Categories
Health Sweets

According To Amazon Customer Reviews Food Is Too Sweet Nowadays

Source: SoDelicious

New research looking at Amazon customer reviews suggests that food is too sweet these days. But the customers aren’t just talking about desserts here. 

This study was done by researchers from the Monell Center, who analyzed about 400,000 food reviews posted by Amazon’s customers. Their goal? To gain insight into the food choices that people make. And the results show that many of those people think that food is too sweet these days.

“This is the first study of this scale to study food choice beyond the artificial constraints of the laboratory,” said study lead author Danielle Reed, Ph.D., who is a behavioral geneticist at Monell. “Sweet was the most frequently mentioned taste quality and the reviewers definitively told us that human food is over-sweetened.”

Thousands of people think food is too sweet

The analysis was done with the help of a sophisticated statistical modeling program. Because the figures of the research are staggering: 393,568 unique food reviews were analyzed, of 67,553 products, posted by 256,043 Amazon customers over 10 years.

The scientists identified words connected to taste, odor, spiciness, texture, cost, health, but also customer service. Having the words, researchers counted the number of reviews that mentioned these categories.

“Reading and synthesizing almost 400,000 reviews would essentially be impossible for a human team, but recent developments in machine learning gave us the ability to understand both which words are present and also their underlying semantic meaning,” said study co-author Joel Mainland, Ph.D., an olfactory neurobiologist at Monell.

Sweet taste was mentioned in over 10 percent of food reviews, but also over-sweetness was mentioned 25 more times than under-sweetness. Almost 1 percent of the food reviews, so about 4,000 used the phrase “too sweet”.

This comes in the face of more and more scientific data figuring out that sugar is one of the biggest dietary villains we have. Sugar is hidden in plenty of products that are not even supposed to be sweet.

If you’re thinking about cutting back on sugar, here are some ways you can do that.

Related Links:

Do You Get the Drunchies? Allow Us to Explain

Unhealthy Diets Kill More People than Tobacco, Study Says

Food that Ages You: What Items to Replace to Preserve Your Youth


Article by Ruxandra Grecu from So Delicious. View the original article here.

Categories
Hit-Or-Miss

Food Reviewers Get Fired After Writing Mean Review of Family-Owned Restaurant They Didn’t Even Go To

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An Australian magazine dumped its food reviewers after a family-owned restaurant called out what appeared to be a vengeful review as a fake.

Kelly Ramsay and Chloe James, former food reviewers for the Sunday Times weekend magazine STM in Western Australia, published a harsh review of the West End Deli on Sunday about a mediocre dinner they had at the restaurant.

According to WA Today, the pair gave West End Deli nine points out of 20 and advised that the “hipster deli should stick to brekkie” or a breakfast menu. As for customers, the two women suggested that their readers “consider takeaway pizza instead.”

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Ramsay and James, who are also former contestants on the Australian reality television show “My Kitchen Rules,” complained about the low-quality ingredients used to prepare the food. They described being served soggy cheese, underripe tomatoes and overripe watermelons. The food was so mediocre that they claimed to have not eaten a majority of it and having left it on the plate.

Following their review, which has since been removed, West End Deli posted a statement on their Facebook page on Sunday to clarify what actually happened. Though the review was credited to be written by both Ramsay and James, it appears that only Ramsay and her fiance were present during the meal. Management from West End Deli wrote in a Facebook post:

“We are not averse to some good old-fashioned constructive criticism, but there were several inconsistencies…

“We would love to know how Chloe can fairly put her name to a review of a restaurant and food that she has not actually experienced.”

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According to the restaurant, Ramsay and her beau’s plates were spotless after they had finished their dinner. To add more insult to injury, Ramsay and her fiance didn’t pay for the meal as her credit card was declined. The post read:

“[Ramsay] was obviously quite embarrassed and promised to come back the next day and settle the AUD $260 (US $187) bill. That’s the last we heard of Kelly for close to 7 weeks. We rang, left voicemails and text Kelly numerous times but were ignored completely until late December.”

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In addition, West End Deli claimed the review to be an unfair reflection of its restaurants since Ramsay dined at the restaurant in October 2015 and the restaurant now uses seasonal produce. They concluded:

“We also made our concerns clear to the STM editor after we were made aware that we were being reviewed months after the dinner took place..

