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Cooking is my best recipe for easing anxiety #ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย

Published March 23, 2020 by SoClaimon

#ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย : ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation

https://www.nationthailand.com/food/30384625?utm_source=category&utm_medium=internal_referral

Cooking is my best recipe for easing anxiety

Mar 22. 2020
By Special To The Washington Post · Jamie Friedlander · HEALTH, FOOD

I’m in a rhythm. I pick up a thick slice of eggplant, drench it in my egg wash, gently dip it in my breadcrumb mixture, set it on my greased pan and repeat. My hips sway and my head bobs as I assemble a large tray of eggplant Parmesan. You could say I’m in a therapeutic zone

I have generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) and a few days prior, my father-in-law had been admitted to the hospital for a hemorrhagic stroke. His stroke was just the most recent tough news I had found myself dealing with in 2019 – my parents suddenly and unexpectedly got divorced.

Through a circuitous route, I’d discovered that the rhythmic motions of cooking – the chopping, stirring, sauteing and slicing – were soothing. The attention needed to follow a recipe forced me to focus on something other than the worries that constantly bombard my brain. I’d begun cooking a lot a year ago to deal with celiac disease, an autoimmune intolerance to gluten I’d been diagnosed with years before that can make eating out difficult.

So I’d set a New Year’s resolution to make as many new recipes as possible. As I cooked my way through 31 new dishes in 52 weeks, I’d stumbled on something even more significant that better dinners: Cooking can be a great coping mechanism for people like me with anxiety, especially now in the age of coronavirus.

There hasn’t been a lot of research related specifically to cooking and anxiety, but a 2018 review article in the journal Health Education & Behavior looked at several small studies and found some interesting links. Cooking seemed to increase self-esteem and improved psychological well-being; it also appeared to decrease anxiety and agitation in a variety of people, including burn victims and those with dementia.

Experts hypothesize that the activity can be soothing for several reasons.

For one, it engages several senses, making it quite immersive. Because of this sensory engagement, cooking can be a form of mindfulness, says clinical psychologist Trevor Schraufnagel, associate director of the Anxiety Disorders Clinic at UCLA. Mindfulness often entails trying to focus on one thing in the moment – maintaining one’s attention on a single sensory stimulus, such as the sound of oil crackling, the taste of a sauce, the smell of something baking or the sensation of one’s breath. Several studies suggest mindfulness-based practices can play a role in the treatment of anxiety.

People with significant anxiety often feel like they’re under threat or at risk, and worry can exacerbate this perception, Schraufnagel says. “Cooking may provide a respite from these processes by offering an immersive and sensory-rich activity to take one’s mind off the perceived dangers of one’s life,” he says.

In the 90 minutes it took me to cook eggplant Parmesan for my in-laws, I found myself so immersed in the task that I temporarily forgot about everything going on – the endless worries and what-ifs that I too often dwell on and which can ruin my day.

“Those types of immersive experiences are pretty rare,” Schraufnagel says. “It can be almost a vacation or a break, if only for 45 minutes or an hour and a half. You’re so swallowed up in the process that your mind is taken off these other threats and sources of angst.”

Nicole Farmer, a staff scientist and doctor at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Clinical Center and lead author of the 2018 review article, says that she considered some of the studies examined in the review promising, but more research is needed to fully understand the relationship between the activity and reduced anxiety.

Farmer says one possible explanation for why cooking seems to alleviate anxiety in some is that it engages the executive functioning center of the brain – housing both short-term working memory needed to carry out complex tasks and longer-term procedural memory needed to remember how to perform skills. Together, they can essentially control our actions in the present moment. Research has shown people with good executive functioning skills have better emotional regulation.

“During cooking, you’re forced to stay within that working memory lane of what you have to do to accomplish the goal,” Farmer says. “That use of working memory and procedural memory actually forces us to block out unnecessary distractions, as well as emotions, that may come in and take us off task from our goal. We think that that’s how cooking can relate to anxiety.”

Another possible explanation for why cooking may ease the symptoms of anxiety is that it can help people to feel both accomplished and in control.

“It communicates to people: My life is very busy and I took an hour or two hours to make this meal and look, everything remained okay,” Schraufnagel says. “The bottom didn’t drop out. Maybe I wasn’t on as thin of ice as I believed.”

When my GAD is bad, I struggle to complete even the simplest tasks. Coupled with the long deadlines that accompany my career as a freelance writer, I can go days without any real sense of accomplishment, which can send my anxiety spiking. Some people with GAD, including me, are obsessed with perfection, and failing to get things done makes us more anxious.

“(Cooking) is concrete – I had this impact in the last two hours and I made something out of nothing,” Schraufnagel says. “That’s incredible.”

Despite the paucity of studies about the benefits of cooking for anxiety and depression, a nascent field has emerged in the past few years: culinary therapy.

Michael Kocet, a mental health counselor and professor at the Chicago School of Professional Psychology, defines culinary therapy as a therapeutic technique that uses culinary arts, cooking, gastronomy and an individual’s personal, cultural and family relationship with food to address emotional and psychological problems.

Kocet began taking cooking classes when he lived in the Boston area over a decade ago. Upon telling people about his endeavor, almost everyone told him the same thing: Cooking is so therapeutic.

