The Pros and Cons of Bottled Water

According to the August 2000 issue of Consumer Reports, Americans are spending more than $10,000 a minute on bottled water. Bottled water costs an average of 700 times more than plain tap water. Is it worth the cost?

Snob appeal aside, one reason consumers have turned to bottled water is a fear of contaminants from tap water. Public confidence in the safety of municipal tap water was shaken by outbreaks of cryptosporidium in Milwaukee and Las Vegas that resulted in 147 deaths from 1993 through 1994. According to the US Center for Disease Control, bottled water has never been traced to an outbreak of waterborne illness. Random testing of bottled waters occasionally yields positive tests for bacteria, which usually indicates a problem in processing. In a few cases manufacturers that bottle both water and soft drinks have failed to rinse the lines properly after switching from a sugar laden beverage to a bottled water product. In rare cases, the contaminating sugars have provided nutrients for stray bacteria to grow,resulting in a contaminated product. The low pH of most soft drinks tends to inhibit stray bacteria. Properly processed bottled water does not contain adequate nutrients to support the growth of pathogens responsible for most food-borne illness.

Chemical contaminants can be a problem in both tap and bottled water. Chlorine, the main disinfectant used on municipal water sources, can produce harmful disinfection by-products such as trihalomethanes (THMS). Prolonged exposure to THM’s may increase the risk of bladder and rectal cancers, and miscarriages.

Most bottled water is disinfected with ozone, ultraviolet light, or microfiltration rather than chlorine. The lack of chlorine in most bottled waters is one of the major reasons bottled water seems to taste better than chlorinated tap water. Many bottled water companies stress that that their source water is protected and monitored for consistent quality. Unfortunately, this did not prevent a costly recall by Perrier of 170 million bottles of their premium water in 1990, when benzene (a known carcinogen), was detected at four times the EPA limit in their water.

Bottles, themselves, can greatly affect both the taste of the water and its chemical content. Four basic types of materials are currently in use for water bottles.

POLYCARBONATE is a strong, rigid plastic used for five gallon, water cooler jugs. It is not noted for leaving any objectionable tastes, but can impart a troublesome chemical to the water called bisphenol-A (BPA). BPA is  known to cause cancer, and mimics the hormone estrogen in animal studies. Currently, there is no limit on BPA, and the amounts found vary with different brands of water.

PET, or polyethylene terphthalate, is a strong, clear plastic often used for single serving bottled waters such as Sparkletts, Naya, Ozarka, Aquifina, Dasani, Dannon, Evian and many other premium brands including many seltzer waters. PET is a more costly plastic, but it is preferred because it imparts nothing more than a slight sweet or fruity taste to the water inside.

HDPE or high-density polyethelene is the opaque, flexible plastic used for milk jugs, and many brands of water sold by the gallon. It is a less expensive plastic, and may leave water with a faint melted plastic taste. This soft plastic is also prone to absorb tastes and odors from foods or chemicals stored nearby.

GLASS is chemically inert, and adds no taste of its own. Because glass is heavy and breakable it is used less often than plastic.

Before spending your money on bottled water, make sure you understand the information on the label. First, do not go by the pictures on the label. Even though Pepsi shows snow-capped mountains on their Aquafina label, municipal water, rather than a mountain spring, is used as their source. In fact, about 25% of all bottled water companies use plain city tap water as their source. Most tap water used by bottled water companies undergoes further processing before it is sold. Reverse osmosis,ozonation,carbon or microfiltration, distillation, and other treatments are commonly used to improve the water.

Artesian well water comes from a well that taps a confined aquifer (a water-bearing underground layer of rock or sand) in which the water level stands at some height above the top of the aquifer. Boring into such an aquifer brings up
pressurized water like a fountain.

Drinking water is another name for bottled water, and its usual source is processed tap water. It is sold in sanitary containers and contains no added sweeteners or chemical additives. It must be calorie-free and sugar-free. Flavors, extracts, or essences may be added to drinking water, but they must compromise less than one percent by weight of the final product, or it will be considered a soft drink. Drinking water may be sodium-free or contain very low amounts of sodium.

