Surprising Side Effects of Eating Chickpeas, According to Science

Roasted chickpeas

If you’re a vegetarian or try to eat plant-based most of the time, you’re likely familiar with chickpeas. This high-protein legume is part of the ‘bean’ family and is a tasty component of many recipes. In just one cup, eating chickpeas offers your body 10 to 15 grams of protein, 9 to 12 grams of fiber, 4 grams of fat, and 34 to 45 grams of carbohydrates. In short: they’re a powerhouse of nutrients.

They can be served soft or crunchy, salty or slightly sweet, and they still offer lots of vitamins and minerals. When you include chickpeas in your meal planning, you’ll give your body a wellness boost. Pay attention to how you feel after eating chickpeas. If you start to have any sort of stomach issues or other symptoms, consult your doctor. Though most people enjoy the taste and benefits of these bite-sized legumes, some may not digest them well.

From what creates addicting hummus to the perfect addition on top of a salad or warm bowl, chickpeas are a mostly healthy addition to your balanced diet. Here, we explore the side effects of eating chickpeas, including the good and the not-so-good. And for even more healthy tips be sure to check out our list of The 7 Healthiest Foods to Eat Right Now.

They help with digestion.

Fiber is an essential part of digestion, and yet, some people struggle to get enough of it every day. Luckily, chickpeas soar in this category, particularly with a high dose of soluble fiber called raffinose. This helps you to digest your food more slowly since the good kind of bacteria breaks down the raffinose. Also, bowel movements might be more comfortable and more frequent, according to one study about chickpeas.

Here are 9 Warning Signs You’re Not Eating Enough Fiber.

They can help lower cholesterol.

For optimum vitality and energy, it’s essential to manage your cholesterol. How come? This stat can contribute to heart disease, obesity, strokes, and other serious illnesses. Because chickpeas are packed with soluble fiber, it improves our gut health and thus, lowers our cholesterol levels.

Along with chickpeas, here are 17 Foods That Lower Cholesterol.

They may lower your cancer risk.

Our bodies are impressive things, able to fight disease, create organs during pregnancy and protect us against viruses, environmental factors, and more. When we feed our body nutrient-rich foods, like eating chickpeas, it’s like giving ourselves a helping hand. In fact, when we consume chickpeas, our bodies produce ‘butyrate,’ a short-chain fatty acid. Some studies have shown this fatty acid can fight sick and/or dying cells. Another study goes a step further and says this could lower our overall risk for colorectal cancer!

They give you stronger bones.

Like many other legumes, chickpeas are packed with fiber, magnesium, and calcium. These present many wonders for our body, but one of the most significant is building stronger healthier bones.

Canned chickpeas should be eaten within a year.

As with anything that’s packaged from a manufacturer, canned chickpeas often contain an added preservative to ensure freshness and taste. Though this doesn’t pose a risk most of the time, in some cases, the metal could be problematic. One study conducted by the University of Minnesota found that sometimes, the cans or lids can rust and leak into our food. That’s why it’s best to store canned goods in a dry, dark place and consume them within one year of purchase.

Be careful of botulism.

Though the risk for contracting botulism from canned goods is very low, it’s still there, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Botulism is common when someone cans food at home, and the canning process wasn’t done properly. This serious illness is rare and is caused by bacteria that disrupt the nervous system. Sometimes, when canned foods aren’t stored properly, this bacteria can thrive, particularly in low-salt, low-oxygen, and low-sugar solutions, like chickpeas.

They’re only healthy if you don’t overdo it.

Since chickpeas are healthy, you can have as much as you’d like, right? Not so much. While they are a source of protein, fiber, iron, and zinc, they can also be turned into various snacks and meals that rack up the calories and fat components. Two examples are hummus and falafel, both of which should be eaten in moderation.

They may not be gluten-free—even if they say they are.

If you pay attention to the packaging on chickpeas in Whole Foods, Trader Joe’s, and any other grocery store, you’ll notice ‘gluten-free’ isn’t printed on their label. But, since legumes don’t contain legumes or other sources of gluten, shouldn’t that messaging be apparent? The reason manufacturers shy away from this language is due to the risk of cross-contamination. Some preserves could be derived from grains, so to be on the safe side, they don’t call it a gluten-free food.

So if you find yourself with a can of chickpeas and you’re ready to reap the benefits of this nutritional superstar, check out our list of 29 Healthy Chickpea Recipes.

Source: Surprising Side Effects of Eating Chickpeas, According to Science | Eat This Not That

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World’s Largest Insect Protein Farm Signals Future Of Food Supply

The frontier of the agriculture industry is about to take a big step closer to going mainstream. 

Chicago-based food processing company Archer Daniels Midland ADM +0.4% (ADM) and InnovaFeed, a French firm that makes insect protein for animal feed, plan to begin building what will be the world’s largest insect protein facility in 2021 in the city of Decatur in central Illinois. 

