Tag Archives: food

Why carrots taste sweeter in winter

UCLA’s Liz Roth-Johnson explains why carrots have more sugar when it’s cold outside.

Because plants are immobile, they must develop defense techniques against predators and the severe cold in winter. For example, carrots have developed the physiological response of increasing their sugar content when it’s cold outside. This helps stop ice crystal formations and prevents damage to the carrot’s cells.

Frost can do a lot of damage to a plant cell. It can squeeze and rupture the cells until they are completely demolished. But in some cases, the plant’s defense mechanism means a tastier vegetable for us to eat. When a carrot defends itself from frost, we get the benefit of enjoying sweeter carrots all winter long.

FEATURING: Liz Roth-Johnson, Ph.D. in Molecular Biology, UCLA

For more information: https://scienceandfooducla.wordpress.com/

Do gut bacteria rule our minds?

Gut Bacteria

It sounds like science fiction, but it seems that bacteria within us — which outnumber our own cells about 100-fold — may very well be affecting both our cravings and moods to get us to eat what they want, and often are driving us toward obesity.

In an article published this week in the journal BioEssays, researchers from UC San Francisco, Arizona State University and University of New Mexico concluded from a review of the recent scientific literature that microbes influence human eating behavior and dietary choices to favor consumption of the particular nutrients they grow best on, rather than simply passively living off whatever nutrients we choose to send their way.

Bacterial species vary in the nutrients they need. Some prefer fat, and others sugar, for instance. But they not only vie with each other for food and to retain a niche within their ecosystem — our digestive tracts — they also often have different aims than we do when it comes to our own actions

Read more about the manipulative bacteria in our gut

Avoiding Olive Oil Fraud

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UC Davis Olive Center’s Dan Flynn talks to Dr. Oz about what to look for when buying olive oil at the grocery store.

  • Make sure you’re looking at the “harvest” not the “best by” date
  • Buy olive oil in dark bottles since the dark glass protects the oil

We interviewed Dan last summer and he talked a little bit about how they conducted their study on extra virgin olive oil and what is being done to maintain its standards in the industry.

Watch the video here

Is that really red snapper on your plate?

tumblr_mil8vjJulj1rjatglo2_250A recent survey done by Oceana says that fish found at the market are not always correctly labeled.  So, scientists are working on a genetic sequence technique called fish barcoding that can positively identify fish species.

Marine biologist Ron Burton of UCSD’s Scripps Institution of Oceanography says it’s important for the public to make sure they’re getting what they think they’re getting:

“In a market like red snapper, we can be seeing red snapper at many fish markets and that would lead somebody to believe that the fish is very common, when in fact what’s being sold is a diversity of species – some of which are common, some of which aren’t. And so it can lead to a false impression about the abundance of species to the public.”

Read more stories on Science Today

Clean burner technology produces whiter chicken meat in food

Picture 2013-01-24 at 3.55.45 PMLawrence Berkeley National Laboratory scientists invented “ultraclean low swirl combustion.” Their commercialized burners are cheaper than the traditional kind and they don’t cause pollution.

“Companies are able to find a market for this burner in places that does not require low emissions burner because in the absence of pollutants, for example they sell the burner to commercial baking.  So without any pollution all the chicken meat comes out whiter”  – Robert Cheng, Scientist at LBNL