How Fast Food Reveals Secrets of the Economy

From the Pizza Principle to the Waffle House Index, fast food can reveal surprising things about our behaviour and hidden changes in the market.

What is an economist’s favourite food? Burgers, chips and pizza might not immediately come to mind – but the consumption of meals like these can signal changes in people’s economic behaviour. Knowing the price of pizza in New York or the cost of a Big Mac in Beirut can tell market-watchers how the world’s cogs are turning.

The Pizza Principle

In 1980, a New Yorker called Eric Bram noticed that the price of a slice of pizza had matched the cost of a subway ride in the city for nearly 20 years. More recently, commentators have noticed that as the cost of pizza goes up, transit fares often follow. In 2014, data scientist Jared Lander investigated the principle and found that it remains in place. Why is this so? Nobody knows.

The Big Mac and KFC Indices

The price of a Big Mac says a lot about “purchasing power parity” – whether exchange rates mean that a product costs the same in different countries. Credit: Getty Images.

How much will a Big Mac cost you in Lima? Or Abu Dhabi? The answers can tell you a lot about “purchasing power parity (PPP)” – whether exchange rates mean that a product costs the same in different countries. A tool to make this theory more “digestible” was launched by The Economist in 1986.

It allows comparison of several base currencies to others around the world. As they wrote this month: “A Big Mac currently costs $5.06 in America but just 10.75 lira ($2.75) in Turkey, implying that the lira is undervalued.”

Since McDonald’s restaurants aren’t so common in Africa, the market research firm Sagaci Research invented the supplementary “KFC index” to analyse PPP there.

Mars Bars

In 1932, a factory in Slough produced the world’s first Mars bar. Fifty years later, Financial Times writer Nico Colchester pointed out that the price of the confectionary in Britain was neatly correlated with the buying power of pound sterling. By measuring the cost of things in Mars Bars, Colechester noted how graduate salaries had improved slightly in 40 years. Meanwhile, train fares had become cheaper but roast beef dinners in pubs had gone up by more than 60 percent.

Baked Beans and Popcorn

Higher sales of popcorn in cinemas was taken as a sign of economic recovery in Britain following the financial crisis of 2008. Credit: Getty Images.

When financial experts are trying to determine whether an economy is generally in good health, they often look to food products. In 2009, the Odeon cinema company announced an “Odeon Popcorn Index” that it claimed showed higher sales and therefore signs of economic recovery in Britain following the financial crisis of 2008.

And analysts have also scrutinised sales of baked beans, popular when times are tough, as an indicator of how people are responding to periods of economic decline. When baked bean sales fell in 2013, some took it as a sign that the UK economy was in rude health.

French Fries

A fascinating article in the Oregonian in 1998 observed that sales of French fries could be a helpful indicator of trade between America and Asia. This food “leads US industries into foreign markets” wrote Richard Read, thanks to the fact that America exports so many of them (something that remains true today).

And he added that consumption of French fries was also an indicator of how well-developed an Asian economy had become. This meant that when economic trouble in Asia was brewing in the late ’90s, farmers in the US were hit hard.

Waffle House Index

US authorities have used the length of the Waffle House menu to see if supplies at the restaurant are low after hurricanes. Credit: Flickr/Steve Snodgrass.

How bad was that hurricane? The length of a fast-food restaurant’s menu can be a quick guide, it seems. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) in the United States keeps a check on the length of the menu at Waffle House outlets in the aftermath of natural disasters. If customers are being offered a limited menu, food supplies at the restaurant may be low and it might only have generator power. If the restaurant is closed? “That’s really bad,” FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate once said.

By: Chris Baraniuk

Source: How Fast Food Reveals Secrets of the Economy

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The Science Behind Grilling the Perfect Steak

Summer has arrived, and it’s time to fire up the backyard grill. Though many of us are trying to eat less beef for environmental reasons, it’s hard to resist indulging in an occasional steak — and you’ll want to make the most of the experience.

So, what’s the best way to grill that steak? Science has some answers. Meat scientists (many of them, unsurprisingly, in Texas) have spent whole careers studying how to produce the tenderest, most flavorful beef possible. Much of what they’ve learned holds lessons only for cattle producers and processors, but a few of their findings can guide backyard grillmasters in their choice of meat and details of the grilling process.

Let’s start with the choice of meat. Every experienced cook knows that the lightly used muscles of the loin, along the backbone, have less connective tissue and thus give tenderer results than the hard-working muscles of the leg. And they know to look for steaks with lots of marbling, the fat deposits between muscle fibers that are a sign of high-quality meat. “If you have more marbling, the meat will be tenderer, juicier, and it will have richer flavor,” says Sulaiman Matarneh, a meat scientist at Utah State University who wrote about muscle biology and meat quality in the 2021 Annual Review of Animal Biosciences.

From a flavor perspective, in fact, the differences between one steak and the next are mostly a matter of fat content: the amount of marbling and the composition of the fatty acid subunits of the fat molecules. Premium cuts like ribeye have more marbling and are also richer in oleic acid, an especially tasty fatty acid — “the one fatty acid that frequently correlates with positive eating experience,” says Jerrad Legako, a meat scientist at Texas Tech University in Lubbock. Sirloin, in contrast, has less oleic acid and more fatty acid types that can yield less appealing, fishy flavor hints during cooking.

