WBEZ | eating http://www.wbez.org/tags/eating Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Trying to cut back on fatty foods? Watch less television http://www.wbez.org/culture/trying-cut-back-fatty-foods-watch-less-television-99619 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/tv dinner (flickr.mod as hell).jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Eating more fruits and vegetables and watching less television could cause a &quot;domino effect&quot; of healthy behavior, according to a new study from Northwestern University&#39;s Feinberg School of Medicine.</p><p>Dr. Bonnie Spring, director of Behavioral Medicine at the Feinburg School, conducted the study. She said the study aimed to find how to change the four most common unheatlhy behaviors in adults: not eating enough fruits and vegetables, not getting enough physical activity, eating too much saturated fat and getting too much sedentary leisure or, in other words, watching too much television.</p><p>&quot;The problem we wanted to address with the study was whether it was possible to simplify and make it easier to go about changing health behaviors,&quot; Spring said. &quot;We assumed it was too much to try to change all four at once, so we wanted to know which two we could have [test subjects] change.&quot;&nbsp;&nbsp;</p><p>Spring said researchers believe these unhealthy behaviors come in bundles, so changing one could positively affect another. She said the study found one combination to be especially effective.</p><p>&ldquo;A particularly good way to begin is to increase your fruits and vegetables and cut down your sedentary leisure. If you do that, you&rsquo;ll also&mdash;without making added effort&mdash;get a reduction in your saturated fat intake,&rdquo; Spring said.</p><p>Spring said she has two possible explanations for the study&#39;s results.</p><p>She said watching television and snacking is a common pairing, so watching less television could reduce the temptation to eat foods loaded with saturated fats.</p><p>She also says the study suggests eating more fruits and vegetables might increase a person&#39;s confidence to stick with other healthy changes.</p><p>Spring said increasing physical activity was the hardest change for subjects to make and maintain, even though it was the change most subjects said they wanted to make at the outset of the study.</p></p> Tue, 29 May 2012 12:12:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/culture/trying-cut-back-fatty-foods-watch-less-television-99619 Why Chicago's West Loop neighborhood is a hot spot for diners http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2012-02-06/why-chicagos-west-loop-neighborhood-hot-spot-diners-96134 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/segment/photo/2012-February/2012-02-06/marche_west loop.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>For more than a decade, Chicago's West Loop area, the neighborhood just west of the Kennedy Expressway, has been a destination for cutting edge eateries and chefs trying new concepts.</p><p>In late February, chef Jared Van Camp opens his latest venture Nellcôte. The restaurant was inspired by Villa Nellcôte where the Rolling Stones recorded their album <em>Exile on Main Street</em>. Van Camp told Tony Sarabia about what diners can expect from the new venture.</p><p>Restaurateur Kevin Boehm also joined the conversation to explain what challenges exist in opening new restaurants. Boehm is co-founder of the <a href="http://bokagrp.com/" target="_blank">Boka Restaurant Group</a>, which runs many restaurants in the city, including Girl and the Goat in the West Loop.</p><p>In her work, freelance food writer Carly Fisher follows the trends happening on Chicago's dining scene and she explained why diners-and chefs-keep making their way to the West Loop.</p><p>&nbsp;</p></p> Mon, 06 Feb 2012 16:10:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2012-02-06/why-chicagos-west-loop-neighborhood-hot-spot-diners-96134 Oak Park might ban eating while driving http://www.wbez.org/story/oak-park-might-ban-eating-while-driving-93109 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/story/photo/2011-October/2011-10-13/AP Tony Talbot.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>The Village of Oak Park is considering making it illegal to eat while driving. Village trustee Colette Lueck, who offered the idea at the end of a recent board meeting for the western suburb of Chicago, said the city is just exploring the idea right now.</p><p>"I don't think you're going to stop people from drinking water while driving, nor do I think you should," said Lueck. "But you know, having a cheeseburger that drips down your shirt and then you're looking at your shirt to see the spot, is a distraction."