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Can Collagen Supplements Really Reduce Signs of Aging?

Coconut oil, step aside. There’s a new health craze in town: collagen supplements.

It’s a trend that’s growing — most notably for its claims of improving skin’s elasticity and promoting a vibrant, youthful complexion. Collagen supplements are believed to have other health benefits, including strengthening bones, promoting hair growth, and improving joint health.


Salsify: the secret restaurant staple that’s impressively ugly

In the age of Instagram, where everything you eat is supposed to look like a Mondrian, it’s an impressively ugly ingredient. Throw it away and your dog would probably bring it back, so knobbly and stick-like is its appearance. Peel away the inedible, bark-like skin and you’re left with a slightly sticky white flesh that very quickly turns a brownish orange.

I have a go mashing and roasting some salsify: the mash reveals its delicate, creamy side (some foodies believe the taste is reminiscent of oysters), while roast salsify comes out somewhere between a potato and a parsnip – nice enough, but perhaps a little bland.

According to Andrew Clarke, the chef-patron at St Leonards in Shoreditch, London, salsify isn’t really the sort of vegetable to cook solo. “It’s a lovely vegetable to use. But it has quite a neutral flavour, so it’s best to let it take on other things.” He has been cooking with it for decades – most chefs have, apparently – and thinks the age of social media, where people get far more access to menus and ingredients, is what is bringing this lesser-known restaurant staple into mainstream consciousness.


St Leonards used to serve razor clams with trompettes, salsify and cucumber, but Clarke has whipped up a new dish for this year. He cooks the salsify in lamb fat and lamb jus, then shaves some lamb heart over the top before adding pickled prunes. “So, it’s a vegetable dish that’s finished with a whisper, or suggestion, of meat. It’s a different way of looking at vegetables – they don’t have to be just for vegetarians.”

and meat glaze doesn’t feel overpowering. The salsify retains some bite, too, which helps it stand up against the rich flavours surrounding it. For me, it was the standout dish of a meal full of standout dishes. And one that elevated this forgotten vegetable towards something as unusual and intriguing as its name.

Source:Salsify: the secret restaurant staple that's impressively ugly


America Loved White Claw So Much, It’s Running Out

White Claw summer might officially be over. As with Popeye’s chicken sandwiches and Impossible burgers before it, hard seltzer brand White Claw is experience shortage because people simply loved it too much.

Three cans of White Claw sitting on a box against a white background.


Restaurants rethink marketing, but Facebook remains king

Dive Brief:
34% of restaurant operators and owners have a dedicated employee whose full-time job is to market the restaurant through ads, promotions and social media and more, according to Toast's 2019 Restaurant Success Report.
Conversely, 12% of 1,253 restaurant professionals surveyed said that they don't market their brand on social media at all.
Facebook remains the dominant platform in the restaurant space, with 91% of restaurants leveraging the channel, but Instagram saw a substantial uptick in use from 24% to 78% over the past year. Twitter ranked third for social media use among those surveyed at 39%.
Restaurants rethink marketing, but Facebook remains king
Dive Insight:
The advent and growth of social media has changed the role of the marketer significantly, and continues to do so. Although the medium has been an effective way to reach a large audience relatively cheaply, algorithm changes — particularly Facebook's last year — have forged more of a pay-to-play environment. This may explain why nearly 70% of restaurants planned to pay for social media ads in 2019, according to the Toast report.

Social media strategy has become more complex: it's no longer just a channel to share the appropriate content, but a critical marketing tool that requires strategies and budgets in order to be effective. This is one reason the role of the marketer has become more robust in the past few years.

As Devin Handler, director of marketing at Garbanzo Mediterranean Fresh, told Restaurant Dive last year, the days of marketers holding narrowly-defined roles that only emphasize advertising and brand management are over.

Perhaps that's why it's a bit of a surprise that 12% of restaurant professionals don't market their brands at all. Considering Facebook has 2 billion users and Instagram has 1 billion, those restaurants are missing out on a massive number of potential customers, particularly consumers who spend nearly four hours a day on their mobile devices. Much of that time is spent looking at social media networks.

Still, a new iteration is taking shape in marketing, particularly in social media. While the traditional channels still attract the most eyeballs, newer channels are rapidly growing. In the past two years, the number of restaurants surveyed by Toast that use Instagram jumped by 60%. Furthermore, Chipotle's Lid Flip campaign on the social media video platform TikTok generated more than 230 million views.