That fatty acid difference also plays out in a big decision that consumers make when they buy a steak: grain-fed or grass-fed beef? Grain-fed cattle — animals that live their final months in a feedlot eating a diet rich in corn and soybeans — have meat that’s higher in oleic acid. Animals that spend their whole life grazing on pasture have a higher proportion of omega-3 fatty acids, polyunsaturated fatty acids that break down into smaller molecules with fishy and gamy flavors. Many consumers prefer to buy grass-fed beef anyway, either to avoid the ethical issues of feedlots or because they like that gamy flavor and leaner meat.

The biggest influence on the final flavor of that steak, though, is how you cook it. Flavorwise, cooking meat accomplishes two things. First, the heat of the grill breaks the meat’s fatty acids into smaller molecules that are more volatile — that is, more likely to become airborne. These volatiles are responsible for the steak’s aroma, which accounts for the majority of its flavor. Molecules called aldehydes, ketones and alcohols among that breakdown mix are what we perceive as distinctively beefy.

The second way that cooking builds flavor is through browning, a process that chemists call the Maillard reaction. This is a fantastically complex process in which amino acids and traces of sugars in the meat react at high temperatures to kick off a cascade of chemical changes that result in many different volatile end products.

Most important of these are molecules called pyrazines and furans, which contribute the roasty, nutty flavors that steak aficionados crave. The longer and hotter the cooking, the deeper into the Maillard reaction you go and the more of these desirable end products you get — until eventually, the meat starts to char, producing undesirable bitter, burnt flavors.

The challenge for the grillmaster is to achieve the ideal level of Maillard products at the moment the meat reaches the desired degree of doneness. Here, there are three variables to play with: temperature, time and the thickness of the steak.

Thin steaks cook through more quickly, so they need a hot grill to generate enough browning in the short time available, says Chris Kerth, a meat scientist at Texas A&M University. Kerth and his colleagues have studied this process in the lab, searing steaks to precise specifications and feeding the results into a gas chromatograph, which measures the amount of each volatile chemical produced.

Kerth found, as expected, that thin, half-inch steaks cooked at relatively low temperatures have mostly the beefy flavors characteristic of fatty acid breakdown, while higher temperatures also produce a lot of the roasty pyrazines that result from the Maillard reaction. So if your steak is thin, crank up that grill — and leave the lid open so that the meat cooks through a little more slowly. That will give you time to build a complex, beefy-roasty flavor.

And to get the best sear on both sides, flip the meat about a third of the way through the expected cook time, not halfway — that’s because as the first side cooks, the contracting muscle fibers drive water to the uncooked side. After you flip, this water cools the second side so it takes longer to brown, Kerth’s team found.

When the scientists tested thicker, 1.5-inch steaks, the opposite problem happened: The exterior would burn unpleasantly before the middle finished cooking. For these steaks, a moderate grill temperature gave the best mix of volatiles. And sure enough, when Kerth’s team tested their steaks on actual people, they found that diners gave lower ratings to thick steaks grilled hot and fast. Diners rated the other temperatures and cooking times as all similar to each other, but thick steaks cooked at moderate temperatures won out by a nose.

That might seem odd, given that steakhouses often boast of their thick slabs of prime beef and the intense heat of their grills — exactly the combination Kerth’s study found least desirable. It works because the steakhouses use a two-step cooking process: First, they sear the meat on the hot grill, and then they finish cooking in a moderate oven. “That way, they get the degree of doneness to match the sear that they want,” says Kerth. Home cooks can do the same by popping their seared meat into a 350°F oven until it reaches their desired doneness.

The best degree of doneness, of course, is largely a matter of personal preference — but science has something to say here, too. Meat left rare, says Kerth, doesn’t receive enough heat to break down its fatty acids to generate beefy flavors. And once you go past medium, you lose some of the “bloody” flavors that come with lightly cooked meat. “A lot of people, myself included, like a little bit of bloody note with the brown pyrazines and Maillard compounds,” says Kerth. “It has a bigger flavor.” For those reasons, he advises, “I wouldn’t go any lower than medium rare or certainly any higher than medium. Then you just start losing a lot of the flavor.”

Kerth has one more piece of advice for home cooks: Watch the meat closely when it’s on the grill! “When you’re at those temperatures, a lot happens in a short period of time,” he says. “You start getting a lot of chemical reactions happening very, very quickly.” That’s the scientific basis for what every experienced griller has learned from (literally) bitter experience: It’s easy to burn the meat if you’re not paying attention.

Happy scientifically informed grilling!

Source: The Science Behind Grilling the Perfect Steak | Innovation | Smithsonian Magazine

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Critics:

Grilling is a form of cooking that involves dry heat applied to the surface of food, commonly from above, below or from the side. Grilling usually involves a significant amount of direct, radiant heat, and tends to be used for cooking meat and vegetables quickly. Food to be grilled is cooked on a grill (an open wire grid such as a gridiron with a heat source above or below), using a cast iron/frying pan, or a grill pan (similar to a frying pan, but with raised ridges to mimic the wires of an open grill).

Heat transfer to the food when using a grill is primarily through thermal radiation. Heat transfer when using a grill pan or griddle is by direct conduction. In the United States, when the heat source for grilling comes from above, grilling is called broiling. In this case, the pan that holds the food is called a broiler pan, and heat transfer is through thermal radiation.

