Thursday, November 3, 2011

I Love Pumpkin

One of my favorite things about this time of year is the plethora of items that are available made with pumpkin.  There is a local bakery here in Bowie that makes Pumpkin danishes that I just absolutely love.  My wife picked up two of them for me last week.

This is also one of my favorite times of year when it comes to Starbucks.  I do not treat myself to Starbucks as much as I used to these days, but this time of year I have to treat myself to a Pumpkin Spiced Latte.  It also means that it will soon be time for them to come out with their Eggnog Lattes.

There are several locations where I can pick up other pumpkin goodies like pumpkin donuts, pumpkin muffins, and pumpkin cheesecake.  Of course, for more adult treats I can always pick up one of several pumpkin brews available at the liquor store.

One of the reasons that I have been thinking about pumpkin today is that I received an email from Kraft.  In it, was a link to their website with literally hundreds of recipes for pumpkin dishes and desserts.  I saw one recipe for a pumpkin pie that I made one year that I got from a Philadelphia Cream Cheese cookbook that has a layer of cream cheese and a layer of pumpkin  

One of my coworkers might be an even bigger pumpkin fan than I am,  plus he does a lot of baking, so I forwarded the link to him.  Hopefully he will find a few of them to his liking and make a few of them and let me sample them.

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Thursday, September 1, 2011

Edible Cannabis

Legal medical marijuana clinic, Denver, Colora...Image via WikipediaIn my job as a candy and snacks buyer, I receive a lot of email newsletters related to the food industry.  One of the newsletters that I subscribe to is put out by Natural Food Merchandising magazine so that I can stay aware of any trends in the natural and organic snack markets.  This week, they had a rather interesting article about the use of medical marijuana in food product.

Now, I am not, nor have I ever been a marijuana use.  I did try it a couple of times in college with a couple friends of mind, but all it did was make me cough.  I just could not manage to inhale the smoke.  I did have some friends who did smoke on a regular basis.  Some of them talked about baking marijuana into brownies, and I remember  a particularly funny Barney Miller episode where the squad mistakenly got high off of marijuana laced brownies.

The gist of the article was about companies in Colorado who were working on a variety of gourmet food products that are infused with medical marijuana.  In particular, they mention a company called Simply Pure that makes a wide variety of products that goes beyond the stereotypical pot brownies.  Among their offerings are pizza, sodas, energy drinks, cheese cakes, and candies.  Their goal is to product all natural, organic, gluten-free and sugar free foods.

The article goes on to include quotes from a doctor who specializes in medical marijuana evaluations and nutrition.  He talks about the benefits of healthy and natural eating for everyone, but especially for those who require medical marijuana.  In addition to healthy eating as a whole, the good doctor say that consuming medical marijuana in foodstuffs may be more beneficial to patients than smoking, due to a slower absorption rate in digestion and burning through smoking can destroy some of the beneficial cannabinoids in the marijuana.

I do not intend to get into the arguments on whether or not medical marijuana is a good or bad thing for society.  There seems to be some evidence that it does help some people suffering from cancer and long term pain.  Of course there is always the opportunity for abuse.  I can see the benefit of ingesting medical marijuana in food form versus smoking, just based on my experience of not being able to inhale smoke.  Though I hope I never get so sick that I will require medical marijuana. 
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Friday, August 5, 2011

Benefits of Chewing Gum

Many types of North American chewing gum from ...Image via Wikipedia
It has been a good week in the news for gum chewers.  I have read of two different studies this week about the benefits of chewing gum.

Earlier this week, a study came out that showed that chewing gum may help to reduce the craving for snacks between meals.  This would be a tremendous benefit for anybody trying to lose weight.  It is similar to another study that came out two years ago that I posted about here that stated that chewing sugar free gum could help reduce caloric intake and increase energy expenditures.

Today, I found another article that stated that chewing gum could help teenagers to increase their math scores.  This will certainly pose a dilemma for teachers and schools across the country who have always told students they can't chew gum during class.  There has been anecdotal evidence that gum chewing helps some folks stay focused on a task, and now there may be scientific evidence to that end.

There is one caveat that I would want to add about these studies.  Both studies were backed in part by the Wrigley Science Istitute.  One would think that they would have a vested interested in having a positive outcome regarding the benefits of chewing gum.  Consequently, I always tend to be a bit skeptical of some of these studies.  Isn't amazing how often the organizations backing a study manager to get their desired results?
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