Tag Archives: Food

Why we eat what we eat: social and economic determinants of food choice


This article is about how our social standing and economic standings effect our everyday food choices. We don’t realize how much of an impact economic standing has on our food choices and how staying healthy is harder with less money.


How has you economic standing effected the choices you make when deciding what food to eat?

Molecular Gastronomy Recipe: Disappearing Transparent Ravioli

This recipe is really amazing. We’ve been talking a lot of molecular gastronomy lately and we just started discussing phases. This ravioli is transparent because of a dissolving film that holds it together (a dissolving solid filled with liquid/solid). It can be filled with anything the chef pleases and the film dissolves once it is consumed. This allows a burst of flavor for the diner.

Disappearing Transparent Ravioli

The ingredients used are some we are familiar with in the lab, like potato starch and soy lecithin. I have to say that the molecular gastronomy recipes are really creative, especially this one. I would have never though to make ravioli transparent, but some one did and they were actually able to succeed. I would love to try and make this, but it requires a molecular gastronomy cooking kit that is a little pricy.


What kind of food would you make with molecular gastronomy?

Should you eat more soy? (by Manuela Mejia)

This article is from The Washington Post, and it states how soy used to be considered a superfood for various years due to its high levels of protein and fiber. Soy was thought to help strengthen bones and low the risks of having cancer.

Nevertheless, soy has lately been having a bad reputation. “There’s nothing unique about soy compared to other beans,” said Alice Lichtenstein, a professor of nutrition science at Tufts University in Boston. Pursuing this further, studies have found that processed foods that contain soy all deliver some protein, but tend to contain more fat, sodium and sugars.

My discussion question for the class is: studies of Asian women have shown that those who eat soy on a regular basis have lower risk of breast cancer that those who don’t. Why do you think this may happen? What properties does soy have that eventually helps prevent cancer?

Here’s the link to learn more about this article and the benefits or disadvantages of soy:





Mindful Eating Article by Andrew Rogan

This article from the Mother Nature Network discusses diets and healthy eating lifestyles, which we have learned a lot about over the past few weeks. Above all, the article states that mindful eating can be adapted to all diets and lifestyle choices, helping people digest their food with more thought and more reflection. With that being said, the author gives 5 tips on how to best begin the habit of mindful eating. Two of the tips the author gave correspond to what AU’s dietician, Jo-Ann Jolly, told us during the molecular gastronomy demonstration—shut off your phone and eat slower. In addition, the author wrote on eating in silence, thinking deeply on the flavors of the food you’re eating, and knowing where the food comes from. It takes concentration and commitment, but the author vows it is possible.

Credit: http://themindfulcenter.com/abc-news-nightline-interested-in-mindful-eating/
Credit: http://themindfulcenter.com/abc-news-nightline-interested-in-mindful-eating/

Question: What other mindful eating tips should be included in a guide to mindful eating? Why?

Dorm Room Food Hacks!

All this snow has made me get more creative with the food I can make in my lounge, and thanks to these websites I’ve gotten some great ideas!  Try out some of these college budget-friendly dorm food hacks:







Karaage – Japanese style fried chicken

Well Known Fact: Sushi is a Japanese food.
But normally Japanese people don’t make Sushi at home.

From my experience, a lot of  Americans know about Sushi. But what many don’t know it that we don’t make Sushi at home. As a Japanese person, I would like to introduce a Japanese food that we cook at home.

The recipe below is about Karaage. Karaage is a Japanese style fried chicken. It’s popular among young people and is easy to make, low cost, and tastes good.

My recommendation is eating Karaage with white rice.

Here’s the recipe below!

What Is Starch Retrogradation? (by Manuela Mejia)

During baking, the starch in dough melts. The molecules become less organized and allow water molecules to move near them, some are partially dissolved. As the bread cools, the starch recrystallizes or retrogrades and goes back to a solid form, which causes a firm texture. Starch retrogradation is desirable for some starchy food products in terms of textural and nutritional properties.

Why has starch retrogradation been the subject of intensive research over the last 50 years?

You can learn more about starch retrogradation here.

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Chemistry Food Life Hacks by William Leonard

Here is a video by the American Chemical Society about three food hacks (and one normal life hack) for cooking involving simple chemical reactions that we’ve touched on in class. I could have definitely used the one regarding onions for yesterday, when I was cutting onions for Chili. Anyways, for those too short on time, here are the three cooking hacks in a sentence or less:

  1. To test if an egg is rotten, put it in a glass of water. If it sinks, it’s good but if it’s rotten it’ll float. This is because of pores in the egg’s shell, which open up over time and allow a gas in that makes it smelly, and causes it to rise in water.

2. Refrigerating an onion before cutting it can cut down on the release of enzymes and amino acids when cutting the onion that cause a chain reaction to create the compound which triggers your crying.

3. You can stop your veggies from losing their vibrancy by keeping their cook time  to 7 minutes or less. Cooking the veggies breaks down cell walls preventing the spread of acids, which change the cores of the chlorophyll A and B molecules in the veggies, which cause discoloration.

Here is a link to the video if you can’t get the embedded video.

So as an easy question, do you have any life hacks like these that you would like to share for the benefit of the class?