Sports Drink Scrutinized For Toxic Additive

Sports Drink Scrutinized For Toxic AdditiveSarah Kavanagh of  Hattiesburg, Miss., a dedicated vegetarian, checked the label of Gatorade before drinking to make sure no animal products were in the drink. One ingredient, brominated vegetable oil, caught her eye.

‘Safe for consumption’

“I knew it probably wasn’t from an animal because it had vegetable in the name, but I still wanted to know what it was, so I Googled it,” Ms. Kavanagh said. “A page popped up with a long list of possible side effects, including neurological disorders and altered thyroid hormones. I didn’t expect that.”

She threw the product away and started a petition on Change.org, a nonprofit Web site, that has almost 200,000 signatures. Ms. Kavanagh, 15, hopes her campaign will persuade PepsiCo, Gatorade’s maker, to consider changing the drink’s formulation.

Jeff Dahncke, a spokesman for PepsiCo, noted that brominated vegetable oil had been deemed safe for consumption by federal regulators. In fact, about 10 percent of drinks sold in the United States contain brominated vegetable oil. The ingredient is added often to citrus drinks to help keep the fruit flavoring evenly distributed; without it, the flavoring would separate.


‘Quixotic’

Use of the substance in the United States has been debated for more than three decades, so Ms. Kavanagh’s campaign most likely is quixotic. But the European Union has long banned the substance from foods, requiring use of other ingredients. Japan recently moved to do the same.

Meanwhile, no further testing has been done. While most people have limited exposure to brominated vegetable oil, an extensive article about it by Environmental Health News that ran in Scientific American last year found that video gamers and others who binge on sodas and other drinks containing the ingredient experience skin lesions, nerve disorders and memory loss.

How often do you check the label of any food or beverage that you ingest? What further intervention should be done by the federal regulators to make sure the public is safe from harmful ingredients?

Source: Yahoo Finance 

Author: Stephanie Strom, The New York Times

Image: Food Democracy

How To Make Fried Chicken That’s Better Than KFC’s

“Everybody has eaten Kentucky Fried Chicken, and if they tell you they haven’t, they are lying,” James Boyce, chef/owner of Commerce Kitchen in Huntsville, Alabama, tells Yahoo! Shine. “The crust is perfect every time.” Boyce developed his succulent, crispy fried chicken by playing with traditional recipes and experimenting with the cooking process, eventually settling on a nine-spice blend and a slower fry.

Commerce Kitchen Fried Chicken (adapted from James Boyce)

Ingredients:

2 cups flour

2 tablespoons salt

2 tablespoons pepper

4 tablespoons paprika

1 teaspoon garlic salt

1 tablespoon dry mustard

1 tablespoon French thyme, ground

1 tablespoon dried sweet basil, ground

1 teaspoon oregano, ground

1 tablespoon Jamaica ginger, ground (regular ground ginger will work too)

2 cups buttermilk

2 2 ½- 3 lb. chickens, cut into 8 pieces each

Vegetable oil for frying (canola and peanut oil work too)


Directions:

Mix dry ingredients in large bowl. Set aside. Put chicken and buttermilk in two large plastic Ziploc bags or a flat dish and marinate in the refrigerator for at least two hours, turning every 30 minutes. This tenderizes the meat as well as removes any blood. When ready to cook, remove chicken pieces from buttermilk, shake off excess liquid. Toss with dry ingredients. The chicken should be lightly covered, but it’s okay if there are a few missed spots. You can also shake chicken with the dry ingredients in a large Ziploc bag.

Fill a large, heavy bottomed skillet or deep pot with enough oil to cover halfway up the largest piece of chicken. Heat oil to 325-350 degrees. If you don’t have a cooking thermometer, wait for small bubbles to form. Adjust heat so the oil bubbles are steady but not too rapid. Working in two or more batches, place the coated chicken in the hot oil. After about eight minutes, the chicken will be golden brown underneath. Turn over once and cook for an additional eight minutes or until nicely browned on both sides. The cooking process will agitate the pieces slightly, so you don’t need to shift them around in the pan.

Do you love KFC’s finger-lickin’-good fried chicken? Tell us about your own home recipe for the best fried chicken in the world!

Source: Yahoo News

Image: Gavan Murphy