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What's New in Food? IFT Expo Offers Tasty Innovations

candy and fudgeAttending the IFT Food Expo was a culinary adventure like none other.  In the course of two afternoons, I sampled countless products including a raspberry peach smoothie made with powdered chicken, protein-enhanced gummies made with collagen, gold stars made with edible film (decorating some scrumptious fudge), and a cracker-size square made from a pineapple core. 


The Expo not only provided experimental snacking but also an opportunity to get a handle on recent food trends and find out how the food industry is meeting the dietary needs and desires of various consumer populations (for example, by adding more fiber and/or protein; cutting down on salt, fat, or sugar; and eliminating gluten, pesticides, or GMOs). 

FAQs Answered By Our Board Scientists: on Chickens, Bananas, Old Salad Dressing, and More

banana hangerIs chicken sold at a farmers' market safe?  Why do some people hang up bananas?  If a bottle of salad dressing has no use-by date, how can a consumer find out if it's safe to use? Scientists serving on the Shelf Life Advice Advisory Board provide answers to these and two more food-related questions. Even if the questions are not one you'd ask, you'll find the answers interesting and enlightening.

Can Science and Technology Help You Save Food Dollars?

bluappleOne of the missions of Shelf Life Advice is to help consumers get the best and most food for dollars spent.  Our site is loaded with tips on how to shop smart so you spend less and how to store food properly so it lasts longer.  (Links to these articles are at the end of this piece.)  But this article provides additional help from your computer, your smart phone, and new inventions that claim to fight food spoilage.  Let's see what's available and consider what really saves money and what doesn't.

What's on the Menu in Cuba?

guavaWhy read about Cuban cuisine?  Here are three good reasons: 1) Now you can legally visit Cuba if you go with a U.S. licensed tour company and a specific mission.  2) If you like ethnic dining, you may want to know what's on the menu at your local Cuban restaurant.  3) You may even want to try some Cuban recipes at home--a cocktail with lime juice (we'll list many), a rum-spiked sauce, or a guava and cream cheese dessert. 


On our recent (perfectly legal and quite interesting) vacation in Cuba, my husband, daughter, and I also ate a huge amount of "Moors and Christians" and some "old clothes."   I kid you not.  Translated into Spanish, the first is "Moros y Cristianos;" which means black beans and rice, included in almost every meal we ate. "Old clothes" ("ropa vieja" in Spanish) were quite tasty; the dish is actually shredded (pulled) flank steak that's been slow-cooked in a sofrito sauce made of onions, tomatoes, and peppers. This dish was the only edible beef we encountered in Cuba.   Neither of these two dishes was new to us, but some foods we were served in Cuba we had never tasted before.  What follows is a brief report on what you're likely to find when you dine in Cuba or at a Cuban restaurant in the United States.

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