- Meat and Poultry
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- FAQs on Bacteria
- What are bacteria?
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- How dangerous is a staph infection?
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- How many types of bacteria are there?
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- Are Ceramic and Enamel Cookware Safe and Practical?
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- Do Cast Iron, Glass, Copper, and Titanium Cookware Have Any Disadvantages?
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- Is Stainless Steel Cookware a Good Choice?
- Is the New Silicone Rubberized Cookware Safe?
- Nonstick Cookware: Is it Dangerous?
- What Brands of Cookware are Recommended by Experts?
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- FAQs about Definitions
- Exactly what is meant by the phrase perishable food?
- Defining Some Current Language about Food
- What Does the Word “Foodie” Mean? It Depends Who(m) You Ask
- What do “sell by,” “best by/before,” “use by” and “expiration” mean?
- What does the term shelf life mean?
- What's in Our Food? Maybe Processing Aids, Maybe not
- “Fresh,” “Natural,” “Processed”—What Do These Words Mean?
- FAQs on Dropped Food
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- Exactly what defines a farmers’ market?
- Farmers' Markets: Why They're So Popular; How to Find One Near Your Home
- How should I handle produce at home?
- What foods are sold with restrictions at a farmers’ market?
- What should I bring to the farmers’ market?
- What shouldn’t I do or eat at a farmers’ market?
- What signs indicate a sanitary farmers’ market?
- What time of day is it best to go to a farmers’ market?
- FAQs on Food-borne Illness and Mishandling of Food
- About how many cases of food-borne illness occur in the U.S. each year?
- Answer Key to “How Much Do You Know about Safe Handling of Food?”
- How Much Do You Know about Safe Handling of Food?
- I Left It Out Too Long! Can I Still Eat It?
- Should Your Grocery Card Track Food-Borne Illnesses?
- Sudden, Awful Intestinal Distress--Is it the Flu or a Foodborne Illness--or Both?
- What YOU Can Do to Avoid Food-borne Illness
- What does the phrase food-borne illness refer to?
- FAQs on Food Product Dating
- Are stores required, by law, to remove outdated items from their shelves?
- Do most consumers actually pay attention to the dating on foods?
- Does the “use by” date matter once the product is frozen?
- Is information on food longevity and safety available by phone?
- What are expiration dates?
- What do the terms closed dating and open dating mean?
- What if there is no date on a product, and I don’t remember if I bought it a month ago or ten years ago?
- What should consumers know about food product dating?
- When Did You Buy It? When Did You Open It?
- When to Throw Food Out? Not on the Use-By Date
- Who establishes these product dates?
- Who requires and regulates dating on foods?
- Why do “best by” and “use by” dates sometimes seem conservative?
- FAQs on Food Safety
- "Is It Safe To….?" FAQs Answered by our Advisory Board
- FAQs about Ground Beef, Seasonings, Olive Oil, Lemon Wedges, and Fish
- FAQs about Mushrooms: Are they Very Dirty or Very Clean?
- FAQs about Soft Cheeses--What's Safe, What Isn't
- FAQs on BPA: the attacks continue, but are they justified?
- FAQs on Food Safety and Nutrition
- FAQs on Raw Fruits and Veggies—the Answers Can Protect Your Wallet and Your Health
- FAQs: Cutting Boards and Kitchen Counters--Selection and Care
- Food Bars/Buffets in Supermarkets--Is the food safe? How can you tell?
- Food/Meat Thermometers—What You Need to Know
- How Long Should Cheese Be Aged? Will the Rules Be Changed?
- How Long Will They REALLY Last? Part I: Non-perishables
- How Long Will They REALLY last? Part II: Perishables
- Imported Foods—What’s Safe, What’s Risky?
- Is It Safe? Is It Nutritious? More Survey Answers from Scientists
- Is It Time to Switch to Pasteurized Eggs?
- Is the Food Safety Modernization Act Making Our Food Supply Safer?
- More FAQs about Minimum Safe Cooking Temperatures: Pork and Other Perishables
- Sushi: Why Such a Short Shelf Life?
- Winter Food Storage—Can I leave It in the Car or in the Garage?
- Would You—Should You—Do You--Eat Irradiated Food?
- FAQs on Food Wrapping
- Are any plastic wraps or containers really “microwave safe”?
- Are some plastic wraps more effective than others?
- Can I refrigerate meat and poultry in its store wrapping?
