Kosher News

 

Truvia Sweetener To Be Used in French Sprite

 

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Coca Cola and PepsiCo have long been looking to reduce the amount of calories in their sodas without sacrificing the taste. Both have started using sweeteners extracted from the Stevia plant that grows in South America. But they have started using these no calorie sweeteners on the smaller brands – not the big name sodas.

Coca Cola is now starting to produce Sprite and Nestea with Truvia (the name of the sweetener) and sugar. This reduces the calorie and sugar content by thirty percent.


 

Best of the Web this Week

 

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This week we brought you a plethora of Purim posts. So many new ideas and fresh takes on the classics. I rounded up all our Purim posts and put them in one place for you to reference for next year. Of course we will have more Purim ideas and recipes then – but some of these will be perennial favorites.

Here are some other topics we covered this week:


 

Cola Not as Bad as You Thought

 

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I don’t remember the last time that I saw somebody buy a soda without me judging them. Over the years, I’ve heard so many different reasons why not to drink soda: the sugar will rot your teeth, the chemicals in the food coloring are poisonous, and most particularly in relation to diet sodas, that the artificial sweetener will give you cancer.

However, even the recent findings of the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) were quickly denounced. The CSPI argued that the amount of the chemical 4-methylimidazole, or 4-MI, present in Coca-Cola, Pepsi, and their diet versions caused cancer in lab rats ad mice. 4-MI is a byproduct of the reaction that produces the caramel color of the drinks. Since these findings, the state of California has listed 4-MI as a carcinogen; any food or beverage containing enough of it that could cause cancer in as few as 1 in 100,000 people is illegal to sell.


 

Wednesday Deals of the Day – Five at Five

 

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Mondays through Thursdays at 5:00 PM EST, we will showcase the best food / kitchen deals of the day. We hope you find them useful. We present to you today’s round up of deals from across the web including a hand blender, Le Creuset dinnerware and a Pesach Planner.


 

New Season of Sweet Genius

 

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Remember last October how we all tuned in to see Paula Shoyer – the Kosher Baker – on Sweet Genius? I remember live tweeting her episode and being majorly disappointed that she didn’t win – because she totally deserved to (not that I am biased in any way, shape or form!)

Well, the new season starts Thursday, March 15th 2012 at 10pm ET/PT. Ron Ben-Israel is back as the judge, and each episode will have four pastry chef contestants fighting it out through three rounds of challenges judged by Ben-Israel. He throws surprise ingredients and curve balls along the way!  The winners from each round will advance for a final test, with Ben-Israel crowning the remaining chef Sweet Genius and receiving a $10,000 cash prize.


 

Tuesday Deals of the Day – Five at Five

 

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Mondays through Thursdays at 5:00 PM EST, we will showcase the best food / kitchen deals of the day. We hope you find them useful. We present to you today’s round up of deals from across the web including a gluten free Pesach cookbook, dishes and Le Creuset cookware.


 

Help For Food Allergies

 

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When I was growing up I didn’t know anyone with food allergies. We all brought peanut butter sandwiches to school, and shared our snack bounty with everyone.

These days, schools are peanut free, our kids have friends with strawberry allergies and nut allergies, I have a sensitivity to mushrooms, gluten can be a problem, some people are allergic to dairy products.


 

Monday Deals of the Day – Five at Five

 

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Mondays through Thursdays at 5:00 PM EST, we will showcase the best food / kitchen deals of the day. We hope you find them useful. We present to you today’s round up of deals from across the web including dishes, a potato-free Passover cookbook and a retro-style pyramid toaster.


 

Food Labeling News

 

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Meat now has nutrition labels

The Department of Agriculture has a new rule that has started to be enforced as of March 1st 2012. Ground meat and poultry will now carry labels with nutritional information. There will also be nutritional information posted on display at the store or on the packaging of forty of the most popular cuts of meat and chicken.  These labels will list the amount of calories, and total fat and saturated fat in the meat product.


