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    Do you ever wonder about the science behind your food? We do, too.

    Our group of writers serves up juicy topics like genetic engineering, gut bacteria and the chemical reactions that occur during cooking.

    Together, we’ll peer inside factory farms, dark jungles, cafeterias, laboratories and those trendy molecular gastronomy spots. Grab a bite, and sit down at the table to learn why Food Matters.

    Food Matters Crew:

    Julianne Wyrick, Kathleen Raven, Kevin Bonham, Layla Eplett, Pamela Ronald, Patrick Mustain and See Arr Oh
  • The Doctor Is In


    I’ve been pretty quiet in this space for the last several months. In the 6 months since we started Food Matters, I’ve been absent for three of them. I’m sorry about that, but I had a good reason, I swear… I published a paper, wrote my thesis, and yesterday I successfully defended my dissertation, and have now officially [...]

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    Science, technology and the chef


    Chef Richie Farina is no stranger to scientific technology, yet he also has an eye for art. He’s executive chef of the Chicago molecular gastronomy eatery, Moto, which means he often uses high-tech scientific equipment and processes in making his dishes. But Farina employs these techniques for purposes beyond the “wow” factor, as he explains [...]

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    The Hunger Game Meat: How Hippos Nearly Invaded American Cuisine


    Don’t have a cow but, at one point in history, it could have been that Americans weren’t having cows at all. Had the country’s cuisine gone on a different trajectory, Americans may have all been eating hippo meat instead. In American Hippopotamus, author Jon Mooallem recounts this fascinating and altogether quirky time in history. The [...]

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    Serving size swaps: a research perspective

    Nutrition Facts Label iStock_000015829121Small

    Last month, the Food and Drug Administration proposed changing Nutrition Facts labels to make serving sizes reflect what people actually eat. Several studies support the changes, though some research suggests it’s going to take more for the public to make healthy choices. Serving sizes have always been intended to represent what people actually eat, not [...]

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    A Tired Game of Telephone: Scientists, Reporters, Pundits and Politics

    Photo by Lee Summers

      In going after CDC study, Reuters report misrepresents WIC experts, their research. The Press Release That Started it All In February, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) published a study in the Journal of the American Medical Association on obesity prevalence that concluded: “Overall, there have been no significant changes in obesity [...]

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    How Alcohol Makes A Flakier Pie Crust: The “Proof” Is In The Pie


    Happy 3.14, a day some are celebrating using proofs with pi but I’m opting to observe it instead with proofs in pie–80 proof to be exact. There’s a whole science to pie crust and the secret to making a good one lies in achieving the right ratio of flour, liquid and fat. Variation in type [...]

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    What Is Success?

    Says the Raven. PHOTO BY ARJAN RAVEN

    “Goodbye don’t mean gone.” – attributed to Ray Charles “Everywhere I go, I’m asked if I think the universities stifle writers. My opinion is that they don’t stifle enough of them.” – Flannery O’Connor When New York calls, you listen, you go. That’s what two decidedly non-scientist role models in my life, Ray Charles and [...]

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    Three Men and a Baby: A Brief History of King Cakes


    People report finding Jesus in the strangest ways; today, one of those ways might be in a cake. That’s because it’s Mardi Gras, also known as Fat Tuesday, the last day to eat King’s Cake before Lent begins. The King’s Cake accompanies festivities to commemorate the Epiphany, the day the Magi (interpreted by some to [...]

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    Book Review: The Diet Fix–Why Diets Fail and How to Make Yours Work

    the diet fix cover

      The Diet Fix: why Diets Fail and How to Make Yours Work, by Yoni Freedhoff, MD, is available March 4, 2014. It starts with a prescription for chocolate. Clearly this is not your average diet book. Over nearly ten years and thousands of hours working with patients with weight management issues at his Bariatric Medical [...]

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    Coffee on the run

    Feb 2 photo iStock_000023054784Small

    Recently I’ve talked with several long distance runners —­­ think half-marathon or marathon — and have been surprised to hear how many down a mug of coffee before they race. After all, doesn’t coffee cause dehydration, something runners would like to avoid? A PLOS ONE study published in early January suggests the answer is no, [...]

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