“I remember thinking in our field of mental health and counseling, we had art therapy, dance therapy, music therapy and drama therapy, but I’d never heard of anybody developing culinary or cooking therapy,” Kocet says. So he created and taught a course on culinary therapy to master’s and doctoral students preparing to be counselors at Bridgewater State University in Massachusetts.

Kocet says culinary therapy is slowly becoming part of the psychology lexicon as counselors and therapists elsewhere also have begun exploring cooking as a treatment for everything from anxiety and depression to grief and loss.

Schraufnagel says it’s important to remember that not everyone has a penchant for the culinary arts. For some people, cooking can cause anxiety, not relieve it. In such cases, other art, dance, music or play therapy could be more appropriate, he says.

On a recent frigid evening in Chicago, I decided to make tom kha gai soup, a Thai recipe composed of chicken, mushrooms, coconut milk and various spices. I’d just finished a frustrating phone call and was feeling particularly on edge.

Part of the recipe called for bruising lemongrass with a dull metal object. I grabbed my largest knife and began pounding the stalks. After a few swift blows with the handle of the blade, I got into a nice, soothing rhythm. I was calm in no time, the phone call no longer on my mind.

Should I peel fruit before eating during the pandemic? #ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย

Published March 23, 2020 by SoClaimon

#ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย : ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation

https://www.nationthailand.com/food/30384603?utm_source=category&utm_medium=internal_referral

Should I peel fruit before eating during the pandemic?

Mar 22. 2020
[Photo/VCG]

[Photo/VCG]
By China Daily

Many people worry the coronavirus can contaminate fruit and believe only peeled fruits are safe to eat.

In fact, as a type of animal virus, novel coronavirus is mainly transmitted through respiratory droplets and close contact. It is unlikely to survive on fruit or vegetables. There have been no reports of humans being infected after eating fruits or vegetables.

Washing fruits with running water for 15 to 30 seconds can effectively reduce pesticide residue, bacteria and virus potentially present on the surface.

There are many kinds of fruits whose skins are rich in nutrition. Grape skins, for example, contain resveratrol and anthocyanins that can protect blood vessels and strengthen immunity. Apple skin is an excellent source of dietary fiber and promotes digestion. The vitamin C it contains is a great antioxidant, which helps reduce the effects of aging.

Therefore, it is both safe and beneficial to eat fruit with the skin on.

Please feel free to contact us by sending your questions to question@chinadaily.com.cn or commenting on China Daily app. We will ask experts to answer them.

Crippled by coronavirus, restaurants want assistance from the same governments that shut them down #ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย

Published March 20, 2020 by SoClaimon

#ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย : ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation

https://www.nationthailand.com/food/30384458?utm_source=category&utm_medium=internal_referral

Crippled by coronavirus, restaurants want assistance from the same governments that shut them down

Mar 20. 2020
Chef José Andrés talks about turning his restaurants into community kitchens. MUST CREDIT: Washington Post photo by Marvin Joseph.

Chef José Andrés talks about turning his restaurants into community kitchens. MUST CREDIT: Washington Post photo by Marvin Joseph.
By The Washington Post · Tim Carman · NATIONAL, BUSINESS, FEATURES, FOOD 

From New York to California, governments have told restaurant operators to shutdown their dining rooms to prevent to spread of the coronavirus.

The orders have placed an untold number of workers on the unemployment line and cut off the primary source of revenue for restaurants. Now individuals, companies and nonprofit groups are trying to fill in the gaps and assist the crippled hospitality industry – by buying gift cards, setting up virtual tip jars, handing out groceries to the unemployed and other acts of charity.

But one high-profile member of the industry says it won’t be enough, not by a long shot.

“Charity can’t deal with something this big,” said Tom Colicchio, the chef, restaurateur, activist and “Top Chef” head judge. “This [demands] government intervention.” Without it, and possibly even with it, 75% or more of the restaurants in America could be history, he predicted.

Colicchio’s request for government intervention is being echoed around the country by other chefs and restaurateurs who have either closed establishments or reduced them to carryouts and/or delivery operations. Dozens of chefs – including such high-profile names as Stephanie Izard, J.J. Johnson, Preeti Mistry, Alon Shaya and Patrick O’Connell, the three-Michelin-starred chef behind the Inn at Little Washington – have signed a Change.org petition, asking government officials to “come to a swift plan for how you can meaningfully give your local restaurants the best chance for survival.”

And on Wednesday, Danny Meyer, the influential New York restaurateur, announced that because of the effects of the coronavirus shutdown, he is laying off 80% of his staff at Union Square Hospitality Group, approximately 2,000 people in both the restaurants and home office. Meyer said he has forfeited his salary “immediately and indefinitely” and that every executive in the company will take a “significant pay cut.” USHG will funnel the money from those pay cuts – plus revenue generated with gift cards – into an employee relief fund to help workers in the weeks ahead, as the pandemic continues to devastate the industry.

Meyer said in a statement that part of the reason for the layoffs is so employees can file for unemployment benefits. The state of New York is waiving the standard seven-day waiting period for workers to file.

Like Colicchio, Meyer said stop-gap measures and the kindness of strangers will not be enough.

