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Feel Good Health News Now Trending Video What's New

These Kids Just Dropped The SICKEST Beats On Urban Farming

Urban farming is getting lit in this new music video.

Appetite for Change, a nonprofit organization in Minneapolis that uses food to build health and social change, released a rap music video called “Grow Food,” produced in collaboration with Beats and Rhymes and Chancellor Tha Beast.

The video was created as the result of the group’s Summer Youth Employment and Training Program. Youth in the program created the music video to share the important message of actively choosing healthy foods to their peers and friends.

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Photo: Appetite for Change

The rap itself is pretty catchy and has a great beat, but also has some pretty powerful messages regarding urban farming – and particularly why it’s important for kids.

One of the first lines of the video is particularly powerful:

See in my hood, there ain’t really much to eat. Popeye’s on the corner, McDonald’s right across the street.

This testament to how food is in a lot of communities is powerful – much of America resorts to unhealthier foods or fast food when it comes to eating. Low-income communities especially find eating healthy a hard challenge, since often they’re in food deserts – or areas lacking a grocery store.

In urban areas – where this video focuses on – there’s also a problem in the low-income neighborhoods, since fast food and cheap, processed food is the staple diet of those areas. Fresh produce is more expensive, so families resort to cheaper, high-calorie foods – which often link to diseases like diabetes and obesity.

For many children, the easy choice has become to just get the fast food – it’s convenient, much cheaper, and wildly popular despite the unhealthiness associated with it. To eat healthy at that level of convenience is expensive – but the benefits of growing your own food are great, since you can save money and get tasty nutrition at the same time.

So while the kids in this video are entertaining with dance moves like “chop it up” or “whip it in the kitchen”, they’re also sending out an important message regarding this issue – and offer up the solution of growing food in local communities, vacant lots, and in homes as a way to save money (something we’ve recently gone over).

Enjoy this dope music video and rap, but take home the message that is literally the title of the video – and grow food!

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Drinks News Now Trending Products What's New

It’s Official – Starbucks Now Has A Pokemon GO Frappuccino

It’s time for Pokemon trainers and Starbucks fans across America to come together and catch another Frappuccino.

Yesterday, we wrote the story on leaked Starbucks documents that indicated that Starbucks and Pokemon GO would be teaming up to apparently make every Starbucks in the US a PokeStop, a line of Pokemon GO Frappuccinos was coming out, and that Starbucks would help the gaming company release the 2nd generation of Pokemon into the game.

We can now confirm that the majority of what we found in those leaks is true.

The team at Pokemon GO just announced a brand new partnership with Starbucks via Facebook. Starting at 11 AM PST today, more than 7800 Starbucks will be converted into PokeStops and Gyms. Additionally, the stores have already started selling a Pokemon GO Frappuccino.

According to the Starbucks website, the new blended beverage is a vanilla bean frappuccino, blended with raspberry syrup and freeze dried blackberries.

You may be thinking – why berries? Well, in the game, there’s an item called the “Razz Berry” (and yes, it literally looks like a raspberry) that helps you increase the chances of catching a Pokemon. That’s how this frappuccino relates to Pokemon (because as you can see, it looks NOTHING like a Poke Ball).

As for the blackberries – well, they’re more blue in color, so maybe the raspberries and blackberries represent Red and Blue? Those are the colors of two of the teams that you can join up for in the game. If that’s the case, Team Valor and Mystic finally come together in this frappuccino (and Team Instinct gets left out, as always).

We were able to get our hands on one from the Starbucks next door to us and try this new creation for ourselves. It’s pretty sweet and tastes like mixed berries with vanilla bean. Overall, not too bad.

While the 2nd generation haven’t been confirmed yet, we do know that there is still a massive announcement coming in just a few days. We’ll be keeping our eyes peeled to see if this big announcement is indeed Generation 2.

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Health News Technology What's New

Innovative New Robot Will Do All of the Gardening Work For You

We’ve briefly touched on this in our article on food tech inventions, but the future of home farming is here.

