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The Burger Lab: The Myth of The 12-Year-Old McDonald's Hamburger

I assume most of you are younger than me. I remember that maybe only as long ago as 30 years but definitely before that, the majority of refrigerated food, both cooked and uncooked, would either smell disgusting or get slimy or moldy in 3 or 4 days. That hardly ever happens any more no matter how long you keep stuff. It's got to be antibiotics (or other chemicals?) are getting in somehow.

Serious Cheese: For Cheese Dip, Toss the Velveeta and Try Welsh Rarebit

This brings back happy memories of Sunday night suppers but 50+ years ago so hard to remember the details. No beer in ours. Sometimes had whipped egg whites folded in -- sort of like a liquid cheese souffle.

We especially liked this over saltines (the old 4-square ones) that had been lightly toasted in a toaster.

How do you eat for a week for $50?

Focus on your health! Start with figuring out how much protein you need. Whey powder is a good source of quality protein but you need to do your research and get a quality brand without lots of additives (incl. melamine from China). You can meet your protein requirements for something like $USD2/day from whey powder alone. Also if you go low-carb you will reduce your hunger pangs.

I once heard of a guy who hosted potlucks to save money on food. He did all the work of setting up and cleaning up in return for getting to keep the leftovers! And don't be too proud to get government handouts if you are eligible for them.

Cook the Book: Gold Dust Cookies

Humberto, you are correct that there is an edible form of decorative dust made from real gold.

However, based on the complexities of economics, I cannot figure out whether donating money directly to a food bank or buying luxuries I don't need or some other action would have the most beneficial longterm effect.

One reason there are food shortages is because of the over-population made possible by efforts to mitigate food shortages. In any case, there are much more appropriate places to discuss such issues.

Meanwhile check out the free e-book on Seth Godin's site to see many ways that one individual can make a difference.

Cook the Book: Gold Dust Cookies

@Humberto....Luster dust is not made from gold. Luster dust is what Nigella refers to on her website.

"dust cluster" seems to be some sort of typo

Guilty Food Pleasures

I can't believe we are the only two who love saltines with margarine or in my case real butter. I also like them with currant jelly. But not butter and jelly at the same time.

Braunschweiger and Vidalia onion sandwiches made with squishy white bread.

Ed Levine's Serious Diet, Week 57: Apple Crisp, Lard Potato Chips, and Chocolate

I hope your chest tightness has gone away.

I know you keep getting diet advice but have you checked out Seth Roberts' Shangri-La Diet (SLD) at ?

All you have to do is consume some flavorless calories in the middle of a two-hour flavor-free window and otherwise eat whatever you want. Consuming flavorless calories lowers your setpoint and cuts your appetite so you lose weight. Don't knock it if you haven't tried it; it's worked for thousands of people; it's essentially free; it's safe;

The simplest way to consume flavorless calories is to hold your nose while sipping some Light Tasting olive oil floated on ice water. Start with a teaspoon so your stomach gets used to the oil and work your way up. Some people see an effect immediately, for others it takes a few days to a few weeks. At your weight you may need as much as 400 flavorless calories a day.

I know you might be thinking that you are already having trouble cutting back so why waste calories on something flavorless? But the huge upside is that SLD frees you from cravings and allows you to lose weight effortlessly.

In Videos: Mark Bittman on Stephen Colbert

@comicsan I understand that Bittman thinks that if humans ate MORE plant food it would be good for the planet and also good for individual humans. I don't think this is the right forum to discuss what's good for the planet but if you are interested you can find many excellent opposing arguments.

However, it is relevant to the people "here" that plant-based foods are generally bad for your health. (Read Taubes!) Most people (at least in the U. S.) already eat too many plant-based calories, not too few.

As far as processed foods per se, that's a huge subject and you'd need to look at it on a case-by-case basis. (I don't mean to be arguing in favor of unnecessary additives.) For example it is a scientific fact that even though there are more minerals in less-processed grains, these minerals are less accessible to the human metabolism than those in highly-processed grains because of other factors present in less-processed grains.

