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August 10, 2017 |

Archive for » August 10th, 2017«

Heads up, Moscow mule lovers: That copper mug could be poisoning you

The Moscow mule — that Instagram-ready cocktail that has surged in popularity in recent years — has only a few ingredients: vodka, ginger beer, lime and ice. But perhaps the most crucial component of the drink is the copper mug in which it’s almost always served, beverage aficionados say.

Now, public health officials are warning that those mugs could be poisoning you.

An advisory bulletin from Iowa’s Alcoholic Beverages Division notes that, in keeping with Food and Drug Administration guidelines, copper should not come into contact with acidic foods with a pH below six. That includes vinegar, fruit juice, wine and, yes, a traditional Moscow mule, whose pH is “well below 6.0.” the bulletin says.

“When copper and copper alloy surfaces contact acidic foods, copper may be leached into the food,” the division notes.

Symptoms of copper poisoning include abdominal pain, diarrhea, vomiting and jaundice, according to the National Institutes of Health. “Sudden (acute) copper poisoning is rare,” NIH says. “However, serious health problems from long-term exposure to copper can occur. Severe poisoning can cause liver failure and death.”

Most chefs and food scientists already know not to use copper (or copper-plated) pots and pans for acidic recipes like tomato sauce, not only for health reasons but for the ways in which “reactive” cookware can alter the flavor of a recipe. Food editor Emma Christensen broke down the differences between reactive and nonreactive cookware in a good primer for here:

“Ceramics and stainless steel are considered nonreactive. While these don’t conduct heat very well and tend to have ‘hot spots,’ they won’t interfere with the chemical structure of the food in such a way that changes the look or edibility of our food. . . . Aluminum, copper, iron, and steel (not ‘stainless’) are all reactive. They conduct heat very efficiently, and therefore, do a great job of cooking our food evenly. However, these metals are reactive with acidic and alkaline foods. If you’re cooking with ingredients like tomatoes or lemon juice, your food can take on a metallic flavor, especially if the cooking time is very long. Light colored foods, like eggs, can develop gray streaks.”

The same reactions occur when copper surfaces come in contact with acidic drinks. The instinct to separate copper from acidic drinks may not be as apparent simply because copper cups haven’t been commonly used as a beverage vessel. Until now.

“The recent popularity of Moscow Mules, an alcoholic cocktail typically served in a copper mug, has led to inquiries regarding the safe use of copper mugs and this beverage,” the Iowa Alcoholic Beverages Division wrote. “This means that copper mugs that have a copper interior may not be used with this beverage.”

Some may protest: How else is one supposed to drink a Moscow mule? From a glass?

Well, that is one option. But it turns out there’s an easy fix without sacrificing the photogenic qualities of the beverage. Simply make sure your Moscow mules are served in copper mugs lined on the inside with another metal, like nickel or stainless steel. The silver lining may not look as authentic in your pictures as a completely copper mug would, but it could save you a trip to the hospital. Cheers.

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3D Food Printing: Testing the Boundaries of Cooking

The founders of the online platform, based in Barcelona (a team of designers and engineers interested in food that include the project leader Katia R.Glossmann, Pol Guixé, Xavier Tutó, Oscar Chic, and Jordi Bayer), hope that their effort will not just be all about fun and tech. They want to explore how 3D food printing can contribute to important issues connected to the adoption of new technologies, especially regarding the necessary cross-pollination between culinary creativity, efforts in terms of long-term sustainability in the food system, and the preferences of consumers, who are increasingly interested in nutrition customization. Other important questions need to be addressed. Will these 3D innovations bring positive change in our everyday reality? Will they go beyond small circles of aficionados to offer improvements in the way the general public eats, cooks, and even thinks about food? Who owns the patent and the intellectual property? And who has the financial and cultural means to access them? These are crucial and legitimate doubts that are not unique to 3D food printing, but extend to all sorts of innovation: will new technologies usher a greater democratization of the food system, or will they increase the inequalities between the haves and the have-nots?

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The Branding Genius Behind Shake Shack Presents Her Sequel

[Image: courtesy Tender Greens]

Shake Shack founder Danny Meyer has teamed up with Scher again in hopes that the “fast-casual restaurant brand” magic strikes twice. This time, the business is Tender Greens–the first outside business Meyer’s Union Square Hospitality group of restaurants has invested in. The new Tender Greens plays off of the shape of a “g” constructed from a crock and a plate. It’s the sort of visual scheme you’d expect in a classic print logo, but it adapts at its bottom to feature photos of dish after dish of Tender Greens’s ever-changing menu.