Mineral water must contain at least 250 parts per million of total dissolved solids. Mineral water is distinguished from other types of bottled water by its constant level and relative proportions of minerals and trace elements. No minerals can be added to this product.

Purified water is water that has been produced by distillation, deionization, reverse osmosis or other suitable processes that meet the definition of purified water in the United States Pharmacopoeia. Purified water may be labeled by the process used, such as “distilled water”, or “deionized drinking water” or “drinking water purified by reverse osmosis”.

Sparkling water is water that after treatment and possible replacement with carbon dioxide, contains the same amount of carbon dioxide as it had when it emerged from the source. (Soda water, seltzer water, and tonic water are considered soft drinks rather than bottled water, and are regulated separately.)

Spring water is water derived from an underground formation from which water flows naturally to the surface of the earth. Spring water must be collected at the spring or through a bore hole tapping the underground formation hiding the spring. Spring water collected with the use of external force must be from the same underground stratum as the spring and must have all the physical properties, before treatment, and be of the same composition and quality as the water that flows naturally to the surface of the earth. The FDA does permit spring water to be chlorinated, even though this is not stated on the label.

Bottled water is an excellent temporary solution, when a “BOIL WATER ALERT” has been issued by a local municipality, or if one’s well has become contaminated. Distilled water is good for rinsing contact lenses, as the distillation process kills cryptosporidium and other microbes. Immuno compromised individuals may want to ask their physicians about boiling their tap water or using bottled water as a precaution against ingesting stray microbes passing through the water supply. In general U.S. water supplies are considered good. Those wishing to improve their tap water, may find it cheaper in the long run to invest in a home water treatment system, rather than buy bottled water.

Even inexpensive carbon filters are good at removing chlorine and lead from drinking water. Two substances that are not so easily removed from drinking water are sodium and fluoride. If sodium was easy to remove from water we would have a vast source of cheap water from the oceans. Desalination is expensive. Sodium levels are rising in some ground waters because of the process of fracturing rock with saline in the drilling of gas wells, and the dumping of sludge muds that wash off into creeks.

Fluoride is added to most municipal water supplies to help prevent cavities without ongoing research on the effects of drinking fluoride throughout a lifetime. Fluoride is a a potent toxin in large amounts, and is used as an effective killer of rodents and insects. Fluoride, like sodium, is difficult to remove from water. For home use, distillers and reverse osmosis units can remove these substances. If one wants to avoid sodium and fluoride in bottled water, check to see if the water has been processed with reverse osmosis. Drinking distilled water may not be the best choice because of its acidic pH.

If you want to spend $12 a gallon for bottled water- at least know what you are drinking.

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The Origins and Quality of Sangiovese Wines

Sangiovese isn’t just Italian!

Sangiovese is the primary red grape of Italy’s (Tuscany) three famous regional wines Chianti Classico, Brunello di Montalcino and Montepuciano. Yet, you can find excellent Sangiovese and Sangiovese blends in the US as well.

On the whole, Sangiovese grapes are not easy to grow, even in Tuscany. They  mutate quickly and iare difficult to ripen. However, the vines are adaptable to the regions of the US where they have been planted. The type of vine used in each area is partly dependent on the micro-climate conditions that affect ripening.

The US Sangiovese wine flavors are similar to those of the traditional Tuscan wines. When tasting the wine, you will find many flavors. The fruit flavors and aromas are cherry, raspberry, red plum, and prune. Its floral flavors ranges from rose, chamomile, marjoram, thyme, and caper. Their earthly flavors ranges from truffle, mushroom, and smoke. While its wood or oak flavorings are cinnamon, vanilla, pepper, coffee, and cedar. Not to leave out the other familiar favors of tar and leather. When pairing with food, its moderate alcohol carries with it a sharp backbone of acidity, and has a very balanced level of tannin. These allow it to be paired with many dishes.

Sangiovese goes well with tomato based sauces, fresh herbs, rich thick soups, mushroom dishes, and a variety of cheeses. The Sangiovese’s rustic personality allows it to be paired with an array of cheeses, especially the milder blue veined cheeses such as Gorgonzola and Cambozola.

