appetizers

Here's a taste of what's cooking in the nutrition world:

By Sandy Todd Webster
Jun 17, 2015

Coffee beans have long been cultivated and enjoyed, but until recently, no one really paid attention to the plant’s foliage. Two creative grad students in France got their “Aha!” moment when they saw the leaves could perhaps be used to make tea. After much testing, voilà! Now you can start your day or enjoy elevenses with coffee leaf tea. The clean-tasting tea—produced by Wize Monkey, the young entrepreneurs’ company, based in Vancouver, British Columbia—is low in caffeine (similar to decaf coffee) and high in polyphenols and antioxidants (reportedly even higher than green tea). Learn more at www.wizemonkey.com.

As long as we’re on the subject of innovation in the beverage category, have you tasted maple water yet? Though the product is not new to the Canadian
market, where maple is endemic, the product is just making its way into the U.S. and is being touted as the next coconut water. Health food store consumers in New England will likely be the first Americans to encounter it, but distribution should spread rapidly (it was being sampled on the show floor at Natural Products Expo-West in March). Have you tried maple water? Tell us what you think: [email protected]

Knee-high by the fourth of July? Ironically, the people in the world’s largest corn-producing nation—the US of A—do not directly consume, culinarily speaking, the vast majority of the corn produced here. Our more than 90 million acres of corn are earmarked almost entirely for feeding livestock, being processed into sweeteners (such as high-fructose corn syrup) and making corn oil and ethanol fuel. The organic corn that lands on Americans’ dinner plates is probably either imported or grown locally on small farms. A recent report from the Organic Trade Association and Pennsylvania State University says we import most of our organic corn from Romania ($11.6 million worth in 2014, compared with $545,000 in 2013). Turkey, the Netherlands and Canada, in that order, also feed our corn appetite.

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Sandy Todd Webster

Sandy Todd Webster is the editor in chief of IDEA’s award-winning publications. She is Precision Nutrition Level 1 certified and is a Rouxbe Certified Plant-Based Professional cook.

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