“STM has a readership of 321,000 people, meaning that these 2 ex reality telly home cooks have the power to damage the reputation of a family business with a few inaccurate, scathing taps on the keyboard.”

The Sunday Times magazine fired the two reviewers on Wednesday. A tweet by West Australian read:

h/t: Mashable

Written by Laura Dang, NextShark

Categories
Hit-Or-Miss

Yelp Employee Complains How Broke She Is To Her Boss, Gets Fired Hours Later

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A Yelp employee who has a bi-weekly income of $733.24 wrote an open letter to Yelp CEO Jeremy Stoppelman to complain about her living conditions in San Francisco and her experience working in the consumer support department for the website’s food delivery subsidiary, Eat24. She was fired from her job a few hours later after sharing the post via Twitter.

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The employee, Talia Jane (not her real name), detailed in her letter posted on Medium on Feb. 19 how she and “every single one” of her coworkers are struggling to make ends meet, reportsBusiness Insider.

“They’re taking side jobs, they’re living at home,” she wrote. “One of them started a GoFundMe because she couldn’t pay her rent. She ended up leaving the company and moving east, somewhere the minimum wage could double as a living wage.”

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Jane said she made $8.15 an hour after taxes and had lived the past six months on nothing but a 10-pound bag of rice and the free food provided by her work.

“I can’t afford to buy groceries,” she wrote. “Isn’t that ironic? Your employee for your food delivery app that you spent $300 million to buy can’t afford to buy food. That’s gotta be a little ironic, right?”

Yelp CEO Jeremy Stoppelman responded via Twitter agreeing with Jane’s points and stressed that San Francisco needs to lower its housing costs:

“Late last night I read Talia’s medium contribution and want to acknowledge her point that the cost of living in SF is far too high.”

More NextShark Stories: How a Top Pickup Artist Went From Orgies and Bondage to Becoming a Family Man

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He also posted several tweets mentioning that he has spoken out in the past about making housing cheaper for the public.

Stoppelman, however, denied having a part in Jane’s dismissal.

“I’ve not been personally involved in Talia being let go and it was not because she posted a Medium letter directed at me,” he wrote.

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Jane later posted a tweet that said the human resources department told her the reason she was fired was that her “letter violated Yelp’s Terms of Conduct.” As of this writing, she’s still awaiting information regarding her severance package.

Talia Jane’s post has since received a reply from writer Stephanie Williams chastising “Millennials like Talia” on their poor work ethic and entitled attitude when it comes to trying to make a living working less desirable jobs.

Written by Editorial Staff, NextShark

Categories
Hit-Or-Miss

Bravest Bistro Ever Pays Customers To Write Hilariously Negative Yelp Reviews

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Botto Bistro to the Goblin King of the restaurant world AKA Yelp: “You have no power over me.”

Since it first launched back in 2004, Yelp has grown into something of a tyrannical behemoth in the food world — even being granted legal permission earlier this month to manipulate reviews for money. Because business or something.

Still, not everyone is so willing to cower before the review site’s supposed “might.” In an effort to undermine the reliability of its Yelp listing, the Botto Bistro Italian restaurant in Richmond, Calif. has actually started offering customers discounts for writing negative reviews.

According to Inside Scoop SF, the five-year old establishment is on “a mission to the the worst-rated restaurant in the Bay Area.” Owners Davide Cerretini and Michele Massimo hope to prove that bad Yelp reviews won’t impact their business, nor that of “any other successful restaurant.”

The results of the tongue-in-cheek campaign have proven to be at worst confusing, and at best, utterly brilliant. Loyal and amused customers have brought their witticisms by the truckload, docking the restaurant stars for food that tastes too good, waiters that serve too well, and experiences that remind them way too much of Italy.

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The clever stunt has not gone entirely unnoticed by Yelp’s legal team though, which, kind of ironically, recently reached out to the Bistro for “offering incentives” in exchange for reviews. The cease and desist letter read:

To be clear, this violates our Terms of Service (http://www.yelp.com/static?p=tos&country=US), and reviews written under such circumstances violate Yelp’s Content Guidelines (http://www.yelp.com/guidelines). We also often find from user feedback that such practices do more harm than good, as the practice creates distrust amongst customers and users who now eye all reviews on a listing with suspicion.”

Pardon us if we respond with a big ol’ EL-oh-F*CKING-EL.