Direct heat grilling can expose food to temperatures often in excess of 260 °C (500 °F). Grilled meat acquires a distinctive roast aroma and flavor from a chemical process called the Maillard reaction. The Maillard reaction only occurs when foods reach temperatures in excess of 155 °C (310 °F).

Studies have shown that cooking beef, pork, poultry, and fish at high temperatures can lead to the formation of heterocyclic amines, benzopyrenes, and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, which are carcinogens. Marination may reduce the formation of these compounds. Grilling is often presented as a healthy alternative to cooking with oils, although the fat and juices lost by grilling can contribute to drier food.

References:

  • AngryBBQ. Not sure what about barbecue makes Mike and Jannah Haas angry, but they have a nice little blog.
  • Barbecue Master. Based in NC barbecue country, Cyndi Allison has been writing about barbecue and teaching it for more than a decade. Check out the links to her other websites and blogs.
  • Barbecues & Grilling at about.com. Derrick Riches is a self taught cook who has learned a lot and he passes it along in this large and deep reference.
  • Barbecuen. Articles and ideas on everything from grills to cooking elk.
  • BroBBQ. A blog of recipes, product testing, fun by Jack Thompson.
  • BBQDryRubs. The site is a nice hobby site from David Somerville covering more than rubs. He focuses on Weber gear and the sausage section is good.
  • BBQ FAQ. An astonishing compilation of wisdom from scores of serious cue’ers. The only problem is that the mailing list of participants has been dissolved so you can no longer sign up. Also, a lot of the links are broken. Still, the knowledge there is timeless.
  • BBQ Sauce Reviews. He likes sauce. Some better than others. See if you fave is on his 5-star list.
  • Braai 4 Heritage. In South Africa they call it braai, and everyone barbecues. They even have a National Braai Day!
  • BBQ Specialties. A nice little blog with recipes.
  • Cooking Outdoors. Gary House is fearless as he cooks everything on his grills, even pies and bread. There are sections on barbecue, cast iron cooking, Dutch oven, fire pit, and foil cooking. Lots of recipes well illustrated with photos.
  • Food Fire Friends. Mark Jenner’s site explores many aspects of outdoor cooking, including recipes, techniques, and product guides, as he works his way toward mastering cooking with live
    fire.
  • GrateTV. This frequent video show stars Jack Waiboer, a talented BBQ cook and competitor based in SC, and co-host Bill West (above). They teach tips, technique, tools, toys, secret ingredients, beer drinking, and answer viewer email questions. They know their stuff, and teach it with a smile. That’s them above, and one of the gadgets they feature.
  • GrillGirl. Robyn Medlin Lindars knows how to cook, and she can do it outdoors. She blogs about her adventures and recipes. Her specialty is making barbecue fun for women. She also cooks on her sailboat! Fun stuff!
  • A Hamburger Today. Gently patted together by Robyn Lee, this site is made of prime restaurant commentary, stuffed with burger lore, topped with good humor, and held together with beautiful drippy photographs. She is aided by a handful of burgerphiles who know their stuff.
  • Home BBQ. Message boards that discuss just about anything barbecue.
  • The Ingredient Store.com. Home of the FAB injections and marinades. FAB is the stuff most of the brisket champs inject (into the meat, not themselves).
  • Live Fire Online. Curt McAdams can cook and takes nice pix in Ohio. He focuses on barbecuing and grilling, but often digresses on local foods, markets, baking, and dining.
  • Mark Stevens. I met Mark in one of the online message boards and have learned a thing or two from him and his tips. You can too. His home made website has great links, and some good recipes and tips.
  • Naked Whiz. This may be the most inaccurate and inappropriate name for a website on the net, but don’t let it deter you. This is the go-to site if you have any questions about charcoal, how it is made, and what is the best.
  • Nibble Me This. Chris Grove is in Knoxville and he works his Big Green Egg and other cookers hard. He has also written a book about kamados.
  • Grillocracy. Our lead writer Clint Cantwell’s personal BBQ and grilling blog.
  • Patio Daddio BBQ. John Dawson brings his analytical IT mind to the patio and tests new techniques, equipment, and recipes with an unusual thoroughness and sharp sense of humor. He also competes. This is one of my faves.
  • Postcards from Scotsylvania. Scot Murphy is a very smart, witty, fella, and a pretty good cook too. His blog covers barbecue, gardening, politics, comics, and “ruminations about the universe, occasional whining, snarkiness, stuff like that.”
  • Real Truck. Accessories and gear for your truck.
  • She Smoke. Julie Reinhardt is the author of the book She-Smoke, a Backyard Barbecue Book, and co-owner of Smokin’ Pete’s BBQ in Seattle. This blog is an extension of the book, the restaurant, and how she rolls with two kids in tow.

Your Weird Pandemic Meals Are Probably Fine

woman eating

For the first 34 years of my life, I always ate three meals a day. I never thought much about it—the routine was satisfying, it fit easily into my life, and eating three meals a day is just what Americans generally do. By the end of last summer, though, those decades of habit had begun to erode. The time-blindness of working from home and having no social plans left me with no real reason to plod over to my refrigerator at any specific hour of the day. To cope, I did what many Americans have done over the past year: I quasi-purposefully fumbled around for a new routine, and eventually I came up with some weird but workable results—and with Big Meal.

