Category Archives: Food+Beverage

It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year

Ah, Christmas.  It’s one of my absolute favorite times of the year, but oddly enough my family is not too big on the holiday cheer.  We don’t put up a tree.  We don’t exchange gifts or visit relatives.  We don’t even go to church.  In fact, last Christmas we were quite Jewish.  We watched a movie (James Cameron’s ‘Avatar’) and had dinner at a Chinese food restaurant.  Maybe if I make these adorable gingerbread houses and brew up some spectacular coffee, they’ll start to feel more of the holiday spirit?

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Filed under Food+Beverage, Holidays

Korea’s Kimchi Crisis

Ah, kimchi.  Just saying it can make my mouth go into drool mode.  It might not seem so delicious to those who’ve never tried it, especially when you read the English translation on most menus as “spicy fermented cabbage,” but this simple dish is a staple in Korean cuisine.  My mom ALWAYS includes kimchi with every meal whether we’re eating actual Korean food or going American and enjoying a nice pizza or plate of spaghetti.  She even brings out the kimchi at Thanksgiving.  It’s that crucial.

So imagine the utter panic that would ensue should there be a kimchi shortage?  Koreans dared not think of such a cruel world, but alas, it has happened in the motherland.  Torrential rain ruined this year’s Napa cabbage crop and essentially shot the price of kimchi’s core ingredient from $4 a head to $14 a head — a 350 percent increase, according to Time magazine.

Kimchi, which some are now calling keum-chi (the first syllable meaning “gold” in Korean), has become so expensive that the government has begun to ration it and has frozen tariffs on Chinese cabbage in order to help the price stabilize.

I knew Koreans loved food, but I had no idea that missing one side dish could lead to disaster.  Good thing our greatest enemy, Kim Jong Il, is also Korean, so he can’t use this kimchi-krptonite of sorts against us.

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Filed under Food+Beverage, In The News

I’m Lovin’ It

I just saw this clip on Jimmy Kimmel Live.  When you gotta have McNuggets, you gotta have McNuggets apparently.  Best part?  Seeing the drive-thru attendant giving the next customer his order as if nothing happened.  Now that’s customer service.

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Filed under Food+Beverage, In The News, Videos

Winos Rejoice!

Pennsylvania is home to many things: the Liberty Bell, the Philadelphia Eagles, Philly cheesesteaks, the Amish…the list goes on and on.  And onto that prestigious list, we can now add wine-dispensing vending machines.  Hallelujah.  What better to go with my 75-cent snack than a bottle of wine?  Clearly, the cheese-substitute found in Cheetos brings out the fruity notes in a glass of Riesling to perfection. 

Way to class up the joint, PA.

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Filed under Food+Beverage, In The News, Only In Pennsylvania, Technology

Wheat Thins To The Rescue!

Talk about instant gratification.

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Filed under Consumer Goods, Food+Beverage, PR, Social Media, Twitter, Videos

“…That’s Not Supposed To Go There”

Have you seen this commercial on TV?  Not only does it manage to trigger a serious craving for SunChips, but it also gives me a warm fuzzy feeling to know that the company’s revamped packaging is 100 percent compostable and won’t just stay in a landfill till the end of time.  I can just chuck my SunChips bag carelessly into the wind, right?

Wrong.  On a recent episode of “The Daily Show,” Jon Stewart quipped that these SunChips bags can actually cause more harm to the environment than good, if not properly placed in a compost pile.  Doesn’t that defeat the purpose?  I thought the advantage of compostable bags is that they cater to the average lazy American.  If we didn’t bother to throw the regular, non-biodegradable bags into the trashcan before, what makes SunChips think that we’ll not only throw the new ones into a compost pile, but HAVE a compost pile to begin with? 

But that’s only half the trouble.  According to EPI Environmental Technologies Inc., a company that specializes in oxo-biodegradable technology, “If compostable products end up in a landfill, in the presence of water and absence of oxygen, it will biodegrade anaerobically to produce methane and carbon dioxide.  Both are greenhouse gases but methane is over 20 times more powerful as a greenhouse gas than CO2.  Methane is also highly combustible and is a frequent cause of explosions.”

Whoa.  So before, with the plastic model, the worst that could happen was that some poor woodland creature would come across a bag of SunChips, eat the packaging, and then proceed to die a slow, painful death.  Now, with the “miracle” bag made out of plants, the worst that could happen is a methane EXPLOSION and further damage to the atmosphere.  Thanks for the upgrade, SunChips.  And consumers were complaining about how loud the new bags were.  Pshh.  That should be the least of your worries.

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Filed under Ads, Consumer Goods, Environment, Food+Beverage, PR, Science, Videos

Ignorance is Bliss

Dun dun dunnnnnn.  Yet another product recall.  This time, surprisingly, from McDonald’s.  The noted fast food franchise started recalling the glasses pictured above because the paint was found to have a toxic metal called cadmium, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Although some critics were bashing the company for not taking more time and effort to examine this product before selling it to the public, I thought McDonald’s did a respectable job in recalling the glasses the minute it found out about the potential risk.  The level of cadmium in the paint is not directly dangerous unless used for a long period of time and there hasn’t even been a single consumer complaint.  Nice job, Micky D’s.  Can you lend your PR team to Toyota and BP? 

But this wouldn’t be a blog post without a complaint.  Check out the comments section of that same Wall Street Journal article.  People are just plain ‘ignant,’ as some of my friends would say.  The first post right away blames China for the toxic paint.  Hey idiot, the article says — IN ENGLISH might I add — that the glasses were manufactured in New Jersey.  You would think people would actually READ the article in question before wrongfully blaming entire countries.  How embarrassing.

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Filed under Consumer Goods, Food+Beverage, PR