Susmita Baral

Susmita Baral is New York City-based multimedia journalist covering food, culture, technology, health and science.
New Mexico Bans “Lunch Shaming” Students Who Don’t Have Money
New Mexico has become the first American state to take a legal stand on “lunch shaming” students who don’t have money to buy lunch. The tales of lunch shaming are not scarce — students have reportedly been stamped, forced to wear a wristband, had their lunches tossed out, or even told to perform chores in lieu of a meal. Now, thanks to the Hunger-Free Student’s Bill of Rights, kids can eat lunch without a side of humiliation.
Sep 30, 2020
Parents Eat Better When Their Kids Eat Healthy Food, Says Study
When you live in the same household as someone, it’s a not a surprise that you would all eat similarly. Unless someone is making specific meals for every individual — which would be too much work — everyone is going to be eating that pizza, or salad, or whatever you’re having for meals. So it’s generally accepted that children eat how their parents do. But a new study found that managing a child’s diet can also impact the parent’s.
Sep 30, 2020
School Lunches in America Face Health and Cost Concerns
The status of school lunch in America is far from perfect. Between unhealthy options and lunch shaming, there’s tremendous room for improvement when it comes to how and what children in the nation are being fed. Earlier this year, New Mexico became the first American state to take a legal stand on lunch shaming when students don’t have the funds to purchase food.
Sep 30, 2020
Can You Look at These Kitchen Items Without Dying Inside?
Back in 2011, Athens-based architect Katerina Kamprani started working on her Uncomfortable series, which entailed reimagining everyday items into “uncomfortable” versions of their useful selves. Many of these everyday goods pertain to the kitchen: a double-cupped champagne glass, interlinked coffee mugs, a thick cutlery set, hourglass salt and pepper shakers, and even a slipper spoon. “I started this project for fun, so my purpose is to make people laugh and feel amused!
Jun 9, 2019
Watch All the Food Scenes from Harry Potter in Just 3 Minutes
The Harry Potter franchise turned 20 on June 26, leaving fans nostalgic for when the first book in the series originally released. The 20th anniversary marked the U.K. release of the first novel in the cult-favorite J.K. Rowling series: Harry Potter And The Philosopher’s Stone. To commemorate the occasion, Digg made a video featuring all the delicious (and unappetizing) foods featured in the films, from mundane moments to unforgettable ones.
Jun 9, 2019
Lidl Wants to Help Puppies Find Their Furever Homes
European supermarket giant Lidl, who just recently launched in the United States, is already tugging at our heart strings: The grocery store is collaborating with a nonprofit on a project to rescue puppies. The partnership is with Operation Paws for Homes, also called OPH, and the collective goal is to benefit adoptable dog shelters across the nation. Called the “Retail to the Rescue Project,” the initiative will take place this week, reports Progressive Grocer.
Jun 4, 2019
Diehard Costco Fans Will Love This Brand-New Service
Chances are that if you’ve been to Cotsco, you’re probably in love with the grocery store. And why wouldn’t you be? Costco is known for a lot of things: bulk wholesale goods, generous food samples, and affordable prices. It’s also known for being a one-stop shop, with everything from furniture, clothes, and electronics to beauty products, household items, and food. It’s a little oasis.
Jun 4, 2019
This $8 Rosé from Aldi Is One of the Best Bottles of Wine in the World
There’s good news in store for rosé-lovers: An affordable line of the pink wine just won a prestigious award for its cost and quality. This means you can enjoy high-quality rosé without having to break the bank. An $8 bottle of rosé sold at Aldi, a supermarket known for its affordable prices, is now an award-winning bottle.
Jun 4, 2019
Trader Joe’s Cauliflower Rice Is So Popular There’s Now a Ration
Cauliflower “rice” is so popular at Trader Joe’s that select locations have placed a limit on how many you can buy. The low-carb alternative to traditional rice is being rationed — customers can purchase two cauliflower rice bags a day — at two locations in the Northeast: South Orange, NJ, and Fairfield, CT. While the former establishment told Well + Good a cap is in effect, the latter said they are not “actively enforcing” the ration.
Jun 3, 2019
Whole Foods Chicken Salad Recalled for Having No Chicken
Food recalls can happen for frightening reasons. Sometimes items are found to contain traces of bacteria like listeria, the Hepatitis A virus, and salmonellapieces of metal in ice creama decomposing bat found in a bag of pre-packaged salad That’s the case with the 440 pounds of chicken salad being recalled for a relatively harmless reason: there’s no chicken in them.
May 30, 2019
This Is Why Some People Get Headaches from Red Wine
No, it's not just a hangover.
May 30, 2019
Are Frozen Vegetables as Nutritious as Fresh? We Took a Look at the Science.
We all know the health perks of eating more vegetables: A wealth of research has found diets rich in fruits and vegetables lower blood pressure, decrease risk of heart disease, can reduce blood cholesterol levels, and may offer protection against certain types of cancers. But all that means just fresh vegetables, right? Frozen veggies must not be as nutritious as plants plucked straight off the farm. Well, not so fast, says science.