Big Meal is exactly what it sounds like: a meal that is large. It’s also untethered from linear time. Big Meal is not breakfast, lunch, or dinner—social constructs that no longer exist as such in my home—although it could theoretically occur at the traditional time for any of them. Big Meal comes when you’re ready to have it, which is a moment that only you can identify. For me, this is typically in the late afternoon, but sometimes it’s at breakfast. Generally, Big Meal happens once a day.

In the dieting (excuse me, biohacking) trend known as intermittent fasting, people compress their calories into a limited window of hours. But that’s not what Big Meal is at all. It’s not a diet. I snack whenever I feel like it—Triscuits with slices of pepper jack, leftover hummus from the Turkish takeout place that sometimes provides Big Meal, a glob of smooth peanut butter on a spoon. The phrase started as a joke about my inability to explain to a friend why I was making risotto in the middle of the afternoon, or why I didn’t have an answer to “What’s for dinner?” at 6 p.m. beyond “Uh, well, I ate a giant burrito at 11 a.m. and grazed all afternoon, so I think I’m done for the day.” Now I simply say, “It’s time for Big Meal,” or “I already had Big Meal.”

This curious change in my own eating was just the beginning. The pandemic has disrupted nearly every part of daily life, but the effects on how people eat have been particularly acute. Dining closures and weekend boredom have pushed a country of reticent cooks to prepare more of its own meals. Delivery-app middlemen have tightened their grip on the takeout market. Supply shortages have made flour, beans, pasta, and yeast hot commodities. Viral recipes have proliferated—can I interest anyone in sourdough, banana bread, shallot pasta, baked feta, or a truly excellent cast-iron-pan pizza?

Even for people who have had a relatively stable existence over the past year, pandemic mealtime changes have been chaotic. Which isn’t to say that they’ve been uniformly negative. Big shifts in daily life have a way of forcing people into new habits—and forcing them to figure out what they actually want to eat.

If you pore over the food-business news from the past year, there’s little question that lots of people have changed their habits in one way or another. For instance, many people are buying more snacks—in January, Frito-Lay said that some of its marquee brands, such as Tostitos and Lay’s, had finished the year with sales increases of roughly 30 to 40 percent. The entire “fruit snack” category has more than doubled its sales, according to one market analysis. Frozen-food sales are up more than 20 percent, and online orders of packaged foods as varied as chewing gum and wine have also seen a marked increase.

But sales numbers and trend reports tell only part of the story. Underneath them are people trying to mold their individual circumstances to survivability, or maybe even pleasure, however they can, and the biggest unifying factor is that “normal” hardly exists anymore. For millions of people who have lost income during the pandemic, just getting groceries is often a hard-fought victory. Among the wealthy, constant Caviar deliveries and access to private, pandemic-safe dining bubbles at fine restaurants have kept things novel. Households in the middle have scrambled to form new, idiosyncratic routines all their own.

Wendy Robinson, a community-college administrator in St. Paul, Minnesota, told me that working from home most of the week has had the opposite effect on her than it did on me: It added more meals to her life. Before the pandemic, “a lot of my eating was really convenience-driven, and I didn’t have a dedicated lunchtime, because I just was so busy,” she said. Food came erratically—from a co-worker’s desk, from the campus cafeteria, from Starbucks, picked up on the way home after a late night at work. Now she eats a real lunch most days, and she cooks more—a hobby she has always enjoyed—because she can do it while she’s on conference calls and during what used to be her commute.

Kids have necessitated their own set of pandemic adaptations. Robinson and her husband, who also works from home most of the time, have two kids who attend school remotely. Despite a rough first few months and plenty of ongoing stresses, Robinson says the at-home life has also given her more opportunity to cook with her kids and teach them the basics. Lately, her 12-year-old son has begun to enthusiastically pitch in during the family’s meals. “He makes a legit great omelet and delicious scrambled eggs, and he makes himself grilled cheese,” Robinson said. “Sometimes, when I am really busy, he will make me lunch now.”

With younger kids, things can be a little trickier. Scott Hines’s sons, 4 and 5, aren’t yet old enough to manage many cooking tasks for themselves, but they are old enough to seek out munchies. “I swear there are days where they’ve eaten snacks and no meals,” Hines, an architect based in Louisville, Kentucky, told me. “The days that they’re doing online learning, it’s impossible to control that, just because they’re bored.” On the upside, Hines, an enthusiastic cook who runs a newsletter for sharing his favorite recipes, said that working from home for part of the week has allowed him to try more types of cooking projects this year. Before, he often relied on foods that could be microwaved or otherwise prepared quickly. Now, he said, “I can make a soup; I can make something that goes in the pressure cooker or sits in the Dutch oven for hours, because I can start it at lunchtime.”

For people without kids, and especially those who live alone, the pandemic’s impact works out a little differently in the kitchen. When it’s just you, there’s no bugging your partner to wash the dishes or trading off cooking duties with a roommate or letting a budding teen chef chop the vegetables. It’s all you, every time you’re hungry. “The amount of effort is immense,” Ashley Cornall, a 30-year-old project manager in San Francisco, told me. “It’s spending my entire life washing dishes, or in my kitchen, prepping something.”

Before the pandemic, many of Cornall’s meals were social occasions, or something quick picked up from the zillions of restaurants built to feed the Bay Area’s office workers in their offices. She still orders takeout occasionally, but often feels bad about asking a delivery person to ferry food to her. Because constant Zoom meetings during the day make it hard to slip out to pick something up, she tends to find herself cobbling together a meal out of snacks.

