Company Develops Product That Will Test Food For Gluten

September 18th, 2016

It is estimated that 15 million people in America have a food allergy or food sensitivity. Gluten is one of the most common food allergies and sensitivities. Going out to eat or grocery shopping can be difficult for someone who has a gluten sensitivity. Fortunately, a company in San Francisco has developed a product that can test for gluten in food products.

The product’s name is NIMA. It can detect gluten in a food or beverage in less than two minutes. Shireen Yates is the co-founder of NIMA. She has stated that going out to eat can be a game of Russian Roulette for someone who has a gluten sensitivity. Even if the food or beverage has been labeled gluten-free, there is still a risk of cross-contamination.

The NIMA device is about the size of a smart phone. You will have to insert a sample of the food or beverage into device. If there is not any gluten in the product, then a happy face will be displayed. The NIMA device will display the words “gluten-found” if there is gluten inside of the product. It will also display a wheat icon.

Shireen has stated that the company plans on developing more generation sensor products in the future. In 2017, they will be releasing a product that will detect the presence of milk and peanuts in foods and beverages.

Which is Better for You: Smoothies or Juicing?

September 18th, 2016

The newest health food craze is juicing. Before that, it was smoothies. So, which is really better for you?

Fruit smoothies involve blending whole fruits and vegetables with milk, yogurt, juice or even water. They provide you with essential minerals and vitamins and are an easy way to provide your body with the essential nutrients that it needs. Juicing involves extracting the juice from fresh vegetables or fruits. The resulting liquid contains most of the minerals, plant chemicals and vitamins found in the whole fruit.

So, which one is better for you in terms of the effect on blood sugar and fiber content? According to The New York Times, Juicing removes all of the pulp from the fruit so there is hardly any fiber left. This means that the sugar is more concentrated and results in a spike in blood sugar. On the other hand, smoothies preserve fiber. Even though it is has been pulverized, it is still there. The fiber helps to slow down the absorption of fructose, leading to more stable blood sugar levels. So, get your fruit and vegetables in the form of smoothies. Avoid store-bought smoothies and pre-packaged smoothie mixes. These can have as much sugar and calories as a milkshake. Instead, stock up on fruits and vegetables and create your own tasty smoothie. Add vegetables like spinach, cucumbers and romaine lettuce. Avocado is a great smoothie ingredient because of its creamy texture. It also offers healthy fats and numerous vitamins.

Chiptole Is Offering Free Food To Customers

September 17th, 2016

Chiptole will be giving away free food and drinks during the month of September 2016. Students with a valid ID will be able to get a free fountain drink with the purchase of a taco, burrito, salad or bowl. This offer does not apply to alcoholic beverages. People will also be able to get a free kid’s meal with the purchase of one adult meal on Sundays in September. However, the children have to be under the age of 12. Both of these offers only apply to purchases that are made inside of the store.

Chiptole’s business suffered after an E.coli outbreak occurred earlier this year. This outbreak affected restaurants in 14 states. Even though the outbreak was over in February 2016, sales have still not picked up. Sales dropped by 30 percent during the first quarter of 2016. Chiptole is hoping that giving out free food will help attract customers to its restaurant.

Chiptole has also done many other things in order to attract customers. The company gave away $70 million in coupons from February 2016 to May 2016. Eight states have also offered happy hour drink specials. In July 2016, the company started a rewards program. However, Chiptole sent a letter to the Securities and Exchange Commission in July 2016 that stated that they have not received any additional revenue from giving away the coupons.

Bakeries Ring Changes on Sweet and Savory Pastries

September 17th, 2016

Donuts, pies, waffles: we think of them as sweet treats, reserved for special mid-morning treats or tasty desserts. But think again. According to a recent article in the New York Times, pastries are not only becoming more varied and nuanced; they’re also moving into the category of savory main courses (http://www.nytimes.com/2016/08/28/nyregion/satisfying-the-sweet-and-savory-tooth.html?_r=0).
Reviewing the pastry menus in three up-and-coming bakeries in the New York State towns of Sag Harbor, Centerport, and Mineola, food critic Susan Novick notes some distinctly new innovations in pastry offerings. At Sag Harbor’s Grindstone Coffee and Donuts, for example, the brioche donuts are all made from a similar (and deliciously authentic) recipe, each varied with a distinct topping. Popular among these are crème brulee and chocolate coconut, but there’s also a distinct interest in more savory toppings such as peanut butter and caramelized bananas.
At Centerport’s Hometown Bake Shop, the focus is on pies. Using the same basic pie crust recipe, chef Danna Abrams produces the usual strawberry-rhubarb and banana cream pies, but includes also pastries that can serve as nutritious main dishes: pies featuring macaroni and cheese, meatball, chili, and chicken are also on offer. Aware that bakeries have become a source for family meals, Chef Abrams also offers a variety of breakfast sandwiches using naan, focaccia, and English muffin breads along with more mainstream varieties.
Waffles too have received a new look at Costa Nova Waffle in Mineola. Using a waffle recipe developed by street vendors in Portugal, Costa Nova sells waffles-to-go with fifteen different fillings, ranging from milk chocolate and strawberries to traditional Portuguese ovos moles.