- Can I use plastic freezer bags to store produce in the fridge?
- Can chemicals leach unto food from plastic wrap or containers?
- Do coated plastic bags really help produce last longer?
- Does aluminum foil give foods a metallic taste?
- Does exposure to aluminum cause Alzheimer’s disease?
- Everything You Need to Know about Wrapping Food Right
- How should fruits be wrapped before refrigeration?
- Is it safe to use aluminum foil in a microwave oven?
- Should I wrap raw vegetables loosely or tightly before refrigerating?
- What are some advantages and disadvantages of aluminum foil?
- What produce needs to be wrapped before refrigerating?
- What’s better for wrapping food—plastic or aluminum foil?
- Why does foil sometimes darken, discolor, and leave black specks on food?
- Will a foil cover help keep foods on the table hot or cold?
- FAQs on Freezing Food
- FAQs on Leftovers
- FAQs on Mold
- What is mold?
- Does mold ever grow on nonperishable food?
- Can I remove a moldy part from food and eat the rest?
- About how many different kinds of molds are there?
- How can I avoid getting mold on my refrigerated food?
- Is mold always visible?
- Are any molds harmless?
- What food groups are most susceptible to mold?
- What kinds of illnesses can result from eating moldy food?
- What kind of packaging protects foods from mold?
- What other safety tips will help prevent mold from growing?
- Why are some molds dangerous?
- FAQs on Organic Food
- What Is Organic Food?
- Are Organic Methods More Humane to Animals?
- Does Conventional Food Have a Longer Shelf Life Than Organic?
- Does Organic Food Taste Better than Conventional Food?
- Is Organic Food More Nutritious Than Conventional Food?
- Is Organically Grown Food Better for the Environment?
- What Do the Various Organic Labels Mean?
- What Important Contributions Has the Organic Movement Made?
- Which Are Safer: Organic or Conventional Food Products?
- Will Organic Baby Food Make Baby Healthier?
- FAQs on Oxidation: How It Affects Foods
- FAQs about Plastic Products Used with Food
- Pyrex® Glassware: Is it safe to use?
- Are plastic bags safe to use in the microwave?
- Are some plastic wraps safer and/or more effective than others?
- Are there any health risks from reusing plastic water bottles by refilling them with tap water?
- Are we eating chemicals from plastics along with our food?
- Can I microwave food in my plastic containers?
- Does the plastic used in water bottles pose a health risk?
- If I heat food in an open can, will that cause the plastic lining to leach chemicals into the food?
- Is it safe to heat frozen entrées in their plastic containers and with their plastic wrap?
- Is it safe to use plastic wrap as a covering when microwaving food?
- Is it safe to wash and dry plastic plates, cups, containers, and utensils in the dishwasher?
- Is there good evidence that BPA is harmful to human health?
- Of the plastic products used to store, heat, or eat with (wraps, bags, containers, silverware, plates, etc.), which contain BPA?
- What is BPA?
- Why is so much of today’s food packaged in plastic?
- FAQs on Preservatives
- What are Preservatives?
- All things considered, is our food supply safer or less safe because of preservatives?
- Are the preservatives in hot dogs and similar products health risks?
- What preservatives are known to cause allergic reactions?
- What are some common preservatives used in food?
- What food groups commonly have preservatives in them?
- Why are preservatives added to food?
- Will the label on the product tell me if it contains a preservative?
- FAQs on Washing Produce: Why and How
- Other FAQs
- Can chicken soup really cure a cold?
- Is Chocolate Good For You?
- Can Science and Technology Help You Save Food Dollars?
- FAQs Answered By Our Board Scientists: on Chickens, Bananas, Old Salad Dressing, and More
- FAQs about Food Price Increases
- FAQs about Products We Use with Food
- FAQs about Shelf Life: Tortillas, Pancakes, Wine, and More
- Food Fraud: Are you paying for scallops and getting shark meat?
- Is Cheese Addictive? Only If You Eat It
- Missing Chickens: Where Have All the Small Ones Gone?
- Nine FAQs about Food Labels
- Quiz Yourself! Check Your Knowledge about Food Temperatures
- Scientists Answer Two FAQs about Egg Safety
- Should Sour Cream and Cottage Cheese Be Stored Upside Down?
- Some Shelf Life Info, General and Specific (Spirits, Defrosted Veggies, Green Tea, and More)
- Syrup from a Tree or from a Lab--Which Should You Pour on Your Pancakes?
