“Naturally Imperfect” Produce Proves a Big Hit for Canadian Supermarket Chain

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People generally tend to pick out the best looking fruits and vegetables when shopping for produce, but Canadian supermarket chain Loblaws is tempting customers with misshapen, blemished produce instead, by pricing them 30 percent lower than normal-looking ones.

A trial run of the ugly food line, named ‘Naturally Imperfect’, began in March last year with only apples and potatoes to choose from. Consumer demand has been so huge that Loblaws is now going to introduce more unsightly vegetable and fruit options like peppers, onions, and mushrooms. The line is available at other stores as well, including Real Canadian Superstore, Zehrs, and Your Independent Grocer.

All the produce that will be sold through Naturally Imperfect would otherwise have been used in juices, sauces, or soups, or would have not been harvested at all. Senior Loblaw director Dan Branson explained last year that this sort of program was a win-win arrangement for both food producers who would otherwise have to let substandard harvest go to waste, and consumers who could afford fresh produce at regular prices. And he was right, given how popular the line has become.

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Adventurous McDonald’s Fan Travels the World to Try Fast Food Chain’s Regional Dishes

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Canadian software engineer James McGowan is so passionate about McDonald’s that he’s traveled to 53 different countries just to sample their regional dishes. In the past four years, he’s reviewed over 300 items from the chain’s wide-ranging regional menus on his blog, Traveling McD’s.

James started his McDonald’s tasting trips in 2005, sharing pictures of every meal with friends and family and posted his first review of a McD’s regional treat in October 2011, when he wrote about a taro and Oreo McFlurry he had tried in Macau. Since then he’s reviewed exotic McDelicacies from countries like Russia, Malaysia, Tahiti, Greece, Germany, and Qatar. Interestingly, he doesn’t always have to wait until he travels to a country to try their McD’s menu, as fans of his blog sometimes send him food to try to Bangkok, where he currently resides. 

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Man Goes on Potato-Only Diet for a Year to Cure Binge Eating

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Desperate to kick his binge eating habits, an Australian man is forcing himself to live on nothing but potatoes for a whole year. He now claims that the tater diet has helped him lose a whopping 10kg (22 lbs) in only one month. He’s so inspired by the results that is going to continue with his plan of eating potatoes for the rest of the year.

Andrew Taylor, 36, was at his heaviest on January 1, weighing a colossal 151 kg (332 lbs), when he decided to do something about it. “I wanted to change the way I thought about food so that it’s not controlling my life,” he said. “When you’ve got an addiction, a drug addiction or an alcohol addiction, the best thing you can do is stop taking drugs or stop taking alcohol. You can’t do that with food. So I thought, what else can I do? Perhaps I can choose one kind of food.”



Startup Specializing in Lab-Grown Meat Aims to Make Slaughtering Animals for Food Obsolete

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Thanks to Memphis Meats, slaughtering animals for food might soon become a thing of the past. The company made its global debut on February 4, unveiling the world’s first meatball made from 100 percent lab-grown, cultured beef. In the next three to four years, they hope to offer consumers meat that’s cheaper and more environmentally friendly than traditional farming.

“We love meat. But like most Americans, we don’t love the many negative side effects of conventional meat production: environmental degradation, a slew of health risks, and food products that contain antibiotics, fecal matter, pathogens, and other contaminants,” the company’s website states.

“Our concept is simple. Instead of farming animals to obtain their meat, why not farm the meat directly? To that end, we’re combining decades of experience in both the culinary and scientific fields to farm real meat cells – without the animals – in a process that is healthier, safer, and more sustainable than conventional animal agriculture.”

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The World’s Most Beautiful Bagel

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For the last 20 years, people have been coming to The Bagel Store in Brooklyn, New York, to have a taste of the world’s most beautiful bagel. Aptly named “Rainbow Bagel”, the unique treat looks more like Play Doh than actual food, but reportedly tastes much, much better.

Scott Rosillo, the “world’s premier bagel artist” and owner of The Bagel Store, is the mastermind behind the popular rainbow bagel. “It’s an absolute labor of passion and art,” he said during a video interview with Insider Food. “A tremendous amount of discipline is required to make the world’s most beautiful bagel”. The process is apparently so complex that the store only makes about 100 of them every five hours. Rosillo says that he and his team can make 5,000 ordinary bagels in the same amount of time.