Even so, Cornall told me she has grown to enjoy cooking when she does have the time for it. “There is something kind of nice about putting on music and cooking a meal in the evening and having half a glass of wine, taking a moment to enjoy it,” she said. Having more control over what’s in her food has also helped her get closer to a longtime goal of switching to vegetarianism; she’s not totally there yet, but she eats a lot less meat than she used to.

Splintering the three-meals-a-day norm might at first feel unnatural, but in the long arc of human history, that eating schedule is both extremely recent and born almost entirely of social convenience. According to Amy Bentley, a food historian at NYU, eating three meals a day is not something we do because of nutritional science or a natural human inclination. Instead, it’s largely a consequence of industrialization, which formalized the workday and drew much of the population away from home on a regular basis.

Preindustrial America was more rural and agrarian, and people worked during daylight hours, pausing midmorning and later in the afternoon. “It was more like a two-meal kind of schedule that was based on outdoor physical labor and farm labor, and those meals tended to be quite big,” Bentley told me.

Over time, more and more Americans were drawn into daily life outside the home—more kids were sent to school, and housewives and domestic workers, whose presence was once common in middle-class American homes, joined the formal labor market. Industrialized food processing began to provide an array of products marketed as quick-and-easy breakfast foods—products that had never previously existed but whose ubiquity accelerated after World War II. Industrialized breakfasts such as cornflakes and instant oatmeal make for meals that are generally small and nutritionally hollow, which meant that people then needed to eat again during the day before commuting home for a later dinner, which was—and often still is—important for its role in family social life.

You can probably see the fault lines already. Of course vanishing commutes, remote schooling, and the flexibility to make a sandwich during a conference call would change how people eat. The three-meal-a-day axiom was created to bend human life around the necessity of leaving the home to work elsewhere for the whole day, and now people are bending once again, around a whole new set of challenges. Our old eating schedules are no more natural than sitting in a cubicle for 10 hours a day.

But food is a fraught emotional topic, and people often worry that changes in their behavior—even those that feel natural—are somehow unhealthy. Rachel Larkey, a registered dietitian in Yonkers, New York, who specializes in treating eating disorders among her mostly low-income clients, has heard this worry frequently over the past year. “Folks are feeling like their routines are kind of nebulous now, and they don’t have a lot of structure in their day,” she told me. “If we have a routine, our body starts to say, Okay, it’s noon; it’s my lunchtime. I’m hungry now.” Without that expectation, people notice their hunger at hours of the day that aren’t necessarily mealtimes, or find themselves without much of an appetite when they think they’re supposed to eat.

These challenges hit everybody differently. Adapting to your own shifting needs is easier if you have money to buy kitchen equipment and food, or if eating isn’t a stressful, emotional minefield for you. But Larkey said that much of the scaremongering about the “quarantine 15” is silly. People naturally gain and lose weight as the conditions of their life change, and extreme reactions to gaining a few pounds right now can compound the harm of the pandemic’s other stresses on physical and mental health. What matters, Larkey told me, is whether the changes in your eating habits make you feel good and healthy—whether they fit your current life and your needs better than what you were doing before.Screenshot_2021-01-27-www-bevtraders-com-25-1-1-2-1-2-1-1-2-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1

New or worsening food compulsions, such as eating far more or far less than you used to, are cause for alarm. But what’s not cause for alarm, Larkey said, is adjusted eating patterns or mealtimes that are more useful or satisfying in the weird, stressful conditions people are now living in. “We’re really not taught that we can trust our body’s cues,” she told me. “It can feel so destabilizing to have to think about them for maybe the first time ever.”

In some of the new routines created to make the past year a little less onerous, it’s not hard to see how life after the pandemic might be made a little more flexible—more humane—for tasks as essential as cooking and eating. For now, though, go ahead and do whatever feels right. There’s no reason to keep choking down your morning Greek yogurt if you’re not hungry until lunch, or to force yourself to cook when you’re bone tired and would be just as happy with cheese and crackers. You might not make it all the way to Big Meal, but you don’t have to be stuck at breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

