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42 posts
Jun 30, 2006
3:28 AM
EAT TO LIVE!!!! Scientists playing with food


-- It's been an invigorating month for food scientists. In the first week, the USDA gave the go ahead to Prairie Orchard Farms to market their pork boosted with Omega-3 fatty acids.
To turn their piggies into meals directed at reducing the risk of coronary heart disease, they'll be fed a diet rich in providers of Omega-3.

Which is fish.
To disguise the resulting fishy flavor, the proportions of flaxseed oil, minerals and vitamins the piggies are given have been altered to be sure the pork doesn't taste like roll-mops without the vinegar.

I'm no food scientist:
It's clear, but if it's fat they need, instead of trying to introduce it into pigs by fiddling with their feed, why not go back to the old days before pigs were bred to be as fatless as possible -- the white meat alternative to chicken that produces almost flavorless and puckeringly dry cuts?

There are small farmers raising heirloom pigs:
the old breeds with nursery-rhyme names our grandparents used to enjoy, whose roasts produced that golden covering of crisp crackling skin above a wobbly layer of translucent fat. How many years since you've seen any crackling skin in anything except a package of pork scratchings?

Okay, hold the negative feedback here:
I realize that's not the good-for-you fat, however delicious. So get your Omega-3s from fish and get a wonderful succulent pork meal from a pedigree-free range hog that hasn't been raised in a coffin.

French and German scientists reported this month that some new flavors and seasonings can reduce the natural feeling of satiety and so make you overeat. To counteract this inducement to indulge in more helpings than you need, they suggest foods could be fixed with an "I'm full already!" trigger.

The study's lead author suggests:
that monotonous meals "may reduce intake and lead to weight loss." Hands up, those of us with experience of trays of airline, hospital, mass-canteen or really badly cooked food who could have told him that.

What's being proposed:
is that since demand for variety and new flavors could be encouraging people to eat more, that sensory-specific satiety (SSS) -- defined as "a decrease in pleasure aroused by a specific food which has just been eaten in contrast to other non-consumed food" -- could be reversed by seasoning.

as I understand it -- making food unpalatable or uneaten. I can't have got that right, surely. SSS is apparently purely sensory and isn't linked to calories since food isn't required to enter the intestinal tract.

The foods used in the test to provoke sensory fatigue were portions of cucumber, tomato, pineapple, banana, peanuts and pistachios. Would sensory fatigue have been provoked by ice cream, fried chicken, cheeseburgers, chow mein? Pork that tastes of fish might have done it, of course.

the conclusion of the study is that increased palatability is linked to increased food intake. Well, duh. (How much did this study cost?)

Why can't we learn to push for food raised with as little tampering as possible, served in sensibly-sized portions, and request that scientists try to find a cure for mad cow disease, avian flu and any peculiar viruses which could affect the food chain that may be developing out there from our fiddling with nature.

If you can't get hold of pedigree pork (check the Internet for sources), one way to cook a roast without it drying up is to cook it in milk.

-- 1 boned and rolled pork loin

-- 4 strips peel from a scrubbed lemon

-- oil for browning

-- 1 1/2 pints milk

-- 2 cloves garlic, peeled and finely sliced

-- sprig fresh rosemary

-- freshly ground black pepper

-- 1/2 cup white wine or water

-- Pepper the roast all over.

-- In a large lidded casserole, brown the pork in a light slick of oil on all sides, then drain off the oil.

-- Add the garlic, lemon peel, rosemary and milk.

-- Cover and bring to a simmer, then move the lid a little to the side so that steam can escape.

-- Simmer the roast gently for 1 1/2 to 2 hours, regularly spooning milk over it, until the milk has evaporated away leaving the meat covered in golden crusty bubbles. If the milk dries out too fast before the meat is cooked through and falling away to the pull of a fork, pour on further warmed milk by the cupful as needed.

-- Remove the pork to a warm plate, discard the lemon peel and rosemary and add 1/2 cup of water or white wine and scrape up all the golden crust at the bottom of the pan to make a sauce. Adjust for seasoning if necessary and pour through a sieve over the pork and serve.

More food for thought Ladies!!!


(Site Administrator)

Last Edited by on Oct 24, 2010 9:48 AM

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