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Henry Thompson
Henry Thompson

Best Food Of 2011…


Welcome to Part 2 in our Best Of 2011 series of posts. Part 2 is all about the Best Food & Beverages of the year including bread in Honduras, cow udder in El Salvador, and the best beer in Central America. Part 1 covers the Top Travel Adventures of 2011 and part 3 covers the Best Hotels of the Year. Part 4 includes the Top Travel Gear of the Year.




Best Food of 2011…


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First, a few relevant stats. In 2011 the Trans-Americas Journey thoroughly explored four, albeit very small, countries including Belize, Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador. We drove 8,055 miles (12,963 km) and spent US$2,300 on fuel. We had one flat tire (after driving over a nail in Copan, Honduras) and bounced over about a billion topes/tumulos (vicious Latin American speed bumps) and through twice that many pot holes.


Best bread: So the Kafe Kandil bar in Gracias, Honduras was a surprise. Equally unexpected? A whole-grain, nutty, chewy loaf of crusty home made bread (available in whole or half loaves). You can thank Lizeth Perdono, owner and chef at Rincon Graciana which is the only restaurant in town that serves traditional Lencan food and the only place in all of Honduras to get bread like this.


I really really really like and respect the amazing desserts you have made. And it even made me do a little research. Is there anyway you could make some french macaroons and share a foolproof recipe? I want almond, pistachio, and rasberr flavored ones and I need to know what food coloring to use as well. Im sure youll come up with your own flavor (probably chocolate) but it would help to have a base recipe to start with. Thanks so much!!!


The Locator identifies about 10 percent of the approximately 65,000 census tracts in the United States as food deserts. About 13.5 million people in these census tracts have low access to sources of healthful food.


Users can also view a map of the United States that identifies and highlights food desert census tracts. They can zoom in to view census tracts in a county or city, or use the search feature to find a specific location by address or tract number to find out if it qualifies as a food desert. Users can also create maps showing the food desert census tracts in selected areas.


Who might find this new mapping tool useful? Policy makers, urban planners, and local community organizations seeking options to address the problem of food deserts can use the Locator to identify areas most in need. The downloadable data on food deserts may be particularly useful for health and nutrition researchers.


There are currently nineteen programs from the Departments of Treasury, Health and Human Services and Agriculture available to support the development of sustainable projects and strategies to increase access to healthy, affordable foods and eliminate food deserts.


Many types of organizations are eligible for assistance including businesses, local governments, non-profit organizations and more. We know that the federal government cannot tackle the problem of food deserts alone and we encourage those who are interested to form partnerships and develop sustainable projects and strategies in their communities.


For nearly two years, brother-and-sister duo Nate Padavick and Salli Swindell have been delighting us with their beautifully illustrated visual recipes from around the world. They Draw and Cook: 107 Recipes Illustrated by Artists from Around the World collects the best 107 of these lovely and delicious treats, joining the ranks of our favorite quirky cookbooks with an absolute gem of visual and culinary allure. From the playful and facetious to the elegant and sleek, these illustrated treasures offer everything from Chocolate Haystacks to Starving Artist Goo-lash and, of course, Cooooooookies for good measure.


Michel (2) summarized well the reasons people seek unconventional pet foods. Firstly, unlike veterinarians and researchers, most pet owners approach feeding their pets much like they approach feeding their families. While nutrition is important in food choices, there are social and cultural aspects to food selection and feeding practices. Items often included in pet food are by-products of the human food industry. Although generally very nutritional and healthy, pet owners would not choose to eat these foods themselves. Logically, some individuals would then question feeding these items to their pets. Secondly, food has a social significance to humans. As pets become more intimately associated with the family unit, the desire to prepare and vary diet becomes greater. Thirdly, feeding pets is a means by which one can exert some level of control or be empowered in influencing the health and well-being of a loved companion. One increasingly popular trend in unconventional pet food is the feeding of raw, meat-based diets.


A nutritional analysis of 5 raw food diets (2 commercially produced and 3 home-made) found low calcium and phosphorus in 3 of the 5 diets. Two commercial diets were high in vitamin D. Two of the diets were deficient in potassium, magnesium, and zinc (10).


