Saturday, September 8, 2007

Roasted Corn in Coffee

Dr. Gulab Jham and his associates at the USDA have developed a method of detecting adulteration of ground coffee with roasted corn by measuring its Vitamin E content. Based on his detection method, one popular brand of Brazilian coffee was found to contain about nine percent corn.

Consumers are being cheated by this substitution as coffee beans are much more expensive than corn.

This article, “Gamma-Tocopherol as a Marker of Brazilian Coffee (Coffea arabica L.) Adulteration by Corn” can be found in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry located on line at < >.

Now wouldn’t it be a kick in the head if it were the Vitamin E in coffee that was responsible for the recently touted health effects of coffee?

Lowering Blood Sugar Level While Reducing Hunger

According to new research, if you moderate sugars and consume low Glycemic Index (GI) foods, your blood sugar level will be improved. If you eat such foods for both breakfast and supper, the effect continues for the entire 24 hour period. More information can be found at < - Right breakfast bread keeps blood sugar in check all day>.

Glucose has a Glycemic Index of 100. Low glycemic foods have GIs around half of that of glucose. Some examples are whole/cracked grains and most fruits and vegetables. Notable exceptions are potatoes and some types of rice. A good source of information for Glycemic Indexes is .

Because these foods are not quickly and easily digestible, they pass from the upper part of the digestive tract where food breakdown and absorption generally occur, to the colon where friendly bacteria continue this processing. Some of the short-chained fatty acid byproducts can be absorbed into the blood stream. These can reduce inflammation and risk of diabetic conditions. As a bonus dividend, they also moderate hunger.

According to Wikipedia (Vinegar - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia) consuming vinegar as part of a meal will lower the GI of foods.

May all your sandwiches be on dark bread served with an extra slice of dill pickle.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Making Fresh Vegetables and Fruits Safe

USDA scientists spoke on Monday at the ongoing meetings of the Society for General Microbiology’s 161st Meeting at the University of Edinburgh, UK about safety in harvesting, processing and marketing of fresh produce. They said that there was no absolute way to assure safety in these procedures despite use of harvesting mowers for some products, use of water flumes for processing, triple washing, and packaging in a modified atmosphere.

Prior to the recent fresh spinach contamination problem, I read about a cheap and simple way of disinfecting fresh vegetables.

You put hydrogen peroxide in one spray bottle and a solution of water and vinegar (I use 1 part cider vinegar to 2 parts water.) in another. Spray the vegetables with one, wait a few minutes and spray with the other. It doesn’t matter which solution you use first. If you have clean water, you can rinse with it. But that’s not necessary.

As a bonus, when I used this with grapes and strawberries, they seemed to keep longer in the refrigerator.

If you wish to read the summary for the latest article on fresh produce contamination, you can go to – Lettuce, leafy greens and E. coli