</p><p>The city is also considering making it illegal for drivers to use cell phones or perform activities like putting on makeup. A <a href="http://tti.tamu.edu/group/cts/2011/10/05/new-study-says-texting-doubles-a-driver%E2%80%99s-reaction-time-2/">recent study by Texas A&amp;M</a> found that texting and driving makes drivers reaction times twice as slow.</p><p>"[We're] trying to figure out, what's a commonsense approach that's enforceable, but also really does offer some degree of protection," said Lueck.</p><p>Lueck said there's no timetable for the potential ordinance, but that it's likely to be brought up again at the start of 2012 after budget negotiations end, when Oak Park board members vote on new proposals.</p></p> Thu, 13 Oct 2011 12:13:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/story/oak-park-might-ban-eating-while-driving-93109 Confessions of a sriracha fanatic http://www.wbez.org/story/2011-09-06/confessions-sriracha-fanatic-91606 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/npr_story/photo/2011-September/2011-09-07/sriracha_custom.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>I have a confession. I am a sriracha sauce addict. This is a recent development. For most of my adult life, I have peaceably and obliviously coexisted with sriracha, overlooking it in the supermarket for Tabasco, excluding it in the kitchen as I made harissa, and bypassing it as I dabbled with south-of-the-border hot sauces. For no reason that I can think of, I ignored sriracha, aka rooster sauce — affectionately nicknamed for the rooster logo on the bottle.</p><p>This changed on a recent foray into San Francisco's Chinatown, where, on an impulse, I purchased a large plastic squeeze bottle emblazoned with a flying rooster against a backdrop of fiery red sauce. I don't know what possessed me to do it, but thank goodness I did.</p><p>I started out conservatively, adding a smidgen of sriracha to dips, or a dab to marinades for heat. I quickly realized that this was more than a one-note hot sauce. Its flavor is rounded and balanced, a magical elixir of sweet, salty, garlicky heat. Before I knew it, the rooster had me by its talons, and in a matter of weeks, I became a sriracha fiend.</p><p>The smidgens and dabs became double-fisted squeezes and dripping spoonfuls. The table was not fully set until the squeeze bottle was centrally placed between the salt and pepper shakers. I carried breath mints in my bag to mask the telltale scent of garlic on my breath. Any savory item at all hours of the day was a candidate for a squirt of sauce.</p><p>I ate sriracha on eggs and toast for breakfast, on meat and potatoes for dinner. Sriracha showed up in soups, sauces and dressings. It coated grains, vegetables and rice. Nothing to douse with a little sriracha? Nonsense. Even when the refrigerator was bare and meals unplanned, a little smear adorning a slice of bread called itself a snack.</p><p>I knew I had crossed the line when one day I found myself squirting a little red sauce on dark chocolate. I looked in the mirror and took a deep breath as I wiped a trail of red sauce dribbling from my mouth. At that moment, I realized I had transformed from a sriracha-ignorant food snob into a full-blown rooster addict. Hello, my name is Lynda and I am addicted to sriracha. There: I said it.</p><p>So what is at the root of all of this fuss? Traditional sriracha, named for a town in the Chonburi Province of central Thailand, is a hot chili paste used as a condiment. The sriracha that we know in the U.S. — the one with the rooster — is an inspired version of the Thai sauce with an American spin, created by David Tran, founder of Huy Fong Foods of Rosemead, Calif. Tran immigrated to the U.S. in 1980 and quickly discovered a gaping hole in the Thai hot sauce market. In anticipation of demand, and to satisfy his own cravings, Huy Fong Sriracha was born.</p><p>Since then, Tran's sriracha has managed not only to satisfy any foreseen demand from the Asian community, it's managed to create a dedicated, if not delirious, following that crosses cultures, demographics and states.</p><p>The secret is a wondrous concoction of red jalapeno chili peppers, vinegar, garlic, sugar and salt. It is simple and pure, with no water or artificial colors, and has a depth of flavor to match its unmistakable heat. For many, myself included, it's one-stop shopping in a squeeze bottle. But that's my opinion. I encourage you to give it a try and see for yourself. And I'll be waiting to greet you when you join the club.