“We cannot depend simply on the generosity of our community alone,” Meyer said in the statement. “If ever there were a time to call on the government to provide enlightened leadership, it is now. Our employees need that support to sustain their livelihoods while waiting for our restaurants to reopen. I am calling on our city, state, and federal leadership to step in with a full emergency relief package for restaurant and bar workers, and I pledge my immediate service – on behalf of, and along with other industry leaders – to help come up with economic solutions that work for all.”

On Tuesday morning, President Donald Trump did take part in a conference call with representatives of the restaurant industry, but they were all executives with national and international chains, including Domino’s Pizza, Subway, McDonald’s, Papa John’s and others. No independent restaurateur was invited to the call, which immediately caused panic among those who own and operate such establishments, which represent an estimated 70% of the restaurants in the United States.

According to a CNBC report, one chain executive urged the federal government to take action and support small businesses so they could remain afloat during the pandemic. “I think you’re really going to like what we’re doing,” Trump responded, according to an anonymous source in the CNBC story. The White House is working on an emergency stimulus package that would devote $300 billion to small businesses.

It’s not clear how such money would help the restaurant industry, if at all. Restaurants, after all, are suffering now. Their sales are down 50% or more in the weeks since the coronavirus started to spread across the United States, and they didn’t have much cushion to begin with. Restaurants typically operate on very narrow profit margins. Vox reviewed data from OpenTable, the reservation platform used widely across the country, to show that restaurants are seating far fewer diners this year compared with last year. Restaurants in three cities (Boston, New York and Seattle) have seen a drop of more than 60%.

Any federal money would have to be administered, said Colicchio, and each restaurant would have to apply and prove itself worthy of the cash. “It’s going to be a process to get that money,” he said.

Some jurisdictions, such as Washington, have already passed emergency legislation to help small business. Washington’s temporary law extends unemployment benefits to those out of work because of the virus, prohibits both residential and commercial evictions and delays retail tax payments to the city.

The organizers of the Change.org petition want more: They would like to see the government waive payroll taxes and set aside zoning restrictions “to allow restaurants to temporarily use their spaces as boutique food and beverage markets, offering an alternative to overcrowded supermarkets.” Colicchio said he’s even looking to his insurance company for help: Policies often cover losses because of physical property damage that interrupts business.

“A virus is physical,” he said.

Colicchio’s search for solutions indicates just how frustrated, and desperate, restaurateurs have become in a very short amount of time. The government has largely shut them down in the name of public health, and now restaurant owners want to make sure the same government cares about their fiscal health, too.

“The restaurant community is going to have a very bad time,” said restaurateur José Andrés at a news conference Tuesday, announcing his new community kitchens. “If the cities and the governors are saying that the restaurant industry has to shut down, I think government has to be putting some of the responsibility forward and take care of those employees.”

Both Andrés and Colicchio says independent restaurateurs don’t have the kind of cash reserves to pay employees long-term with no money coming in.

“I don’t care who you are, you don’t have the wherewithal to survive this and open up,” Colicchio said. “Let’s just say, if there’s a restaurant group that has 15 or 16 restaurants, I’d be surprised if all of them open up. Even large groups aren’t going to get through this unscathed.”

Which is why Colicchio is so pessimistic: “I suspect 75 or 80% of the restaurants won’t reopen,” he said.

The hospitality landscape could be dramatically altered by the time diners feel safe again to return to restaurants. Depending on how governments step up to assist, restaurant owners will be immediately behind the eight ball when they open their doors again, Colicchio said. Landlords will want back rent, suppliers will want back payments and governments will want back taxes. And even when restaurants inevitably reopen, they won’t be profitable for awhile.

Restaurants will be running a loss for several months, Colicchio said, “which is what happened after 9/11 and what happened after [Hurricane] Sandy. When we reopened we weren’t running at full bore.”

“It’s more of a mess than you can possibly imagine,” he said.

Pair these Greek-inspired olive oil cookies with a comfy chair and a hot cup of tea #ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย

Published March 20, 2020 by SoClaimon

#ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย : ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation

https://www.nationthailand.com/food/30384456?utm_source=category&utm_medium=internal_referral

Pair these Greek-inspired olive oil cookies with a comfy chair and a hot cup of tea

Mar 19. 2020
Greek-Style Olive Oil Sesame Cookies. MUST CREDIT: Photo by Stacy Zarin Goldberg for The Washington Post.

Greek-Style Olive Oil Sesame Cookies. MUST CREDIT: Photo by Stacy Zarin Goldberg for The Washington Post.
By Special To The Washington Post · Ellie Krieger · FEATURES, FOOD

Cooking has a way of grounding a person in uncertain times, and baking can be especially comforting. That soothing effect is not just in the eating; it’s built into the baking process – the in-the-moment focus needed to measure ingredients, the tactile pleasure of working with the batter, and the homey fragrance that fills the kitchen as the oven does its part.

These scrumptious cookies – my take on the Greek version, Kolourakia Lathiou – offer all of those comforts, in a more healthful way than most other baked goods because they are very lightly sweetened, made with whole wheat flour and contain olive oil rather than butter.

The oil gives the cookie a delightfully crunchy, crumbly texture and subtle savoriness. Seasoned with orange essence, cinnamon, cloves and a shot of brandy, the cookies’ flavor is warm and fragrant, and a coating of nutty sesame seeds delivers extra substance as well as a festive flair. With so little sugar in them, they could be considered more of a decadent biscuit that a cookie, but if you prefer something a bit sweeter, increase the sugar to half a cup.