Categories
Humor

9 Hilariously Snarky Amazon Reviews for The Placenta Cookbook

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(*Pictured: steak, not placenta)

First, the bad news: there are people out there who eat placenta. You know, afterbirth. The bloody, 8-inch organ that eventually gets expelled from the mother’s body following delivery. They eat it in pill form. They eat it from medicine droppers on television. They even eat their wives’ placentas, chopped up in skirt steak tacos, and write about it for the food and drink section of The Guardian.

Thankfully, for every stomach-churning placenta-eater, there’s at least a few folks who realize placentophagy is just weird, okay?

While reading about placentacos, we stumbled across an actual Kindle cookbook featuring “25 Placenta Recipes — Easy and Delicious recipes for cooking with placenta!” — and were pleasantly surprised to find the art of necessary internet snark alive and well. Check out some of our favorite reviews (complete with Hannibal and hipster references), below:

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Run of the Mill

“[…] The problem with placentas nowadays is that most of us don’t really know what kind of placentas we’re getting. Were the mothers grain-fed? Vegetarian? Meat eaters? Did they sneak a couple of sips of wine or a cigarette when nobody was looking? Did the moms dye their hair once or twice? Use rubber gloves when cleaning? It’s impossible to know because none of the placentas have fda oversight. Organic? Probably not.”

— Kendra

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Oh Happy Day!

“Being a single guy, making a meal of a delicious placenta is somewhat of a challenge. Hospitals frown on you hanging out in the maternity wards, and many new mothers take offense that you want to eat their afterbirth. So I’ve gotten myself a beautiful Labrador Retriever female, and have been breeding her constantly. Those little placenta patties are the perfect size for lunches at the office! And the recipes in this cook book are so easy and wonderful! The only problem is getting rid of all these puppies…”

— Stefan

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Does Not Come With Placenta

“I was highly disappointed to find that placenta delivery was not included. I had to deliver my own. Practically gave myself contractions from all that hard work.”

— Target Fan in Florida

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Hannibal

“My wife, Clarice, and I are always searching for new epicurean delights to satiate our discerning palates. This excellent volume of recipes truly epitomizes the art of haute cuisine. Procuring the placenta may prove difficult, however as an M.D., I have little trouble talking my way into the maternity wards. I recommend the placenta with fava beans, paired with a nice Chianti.”

— Josh

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An Absolute Essential

“With the ever-increasing price of placenta in today’s economy, it’s important to make sure that your placental investment pays off big at the dinner table, and with these easy, delicious recipes, it’s sure to. While the book seems to assume that frozen placenta will be the norm, the fact is, all of these recipes are just as easy (and even more delicious) with farm-fresh placentas. If you haven’t contacted your local organic gynecologists or artisan obstetricians, you really should make the effort to do so. Your efforts will be well-rewarded. Remember: think globally, eat afterbirth locally.

— R.A. Walker

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Placenta Helper

“Thankfully, Whole Foods is now stocking ‘Placenta Helper’ which has enabled me to sample all 25 recipes without lurking around the hospital trash bins. Enjoy!”

— G.S. Cole

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Only 3 Stars From Me

“The consumption of placenta is considered a delicacy, and the recipes in this book were simple and delicious.. but I could only give a 3 star rating because of my misunderstanding of the directions; the recipe does make clear that the attached umbilical cord is called a “cord” for a reason. It is quite like eating an electrical cord and is quite a challenge to digest.”

— Ohboy that was good

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Baby, You’re Delicious

“[…] Unfortuneatlly I was only able to get about 4 recipes out before I ran out so I have to knock her up again. Maybe I’ll give her fertility drugs so she can have twins or octoplets and we can have more placentars!”

— T-Storm

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Yum, But . . .

“But what do I do with the left-over babies? I’m thinking meatloaf or something Austrian. Maybe with a quinoa salad.”

— AKA Fred

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PicThx Wiki, The Guardian

Categories
Adventures

[ADVENTURE] A Walk on the Wilde Side – Happy Hour at Muldoon’s Pub in Newport Beach

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Among the Oscar Wilde quotes which line the back of the new “Wilde Hours” menu at Muldoon’s is this surprisingly apropos gem: “I love talking about nothing. It’s the only thing I know anything about.”

