Susmita Baral's Recent Articles
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Are GMOs Really Bad? Neil deGrasse Tyson Weighs In.
You’ve probably heard of GMOs, and you might even know what it stands for (genetically modified organisms), but understanding what GMOs actually are is a whole other ball game, and there’s a lot of misinformation floating around. Fortunately, Neil deGrasse Tyson and his StarTalk on Mashable podcast is here to set the record straight and start the dialogue on what it really means and how it impacts our health. Tyson’s guest on the podcast is Dr.
Aug 9, 2017
The Best Way to Sanitize Your Kitchen Sponge Is Not What You Think
Kitchen sponges are notorious for being bacteria-ridden. By some estimates, they are dirtier than toilet seats. Strains of germs range from campylobacter, salmonella, and staphylococcus to E. coli and listeria. Yuck. “That thing is very dirty,” Philip Tierno, a microbiologist and pathologist at the New York University School of Medicine, tells Tech Insider.
Aug 8, 2017
The Top College Dining Halls Have One Thing in Common
Princeton Review has been ranking colleges for more than two decades for everything from dorms to dining. In the 2017 list for best campus dining food — which surveyed 137,000 students at 382 top schools — University of Massachusetts-Amherst was the number-one school, followed by Bowdoin College, Washington University in St. Louis, St. Olaf College, and James Madison University.
Aug 8, 2017
Our 2020 Climate Goals Can Be Met with One Dietary Swap
Back in 2003, a global movement called Meatless Monday called on people to abstain from eating meat once a week. An initiative created between The Monday Campaigns and the Center for a Livable Future (CLF) at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, the goal was two-fold: to better our health and improve our environment.
Aug 4, 2017
Mary Berry Joins as Judge for New BBC Cooking Show
Mary Berry, author of 75-some cookbooks and judge of The Great British Bake Off, is returning to the BBC to judge a new cooking show coming to the network. The series is called Britain’s Best Cook. Berry will be sharing the screen with presenter Claudia Winkleman and a second judge, who has not been selected by the network. If you’re screaming right now because you’re so excited, we’re right there with you.
Aug 2, 2017
Your Avocado Toast Habit Is About to Get Cheaper
Avocado-lovers received some bad news earlier this year — their favorite fruit was going to cost them more money as the market rate reached record highs. A Bloomberg report warned that a combination of growing demand and a smaller crop would make the price of avocado steeper than usual in 2017, and it did. At the time, the going rate for a box of avocados was double that of last year, reaching a 19-year high. Oof.
Aug 2, 2017
An Increase in Male Grocery Shoppers Could Lead to Supermarket Changes
There are more men wandering grocery store aisles, reports a new survey from Men’s Health. The survey — which only questioned men (insert eye roll) — found that 84 percent of men are the main grocery shoppers in their households. That’s 19 percent higher than what was the case 10 years ago.
Aug 2, 2017
Coke Zero Is on Its Death Bed and Consumers Are Grieving the Loss
Coca-Cola announced a major change in its product lineup on Wednesday. It’s no-calorie drink, Coke Zero, will be swapped out with a new beverage — featuring a new recipe, new design, and new name — called Coca-Cola Zero Sugar. The drink will make its debut next month. According to the company, Coca-Cola Zero Sugar is the “new and improved Coke Zero.” Fans of Coke Zero in the United States are furious, devastated, and grieving the loss of the drink.
Jul 28, 2017
A Man Tried to Return Butternut Squash Because He Thought It Was Cheese
It’s a mistake that could happen to anyone — anyone who can’t read or is not paying attention while shopping in the produce aisle. A man purchased what he believed to be cubed cheese only to find he bought diced butternut squash. His frustration upon finding squash instead of cheese is a universal sentiment that can be felt by cheese-lovers around the world. The shopper took his fight to the supermarket to get his return.
Jul 28, 2017
Amazon Has Already Stepped into the Meal Kit Market
Amazon is the Jack of all trades: It’s an online marketplace, has its own video and music streaming service, owns upscale organic retailer Whole Foods, and has a popular home assistant (Hi, Alexa!). Now the company is slowly dipping its toes into the meal kit market. As GrubStreet reports, Amazon has been selling meal kits since late June. It looks like they are currently being sold in a limited quantity and most likely to expand.