- Ten FAQs about the Prickly Pineapple
- What's New in Food? IFT Expo Offers Tasty Innovations
- What's on the Menu in Cuba?
- What’s in My Water? Answers to FAQs
- What will you be dining on this year? Here are predictions from folks in the know
- FAQs on Bacteria
- Books: Food for Thought
- Food Safety
- It Says "Use By Tomorrow," But You Don't Have To
- Ten Tips for Consumer Food Safety
- Food Allergies: Recognizing and Controlling Them
- “Is It Spoiled?” When in Doubt, Check It Out
- How To Keep Your Cooler Cool
- Recent Recalls: Salmonella Threatens 100s of Products
- STOP! Don’t Rinse That Raw Chicken!
- Sous Vide—A Better Way to Cook?
- Why You Need a Safe Cooking Temperature Chart and How to Get One Right Now
- “Myth-information” about Food Safety: You’d Better Not Believe It
- After The Storm: What You Can Save and What You Must Throw Out
- How to Protect Your Food During a Power Outage
- Meet Your Beef--Via Bar Code Info
- Organic Food, GMOs, the Safety of American Food, the Value of Use-By Dates, and More--Scientists Tell Us What They Think
- Raw chicken, Leftovers, Deli Meats, and More-- What Surveyed Scientists Said
- Tips About 4 Popular Beverages: Wine, Coffee, Water, and Soda
- Tips on Reheating for Safe, Yummy Leftovers
- Tips on Water Safety During and After a Storm
- Introducing our Advisory Board Scientists
- Produce: Handling Tips
- Seasonal Tips
- A Novel Method for Cooking a Turkey
- Crock Pot Cooking Tips for that Ideal Winter Dinner
- Cucumbers: for Cool--and "Cool"--Summer Treats
- Going Away for All or Part of the Winter? Prepare Your Kitchen for your Absence
- How To Grill Safely During the Summer
- How do summer squash and winter squash differ?
- New Year’s Resolutions For a Safer Kitchen
- Preserve the Taste of Summer by Canning—But Do It Safely
- Summer Food Fests Offer Much More than Calories
- Summer Party Tips: Baby Carrots (Using for Dips) Hot Dogs (Ditching the Guilt), and Watermelon (Finding a Ripe One)
- Tailgating: How to Do It Right
- Tips on Keeping Your Summer Fruits Flavorful and Healthy
- Shelf Life Tips
- A Food App You're Apt to Like; A Brand-New Invention for Getting Shelf-Life Information
- Battling the Ripening of Bananas
- Food Preservation--Low-tech Past, High-Tech Present and Future
- From Purchase to Storage, Tips on Extending Shelf Life
- Pesto: Ingredients, Uses, Shelf Life, Contamination, and More
- Shelf Life of Foods: What You Need to Know
- Shellfish and Shelf Life Aid from the Canadian Maritime Provinces
- Tips for Carry-along Lunches for Work and School
- Tips for Freezing Food and Freezer Care
- Cooking Frozen Foods
- Freezers And Food Safety
- Freezers And Freezer Burn
- Freezers And Nutrient Retention
- How Often Should You Defrost And Clean Your Freezer?
- How To Defrost And Clean Your Freezer
- How To Defrost Frozen Foods
- How To Freeze Foods: The Quicker The Better
- How To Wrap Foods For The Freezer
- Refreezing Frozen Foods
- What You Can Freeze And What You Can't--Or Shouldn't
- Tips About Genetically Engineered Foods
- Tips for Grocery Shopping
- Tips for Holidays
- Answers to Questions about Thanksgiving Dinner
- Chocolate Is Even More Healthful Than You Thought
- Enjoy St. Patrick’s Day Without Cabbage Stink
- Everything You Need to Know about Cranberry Sauce
- Food-Related Gifts Recommended by Experts (2014)
- Halloween Treats Even Parents Will Love
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- Our 2016 List of Gifts To Please Every Cook
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What will you be dining on this year? Here are predictions from folks in the know
Those of us of an unmentionable age may have trouble recollecting the immediate past (for example, 3 minutes ago where did I put our reading glasses?), but we can prognosticate about foods of the future, thanks to help from experts.
