Summary of “The unstoppable rise of veganism: how a fringe movement went mainstream”

350%. Rise in the number of vegans in Britain from 2006-2016; 542,000 people said they were vegans in 2016.
Big chains such as Marks & Spencer and Pret a Manger have introduced vegan ranges, Wagamama has a new vegan menu, Pizza Hut recently joined Pizza Express and Zizzi in offering vegan pizzas, while last year Guinness went vegan and stopped using fish bladders in its brewing process, after two and a half centuries.
“But things are changing rapidly – and if you’re trying to go vegan, you’re a pioneer.” She talks about shopping challenges and getting around social stigma, meal-planning and vitamin supplements, how to make holidays and dining out easier, how to check labels and online resources – and the group of new vegans and could-be-vegans asks keen questions and shares local tips.
“What surprised us was people were coming from all over Blackpool. There were hidden vegans in Blackpool who were struggling in silence! That was June last year and at that point we decided to turn the restaurant 100% vegan and it just exploded on Facebook. I went vegan as well, as head chef, and I feel better for it. We have such a wide range of people coming in: we’ll have a table of six people who are protesters from an anti-fracking demonstration , sat next to a table of two people who are multimillionaires, sat next to international rugby players.”
“At the moment, it’s so faddy, and there are Instagram influencers who are becoming vegan, and maybe it works for them, in their specific scenarios. The key point is always individualisation and research – to know why you’re doing it and how to do it properly, rather than just jumping on a trend. People can run the risk of being deficient in b12, even protein and iron.” She is keen to point out though that, done correctly, going vegan can be very good for health.
Things are slowly changing, with the vegan junk food movement for example and I’m glad to add to the visible women of colour in that space.
We don’t see each other as being rival businesses; the ultimate aim is to grow the vegan movement.
We must be getting half-a-dozen new people a week coming in and saying: “Someone in my family has gone vegan and I don’t know what to feed them; can you help?” Or: “My son went vegan three months ago and we’ve all joined him now.” There is a domino effect within families and parents are listening to their children.

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Summary of “The Surprising Reason that There Are So Many Thai Restaurants in America”

Why are there so many Thai restaurants in the US? I’m not the first to wonder about the ubiquity of Thai restaurants in American cities and suburbs, and most seemingly informed and lay analysts have suggested that it’s simply because Thai food tastes good, or happens to hit the American palate in just the right way.
In 2001, the Thai government established the Global Thai Restaurant Company, Ltd., in an effort to establish at least 3,000 Thai restaurants worldwide.
The McDonald’s of Thai food never quite materialized as a government-operated megachain, but the broader goal of a government-supported increase in the number of Thai restaurants abroad has.
The Department of Export Promotion also matched and set up meetings between Thai and foreign business people, conducted market research on local tastes around the world, and sent representatives from Thai cooking institutes abroad to train chefs at foreign restaurants.
The Export-Import Bank of Thailand offered loans to Thai nationals hoping to open restaurants abroad, and the Small and Medium Enterprise Development Bank of Thailand set up an infrastructure for loans of up to $3 million for enterprise in the food industry, including foreign Thai restaurants.
At the time of the Global Thai program’s launch, there were about 5,500 Thai restaurants beyond Thailand’s borders; today there are over 15,000.
As of August 2017, 413 Thai restaurants in the US have been awarded “Thai Select” certificates by the Thai Ministry of Commerce to denote quality and authenticity.
“When we received the award, the Ministry of Thai Trade actually came to my restaurant and we discussed about how we can promote more and how they will support us in getting more products from Thailand,” said John Sungkamee of Emporium Thai in LA. “She suggested I should look into promoting the Thai rice berry. She also recommended the suppliers to obtain them from.” Sungkamee told me that he and other Thai restaurant owners across the country maintain a group chat, and the now-former Thai Consul General in LA has been an active member.

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Summary of “A New Generation of Food Magazines Thinks Small, and in Ink”

LinYee Yuan’s new twice-yearly print publication, Mold, came about as an expansion of her website, and a way to explore its story ideas more deeply, around themes such as the microbiome or food waste.
Mold is driven by this sense of urgency – telling stories at the intersection of food and design that look to the future.
Ms. Yuan raised more than $35,000 on Kickstarter last year and pulled together the first two issues of Mold in her apartment in New York City; she now prints about 5,000 copies of each issue and sells them locally, as well as in Britain, France, Germany, Singapore and Taiwan.
Stephen Satterfield, a former sommelier who used to run the food site Nopalize, was frustrated with the food coverage in traditional food magazines, which he said often suffers from a lack of diverse viewpoints, and a lack of context.
“I knew we were going to ask where things came from, and that was going to be the point of view we brought into conversations about food,” he said of his new quarterly magazine, Whetstone.
Mr. Satterfield, 33, lives in San Francisco, but produces the magazine on the road, where he spends most of his time.
“The new democracy in media is that if you have a flagship product and grow a following around that, you’re able to leverage it into more ambitious, larger projects,” said Mr. Satterfield, who aims to expand Whetstone into video production.
Mr. Satterfield said it wasn’t unusual for him to text back and forth, candidly, with new subscribers.