The partnership between ADM, a $28 billion giant, and the startup InnovaFeed amounts to a vote of confidence in a nascent industry that could one day play a key role in the global agriculture sector. 

“I’m in awe. If they can pull this off, it will be magnificent,” said Jeffrey Tomberlin, a professor and entomologist at Texas A&M University who has done pioneering research on insect protein. “This facility will be several times bigger than anything else in the world,” Tomberlin said. 

ADM and InnovaFeed plan to grow and harvest billions of an extraordinary insect called black soldier fly, whose larvae consume prodigious quantities of organic material and convert it into nutrient-rich protein that can then be sold as animal feed. ADM and InnovaFeed aim to produce up to 60,000 metric tons of animal feed protein per year, plus 20,000 metric tons of oils for poultry and swine rations and 400,000 tons of fertilizer.

Black soldier fly larvae will eat just about anything — including non-compostable food waste bound for landfills — and produce hundreds of times more protein per acre than traditional animal feed sources. The new plant will give ADM and InnovaFeed a foothold in the burgeoning market for sustainably sourced food at a time when consumers’ environmental awareness is growing.

The plant would be a major step toward mainstreaming the insect protein industry, which aims to feed farm animals and aquaculture not corn, soybeans or fishmeal — common types of animal feed — but instead black soldier fly larvae and other grubs. If widely scaled-up, this would mean vastly reducing the carbon footprint and land requirements of farm animals, especially those raised for slaughter. For every kilogram of meat they produce, cows and sheep require around eight kilograms of grains, pigs require about four kilograms and chickens need 1.6 kilograms, according to one estimate. Growing that much grain requires intensive use of land and water.

The process for efficiently cultivating black soldier flies wasn’t well understood until the early 2000s — a big reason why the insect protein industry today remains small, consisting almost entirely of startups, including many in Europe, according to Tomberlin, the Texas A&M professor. InnovaFeed, itself only a few years old, runs the current world’s largest facility, in Nesle, France. The new Decatur facility will produce around four times as much animal feed per year. 

Early backers see great potential as demand for sustainably sourced food continues to grow. More than half of U.S. consumers say they want sustainable food, according to a 2019 survey by the International Food Information Council, a nonprofit. Three out of five people in the U.K. are willing to pay more for environmentally friendly food options, according to a survey of 1,000 people by professional services firm GHD released in November. 

The success of plant-based meat companies this year, such as Impossible Foods, has raised hopes of shrinking the agriculture sector’s carbon footprint: the food industry is responsible for one-quarter of global greenhouse gas emissions. 

The black soldier flies at the new facility, which will be run by InnovaFeed, will gorge themselves on various corn products that ADM already produces at its Decatur facilities. Normally, these corn products would undergo several rounds of additional processing before finally being transported to an end customer, explained Sapna Sanders, InnovaFeed’s Project Director for North America, in an interview. 

“We’re able to avoid all those energy-intensive steps,” Sanders said. 

The arrangement suits both. ADM gets to avoid the expense and hassle of further processing its corn products. InnovaFeed gets to produce and sell its animal feed, oils and fertilizer to a range of customers. One of its contracts is with the food and drink behemoth Cargill, the second-largest private company in America. 

In the future, black soldier fly larvae inside commercial facilities might be doing even more environmental heavy lifting — by eating up the mountains of food scraps and other human food leftovers otherwise headed for landfills. 

Roughly one-third of all the food produced in the world for human consumption each year, 1.3 billion tons, is lost or wasted, according to the U.N. Much of that ends up in landfills, where it can’t naturally biodegrade and ends up belching methane, a greenhouse gas dozens of times stronger than CO2. 

Part of the reason so much food winds up in landfills is that there aren’t any convenient alternatives, especially for waste that isn’t compostable. But black soldier flies would be happy to eat up all this landfill-bound waste: researchers have found they gladly eat even foods that can’t be composted. (They appear to be uninterested in hair and bones, however.) 

Bringing down the costs

The biggest obstacle to scaling the insect protein industry up further is cost. Insect protein is still more expensive as an animal feed product than, for example, fishmeal, or the parts of fish caught by commercial fishing companies that are not consumed by humans (such as offal or bones). Tomberlin has estimated that it will take five or so more years for insect protein to be cost-competitive with traditional animal feed sources, although the industry is still too young to know how far and quickly costs will fall.

The U.S. may not be the first to get there. Compared to Europe, the U.S. government has shown relatively little interest in helping the nascent industry get a leg up, Tomberlin said. Yet even more than Europe, China appears most interested in getting the insect protein industry to commercial scale, he said. It already has some of the largest and most efficient black soldier fly facilities in the world and is intensively innovating, according to Tomberlin. 