Divine Soul 2 Soul Opens Its Doors

September 16th, 2016

Divine Soul 2 Soul is one of the newest food trucks in the Quad Cities area. It is owned by Phyllis Harris. She is very proud of her cooking and calls it finger-licking good. She has also stated that her food is good for the soul. Phyllis has catered for people in the past and received many positive reviews on her food. She looks forward to serving people at her food truck.

Phyllis and her sister opened the foodtruck on Friday, August 26, 2016. They plan to set the food truck up every Friday at Mercado on Fifth in Moline, IL. They also plan to participate in Food Truck Fridays. Phyllis also works full-time at the Illinois Department of Human Services. She has stated that she opened the food truck to provide people with flavorful and affordable food. She is not doing it for the money.

Phyllis has stated that she puts a twist on everything that she cooks. She was inspired by her mother, who was also a very good cook. She stated that her mother would cook big meals on Sundays that never seemed to run out. Phyllis would also watch television shows on food network and learn new recipes.

Phyllis stated that her mother was such a good cook that she could make water taste good. Phyllis’s mother died in 2013. Phyllis temporarily lost her passion for cooking. However, she started cooking again after moving to Moline. Phyllis stated that cooking is her dream, and she is going to continue to pursue it.

Why Robots May Soon Take Over Restaurant Kitchens

September 16th, 2016

Technophiles are having a field day. This is after it was made public that robots will soon be working in restaurants. This innovation has already been successfully implemented in a number of eateries. During a pilot project, humanoid robots were programmed to prepare customers’ sofritas tacos and chicken burritos. The robots carried this out seamlessly.

In as much as this might sound futuristic, robots have been found to be quite effective. This is because they can flawlessly take orders, cook and serve meals. Restaurants have been advertising how effective their robotic “employees” are. Technology firms have equally joined the fray, and are coming up with innovations to satisfy the burgeoning demand. Momentum Machines is one such firm. The Silicon Valley technology company has gained a niche for creating automated restaurant systems, which have the ability to prepare more than 400 burgers every hour. This surpasses human capacity by far.

Artificial Intelligence

What stands out about these robots is their ability to function without any form of human assistance. They also have a high sense of tactile intelligence, which bears close similarity to that of a human being. The application of robotic technology in the hospitality industry is likely to start with the fast food division. Fast food conglomerates are already ordering the robots in dozens. Restaurant owners recognize that this will save costs in the long run. Besides this, it is slowly bringing the futuristic world into existence.

Restaurateurs who own outlets that deal with large quantities of food stand to benefit most from this innovation. However, a number of individuals have voiced their concern about the en masse use of robots in restaurants. Such individuals argue that most restaurant machines lack robotic dexterity. According to them, this proves that restaurants and eateries are not yet ready for the robotic revolution. In addition, purchasing robotic kitchen systems is quite expensive. The article was originally posted on Eater.

Will Coffee-Growing Regions Reduce by Half in This Century?

September 15th, 2016

That is what is predicted in a report by the Climate Institute of Australia., which says that climate change will cause havoc by reducing the land that is suitable for coffee production. That will also impact the livelihood of 25 million coffee farmers throughout the globe and 120 million of the poorest workers in the world.

Expected within the next 40 years, it has long been warned by experts that something needs to be done to combat this problem since half of the areas in the world that are suitable for coffee growing will be gone by 2050 if climate change stays unchecked. By 2080, the report’s estimate states that wild coffee, which finds varietals that hopefully would be more resistant to the climate stress, could become extinct.

In 2012, a fungus, Coffee Leaf Rust, affected half of the coffee in Central America, Guatemala lost approximately 85 percent of their crop that year, there was damage of $500 million in 2012 through 2013, and 350,000 people were put out of work.

People drink over 2.25 billion cups of coffee every day, and the coffee industry gives developing countries their second most valuable export. The more commonly grown coffee, Coffea Arabica, only thrives in specific conditions in tropical highlands around the world.