</p><div class="fullattribution">Copyright 2011 National Public Radio.</div></p> Tue, 06 Sep 2011 15:51:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/story/2011-09-06/confessions-sriracha-fanatic-91606 'Kitchen Science': The dinner is in the details http://www.wbez.org/story/2011-08-31/kitchen-science-dinner-details-91402 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/npr_story/photo/2011-September/2011-09-01/istock_000015945201small.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Eating out has taught many Americans to be knowledgeable about ordering subtle and complex dishes from around the world, but it's left many of us less knowledgeable about how to cook our own food. That's one reason food writer Russ Parsons decided to write <em>How to Read a French Fry: And Other Stories of Intriguing Kitchen Science</em>, his book about the science of cooking.</p><p>Parsons joins <em>Fresh Air</em>'s Terry Gross to answer all sorts of food science questions, including why meat browns, why sauces emulsify and how frying is different from roasting. Among the other nuggets of wisdom he shares:</p><p><strong>Why onions make us cry: </strong>"In the<strong> </strong>water in the onion there are these little vacuoles — they're little pockets of<strong> </strong>different chemicals. When you cut an onion, all those vacuoles are disrupted,<strong> </strong>the chemicals empty out, and they begin to combine with each other. You get<strong> </strong>these chemical reactions. ... After the fifth or sixth generation of combining and recombining, the result is a kind of a sulfur gas, and, actually, it's not clear at this point whether the sulfuric gas goes up your nose or goes directly to the eye. But either way, it irritates you and it makes your eyes tear as a result of that. And the great thing is that the chemical name for those chemicals are lacrimators from the Latin word for tear, <em>lacrima.</em>"</p><p><strong>Why frying is different from other forms of cooking</strong>: "The special thing about frying is that in most kinds of cooking, whether you're talking about roasting in an oven or boiling in water, the cooking medium doesn't change very much. The water stays essentially the same, the air stays essentially the same. ... With frying, both the oil that this food is being fried in and the food are changing all of the time. ... As the frying progresses, as the oil is heated and more things are added to it, the oil begins to break down. One of the byproducts of this breakdown is chemical 'soaps'. ... They allow the cooking oil to penetrate that water barrier so that the cooking oil comes in direct contact with the food that's being fried so that it browns it better and it cooks it through more thoroughly."</p><p><strong>How to pick the best fruits and vegetables</strong>: "This is almost embarrassing — the really simple answer is that the fruit or the vegetable that's heaviest for the size is going to be the best almost invariably. ... One of the things that happens after fruits or vegetables have been picked, they continue to respirate and they continue to give off moisture. ... So if you pick the fruit or the vegetable that's heaviest or that looks the most like it has the most water in it, you're going to be a lot better off."</p><p><strong>Why dark meat is dark</strong>: "Chickens will fly if they're provoked, but they don't fly very often and they don't fly very far. But they do walk around a lot, and so the leg muscles tend to be much more developed than the breast muscles do. What happens when the muscles are more developed — the reason that the meat is darker is because there's more blood circulating to it because of the exercise, but also there's more connective tissue. Connective tissue ... if it's not cooked it can be stringy. But when it's cooked all the way through, it actually acts as a lubricant that makes the food juicier."</p><p>Russ Parsons is the food editor and columnist for the <em>Los Angeles Times</em>. He is also the author of <em>How to Pick a Peach</em>.</p><div class="fullattribution">Copyright 2011 National Public Radio.</div></p> Wed, 31 Aug 2011 09:00:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/story/2011-08-31/kitchen-science-dinner-details-91402 Cemitas Atomica: Taking a bite out of an amazing Chicago sandwich http://www.wbez.org/story/2011-08-22/cemitas-atomica-taking-bite-out-amazing-chicago-sandwich-90909 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/npr_story/photo/2011-August/2011-08-23/photo-2-1-.