Busting Food Myths with Ted Allen
From the surprising increase in food recalls to the validity of "pizza blotting," Ted Allen from Food Network's Food Detectives is on the case!
Headlines seem to be popping up more and more these days with the latest food recalls: warnings about peanut butter, jalapeños, lettuce, and even dog and cat food have raised the eyebrows of concerned consumers. "Part of it is the fact that farming has become such an industrial process in the States," Ted explains. "On the one hand, it probably makes things safer in some respects because everything is kind of systematic. But on the other hand, if something does get tainted, it goes all over the place."
Ted theorizes that the previous administration's lack of emphasis on regulating business resulted in a loss of a lot of inspectors who were going to meat plants and other sorts of food production plants. "I think the health of our children is important enough and we kind of need to amp that back up," he says. "Food safety sounds uninteresting, but it's the first class you take when you go to chef school - it’s important." To get information about the latest food recalls, visit fda.gov.
The Miracle Fruit
Ted introduces Rachael to a berry he first learned about from kids in Brooklyn throwing parties called 'Flavor Tripping' parties. "It’s perfectly harmless, not a drug," he assures. "This berry comes from a tropical bush called the miracle bush. You chew this berry and let the pulp kind of dissolve on your tongue a little bit, and when you taste sour foods, they taste sweet. It’s not permanent - it just lasts for an hour or two - but it does something to your taste buds that just radically alters the taste."
At three dollars a piece the berries are a bit on the expensive side (and don't taste all that great, according to Ted), but their sweet-making properties are quite impressive. "It especially works on things that are acidic like lemon juice or vinegar," Ted adds. "We did this on Food Detectives - you can actually chew this berry and take a glass of vinegar and drink it and it tastes delicious." While mostly used as a novelty, Ted explains the possibilities of the Miracle Berry: "Think about diabetes, think about people who can’t enjoy sugar because of their health. The idea of using this somehow to make things that are sour-tasting taste sweet without introducing sugar is intriguing."
Pizza: To blot or not to blot?
A lot of pizza lovers blot their slices with napkins to remove the excess grease, but how much grease are they really avoiding? Ted explains that he sent the staff of Food Detectives to about 25 different pizza places in New York and had them blot the pizza slices and then measure by weight what came off. "We found out that on average, when you blot the grease off the top of the pizza slice, you get 3.5 grams of oil. If you ate two slices of pizza a week, over the course of a year you would end up with about two cups of oil, so it does add up."
Ted suggests ordering your slice with fresh mozzarella on it: "It's lower in fat to begin with, great flavor, great texture, and you get those long strands when you bite it!"
Also on this show
- Portabello Burgers with Watercress Pesto
- On the Side: Curry-Roasted Carrots
- On the Side: Honey-Soy Oven-Glazed Carrots
- On the Side: Scandinavian Carrots
- Beef Burgers with Watercress Pesto
- Embarrassing Sex Questions Answered
- Surprise Makeovers at the Water Park
- Only Online: Water Park Makeover Revealed!
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