Old Tender Greens logo

Founded in California in 2006, Tender Greens probably sounds like an organic, vegan salad bar. The inky script of its logo, punctuated by an arugula leaf does nothing to buck that assumption–a design originated by cofounder Erik Oberholtzer’s brother. In fact, Tender Greens is a restaurant more like a bohemian, fine dining upgrade to Chipotle. The model is what makes it unique: Each restaurant is operated by a single chef, who runs a team preparing new, locally inspired specials all the time. This ever-rotating, family-style presentation of dishes is scooped onto your plate with plenty of meat. Essentially, the company has given creative chefs a way to run their own restaurant, but within a scalable business plan with less risk.

[Image: courtesy Tender Greens]

Tender Greens has 24 locations in California. It will be opening its first restaurant in New York City in February–which prompted the new branding–and it plans to double the number of locations over the next five years. The name “Tender Greens” has enough recognizability in California that executives felt it had to stay. But for the rest of the brand? Meyer had an idea.

[Image: courtesy Tender Greens]

“He introduced us to Paula Scher with the statement, ‘Paula is the best in the world. She’s in the design hall of fame. You and I are not. Trust her. She’s going to make you uncomfortable but trust her. Let her take you somewhere amazing,’” Oberholtzer recounts. So the team flew Scher out to Los Angeles to visit locations and eat.

During the visit, Scher lasered in on something that Oberholtzer himself hadn’t quite articulated. “What came out of that was, very quickly on the tour she was like, ‘Your brand is all about the chefs and the chef’s kitchen. That’s the magic. That’s what differentiates you. We need to bring the public’s attention to that,” says Oberholtzer. “To the fact that every day, twice a day, there are new dishes across the group–48 new dishes coming out, and they may never come back again.”

[Image: courtesy Tender Greens]

“[Oberholtzer] was talking about something that really represented the life of a chef. One of the things that he thought was really important to the chef was the knife. And he thought knives have three screws in them, which could be a series of dots. And I didn’t think anyone would catch that other than a chef,” laughs Scher. “I realized, it wasn’t a knife, it was the notion of the cookware, pots, pans, etc. And I realized you could build a ‘g’ out of it if they were [drawn from] overhead.”

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EBRD and TSKB to co-finance Turkish kitchen fittings producer Ukinox

The FINANCIAL — In a new joint transaction, the EBRD and the Industrial Development Bank of Turkey (TSKB) are providing €0.9 million of working capital to Ukinox, a dynamic manufacturer of kitchen sinks and built-in kitchen appliances in Turkey.

Divided 50:50 between the two lenders, the loan facility will support the growth of the company by financing its working capital needs, according to EBRD.

Headquartered in Istanbul and operating a plant in Duzce in the Black Sea region of Turkey, Ukinox focuses on the production of stainless steel sinks. Other products include granite and glass sinks, siphons and sink accessories such as baskets, chopping boards and colanders.

Eight-five per cent of the company’s products are destined for export, mostly to the United States of America and Canada, but also to western Europe.

The financing is a new investment under a joint programme between the EBRD and TSKB which was set up in 2016 to improve and simplify access to finance for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) across Turkey. Support for small businesses is among the EBRD’s priorities in its efforts to strengthen the private sector, which in Turkey attracts some 98 per cent of the Bank’s funding.

The EBRD is a leading investor in Turkey. To date, the Bank has invested over €9 billion in the country through more than 220 projects across many sectors and has mobilised nearly €20 billion for these ventures from other sources of financing.


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Cookware recycling effort makes mealtimes possible

8/10/2017 – West Side Leader

By Kathleen Folkerth

Madeline, Abbe and Lily Turner are shown above after filling their van full of donations for Recycle Pots and Pans, which Abbe Turner started five years ago.
Photo courtesy of Abbe Turner

CUYAHOGA FALLS — Providing people in need with healthy foods doesn’t do much when they don’t have a pot to cook it in or a plate to eat from.

That’s what Abbe Turner realized a few years ago after hearing that a nonprofit couldn’t find takers for the farm-fresh produce it was trying to distribute.

When she asked why no one was taking the food, one of the other attendees at the local food event put it simply: “Abbe, they don’t have pots and pans.”

“I didn’t sleep for a couple of nights,” the Garrettsville resident said. “How do people not have pots and pans? It didn’t make sense.”

That inspired Turner to establish the nonprofit Recycle Pots and Pans, which collects gently used and new kitchen items to distribute to those who need it.