By: Amanda Mull

Source: Your Weird Pandemic Meals Are Probably Fine – The Atlantic

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So with this Covid-19 AKA The Coronavirus has swept across the world and sent a lot of people into a panic, and the shops are empty of non perishable goods, which is Pasta, Rice and most tinned goods. But if you have these things then you can take part in the Pandemic Meals lol. So we have Pasta, Cream of Mushroom Soup(Heinze) Salt, Pepper and Mixed Herbs. #COVID19 #coronavirus #pandemic #teamctb #christhebutcher #virus
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Eating In 2020: How Food And Cooking Got Us Through
http://www.buzzfeednews.com – December 11, 2020
[…] Despite the isolation and repetitiveness of our pandemic meals, food provided a consistent source of pleasure amid the chaos — a morning coffee, warm bread, […]
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Cosmetic Dentistry
patch.com – December 8, 2020
[…] In the midst of a global pandemic, Meals on Wheels has faced a major increase in meal deliveries with only a small number of customer […]
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The Karinderya project –
mb.com.ph – December 6, 2020
[…] and well-prepared meals easily accessible to families suffering from hunger brought about by the pandemic.” Meals And Project Karinderya was borne, but the project was time-bound […]
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Home
http://www.mowtakoma.org – December 2, 2020
Regarding the COVID-19 Pandemic: Meals on Wheels of Takoma Park/Silver Spring is committed to the health, safety, and resilience of ou […]
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Microsoft Teams Getting CarPlay Integration and Device Swapping Support for Calls
futureprotech.com – December 1, 2020
[…] admin – December 1, 2020 0 Photograph: Robyn Beck (Getty Photos)Uber claims extra turf within the pandemic meals supply conquest: the corporate has lastly […]
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9 Ways to Help People Facing Hunger in Your Community With Food Bank Donations and More
http://www.self.com – December 1, 2020
[…] seniors experiencing hunger has experienced a tremendous surge in demand since the beginning of the pandemic. Meals on Wheels programs have been serving on average 77% more meals and 47% more seniors than on Marc […]
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Philip Morris – Influence Of Covid 19 On Tobacco Equipment Trade 2020 Market Challenges, Enterprise Overview And Forecast Analysis Examine 2026 – Canaan Mountain Herald | Fintech Zoom – World Finance
fintechzoom.com – December 1, 2020
[…] 2020, Share, International Trade Evaluation and Aggressive Panorama (Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic) Meals Grade Mineral Oil Market Dimension 2020, Share, International Trade Evaluation and Aggressiv […]
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AT&T erects tower to upgrade wireless connectivity
http://www.robesonian.com – November 30, 2020
[…] participated in the program to provide meals for children while they learned from home during the pandemic. Meals were delivered through Aug […]
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SNP pledge free school meals for all primary pupils
http://www.bbc.co.uk – November 28, 2020
[…] have been able to receive them during the holidays this year, amid concern about the impact of the pandemic. Meals were distributed in schools that remained opened or through direct cash or voucher payments […]
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SNP pledge free school meals for all primary pupils
http://www.bbc.com – November 28, 2020
[…] have been able to receive them during the holidays this year, amid concern about the impact of the pandemic. Meals were distributed in schools that remained opened or through direct cash or voucher payments […]
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South Florida Meals on Wheels volunteers deliver Thanksgiving food to nearly 600 recipients – WSVN 7News | Miami News, Weather, Sports
us.newschant.com – November 26, 2020
[…] In the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, Meals on Wheels continues to present for the neighborhood […]
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South Florida Organizations Continue Thanksgiving Traditions With Changes in Pandemic –
http://www.nbcmiami.com – November 26, 2020
[…] has been one of many in the area to have outreach services reduced amid concerns in the pandemic. Meals on Wheels delivered Thanksgiving meals to senior and elderly residents in South Florida o […]
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Smile-Inducing Holiday Gifts Wrapping a Tough 2020 | The Stewardship Report
http://www.stewardshipreport.com – November 25, 2020
[…] gift giving season, San Diablo Take & Bake Churros is the perfect choice for fun and exciting pandemic meals, a new tradition that families and friends will want to continue for special occasions an […]
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Smile-Inducing F&B Holiday Gifts Wrapping a Tough 2020
http://www.fb101.com – November 25, 2020
[…] gift giving season, San Diablo Take & Bake Churros is the perfect choice for fun and exciting pandemic meals, a new tradition that families and friends will want to continue for special occasions an […]
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S.F.’s Meals on Wheels opens new, bigger kitchen
http://www.sfchronicle.com – November 24, 2020
[…] At the height of the pandemic, Meals on Wheels added 100 to 150 new clients a week, compared to 50 before the pandemic […]
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Aztec Senior Community Center offering drive-thru Thanksgiving meals
http://www.daily-times.com – November 18, 2020
[…] Center will offer drive-thru Thanksgiving meal services to the community amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Meals will be distributed to Aztec residents from 11 a […]
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Feeding America: How A Couple Is Using Backpacks To Curtail Hunger
http://www.forbes.com – November 18, 2020
[…] And because of the pandemic, meals are needed more than ever […]
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How pizza became the MVP of pandemic meals
http://www.225batonrouge.com – November 17, 2020
We’ve all been there: No idea what to make for dinner. Not in the mood for this, that or the other. “Let’s just order a pizza.” That longstanding solution took on new meaning in quarantine times as more families turned to the simple comfort of pizza.
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La Vergne Middle School’s Project Feed giving Thanksgiving meals to go
http://www.dnj.com – November 17, 2020
[…] Due to the pandemic, meals will be provided to-go this year […]
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Farmington Salvation Army offering free to-go meals on Thanksgiving
http://www.daily-times.com – November 16, 2020
[…] branch will be offering only to-go Thanksgiving meals during this holiday season amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Meals will be given out on a first-come, first-served basis at Daily Bread, a soup kitchen located at 405 […]
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How to Help Ease Pandemic Impacts
http://www.fidelitycharitable.org – November 14, 2020
[…] Many also lack resources to maintain physical and mental health during a pandemic. Meals on Wheels programs nationwide have been serving an average of 77 percent more meals to 47 percen […]
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Families Helping Others in Times of Uncertainty
[…]  When they were looking for an opportunity to volunteer together during the pandemic, Meals on Wheels ended up being a good fit […]
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UTO grants help feeding ministries expand to meet needs of communities hit by pandemic –
[…] At the onset of the pandemic, Meals on Wheels and other local feeding ministries suspended or reduced their services, so “these peopl […]
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This terrible, horrible, no good, very bad year desperately needs to end on an up note. We at ’s Give!Guide are here to help.
http://www.wweek.com – November 4, 2020
[…] Since the beginning of the pandemic, Meals on Wheels People has made over 50,000 wellness checks and remained true to its commitment to neve […]
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| Dallas Area Rapid Transit
txn20.org – November 2, 2020
[…] DART and their employees are supporting North Texas communities during the pandemic: Meals for North Texas Students: DART bus operators made sure that Dallas Independent School Distric […]
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Scarlett Johansson & Colin Jost Married: Couple Ties The Knot –
hollywoodlife.com – October 29, 2020
[…] got engaged in May 2019 after two years of dating, had to postpone their 2020 nuptials due to the pandemic. Meals on Wheels, a charity beloved by the Black Widow and Saturday Night Live stars, broke the news o […]
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October 27, 2020 – Local spooky podcasts, pecans + Asheville golf
avltoday.6amcity.com – October 29, 2020
[…] specialty, multi-course menus as a way to collaborate + support local food professionals during the pandemic. Meals feature ingredients from local farms that depend on area restaurants for sales […]
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Misophonia Treatment: Here’s How I’m Dealing With Misophonia
http://www.self.com – October 28, 2020
[…] Now, after eating countless pandemic meals, snacks, and desserts together over the past six months, my boyfriend’s chewing has me feelin […]
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Meal Reminder from Superintendent Susan Enfield | News Details – Highline Public Schools
http://www.highlineschools.org – October 23, 2020
[…] Superintendent Enfield encouraging everyone to take advantage of meals provided by USDA during the pandemic. Meals are for everyone, regardless of family income […]
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‘I’ve put on a stone and my kids smell of oregano’: Guardian readers on their weirdest pandemic meals | Food | The Guardian
http://www.theguardian.com – October 8, 2020
Being at home so much this year has led to some of us getting a bit more, well, experimental in our cooking.Here are 10 of the oddest offerings shared by readers…
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Indoor Dining Returns to New York City, but Will Customers? – The New York Times
http://www.nytimes.com – September 30, 2020
[…] at 25 percent capacity and must keep their tables spaced six feet apart — a far cry from pre-pandemic meals where diners could be packed cheek by jowl in some cramped neighborhood eateries […]
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Meals On Wheels’ Grocery Shopping Assistance Program aids homebound seniors
http://www.wsfltv.com – September 30, 2020
During this pandemic, Meals on Wheels South Florida has made sure homebound seniors across our community have meals on thei […]
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2020 Raul Jimenez Thanksgiving Dinner shifts to meal delivery in lieu of sit-down dinner
http://www.ksat.com – September 30, 2020
NEWS 2020 Raul Jimenez Thanksgiving Dinner shifts to meal delivery in lieu of sit-down dinner Published: September 29, 2020, 5:28 pm Tags: Tradition, News, Covid-19, Local News, Raul Jimenez Thanksgiving Dinner, Coronavirus Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, meals will still be prepared, but volunteers will deliv