Nevertheless, that one of America’s largest food companies sees commercial value in insect protein is perhaps a sign that a widespread role for it at the heart of the agriculture sector is perhaps not too far away.

Correction: An earlier photo that accompanied this story pictured another type of larvae, not black soldier fly larvae, as captioned. Follow me on Twitter or LinkedIn

Scott Carpenter

Scott Carpenter

I cover the energy industry, with a focus on fossil fuels. Formerly I covered oil markets in Africa, the Mediterranean and the Mideast Gulf for commodities publication Argus Media in London. I graduated from the London School of Economics with a masters degree in 2017. Contact me at scott.carpenter.freelance@gmail.com.

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CGTN Europe

The world’s largest insect farm is to be built in northern France as a company seeks to meet the growing demand for food. French firm Ynsect has raised $224 million from investors to build a farm in the French city of Amiens due to open in early 2022. Amid a growing demand for protein, the farm will produce 100,000 tonnes of insect products such as flour and oil per year as well as creating 500 new jobs. Read more 👉 https://newseu.cgtn.com/news/2020-10-… 🔴 Subscribe to CGTN Europe Youtube channel for all the latest on Business, Technology, Environment and Current Affairs 🔴 Follow CGTN Europe on social media 👇🏼 Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/cgtneuropeof… Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/cgtneurope/ Twitter: https://twitter.com/CGTNEurope

5 Ways European Entrepreneurs are Using Food Technologies During Covid-19

In these grave and uncertain times of the Covid-19 global pandemic of 2020 and beyond, investors are eager to take advantage of the creative ways entrepreneurs and safe food-delivery services not only help mankind but help save the planet from the energy required to get food to your table. Front-runner investors who have focused on the e-commerce and delivery services of the food industry are now ready to augment their investments in new food technologies.

According to Forward Fooding, the food delivery sector represents less than 1 percent of the total food retail market even though these investments continue to grow at a whopping 451 percent. The next largest smart money is in consumer apps, up 348 percent and kitchen and restaurant tech up 245 percent.

DigitalFoodLab’s newsletter, FoodTech, estimates that European food tech startups raised €2.4B in private capital in 2019, a 70 percent increase from 2018. Even though investment in agricultural tech has dropped (-11 percent), investors in green technology see a future in funding European AgTech startups, like the platform XFARM, as this economic area raised €3M series A in December, 2019—a close second to the U.S. market.

Here are five interesting ways European entrepreneurs are using food tech during the pandemic:

1. Farmers’ platform

This platform created by farmers for farmers claims it can raise efficiency of a farm to its “limits” by improving irrigation, protection and fertilization based on data entered into the XFARM platform and linking data to sensors that are designed for agricultural use. Its modules, available in both Italian and English, can be customized to your farming needs.

For example, think about the grapes for your fall harvest that are dependent on weather fluctuations due to climate change and how monitoring the irrigation, protection and fertilization could augment your sound judgment to ensure a perfect crop for that pinot noir!

2. Farm cupboards

What if you aren’t a farmer but want to grow your own produce and have no space to do it? Agrilution offers little fitted farm cupboards. Its main product made in Germany is “Plantcube” that is about the size of a small fridge and can be built right into or added onto the kitchen design. Its glass door is attractive and offers instant sensuous pleasure of your home grown lettuces, parsley, rosemary and thyme.

3. Ugly produce

Speaking of produce, Finland developed a successful startup now in the UK called Oddbox. This is a delivery service of “rescued” food from local farms that would otherwise be thrown out.

It claims to rescue delicious, fresh fruit and veggies for being too odd, too big, too small, having cosmetic defects or even being too many from local farms and delivers it to your doorstep. And its site says that if food waste was a country, it would be the third largest emitter of greenhouse gasses that threaten our planet.

4. Italian pasta

No waste here! Sustainable sourced ingredients from small farms in Italy will be used on a seasonal basis to create pasta kits. On the horizon is EKOOK. You will be able to choose your recipe of “fresh organic and wholesome Italian-style pasta kits” from its soon-to-be-launched website, promising next-day delivery to your home.

According to the press release, inside the kit are two QR codes: “one will open a video tutorial guiding you on how to best prepare and serve your pasta dish in the traditional style. The second provides a link to a playlist curated to enhance your dining experience, pairing sound to your palate for a full sensory experience.”

This enterprise also plans to offer the usual payment methods including AMEX and cryptocurrency. And yes, the popup chats on EKOOK’s website, complete with a chef’s image, will be instant. Plan on this coming soon to Italy and the U.S.

5. No guilt

How about an app that lets you calculate the nutrition values in that homemade Italian-style pasta to which you added scampi and an arugula salad? Just take a photo of your meal on your smart phone with Foodvisor, and the values come up. This nifty little app also lets you keep a diary and calculates your personal nutrition goals. And you can add the measurement of your physical activities (safely done outside and with masks these days) to check your established exercise goals. No guilt here! Just pleasure in instantly knowing that your healthy and safe goals are being met.