Jul 19, 2017
Croatia’s Underwater Winery Is Everything You Didn’t Know You Needed
Croatia has crept its way up to the top of people’s travel bucket lists, and for good reason: It’s got some gorgeous coastlines and delicious food. Now, wine-lovers have a new reason to visit the nation: the Balkan country, which drinks the most wine in the world, is home to an underwater winery. Tucked away on the Pelješac peninsula in the town of Drače is a winery, owned by Ivo and Anto Šegović and Edi Bajurin, called Edivo Vina.
Jul 19, 2017
You’ve Been Pouring Juice Wrong Your Entire Life
When pouring orange juice from the carton, most people intuitively put the plastic spout as close to the glass as possible. This results in the infamous glugging approach, where your juice splatters within the glass and makes a “glug glug” noise. Not cool. Well, I’m here to tell you that if this is your approach to pouring juice out of a carton — or really any liquid from a carton — you’ve been doing it wrong your entire life.
Jul 18, 2017
Two of Our Favorite Food Bloggers Just Started a Meal Planning Service
The brains behind the incredibly popular food blogs How Sweet Eats and Two Peas and Their Pod have launched a meal planning subscription service. Called Sweet Peas Meals, the goal is to get people to cook balanced and delicious meals without having to spend too much time in the kitchen. “When we first started talking about Sweet Peas Meals, our main goal was to create something that would simplify your everyday life, every single day,” reads the website.
Jul 17, 2017
This Country Eats the Most Ice Cream in the World — And It’s Not the U.S.
Ice cream is loved around the globe and if you think the United States is the largest per capita consumer of the treat, it’s time to recalibrate your knowledge. According to an annual report from Mintel, the U.S. is neither the country that consumes the most ice cream nor the nation with the highest per capita intake. Last year, the U.S. scarfed down 2.7 billion liters of ice cream. That’s a lot.
Jul 14, 2017
Scientists Discover Why Some People Hate Cheese
It’s not difficult to pinpoint the types of people who hate cheese: vegans, lactose-intolerant individuals, sociopaths. Cheese-haters who don’t fall into these categories often have an innate distaste for cheese and their peculiar preferences may have less to do with personal taste — in fact, it just might be genetic. According to Harold McGee, author of On Food and Cooking: The Science and Lore of the Kitchen, evolution could be at play.
Jul 13, 2017
These Are the Cities That Consume the Most Berries
Berry intake is on the rise and it may have a thing or two to do with their “superfood” status. Blueberries and raspberries, in particular, are applauded for their nutritional value. So it’s not too surprising that data from the United States Department of Agriculture found the per capita consumption of blueberries went up by 411 percent from 2000 to 2012, 475 percent for raspberries, and even 60 percent for strawberries.
Jul 12, 2017
These New Meal Kits from DINNERLY Offer Affordable and Efficient Cooking
In the last couple years the meal kit industry has exploded, and it’s not hard to figure out why. Trying to find the right recipe to fit your dietary needs, plus grocery shopping, and then prepping all the ingredients to actually make the dish takes time. Meal kits offer you back time in the kitchen, without having to order takeout (again) or going with another bowl of cold cereal. The only problem with meal kits, of course, is that they’re normally pretty expensive.
Jul 11, 2017
Twitter Is Really Upset with Nigella Lawson’s Carbonara Recipe
Authentic Italian carbonara is a pasta dish made with a few simple ingredients: eggs, hard cheese like Parmigiano and Pecorino, bacon, and black pepper. It’s pretty hard to mess up, right? Well, recently celebrity chef and cookbook author Nigella Lawson took to Twitter to share her take on the classic and people were not very happy about it. As her #RecipeOfTheDay, Lawson shared how to make “delicious Spaghetti alla Carbonara.
Jul 7, 2017
This Infographic Shows Which “Friends” Character Drank the Most Coffee
If you’ve watched even a few episodes of NBC’s cult-favorite sitcom Friends, then you know the group often hung out at their local coffee shop, Central Perk. As you’re probably aware, the six leads indulged in a lot of coffee, but some characters were seen drinking more java than others throughout the series. Ever wonder which character on Friends is guilty of drinking the most coffee?