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Summary of “The road to Alzheimer’s disease is lined with processed foods”

The popular conception of Alzheimer’s disease is as an inevitable outcome of aging or bad genes.
Just a few days ago, doctors around the world have been considerably shaken up by the breaking news linking cancer to processed foods.
In a large-scale study, researchers found that a 10% increase in consumption of ultra-processed foods led to a 12% increase in overall cancer events.
Dry the apple, and store it away with common preservatives like sulphur dioxide, and it becomes a processed food.
Ultra-processed foods are the extreme in the scale, and by some measures account for half of the American diet.
These include mass produced, packaged foods, as well as foods containing manufactured substances like hydrogenated oils, modified starches, and protein isolates.
These are the foods whose consumption triggered an increase in cancer cases in the BMJ study.
While some argue that “Organic” processed food may be less harmful than non-organic processed food, it is still processed food and as such, should be minimized.

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Summary of “The dark truth about chocolate”

The 19th century saw chocolate drinking become cheap enough to spread beyond the wealthy, the invention of solid chocolate and the development of milk chocolate.
The packets don’t say so, but the message we’re supposed to swallow is clear: this new, improved chocolate, especially if it is dark, is good for your health.
Studies published last year found chocolate consumers to be at reduced risk of heart flutters, and that women who eat chocolate are less likely to suffer from strokes.
Someone would need to consume about 12 standard 100g bars of dark chocolate or about 50 of milk chocolate per day to get that much.
The European Food Safety Authority has approved one rather modest chocolate-related health claim – that some specially processed dark chocolate, cocoa extracts and drinks containing 200mg of flavanols “Contribute to normal blood circulation” by helping to maintain blood vessel elasticity.
Then there’s the problem that, unlike in drug trials, those taking part in chocolate studies often know whether they are being given chocolate or a placebo.
“Efforts by many of the large chocolate companies to demonstrate health effects started side by side with the outcry over the use of child labour and slavery,” says Michael Coe, a retired anthropologist formerly of Yale University, co-author of The True History of Chocolate.
Research was making it increasingly clear that health benefits claims for commercial dark chocolate products were unrealistic because of their low flavanol content.

The orginal article.

Summary of “How changing tastes are killing German restaurants”

All across the country, German restaurants are calling it quits.
German food’s decline “Reflects the cultural mix of this country toward more Latin American, Asian and African American culture, and less of the mainstay Germanic culture that influenced this country for many decades,” said Arnim von Friedeburg, an importer of German foods and the founder of Germanfoods.org.
“In German, it’s called gut bürgerliche küche,” said Alex Herold, the owner of Old Europe, a German restaurant in Washington celebrating its 70th anniversary this year.
Some German restaurants would like to become more modern, but operators say they’re thwarted by regulations.
As German restaurants struggle, biergartens are thriving.
You might not think there’s much of a difference, but the distinction lies in the business model: Biergartens have high-volume beer sales and a limited menu; German restaurants have more table seating, a wider variety of traditional dishes, and an atmosphere closer to fine dining.
The future of German restaurants in the United States might be a tiny restaurant in Richmond’s Union Hill neighborhood, called Metzger Bar and Butchery.
The German restaurants of America will continue to turn out plates of sauerbraten, and struggle.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Most Important Dishes in the US: History of Food That Changed America”

Scottsdale, ArizonaHow it happened: When Cali-based restaurateur Paul Fleming moved to Scottsdale, Arizona, he couldn’t find any Chinese food he liked, much to his chagrin.
When he told his close friend, professional food consultant, and Asian-food royalty Philip Chiang about his problem, they did the logical thing and opened up their own Chinese restaurant in a Scottsdale strip mall.
Using Chiang’s culinary chops, his mother’s recipes, and Fleming’s American business savvy, the restaurant was almost an immediate success, bringing a higher-end, Westernized Chinese-food experience to a mainstream audience.
Their signature lettuce wrap appetizer, a traditional recipe perfected by Cecilia complete with spicy, tangy chicken, is still the highlight of the menu, and indicative of their overall mission to expose a wider swath of America to the intricacies of traditional Asian cooking in a comfortable setting.
That lettuce wrap recipe made them famous, and continues to lure people past those iconic, Forbidden City horse statues, and through the mood-lit doors.
Why it’s important: “P.F. Chang’s lettuce wraps have been an approachable entry point for people to discover fresh, simple, scratch-made, and inspired Asian cooking, which is now one of the fastest-growing food segments worldwide,” said P.F. Chang’s chief marketing officer, Dwayne Chambers, who also notes that other restaurant concepts now offer versions of the dish.
Beyond just bringing an idiosyncratic Eastern appetizer to American tables, it proved that lettuce, in lieu of bread, is not just a healthier option, but can be decidedly delicious in its own right.