I for one don’t know anything about Irish pubs, but that’s okay, since this is California and suggestion here is the name of the game. Newport Beach – just across the street from Fashion Island, off the 73 freeway where they filmed scenes for The Hangover Part III, and less than 30 minutes from both Disneyland and Universal Studios, depending on what time of day it is and how lucky you are – is a far cry from Ireland’s green rolling hills. But throw in a 40 year history and some carefully-curated set pieces (not to mention a few pints of Guinness), and you might just find enough Irish spirit to convince yourself otherwise.

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There’s the tall old Sycamore growing through the center courtyard, that’s been there since the place first opened in 1974. There’s the smattering of authentic Irish heirlooms, handpicked by the owners, that festoon the fully-licensed establishment’s three separate rooms. And let’s not forget the crooning voices of Bono and Marcus Mumford, carefully chosen to help guests hearken back to simpler days on the Emerald Isle. It certainly feels authentic, and for anyone seeking a slice of Ireland amidst all the sunshine and silicone, maybe that’s enough.

When I visited Muldoon’s earlier this month, I came on a Thursday during lunchtime, so I can’t say much for the happy hour ambience, except that it’s a homey scene and I hear they feature live bands on Friday and Saturday nights. But if I had to give my not-so-expert Foodbeast recommendation based solely on the menu, I think, nay believe, that I should.

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First up was the Wilde Irish Julep: a fresh, sweet, not-at-all-syrupy thing I tried on the suggestion of Mary Murphy, the general manager – which, while delicious, nevertheless made me fear my hosts thought I was under 21. If there was alcohol in there, the light taste and my lack of buzz certainly didn’t betray it.

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Next were the Banger Bites and Warm Dijon Sauce, which were snappy and savory and best of all, easy to eat. I was finished with my first “bite” and was about to snatch up a second before remembering I needed to photograph them, so I can only imagine how quickly these would go during a normal, after-hours setting. Though rich and hearty, they’re also not too filling, so it’s probably best just to order a plate for yourself.

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The Whiskey Wings, Sindi Rae Sliders and Smoked Salmon with Chive Mascarpone on Flatbread were all solid, though nothing revolutionary. That title would have to go to the Homemade Corned Beef Tacos: an innocuous if bizarre mash-up which – if nothing else – helped prove why ground seasoned beef has remained the go-to filling for so many centuries. The corned beef was lean, almost melty, and held up well beneath the dressing of tomatoes and sour cream. But even after being drizzled in lime, the dish lacked the zest of a good, well-spiced ground beef or beer-battered fish. I would recommend you try them at least once for the novelty, and then see if the chef wouldn’t mind whipping up a fish and chips taco as an alternative twist on a popular Irish staple.

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For drinks, the Wilde Hour offers an Irish Red Ale, a Honey Blonde and a Lusty Wheat Hefeweizen; three wines; and a handful of Irish-inspired cocktails including the Wilde Julep and Emerald Drop, each priced at between 20 – 30% less than dinner price.

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Like any culturally-themed watering hole, Muldoon’s takes pride in the stories it tells, those it tells its guests and those it tells itself. As the website reads, the new Oscar Wilde-themed happy hour took its name from a legendary author “known for his love of enjoyment and the pursuit of pleasure,” and offers guests the chance to unwind while delighting in a bit of Irish history.

So will dropping by Muldoon’s after work and ordering third-off priced brews while enjoying the witticisms of Oscar Wilde be enough to transport you to Dublin in the 1800s? Probably not, but it’s a damn good place to pretend.

Wilde Hours @ Muldoon’s Irish Pub
4 p.m. – 7 p.m. Tuesday through Friday
$3 – $9 plates, $4.50 – $9 drinks
202 Newport Ctr Dr
Newport Beach, CA 92660

Categories
Video

Epic Meal Time’s ‘Epic Chef’ Is One Loudmouthed, DGAF Clusterf*ck of a Cooking Show [REVIEW]

Watching Epic Meal Time’s new cooking competition show is a bit like seeing a nerdy kid getting picked on by a bunch of meatheads on the playground. You laugh a little at first. And then you feel bad. And then you laugh again. And then you start to question your humanity.

It’s Chopped meets Hell’s Kitchen meets Jackass, with just a little bit of Man vs. Food thrown in. Or in this case, Judges vs. Everyone.

