Kitchen sanitation

If you work with food and you do not have any sanitizers, you are wrong. You are going to get someone sick, and possibly kill them. There are pathogens in everything that can cause illnesses. Everything you are working with needs to be sanitize, especially knife, cutting boards, and the counter top. They also need to be clean and sanitize again after each use, most importantly, when switching from vegetable to meat or cooked to uncook food. That is call cross-contamination. Uncook food may still have pathogens on them until they are cook to the right temperature. So do not contaminate a cooked food with raw food. Unclean vegetable and meat have different pathogens or allergen, so clean and sanitize the cutting board and knife after using them to cut. Another thing, wear gloves and do not double dip especially when you are cooking for guests. There is little space in the kitchen and your hands can touch so many things without you realizing it. You can prevent yourself from dry hands just by wearing gloves too. Double dipping is using the same spoon to taste the food more than once. You know you are guilty of it, it is common in a household without tasting spoons. Nevertheless, sanitation is key for everyone’s health.

Sanitation is to prevent the most common pathogens from causing illness by reducing it to a safe level.The most common household sanitizers are white distiller vinegar and diluted chlorine bleach (unscented). They will kill off most common pathogens that you cannot see within minutes. They are sold in most general stores locally. Also buy a spray bottle to put in, it makes it easier and faster to cover the surface of the cutting board, knife, utensils, or counter. To dilute chlorine bleach, simply add a tablespoon or 5 percent of it to 1 quart of cold water. It will not leave any residue after wiping it dry, it is perfect safe to use according to ext.colostate.edu. Visit their website for more information other household supplies and their applications.

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GMO Labels

With genetically modified organism getting more popular with the food industry, how do we know what real food is? GMO’s should be label in every food product in the market. There are labels in everything we eat these days, but we don’t understand them. The labels are scientifically named and are hard for read. I get the fact that corporations who sell those products are trying not to reveal their recipes, but there recipes out on the internet with the same ingredients. Plus, no one will be able to copy it without the exact amount on the label. I just want to know exactly what I am eating.

Genetically Modified Organisms are food, like plants and animal, that have been genetically altered to modify the genes that can cause harm to us, or to create a surplus of the food supplies at a cheaper value to consumers. But with the benefits, there are side-effects. According to eHow.com, modified genes in food that we eat can potentially lead to genetic transfer in human cells or the bacteria in the digestive tract.
Read more: http://www.ehow.com/list_6059796_side-effects-gmo-food.html#ixzz2n6DsJfzB

Millions of kids are disabled in the United States alone.If our cells can be genetically modified simply by eating GMO products, we might have a Hulk in us or in our kids.  There are kids born with tails, flippers, long nose, big feet etc. It may not appear on our generation because it could have been carried through our reproductive system. And then there’s the bacteria themselves. What happens if they build immunities to vaccines or their properties are enhanced?  More people will get sick or die by bacteria that are getting stronger, growing faster, or weakening our immune system. So and so, food production companies should be required to include GMO’s or organic label in each ingredients. And therefore, we all should take caution and look at the label of the food that we are eating. Look for organic certified labels that follow these guidelines:

Spicy vs Bitter

In this post, I will compare and contrast spicy and bitter foods. Mainly, it is how chili and bitter melon both beneficial to your health. Neither are favored by everybody, nor are they thought as “fruit.” But they are fruits that have seeds and get ripen over time. And both can be grown in your garden if you have one.  Now according Flash: What’s New Now and Dr. Singh’s Natural, both chili and bitter melon have anti-inflammatory properties. Their seeds can help burn the extra calories after digestions and fight bad cholesterol in the arteries to the heart, which then regulates the blood flow throughout the body and lower blood pressure. With these two ingredients, you can lose weight, prevent heart disease, and lower both your blood pressure and cholesterol pressure. However, the number one health benefit in both chili and bitter melon is cancer prevention. These two fruits can actually kill cancer and leukemia cells. Indefinitely, they are both beneficial to your health, but what are the differences?

If you grow your own chili and bitter melon in your garden like my aunt, you’ll notice that they are completely different in size. Chili grows in a bush and the fruit is smaller.  Bitter melon is bigger and grows in a vine. Chili comes in different colors ranging from dark purple to green to yellow to orange to red, while the bitter melon is only light-green to green to yellow to orange. The skins are both smooth, but bitter melon is wart-like. When you cut open the fruits, their seeds are different. Chili seeds are hard and yellow, while bitter melon’s seed has a membrane around them and are larger and red. You can also eat bitter melon’s leaves. And do not forget the taste, one will make you drink more water, but the other will make you throw up. Inversely, there are more differences in health. According to Flash: What’s New Now, eating chili can help increase serotonin, which helps ease depression and stress that can cause anxiety or heart attacks. On other hand, Dr. Singh’s Natural says that bitter melon is also medicinal to gastrointestinal disease, stomach-ache, and viruses such as measles, malaria, chickenpox, herpes, and HIV. It can kill parasites and bacteria that causes them. For those who are diabetic, bitter melon keeps your glucose level low by increasing the insulin sensitivity.