Besides enjoying making these, you’ll be glad to have them alongside a mug of coffee or tea, to take the edge off the afternoon.

– – –

GREEK-STYLE OLIVE OIL SESAME COOKIES

Active: 30 minutes | Total: 1 hour 30 minutes

20 servings

These scrumptious cookies – a take on the Greek cookie, Kolourakia Lathiou – are made with olive oil instead of butter, which not only makes them better for you, but it also gives them a delightfully crunchy, crumbly texture and subtle savoriness. Seasoned with orange essence, cinnamon, cloves and a shot of brandy, their flavor is warm and fragrant. A coating of nutty sesame seeds delivers extra substance as well as a festive flair. With so little added sugar in them, they could be considered more of a decadent biscuit that a cookie; if you prefer something a bit sweeter, increase the sugar to 1/2 cup (100 grams).

Storage Notes: Store the cookies at room temperature in an airtight container for up to 1 week or in the freezer for up to 3 months.

Ingredients

1 orange

1/2 cup (120 milliliters) olive oil (one that is light in flavor and color)

1/3 cup (67 grams) granulated sugar

2 tablespoons brandy or cognac

2 1/2 cups (300 grams) whole-wheat pastry flour (or 1 1/2 cups/188 grams) all-purpose flour and 1 cup/125 grams) whole-wheat flour)

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ground cloves

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/3 cup (50 grams) white sesame seeds

Steps

Position the rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.

Using a fine grater, zest the orange until you have 1 teaspoon of zest. Squeeze 1/3 cup (80 milliliters) of juice from the orange into a large bowl. Reserve the rest of the fruit for another use.

To the bowl, add the oil, sugar, brandy and zest, and whisk until the sugar is dissolved.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, cloves and baking soda. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ones in several batches, stirring at first with a spoon or spatula to incorporate. When the dough becomes difficult to stir with the last additions of dry ingredients, use your hands to knead the dough to incorporate. Cover the bowl and let the dough rest for 10 minutes.

Spread the sesame seeds on a wide plate. Roll the dough into heaping tablespoon-size balls. Roll each ball in the sesame seeds, pressing a bit with your fingers so that they adhere, then place on the baking sheet and flatten slightly with the palm of your hand so that each disk is about 2 inches in diameter and 1/4-inch high. Place the balls about 1 inch apart on the baking sheet; they will not spread much.

Bake for about 30 minutes, until golden and crunchy; then transfer to a wire rack. The cookies will crisp further as they cool. Serve at room temperature.

Nutrition | Calories: 120; Total Fat: 7 g; Saturated Fat: 1 g; Cholesterol: 0 mg; Sodium: 25 mg; Carbohydrates: 12 g; Dietary Fiber: 2 g; Sugars: 1 g; Protein: 3 g.

(From nutritionist and cookbook author Ellie Krieger.)

Adapt or close: Prominent Seattle and New York restaurants offer a cautionary tale of what’s coming #ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย

Published March 20, 2020 by SoClaimon

#ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย : ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation

https://www.nationthailand.com/food/30384135?utm_source=category&utm_medium=internal_referral

Adapt or close: Prominent Seattle and New York restaurants offer a cautionary tale of what’s coming

Mar 15. 2020
By The Washington Post · Emily Heil · BUSINESS, FEATURES, FOOD

For weeks, people in and outside the restaurant industry have wondered how eateries would survive the dramatic drop in business caused by the spread of the coronavirus and the financial downturn that the pandemic has wrought. Last week, they got an early and high-profile answer from one of the hardest-hit cities: Perhaps they wouldn’t – at least not in the same form.

Famed Seattle chef Tom Douglas on Wednesday said he is closing 12 of his 13 restaurants in the city, citing a bottoming-out caused by the decision of many Seattle businesses to have their employees work remotely. Meanwhile, Seattle fine-dining outpost Canlis announced Thursday that it is ditching its white tablecloths and dinner service and instead pivoting to three new concepts: a fast-casual breakfast, a drive-through-style burger lunch, and a meal delivery service. And on Friday, restaurateur Danny Meyer closed 19 New York locations operated by his Union Square Hospitality Group.

Those approaches offer a blueprint for many restaurateurs across the country.

“It’s a tsunami, not a ripple on the beach,” Douglas said in an interview about the way the coronavirus went from something he heard about on the news a few weeks ago to the motivation behind the closure of his restaurant empire this week. Douglas advised restaurateurs across the country in areas that haven’t yet been as hard-hit as Seattle to prepare for a swift downturn in business: “Get your team aware. Get your finances in line – this is happening so fast,” he said. “And if it happens in your town like it happened in Seattle, it’s hard to survive that.”

Douglas said his thin operating margins couldn’t take the plunge in business that followed the moves the city took to stem the virus, which included major employers sending workers home to work remotely, school closings and the cancellation of conferences, concerts and other events. “People see me as rich guy, and I’m not,” he says. “The way it works is that today’s incoming receipts pay yesterday’s bills, and when the faucet turns off on income …”

Douglas said he hopes to reopen his restaurants once diners re-emerge, but he’s aware of the difficulties he’ll face: Landlords could foreclose, and then there’s the cost of restocking, rehiring and training, he noted. Once he’s handled all the business of winding down the restaurants, he plans to research what loans and other programs will be available when the time comes to rebuild.