Farmbot has developed a machine that will take care of all of your home gardening needs for you. Not only does the robot plant the seeds for you, but it can also water, monitor for weeds and kill them, and keep track of the soil quality of your home garden.

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Photo: Farmbot

Farmbot comes equipped with a variety of tools to perform the above functions — including a soil sensor, camera, weed suppressor, seed injector, and watering tool.

The robot works via an open-source platform that anyone can access, meaning that you can download the software for free and use it to construct your own Farmbot (instructions and equipment needed can be found on the website). However, the company does sell kits with all of the pieces needed to construct your own Farmbot.

You can control the Farmbot from online or via an app, using it to monitor and set what crops you want to grow in what locations, and to monitor water and soil nutrient quality. In terms of what crops you can grow, there is a large variety of crops in the software that you can program to grow — you just have to provide the seeds.

You can then make applicable changes through the app or online platform. By using the software, you can create growing sequences that set up growing procedures for the robot, or you can manually control from your phone or computer.

Farmbot is an incredibly stable machine that not only lasts a while (and can be solar-powered), but is weatherproof and versatile enough to fit various garden sizes. It takes away the time and care normally needed to properly grow crops in your backyard, making it incredibly easy to grow your own fresh produce!

The Farmbots are currently available for pre-order, and plan to ship in February 2017. The software is free to use, and the pre-made kits cost about $3,275.00, including shipping — a reasonable price for something that will be able to grow you produce for years to come.

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News Packaged Food Products What's New

Sabra Hummus Provided Us With New Details Regarding Their Recent Recall

Last week, I wrote an article detailing the massive hummus recall from Sabra due to Listeria monocytogenes found in their processing facility.

Sabra reached out to us regarding that voluntary recall, and we’re definitely impressed by what they had to say.

Photo: Today

Based on similar recalls like Blue Bunny’s massive Listeria recall in the past, we initially speculated that it could take up to half a year for Sabra products to be back in stores. Fortunately, that’s not going to be the case.

The hummus producer reached out to us directly to say that they’re already starting to put products back on the shelves, and expect to be restocked in most retail outlets in the next several weeks.

Shortly after Listeria was discovered in the facility, Sabra went through “a thorough and extensive factory-wide cleaning and sanitation process” to ensure the removal of any microbes on their production equipment or facility. They’ve also undergone an FDA inspection that has cleared them to restart hummus production in the affected facility.

They’ve been able to just take these steps since no finished products ever tested positive for Listeria. The microbe was found in the facility, which is why the above steps were taken.

Sabra’s CEO, Shali Shalit Shoval, also said in a statement that they will “continue to be working with internal and external food safety experts to identify any additional steps we can take to even further enhance our efforts,” showing a commitment to not just restoring food safety quality and brand trust, but to improve it even further with consumers.

Sabra has told us that they “remain committed to producing and delivering great tasting and wholesome hummus made with kitchen fresh ingredients that consumers can enjoy with peace of mind.”

This is great for all of us, because we’re going to be able to enjoy Sabra hummus (albeit with a little caution, as is the case with most recall aftermaths) much sooner than anticipated.

Kudos to Sabra for getting their cleaning and sanitation taken care of swiftly and production started back up so fast. As a food scientist, I’m definitely impressed at their speed to clean, sanitize, and be ready for production. Considering other recalls of this scale have taken up to half a year to recover from, it’s great to see Sabra come back so fast and sell product quite readily.

We’re excited and ready to see Sabra Hummus return to stores soon.

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News Packaged Food Products What's New

Campbell’s New Organic, Non-GMO Soups Are The Latest Big Label Addition To Healthy Eating Choices

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Photo: Souplicity

Campbell’s is officially joining the fresh soups trend — and in a big way.

C-fresh, a division within Campbell’s Soup Company, is launching Souplicity – a new line of refrigerated soups that are USDA Certified Organic, GMO-free, and preservative free – huge for a company well-known for selling a lot of additive-laden soups.

To ensure quality and to hold a longer shelf life, the soups go through high-pressure processing – a method that kills bacteria without the addition of any chemical preservatives, ensuring that the high quality of the soups remains intact.