The local US wine industry has blossomed in quality, quantity and recognition since the beginning of the new century, and much of that is due to northern Italian grapes, pinot grigio with the whites, and sangiovese, barbera and nebbiolo with the reds.

Among the available US sangiovese and sangiovese blends are Chaddsford’s Due Rossi, Kennett Square, PA; Bagetto’s Rosso, Santa Cruz, CA; Valley of the Moon, Sonoma County, CA; or Atlas Peak, Napa Valley, CA – all very lovely wines.

Sangiovese may be tough to grow, but it’s so easy to drink whether it is in the form of a California Rosso or traditional Chianti. I and wine lovers all over the world now have great choices, both domestic and foreign Sangioveses, and great places to enjoy them.

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The Importance of Beer in American Society

How would any one society, such as America, measure the importance of beer? Or probably, it is more correct to say Malt Beverages, now.

The obvious answer is the money generated by the taxes paid by the brewers, the stores and bars that sell beer, and the sales taxes that are placed on the beverage. I don’t think anyone would disagree that this is a lot of money. Beer manufacturing is a multi billion dollar industry. That’s a lot of tax dollars.

Let’s not forget, then, the rest of the benefits of this industry. Employment opportunities. From those that work in the manufacturing plants, through the many that work for distributors and on down to all those that work in the stores and bars that sell beer to the public, it’s obvious that the industry provides an uncountable number of jobs to citizens in America.

Is there any other way to measure the benefits of beer to American Society? I think so. However, I think the rest of the benefits have to be measured against the pitfalls of the beverage. I mean, when you get right down to it, beer is an alcoholic substance. And we know, from years of experience, that there are many problems with alcohol. Addiction just being the worst of these.

We’ve all seen, or experienced for ourselves, some of the less dangerous effects of the drunkenness for which beer is responsible. The sickness and hangovers, the enhancement of not necessarily good emotions, such as anger, and the deaths and injuries from drunk driving. Just to name a few of the most obvious.

Of course, we have been making strides to correcting one of those problems. With MADD, and other such groups, laws have been enacted to punish those who drive while inebriated. All to the good, of course. And, hopefully, will eventually eliminate the practice of drunk driving. I wouldn’t hold my breath, though. I think we all realize that there will always be those who will disobey those laws.

That brings us to the mess that beer makes of those who drink it, both physically and mentally. Let’s gloss over the mess that puking makes and that someone must inevitably clean up. We all know it happens, and none of wants to be the one cleaning it up. Let’s just leave it at that.

Which leaves, of course, the rage, sadness and other emotions that drunkenness seems to bring out in those who are angry, depressed or…whatever. The best way to fight these is to just to keep an eye on those who are drinking and try to make sure they do not lose control. Not an easy thing to do when so many are drinking, though. But, admittedly, this is a rather minor problem with the beverage.

But, the benefits, and the importance to society, stems from the personal interactions that occur while people are enjoying the tasty beverage. All those who drink have probably spent many hours of interaction in one place or another with old friends and new friends sharing innocent companionship and, for some, hopefully more personal interaction, and not necessarily innocent, companionship. The relaxation that each individual experiences during this time is a rather personal thing, but the effects on society as a whole cannot be denied. Simply put, it makes the world a friendlier place, despite the drawbacks previously mentioned.

There are other benefits, I’m sure, I don’t think any of them are as worthy of our notice as the ones I’ve already discussed. One thing that cannot be denied, though, is that beer does hold importance in American society. So, raise a cold, frosty one and enjoy!

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The History of Tea

The tea plant, camellia sinensis, is thought to have originated in South East Asia, in the area that China, India, Burma and Tibet conjunct, although some studies, based on the genetics of the tea plant suggest that the plant has an entirely China origin, various parts of China, e.g. the Yunnan Province, being nominated for the honour. Certainly, Yunnan Province believes in its primacy, and we are informed that it was here that it was first discovered that tea is a pleasant drink for human consumption. In any event, this province prides itself as the abode of the oldest surviving cultivated tea plant on the planet, one in Fenqing County, said to be more than 3200 years old. Since then, the plant is now cultivated worldwide, from China to Kenya, and from the United Kingdom to the United States.