So, dive right into food tech with its really fun ways to use and invest in smart technology to save time, energy, the planet, and keep you safe. 

By: Giovanbattista Cimmino Entrepreneur Leadership Network VIP

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Future of Food Technology in Light of Covid-19 (for Students) | Hindi In this video, Dr Prabodh Halde (Head Regulatory-Marico Ltd. & Ex-President AFST(I)) has briefly talked about the future and scope of food technology in light of Covid-19. This video is especially meant to encourage students. food technology, foodtechsimplified, food science, food processing, scope of food technology, why food technology, food technologist, food technology major, future of food technology, scope of food technology in India, career in food technology, career in food processing, career in food science, career in food industry, food technology career, food technology jobs #foodtechnology#foodtechsimplified#covid19

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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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Côte at Home Shows How To Do Home Delivery With Flair Assuming Dinner Turns Up

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A Saturday night and my phone pings. It’s an email from a well-known courier company. Earlier that day they’d confirmed that my delivery from a high-street restaurant chain would arrive the next day. Now they were telling me it was cancelled: “Contact the sender directly for more information.” At 9.30pm on a Saturday night? Gosh, thanks. Last month, when I wrote about the enduring appeal of French food in Britain, I was emailed by a senior person from the high street bistro chain Côte. They had just launched their Côte at Home range, available nationwide. Would I like to try it?

I turn down over 95% of the freebies offered to me. Partly this is because I am drenched in enough privilege as it is. Wet through, I am. Also, where would I put it all? Mostly, though, I decline such because I’d prefer to experience products as other customers would. I’ve never eaten in a branch of Côte, but many people have told me they rather like them: a fair price point, reliable food and good service. (Complaints in 2015 about the unfair use of tips to top up wages led to a change in policy.) Accordingly, I declined the offer of Côte at Home for free and instead booked it myself. Now, here I was very much experiencing the gorgeous life of a valued customer: it was a Saturday night, I’d spent £85, and my planned dinner for Sunday night had disappeared, along with the contents of this column.

‘A generous portion of for £4.95’: roasted asparagus.

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‘A generous portion of for £4.95’: roasted asparagus.

Sod that. What’s the point of being thickly glazed in privilege if you don’t use it? I emailed the Côte exec. Much hand wringing. Apparently six packages had been lost by the couriers. It would be reorganised. Of course it would. Five other people probably have me to thank for their delivery turning up that Sunday, because I do wonder what would have happened if I hadn’t made a stink.

I mention this partly because it would have been far less than full disclosure not to, but mostly because I want them to sort it out. The thing is that Côte at Home is really good. Not just “good considering they’re a high street chain”, or “not bad at the price”. It’s proper good, in the way you tell your neighbours about over the garden wall while dissing the government’s latest knuckle-dragging stupidity. The online selection is so extensive – not just ready meals but cheeses, wines and butchery – that I wondered whether a food service company was involved. Apparently not. Côte introduced a central kitchen for some of their dishes a while back and, with the additions of a few buy-ins, it all comes from there.

Be prepared for packaging that recalls hardcore M&S: recyclable film-sealed plastic trays with cardboard sleeves bearing the legend “Handmade in the UK.” The labelling is supermarket ready, from allergens, through nutritional advice to ingredients and barcodes, with a chilled shelf life of a week. Look closely at those ingredients. It’s what those in the food business call a “clean dec” (short for clean declaration). It’s all words you would recognise, rather than the sort of preservatives and emulsifiers that allow certain foods to outlive that kitten you just acquired. The pokey vinaigrette, with a generous portion of roasted asparagus for £4.95, is made with Dijon mustard, red wine vinegar and oil, just as mine is. The gazpacho, more than enough for two, and again for £4.95, is made with such exotic ingredients as tomatoes, cucumbers, red and green peppers, garlic and olive oil. It tastes as if it has just been blitzed in my own kitchen. I check. I hadn’t blitzed it in my own kitchen. There are brioche croutons and basil leaves to add. It’s bright and fresh with a strident peppery kick.

Have you ever stood in a supermarket aisle peering at ready-meal portion sizes, muttering: “Which two people is this for? A couple of four-year-olds who are off their food?” No? Just me then. These dishes pass that test. The most expensive is the beef bourguignon at £13.95 for two including a portion of their mash, the arrival of which shames me. But then it’s part of the deal and I’m working, OK? It’s a proper serving for two of me, made with long-cooked boulders of shin, glugs of cabernet sauvignon, lardons, veal jus and a fat old dollop of time. It is ripe and unctuous and could stick your lips together on a chilly day. It gives Tom Kerridge’s recent beef cheek bourguignon serious competition.