Plant-Based in a Pinch: The Frozen Food Aisle Is Turning Vegan, Organic, and Nutritious

Frozen food holds an interesting position in modern food history. Flash freezing has been hailed as a technological marvel that made nutritious vegetables accessible to urban and suburban Americans virtually anywhere, at any time of year. But TV dinners have also been pinned as a symbol of the domination of processed foods over the American diet — a move away from natural, wholesome foods from the earth and instead toward laboratory-made sugar and salt bombs that are shortening our lifespans. 

The frozen food industry is rapidly growing

Like with any complicated subject, the conclusion to be drawn isn’t as simple as “frozen food is good” or “frozen food is bad.” It’s true that flash-frozen fruits and vegetables were and continue to be a helpful innovation that allows people to get vitamin and nutrient-dense foods into their diets. It’s also true that some frozen food brands sell meals that are incredibly high in calories, sugar, and cholesterol, with very few necessary vitamins and minerals to balance it out.

Related: The Best Way to Brand Your Plant-Based Business

But people today are busy, and with the continuing effects of the global health crisis on supply chains, access to fresh food is challenging in a way many of us have never experienced before. The frozen food market, globally, was valued at $291.3 billion in 2019, and was expected to continue growing even before the pandemic. Frozen, ready-to-eat meals make up a significant portion of that figure. The time-saving, long-lasting, satisfying and potentially nutritious properties of frozen foods are just too tempting to pass up right now.

Expect more from the frozen aisle 

Fortunately, there are lots of producers branching out beyond trays of chicken nuggets and mashed potatoes, to offer more diverse flavors and healthier options in the frozen food aisle.

Amy’s Kitchen, the well-established vegetarian food brand, has been on this beat for some time. They have a hefty array of frozen, prepared foods, including veggie burger patties, pizzas, and microwaveable breakfast burritos. Lots of their products are vegan, as well as organic and non-GMO, making them great snacks or no-effort dinners for busy people looking for healthier options in a pinch. And some popular plant-based brands didn’t start off in the frozen food aisle but have since expanded there. Daiya, best known for their vegan cheese shreds and slices, now sells ready-to-cook pizzas and microwavable burritos.

Kashi, the health food brand you might know better for their cereals and granolas, also offers a line of frozen prepared meals —  all of which are vegan and non-GMO, and come in globally-inspired recipes like chimichurri quinoa bowls and mayan harvest bake.