Certain morphological differences between the Chinese plant, camellia sinensis sinensis, and the Indian (Assamese) variety, camellia sinensis assamica, have caused some botanists to postulate that the varieties developed independently of each other; yet, chromosomal and other affinities between both varieties, coupled with the ease with which hybridization occurs suggests a common origin. Whatever the case, the tea drinking culture is something that has come to the world at large from China.

We are informed from Chinese records, that tea was first discovered by Shennong (around 2737 BC), the legendary emperor who is also credited with the invention of agriculture and medicine (Chinese). As the story has come down to us, the emperor was enjoying a bowl of hot water when some leaves from a nearby tea plant dropped into his bowl of hot water, carried by the breeze. Discovering that the resultant brew was extremely pleasant, as well as having positive healthful effects, he instituted tea drinking, and the world has never been the same since then.

Tea consumption spread, albeit fairly slowly, to the rest of the world. During the short-lived Sui Dynasty (China, 589-618 AD), tea was introduced into Japan by proselytising Buddhist monks. Initially a drink enjoyed by the new (Buddhist) religious order, by the reign of Emperor Saga (746-842 AD), the royal family had adopted the drink and Japan had become another tea addict. It was during Saga’s reign that two Buddhist monks, Saicho (776-822) and Kukai (774-835), brought tea seedlings from China to Japan and a tea growing culture developed.

Roughly around the time that tea was being introduced into Japan, it also made its way into Korea. The earliest references to tea in Korean documents date back to around 660AD, and, as in Japan, the brew and plant was introduced by proselytising Buddhists. By the time of the Goreyo Dynasty (918-1392), tea was commonly used as a part of religious practice in the Buddhist temples.

Although the English are widely believed to have brought the tea addiction to the west, the Arabs, and subsequently the Portuguese must take the credit. As early as 879, Arab records show that tea and salt were the main revenue earners at the port of Canton (Guangzhou), and, certainly, the tea culture amongst Arabs is extremely old, probably dating from around this time. Moving further west, tea was introduced into Europe by the Portuguese, following the establishment of their trading post on the island of Macau in 1557. Tea became an English thing, so to speak, when, in 1660, Charles II married the Portuguese princess, Catherine of Braganza, and the tea habit was introduced into England. From England, the habit has spread to all of the Commonwealth and the United States, where, although coffee is a much more popular beverage, tea is consumed in immense quantities. One wonders whether the relative unpopularity of tea in the US, (given that tea is second only to plain water amongst the liquids that all humans consume), has anything to do with the events at Boston Harbour, December 1773, when over 300 tea chests were thrown into the waters of harbour off three British ships by protesting colonists, and, incidentally, leading to the birth of a great nation.

Of course, no history of tea, however set, can be considered to be complete without a consideration of the Indian subcontinent. Whether or not the Assamese variety of the plant evolved independently, India, today, is not only one of the greatest tea producers, it is also one of the greatest consumers of the product, and the credit for this must be given to the British colonial authorities in that country. Although tea has been present in India from time immemorial, it was the determination of the British, i.e. the British East India Company, to reduce Britain’s dependence on Chinese tea that led to the purposeful and intensive cultivation of the plant. Tea had always been a major ingredient in ayurvedic medicine (India’s indigenous medical tradition), but it was not a product that had been commonly used for recreational purposes. The determined efforts of British tea planters to inculcate a general tea drinking habit was extremely successful; so, today, chai, the spiced tea invented in India, is a worldwide phenomenon.

On a parting note, it is well to keep in mind that quite a number of tisanes (beverages made by the infusion of herbs in water or some other liquid) are quite popular in various parts of the world, and are often described as teas. Real tea, however, is queen; long live her majesty.

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Thailand Korea Singapore Fried Rice Stir Fry Sweet and Sour

Gin-seng is famous throughout Asia for its amazing flavour in food.