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This Japanese Restaurant Serves the World’s Most Outrageous Dishes

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Even if you’re into weird foods and like trying new and exciting things, you’ll still probably find the menu at this Japanese restaurant too hardcore. With dishes like cooked crocodile feet, grilled piranha and battered, deep-fried whole salamander, this place makes frog legs seem like baby food.

Located in Yokohama’s Noge district, Chinju-ya (rare meat monger) Restaurant is certainly not for the faint-hearted. In the six years he has been running the place, chef Fukuoka has taken pride in serving customers the rarest and most unusual meats from across the world. using his international connections, he can apparently get his hands on anything from axolotls and isopods to black scorpions and even camel meat. Their twitter feed [email protected]_chinjuya’ is frequently updated with their latest and greatest imports.

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Japanese Researchers Creates Electric Fork That Alters the Taste of Food

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Did you know electricity can alter the way we taste food? Proving this fact is a revolutionary electric fork designed by Japanese researchers that can make any dish taste salty, thus acting as a substitute for the popular seasoning.

According to Hiromi Nakamura, a Post Doc Research Fellow at Tokyo’s Meiji University, the technology can be very useful for people on special diets. Patients with low blood pressure, for instance, can easily go on a low-salt diet and still enjoy delicious food. And with the fork, there’s absolutely no risk of over-salting your food. Luckily, the voltage is so small that there is no risk of electrocution either.

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Dishwasher Cooking is Actually a Thing

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Believe it or not, you can actually cook meals in a dishwasher. It sounds kinda gross, but it’s a surprisingly popular cooking technique and actually produces decent results!

Dishwasher cooking has apparently been around since the 1970s, but the trend ‘caught steam’ in 2013, after Italian food writer Lisa Casali, a self-proclaimed dishwasher-cooking expert published a book on the subject. Cucinare in lavastoviglie (Cooking in the Dishwasher) was a big hit, and Casali also posted a series of videos online demonstrating how the technique works.  “It’s an easy technique within everyone’s reach and you can gain great advantages from it,” she says in one of her instructional videos. “All you need is a dishwasher and the will to experiment.”

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This ‘Hole in the Wall’ Is Actually a Secret Restaurant Serving Home-Cooked Caribbean Food

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Brooklyn’s Crown Heights neighborhood is home to a mysterious restaurant that serves delicious home-cooked Caribbean Food through a hole in the wall. That’s actually what the owner, a man named Papa who moved to Brooklyn from Jamaica eight years ago, and his patrons call the unique eatery.

The name ‘Hole in the Wall’ isn’t just clever wordplay, it’s as literal as it gets – from the outside, the restaurant is just a rectangular hole cut out from a storefront grate located on Kingston Avenue. There’s no sign, no hours, no menu, and not even a door to walk through. Papa simply opens up the hole each morning when the food is ready, and closes it when the stock for the day is sold out. His Caribbean dishes are fresh, tasty, and best of all, free from sales tax.

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The Black Boiled Eggs of Owakudani – A Japanese Delicacy

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Owakudani, also known as the ‘Great Boiling Valley’, is a large volcanic caldera that formed 3,000 years ago when Mount Hakone erupted. The explosion was so powerful that the area is still active with boiling pools of water and huge vents that expel steam and volcanic fumes of sulphur dioxide and hydrogen sulphide. That hardly sounds like an ideal tourist destination, but hordes of people visit Owakudani each year in search of the mystical black boiled eggs, locally known as ‘Kuro-Tamago’.

These black eggs might look other-worldly, but they’re actually just plain chicken eggs. The strange black hue comes from boiling them in the sulphur-rich hot water pools of Owakudani, near Hakone, Japan. The sulphur in the water reacts with the eggs’ shells, making them black and imparting a sulphur tinged flavour and odour to the cooked egg inside.

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The Most Expensive Meat in the World Can Be Aged Indefinitely

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Normally, it would be unthinkable to consume meat that’s over a few days old, but thanks to French butcher Alexandre Polmard it is actually possible to enjoy ‘vintage’ meats from cows that were butchered decades ago!