What follows is the annual Shelf Life Advice predictions for this year. Take them seriously. Looking back on our past articles, we find that they've been pretty accurate. Examples: bacon and sriracha added to almost everything. Remember Burger King's bacon ice cream sundae? Believe it or not, I liked it. Did curiosity get you to try sriracha, the hot sauce from Thailand, made with red chili peppers, garlic, and vinegar? Has your tongue recuperated yet? Dilute it with mayonnaise, and it can perk up a piece of salmon.
Now, onward to the future. As you read, don't be surprised if you start to feel hungry. This year, as in past years, our taste buds will enjoy novel stimulation.
From the following sources, we're primarily selecting those new edibles that sounded surprising and/or important to us. But you'll probably remember that some of these trends began a year or even a few years ago; they're listed because, instead of fading away, they keep attracting even more fans and showing up in more restaurants, supermarkets, and home dining room tables. We urge you to continue reading even if you're not interested in expanding your dining out or cooking home repertoire; I guarantee your food vocabulary will grow.
Forecasts by Whole Food Markets experts (described in the New York Times):
Uncommon meat and seafood: You may be cooking or eating paiche, a huge fish from the Amazon basin, which, says the New York Times, "will be easing the pressure on popular picks like salmon, tuna and shrimp." Whole Foods has a recipe online for preparing this novelty.
Wine in a can: At Whole Foods, I purchased a can of Pinot Gris made by Underwood. It was slightly carbonated and tasty. My salesman said he liked it, too. You can buy just one can to try it out.
Even more fermented foods: Examples: kimchi, gochujang, and chiogga beet kraut.
Even more dehydrated foods: kale chips will continue to appeal, but now also look for dehydrated broccoli and brussel sprout and parsnip chips.
Even more wheat-free flours: Examples: chickpea flour (good for folks on a gluten-free diet) and veggie-based flours used to make pastas.
Far East and Middle Eastern flavors: Just imagine Korean tacos and Thai curry cashews.
Mentioned in Food Anthropology:
Artificial ingredients are declining in popularity, probably a good thing, but sugar intake is increasing, not only in the U.S. but worldwide. Other nations have picked up the American love of added sugar. Let's face it--sugar makes these taste better. (Throw a teaspoon into your tomato soup, and note how it enhances other flavors.) Some would have us believe that sugar is poison. Well, maybe if that's the only food you eat.
Discussed in the Berkeley Wellness Letter:
Jerky keeps cropping up in the above newsletter and many other articles on 2016 trends. "What's jerky?" you ask. It's a dried meat snack that's been around almost forever. But now this dehydrated, highly processed snack can be found in greater varieties. You know them as beef sticks commonly sold in gas station shops, but now they are being produced from ingredients such as "elk, ostrich, buffalo, alligator, venison, salmon, and tuna," according to Berkeley. And the beef ones may be exotically flavored with seasonings from around the world.
The newsletter says consumers shouldn't assume they're healthful because they are high-protein, may be made without additives, and may be organic. If you eat more than one, you may be consuming a lot of salt, fat, and calories. Most Americans don't need the high dose of protein jerky contains. They get enough in their diet without jerkies. Furthermore, consumers that purchase novel jerky (perhaps made with buffalo or tuna) that has no pesticides or additives will find that the price is upscale, too.
From Forbes magazine:
One prediction here is that sriracha will continue to grow in popularity, but chefs will also be looking for newer ethnic flavors such as "ghost pepper from India, sambal from Southeast Asia, gochujang from Korea [also mentioned by Whole Foods experts], and harissa, sumac and dukka from North Africa."
Growing fear of GMOs will prompt more consumers to demand labeling, not only on store packages but in restaurants as well. The article predicts that GMOs will be a major headache for food suppliers because many crops--especially soy fed to food animals--have been modified with GE ingredients to increase yields.
Another interesting development: restaurants may have a more difficult time attracting customers because of competing businesses such as food delivery from Uber or Amazon or the app service Munchery, "which will deliver restaurant-quality food from a commissary."
More competition threatening restaurants:
Making it much easier to cook at home are businesses that deliver all the ingredients and instructions necessary to prepare a gourmet meal at home. For an example, check out BlueApron.com. A bit less extreme is what Real Simple meal planners offer. The company ran a full-page ad in Time magazine (the December 28 issue). Every Friday, it mails customers 5 easy recipes with a complete grocery list. At least, that eliminates hunting for recipes and creating a grocery list.