Meanwhile, Canlis – a third-generation-run institution – opted to switch gears as the city remains on high alert, with schools closed and large public gatherings banned. “Fine dining is not what Seattle needs right now,” read a message posted to Facebook and to Canlis’s website, which was signed “The Canlis Family.” “Instead, this is one idea for safely creating jobs for our employees while serving as much of our city as we can.”

Other businesses have attempted to make up for revenue lost from their empty dining rooms by shifting focus to delivery and takeout – modes of service that require less interaction and allow customers to avoid crowds. Starbucks CEO Kevin Johnson told customers in an open letter on Thursday that some locations may become drive-through only, accept only mobile payments or limit seating as a way of coping with the virus.

Amanda Topper, associate director of food service for market-research firm Mintel, says that even pre-virus, the trend was toward more takeout and delivery. “We know it’s probably going to be even more of a shift, and that (the coronavirus) will be a catalyst for more of that happening around the world,” she said.

Adapting will be easier for some operations than others, though. Fast-food and fast-casual operations may be better suited, she says, since they typically have lower real estate and labor costs. But coronavirus might push even upscale places to rethink. “This might be something full-service operators also implement,” Topper says.

Other high-profile closures have come to some of the places where the coronavirus’ effect hit early. On Thursday, Jing Fong, New York’s largest Chinese restaurant, announced it would cease service. The move by the 800-seat restaurant was prompted, according to local news reports, by the city’s decision to ban gatherings of more than 500 people, though Chinatowns around the country had already been experiencing downturns. On Friday, Meyer reportedly told employees they would be paid through March 18 and that the restaurant group hopes to re-open as soon as possible. He cited city regulations and also “science that has provided evidence urging everyone to reduce nonessential social contact,” according to the New York Times. “By fully facing this storm today, we hope to return to serving our guests and community as sooner than later,” he tweeted.

David Henkes, a senior principal at market-research firm Technomic, says that adapt or no, not all restaurants will survive the coronavirus-prompted downturn. Segments of the industry, including casual-dining restaurants, were already in trouble, he noted. “In an industry already challenged by sluggish traffic and slim sales margins, this will be final blow for operators who have been working on the edges,” he said. When it comes to the possibility of more closures, Henkes says, “It’s not a question of whether – we know, 100 percent, it will happen.”

For Douglas, there’s plenty that is bitter about the shuttering of his restaurants, like losing colleagues of 30 years and not being able to prepare his workers, particularly those he called the most “vulnerable” ones, for the shutdown. But there is some sweet, too: After their final service this weekend, many of his chefs devised a plan to gather all the food remaining in their kitchens and bring it to Douglas’s catering kitchen. There, they will make boxed meals that they plan to deliver to Pike Market Senior Center.

Of all the tumult that has left Douglas alternately angrily swearing and regretfully lamenting, he says, hearing of their plan “just brought tears to my eyes.”

MGM halts its Vegas buffets amid the coronavirus outbreak, and others are doing the same #ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย

Published March 13, 2020 by SoClaimon

#ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย : ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation

https://www.nationthailand.com/food/30383963?utm_source=category&utm_medium=internal_referral

MGM halts its Vegas buffets amid the coronavirus outbreak, and others are doing the same

Mar 12. 2020
By The Washington Post · Emily Heil · FEATURES, FOOD
By now, the steps for helping to slow the spread of the coronavirus are familiar: Wash your hands. Don’t touch your face. Now, restaurants are adding another item to their own list: Nix the buffets.

The big daddy of such self-serve smorgasbords, MGM Resorts International, which operates hotels along the Vegas strip famous for their generous spreads, this week announced it will temporarily close buffets at seven of its properties: ARIA, Bellagio, MGM Grand, Mandalay Bay, the Mirage, Luxor and Excalibur.

And as the threat of the virus looms, restaurants and other food-service outlets across the country are shuttering or at least casting a germ-wary eye on their own buffets, where communal utensils and boxes offer opportunities for the virus to spread.

Dan Henroid, director of nutrition and food services for the University of California, San Francisco’s teaching hospital, says he’s eliminating all the self-serve stations in the three campus cafes he oversees – which includes salad bars and serve-yourself cereals and soups, within the next two days. They’ll either be converted into served counters or be discontinued, he said.

His goal is twofold: first, to reduce the number of shared touched surfaces, and second, to move customers rather than having them congregate. “The goal is to get them through quickly and encourage them to get things to go,” he says.

The Centers for Disease Control has not yet recommended “social distancing” for the general population, but some public-health advocates are suggesting avoiding crowds as a way of slowing the virus.

Crowds haven’t been a problem at Masala Art in Washington, general manager Himanshu Kakkar says, but the restaurant stopped offering its daily lunch buffet on Wednesday. Instead, many of the dishes previously available from the communal copper pots will be offered as stand-alone lunch specials. “Things had slowed down,” Kakkar says. “We had barely anyone at lunch. People were concerned about the buffets, and it was also a waste of food.”