‘It’s a proper serving for two of me’: beef bourguignon.

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‘It’s a proper serving for two of me’: beef bourguignon.

Other highlights: a lamb parmentier that the packaging translates as a shepherd’s pie, made with both mince and pieces of lamb that have disintegrated graciously. There is salmon with ratatouille, and to finish, an impressive lemon and Armagnac posset spun through with zest for £3.50, or a classy apple tarte fine for £4.50. Home preparation has been considered. The oven needs to be at 200C for all of it, and cooking times are in multiples of 10 minutes, making it straightforward to get the dishes out in the right order. A slight niggle: the mash that I hated myself for having and the minted peas, required a microwave, which I don’t own. I did them on the hob. They were fine. I’d be very surprised if this service didn’t continue once the crisis ends, and far less surprised if the products turned up in supermarkets, though they’ll be hard pushed to maintain the current price point once retailers take a cut.

One other delivery: the small Mumbai-inspired group Dishoom have launched a kit enabling you to make their rightly famed bacon naans at home for £16, delivered via Deliveroo from their three London outposts. This did come to me for free, because I was then outside the catchment area, but I made a donation to the charity Magic Breakfast, which provides breakfasts in schools to kids who need them. (Dishoom makes a donation to Magic Breakfast for every kit sold).

‘Rightly famed’: Dishoom bacon naans.

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‘Rightly famed’: Dishoom bacon naans. Photograph: Charlie McKay

It’s a lot of fun, and is now available nationwide. You get the three pots of dough, so you have one to screw up (or fill yourself). Roll the dough out, put it into a fiercely hot dry pan for 30 seconds then under the grill for a minute. Works a treat. There’s cream cheese, tomato chilli jam, coriander and very good streaky bacon from Ramsay of Carluke. The good things to have come out of this crisis are few, but a Dishoom bacon naan at home is one of them. Next week this column should find me eating in an actual restaurant. Or just outside one. Fingers crossed.

Visit coteathome.co.uk and dishoomathome.com

News bites

A London-based wine company, Nice, was due to launch an Argentinean Malbec in recyclable cans for the 2020 music festival circuit, to go with their sauvignon blanc and rosé that went on sale in 2019. Now, with a lot of sturdy red wine on their hands, they’ve bottled it and are selling it with all profits going to NHS charities. ‘Wine for heroes’ is available via selected retailers, Amazon and their own website, nice-drinks.co.uk.

One issue of the furlough scheme for the restaurant trade has been that income from service charges through ‘tronc’ schemes was not regarded as the salary upon which government payments were calculated. Many employees, already on modest salaries, saw incomes cut in half during the crisis. It’s shone a light on what many see as the problematical nature of restaurant staff depending upon tips, by their nature variable, to get by. Now London restaurants Oklava and Hill and Szrok have joined a few others by announcing the scrapping of all service charges. The headline price of dishes will go up, but there will be no extra to pay and staff salaries will be guaranteed. Let’s hope it catches on.

A survey of 2,000 people by research company Perspectus Global has found that Lady and the Tramp sharing spaghetti is the most loved movie restaurant scene of all time. The top ten also includes Meg Ryan’s faked orgasm at Katz Deli in When Harry Met Sally and Mia and Vincent going for a burger in Pulp Fiction.

 

By:

 

Source: https://www.theguardian.com

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Better Fettuccine: How Companies Are Reinventing Pasta For The Low-Carb Era

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There are few things more comforting than a big bowl of . Noodles of one kind or another are a staple in virtually every culture worldwide. Fom soba to spaghetti, these carby basics — most commonly made from wheat or rice — have their place in world-class restaurants and the most amateur of kitchens.

But even if noodles are a universally-loved culinary cornerstone (and a $60 billion industry, globally), they’re not impervious to the winds of change. As alternative and restricted become better-known in the mainstream, food scientists and startups are finding new ways to make noodles that offer something different. And consumers are taking notice.

As awareness continues to spread about celiac disease and related intolerances or allergies, consumers are looking more and more into – and wheat-free pasta alternatives. And it’s big business: Currently estimated around $909 million, the gluten-free pasta market is expected to reach a valuation of over $1 billion by 2025. And gluten avoiders aren’t the only ones pushing for different kinds of pasta. Thanks in part to the continued popularity of the keto diet, weight- and health-conscious consumers are shying away from carbs in favor of diets high in protein and fat. For a slew of reasons, people today are hoping to get something else out of their favorite pasta and noodle dishes. It’s no longer enough for a gluten-free pasta to just taste like the regular kind — it’s got to have some additional benefits as well.