May 30, 2019
This Is the Biggest Source of Food Poisoning (and It’s Not Salmonella)
If you’re worried about bacteria that causes food poisoning, then chances are you’ve heard a thing or two about a bad guy named Salmonella, which makes people sick with approximately 1.2 million cases of illnesses a year. Now, there’s a new name to learn, as Salmonella has been dethroned as the most common bacteria to cause food poisoning in the United States.
May 30, 2019
Here’s Why Everyone Is Freaking Out About Nutella Right Now
For the last 10 years or so, Nutella has creeped its way into our hearts But not everything is sweet in the land of hazelnut chocolate. The ingredient that makes this spread so creamy — palm oil — is under fire for being a potential carcinogen. Thus far, there are no government regulations banning palm oil or official recommendations for consumers to stop eating it. But some chains and brands have taken matters into their own hands as a precautionary step.
May 30, 2019
How Quinoa Could Help Fight the Global Food Shortage
Whether you’re a die-hard fan or you could live without itquinoaprotein-packed texture goddess Now, in addition to its health perks, the South American super-seed has a new claim to fame: it could play an instrumental part in combating the world’s impending food shortage. So, what makes quinoa a viable solution for the global food shortage? First, as we all know, quinoa is a rich source of nutrients.
May 30, 2019
Your Honey Might Not Be What It Claims to Be
There’s been a lot of sweet talk in the news lately — and we’re not talking about Valentine’s Day! The topic of sugar, in whatever form, is on everyone’s minds. (The consensus seems to be that, as a nation, we’re consuming too much, although, as with most things, it’s complicated). But there’s one specific sweetener that really has people buzzing right now, and that’s Manuka honey.
May 30, 2019
Butter Might Be Better for You than You Think
Butter, in all its delicious glory, generally gets a bad rap. That’s largely due to the fact that butter is high in saturated fat — a single tablespoon has 7 grams of saturated fat, or 35 percent of the USDA’s daily recommended amount — and saturated fat has been linked to high cholesterol and increased risk of cardiovascular problems.
May 30, 2019
Tyson CEO Acknowledges That the Future May Be Meatless
The meat substitute industry is growing rapidly. According to research firm Markets and Markets, the global sales of meat substitutes increased by $4 billion this year alone and have seen a 42 percent increase since 2010. Experts anticipate the global meat substitute market to generate $5.2 billion in revenue by 2020, reports MarketWatch. If these numbers aren’t compelling enough, now one of the world’s largest meat processors has gone on record to predict a meatless future.
May 30, 2019
The FDA Wants to Redefine What “Healthy” Actually Means
The word “healthy” is as subjective as it gets — one man’s trash is another man’s nutritious. It’s not just salad, people! So when consumers see the word slapped on packaging, they should meet it with a level of skepticism, as current regulations for the term are relatively confusing. It’s a word that has no consistent meaning. But the Food & Drug Administration (FDA) wants to change this.
May 30, 2019
The “5-Second Rule” Is Maybe, Sorta, Kinda Real (Says Science)
The next time you’re side-eyed or shamed for eating food dropped on the floor, know that you’re not alone. Seventy-nine percent of people have admitted to eating food off the floor, and now the science of the “five-second rule” backs you up. Yes, really. According to Aston University microbiologist Anthony Hilton, food is usually safe to consume after it’s been in contact with the floor for a few seconds. Let me explain.
May 30, 2019
What Causes Food Comas? It’s More than Just Overeating.
At some point or another, everyone has experienced the classic symptoms of a food coma. You know what I’m talking about. It’s that overwhelming feeling of fullness after a buffet binge or too many servings of mashed potatoes at a family dinner. We laymen call it a food coma, but medical professionals have a name for the phenomenon: postprandial somnolence. Medical experts agree that eating too much food results in a change in your body’s circulation.
May 30, 2019
Edamame Recall Hits 33 States Amidst Potential Listeria Contamination
Edamame is a favorite snack or appetizer to nosh on, especially before a big sushi dinner. These green soybeans are a rich source of fiber, protein, vitamins, and minerals. They’re also delicious. Now sushi-lovers need to be wary when eating the appetizer, as an edamame product from Advanced Fresh Concepts has been recalled in 33 states. A random quality testing analysis revealed a potential contamination of Listeria monocytogenes.
May 30, 2019
The Answer to Beating Stress Might Be in Your Crisper
Sources of stress are everywhere around us. For some, it’s their workload or just life’s responsibilities. For others, it’s not being able to pick the best boozy brunch spot for the weekend. They are all valid. But a new study has found a way to eat your way out of the psychological pressure. Scientists from the University of Sydney in Australia have found eating three to four servings of veggies a day can significantly lower psychological stress levels.
May 30, 2019
Americans Are Eating 20% Less Beef than They Were a Decade Ago. Here’s Why.
Imagine the typical American diet and you may think of lunches filled with beef burgers and regular steak dinners. Perhaps that was the case once upon a time, but there’s been a shift in the American diet. The change is a gradual one over the course of nearly a decade that has resulted in a decline in beef consumption. According to a new study from the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), Americans dropped their beef intake by 19 percent from 2005 to 2014.
