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The Bug Banquet: Serving Sustainability in a Cricket Pesto Flatbread

eat-crickets

“You’re invited to the Bug Banquet,” the email read. Ewwww! Must I go? I am psychologically averse to insects, but as a good sport, I’ll try.

The Bug Banquet is a culinary exploration of entomophagy, the practice of eating insects. It was created as an “experience” to help guests enjoy insects as food. Founders Chloé Bulpin, a senior at at the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD), and Alex Gandarillas and Matt Kominsky, two Johnson & Wales University culinary students, believe in the power of visual imagery to educate.

The intriguing menu was served cocktail style and the presentation was gorgeous.

  • Pesto Flatbread: cricket pesto, mozzarella and artichokes
  • Tempura Skewers: crickets, silkworms and scallions with a spicy sriracha sauce
  • Watermelon and Waterbugs: compressed watermelon, apple and waterbug
  • Spicy Silkworm: Korean-style marinated silkworms with hummus and roasted cauliflower
  • Dark Chocolate-Coated Crickets
  • Sundae Shooters: waterbug ice cream, caramel, and banana
  • Several different cookies and tarts made with cricket flour

How did the creations taste? The comment most often overheard was, “I would never have known.” Ground crickets in pesto tasted “like escargot.” Waterbugs had a “floral extract that is not off-putting.” Roasted crickets tasted “like roasted fava beans with a crunchy outside and a mushy middle.” Dark Chocolate-Coated Crickets were “reminiscent of a Ferrero Rocher candy.”
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Kiss Those Egg White Omelets Goodbye! Dietary Guidelines Will No Longer Prohibit Dietary Cholesterol

yolks

The Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee, the panel of experts who review the Dietary Guidelines for revision every five years (published most recently in 2010), will change their recommendation about dietary cholesterol in the report they will send to the federal government in the next few weeks.

The current guidelines, and those of the past 40 years, restricted dietary cholesterol to 300 milligrams a day. For reference, an egg yolk has around 200 milligrams and a 6-ounce T-bone steak has 90 milligrams. In 2013, the American Heart Association and the American College of Cardiology dropped their advice about cholesterol as well.

12 Delicious New Ways to Enjoy Your Eggs

True, cholesterol is a major part of the plaque that narrows the arteries in atherosclerosis, the underlying cause of heart disease and strokes, but only 20 percent of our blood cholesterol comes from diet. Our liver makes the rest. The issue is confounded because many high cholesterol foods are high in saturated fat and saturated fat and trans fat do add to blood lipid levels. Dietary cholesterol, which is found in animal-derived foods, is usually accompanied by saturated fats as in full-fat dairy products and the meat of domesticated animals. Egg yolks and crustaceans (crabs, lobsters, shrimp, and crayfish) are high in dietary cholesterol but low in saturated fat.
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Monica Seles Speaks Out for Vyvanse, an ADD Drug Approved for Binge Eating Disorder

monica-seles-vyvanse

In a 2009 interview, Monica Seles told Tara Parker-Pope of the New York Times, “I needed to figure out my emotions….to stop my love hate relationship with food and just have a love relationship with food. After that I could have a love relationship with my body.” Monica was able to fix her BED without Vyvanse, but is now the spokesperson for the drug company’s new campaign. While the pill has been on the market for attention deficit disorder, it has now been approved to treat compulsive overeating in adults.

Monica Seles, is a former number one world professional tennis player, and recovered from a nine-year struggle with compulsive eating herself. Back in 2009 she documented her struggle and recovery in the book Getting a Grip: On My Body, My Mind, My Self. By hearing her story, Monica hopes that other adults with BED will get the support they need. A national campaign was been developed to support the drug’s release, and more information about its role with this disease is found at BingeEatingDisorder.com. There you’ll learn more about BED, the experiences of others, and how to raise the topic with health care providers and loved ones.
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Beyonce’s New Vegan Diet Can be Delivered to Your Door. But is it Worth It?

beyonce-kale-sweatshirt

Beyonce, the entrepreneur, has started another business, this time with her trainer, Marco Borges. Together they have launched a vegan meal delivery service called “22 Days Nutrition.” The name comes from the common myth that it takes 21 days to form a new habit. Last winter, under Borges’ direction, Beyonce and Jay-Z became vegan for 22 days and they loved it (although they don’t seem to be vegan now). Borges is the author of a soon to be released diet book titled, “The 22 Day Revolution.”

Their website describes the meals as fresh, wholesome, gluten-free, dairy-free, and soy-free, as well as 100% organic and GMO-free. That’s a lot of buzz words and diet restrictions. The soy-free part is odd because vegans classically eat soybeans in the form of tofu, seitan, veggie burgers, meat analogues, and edamame.

A week’s worth of meals is delivered via a cooler placed at your front door. You just unpack, load the fridge, reheat, and eat. And pay the bill. At one meal-a-day, a one week supply costs $103.45, two meals-a-day goes for $153.46, and three meals for $194.04, all with a $19.95 shipping fee. Multiply that expense by three for a 21 day supply.
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Cheat Days Only Cheat Yourself: Why Healthy Eaters Treat Themselves Instead

cheat-days-cheat

As a dietitian/nutritionist, I am often asked if I recommend having a cheat day. (A “cheat day,” cheat meal,” or “cheat food” — is a mini-break from a calorie-restricted diet for weight loss.) My answer is that it all depends on how you define cheat. If a cheat day is a feeding frenzy that packs in lots of extra calories, then I’m against it. But if it means making room for high-calorie favorite treats, then I’m all for it. No diet should be so restricted that it doesn’t make room for favorite foods.

Normal variations in day-to-day calorie intake may be in the best interests of health. Studies of intermittent fasting schedules in animals suggest that an intake pattern of highs and lows enhances the body’s ability to cope with biological stress and, maybe, to resist disease.* Variation is the natural course of events and evolution seems to make it work to an advantage.

Consider that healthy eaters who maintain steady weights don’t usually eat the same amount of food every day.

  • They expect day-to-day variation and they use regular exercise to balance extra calories.
  • They eat more or fewer calories largely depending on the social situation.
  • They give themselves permission to eat favorite foods (within reason) as if it’s no big deal.
  • They may choose to eat more at a special dinner or not.
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