Pasta that packs a punch

For those looking to skip gluten or just add more protein to their favorite meals, new options abound. The company Explore Cuisine sells a variety of pastas made from non-traditional, high-protein plant ingredients like edamame, chickpeas, and lentils. Their spirulina and edamame spaghetti, for instance, packs a whopping 24g of protein and 60% of your recommended daily iron – a big difference for such a simple swap from traditional pasta. They also make high-protein rice alternatives, made from chickpea and lentil, called “risoni” for those looking to bulk up their rice dishes with some added protein and fiber.

And they’re not the only ones. Banza’s chickpea-based pastas continue to earn high marks from the gluten-sensitive as well as gluten lovers. The plant-based dry noodles are an easy and tasty swap to make for some extra fiber and protein in a simple at-home meal. Ancient Harvest is another leader in the space, making not only high-protein gluten-free pastas out of lentils, but also noodles made from organic blends of corn, brown rice and quinoa that are renowned for their taste and texture. For even more power in your pasta, they also make veggie noodles which are also gluten-free and include kale, cauliflower, and spinach – perfect for picky eaters of any age looking to get some more vitamins and nutrients in their diets. Also packing veggies into their pasta is Veggiecraft Farms. The brand makes simple, high-fiber, high-protein pastas out of cauliflower, sweet potato, and zucchini – for when you want your veggies, but zoodles just won’t cut it.

Not your grandma’s rice

Not all innovators in the alternative pasta and rice space are completely taking out the traditional ingredients, however — some are simply supplementing them. RightRice makes a rice-based, rice-shaped grain bolstered with chickpeas, peas, and lentils for added protein, fiber, iron, 40 percent fewer net carbs and a lower glycemic index than regular rice. For a quick meal on busy nights, they also sell ready-to-cook rice medleys in varieties like cajun spice and harvest pilaf.

And as proof that it’s not just the meat-heavy ketoers taking a turn toward alternative pasta, note that Trifecta Nutrition’s vegan meal plans include lots of pasta dishes, all of which are gluten free. The meal delivery service recognizes that few consumers are single-issue eaters nowadays.

As health-conscious eaters try to get less of certain things and more of others — trading carbs for protein and gluten for veggies — there’s money in it for companies that can keep up. Brands that offer nutritious noodle and rice alternatives – especially those that manage to taste good – might just get a share of the growing market.

Brian Kateman

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Source: https://www.entrepreneur.com

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Nestlé Health Science Acquires Vital Proteins

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Nestlé Health Science (NHSc), a global leader in the field of nutritional science, has agreed to acquire a majority stake in Vital Proteins, America’s top-selling collagen brand. This is the first major acquisition of a collagen-based wellness company to date. Vital Proteins was founded in 2013 by Kurt Seidensticker based on the belief that whole-food-based collagen nutrition is fundamental to maintaining overall health and longevity. Since launching, Vital Proteins has become the leading collagen brand in America, growing their annual sales above $100 million within the span of four years. The company’s brand’s portfolio includes over 150 collagen-based supplements, vitamins and food and beverage products.

Vital Proteins will continue to operate as a standalone business, “remaining committed to its founding mission of helping people live healthier lives through high quality, sustainably-sourced collagen nutrition,” according to a company statement. Seidensticker said that becoming a part of the NHSc portfolio will equip Vital Proteins with a variety of resources to scale the company’s reach and innovation. “I spent a lot of time having conversations with people I respected in the CPG space, in addition to leadership from companies that could eventually be a future partner. Through those conversations it became clear that NHSc was really aligned with our brand values, our mission and purpose to empower healthier lives,” he said.

“I’ve always envisioned Nestlé as the ideal partner and have enjoyed getting to know their team, their vision and their values. I also spent time talking to the founders of another like-minded wellness company whom I respect, to see who they thought was a good fit for their organization, and they felt Nestlé was the ideal partner as well. With Nestlé’s support, we will be able to leverage new resources, scale and capabilities, moving towards a future with an expanded global offering of high-quality nutrition products. The possibilities with Nestlé have reignited my imagination of all that Vital can be.”

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Vital Proteins complements NHSc’s other vitamin, mineral, supplement and wellness brands, including Atrium Innovations, Garden of Life, Pure Encapsulations and Persona. “This is an exciting opportunity for Nestlé Health Science to enter a growing area of nutrition with a successful brand,” said Greg Behar, CEO of NHSc. “The collagen nutrition market is growing, and Vital Proteins has shown its strength by becoming a full lifestyle brand which will perfectly complement our other vitamin, mineral and supplement brands.”

Board member and investor Brett Thomas, cofounder and managing partner of CAVU Venture Partners, credits much of the company’s success to Seidensticker’s leadership. “Kurt was a visionary founder who set out not only to create a category but to define a lifestyle—and we were believers,” said Thomas. “It was this passion, paired with his exceptional leadership skills and clear ability to execute that ultimately drove the brand’s success.” Seidensticker will remain in his role as Vital Proteins CEO, based out of the company’s headquarters in Chicago, IL.

