Appetizers

By Sandy Todd Webster
Apr 21, 2016

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

According to a report by Civil Eats writer Carey Gillam, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration will begin testing corn, soybeans and other foods for residual glyphosate, the most commonly used herbicide worldwide. Last year the World Health Organization asserted that the chemical, which is the active ingredient in the weed killer Roundup, is likely carcinogenic to humans. Farmers use glyphosate in tandem with genetically modified seeds that are designed to be impervious to it, yet the toxin has been linked to environmental and health problems. Its maker, Monsanto, insists it is safe.

The heightened awareness surrounding contemporary food waste has brought about many innovations. Perhaps none are as leading-edge as those bubbling around aquafaba, the cloudy juice derived from sieving canned chickpeas. On many social media channels it’s all the rage, especially among vegans. This neutral base can be blended with other ingredients under high speed to create ingenious and delicious creamy substitutes for mayonnaise, egg whites, mousse-like desserts, puddings and other seemingly endless applications. Google it and learn, or join one of the Facebook groups where so many of the unlikely recipes are being served up.

Rebranding any product can be tricky business, but often the whys behind overhauling a food marketing strategy are obvious. Case in point: Which would pique your interest—“nutritional yeast” or its slangy brother, “nooch”? Although a long-established and much-loved umami powerhouse of vegan and vegetarian flavor cultures, nutritional yeast doesn’t exactly roll off the tongue. Nooch, on the other hand, is as easy to sprinkle into conversation as it is to shake onto popcorn, salad, pasta or pretty much any dish that would benefit from a savory pop. Originally used to boost nutrition in veg diets, this complete protein is basically baking yeast that’s been grown on molasses and deactivated through pasteurization. Do you use it? Tell us how: [email protected] .

You may have watched Anthony Bourdain eat every kind of street food around the world on television, but it doesn’t necessarily mean that a bowl of pho in Saigon is going to be digestion-friendly for your tender Western gut. If you’ve ever fallen ill during international travel and attributed it to something you ate or drank, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s new Can I Eat This? app may be the missing tool in your bag of wanderlust tricks. Simply select the country you’re in and answer a few basic questions about what you are about to eat or drink; the app will tell you, based on CDC data, whether it’s likely to be safe. Access this and other CDC travelers’ health apps at wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/page/apps-about .

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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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