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>We're back from our trip to Alaska, where it was more about communing with animals than eating them. So to make up for lost time, today we headed over to Cemitas Pueblas in Chicago, to try their legendary Atomica sandwich. (On the menu it has a little "TM" after it, which either stands for "trademark" or "too much.")</p><p>The Atomica is a breaded pork chop, a chile guajillo marinated pork chop and ham, along with Oaxacan cheese and avocado on sesame seed bread. We were joined by friends and Vocalo hosts Molly and Brian--he doesn't usually eat sandwiches.</p><p><strong>Ian</strong>: Look at those layers! It's like a pork cake.</p><p><strong>Mike</strong>: Yeah. It's <em>tira-meat-su</em>.</p><p><strong>Molly</strong>: I thought that was cabbage. It's much better knowing it's cheese.</p><p><strong>Blythe</strong>: It looks like hair. Mmmm, cheese wig.</p><p><strong>Brian</strong>: This is good but I don't usually like sandwiches. I think deli sandwiches ruined me to sandwiches.</p><p><strong>Ian</strong>: You can't judge all sandwiches just on the few you've met. That's completely sandwichist.</p><p><strong>Brian</strong>: You have to be careful to keep the layers from slipping. It's sandwich Jenga.</p><p><strong>Ian</strong>: We should tie our hands behind our backs and play Sandwich Hungry Hungry Hippos.</p><p><strong>Blythe</strong>: It's actually easier to digest the marbles.</p><p>[The verdict: worth the trip. Despite the atomic barrage of different kinds of pork, it still manages to be subtle and delicately spicy. It's like watching a fat man do ballet, which is one of my favorite activities. More <a href="http://www.cemitaspuebla.com/">about Cemitas Puebla here</a>.]</p><div class="fullattribution">Copyright 2011 National Public Radio.</div></p> Mon, 22 Aug 2011 14:46:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/story/2011-08-22/cemitas-atomica-taking-bite-out-amazing-chicago-sandwich-90909 Culinary adventures along the Illinois River http://www.wbez.org/content/culinary-adventures-along-illinois-river <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/story/photo/2011-August/2011-08-19/soft shell crab_CHC_CAtherine Lambrecht.jpg" alt="" /><p><p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" class="caption" height="306" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/story/insert-image/2011-August/2011-08-19/fried-catfish-smaller-2_flickr_ed-fisher.jpg" title="Fried catfish from Ron's Cajun Connection in Utica, Ill. (Flickr/Ed Fisher)" width="630"></p><p>At a gathering of fellow foodies, Catherine Lambrecht was asked the following hypothetical question: If you had 10 days paid vacation and an unlimited budget, where would you go?</p><p>Her cohorts listed distant locales with enticing food cultures: Thailand, Switzerland. But the co-founder of LTHForum, an online site dedicated to parsing the fine details of the region’s local eats, replied this way: “Give me the budget and a car full of gas.”</p><p>The moderator of the conversation snorted.</p><p>“What, are you going to Gary?”</p><p>“I can make a day out of Gary,” Lambrecht told an audience assembled by Culinary Historians of Chicago in June. “There’s serendipity involved.”</p><p>Serendipity, and in Lambrecht’s case, persistence. To prove her point that one can discover delicious food in the most surprising, out-of-the-way places, Lambrecht has made a habit of exploring not just Chicago, but the city’s far outer suburbs.</p><p>When she heard that there was a region along the Illinois River where one could obtain fried turtle – a local delicacy – she spent the next three or four years hunting down leads until she found a cluster of restaurants that still served the dish.</p><p>Along the way she found a number of other unusual, and often delicious, local practices, including tortellini in broth curiously called “ravs,” and an entire county where local restaurants are fiercely competitive about their fried chicken.</p><p>In June, she shared some of her discoveries, starting with her fried turtle odyssey. &nbsp;You can hear her story, and her review of the food, in the audio above.</p><p><em><a href="../../series/dynamic-range">Dynamic Range</a> showcases hidden gems unearthed from Chicago Amplified’s vast archive of public events and appears on weekends. Catherine Lambrecht spoke at an event presented by <a href="http://www.culinaryhistorians.org/">Culinary Historians of Chicago</a> in June. Click <a href="../../story/dining-under-radar-western-suburbs-and-bit-beyond-88995">here</a> to hear the event in its entirety.</em></p></p> Fri, 19 Aug 2011 20:20:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/content/culinary-adventures-along-illinois-river