Coffee plants take years to become productive, and it isn’t feasible for the farmers that are 80 to 90 percent of the coffee growers to move to higher altitudes or further away from the equator.

A world that is warming quickly, drought, and heavy rains are making it difficult to grow coffee in the necessary regions, states the report. Even half of a degree in temperature change can make a “gold mine” region unsuitable.

Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Latte Announcement

September 15th, 2016

Starbucks has finally announced today that it plans to release its beloved Pumpkin Spice Latte or PSL to consumers on Tuesday, September 6, 2016. Since 2003, Americans have come to associate the PSL with the start of the autumn season even though autumn doesn’t technically start until September 22 this year. Of course, as with previous years, Starbucks then announced on its Twitter account that fans can use the Mobile Order & Pay system to get the PSL early for the Labor Day Weekend.

The Pumpkin Spice Latte is a mix of espresso, steamed milk and pumpkin spice sauce that contains a blend of pumpkin, cinnamon, clove, ginger and nutmeg. One big difference this year is that Starbucks has expanded its consumer reach by taking into account the fact that many people have dairy allergies by offering “Starbucks Almondmilk” as a substitute for traditional cow’s milk in certain stores. Starbucks already offers coconut milk and soy milk dairy substitutes.

Details about how people can enjoy the PSL are now trending on several social media platforms: Starbucks customers can customize the beverage by asking for decaf coffee, ice or a blended Frappuccino. They can also ask for a plain PSL without whip cream and pumpkin spice powder topping. Lastly, consumers can enjoy the PSL through pre-made flavor K-Cups and specialty Iced Espresso and Frappuccino bottles.

Starbucks also plans to release one new beverage on the same day called the Chile Mocha that combines espresso, steamed milk, ancho chile, cayenne and cocoa.

Food Delivery Firms are struggling to make Profits despite Meeting Consumers’ Demands

September 14th, 2016

In a report titled Food Delivery 2.0: Early Lessons from a Young, but Crowded Space, Paul Savanti and Nick Fereday (Rabobank analyst) stated that nearly $2 billion of investment capital had been channeled into food delivery sector since 2012. The money was distributed to online grocery delivery companies such as Instacart, meal-kit services like HelloFresh and Blue Apron, and restaurant delivery apps like DoorDash.

Stiff competition

The analysts observed that the food delivery sector was experiencing a stiff competition and space was beginning to feel more crowded. While firms such as GrubHub, Blue Apron, and Instacart are worth nearly $2 billion, they are still struggling to differentiate themselves from other competitors. For instance, Instacart confirmed that it is profitable in only 10 out of its 19 markets.

Reduced funding

According to the analysts, classifying independent contractors utilized by companies like Instacart, DoorDash, and Postmates as employees will increase the operational costs significantly. The authors point out that the current business models adopted by many food delivery firms have not proved if they can sustain reclassification of Independent contractors as employees. Independent contractors are personal shoppers who pick online orders from restaurants/stores and use their vehicles to deliver them to customers’ door.

Although investors can see various concepts that appeal to clients, they are more cautious when it comes to investing in the food delivery sector. The reduction in the pace of funding in 2016 could have instigated the increased caution. Firms that managed to raise funds in 2016 did so at a significantly lower valuation.

Starbucks Teams Up With Feeding America To Kick Off “FoodShare” in San Diego

September 14th, 2016

America’s favorite coffee chain, Starbucks, is about to launch its latest charity project. Starbucks officials announced on August 30th that they are starting the very first Starbucks “FoodShare” program in their San Diego stores.

This FoodShare program is intended to help the disadvantaged and homeless by providing them with food items from 190 participating Starbucks locations in the San Diego area. Some analysts estimate that Starbucks will be able to donate over 750,000 pounds of food to San Diego Feeding America food banks each year.

So, how does this project work? It is actually quite simple. First, Starbucks employees will collect food items like Bistro Boxes, yogurts, and salads that are still good at the end of their shifts. Then, all of this food will be taken by FoodShare refrigerated vans every day of the week to be re-distributed into the community.

Within only five years, Starbucks hopes to be able to collect all of the available food for donation across the USA. This translates to about 5 million meals.

Al Brislain, the CEO of Feeding America San Diego, is very excited to be working with Starbucks on this pilot venture. He told reporters that Starbucks has been actively exploring ways to create a meaningful change in combatting hunger through their partnership with Feeding America. He hopes this will be a successful pilot program to combat hunger in American communities.

Starbucks has not released any information on whether they will try to expand this project to locations in foreign countries. For now, all eyes will be on San Diego to see the positive effects this partnership will have on the local community.