Flavour of the Week

TGIF


  • At our current growth rate, traditional animal proteins like beef and chicken will not be able to sustain the earth’s population. What are our alternatives? Algae, quinoa and insects! While algae and certainly quinoa are becoming more mainstream, getting the average Western consumer to chow down on insects might be a harder sell.

    While the eco-benefits are well-established, you might not realize many insects are actually high in the heart-healthy omega-3, alpha-linolenic acid (ALA)… but we doubt that’s enough to convince you! Seasoned crickets, anyone? If you worried about having to give up bacon, fear not – there is a new bacon-flavoured algae from Oregon State University.
  • TGIF$300,000 seems pretty steep for a hamburger! At the recent Institute of Food Technologists annual meeting, scientists from The Netherlands continue to refine the taste and texture of lab-grown beef. Grown from muscle fiber stem cells the cultured beef lacks fat, which is pretty important for palatability. Production costs also remain high – scientists hope to reduce the price to $65 per kg soon.
  • The Healthy Beverage Index (HBI) from Virginia Tech evaluates dietary consumption of all types of fluids, with a higher HBI associated with better blood lipids and lower hypertension risk. How do you get a lower HBI? Choose water! The three factors lower the HBI score are:
    • Consuming sugar-sweetened beverages like soda, sweetened coffee drinks, etc.
    • Getting more than 10% of total daily kcalories from beverages
    • Failing to meet total daily fluid recommendations from all sources
  • Researchers in Norway examined whether physical activity, television time and appetite traits explained children’s weight gain and found appetite triggers were a critical factor. Children who respond “enthusiastically” to the sight and smell of food, and less by an inner experience of hunger, were more likely to have an increase in BMI between the ages of 4 and 8 years. Time for mindfulness training!
  • Although children tend to perceive ovoid, or egg-shaped, characters as overweight, they tend to consume more low-nutrition, high-calorie food such as cookies and candy after observing “overweight” cartoon characters. The study was done with 300 children ranging in age from 6 – 14 years at the University of Colorado-Boulder. When kids were exposed to an “overweight” cartoon character, they ate more when given access to energy-dense foods. Kids ate less junk food, however, when researchers first asked them to choose the healthier option from a series of pairs.
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