May 30, 2019
The Scary Reason Why Nearly 1 Million Pounds of Chicken Nuggets Have Been Recalled
Chicken-nugget aficionados and chicken-finger enthusiasts be warned — nearly one million pounds of chicken from an Oklahoma-based manufacturer may be contaminated with “extraneous materials.” What kind, you ask? The kind nobody wants in their body: metal. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS), Ok Food Inc. has issued a recall of their chicken products.
May 30, 2019
Does Food Safety Really Matter in Cookbooks?
A new study from researchers at North Carolina State University looked at best-selling cookbooks and found that 99.7 percent of recipes don’t address food-related risks. Is this a problem? The study, published in the British Food Journal, looked at 1,749 recipes containing “raw animal ingredients” from 29 cookbooks featured on the New York Times best-sellers list.
May 30, 2019
There’s a Very Specific Reason Why You Hate Cilantro
For an herb, cilantro is very divisive. People either love it or can’t stand the taste. Julia Child famously validated a hatred for cilantro in a 2002 interview with Larry King when she admitted she detested cilantro, saying it has a “dead taste” to her. Others say it leaves a soap-like aftertaste in their mouths, and some have even likened the taste to crushed bugs. But there’s more to a repulsion of cilantro than picky taste buds: it’s biological.
May 30, 2019
Here’s Why Cooking and Baking Make You Feel Good, According to Science
People who love to bake really love to bake. They’ll jump on any opportunity to whip up a treat to share with others and put their stand mixer to work. But it turns out there might be another reason why baking and cooking make some people feel so good. A study published in the Journal of Positive Psychology found that those who engage in creative projects (like cooking and baking) are happier in their day-to-day lives.
May 30, 2019
Science Says Microwaving Your Tea Makes It Healthier
Ask a tea aficionado how tea should be prepared and you can bet a microwave will not be involved. But ask a food scientist from University of Newcastle in Australia and they’ll make a compelling case for using a microwave. Research shows preparing tea in a microwave might actually make it healthier for you.
May 30, 2019
It Turns Out That Salty Foods Don’t Actually Make You Thirsty
Remember that age-old piece of nutritional advice that salty foods make you thirsty? It’s wrong. Scientists have long believed that eating more salt results in urinating more, which causes one to drink more to refuel. But no long-term study has ever looked into the matter to verify the seemingly logical assumption. Now an international team of scientists found evidence suggesting the contrary: Those who ate more salt retained more water, were less thirsty, and were hungrier.
May 30, 2019
This Gummy Bear Cleanse Is the Best Detox You’ve Never Heard Of
Green juice has long been a staple of the wellness community, but not everyone can say they actually enjoy the drink. For those finicky palates, eating a green drink may be the solution and Sugarfina is here to help with their new “Green Juice” Gummy Bears. Yes, green juice gummies now exist.
May 30, 2019
New Study Suggests You Shouldn’t Eat Gluten-Free Unless You’re Celiac
Roughly one percent of Americans suffer from celiac disease — an autoimmune disorder that triggers inflammation and intestinal issues. The solution for these individuals is to follow a gluten-free diet that avoids consumption of the protein found in whole grains. But over the past few years, those without celiac disease have opted to go gluten-free for an array of reasons, from weight loss to general health benefits. In the United States, 0.
May 30, 2019
The Trump Administration Takes on Two Obama-Era Food Regulations
The Trump administration is directly aiming at food policy for the next area to loosen regulations. Last week, the federal government separately pinpointed two areas where they plan to make changes for consumers: school lunches and calorie labels on menus. The former will see looser rules, while implementation of the latter has been delayed. Here’s what you need to know about both.
May 30, 2019
Over 5,000 Pounds of Beef, Pork & Veal Are Being Recalled in 6 States
In the month’s first major recall news, 5,620 pounds of meat are being taken off shelves in six states. Marcho Farms is recalling beef, pork, and veal products over a potential contamination of a non-O157 Shiga toxin. The issue came to light after the Illinois State Meat Inspection Service reported samples of meat tested positive for the toxin. Since the meat had already been distributed to grocery stores, the USDA Safety and Inspection Service was alerted.
May 30, 2019
Here’s How to Figure Out If Your “Organic” Milk Is Actually Organic
The organic dairy market is booming, with sales reaching $6 billion last year in the United States alone. Part of the reason is that organic milk comes with a “healthy” halo effect; it is deemed to be a better alternative than conventional milk. But a recent investigation by The Washington Post found that there’s a big difference between buying organic from corporations versus directly from farmers.
May 30, 2019
Nearly 253,000 Pounds of Frozen Burritos Are Being Recalled
Burrito-lovers, be warned: There’s a massive recall for ready-to-eat frozen burritos, so double check your freezer before indulging. A Las Cruces, New Mexico-based company issued a recall for nearly 253,000 pounds of frozen burritos on Saturday morning over a possible listeria contamination in select products from the brand.
May 30, 2019