Archive for the ‘food’ tag

#  America’s Coffeeshop Map →

May 23rd, 2014 at 10:00 // In Worth Seeing 

Really cool map put together by FlowingData of which coffee changes predominate in the regions across the country. While it’s the case that stereotypes would have you think Starbucks outranks everything everywhere, it most certainly is not.


#  The Invention of the AeroPress →

May 15th, 2014 at 10:34 // In Worth Knowing 

I’m not really a coffee afficiando, but I’m close enough to white-upper-middle-class coffee culture to know that this device called an AeroPress is the way to make coffee. What I didn’t know, is that its inventor, Alan Alder, first made his business and living from flying discs.

#  The Promise of Soylent →

May 12th, 2014 at 17:18 // In Worth Reading 

I’ve always, and still do, harbor a vague distaste for the New Yorker — I feel it smells a bit of middle class indulgence in both its topics and writing style. But I enjoyed this bit about a new food-alternative liquid diet whose marketing has made it far more interesting and curious than existing alternatives.

There are a number of interesting quotes, but this was the only one that made me laugh out loud (like a five year old):

I asked the Skurves if there had been any social repercussions from their use of Soylent. They looked at one another. Erin said, “So the first week can be pretty bad, because you fart pretty bad.”

“It’s a big issue,” JohnO, a computer-science major, said.

Eugene added, “There was, like, a week when I stopped going to class.”

#  The Medieval Water Myth →

April 22nd, 2014 at 15:34 // In Worth Knowing 

People in pre-modern time had to drink wine and beer because their water was unsafe to drink.

I don’t know that this idea is as well established at this article suggests, but I’d definitely heard it and never doubted it very hard. But the point, being made, seems true to me:

There is no specific reason then to believe that people of the time drank proportionately less water than we do today; rather, since water was not typically sold, transported, taxed, etc., there simply would have been no reason to record its use. Did people in the time prefer alcoholic drinks? Probably, and for the same reason most people today drink liquids other than water: variety and flavor. A young man in a tenth century Saxon colloquy is asked what he drinks and answers: “Beer if I have it or water if I have no beer.” This is a clear expression of both being comfortable with water and preferring beer.

(via MetaFilter)

#  Literally Comparing Apples to Oranges →

April 2nd, 2014 at 10:36 // In Worth Seeing 

Like many, I’m not a big fan of April Fool’s Day. The whole internet becomes a undifferentiated combination of bad joke, real news, and some interesting novelty. Everything most go through your bullshit filter. But The Economist came up with a really great idea, they’ve created a literal comparison of apples and oranges:

 In contrast, orange production has plateaued, due in part to a decline of orange juice consumption in America—around 40% less over the past 15 years. Close to the equator, oranges are more popular than apples, whereas farther north apples are more appealing, perhaps reflecting their ease of growth.

(via NextDraft)

#  Life as a Professional Frozen Food Taster →

March 31st, 2014 at 10:30 // In Worth Knowing 

I don’t know if it’s a job I’d want, but it sure does sound like it’s not like any other job I’ve had. Apparently there exists a number of trade secrets:

[Taster]: … We were taught a trade-secret flavor intensity scale that we used as a metric to judge all other foods against. At the low end is oil, and at the high end is a strong fruit juice.

[Interviewer]: So you were trained to distinguish the taste of food on a specific scale.

[Taster]: Yes, the main goal of the scale was to be able to objectively rate foods numerically. The oil would be a 2, the fruit juice a 10, and then a whole number of other foods in between. You would say, “This piece of cheddar cheese is an 8, higher than the orange juice, not as strong as the cranberry juice.”

(via 5IT)

#  The Design of Menus →

March 19th, 2014 at 10:08 // In Worth Considering 

An interesting little story about the inside of the design of chain restaurant menus. It’s self-evident that such things would be designed, but the process wasn’t one I’d given much thought.

Since it released the new menu, IHOP’s sales have been up 3.6 percent—a small bump, but a notable one in a market that finds most sales numbers trending downward. The increase, Franco says, has been “primarily driven by selection and upsell” within the menu itself. Customers are seeing more options. They’re ordering more side dishes and beverages. They’re taking more advantage of the food offerings, rather than going straight for the old short stack-with-a-side-of-sausage combo. Franco is convinced: “Our guests are ordering additional items,” she says, “because of the appeal of the menu.”

(via Next Draft)

#  How It’s Unmade: Oreo Cookies →

March 17th, 2014 at 16:31 // In Worth Distraction 

Ever wondered where we get all those magical things like flour and water? Well as this video explains, much of the vital flour used in the US is harvested from disused old cookies, carefully deconstructed. Fascinating:

#  The Pseudoscience of Whole Foods →

February 28th, 2014 at 16:39 // In Worth Considering 

Nothing that will surprise anyone who’s ever stepped into the store with a critical eye, but a line like this made me feel I had to link to the piece:

If scientific accuracy in the public sphere is your jam, is there really that much of a difference between Creation Museum founder Ken Ham, who seems to have made a career marketing pseudoscience about the origins of the world, and John Mackey, a founder and CEO of Whole Foods Market, who seems to have made a career, in part, out of marketing pseudoscience about health?

#  He Only Eats Pizza →

February 28th, 2014 at 10:31 // In Worth Distraction 

A text-interview isn’t the most compelling way I can imagine to convey this story, but it has a high novelty factory: a 38-year-old man who’s lived on pizza alone for 25 years. This bit of the prelude didn’t really surprise me, but some of his answers did:

Everyone who knows Dan wonders how he’s still alive. Beyond the fact that his diet is completely horrifying, he also has diabetes and frequently gets low blood sugar. When his blood sugar dips into the danger zone, it sometimes results in his blacking out on the kitchen floor in his underwear with frozen food scattered around him. There was that one time he bought a new car and then blacked out on the drive home. He swerved off the road and totaled the vehicle, but besides from that isolated incident, his pizza diet seems to be working out for him. I recently spoke to Dan to hear more about how he came to subsist on gluten, tomato sauce, and cheese alone.

(via NextDraft)