Polmard offers his customers the world’s most expensive meat, aged through ‘hibernation’, a special process that his grandfather and father invented in the 1990s. Cold air is blown over the meat at speeds of 120 kilometers per hour, in a -43 C environment, making the meat theoretically last forever. It will not rot with age, and will continue to taste fresh indefinitely.

Meat prepared through Polmard’s process obviously doesn’t come cheap. The 2000 vintage cote de boeuf (rib steak), for instance, costs about €3,000 ($3,200). The steep price not only covers the hibernation process, but also the cost of raising an exclusive breed of cattle called ‘Blonde Aquitaine’.

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ChefCuisine – A Kitchen Gadget That Prepares Fancy Restaurant Food at the Touch of a Button

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ChefCuisine is a new kitchen gadget that’s all set to revolutionise (read: eliminate) home cooking. Thanks to this offering from Swiss startup Nutresia, pretty much anyone can produce restaurant quality food at the touch of a button!

The machine, inspired by Nestle’s coffee capsule Nespresso machines, is capable of preparing fancy dishes from vacuum packed capsules or sachets. Each sachet contains a microchip that tells ChefCusine the exact cooking time and temperature.

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Noodle Fan Has Tasted Over 5,600 Types of Ramen in the Last 20 Years

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In his quest to discover the perfect instant noodle, Japanese ramen lover Toshio Yamamoto has tasted over 5,600 varieties from 40 countries, in the past two decades. He reviews every kind ramen he tries on his website and scores them on a scale of 1 to 5. The best rating he’s given out so far is a ‘4’.

On i-ramen.net, 55-year-old Yamamoto offers detailed information on each of the 5,600 varieties of noodles he’s tasted, including the country of origin, cooking time, sodium content, calories, texture, and flavor. The website is hugely popular with thousands of fans around the world, and has recorded over 1.4 million hits since 1996. Some of his fans even send him packages of noodles from overseas.

“When you finish eating the noodles, the content will be gone even though the packaging remains,” Yamamoto explained. “I want to keep records of the content.” He also produces video reviews of instant noodles that he puts up on YouTube – they’ve gotten millions of hits as well. And his book, titled ‘Sokuseki Mencyclopedia’, features info on packets of instant noodles from around the world.

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Finish This 30-Pound Burrito in One Hour And You Become Part-Owner of a Brooklyn Restaurant

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If you ever dreamed of co-owning a restaurant for free, this may be your best shot. A New York chef is offering a lifetime 10% of his restaurant’s profits to whoever completes his crazy food challenge. All you have to do is polish off a ginormous 30-pound burrito worth $150 in under one hour!

The offer is currently on at At Don Chingon, a restaurant in Park Slope Brooklyn, where chef German Villatoro created the monster wrap aptly named ‘Gran Chingon’ (huge badass). It consists of a handmade tortilla about three-and-a-half-feet in diameter, filled with chicken, steak, carnitas, chorizo, cheese, rice, beans and salsa. Only one Gran Chingon burrito is made every day, and the order must be placed 24 hours in advance, because it takes two hours just to prepare.

To win the contest, you have to finish the giant Mexican dish in under 60 minutes and as if that wasn’t hard enough for anyone with a normal appetite, there are a few other rules challengers must abide by – contestants must have a ghost pepper margarita along with the meal, any bathroom breaks or “discharge of bodily fluids” (vomiting) will result in a forfeit, the restaurant is not to be held accountable for any sort of health complications or the death of daredevils attempting the Gran Chingon challenge, and ownership of the prize is not transferrable. But follow the rules, eat everything in an hour, and in the words of co-owner Vic Robey, “you’ll have free food for life, in addition to 10 percent of the profits.”

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Man Spends Six Months and $1,500 Making Sandwich from Scratch

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Six months – that’s apparently how long it takes to truly make a sandwich from scratch. And we know this thanks to 28-year-old Andy George, host of the YouTube series How to Make Everything. He actually spent six months and $1,500 growing and preparing every single ingredient that went into one, very regular, sandwich.

Andy recently shared a time-lapse video titled ‘How to Make a $1,500 Sandwich in Only Six Months’ on his YouTube channel. The video shows him doing all sorts of tasks that people normally take for granted when they buy stuff off store shelves. He grows vegetables, makes salt, bakes bread from scratch, and even kills a live chicken. His goal? To make everyone realise that things don’t magically appear in supermarkets.

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