He says the restaurant has been hit particularly hard because many of the weekday clientele are older people who are staying home on the advice of health officials. High-risk people – older people and those with underlying conditions – in areas where the virus is spreading are being advised to “take extra measures to put distance between yourself and other people,” according to the CDC, and “stay home as much as possible.”

Even fine-dining venues are taking the precaution: The Lafayette, the elegant restaurant in Washington atop the Hay-Adams Hotel with sweeping views of the White House, is replacing its regular Sunday brunch buffet with an a-la-carte-only menu, a representative says.

Public health experts say the potentially problematic part of a buffet isn’t the food. Officials say coronavirus is not thought to be transmitted through food, but rather through droplets – from a cough or sneeze – that may be transferred from a hard surface to another person’s nose or eyes. Restaurants themselves don’t pose any more of a risk than other similarly public venues, they say.

But Aubree Gordon, an associate professor in the University of Michigan’s School of Public Health, notes that buffets offer plenty of surfaces where the virus could lurk. “There is a risk of you touching things and then touching your face, and particularly with a buffet you will be handling a lot of utensils that other people have touched,” she said.

Restaurants have been scrambling to step up their sanitation practices, mandating more frequent wipe-downs of commonly touched surfaces and monitoring employees for signs of illness.

MGM said in a statement the closures of its buffets would be temporary and that the company would be evaluating them weekly. Not all the Las Vegas casinos are following suit: Local CBS affiliate 8 News Now reported that Caesars Entertainment, among others, is continuing its buffets.

Kakkar says he thinks Masala Art will bring back the buffet when the coronavirus threat dies down. “We will see in 10 or 15 days how people are responding – whether they are coming out or not, and what’s happening.”

Buffet shuttering is just one step restaurateurs and others are taking. Henroid this week plans to reduce the number of seats in the cafes to encourage less lingering – and to make room for a greater distance between tables.

Henroid says the move comes with challenges, including getting customers – most of whom are faculty, staff and students who dine at the cafes every day and are used to their routines – to adjust to the new setup. And he says he’s aware more challenges could lie ahead. For instance, if schools close, child care could become a problem for some of his employees. But he says all he can do is adapt.

“We’ll just have to roll with the punches,” he says.

Avocado green goddess dressing is the star of this crisp, bright salad #ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย

Published March 8, 2020 by SoClaimon

#ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย : ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation

https://www.nationthailand.com/food/30383599?utm_source=category&utm_medium=internal_referral

Avocado green goddess dressing is the star of this crisp, bright salad

Mar 08. 2020
Gem Salad With Grapefruit, Picked Onions and Avocado Dressing. MUST CREDIT: Photo by Tom McCorkle for The Washington Post.

Gem Salad With Grapefruit, Picked Onions and Avocado Dressing. MUST CREDIT: Photo by Tom McCorkle for The Washington Post.
By Special To The Washington Post · Ellie Krieger

Here, four contrasting elements come together, and they result in a stunning salad that brims with fresh, exciting flavor.

At its base is Little Gem lettuce (or romaine, if Little Gem is unavailable), which is so crisp and cool, it practically quenches your thirst as you bite into it. The leaves are slathered in a gorgeous pale-green and luxuriously creamy (but healthful) dressing made by blending cilantro or basil with scallion, avocado, yogurt and a splash of vinegar.

Once plated, the dressed leaves are topped with juicy, tart-sweet red grapefruit segments (blood orange or Cara Cara segments would work here as well) and zingy quick-pickled red onions, which can be prepared in the time it takes to pull the salad together, or made ahead.

Crisp, juicy, creamy, tangy and tart with beautiful hues of pink and green, it’s a salad that brings a bright ray of light to any meal in need of a little sunshine. While it pairs well with just about any soup, stew or sheet-pan dinner, this salad is my absolute go-to with a hearty bowl of chili.

– – –

GEM SALAD WITH GRAPEFRUIT, PICKED ONIONS AND AVOCADO DRESSING

20 minutes

4 servings

In this salad, cool, crisp lettuce leaves are tossed with a luxuriously rich (but healthful) avocado, yogurt and herb dressing, then topped with juicy grapefruit segments (you could substitute orange segments, if you prefer), and a crunch of zingy quick-pickled onions. It’s a stunning salad that is not only bursting with fresh flavor but also pairs well with soups, stews, roasts or chilis.

Storage Notes: The pickled onions can be refrigerated for up to 1 week. The dressing can be refrigerated for up to 3 days.

Ingredients

FOR THE PICKLED ONION

3 tablespoons hot water

1 teaspoon honey

1/4 cup red wine vinegar

1/3 cup thinly sliced red onion (half-moons)

FOR THE DRESSING

1/4 cup fresh cilantro or basil leaves

1 scallion, coarsely chopped

1 ripe avocado, halved, pitted and peeled

3 tablespoons white wine vinegar

2 tablespoons plain Greek yogurt (low-fat or full fat)

2 tablespoons water

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more to taste

FOR THE SALAD

2 red grapefruits

8 cups (4 ounces) lightly packed torn gem or romaine lettuce leaves

Steps

Make the pickled onions: In a small bowl, whisk together the hot water with the honey until fully combined; then whisk in the vinegar. Add the onions and let sit at room temperature, stirring occasionally, for at least 20 minutes or up to 2 hours.

