Posts Tagged ‘health’

It’s Good Business To Have Healthy Customers

Monday, August 8th, 2011

Classic school lunch. Yum.Jillian Michaels, “TV’s toughest trainer” appearing on the hit show The Biggest Loser, recently interviewed Jamie Oliver for It’s hard not to know about Jamie Oliver, the chef who waged war on American obesity in ABC’s Food Revolution. Jamie tyied to teach America why we needed to learn to cook, and to care about what we are feeding our children.  Working in the food industry, one item that caught our eye was Jamie’s assertion that it’s good business to promote healthy foods:

Big stores in America are trying to do the right thing, and bring more fresh food, to more people for a fair price. That’s the only way we’re going to be able to make change. Big business has to decide that it’s good business to have healthy customers. And we can help them do that by making different choices. If you stop buying processed foods, they will stop selling them.

We recommend you read the entire interview for more insights and why we need to change the way we cook and feed our kids: Jamie Oliver on the Fight for Healthier Food.

Creative Commons License photo credit: Ben+Sam

Quinoa For Breakfast

Friday, August 20th, 2010

As we’ve discussed before, quinoa has excellent nutritional value: its protein content is very high and contains a balanced set of essential amino acids for human consumption. It’s arguably the best complete protein source among plant foods. On top of this, it’s also a good source of dietary fiber and gluten-free making it easy to digest.

If you go out on the internet looking for how to incorporate quinoa into your diet, recipes abound. The perennial favourite approach is to incorporate quinoa into a salad and other savory side dishes. But why stop there? We also think quinoa is an excellent candidate for breakfast and sweets. It can be as simple as adding plain yogurt, apples, and a sprinkle of coconut sugar to a bowl of quinoa:

Quinoa Breakfast

Another delicious alternative is quinoa with blueberries and bananas drizzled with home made blueberry syrup (we got the recipe for the syrup from the excellent Simple Bites blog, but instead of refined sugar, try using coconut sugar instead):

Blueberry Sauce on Quinoa, Bananas and Blueberries!

If you head over to Sweet On Veg, you’ll find another fantastic take on the blueberry + quinoa theme: Blueberry Maple Quinoa.

Another promising way to incorporate quinoa into sweets is to use puffed quinoa. This unique product is somewhat like puffed wheat, but each individual unit is smaller offering a more interesting texture. It has a very pleasing toasted taste and would work well in health bars, desserts and breakfast cereals.

Chia Seeds Featured on CNBC

Tuesday, June 22nd, 2010

Chia seeds have been featured this week on CNBC, where they wonder whether chia is the next big superfood. Chia isn’t mainstream yet, but has a growing following amongst the nutritionist and health community. Thanks to Christopher McDougall’s book Born to Run, which describes the use of chia in a drink called iskiate, long distance runners and other athletes are beginning to extol the virtues of this amazing seed. According to CNBC:

The next superfood though is a name you might know: Chia seeds. Yep, the very same seeds that you spread over your kitchen pet are now valued as a superfood…its filled with fiber, potassium and antioxidants, and it’s good for athletes of endurance sports because it holds water well.

Here’s the video segment:

Mentions of chia in the mainstream press should bump demand. It’s a versatile seed that food manufacturers might consider using in some of their products to leverage this growing awareness amongst consumers. If you’re a manufacturer looking into chia, we can help you with your application and supply both standard, and certified organic chia. Contact us to arrange for a sample. Consumers can purchase chia both online and in a growing number of traditional retail outlets.

Food Related Blogs We Like

Wednesday, June 9th, 2010

Since we’re in the food industry, we’re always looking for sources of food information on the internet. Sometimes the very latest trends in healthy, nutritional foods haven’t even made it into the mainstream press so we particularly like discovering new sources in the blogosphere. Here are a few blogs we have been following lately that we’d like to share:

Healthy Fellow: JP, the creator of Healthy Fellow is a natural health consultant, researcher and writer. This site is packed with information on “natural health”. What we particularly like about Healthy Fellow is the depth to which JP researches most if not all of his posts, including references to the latest medical journals and scientific papers, while at the same time making the content easily accessible to the lay person. Fantastic blog for information on natural foods.

Joyous Health: This blog belongs to Joy McCarthy, a Certified and Registered Nutritionist located in Toronto, Ontario. The blog focuses on healthy lifestyles, and given that food is a big part of a healthy lifestyle, there is a lot of information related to food, including many delicious and healthy recipes. She’s also a contributor to AOL Canada’s Nutrition & Fitness website: That’s Fit – also worth checking out.

Ajay’s Writings On The Wall: This is the personal blog of a columnist at the Manila Bulletin’s Technews. She covers a lot of diverse subjects in her blog including filipiniana which is only natural given that she’s based in the Philippines. She clearly loves food, and there are a lot of posts related to food in general, and Filipino cuisine.

By the way, I’m a big fan of Filipino food, including my favourite breakfast, tosilig:

Tocilog At UCC

6 Great Technical Resources On Yacón

Wednesday, March 31st, 2010

YaconThe yacón root is pretty amazing. We’ve already touched on its use as a natural sweetener. With an unbelievably low glycemic index, it has great potential for those dieting, and those with diabetes. Besides its use as a sweetener, there are many other claims of potential health benefits. These benefits include the lowering of blood pressure and cholesterol, weight loss, reduced occurrences of constipation, and healthier bones. The scientific studies underlying these claims are excellently summarized on the Healthy Fellow blog. Today, I’d like to touch on the production, processing and application of yacón.

Native to South America, The yacón plant has been introduced to Japan and is also being grown in the Philippine Cordillera. You can educate yourself on the basics of yacón by checking out the yacón article on wikipedia. For something a little more in depth, here are six technical papers on various aspects of yacón and yacón processing courtesy of the International Potato Center in Lima, Peru:

Yacon Fact Sheet. A two page overview of the yacon plant, including a summary of health benefits and market opportunities.

Yacon by Alfredo Grau and Julio Rea. Consider this one a primer that goes beyond the fact sheet above in providing a general background on the yacon plant.

Yacon Syrup: Principles and Processing by Iván Manrique, Adelmo Párraga and Michael Hermann. The health benefits, broad application and consumer acceptance of yacon syrup suggests a large potential market. This manual outlines in detail the method for producing yacon syrup using simple technologies.

Innovations In Peeling Technology For Yacon by Graham Butler and Denys Rivera. One of the most labour intensive and costly components in the production of yacon syrup is the peeling of the yacon tubers. This paper presents cost effective peeling methods for yacon.

Effects of post-harvest treatments on the carbohydrate composition of yacon roots by S. Graefea, M. Hermannb, I. Manriqueb, S. Golombeka, and A. Buerkerta. This paper discusses the effect of the post harvest handling of yacon on fructo-oligosaccharides (FOS) concentrations. FOS’s are the indigestible carbohydrates in yacon that provide the sweet taste and at the same time support the growth of beneficial bacteria in the colon without any significant impact on blood sugar or insulin levels.

Making Yacon Candy by Caitlin Boon. This research paper outlines the feasibility of making candy from yacon syrup.