Related: Make the Most of Your Frozen Fruit and Vegetable Supply With a Nutribullet

Even brands that do sell meat and other animal products seem to be making a concentrated effort to keep up with consumers’ growing interest in plant-based eating by offering clearly labeled, vegan-friendly meals. Frontera, which sells a variety of Mexican-inspired snacks and meal starters, has a full line of frozen meals and skillet kits in traditional, meaty varieties, but also plant-based ones that center beans and veggies, like their three bean taco bowl that includes lively ingredients like plantains, chard, fire-roasted peppers, and kale. Similarly, Saffron Road is a brand that sells snacks, meals, and accouterments mostly inspired by Indian cuisine. Their frozen selection, like Frontera, includes meat-centric options as well as totally vegan ones, like their pre-made vegetable biryani.

Frozen prepared meals offer the convenience of TV dinners to consumers with special dietary needs and interests, like vegetarianism or veganism, and in many cases offer gluten-free, soy-free, or otherwise allergen-free options as well. But well-established, as well as up-and-coming plant-based food brands, also offer sides and dinner helpers, in addition to full, TV dinner-style meals.

Quick plant-based meals are increasingly available

Since, as research shows, much of the frozen food market is still dominated by meat, it only makes sense that plant-based companies in the freezer aisle would offer mains and sides to help complete a vegan dinner, too. When you have time to do a little cooking, but going from scratch just isn’t going to happen, plant-based and environmentally conscious consumers can throw on something like frozen cauliflower wings or spinach bites to have on the table quickly.

One such brand offering meal accouterments would be Strong Roots, offering delectable cauliflower hash browns. Their line of sides/snacks and burger patties are very veggie-centric and made from unique ingredient combinations, like their beetroot and bean burger or broccoli and purple carrot bites. With their simple, easily-pronounceable ingredient lists, they’re proving that not all frozen food is laden with heaps of salt, sugar, and mystery ingredients.

Related: ‘One Email From Whole Foods Launched My Entire Business,’ Says the Co-Founder of a Gluten Free Frozen Food Brand

Similarly, RollinGreens offers slightly elevated, healthier alternatives to kid favorites like tater tots and wings. Instead of potato, their tots are made of millet, vegetables, and spices, making for a snack or side that boasts a simple ingredient list and low glycemic index. The simplicity factor goes for their cauliflower wings as well, which come in teriyaki, sweet mustard, and spicy green buffalo varieties.

Plant-based startups and old standbys alike are putting options onto the fast-growing frozen food market that are changing the character of the category. No longer is frozen food confined to its reputation as a convenient but overall unhealthy and unnatural product. Shelves are now stocked with meals, sides, and snacks that balance the health and environmental concerns of modern consumers with their busy schedules and need for quick, easy options. At a time when we’re all overworked and stressed, a quick and wholesome dinner might be exactly what we need.

By: Brian Kateman Entrepreneur Leadership Network Contributor

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Chicken Wings With Traces of COVID Reignite Questions About Food Borne Transmission Risks

Daily Life In Dalian Amid The Coronavirus Outbreak

Officials in China’s southern metropolis Shenzhen reported Thursday they had found traces of COVID-19 on a batch of chicken wings imported from South America. Media reports soon claimed chicken wings had “tested positive” for coronavirus, stoking fears the virus has found its way into the world’s food supply. However, the World Health Organization says that’s not a concern.

“We have no examples of where this virus has been transmitted as a food-borne [disease], where someone has consumed a food product [and become infected],” WHO head of emerging diseases unit Maria van Kerkhove said during a regular press briefing Thursday.

Although COVID-19 is a zoonotic virus, meaning it originated in an animal before transferring to humans, it likely didn’t do so through consumption. As Van Kerkhove points out, if the virus was in our meat supply it would be killed when the meat is cooked. Raw food, like sushi or even runny eggs, poses more of a risk, but so far the virus has not been found inside those products.

The original outbreak of COVID-19 at a market in Wuhan more likely occurred because humans had close contact with both live and dead animals and didn’t take proper hygiene precautions, such as washing their hands.

Still, a recent flurry of incidents connecting coronavirus outbreaks with food markets has caused concern. In June Beijing shut down a seafood market after a cluster of COVID-19 cases were traced to one of the stalls there. Officials speculated the virus had been imported along with fish from Europe, prompting a sudden boycott of Norwegian salmon.

This week, New Zealand reinstated a nationwide lockdown after a COVID-19 cluster emerged in Auckland. The island country had gone 102 days without a single local transmission case before the cluster emerged. Local authorities are investigating whether the virus could have been imported along with frozen food since one of the patients worked at a cold storage unit.

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Chinese officials also suspended meat imports from three Ecuadorean companies this week after COVID-19 was found on packages of frozen prawns. Samples taken from inside the packages and from the prawns themselves tested negative for coronavirus.

“The results show that the container and the packaging of these companies are under the risk of becoming contaminated by the novel coronavirus. Experts said that while this does not mean they can transmit the virus, it shows that the management of food safety is not ideal,” Bi Kexin, director general of China’s Import and Export Food Safety Bureau, said about the suspect prawn imports.

In the case of the Shenzhen chicken wings, too, COVID-19 was found only on the surface of the chicken and the packaging of the meat—not inside the chicken itself……

Read More: Fortune

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