Make the dressing: In a small bowl of a food processor, pulse the cilantro or basil with the scallion until finely chopped. Add the avocado, vinegar, yogurt, water, salt and pepper and process until smooth.

Make the salad: Cut the top and bottom off each grapefruit, then, resting the fruit on one end, remove the peel and pith by cutting down from top to bottom, following the shape of the fruit with your knife. While holding the fruit over a wide bowl, use a paring knife to remove each section of grapefruit from its membranes (this is called supreming the fruit), collecting the sections in the bowl. Squeeze the juice from what’s left of the fruit into the same bowl.

In a large bowl, gently toss the lettuce with the dressing until evenly coated. To serve, place about 1 1/2 cups of the dressed lettuce onto each serving plate. Pluck 3 to 4 segments of grapefruit and place them on top of each salad serving (reserve the juice for another use — or drink it) and several slices of the pickled onion. Serve, grinding more black pepper, to taste.

Nutrition | Calories: 90; Total Fat: 5 g; Saturated Fat: 1 g; Cholesterol: 0 mg; Sodium: 100 mg; Carbohydrates: 11 g; Dietary Fiber: 4 g; Sugars: 7 g; Protein: 2 g.

(From nutritionist and cookbook author Ellie Krieger.)

Oriental has coolest meal for summer #ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย

Published March 8, 2020 by SoClaimon

#ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย : ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation

https://www.nationthailand.com/food/30383448?utm_source=category&utm_medium=internal_referral

Oriental has coolest meal for summer

Mar 05. 2020
By THE NATION

The restaurant Sala Rim Naam at the Mandarin Oriental in Bangkok will be welcoming the arrival of summer all through April with the traditional Thai dining set khao chae.

It features chilled rice in jasmine-scented water with fried sweet pepper, deep-battered salted egg, stuffed shallot, fried shrimp paste, sweet fish and pickled vegetables and fruits like cucumber and mango.

The khao chae experience costs Bt470 net.

Sala Rim Naam is open daily except Wednesday. Lunch is served from noon to 2.30 and dinner from 7 to 10pm.

As coronavirus spreads, the people who prepare your food probably don’t have paid sick leave #ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย

Published March 8, 2020 by SoClaimon

#ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย : ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation

https://www.nationthailand.com/food/30383401?utm_source=category&utm_medium=internal_referral

As coronavirus spreads, the people who prepare your food probably don’t have paid sick leave

Mar 05. 2020
By The Washington Post · Kimberly Kindy · NATIONAL, BUSINESS, FEATURES, HEALTH, FOOD 

When Detroit restaurant chef Nik Cole gets sick, she pops a few vitamin C tablets, heads into work and then tops it off with Alka-Seltzer Plus so she can power through her day.

She is one of nearly 7 million food service workers in the United States who is forced to go without pay if she is too sick to work. Although 75% of Americans receive some paid sick days, government and industry data show that only 25% of food service workers have such benefits.

“I would have to have a fever and be really weak in order to call off for work,” said Cole, 40, who has worked in food service for 15 years and has never had paid sick leave. “If you aren’t here, you don’t get paid. And there is no way for you to really make up the hours.”

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says one in five workers have reported working at least once in the previous year while sick with vomiting or diarrhea.

As the threat of the coronavirus grows in the United States, public health experts are concerned about it being spread by sickened food service workers who prepare, serve and deliver a significant share of the meals consumers eat each day.

Americans depend heavily on food service workers. Half of all the money spent on food in the United States is for meals prepared in restaurants, cafeterias, food trucks and delis, according to Technomic, a restaurant industry research group. That amounts to about one-quarter of all meals Americans consume.

The food service industry is already wrestling with the long-standing threat of another disease called norovirus, which causes nearly 60% of all foodborne illness outbreaks. Of the reported outbreaks, 70% are caused by infected food workers, the CDC says.

The methods used to reduce the spread of norovirus during food preparation are the same as they are for coronavirus: sanitizing surfaces, proper and frequent hand washing, coughing into an elbow instead of a hand.

But those procedures are either not being properly followed or they don’t always work. The norovirus annually causes millions of people to develop gastrointestinal problems, with thousands hospitalized and hundreds dying.

Benjamin Chapman, a food safety expert at North Carolina State University who studies norovirus and other foodborne diseases, said the good news for consumers is that coronavirus is much easier to kill with standard sanitation products and procedures.

“Norovirus is very resistant to disinfection,” Chapman said. “It can persist for months in labs.” Coronavirus, on the other hand, dies within two to nine days, preliminary research shows.

Cole, the head chef at a vegan restaurant called the Kitchen, is trying to set an example of proper sanitation for other employees. She said she routinely sprays surfaces with Lysol, frequently washes her hands and uses hand sanitizer.

Cole said customers can also infect food workers, so a hand-washing station and a bottle of hand sanitizer is located at the front of the restaurant. “We can’t afford to get sick as employees — please wash your hands, too!” she said in a phone interview from the restaurant.

The National Restaurant Association has renewed efforts to reeducate workers about safe food-handling procedures in response to the coronavirus outbreak. Industry research groups say that the virus has not affected business, except in some regions that specialize in Asian cuisine.

“Even if we were to have some social disruption of some kind, people will continue to eat,” said David Portalatin, a food industry adviser with the NPD Group, a market research group. “We may see what happened in China, where food delivery increased by 20%.”

