Zagat is the most popular restaurant rating organization in the world. I honestly didn’t know that they did a survey on fast food. Below is a segment from the Today Show regarding the latest survey. I learned quite a bit in just those few seconds. And here is a link to complete survey results.
Aug. 15, 2011 — More than 60,000 pounds of ground beef sold at three major grocery store chains in the Southeast have been recalled because of potential E. coli contamination.
The ground beef was supplied by National Beef Packaging Co. of Dodge City, Kan. and sold by Winn-Dixie Stores Inc, Publix Super Markets Inc., and Kroger Co.
The USDA says routine testing at an Ohio Department of Agriculture facility revealed E. coli 0157:H7 bacteria. Further investigation identified the National Beef Packing Co. as the sole source of the tainted ground beef.
The USDA says there have been no reports of illness from the tainted ground beef.
E. coli 0157:H7 is a potentially deadly bacteria that can cause bloody diarrhea,dehydration, and in the most serious cases, kidney failure.
Children, the elderly, and people with weak immune systems are the most susceptible to illness caused by E. coli bacteria.
I mentioned in a weekly digest email to my subscribers that I’d like to eat healthier. I’ve done a bit better, but now I’m trying to follow the USDA’s recommendations. And it’s a lot easier than it used to be!
Instead of confusing children with the proportions of the pyramid that I grew up with, the USDA has now opted for a more easily interpreted and visually familiar image: a plate.
In visiting the site, I realized that it offers so much more than an explanation of what foods fit into what section. It actually allows you to customize your diet. Based on your age, weight, height and level of activity- you can find out exactly the amount of each food group you should eat a day!
So instead of paying some consultant or group to help you with your diet, the government offers it for free! Check it out!
(Even though I was denied media credentials, I still believe this event should get a mention. I hope I’m able to attend on some level. And I hope I see you there.)
Food lovers across the nation can mark their calendars as the countdown to the first Atlanta Food & Wine Festival has begun. Dedicated exclusively to showcasing authentic foods, wines and spirits from across the Southern region, the inaugural event will take place May 19 – 22, 2011.
The Atlanta Food & Wine Festival, created by Atlantans Dominique Love and Elizabeth Feichter, is a welcome addition to a city that is home to an impressive number of chefs and restaurants of national acclaim. The weekend-long gastronomic affair will be the first luxury festival in the nation dedicated exclusively to Southern food and beverage traditions. The Festival will highlight the best of the region from Texas to West Virginia and the states in between, building upon three key themes: old traditions, new traditions and imports and inspirations that have influenced Southerners in the kitchen.
Inspired by the FOOD & WINE Classic in Aspen, the Atlanta Festival will take the best elements of other national festivals, build upon them and then infuse a spirit of honoring the regional food culture. Leveraging the expertise of a Founders Council of the best Southern culinary talents, the Festival will offer carefully-designed seminars, demonstrations and tasting experiences, representing the unique flavors of the region.
There are different parameters for the terms “locally grown” and “locally produced.” Many consider “local” to indicate products that are grown/produced within a radius of 150 miles of the point of consumption. In some situations, the distance is extended. For example, some types of seafood, to be considered “local,” would have to extend either to the Atlantic coast or Gulf of Mexico — extending beyond 250 miles.
The term “organic” is defined and regulated by the u.S. Department of Agriculture (uSDA). Organic foods are products grown without the use of pesticides, synthetic fertilizers, sewage sludge, genetically modified organisms or ionizing radiation. The uSDA also requires organic meat, poultry, eggs and dairy products to be produced from animals free of antibiotics or growth hormones. “Natural” attached to a product, on the other hand, indicates that there were no artificial flavorings, coloring or chemical preservatives and minimal processing.
The uSDA also regulates label standards for organic products. The label “100% organic,” indicates just that: 100% of the ingredients are organic. The sole word, “organic,” indicates that 95% of the ingredients are organic. Organic ingredients listed on the side label of a product indicate that less than 70% of the ingredients are organic. Companies that handle or process organic foods for public consumption are required to be certified by the uSDA through their Organic Seal designation.
Debby Cannon, Ph.D., CHE
July/August 2010 This entry was posted on Thursday, July 29th, 2010 at 5:35 pm and is filed under Chef Insights.