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Summary of “Could it be your gut keeping you awake at night?”

When we lie awake at night, unable to sleep, we usually blame stress, depression, anxiety, adrenaline or the memory of something stupid we said in 2003.
What if our guts were actually the culprit? What if the trillions of microbes sitting in our small intestines – known collectively as the microbiome or microbiota – were actually affecting our mood, digestion, overall health and ability to get a full eight hours’ shut-eye? Scientists are beginning to suspect there is a strong, if as yet unproven, link between gut health – the diversity and wellbeing of bacteria in the stomach, small and large intestines – and sleep health.
“We know an enormous amount about the relationship between a lack of sleep and appetite, obesity and weight gain, as well as aspects of insulin resistance and glucose regulation. What we don’t fully understand yet is the role of the microbiome in sleep.”
Lack of sleep also affects the parts of our brain responsible for impulse control, leaving us with very little chance of eating healthily and taking care of that gut ecosystem.
“Is improving gut health a possible new sleep therapy? That is one of our least understood but most exciting possibilities,” says Walker.
“There is no question in my mind that gut health is linked to sleep health, although we do not have the studies to prove it yet. Scientists investigating the relationship between sleep and the microbiome are finding that the microbial ecosystem may affect sleep and sleep-related physiological functions in a number of different ways: shifting circadian rhythms, altering the body’s sleep-wake cycle, affecting hormones that regulate sleep and wakefulness.”
Tim Spector, professor of genetic epidemiology at King’s College London and the author of The Diet Myth, agrees that a healthy gut could promote good sleep.
“I’ve always found that if you help someone sleep, it improves their depression, and vice versa. If we can also look after the gut, this may have an impact on both sleep disturbances and mood disorders.” It has long been known that there is a reciprocal relationship between depression and sleep, in that most depressed people sleep poorly and many insomniacs develop depressive symptoms.

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Summary of “The Last Conversation You’ll Need to Have About Eating Right”

Since we’re already talking about farts: I’m all for eating foods like whole grains, nuts, legumes, fruits, and vegetables, but they sometimes – okay, often – make me gassy and bloated.
Too much is bad. How do I get that fat balance?To get the right balance of fats in our diet, with an emphasis on a mix of polyunsaturated fats, omega-6, omega-3, and monounsaturated fats, we need a balance of foods.
Cooking can make some food more nutritious: We can’t even eat digest dried beans and lentils without cooking them; but cooked, they’re among the most nutritious and health-promoting of all foods.
The estrogen-like compounds in soy can promote cancer growth in animals in labs, but the net effect of eating foods like tofu and tempeh is less cancer, not more.
It sounds like cold cuts and hot dogs are really bad.As is always the case with food being “Bad” for you, it’s partly because of what you are eating, and partly because of what you aren’t eating.
By reducing intake of highly processed foods, and eating more whole, minimally processed foods, mostly plants, your sodium intake will go way down without focusing on sodium at all.
The basic theme of optimal eating – a diet made up mostly of whole, wholesome plant foods – has been clear to nutrition experts for generations.
If you get the foods right, the nutrients sort themselves out.

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Summary of “The Wild Pizzas of Southern Italy Have to Be Seen to Be Believed”

Pizzas have been eaten in southern Italy for hundreds of years, and the rainbow of variations that can be found there-if you know where to look-rivals the rest of the world’s best efforts.
Forget calzones-I’m talking about pizzas and pittas created specifically for breakfast, or marvels the size of entire tables, or baked spirals of crust begging to be torn into satisfying, savory chunks.
It’s not easy to discover these secret pizzas in the towns and villages; the economically troubled region doesn’t yet enjoy the number of tourists you find elsewhere in Italy.
Our quest? To find the wondrous pizzas of his home culture, some of which have never been seen outside the region.
“The pizzas were so good, I kept on eating,” he says.
This pizza is a good example of the cucina povera of southern Italy, where humble local ingredients are used to create deeply flavored dishes.
“People who haven’t spent time in the south of Italy don’t know how good the food is,” Mazzei says.
Mazzei tucks into the strazzata, a fresh, crispy summer pizza with peppers, tomato, and extra-virgin olive oil, then delivers his verdict.

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