Jul 7, 2017
The Reason Why Americans Are Snacking More than Ever
Americans are snacking more than ever and there are two reasons behind it, according to new research from Mintel: stress and attitude. Self-care is having a moment in American culture and part of that mindset means allowing yourself to indulge when you need a break or simply feel stressed out. Snacking frequency has seen a spike, and the proof is in the numbers: Fifty percent of Americans snacked two to three times a day in 2015, but 55 percent admit to the same habit in 2017.
Jun 30, 2017
Will Amazon Robots Replace Whole Foods Employees in Warehouses?
Online retailer Amazon announced earlier this month its plans to acquire Whole Foods, an upscale grocery chain with 460 physical stores, for $13.7 billion. Amazon is known for its use of technological innovation for behind-the-scenes efficiency, which raises a great question about what is in store for Whole Foods and its existing employees.
Jun 29, 2017
This New Coffee Line Will Be Your Girlmore Girls Dream Come True
The trademark speed at which Rory and Lorelai speak in the Gilmore Girls franchise can be attributed to a globally loved bean juice (more commonly known as coffee). The two characters are seen frequenting Luke’s Diner for their regular cup of java throughout the series, which was on air from 2000 to 2007 and later revived for a season by Netflix last November.
Jun 28, 2017
Starbucks Summer Special Is Everything You Need Right Now
Brace yourselves, Starbucks fans — the coffee chain has a great summer “buy one, get one” special going on right now that will let you and a friend enjoy an iced beverage for the cost of just one drink. The BOGO deal, which Starbucks is offering to celebrate summer, will let you receive a complimentary iced espresso beverage of equal or lesser value for free when you order a grande iced espresso beverage.
Jun 28, 2017
What Amazon’s Acquisition of Whole Foods Means for Instacart
Last Friday, online retailer Amazon announced it is acquiring Whole Foods — the upscale grocery chain started in Austin, Texas, in 1980 that has over 460 brick-and-mortar stores in the United States, Britain, and Canada — for $13.7 billion. With Amazon being the world’s largest online retailer, the future of Whole Foods’ partnership with startup Instacart, which delivers goods to a consumer’s doorstep, remains unclear.
Jun 23, 2017
Martha Stewart’s Life Is Getting the Musical Treatment, Because of Course
After giving the lives of Anna Wintour and Andy Cohen the Broadway treatment, Ryan Raftery is slated to take on Martha Stewart in a play this summer in New York City. Titled The Rise and Fall (and Rise) of Martha Stewart, the third installment of the “Titans of Media” trilogy reportedly took nine months of research and preparation. “What other titan — Andy is a very powerful guy, Anna Wintour is a very powerful woman — is on her level that I could do a show about?
Jun 22, 2017
Starbucks Has Two New Tropical Frappucino Flavors Just in Time for Summer
With the first day of summer just a day away, coffee giant Starbucks has unveiled two of its new limited-edition summer menu items. The latest flavors for their Frappuccino blended Crème beverages are fruity in taste and vibrant in appearance: Berry Prickly Pear and Mango Pineapple. The Berry Prickly Pear features a mango Frappuccino blended Crème base, which is poured on top of a strawberry and prickly pear fruit purée.
Jun 20, 2017
Troll Cakes Turn Cyberbullying into a Sweet Treat
The bitter words of an internet troll can be tough to swallow, but a New York City baker is trying to change that. Kat Thek, founder of bakery and detective agency Troll Cakes, has made a business of baking cakes featuring the words of an internet troll. Customers simply provide an address and the quote and leave the rest to Thek, who bakes a cake, writes the comment using frosting or fondant, and mails it to the intended verbal cyberbully. For $35 you can deliver sweet revenge.
Jun 15, 2017
Grocery Shopping at Walmart Is Going to Get a Lot More Efficient
Walmart is experimenting with making grocery shopping more efficient than ever for the consumer. The budget retailer has rolled out self-service kiosks — or giant 20-foot-by-80-foot vending machines — for all your grocery needs. While the concept already exists in the United Kingdom, the first U.S. testing location is the parking lot of a Walmart Supercenter in Warr Acres, Oklahoma.