Another documented risk is the occurrence of antimicrobial resistance in many of the isolates. A study analyzing 166 commercially available raw food samples, purchased randomly from local pet stores in 3 Canadian cities found a prevalence of 21% for Salmonella, with chicken being an ingredient in 67% of the positive diets. Eighteen serovars were observed with resistance present to 12/16 antibiotics tested (20).


An earlier study (30) cultured 112 samples of commercial raw meat used in greyhound diets. Almost 45% of samples were positive for Salmonella serovars and there was widespread antimicrobial resistance. The findings, however, are not restricted to meat fed to greyhounds. Salmonella serovars were isolated from 3.5% of fresh ground beef samples collected from retail stores in the United States (31). Salmonella serovars were isolated from 20% of broilers, 8.7% of market hogs, 7.5% of ground beef, 44.6% of ground chicken, and 49.9% of ground turkey (32) samples from federally inspected facilities in the United States. In a group of racing sled dogs, where diarrhea is relatively common during racing and raw meat feeding is prevalent, Salmonella was isolated from approximately 63% of fecal samples (33). There was no significant difference between dogs with diarrhea and with normal stool. Another study of pet dogs consuming mostly commercial foods found an isolation rate of about 1% (34).


FDA has finalized seven major rules to implement FSMA, recognizing that ensuring the safety of the food supply is a shared responsibility among many different points in the global supply chain for both human and animal food. The FSMA rules are designed to make clear specific actions that must be taken at each of these points to prevent contamination.


Place the food thermometer in the thickest part of the food. It should not touch bone, fat, or gristle. Start checking the temperature toward the end of cooking, but before you expect it to be done. Be sure to clean your food thermometer with hot soapy water before and after each use.


To see where to place a food thermometer in different cuts of meat, see Thermometer Placement and Temperatures. For more information on cooking temperatures for all types of food, see the Safe Minimum Cooking Temperatures chart.


Setting: NHANES is a cross-sectional study nationally representative of the US population.ParticipantsOne 24 h dietary recall was used to assess dietary intake of 3156 adolescents aged 10-19 years. What We Eat in America food category classification system was used for all foods consumed. Food sources of energy, added sugars, SFA, Na and total gram amount consumed were sample-weighted and ranked based on percentage contribution to intake of total amount.


Results: Three-highest ranked food subgroup sources of total energy consumed were: sugar-sweetened beverages (SSB; 78 %); sweet bakery products (69 %); mixed dishes - pizza (66 %). Highest ranked food sources of total gram amount consumed were: plain water (331 %); SSB (158 %); milk (72 %). Three highest ranked food sources of total Na were: mixed dishes - pizza (87 %); mixed dishes - Mexican (67 %); cured meats/poultry (66 %). Three highest ranked food sources of SFA were: mixed dishes - pizza (91 %); sweet bakery products (83 %); mixed dishes - Mexican (79 %). Three highest ranked food sources of added sugars were: SSB (421 %); sweet bakery products (121 %); coffee and tea (76 %).


Conclusions: Identifying current food sources of percentage energy, nutrients to limit and total gram amount consumed among US adolescents is critical for designing strategies to help them meet nutrient recommendations within energy needs.


The FAO Dairy Price Index averaged 136.2 points in January, down 2.0 points (1.4 percent) from December, hitting its lowest level in 12 months. The decline in January reflected lower international prices of butter and milk powders. World butter prices fell for the seventh consecutive month, underpinned by subdued import demand for long-term supplies at prevailing prices, stemming from market expectations for prices to fall further and increased supplies from Oceania. Meanwhile, international whole milk powder prices declined on lighter demand from leading importers and increased supplies from New Zealand, despite seasonally declining milk output. Skim milk powder prices also fell, mainly due to a sluggish global demand. By contrast, world cheese prices increased slightly, driven by a recovery in food services and retail sales in Western Europe, following the new-year holidays, and currency movements.


To celebrate the year in food, PBS Food has compiled seven lists of 11 Things We Liked in 2011. We wont go as far as saying these are the best things but rather we wanted to highlight some of the many things that got us to hit our LIKE buttons in 2011.


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