All Posts Tagged Tag: ‘sustainability’

Are You Bugged by Bugs?

March 15, 2011 Denise Simmons, Corporate Chef I’ve read in several trade publications lately that the next great food craze is going to be insects. That’s right…bugs!  As a chef, I’m embarrassed to admit that I’m not the most adventurous person in the world when it comes to food (or what some people consider food).  I can’t even watch much of Andrew Zimmern or Anthony Bourdain’s tv shows…the things they eat just totally gross me out. On a rational level, I understand the need to feed people with what’s available.  If predictions hold true and earth is home to 9 billion people by the middle of this century, we’re going to need to be creative about how we find food.  Bugs have been a part of many cultures’ culinary repertoire since the beginning of time.  They’re plentiful, grow easily & quickly, don’t require a lot of space or natural resources, and apparently are a great source of protein.  I’ve also heard that, when prepared properly, they’re really quite tasty. Ugggh.  I’m thinking it might be time to become a vegetarian! I wonder what you call people who eat bugs?  If people who eat fish, but not meat, are called Pescatarians…would that mean people who eat bugs are called Pestatarians? Art by: “The Walt Disney Company”

Trash Talk March 14 – 18, 2011

March 14, 2011
Cate Smith, Director/Executive Chef

Paper Coffee Cups…and the beauty of an Ugly Mug.

  • In 2006, Americans used and threw away an estimated 16 billion disposable coffee cups.
  • Production of these cups consumed 6.5 million trees, created 253 million pounds of solid waste, sucked up 4 billion gallons of water, and used more than 4.8 billion BTUs of energy - enough to power 53,000 homes for a year.

Adapted from Myra Goodman, author of Food to Live By and The Earth Bound Cook


Allergy or Intolerance?

March 14, 2011
Sherri Meyer, MG Registered Dietitian

The other day I found my son Oliver in the refrigerator dipping his fingers in the peanut butter jar. He has declared peanut butter his new found love and has informed me he doesn’t require a medium other than his fingers to partake. Unfortunately, much of that sticky peanut butter ends up on his clothes (who needs napkins?). So, when his daily snack request for preschool includes peanut butter, I have to gently remind him of the “no peanut butter” rule due to allergies. Oliver doesn’t quite get the food allergy concept and often concludes with “they can have peanut butter when they get big.” Oliver does not yet know this is not the case. Unlike milk, wheat, soy, and egg allergies, which most children outgrow, peanut allergies are usually for life.

All of this got me thinking about the latest information on food allergies vs. food intolerances, and I found a great article by Mary Saucier Choate, M.S., R.D., L.D., which I’ve adapted here. For those of us in the food business, it’s important that we can distinguish the difference.

Food Allergies & Food Intolerances
Often, food intolerance is mistaken for food allergy. Food intolerance is more common than true food allergy. According to the Food Allergy Initiative, a food allergy results when the immune system misreads a harmless food protein (an allergen) as a threat and attacks it. Specifically, if you have a food allergy, the immune system manufactures abnormally high amounts of an antibody called immunoglobulin E (IgE), which fights the “enemy” food allergen by releasing histamine and other chemicals, causing the symptoms of an allergic reaction. If you are very sensitive, eating even a very small amount of a food allergen can cause a serious reaction.

In contrast, a food intolerance, such as celiac disease (gluten intolerance) or lactose (milk sugar) intolerance does not involve immunoglobulin E antibodies. An individualwith food intolerance can generally consume a tiny amount of the offending food without experiencing symptoms. However, the specific amount differs for each individual.

While many foods can trigger a food allergy, the top eight foods that cause allergies are: cow’s milk, eggs, peanuts, wheat, soy, fish, shellfish, and tree nuts.
Symptoms of a food allergy include:

  • A rash, or red, itchy skin
  • Stuffy or itchy nose, sneezing, or itchy and teary eyes
  • Vomiting, stomach cramps or diarrhea
  • Facial swelling

Some can have a serious reaction called anaphylaxis. Anaphylaxis is a severe, potentially fatal allergic reaction. According to the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, food allergy is the leading cause of anaphylaxis. Anaphylaxis should always be treated as a medical emergency.