Try some ‘Ginger Juice’ with your meal by boiling up some fresh ginger in a pan, stir in some sugar and serve in a mug. You will devise your own proportions according the strength of flavour/sweetness you want.

My favourite starter in Macau was sesame prawn toast with fresh lime juice. Pulse the prawns with a teaspoon of flour in a food mixer with some spring onions, an egg, garlic, ginger and chilli. Paste the mixture on to a slice of white bread and press the sesame seeds into the prawn spread. Cut each slice into four triangles and when your pan is smoking, add a few drops of oil and fry both sides of each slice one by one, adding a few more drops of oil as and when necessary. Serve with some fresh lime wedges.

My favourite main course in Singapore was sweet and sour pork steaks. This amazing dish is slightly different from the take-away equivalent. You need some dry roasted peanuts, pork loin steaks, canned pineapple in natural juice and some freshly squeezed lime juice.    For the sweet and sour sauce, place all of the pineapple and juice into a food processor and blend to a smooth paste. Pour the sweet and sour sauce into the wok and leave to simmer until the sauce has reduced to a thick consistency. Put this on the table in a mug with a spoon in and stir in some soy sauce and black pepper before spooning over the pork, later on.    Blend the dry roasted peanuts in a food processor until finely ground and transfer to a shallow bowl and set aside. Do this the day before if you like. It needs to be dry and powdery otherwise it becomes like peanut butter if it is moist and too thick to go on the pork steaks. A light coating is all the pork steaks need.    Using a rolling pin, bash the pork steaks until halved in thickness and cut all the fat off. Roll the steaks in the blended peanut mixture until well-coated, then pat lightly or press in the powdered peanut to secure the mixture to the meat. Fry the pork steaks on both sides and put them on a plate in the oven on a hundred to keep warm for ten minutes.

My alternative favourite main in Thailand was steak in black bean sauce. You need rump steak, black beans rinsed and chopped (fermented/salted), some garlic, spring onion, ginger, green chillis and caster sugar. Blend the black beans, garlic, onion, ginger and chilli with enough water to make a paste. Add salt and pepper and sugar, pinch by pinch when you pulse the mixture until you get it just right.    Bash the steak with a rolling pin and cut all the fat off. Cut it into strips and marinade lightly in the black bean sauce. Do this the day before if you like. Fry the steak in black bean sauce for a couple of minutes, turning occasionally. Serve this with the stir fried vegetables.

Fried rice is a must in Asia and having lived in Korea for five years you’ll find the best egg fried rice in the far east. You need 3 eggs beaten and scrambled, cooked rice, chilled until completely cold 3 tomatoes sliced, 1 large spring onion finely sliced, some finely chopped carrot and peas. Heat a wok until smoking and add a little oil, then add the carrot and fry until it’s softened and then add the onion followed by the peas then the egg and finally the tomato. Set aside this lot. Add splashes of oil as an when so that it cooks but doesn’t stick. Add some more oil and lob in the rice. For this recipe use less rice than normal because all the vegetables add up and make it a much bigger dish than you would expect. Keep turning the lot with a metal thingy continuously so it is kept moving but not stir frying because I find that pushes the rice into the pan and squashes it down. Remember this is not noodles or bean sprouts! Keep shaking the pan and moving the rice around. You will have to add splashes of oil here and there too to stop it sticking. When all the rice is sizzling add the dish set aside and mix it all in evenly with a little more oil, still cooking and frying and moving it around continuously.

My favourite vegetarian dish in Beijing was stir fried water chestnuts. You need bean shoots, spring onions, water chestnuts, fresh coriander, mange tout, red pepper, green chilli, cashew nuts and baby sweets. Chop all of the above into thin slices and stir fry in a wok. Do the bean shoots and coriander first so the volume reduces and the pan isn’t over filled with ’stuff’. Then add every thing else and it should be easier to stir it all around.

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Soda is Harmful

Soft drinks: The effect of soda on our teeth and bones.

Many People Have a tendency to quench there thirst with a soda or your local 7-11s big gulps-

Drinking a Soda does not quench your thirst in fact soda has chemicals that can result in the lack of moisture in your body.