Souplicity is available in four flavors – Roasted Red Pepper Tomato Gouda, Carrot Curry Ginger, Broccoli Parmesan Lemon, and Corn Poblano Lime.

These premium soups are Campbell’s foray into an already-growing trend of refrigerated soup. They’ve jumped to the front line of this soup trend by making sure their soups hit the marks for clean-label.

Refrigerated soups have been a rapidly growing part of retail market products recently, with the market value up to as much as $200 million in this past year.

The fact that Campbell’s has dedicated a product line to not just the growing trend of refrigerated soups, but also to non-GMO and preservative free, makes us excited. It puts Campbell’s in line with other big companies that are aiming to remove preservatives, GMOs, and additives from their products, such as McDonald’s and Panera Bread. Campbell’s adds another big voice to the call to remove these ingredients from food products — one that we can totally get behind.

The soups are currently available in Earth Fare stores, located across the Eastern and Southern United States. While there’s no date yet for a wider spread release, we’re happy to see this innovative line of clean label, non-GMO soups coming from a massive food industry player.

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Fast Food News What's New

General Tso’s Chicken Creator Passes, A Look Into The Iconic Dish’s Legacy

First, we lost the creator of the Big Mac. Now, we’ve also lost the creator of General Tso’s chicken in the same week.

According to Eater, Peng Chang-Kuei, the chef credited with the creation of this Chinese-American classic, passed away due to pneumonia this past week. Like the creator of the Big Mac, he was 98 years old when he died this past Wednesday.

Chef Peng, who originally introduced General Tso’s chicken to America in the 1970s, created the sweet and spicy fried chicken while cooking for a US admiral in Taiwan. He literally came up with the iconic name on a whim, and it’s stuck on as one of the most popular items you can get at Chinese-American restaurants, like Panda Express, today. There’s even been a documentary released on the origins of this hallmark entree.

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Photo: NBC

Peng Chang-Kuei’s chicken did very well in the United States — but at another New York restaurant named Shun Lee Palace. After the New York Times gave Shun Lee Palace’s version a raving review, the restaurant took off with the dish, while the original inventor had to return to Taiwan to sell his creation. Nonetheless, he is credited with creating the iconic Chinese chicken dish that spread across the country like wildfire, and is a staple in most Chinese-American restaurants.

While the General Tso’s chicken we all know and love is much sweeter than the original, it’s still Chef Peng’s signature dish — and his lasting legacy that he’s left behind.

We salute you, Chef Peng, for giving us this incredible chicken. Rest in peace.

 

Feature photo: Eater
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Celebrity Grub News Restaurants What's New

Two Michelin Star Chefs With Completely Opposite Styles Team Up For Unprecedented Meal

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Photo: Tiger Beer

Two Michelin-starred chefs are partnering up from nearly opposite walks of life to cook dinner together.

From December 7-9, 3-Michelin-starred heavy hitter Christopher Kostow and 1-Michelin-starred newcomer “Hawker Chan” (Chan Ho Meng) are teaming up to cook a three-course meal at Indochine in New York.

This meal is part of Tiger Beer’s Tiger STREATS event series, which combines the polar opposite styles of these two chefs into an interesting and intricate meal.

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Photo: Today Online

New to the Michelin-starred realm of restaurants, Hong Kong-trained Hawker Chan is wildly popular in Singapore’s Chinatown for fast and delicious service steeped in a deep history of tradition. His food stand, Hong Kong Soya Sauce Chicken Rice and Noodle, sells signature items like chicken and rice for the equivalent of less than 2 US dollars. The food community was definitely shocked when this humble food cart received a Michelin Star this past year. Chef Chan Ho Meng even thought it was a joke when he got the call.

Nonetheless, the time and care put into his food has elevated street fare to a Michelin star status – and new global notoriety for him. Chan Ho Meng has already signed a deal with Hersing Culinary to open a new restaurant, Hawker Chan, nearby his current food stand in Singapore’s Chinatown. Adding this dinner series to his repertoire will help his traditional, Hong Kong-style cooking to be spread worldwide.