The following food intolerances are often mistakenly called food allergies:
Lactose Intolerance

Lactose intolerance: the inability to properly digest the naturally occurring sugar in milk (lactose). This is caused by missing or low levels of lactase enzymes, which normally break down the lactose sugar during digestion. Because the lactose is not broken down effectively, it is fermented by colon bacteria. This results in gas, and causes symptoms of bloating, abdominal pain, and sometimes diarrhea.

Food Additive Sensitivity
Added preservatives and flavor enhancers such as monosodium glutamate (MSG) and sulfites can cause symptoms that can be mistaken for food allergy symptoms. Sulfites are preservatives that are added to foods and also are naturally occurring in certain foods. Symptoms of sulfite intolerance can occur within 15-30 minutes after consumption. Adverse reactions to sulfites in people without asthma are extremely rare.

Gluten Intolerance
Gluten intolerance, a hereditary disease, is also known as celiac disease, celiac sprue, or gluten-sensitive enteropathy. Gluten is a protein in wheat, barley, and rye. When a person with celiac disease eats a gluten-containing food, the immune system responds by damaging the lining of the nutrient-absorbing small intestine. This damage leads to serious nutrient deficiencies that can remain undetected for a long time. The treatment for celiac disease is a gluten-free diet. Gluten intolerance involves an auto-immune reaction, but the IgE antibody is not involved, so this is not considered to be a true food allergy, rather an intolerance.

Weekly Wisdom – March 9

March 09, 2011
Sherri Meyer, MG Registered Dietitian

When stressed, reach for foods that soothe your psyche & stomach:

  • Oatmeal: Packed with fiber, oats regulate digestion & guard against dips in blood sugar
  • Yogurt: Contains probiotics which may have beneficial affect on mind-gut connection
  • Fatty Fish: Omega 3 fatty acids can help relieve inflammation linked to stomach woes



Weekly Wisdom – March 2

March 02, 2011
Sherri Meyer, MG Registered Dietitian

DHA, an Omega 3 fat, may lower the risk of periodontitis (inflammation of gums that can lead to bone & tooth loss)

  • DHA is highest in fatty fish like salmon
  • Aim for 2 servings a week, and also lower your risk of heart disease!


Meet Concho

Concho is the latest addition to the Guilford College Sustainability crew. You may have heard of chipper/ shredders, but Concho is very unique type of shredder/ grinder. More specifically, Concho is a Compost Shredder/ Grinder. Concho was built by Lindig Manufacturing Corp. in the 1970s. You can imagine our excitment when we stumbled across the craigslist add for the Concho Compost Shredder/Grinder as we’ve been looking for a way to further breakdown or sift our finished compost. We’ve also been on the hunt for a way to more finely shred some of the materials we put into our Eartub, particularly the corn based compostable cups, plates, and flatware that we use at our catered events. We think Concho can accomplish both of these objectives. We have found that the compostable disposables we use do break down in the Earthtub, but not very quickly. Also when a very large amount of these materials are put into the Earthtub, they tend to float on top, and the auger is not able to pull these materials into the active compost.

So after a bit of haggling with the craigslist seller over the phone, we drove out to Clemmons, NC to pick this thing up. We didn’t really know what to expect, as the seller didn’t really know much about it. He was in the construction business and they had found Concho abandoned on a job site. All he knew was the make and model and that it had a 7 HP Briggs and Statton motor. He had received one inquiry from Pennsylvania who was very interested, and told the seller that these pieces of machinery were pretty rare and that Lindig was not in business anymore. The interested buyer had decided that it was too far to drive though, and he hadn’t had another offer until we came along.

So we got concho back to campus we relative ease, but weren’t exactly sure how to use it. We knew we wanted to feed our compostable disposables through it, but didn’t know how to do it without making a huge mess, because as you can see the materials feed out of the very bottom of the unit, very low to the ground. But with a little ingenuity and our trusty forklift, we were able to raise Concho above the Earthub hatch, and feed materials directly into the Earthtub. We’re hoping this will add a more favorable element to our mix.

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