Food trends for 2016 from supermarket guru Phil Lempert:
Lempert is the food trends editor for NBC's “Today.” He points out that consumers buy food more often than anything else. His predictions for the new year tell us that how and where we buy food will change, along with some changes in what we're shopping for. For example, we'll tend to be less loyal to particular brands and to supermarkets. Smaller "micro-stores" (neighborhood grocers) are showing up. He expects the following past trends to continue to be a big selling point: local, health/wellness, and sustainability. We'll also continue to look for new kinds of protein, such as "nut flours and even cricket flour in items such as protein bars." Click here for more of Phil Lempert's 2016 predictions.
Trends from the Institute of Food Technologists (IFT):
IFT's members include food scientists and businesses in the food industry. The organization's annual predictions are created by the editors of IFT's publication, Food Technology. Here are some of them:
A smartphone will be an "indispensable tool" in helping us satisfy our food needs. It can do all of the following and more: "order and purchase foods, find grocery and restaurant deals, count calories, provide nutrition knowhow, suggest recipes, replace mom for cooking advice, share memorable culinary experiences, connect farmers with retailers and restaurants, and reduce food waste through redirecting surpluses to those in need."
We'll find more "portion-controlled snacks and ready-to-eat salad kits complete with exotic ingredients like hemp seeds and edamame."
IFT editors reiterate the messages from other food experts: spicy flavors are "in." These include chipotle, peri-peri, harissa, and Southeast and Asian sambal sauce, made with chilies, rice vinegar, and garlic [which sounds similar to sriracha]. Peruvian chilies, paired with lime, are also headed for a big year, as is chia seed mixed with citrus, chili, and garlic.
Pulses (dried peas, chickpeas, lentils, and dried beans) are getting more attention as consumers search for healthy sources of protein and nutrients, with an emphasis upon protein from plants rather than animals. "Pulse" is a Latin word meaning "thick soup"; pulses are the edible seeds of legumes (plants with fruit enclosed in a pod).
Ancient (ancestral) flavors: Modern dishes are being enhanced with ancient herbs such as rosemary, thyme, peppermint, parsley, and lavender.
Even if the trends discussed in this article don't alter what you cook at home, they will affect what you find on restaurant menus. If you're open to developing a more international palate, you'll find yourself consuming something a lot spicier than oatmeal.
Ethics and Eating
The following words and phrases tell manufacturers what many consumers and advocacy groups are demanding: transparency, "clean" labels, minimally processed foods, and morally conscious foods. The message is that a growing number of consumers want to know exactly what's in the food they're buying; they want fewer additives [such as artificial coloring]; they want foods that are closer to their natural state; they want to know how and where their foods are made or grown. They don't want highly processed, genetically modified edibles. They want the food they buy to be in line with their own moral values. (They want food animals to have a comfortable life and a quick, relatively painless death.) They want the entire food industry to function in ways that protect planet Earth. Perhaps most important, , they want food that will not cause illnesses, either short-term or long-term. (They don't want pesticides on their produce.) However, some of these matters involve complex science, so there is disagreement about how to achieve these goals and even which are worth pursuing.
The Robert M. Kerr Food and Agricultural Products Center (FAPC) has posted a list of 16 food trends that are not about specific foods but deal with the types of goals mentioned above. The article begins by saying this: "Food safety, healthy eating, food waste and big flavors are on the menu for 2016."
And, finally, this year, there's an emphasis on what's becoming known as "waste-based cooking." The idea is to turn as much as possible of an edible plant or food animal into something delicious. Ethical concerns support this idea: 70 billion pounds of food go to waste each year, says an article entitled "The Next Kale? The Foods You're Going to Be Hearing about Constantly in 2016." Cutting down on waste could mean a reduction in land fills and an increase in amount of food available to feed the hungry. Empty stomachs don't care if dinner is trendy or not.
nytimes.com "Whole Foods Market® Experts Forecast Top 10 Food Trends for 2016 "
December 21, 2015
ift.org "Food Technology "Editors predict trends for 2016," December 30, 2015
forbes.com "How 10 Food Trends for 2016 Will Transform Restaurants" 10/28/15
pulsecanada.com "What is a Pulse?"
blueapron.com "Discover a Better Way to Cook"
foodanthro.com "What Food Anthropology is Reading Now: January 3rd Edition"
fapc.biz/news "FAPC picks top 16 food trends for 2016"
www.thrillist.com "The Next Kale? The Foods You're Going to Be Hearing About Constantly in 2016."
University of California, Berkeley Wellness Letter, "What a jerky," January 2016.