After hearing this, add chili and bitter melon to your diet. Put some chili flake in your water bottle or if you want, try this: Spicy Stuffed Bitter Melon Soup. Use any ground meat, mix with tiny cubes of onions, mushrooms and carrots. Add chili powders, minced garlic, salt and pepper. Bind them with eggs, and stuff a two-inch cut of bitter melon with the mixture. Boil a pot of water with slices of ginger and four whole chili.  Add four-part lime juice and two-part lemon juice. Cook stuffed bitter melon cuts in the pot. Add cilantro to the soup to garnish. The spiciness and sourness of the soup will take the bitterness of the melon.

The Best Food I Ever Had

I’m not saying I won’t do my article on bitter melon and the benefits of spicy food, but this is what my English teacher assigned us. Next one, I promise.

I was crying but I couldn’t stop eating it. The papaya salad was rich in umami. The sweetness was just right. And the heat was so potent. Collectively, the flavors were to die for.

Umami was the fifth taste sensation discovered in Japan. It is the concentration of flavors that enhances the food. The papaya salad was made with fermented fish and crab paste. Not only do you get the umami from a salted-aged fish and crab, but you also get a hint of sweetness from it. The flavor profile is indescribable because you don’t know if it is salty or sweet. By and by, another factor of sweetness is the papaya itself.

Most Americans will only eat the ripen, orange-color-like papaya because it is a fruit; it’s sweet and juicy. But in Laos, to get the right crunch for the papaya salad, the papaya is picked in right before it is ripen. It has the sweetness of a fruit, yet it has the crisp of  a lettuce. And because it is a fruit the sweetness is drawn out with lime juice, tomatoes, and the umami of the fermented fish and crab. Nevertheless, this succulent papaya salad is not complete without Thai chili peppers.

Have you ever cry when you were little from a cut? Now add the salt to that. That’s how painful it was to eat the papaya salad at the age of six. There was only three whole Thai chili smashed into the papaya salad, but I couldn’t control my tears from running down my cheeks. Nor could I stop finishing the whole dish of papaya salad. It was sweet and juicy, an explosion of umami, and a hellfire to beat. Do you dare to make one at home?

Hopefully, you get a sense in your head. If you want to make it, for best results, use a mortar and pestle. Smash that Thai chili pepper and garlic together. Add that sweet, crispy papaya salad. And best of all, add the fermented fish and crab paste. Conveniently, all of these ingredients are in a Asian local store near you.

Sabaidee!

That’s hello in Laotian. What I am writing about is, as it says, spicy and sweet food. But that’s not all! Some people can’t take heat, even with a 2 from a scale of 1 to 10 of spiciness. I’ll be giving recommendations of other food that will complement the flavors or tastes. For those that are diabetic, I will recommend substitutions of ingredients for your sweet tooth. But first, here are the definitions according to Merriam-Webster online:

“Spicy: flavored with or containing strong spices and especially ones that causes a burning feeling in your mouth: excited or somewhat shocking”

“Sweet: being or inducing one of the four basic( bitter, salty, sweet, sour) taste sensation that is typically induced by disaccharides and is radiated especially by receptors in taste buds at the front of the tongue”

I grew up eating spicy food because it’s so good that I cried. And I was taught that if you dab a little salt on your tongue after eating something spicy, it will alleviate the heat better than sugar or sweet food. So I tried it out and it worked. I was able to eat spicy food at a higher scale of spiciness and built up a higher tolerance for it. Now you can experiment with this, but don’t try it on a whole Thai chili pepper. Start with a cayenne or paprika powder or just a piece of bell pepper if you know that that is all you can take.

I’m not going to leave out sweet food, I mean who can resist a sweet pleasure here and there? Whether it’s deserts, fruits, or signature dishes, the sweetness gives us rapture that somewhat pleases our desire. But what makes this sweetness more appealing to our taste? Have you ever wonder why you eat chocolate that is actually bitter, a tart that is so sour, or a caramel candy that is covered with salt. Yes, they all relate to your four basic taste sensation that is mentioned above. There’s a correlation between each other; the bitter it is, the sweeter it should be; the sourer it is , the sweeter it should be; the saltier it is, the sweeter it should be. Sweet is the last and most desirable taste that we had as a baby in our mother’s womb. So it’s natural to want it.

As for the first topics, I will be doing on the health benefits of spicy food and how a bitter melon won’t be a bitter melon.