“It speaks volumes about Vital Proteins as a wellness platform and moreover Kurt as a leader that such a great strategic partnership was formed amidst all the uncertainty in the world,” added Thomas. Since the outbreak of the pandemic, Vital Proteins has seen a more than 50% increase in demand for their products. “Consumers are now even more focused on their health and well-being in the midst of this pandemic. The appetite for authentic wellness brands that are rooted in science should remain high, particularly ones which know how to effectively communicate with Millennials and Gen-Z,” explained Romitha Mally, Vice Chairman at UBS who helped orchestrate this deal, as well as Dollar Shave Club and Sundial Brands/SheaMoisture’s sales to Unilever, Bai’s sale to Dr. Pepper Snapple Group and Primal Kitchen’s acquisition by Kraft Heinz.

To support the growth of the business, Nestlé plans to explore geographic and product expansion while maintaining the elements of the Vital Proteins brand that make it popular among consumers. Vital Proteins’ 150 unique products (representing a total of 250 variants of those products) are sold across 35,000 retail doors in North America and Europe, including Whole Foods, Costco, Target, Walgreens and Kroger.

Follow me on Twitter or LinkedIn. Check out some of my other work here.

Writer of all things and host of ‘I Suck At Life‘ podcast.

Source: http://www.forbes.com

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Big Food Proves That Reinventing Itself Is Good For Its Immunity

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As the Covid-19 pandemic appears to ebb in many areas of the world, governments, businesses and consumers are grappling with how quickly they can return to “normal.” I’m really hoping this doesn’t happen for the food industry.

The coronavirus pandemic forced many food companies to rethink what they sell, how they make it, and how they deliver it – all with the public good in mind. Some have changed their practices in all three areas, and in ways many did not think was possible before.

The takeaway: Food companies are capable of profound change if they have the will. If Big Food companies don’t learn this lesson – if they don’t vow to keep innovating and embedding social impact into their mission without the pandemic’s gun to their head — they may not succeed long term. Here’s why: The pandemic only accelerated trends well under way in consumer behavior. Those trends include a growing awareness of the link between food and health, a deep concern for the environment and a disdain for companies that don’t consider stakeholders beyond stockholders.

During the pandemic, the halos around the noblest food companies have only grown brighter. Chobani donated more than 3 million cups of yogurt to food banks around the U.S. and ramped up production to do so, buying more milk from dairy farmers hit hard by the decline in the restaurant business. Unilever gave more than 100 million Euros worth of soap, sanitizer, bleach and food to national health organizations and non-government bodies to distribute to communities in need. Texas-based grocery chain H-E-B – one of the first supermarket companies to implement safety measures and impose limits on shopper purchase quantities for some foods — is offering prepared foods from local restaurants in its stores and giving the restaurants all of the profits. And Anheuser-Busch and Coca-Cola are making hand sanitizer and donating it to Covid-19 health care workers.

But for other companies, the pandemic only made them look worse. Behemoth meat packers Smithfield, Tyson and JBS were hit hard by the coronavirus outbreaks, and drew comparisons to Upton Sinclair’s 1906 muckraking novel, “The Jungle,” because of their crowded factory floors and harsh working conditions that fueled the virus’ spread. In March, a South Dakota Smithfield plant reportedly became the nation’s largest cluster of Covid-19 cases, with 518 employees testing positive and in turn infecting 126 non-employees. Shutdowns and reduced operations at meatpackers resulting from Covid-19 outbreaks are causing  shortages that will likely persist for a while.

Consumers are not likely to forget what certain companies did during the epidemic. The pandemic is turbo-charging an overall concern for health, economic inequality and the environment that was already in place. Here are some shifts in thinking that were pushed further as a result of the crisis:

Food and Health

More people around the world are thinking more carefully about the link between food and health. In a survey of consumers in 18 countries regarding their attitudes about food as a result of the pandemic, 73% said they are changing the way they eat to improve their health and immunity. An International Food Information Council (IFIC) survey of American consumers showed that more than half of Millennials, the largest generational cohort, prioritize health when choosing food. They will now be more deliberate about their food choices.

Income and Health Inequality

The pandemic has also laid bare the health gap between the haves and have-nots. The World Economic Forum recently pointed out the tragedies of food waste, food insecurity and food overconsumption. It urged food companies to rethink how they make and distribute their products. “We have a food-storage and distribution problem, alongside a systemic and growing gluttony problem, not just a production problem,” the WEF says. Among Millennials 83% state that businesses should be involved in societal issues.