Most people just grab there favorite soda cans or bottles without even thinking to read the back to check to see what they are putting in there body.

Did you Know : that most soda contains phosphoric, citric, tartaric/ and or carbonic acids these acids are the link to the breakdown of enamel on our teeth.

As most of us know enamel protects the teeth but if the enamel deteriorates, it comes with a range of dental problems, for example: tooth decay, sensitive teeth, cavities.

The Patients that have these Dental Problems from The High sugar in soda, undergo extensive and expensive treatment at there expense which wasted there time and money.

Did you Know: a 12 oz. can of soda contains approximately 40 grams of sugar or a 20 oz. bottle contains about 17 teaspoons of sugar.

The acids in soda Limit our Calcium intake and by all means humans need calcium to develop strong, healthy bones.

This has a direct effect on our bone density, this effect can result in many bone and health issues such as osteoporosis and easy bone breakage.

People of all ages drink soda- a known fact is that soda has a chemical called caffeine, too much caffeine or an excessive amount is shown to suck out the calcium of our bones.

Soda has virtually no calcium or nutrients that our body and bones need to be healthy and grow strong.

When I was younger I drank soda, We all have had a taste or two of our favorite flavor, this is how they sell out on the market. If you think about it think of your favorite flavor… More than Likely you will find it as a soda. Growing up as a child I had cavities and tooth pains, sensitivity to cold foods or sugars.

As I grew I learned That soda contains excessive amounts of sugar and acids and does not have any nutritional value, So I stopped drinking it. Though I may still have a craving here in there for this Highly carbonated beverage, I care about my self enough to say no to soda to say no to the wasted money and to say no to hurting my body in multiple ways.

All of humanity should stray from excessive sugar, acid, carbonated beverages like soda.

There are harmful consequences to your actions.

Though all of this has been said there is good in all of this by always knowing you can stop hurting yourself, time, and wallet, by bettering your health,stopping yourselves and helping others stop drinking soda.

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The Feathers Inn Dersingham

The Feather Inn in Dersingham, Norfolk is a large pub catering for drinks, meals and functions. It is a typical large, rambling village pub with a very large beer garden.

We visited the Feathers twice during our recent stay at nearby Sandringham, once for an afternoon drink and once for a meal. On our first visit, for an afternoon drink, we sat in the large beer garden. The tables were widely spaced apart, but there were a lot of noisy families, and the sound carried between tables – the garden has a large number of toys, so it is popular with children. I had a pint of lemonade, my mum had a ginger beer (it would have been a ginger beer and lime but they had run out of lime cordial) and my dad had a pint of Aspalls cider. My lemonade was delicious, exactly what I wanted, but I was shocked at the price – £8.30 for the three drinks! Bearing in mind that only one was alcoholic, this seemed very high to me. My dad’s pint of cider was only 10p more expensive than my lemonade, at £2.80 and £2.70 respectively. I just don’t understand how pubs get away with making soft drinks so expensive.

We returned the following evening for a meal however. This time I also had a pint of Aspalls, which at least made the price of the drinks seem normal. We sat inside, in the bar, which was a nice place to eat. It was pleasantly cool, and there were a number of other customers having a meal too.

I chose scampi and chips, but unfortunately they were out of scampi, so I went for my second choice of beer battered haddock and chips. Having once had a beer batter that tasted of stale pub, I’m always unsure about it, but this one tasted fine. It was, however, rather dry, which was not great, but it wasn’t so bad as to ruin the meal. My dad chose line caught cod and chips, one of the specials, and the batter on that looked better. My mum’s goat cheese tart looked so good that I wished I’d had it too! I didn’t think her potatoes looked that good but she said they were very nice.

The service was fine, no complaints there – average time for the food to arrive, and efficient staff who didn’t hover or continually ask if everything was ok.

The Feathers Inn was nice, but out of the two village pubs, I’d be more inclined to recommend the Coach & Horses. The garden at the Feathers didn’t really suit us, and I wasn’t impressed with my fish or the lack of lime cordial on our first visit – although we didn’t swelter in the bar like we did at the Coach & Horses. That said, these are just small points which give the Coach & Horses a slight edge over the Feathers, and not major reasons to stay away – I’d have no problem going back.