More than anything, “Epic Chef” comes across as EMT’s jab at what has now become the procedural cooking competition. You know, with the time limits and the surprise secret ingredients and the celebrity guest judges and the cooking. All of which Epic Chef has, of course—come on, they’re not barbarians—only this time around, they’ve been “epic-ized.” Which is to say the required ingredients are bacon and alcohol, the celebrity guest judges are comedian Destorm Powers and Duff from Charm City Cakes and every so often, everyone needs to stop cooking and take a shot.

After all, as host Harley so kindly explains after promising to beat the sh*t out of Duff, “This isn’t a kitchen, this is an internet show.”

 

 

In its first episode, which premiered Friday, competing chefs Ilan Hall (Top Chef season 2 champ) and David Alvarez (“celebrity chef”) face the challenge of creating an Epic Breakfast using bacon, rum, various breakfast meats, mac and cheese, jalapenos, baked beans, “sushi-grade lard,” and whatever else they can find in the kitchen. The results themselves fall flatter than flat and include a plate of deep fried jalapenos garnished with cucumber! of all things, courtesy Alvarez, as well as a tray of cinnamon rolls around 2:57 which are strangely never mentioned again.

Even Hall, with his Rivers Cuomo looks and Foie Gras Black Flag t-shirt, whips up a “Business Breakfast Poutine” served in a briefcase, which nevertheless strikes judge Duff as too “easy” and safe.

Throughout the show’s ten minute duration, it’s hard not to wish the EMT guys were the ones actually competing against each other instead of these goofballs, just to bring back some of the OMG NOMS which has made Epic Meal Time, Epic Meal Time since the show started back in 2010. Where are the Breakfast Lasagnas, you can’t help but wonder. Where’s the Meat Cereal and the Breakfast Egg Roll?

Instead, Harley’s quips and jabs at the chefs, and the rest of the judge’s jabs at each other, are all that carries the show. At one point, clearly drunk off their asses, they decide to show the audience what life would look like as a nacho, taking the camera and dunking in it a bag of chips and a pot of melted cheese. Which, if you’re a fan of EMT’s humor, is obviously pretty piss-pants hilarious. But unfortunately that’s all it really is.

In the end, Epic Chef is a cooking show for fans of EMT and fans of EMT only. Which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. It never really promised to be anything else. But by the time the show ends, I’m not really mad at anybody. I’m not super hungry. I’m not even disgusted with myself for becoming super hungry.

But what else I expected from an Epic Meal Time cooking competition beyond that, I’m not really sure.

Tune in to Epic Chef on Fridays @ http://www.youtube.com/user/EpicMealTime

Categories
Packaged Food

Become a “Bean Head”: Beanitos Bean Chips [OUR LOOK]

Beans, beans, they’re good for your heart and now you can munch on them in chip form. Beanitos has crossed over the usual tortilla and corn model and managed to put together a healthy, and flavorful bag of bean-based chips.

With its standard black bean, pinto bean, chipotle bbq, and cheddar cheese flavors, Beanitos has managed to keep a consistent natural bean flavor throughout.

Interestingly enough, Beanitos claims that it has found a way for their chips to not cause flatulence as beans tend to do.

As soon as you pick up the bag, plastered on the front are some of Beanitos’ nutritional fun facts such as its high fiber content, 4g of protein, low glycemic level, and that it is corn and gluten free. Aside from the massive protein and fiber bump, these little guys have enough flavor to seem unhealthy. High praise as far as I’m concerned.

Black bean: The black bean flavor doesn’t kick you in the head, or put you in a submission hold. It is the Beanitos’ neutral flavor that will certainly bring in those who are scared to try the new brand.

Pinto bean: The pinto bean has a true pinto bean flavor and I think you have to be a fan of pinto beans to open up this one. Where the black bean keeps it neutral, pinto punches you with a stronger bean flavor.

Chipotle BBQ: The chipotle flavor is the kicker. It starts off with a usual bbq chip taste, still provides the beany aftertaste, and then the chipotle hits you after a couple of bites in.

Cheddar cheese: The first bite of these cheesy chips doesn’t quite hit you until you’re halfway through the bag, then you get that traditional bean and cheese burrito flavor.

I’ve already picked out a favorite in the chipotle bbq. You can head out to you local Albertson’s, Kroger, or Mother’s to officially become a “Bean Head.”