When we think about food and microbes, we tend to think in terms of an outbreak causing illness and maybe even death. Frequently, such nefarious pathogenic microbes are confused with others that produce objectionable odors, flavors or textures. Less well known, but gaining respect are the probiotics. Inspired by Molecules, Microbes and Meals I have chosen three probiotics as Microbes of the Week, which may … Continue reading Microbes of the Week: Lactobacillus gasseri: Bifidobacterium bifidium, Bifidobacterium longum
American food is full of chemicals, and I am not limiting my statement to ultra-processed foods with ingredients that are hard to pronounce. All food is composed of chemicals. Whole foods do not have an ingredient list, but, just the same, they are composed of chemicals. For example, a total of 51 chemical compounds have been isolated and identified that have a direct impact on … Continue reading Molecule of the Week: Sorbitol
I am pleased to introduce another wonderful book about food science, Molecules, Microbes and Meals by Alan Kelly. Like Future Foods by Julian McClements, Kelly’s book presents a more positive outlook on the topic than my book, In Defense of Processed Food. I can’t help but feel overjoyed at the emergence of these two books and wish that I had been as bold and less … Continue reading Molecules, Microbes and Meals: The Surprising Science of Food
I had just moved from the sunny South to a new campus up North to start my doctoral program. My wife and I needed help getting furniture for our unfurnished campus housing. A tall, fellow student offered to organize help. Little did I imagine that the guy who was instrumental in getting us moved in would, one day forty years later, become President of the … Continue reading A message to the President-Elect of IFT
History is full of buddies who became frenemies and eventually just stopped talking to each other. Such a dilemma is highlighted in a show tune and a rock song. As a graduate student in food science I remember fondly my discussions with members of the opposite sect. Such friendly disagreements were engaged on two different campuses within departments that combined both fields. At one of … Continue reading Why can’t food scientists and nutritionists be friends?
I am reluctant to consider myself old even though I have been retired for almost seven years, and I just hit 70. I find it even more disturbing that my ideas may be stuck in the past and as outdated as those of my elders whom I criticized 20-30 years ago. Thus, it has been with both reluctance and joy to learn that there is … Continue reading Generational perspectives on nutrition and food science
My New Year’s resolution was “to be less combative as I continue to defend processed food.” To that end I bring your attention to Future Foods by David Julian McClements. Full disclosure: I have seen Julian once or twice across the room at the UMASS breakfasts at the Annual Meeting of IFT (Institute of Food Technologists). We may even have shaken each other’s hands. I … Continue reading Future Foods: How Modern Science Is Transforming the Way We Eat
Existential threats to humankind and our food supply, food justice, healthy diets, ultra-processed foods and the interface of food science and human nutrition were major themes in my blog in 2019. Global climate change and the threat of plastic, packaging waste captured more press attention this year, and potential solutions seem ever more distant. Will producing food more sustainably and switching to more plant-based products … Continue reading A year in review for processed food, a resolution and a look ahead
I do not like the terms ‘fake’ and ‘real,’ but they are terms that seem to capture people’s attention these days. There are many products on the market today that are meat substitutes—plant-based, clean, cultured. There are many people advocating avoiding animal products for nutritional, moral, animal welfare, environmental and other reasons. We are told that we need to make major changes in our lifestyles … Continue reading Is fake meat a healthy alternative to real meat?
We have been warned about the consequences of global climate change. Most of us remain skeptics. Others believe that nothing can be done, but true believers see solutions through technology OR conservation. Since my post on the topic last week, one person sounding the alarm was named Time person of 2019, and the climate change conference in Madrid dissolved without major progress. We are either … Continue reading Can we save the planet through technology OR conservation?