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The Top 5 Beers to Pair with Grilled Food

Although many people, including foodies, don’t stop to think that food should be paired with anything but wine, there are people who strongly believe that good beer can be paired with food just as nicely as wine. Beer just seems like the natural accompaniment for grilled food. The nice refreshing cold carbonated taste just belongs with the flavors of food cooked over wood or coals.

When pairing beer with any type of food, there is one general rule of thumb. That is, you pair like flavors together. In other words, you don’t want to pair a full flavored full bodied wine with something like a delicate fish. Likewise, you wouldn’t want to pair a light and subtle flavored beer  with something as earthy and full flavored as say a steak or a bratwurst.

Here are five outstanding beers to pair with grilled food.

In general, it is safe to say that you can’t go wrong when pairing some type of ale with any grilled food. There are multiple variations on ales, and they range from the very pale and mild flavored to dark red and/or brown ales that are full bodied and richly flavored.

1.) Chimay from Chimay Brewery in Belgium –

Chimay has three fabulous ales. The red bottle is their red or brown ale that is known as Premiere. It is a very rich and smooth flavored brown ale. It is arguably one of the finest beers ever made. it also carries a nice price tag. Nonetheless, if you want to eat anything from  any type of grilled beef or pork, to a heavier fish like sword fish, this is an outstanding beer. The blue bottle, the Grande Reserve is their strong ale, best suited to the heaviest or fullest flavored foods such as elk, venison, beef and even buffalo. .

2.) Sierra Nevada Pale Ale –

This award winning American ale is made in the same tradition as many European pale ales. It has a nice flavor, but isn’t too terribly intense. It’s perfectly suited to serve with most types of grilled fish and chicken. It is also a nice complement for grilled vegetables. Samuel Smith’s India Pale Ale is another outstanding choice.

3.) Newcastle Brown Ale –

Newcastle is a nice smooth tasting brown ale with a slightly nutty taste. It is often used to pair with Guiness Stout to create a drink called a Black and Tan. Newcastle is very versatile and is great to serve with grilled chicken, pork, beef and more flavorful varieties of grilled fish.

4.) Samuel Smith’s Taddy Porter –

If you want a rich, flavorful and strong porter, you would be hard pressed to find one to rival Samuel Smith’s. The pleasant taste of hops is just strong enough without being bitter. This is great when served with heavier beef, pork, lamb or meat like venison, elk and/or buffalo. This is a wonderful very intense flavored porter, but not bitter at all.

5.) Black Dog Ale from Spanish Peak’s Brewery –

This is a wonderfully flavorful English amber ale that is the perfect combination of flavors, a bit of intensity, but nothing overbearing. This is an ale that is suited to just about every type of grilled food. The best part is that it’s reasonably priced for a micro brew, but it can be difficult to find. Nonetheless, if you want an outstanding reasonably priced beer to serve with anything you grill, here’s your best bet.

There are literally many thousands of beers on the market. Some people don’t mind the beers made by big breweries, while others prefer the intimacy and flavor of micro brews. Pairing food with beer is a bit more challenging than pairing food and wine. While you want to pair flavors that are suited to one another, you will want to serve a beer with enough substance in the taste that people can enjoy it.

When you are enjoying the flavor of a beer, you tend to savor it, and that may be one thing that prevents people from drinking as much. Instead of reaching for the wine to go with your grilled food, consider trying a beer. You may find that it’s a tasty and refreshing combination.

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The Effects of Microwave Cooking on your Food

While the use of the microwave does seem to be convenient in quickly heating up food, it usually isn’t the best way to go. Your food tends to get “nuked” when you put it in the microwave. That includes the following: burgers, pizza, sausages, hotdogs, pastas, vegetables, and so forth. There are many effects associated with the use of microwaves that one really shouldn’t use them.

For these reasons, I typical refrain from using the microwave unless I’m looking to heat up a quick meal. Interestingly enough, the use of microwave ovens are banned in Russia due to the effects of microwaving food.