Food and the Environment

With disruptions in the food supply and evidence of lower pollution as a result of the coronavirus crisis, the food industry’s environmental impact will undergo even more scrutiny as its supply system contributes to 24% of all greenhouse gas emissions. As shutdowns at meatpacking plants continue to add to shortages, companies like Beyond Meat are making inroads. According to a University of Michigan study commissioned by that company, a plant-based burger generates 90% less greenhouse gas emissions, requires 45% less energy, has 99% less impact on water scarcity, and 93% less impact on land use than a quarter pound of traditional U.S. beef. Sales of meat alternatives like Beyond Meat have nearly tripled, according to Nielsen sales tracking reports.

Food companies everywhere must recognize that their customers have changed. The companies that don’t incorporate social impact into their corporate missions will lose out. Some things they must do:

  • Embrace purpose as the new profit. Companies that demonstrate social impact leadership and that imbue their employees with a sense of purpose are seeing that doing the right thing is good business. Consider that Unilever’s “Sustainable Living” brands grew 69% faster than its other businesses in 2018. Over the past few years, 85% of companies with a clearly articulated and understood purpose experienced positive sales increases, and 58% saw growth of at least 10%, according to a LinkedIn survey. And according to PwC’s Workforce of the Future survey, 88% of Millennials say they want to work for a company with a purpose.
  • Lead in providing healthier foods that are sustainable. The success of meat alternatives during the pandemic is likely to continue even when meat supplies return to normal. Newly aware of the impact that meat production has on the environment, consumers will likely keep buying plant sources of protein. Food companies must find a way to capture business from the growing number of these “flexitarians” and continue to add new products that promote better health.
  • Fix your own house. Consumers are not likely to forget the images of cramped meat production lines, exhausted supermarket workers and overworked Amazon warehouse employees. Social media will help them remember. Demonstrating care for your employees during both good and bad times will help consumers want to buy more of your products.

Over the next few months, as the U.S. and other parts of the world cautiously re-open, leaders of food companies making products that impair our health must examine their consciences. Their innovative responses to the pandemic prove they are capable of making rapid, big and beneficial-to-society changes.

Follow me on Twitter or LinkedIn. Check out my website.

I am a former food industry executive turned author, speaker and public health champion whose mission is to guide corporations on how to profitably transition their businesses to drive positive social change. Dubbed a “pragmatic revolutionary,” I currently serve as a senior fellow at the Hudson Institute, a policy think tank in Washington, D.C., where I direct its Food Policy Center which has been supported by sponsors such as the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Healthy Weight Commitment Foundation. I am the author of the book Stuffed: An Insider’s Look at Who’s (Really) Making America Fat and the landmark report “Better-for-you Foods: It’s Just Good Business.” Most recently I served as architect for the confections industry commitment to reduce portion sizes and sell fewer calories and have moderated expert panels at the White House, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the Partnership for a Healthier America, among others.

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Food industry leaders from Wegmans, Rosina Foods, Rich Products, Tops, Clorox, and the Affinity Group discussed the impact the COVID-19 pandemic has had on the food industry. The event was sponsored by the Niagara University College of Business Administration’s Food Marketing Center of Excellence, Center for Supply Chain Excellence, and Family Business Center, in partnership with the Office of Career Services.

France’s Burger ‘King’ Asks For Help To Avoid Ecosystem Collapse

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Olivier Bertrand, one of France’s biggest restaurant owners has asked the government for assistance to ensure the sector doesn’t collapse. Bertrand owns over 850 eateries across France, ranging from Burger King to high-class brasseries such as Bofinger and Lipp in Paris.

In an interview with BFM TV, Bertrand said that if French restaurants had to reopen tomorrow it would lead to the collapse of the sector and the entire food ecosystem that supports it. He added that customers aren’t looking for a culinary experience which has a waitress in a safety visor and plexiglass between each table.

Bertrand has called on the government to introduce a package to help the industry, similar to the recent €18 package introduced to help the tourist sector. He has asked for four things:

Brasserie Lipp in Saint-Germain-des-Pres Square, Paris.

  1. That restaurants shouldn’t have to pay rent and property charges while they are closed.
  2. That as restaurants open, they should begin paying rent and charges on an incremental basis until they are operating at full capacity.
  3. That the government should keep its system of chomage partiel in place until the end of 2020 (where the government supplements up to 84% of normal incomes for people who have lost their jobs during the pandemic).
  4. That VAT should be reduced from 10% to 5.5%.

Bloomberg reported that the French restaurant industry currently counts more than 1 million people unemployed with the shutdown causing a loss of 13 billion euros ($14 billion) in sales. Bertrand said that the impact is being felt by big and small players and across the agriculture, animal raising and fishing sectors.

While France has emerged from lockdown, citizens cannot travel further than 100 km (62 miles) except for specific exceptions and restaurants, cafés and bars remain closed (although many are operating take away and delivery services). The government will take a decision on May 25 to see if they can reopen on 2 June.

I have lived in Provence ever since I exchanged my London city life for the charms of the south of France. I have a background in research, business and finance.

Source: https://www.forbes.com

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