Photo: SF Gate

Teaming up with Chef Ho Meng is a Napa Valley legend — Chris Kostow, executive chef of The Restaurant at Meadowood. A Chicago native, Kostow trained under several high-end chefs in prominent restaurants, including the prestigious Chez TJ (2 Michelin Stars) in the San Francisco Bay Area — one of the quintessential examples of a Michelin-starred restaurant. After moving on to The Restaurant at Meadowood, he became one of the youngest chefs ever to receive the coveted acclaim of three Michelin stars at his restaurant.

Kostow cooking includes a strong sense of community, drawing from his American roots and the Napa Valley’s gold mine of produce to create personal, thoughtful, and intricate dishes. This elegant, yet localized style of cooking often takes more modern twists, which is in stark contrast to his partner for the Tiger STREATs events.

For the dinners, each chef will present a course based in their cooking and style. While Chef Chan Ho Meng has yet to reveal his dish, Kostow has announced his to be a Whelk Lasagna, based off of the local whelks he can acquire in California.

The two chefs will also team up for dessert, with their cooking styles meshing into a singular dish that is sure to excite.

Getting reservations for this event is a little tricky — to obtain a code for a reservation for two at this event, you have to go to one of the sponsoring restaurants/bars in New York that has coasters containing the codes. You can then log into the event page with your code and reserve a seat while spaces last.

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Health News Packaged Food Products

Sabra Hummus Just Recalled Nearly Every One Of Their Products

Sabra Hummus just experienced a nasty recall.

A recall of the hummus-making giant’s products was expanded recently after Listeria monocytogenes were discovered at its manufacturing facility.

According to Modern Farmer, virtually every flavor and product of Sabra hummus has been added to the recall list, meaning that almost all of Sabra’s products are off of the shelves. Below is a list of all of the Sabra products affected:

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Photo: FDA 

Listeria is a particularly nasty food-borne pathogen. While it can just cause mild gastrointestinal illness (ie. diarrhea), it can also lead to serious health consequences such as meningitis. This is a more serious, invasive form of Listeriosis, (as the disease is called) and is the third deadliest pathogen in the United States, with over 90% of those infected each year ending up in the hospital. It also has a higher rate of meningitis in elderly or already sick populations, and leads to several miscarriages or stillbirths in pregnant women.

Outbreaks of Listeria are very common in products like hummus, which are refrigerated, ready-to-eat, and high in protein – the perfect environment for cold-loving Listeria to grow in. Once it’s found on equipment, it’s incredibly hard to get off – as Blue Bell just recently found out.

The Blue Bell ice cream manufacturer, who already has had to stop production once due to Listeria once before, issued another recall due to the pathogen earlier this year.

Massive outbreaks that affect an entire company have destroyed the image of a brand multiple times before. Blue Bell is a more recent example of that, as is the heavy hit Chipotle took when their massive food-borne illness outbreak began. These companies were able to survive and continue selling product, but others weren’t so lucky.

Jack in the Box, for example, nearly went out of business when an E. coli outbreak killed four children and caused their parent company to lose over $160 million in sales. Salmonella knocked the Peanut Corporation of America out of business after the bacteria was discovered in its peanut butter – and the company knowingly shipped it anyway. Hallmark Beef had to file for bankruptcy in the largest meat recall in history, where over $143 million of beef had to be recalled.

With nearly all of Sabra’s hummus being recalled and the popularity of the hummus giant, this recall is at the scale of those of companies who have failed to recover in the past. This means that there is a possibility we may not see Sabra products in the future. They have to at least clean their facilities and ensure they are free from Listeria contamination – a process that took Blue Bell over half a year to get right.

Fortunately, that has proven to not be the case for Sabra, who recently confirmed to Foodbeast that inspections and cleaning have taken place, products are in production again and heading back into stores, and full inventory restocking should occur within the next few weeks.

Kudos to Sabra for getting everything sorted out so fast and getting back into stores. They definitely have gotten the cleaning and sanitation process necessary to reopen production down to a swift science. Cheers for getting your hummus back up so quick, Sabra, and let’s hope we don’t experience another scary, massive recall like this for a while.