 

Best of the Web This Week

 

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Purim is around the corner, mishloach manot have been prepared and labels stuck on, the menu plan for the seudah is in place, costumes are at the ready – Bring on Purim! We cannot wait. In case you are not as organized as we are here are some great last minute ideas, plus some other articles that are sure to interest you.


 

Thursday Deals of the Day – Five at Five

 

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Mondays through Thursdays at 5:00 PM EST, we will showcase the best food / kitchen deals of the day. We hope you find them useful. We present to you today’s round up of deals from across the web including an espresso maker, animal print knives and Emeril steak knives.


 

Are Your Pine Nuts Poisonous?

 

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I assumed that I was immune to rare food poison or bacteria. If there’s a 1 in 1,000,000 chance that I could eat some kind of contaminant, I assumed I would either be fine or not care out of a preference to enjoy my food than live in fear, a la Anthony Bourdain (who doesn’t let the risk of being bed-ridden from posison shellfish stop him from eating mussels straight out of the water)! However, four-time James Beard award winning chefs are not even immune to poisonous foods. Rozanne Gold recently posted a blog for the Huffington Post about how she unknowingly ate poisonous pine nuts and the discomfort that followed.

Two days after eating an apple and pine nut tart, everything that Gold put in her mouth had a metallic taste to it: wine, roast turkey, and lemon juice all burned the inside of her mouth with a coppery taste. The culprit of this awful sensation was poisonous nuts in her tart, pinus armandii, a nut from China that is nearly identical to the pine nut except that it is much shorter. The Food and Agriculture Organization classifies these pills as unfit for human consumption; but because these nuts do not cause any permanent harm, shipments of pine nuts from China that might have pinus armandii mixed in are still available on supermarket shelves. The FDA says that what Gold experienced is not an allergy, but a reaction called “dysgeusia” or “metallogeusia” and it does not affect everyone who eats the poisonous white nut.


 

Wednesday Deals of the Day – Five at Five

 

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Mondays through Thursdays at 5:00 PM EST, we will showcase the best food / kitchen deals of the day. We hope you find them useful. We present to you today’s round up of deals from across the web including mishloach manot baskets, a coffee maker and a food processor.


 

Second Breakfast Gains Popularity

 

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I was brought up with the adage “breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince and dine like a pauper”. When they were little my children watched their favorite Sesame Street characters sing about breakfast being the most important meal of the day. However, many people skip it or barely give it a second glance.

In this day and age we are more apt to eat our meals at a computer, or on the run – this applies to breakfast too. I myself nibble on a granola bar through the morning rush of getting everyone up and off to school, getting the dog walked, and throwing some laundry in the machine. Who sits down to a cooked breakfast anymore? My kids eat a quick bowl of cereal with a cup of hot cocoa, and would rather skip that if it meant another ten minutes fast asleep!


 

What is Leap Day?

 

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In honor of Leap Day, February 29, Disneyland has added new foods for their special event, “One More Disney Day.” The park will remain open for all 24 hours of Leap Day, savoring every extra minute that Leap Year has granted us. French market restaurant has tweaked their menus for the times between 11 a.m. to midnight and midnight to 3:30 a.m. Café Orleans is reviving their retired breakfast menu from 11 p.m. to 5 a.m. to satisfy patrons’ midnight munchies. Other restaurants in the area will be offering special dishes for the day, and some select Downtown Disney locations will be opening up extra early to serve coffee and breakfast to tourists in the early morning.

The purpose of Leap Day is to keep our modern Gregorian calendar aligned with the Earth’s revolution around the sun. Although we have 365 days in a year, it takes 365.242199 days for the Earth to travel around the sun—a tropical year. Without Leap Day, we would lose 6 hours a year, which is 24 days in 100 years! Therefore, Julius Caesar introduced the concept of a leap year over 2000 years ago in the Roman Empire. Originally, every 4 years, another day was added. However, this was corrected 1500 years later: now, a year will be a Leap Year if it is divisible by 4; if it is divisible by 100, it must also be divisible by 400. For example, the year 100 was not a Leap Year, but the year 400 was.