The organization will collect donations at the Aug. 12 Countryside Farmers Market at Howe Meadow, 4040 Riverview Road, from 9 a.m. to noon. This is third time it will be at the market. Earlier this season, 1,200 pounds of kitchen items were donated during a collection drive at the market.

Five years after starting the effort, Turner said the organization has collected about eight tons of items. Once collected, all items are stored in half of the 6,000-square foot building Turner uses in Kent for her goat cheese business, Lucky Penny Creamery. She added she works with 28 nonprofits throughout the state to redistribute the items, which range from pots, pans and plates to measuring cups, silverware and toasters.

“We take anything used to prepare or enjoy a family meal,” Turner said.

Volunteers pack the items into sets so that someone who is in need or leaving a shelter has all the essentials to begin cooking and eating meals at home.

Turner added that used items to be donated should be only gently used and washed. Volunteers go through all items and take those that are beyond use to the scrapyard, she added.

“If we pick up a pan and we think if you’re coming out of a homeless shelter and that pan is going to make you sad, we won’t give it away,” she said.

Turner also loves to accept donations of new items and tries to include in each kitchen set at least one brand new thing.

In Akron, Recycle Pots and Pans has provided kitchen sets to the International Institute, Valor Home, Haven of Rest, Battered Women’s Shelter, Salvation Army and Hattie Larlham. Occasionally, Turner said she hears from an individual in need and she tries to help those people out as well.

Turner said Recycle Pots and Pans’ mission is multifold.

“Our goal is to have families eating together and putting nothing in the landfill,” she said.

She added that through its work, the nonprofit also can make sure that the work of food pantries and food banks is not for nothing.

“We could be failing at the last mile, if the food gets into the homes but they have no way to use it,” she said. “We’re plugging the small gaps.

“We are food producers and we believe eating is a sacred act and all folks should have access to nutritionally dense foods,” she added.

Turner said she welcomes the support of local groups who want to help the effort by holding collection drives. So far, she’s received items collected by churches, book clubs, a bowling league and firefighters. The latter group made it a priority to donate pots and pans with lids, as that’s the best way to douse a fire in cookware, she said.

The work is rewarding, said Turner, who added that recently one of the recipients of a set of kitchen items who got back on their feet donated the items they received back to Recycle Pots and Pans.

“We consider ourselves to be blessed in this work,” Turner said.

For more information, go to Items also may be dropped off at 632 Temple Ave. in Kent. To schedule an appointment to have a large number of items picked up from your home, call 330-715-4140 or email


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Let the games begin

Aleeah Firster, 5, of Cooperstown, pets Amelia, a corn snake from the Erie Zoo. Amelia was visiting the Venango County Fair on Wednesday with the zoo’s off-ground coordinator, Amy Heisler, and a collection of other critters from the zoo. (By Richard Sayer)

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Le Creuset’s Having A Huge Factory Sale This Fall –

Le Creuset, maker of the cast-iron cookware that appears on virtually every wedding registry ever, is giving bridesmaids, groomsmen, and avid cooks everywhere a dose of sweet relief. This fall, the brand’s hosting a massive three-day sale — including several dishes and colors you can’t find in the United States.

There is a catch, however: This sale won’t be happening online or in stores. You’ll have to travel to Nashville, Tennessee, to score these discounts. As part of Le Creuset’s third annual Factory-To-Table sale, the brand’s setting up shop at the Music City Center, creating a sort of flea market to schill its ombre dutch ovens, skillets, casserole dishes, and other tools.

BUY IT NOW: Le Creuset Cast Iron Skillet, $200; Amazon

The event takes place from Thursday, Sept. 28 through Sunday, Oct. 1. Thursday’s a special early shopping event, with the marketplace only open from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. It’ll set you back $25 per person to get your first pick of all the goods on sale, but you’ll get a little bonus: free snacks and drinks, as well as live music while you shop. Because nothing gets you ready to party like honky tonk and rows of enamel cast iron.

On Friday and Saturday, you can shop from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m., and on Sunday, it’ll be open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

To keep the chaos at a minimum, if you visit on Friday and Saturday, you have to pay $10 to enter, and you’ll only be allowed to shop for two hours. (You can actually buy tickets now here.) All of the proceeds from ticket sales benefit The Nashville Food Project and Second Harvest Bank of Middle Tennessee, according to a press release.

If you don’t care about getting prime pickings, you can shop for free on Sunday, provided you preregister online and bring a nonperishable food to donate to the charities. The food bank’s particularly in need of canned fruits and vegetables, pasta, cereal, canned meat (like chicken or tuna), and peanut butter.

Now, the only question is whether you have enough room in your car to haul your friends and your finds.

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