat Breakfast,  Breakfast is the most important meal, etc.

But it is worth repeating with school starting and busy morning routines. However it is important for everyone, including children to eat breakfast.

Eating breakfast gives one energy to start the day – I always use the analogy – you can’t run your car without gasoline and you can’t run you without fuel.

Health benefits of breakfast.


  • Energy to start the day
  • Improved concentration in the classroom, the playground and at work
  • More strength and endurance for physical activity
  • Better concentration for problem-solving skills and eye-hand coordination
  • Weight control – control hunger and one eats less the rest of the day.

So eat Breakfast –

  • with protein – like eggs or ham (can be prepared the night before and eaten cold – like a snack).
  • whole grain cereals – bread or cereal
  • fruit or juice – a high vitamin C food, like citrus or citrus juice is good.