Jun 15, 2017
The United States Sets World Record for Longest Pizza
Pizzeria owners from coast to coast joined forces with more than a hundred pizza-loving volunteers to accomplish an impressive feat: the world’s longest pizza pie. Measuring 1.3 miles in length, the cheese pie took one week to create and was unveiled at a ceremony in Fontana, California over the weekend. The Guinness Book of World Records has verified its status.
Jun 14, 2017
New York City’s All-Felt Bodega Sends a Strong Message
New York City has no shortage of bodegas, also known as corner delis. The Big Apple is reportedly home to 12,000 bodegas, although their numbers are dwindling due to rising rent and the growth in chain franchises. Now a new one has popped up at the Standard High Line in New York’s trendy meatpacking district and it’s a little different from the rest: it’s made entirely of felt.
Jun 8, 2017
Scientists Discover a Sixth Sense Capable of Tasting Water
The human tongue can detect five basic tastes: sweet, sour, bitter, salty, and umami. Now, researchers from California Institute of Technology have found a sixth sense that can detect water. “The tongue can detect various key nutrient factors, called tastants — such as sodium, sugar, and amino acids — through taste,” says lead researcher Yuki Oka, from the California Institute of Technology. “However, how we sense water in the mouth was unknown.
Jun 7, 2017
This Is Why Peaches Are Going to Cost More This Summer
The prices for peaches are on the rise after Georgia lost roughly 80 percent of its crop this year due to irregular weather. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports that a warm winter, coupled with a hard freeze this spring, resulted in a bulk of peach crop dying this year in the South. Georgia produced 43,000 tons of peaches last year, according to the United States Department of Agriculture, and this year the state’s output may be a quarter of that.
Jun 2, 2017
The Food Words Americans Can’t Spell, According to Google
When you don’t know how to spell a word, one of the fastest ways to verify the spelling is to hit up Google for a quick search. Now, Google is using your search data to reveal what words Americans are struggling to spell — just in time for National Spelling Bee week. Google shared America’s most misspelled words on Twitter with a color map showing what residents of each state struggle with the most.
Jun 2, 2017
Bad News for Vegetarians: You Shouldn’t Eat These 7 Cheeses
Blissfully ignorant vegetarians had their hearts broken this week when they learned Parmigiano-Reggiano is not really vegetarian. Well, not technically at least. It doesn’t have meat in the traditional sense, but the beloved cheese, which is a staple garnish and ingredient for an array of foods, is made with calf rennet. What’s calf rennet, you ask? It’s found in the stomach lining of calves and it’s what causes cheese to curd through the active enzyme chymosin.
Jun 2, 2017
Lidl Announces Locations of First 9 Grocery Stores in the U.S.
American shoppers will soon be able to peruse the aisles of a popular European grocery chain called Lidl in nine different locations in the country.
May 30, 2017
Here’s Why Science Says a Crackly Crust Is Essential to the Identity of a French Baguette
There’s nothing like getting a baguette straight out of the oven from your local bakery. It’s perfect to eat by itself or as the bookends to a wonderful sandwich. Why is it just so delicious? It turns out the secret may be in the crust. According to research published in the American Chemical Society’s Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, the crackly crust is non-negotiable, as it gives the bread its aroma and, in turn, its perceived flavor.
May 19, 2017
Starbucks Is Introducing the One Thing That Can Make Your Iced Coffee Even Better
Your iced coffee from Starbucks might just get a whole new makeover. Starbucks is currently experimenting with coffee ice cubes, which means your favorite summer beverage won’t be diluted after a few minutes in the sun. The new offering is coming to select franchises and it’s going to cost customers 80 cents more. But what people get in return may be well worth the extra money. The coffee ice cubes will not be made from leftover coffee.
May 19, 2017
Obama Talks Food, Sustainability, and Climate Change at Summit
In his first public appearance since leaving office, former President Barack Obama discussed the connection between food and global warming at a summit focused on climate change and food availability in Milan, Italy on Tuesday. Obama, who shared the stage at the Global Food Innovation Summit with his former chef Sam Kass after delivering opening remarks, discussed food from an environmental, policy, and tech angle.