After reading these effects, nuked food should be the least of your worries.

I said that microwaving cereals and milk can cause the agents that cause cancer from within. In a sense, microwaving milk and cereals can cause them to be carcinogenic. Microwaving breast milk is said to destroy the disease fighting capabilities. The milk can sustain damages that go beyond the heating. This is one effect that microwaving has an effect on milk.

It can cause digestive disorders by altering elemental-food substances. Microwaving can also affect the food chemistry as well. Microwaving food tends to cause problems for the human body. This seems to be logical because food absorbs all of that radiation when going through a microwave. In turn, you’re taking in those radiation particles in your body.

In short, the effects tend to be cancerous. Asides from potentially causing you cancer, use of microwaves very much destroys the nutritional value of foods.

The vitamins such as B, C, and E are deemed worthless when foods are put through the microwave. Meat proteins become worthless as a result of microwaving.

There are biological effects such as cellular energy diseases, life-energy field breakdowns, destabilized metabolic rate, cellular damage, and nervous system degeneration.

In short, microwaving food messes up the food, destroys the nutritional value, and has an effect on the human body. These are the many effects associated with microwaving food. If you want to heat something up that is not a TV dinner, you should try using the stove or the oven. The food is much better that way.

Don’t depend on the microwave too much.

1. Microwaves Are Bad For You: 5 Reasons Why Microwave Oven …
2. Are You Getting Enough Vitamin C?
3. Microwave cooking and nutrition – Harvard Health

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The Slow Food Movement Explained

Slow Food: The answer to a fast life

Contrary to what the name implies, the Slow Food Movement is not wholly about eating snails and turtles, nor is it about having lousy service at a restaurant. Instead, it is an anti-fast food movement, a grassroots international campaign to slow down and preserve the pleasure of enjoying food.

The concept of eco-gastronomy, or the relationship between what we eat and our environment, is the driving force behind the movement, founded in 1986 by Carlo Petrini. The Slow Food Movement simply strives to keep food good, clean, and fair:

GOOD: Slow Food should taste good. Supporters of the movement believe that we must learn how to taste food again by awakening our senses to what we are eating: the textures, flavors, and scents. We can learn this from various food experts and from sharing with one another. The Slow Food Movement has several venues for food appreciation education. The most basic is a convivium, or a local chapter of the movement. These groups meet together and participate in various activities to enhance understanding and knowledge in the community. Taste Workshops are held at larger events, and feature experts who teach tasting and pairing of food and drink. The Slow Food Movement even has its own university: The University of Gastronomic Science, to unite the study of science and food.

Good food also comes from our cultural heritage, and a major focus of the movement is preserving these food traditions. Enjoying food in all its varieties and styles-from organic vegetables to artisan bread, heirloom tomatoes to handmade cheese, Southern dishes to Northwest wines-is an important aspect of the Slow Life. Taking the time to savor and share these traditions increases the sense of pleasure in life for families and communities.

CLEAN: Slow Food should be clean inside and out. This means that it should be healthy for us and for animals, and that it should be healthy for the environment. The Slow Food Movement seeks to promote methods of food production that are eco-friendly and sustainable. The goal is a network of sustainable food on local, national, and international levels. The Slow Life also includes taking steps to preserve and appreciate our surroundings.

FAIR: Slow Food is fair to the producer. Slow Food believes that the industrialization and mass-production methods of today corrupt what is good and pure about food. The movement encourages and supports producers and methods that create quality food. Events and networks are organized on the local, national, and international level to help connect those who produce excellent products with consumers. We as consumers are referred to as co-producers, because our informed choices can benefit and affect the direction of food production and consumption.

The Slow Food Movement is indeed a revolution on a world-wide scale, with a presence in 50 countries on five continents. Hundreds of thousands of producers and co-producers attend their international events, while over 80,000 members make up the many convivia around the world. The Slow Food Movement and its Slow Life have a unique perspective on making the world a better place to live. It is a movement that is coming-slowly-to a table near you.

1. Slow Food
2. Sacred Heart Diet for Losing Weight
3. What is Slow Food? – SheKnows

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