In Videos: Mark Bittman on Stephen Colbert

OK it was amusing and Bittman has some interesting recipes in his books and on his blog. But he's just flat out wrong if he thinks there is any scientific evidence that plant food is the healthiest way for humans to eat. If you care about your health, start by reading Gary Taubes' Good Calories, Bad Calories.

Have you discovered any new amazing foods lately?

Hi soozm32. I'd almost forgotten about HD's yummy Sticky Toffee ice cream. My husband and I were addicted to it for a while; I'd never thought I'd turn down chocolate before.

BTW, Jamie Oliver has a good Sticky Toffee Pudding recipe in his "jamie's dinners" book.

Pantry 'Ghosts': Do You Have Them?

I have some saffron I've had for over 10 years. I've never used it and don't know if it's still safe or edible but hate to discard anything so expensive.

The saffron is from before I started using a Sharpie to put the purchase date on everything that goes in the pantry, fridge, or freezer. Try it -- you'll be surprised how comforting it is.

Seriously Delicious Holiday Giveaway: Zingerman's Praise the Lard Gift Box

My aunt used to bring us real scrapple from Philly whenever she came to visit us in NC.

Serious Cheese: Pairing Cheese and Honey

Mountain wildflower honey on plain old Philadelphia cream cheese is surprisingly good.

The Next Food Network Star Season Finale

While I found Adam extremely likeable, I prefer Aaron as a chef. When he made the awesome almost forgotten chicken parmesan in like 10 minutes, he won it for me. He's very talented and experienced and I'm interested to learn his secrets.

Lisa is, of course, extremely talented. However, she doesn't come across as a likeable or even as a very nice person. (It actually doesn't matter what she's really like since all you get is the TV persona.) I think she could do with some psychotherapy and perhaps with watching a bunch of old Julia Child shows. She needs to either become more generous or figure out how to let her innate generosity show.

Last year the local PBS station showed an old Julia Child episode during its raising money week and as soon as the show was over, I immediately went into the kitchen and made the recipe. I'd totally forgotten what it was to watch a cooking show where I could hardly wait to start cooking. (Well, Alton Brown does sometimes but his whole schtick kind of gets on my nerves.)

JC was considerably older than Lisa when she got her start on TV -- Lisa's still got time to be the next Martha Stewart since that seems to be her goal.

Corn syrup-is it really that bad? Replacements?

Typically a recipe for fudge or thick hot fudge sauce will use mostly table sugar (sucrose) with a bit of some other chemical form of sugar (such as corn syrup which is a mixture of glucose and fructose). The reason for using a second chemical form is that it functions as an impurity that keeps the primary form from crytallizing too soon and causing the product to be grainy.

Cook the Book: Chocolate Sabl├ęs

Fudgie brownies. (Although real fudge is pretty yummy also!)

The Saveur 100 Is Out

Tomato aspic brings back happy childhood Christmas memories for me. My mother, who lived to almost 92, always made tomato aspic in individual aluminum star-shaped molds for Christmas dinner; each was carefully unmolded and served on a bit of lettuce. Hers was pretty good (canned tomato juice must have been better 50+ years ago) but I think what makes one remember it is the unusual texture which is very different from Jello.

To Eat or Not to Eat? That Is the Question

What will generate the desired result is the Shangri-La Diet and less carbs. See Seth Roberts' site.

By lowering your setpoint via SLD you will reduce your appetite but not reduce your enjoyment of the food you do eat. Eating a variety of different foods and food preparations will also help reduce your appetite.

Eating carbs is necessary to storing fat; you will need to eat less carbs. When you do eat carbs, try to eat those with a low glycemic index (G. I. ) so as not to spike your insulin level. Higher insulin levels mean more fat storage. Cf. Gary Taube's recent book.


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