May 11, 2017
America’s Favorite Fruit Is About to Get a Whole Lot More Expensive
Avocado-lovers need to brace their wallets, as prices of the healthy fruit are going to continue increasing. Bloomberg reports that a combination of growing demand and a smaller crop will keep the cost of avocados high this year. Right now, a 22-pound box of Hass avocados from Mexico cost $27.89. That’s double what it cost last year and the highest prices have been in the past 19 years. Part of the reason is growing demand.
May 4, 2017
This New Starbucks Roastery Is Basically the Disney World of Coffee
Starbucks has plans to go from “grande” to “trenta” for their new upscale location on Chicago’s Magnificent Mile. The Seattle-based coffee company announced their plan to open an interactive 43,000-square-foot, four-story Roastery in the windy city. The location should be up and running by 2019.
Apr 27, 2017
This Mainstream Supermarket Wants to Buy Whole Foods
If grocery chain Albertsons has its way, it’ll be adding a fancier supermarket to its roster: Whole Foods. According to the Financial Times, the private equity firm that owns Albertsons is looking to acquire the Austin-based upscale grocer, known for retailing organic and natural products. The Financial Times reports, citing anonymous sources, that Cerberus Capital Management is in discussions with bankers to place an offer on Whole Foods.
Apr 27, 2017
These New Meal Kits Make Sous-Vide Easier than a Slow Cooker
If you’re fluent in cooking, then chances are you’ve heard of sous-vide — which literally translates to “under vacuum” in French. It’s a cooking technique conceived in the 1970s and the process entails putting ingredients in a bag, sucking the air out, and cooking the bag in a water bath at a precise temperature. Sound fancy? It’s cause it is.
Apr 26, 2017
The Science of Weird Food Pairings (and Why They Work)
Weird food pairing are counterintuitive: How can a person possibly enjoy two conflicting flavor profiles like chocolate-covered salmon or pizza dipped in sugary icing? One possibility is that said person is a masochist. Or they have low-functioning taste buds. But odds are (because science says so!) it has a thing or two to do with flavor perception. Sebastian Ahnert, a physicist at Cambridge specializing in biochemical networks, looked into this very thing.
Apr 18, 2017
Ice Cream Brain Freezes Have Nothing to Do with Your Brain
Brain freezes are nuisances that come in between you and your ability to eat a pint of gelato or down an ice-cold treat. But the fleeting headache has nothing to do with your brain. Instead, it’s how these cold items mess with your arteries. The New York Daily News reports that the short-lived sensation is not a literal freezing of the brain. Instead, it’s possibly triggered by changes in the general region.
Apr 14, 2017
These Weird Water Bubbles Are the Plastic Bottles of the Future
Plastic water bottles are a waste of resources and damaging to the environment. But with consumption of bottled water on the rise, sustainability becomes a big issue. Now, a sustainable packaging startup has created a water blob that eliminates the need for plastic. London-based Skipping Rocks Lab introduced their innovation, called Ooho, in 2014, but it only now is going viral. The concept is simple: Package water in 100 percent plant-based biodegradable materials.
Apr 14, 2017
Introverts, Rejoice! You Can Now Get Grocery Samples by Mail from Sam’s Club.
One of the best things to do when walking down the aisles of a wholesale retailer like Costco or Sam’s Club is to try all the samples. Oh, you want some cheese? Here you go! Oh, you’d like to try that new drink on sale? No problem! This offers consumers a risk-free way of trying new products without having to make a purchase they’ll potentially later regret. For the retailer, it introduces consumers to a new item they can buy, which can possibly increase sales.
Apr 12, 2017
This New Security Camera Wants to Catch Your Office Lunch Thief
Every office has an anonymous, agile employee who steals other people’s delicious food from the communal kitchen. Those delicious meatballs you made for lunch? Gone. That bottle of gatorade you brought to work because you’re a little hungover from happy hour the night before? Vanished. Maybe you’ve been the victim of such an offense, or maybe you’re the office perpetrator.
Mar 31, 2017
Traditional Grocery Stores Can’t Keep Up with Digital Shopping
Those who regularly shop at the grocery stores may have noticed a trend over the past few years: the prices are getting better and better. It’s not an illusion — chain supermarkets have been lowering their rates to keep up with the competitive times. USA Today reports the pricing scale is offering shoppers great bargains, but it’s taking the axe to grocery store’s profits.
Mar 24, 2017