A study published in PLoS one of the contribution to the diet of American kids from fast food restaurants. The study is large, but has a few flaws that were unavoidable given the data source. The authors point out, even with the flaws, the results may be conservative.
A New Method to Monitor the Contribution of Fast Food Restaurants to the Diets of US Children
Colin D. Rehm , Adam Drewnowski
American adults consume 11.3% of total daily calories from foods and beverages from fast food restaurants. The contribution of different types of fast food restaurants to the diets of US children is unknown.
To estimate the consumption of energy, sodium, added sugars, and solid fats among US children ages 4–19 y by fast food restaurant type.
Analyses used the first 24-h recall for 12,378 children in the 2003–2010 cycles of the nationally representative National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES 2003–2010). NHANES data identify foods by location of origin, including stores and fast food restaurants (FFR). A novel custom algorithm divided FFRs into 8 segments and assigned meals and snacks to each. These included burger, pizza, sandwich, Mexican, Asian, fish, and coffee/snack restaurants. The contribution of each restaurant type to intakes of energy and other dietary constituents was then assessed by age group (4–11 y and 12–19 y) and by race/ethnicity.
Store-bought foods and beverages provided 64.8% of energy, 61.9% of sodium, 68.9% of added sugars, and 60.1% of solid fats. FFRs provided 14.1% of energy, 15.9% of sodium, 10.4% of added sugars and 17.9% of solid fats. Among FFR segments, burger restaurants provided 6.2% of total energy, 5.8% of sodium, 6.2% of added sugars, and 7.6% of solid fats. Less energy was provided by pizza (3.3%), sandwich (1.4%), Mexican (1.3%), and chicken restaurants (1.2%). Non-Hispanic black children obtained a greater proportion of their total energy (7.4%), sodium (7.1%), and solid fats (9.5%) from burger restaurants as compared to non-Hispanic white children (6.0% of energy, 5.5% of sodium, and 7.3% of solid fat).
These novel analyses, based on consumption data by fast food market segment, allow public health stakeholders to better monitor the effectiveness of industry efforts to promote healthier menu options.
Cookbooks are still very useful - TV cooking shows offer some instruction, but lately have mostly devolved into entertainment. YouTube food videos, on the other hand, can be made for a fraction of the cost by anyone covering almost anything for very little cost. They cover the basics of cooking to very sophisticated technique and can be viewed over and over again on a iPad or phone.
Originality and harmony in the table setting (crystal, china, décor) extending to the flavors and colors of the foods.
Absolute originality in the food.
The invention of appetizing food sculptures, whose original harmony of form and color feeds the eyes and excites the imagination before it tempts the lips.
The abolition of the knife and fork for eating food sculptures, which can give prelabial tactile pleasure.
The use of the art of perfumes to enhance tasting.
Every dish must be preceded by a perfume which will be driven from the table with the help of electric fans.
The use of music limited to the intervals between courses so as not to distract the sensitivity of the tongue and palate but to help annul the last taste enjoyed by re-establishing gustatory virginity.
The abolition of speech-making and politics at the table.
The use in prescribed doses of poetry and music as surprise ingredients to accentuate the flavors of a given dish with their sensual intensity.
The rapid presentation, between courses, under the eyes and nostrils of the guests, of some dishes they will eat and other they will not, to increase their curiosity, surprise and imagination.
The creation of simultaneous and changing canapés which contain ten, twenty flavors to be tasted in a few seconds. In Futurist cooking these canapés have by analogy the same amplifying function that images have in literature. A given taste of something can sum up an entire area of life, the history of an amorous passion or an entire voyage to the Far East.
A battery of scientific instruments in the kitchen:ozonizers to give liquids and foods the perfume of ozone,ultra-violet ray lamps (since many foods when irradiated with ultra-violet rays acquire active properties, become more assimilable, preventing rickets in young children,etc.), electrolyzers to decompose juices and extracts, etc. in such a way as to obtain from a known product a new product with new properties, colloidal mills to pulverize flours, dried fruits, drugs, etc.;atmospheric and vacuum stills, centrifugal autoclaves, dialyzers. The use of these appliances will have to be scientific, avoiding the typical error of cooking foods under steam pressure, which provokes the destruction of active substances (vitamins, etc.) because of the high temperatures. Chemical indicators will take into account the acidity and alkalinity of these sauces and serve to correct possible errors: too little salt, too much vinegar, too much pepper or too much sugar.
There are pressing needs in much of the developing world - clean water, sanitation, lighting, cooking, education, ... One that strikes many as low hanging fruit is cooking. In many areas fuel is scarce and people, usually women, spend a lot of time gathering it along with the process of cooking. The fires are often dirty and sometimes indoors making the process very unhealthy.
Several stove and oven designs have emerged - probably starting with solar ovens and grills in the late 1940s - and focusing on improved combustion (rocket stoves) a few decades later. Most of these efforts have failed as the real problem is much deeper. Does the cooker conform with traditional cooking techniques and dishes, how much does it cost, does it require new behaviors which may not mesh with current social and cultural practices, how do you make, distribute, market, finance and repair them?
Most of the projects are the result of well-meaning work by Western engineers and aid groups that lack a deep understanding of the other issues - any one of which can be a deal breaker. There has been a lot of failure - here is an example.
Crop yields per unit area of floor can be very high. It would be nice to see some energy numbers - LEDs are efficient as lights go, but are waste a lot of energy. A benefit of LEDs is the ability to tune output wavelengths to photosynthesis requirements - the reason plants are green is they reflect it .. wasted energy. Photosynthesis uses red and blue wavelengths. (plants are both incredibly inefficient and incredibly important)