Consumer trends show that Americans have grown increasingly comfortable with having meals regularly delivered to their homes.

For example, Grubhub, which delivers meals from takeout and full-service restaurants to customers’ homes, experienced explosive growth in recent years. From 2014 to 2019, the company said it went from delivering at least one meal a year to 5 million people to delivering at least one meal a year to 22.6 million people.

The restaurant industry plays a large role in the U.S. economy. It employs about 10% of the private sector workforce in about 615,000 restaurants around the country.

The National Restaurant Association said the potent threat of the coronavirus – and the tight intersection between American consumers and the food service industry – may fuel a movement to provide more workers with paid sick days.

“Coronavirus has a unique quarantine and recovery period that transcends the traditional policy debates surrounding paid sick leave,” said Vanessa Sink, spokeswoman for the association. “Tackling this challenge will require that employees, businesses and government officials come together and follow proven procedures to protect the health of employees, customers and communities.”

New research shows that laws requiring businesses to offer paid sick days to service workers may help. Two Cornell University researchers published a report last month that revealed that influenza infection rates dropped by 11% in the first year after legislatures in 10 states required employers to offer paid sick leave.

“All these arguments that employees take advantage of it and become lazy — we see no evidence of that,” said Nicolas Ziebarth, an economist and associate professor of human ecology at Cornell, who co-wrote the report. “They took an average of two days of paid sick leave after they had earned it. That is not a crazy amount of sick leave in a year. They are not shirking.”

Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., introduced legislation last year that would require all businesses with 15 or more employees to give their workers an opportunity to earn up to seven days a year of paid sick leave. The sick days could be used to recover from an illness, get preventive care, tend to a sick family member or attend meetings related to the health or disability of a child.

Her legislation did not get any traction — but that was before the coronavirus struck. Like the National Restaurant Association, Murray thinks the growing threat of deadly disease may change things.

“This virus is so highly contagious, it is everyone’s problem . . . not just service workers,” she said in an interview. “Everybody gets hurt.”

Food mogul’s PLNT Burger builds on success of Beyond Meat #ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย

Published March 2, 2020 by SoClaimon

#ศาสตร์เกษตรดินปุ๋ย : ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation

https://www.nationthailand.com/food/30383188?utm_source=category&utm_medium=internal_referral

Food mogul’s PLNT Burger builds on success of Beyond Meat

Mar 02. 2020
By The Washington Post · Thomas Heath · BUSINESS, FOOD 
Entrepreneur Seth Goldman took on the beverage industry with Honest Tea, a low-sugar drink he created out of his home in 1998. Honest Tea put him on the food map, was purchased by Coca-Cola and made the Chevy Chase, Maryland, resident a millionaire.

Then he helped shake up the beef industry with Beyond Meat, the plant-based meat substitute that has upended taste buds and Americans’ food habits.

Beyond Meat’s success has made Goldman a food mogul. His family owns more than 1 million shares of the company, which as of Friday’s stock market close is worth about $100 million.

Now he is taking on the food service industry.

Goldman has teamed up with Washington, D.C., restaurateur Spike Mendelsohn and others to launch a quick-serve concept at a Whole Foods Market in Maryland that offers food that is free of animal products. (Whole Foods is owned by Amazon, whose founder and chief executive Jeff Bezos also owns The Washington Post.)

The start-up, known as PLNT Burger, “is a bit of a blend of Honest Tea and Beyond Meat,” Goldman said. “We are incorporating organic ingredients, such as our mushrooms and drinks, along with Beyond Meat, into our recipes.”

The menu includes the Crispy Chik N’ Funguy sandwich, “made from the fruiting body of an organic oyster mushroom.” The sandwich was inspired by a visit to a mushroom farm, where Goldman noticed that parts of the mushroom were being thrown away.

“Instead of waste, we are turning it into food that people can consume,” he said.

Goldman is the lead investor in PLNT Burger along with his wife, Julie Farkas, and son Jonah Goldman. They have created a holding company called Eat the Change that will produce a broad line of similar, plant-based food that they hope to sell across the country.

PLNT Burger opened its first location at the Whole Foods in downtown Silver Spring, Maryland, in August. Goldman said the restaurant has been successful enough that he and his partners are planning to open more locations.

On a good day, “we are making as much as the previous concept was making in a week,” said Goldman, who kept the menu items below $10 to reach a wide audience. “We have our sights set on at least four more locations around Washington this year.”

Sales of plant-based foods have surged as more Americans move to reduce their meat intake on health and environmental grounds. Piper Sandler reported plant-based meat could be a $6 billion to $8 billion market by 2025, while Goldman Sachs estimates that the plant-based category will grow to $15 billion in the United States and $47 billion globally by 2029.

Driving Goldman’s business plan, in part, is an American Psychological Association study that cited a condition known as “ecoanxiety.”

“People are scared and unsure whether their choices are contributing to climate change,” he said. Beyond Meat and PLNT Burger are businesses designed to assuage that guilt by having minimal impact on the environment while also serving popular products.

“The climate crisis has broken through to people’s consciousness,” he said. “It is no longer a problem we will have to worry about 10 years from now, or when our kids grow up. This is more than ‘good business.’ It is urgently needed business.”

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