Tag Archive: food

Nov 20 2018

Turkey Loaf

My family informs me that they don’t much like my Turkey Loaf. As a matter of fact the exact quote was “It tastes like leftovers just before you pitch them in the garbage.” Thanks guys. Now you know why I’m in Therapy. As it turns out what they object to is the concept of Ground …

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Apr 17 2014

Naturally Dyed Eggs


Apr 09 2012

Pique the Geek 20120408: More on Meat

Last time we discussed lean finely textured beef, commonly referred to as pink slime.  Tonight we shall finish this short series by discussing two other forms of recovered meat.

Mechanically separated meat is derived from a process that dates back to around forty or a few more years.  A newer process is called advanced meat recovery and has certain advantages over the older processes for some applications, but the older process is still used in others.

These products are in LOTS of prepared foods and interestingly are subject to a higher degree of regulation than lean finely textured beef, at least for beef products.  Please join for the discussion to follow.

Apr 02 2012

Pique the Geek 20120401: The Things that we Eat. Pink Slime

Pink slime is a slang term, and not a terribly inapt one for what is technically known as lean finely textured beef or boneless lean beef trimmings.  Although I used the term pink slime in the title to get your attention, I think that it is a bit pejorative and shall use the term “the product” henceforth.

Since this is a meat product, it is regulated by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and not the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).  This seems to me to have a bearing on how it has been approved.

There are a LOT of politics and hype surrounding the product, and I think that it serves my readers to look at the technical issues before we examine the political and PR issues.  You might be surprised where I come down on the safety and wholesomeness of the product.

Feb 27 2012

Pique the Geek 20120226: The Things that we Eat. Breast Milk

This is the forth and final installment on my short piece about milk.  This time, instead to focusing on human consumption of milk from other species, in particular from cattle, to the importance of human infants being given human milk until at least six months of age.  The first three installments can be found here, here, and here.

Human milk was universally used up until comparatively recently as the sole food for infants.  However, it was not always the mum of the child that supplied the milk.  Throughout history, surrogate women have supplied milk for other women’s children, a practice know as wet nursing.  This was pretty much confined to the wealthy class when the mum chose not to breastfeed her child and either hired other women to feed them or made slaves to that.  Although not explicitly said, the Mammy character in the book and motion picture was assumed to be Scarlett’s wet nurse.  In other cases friends of relatives of women who for some reason or another could not nurse a baby would fill in for her.  More on that later.

In the 1950s many countries began to encourage the use of infant formula as the “scientific” successor to natural breast milk.  While formula can be a wise choice in many circumstances, the latest research is pretty much a consensus that natural breast milk is superior in almost all ways to formula.  More on that later as well.

Feb 20 2012

Pique the Geek 20120218. The Things That we Eat. Cheese

This is the third part of a four part series about milk.  The first and second parts are here and here.  The final installment will be about human milk with emphasis on its importance to the development of infants.

Cheese is one of the oldest processed food products known.  Whilst the origins of cheesemaking are obscure, it is fairly easy to speculate on how it got started, and we shall look at that in due time.  Archaeological evidence indicates that cheesemaking was an established art at least 4000 years ago, and the actual date of regular production is likely to be much older than that, but no records exist.

Because of the tremendous variety of cheese, I am sure not to mention one of your favorites.  Please pardon that oversight, but I like to keep under 5000 words!  However, I found an expert source that is likely to mention yours, and it appears directly under the fold.

Feb 13 2012

Pique the Geek 20120212: The Things that we Eat. More on Milk

Two weeks ago we began a short series on milk, in particular cow’s milk, used as a food by humans.  We mentioned that humans are the only species to drink any kind of milk after infancy (unless we feed it to animals).  We also mentioned that human milk is the very best food for human infants.  Next week we shall end the series by talking about the advantages of real milk to infants unless readers would rather see a discussion of cheese first.

Last time we pretty much focused on fresh milk and few derivatives of it.  This week we shall look at some of the derivatives of milk, either fresh or fermented.  There is a marvelous variety of liquid milk derivatives available, and some are very delicious.  In addition, there is butter which obviously is not liquid.

For a product as perishable as milk, it is amazing that so many wholesome fermented products can be made from it.  There are reasons for that, and we shall get to them in due course.

Jan 30 2012

Pique the Geek 20120129. The Things that We Eat. Milk

Of all foodstuffs, milk is unique in that it provides all of the nutritional needs for infant mammals.  In addition to nutrition, it also supplies essential antibodies the first few days to newborns.  Milk is unique to mammals, and is one of the reasons that mammals had the evolutionary advantage that they had when they arose during the age of reptiles.

However, humans are also unique in that we are one of the few mammals who continue to take it after infancy, and the only species that continues to take it after adolescence and into adulthood.  Milk is far from the perfect food for adults, but certainly can be part of healthy diet.

Humans are also unique in that we are the only species that takes milk in a natural setting from other species.  By that I mean that we actively collect it, not like giving the cat a saucer of milk.  The nutritive value of milk is species specific, and our habit to taking cows’ milk (for the most part) is quite unnatural.

Oct 03 2011

Pique the Geek 20111002: The Things we Eat: trans Fats

We hear a lot about trans fats in food and the negative health effects of them.  However, most folks without a background in chemistry do not really know what that means.  Tonight the object is to clear that up, and to point out sources that are high in them so they can be avoided.

Contrary to the opening statement, not all trans fats have deleterious health effects.  There are a couple that seem to be beneficial, but unfortunately they are sort of rare.  They are also some of the few trans fats that occur naturally.  By a huge margin, most trans fats consumed are artificially produced, and we shall get into that as well.

To understand the topic well, a chemistry lesson will first have to be given.  However, this IS Pique the Geek!

Feb 20 2011

What’s for Dinner? v5.30: New Cooking Book

Hello, all!  Tonight I am publishing the introduction to a new cooking book that I have in the works.  It is not so much a cook book as it is a guide for people who have not cooked much before, or who want to improve their skills.  It will also have information that even experienced cooks will find interesting.  I do not want it to be a very big book, because I really think that the essentials of cooking well are not that complicated.

Besides, there are lots of good recipe books available, and I want this to be a little different.  It is intended to more like a operator’s manual for the kitchen.

The introduction will be essentially all of the extended text box except for my signoff.  I would appreciate any suggestions for improvement in the comments, and hope that the purpose of the book is clear from the introduction.  Without further ado, here we go.  By the way, I have not given the work a name yet.

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