New social media channels aren't the only changes that restaurant operators have to keep up with. Artificial intelligence is also making its way into the marketing space, as evidenced by TGI Fridays' multichannel communication strategy, which uses AI to collect data points on customers and then create personalized messaging. The company grew engagement by 500% between June 2017 and August 2018 using the technology, according to Sherif Mityas, its chief experience officer.

It is perhaps because of these changes, and the dizzying pace at which they're happening, that some brands seem to be taking a different approach to marketing. McDonald's, for example, will not replace its newly-departed CMO, instead creating two new positions to fill those duties — SVP of global marketing and SVP of marketing technology. Taco Bell is taking the same approach, of instead of replacing newly-departed CMO Marisa Thalberg, the company will tap two VPs to lead marketing and brand engagement.


Five future 'super foods' that are good for you and the planet

If you want to stay healthy and help save the planet, how about a dish of algae followed by some cactus and ancient grains?

Once a staple mainly eaten in Bolivia and Peru, quinoa has now become a familiar food across the globe - so what other healthy foods are waiting to be discovered?

A new report lists 50 so-called future foods which are both healthy and good for the environment. So which "super" foods are on the menu of the future?

Moringa: the "miracle" tree that's drought-resistant
The Moringa tree is often referred to as "the miracle tree" - it's fast-growing and drought-resistant and in its native south Asia many parts of the tree are used in Ayurvedic medicine.

The leaves can be harvested up to seven times a year and contain vitamins A and C and minerals like calcium and potassium. They are often added to clear broths.

In the Philippines and Indonesia, it is common to cut the long seed pods - known as "drumsticks" - into shorter lengths to be stewed in curries and soups. These pods also contain seeds which are rich in oleic acid which has been linked to higher levels of "good" cholesterol in the body.

The leaves can be ground into a powder to be used in smoothies, soups, sauces and teas.

Priya Tew, a dietitian and media spokesperson from the British Dietetic Association, knows it well. "A favourite in my family food history, eaten as part of a curry in Sri-Lanka, You scrape the inside out with your teeth and suck the sauce off."

Wakame seaweed can be harvested all year round
In Japan Wakame seaweed has been cultivated for centuries by sea farmers for human food - but offerings of it were made to the spirits of ancestors and even taxes were paid in seaweed.

Nowadays it's also grown in sea fields in France, New Zealand and Argentina. It can be harvested all year round - without using fertilisers or pesticides - and dried in the sun.

The dried seaweed adds a delicious, salty umami flavour to food and it's also one of the few plant-based sources of eicosapentaenoic acid - the omega 3 fatty acid which is almost exclusively found in fatty fish that feed on algae.

One of the softest brown seaweeds, Wakame also contains a large amount of fucoidan - a dietary fibre which has also shown potential in animal studies to lower blood pressure, to have anti-blood coagulation properties and even anti-tumour activity.

"Seaweeds can be a great source of iodine and omega 3's, especially for people eating less animal products. Great in a stir-fry, I ate this a lot in Hong Kong," says Priya Tew - but she also warns that "it is important to only eat a small amount each day so you don't get too much iodine, and also due the heavy metal content from the sea."

Nopales cactus
Nopales cactus might help people with Type 2 diabetes
A common ingredient in Mexican cuisine the leaves, fruit and cladodes (flattened shoots rising from the stems of the plant) of Nopales or prickly pear can be eaten raw, cooked, or made into juice or jam.

It's easy to grow in Central and South America, Australia and even Europe.

Some clinical studies suggest that fibre from cacti helps the body to excrete more of the fat we eat - but any weight loss benefits are yet to be proven. Other trials suggested it can reduce blood sugar levels in people with Type 2 diabetes - and may even lessen unpleasant hangover symptoms.

Anyone wanting to try the prickly pear cactus might want to consider easing into it - some people experience side effects like mild diarrhoea, nausea and abdominal fullness.

Priya Tew comments: "Some interesting health claims, it is important to note these are unproven currently and there are side effects. I can see this sadly becoming a new health craze."

fonio nutrients
Fonio: could this ancient grain be the new couscous?
This ancient African grain is known for its nutty, delicate taste which the Bambara people of Mali say "never embarrasses the cook" because it's so easy to prepare.

Dating back more than 5,000 years, there's evidence it was cultivated in ancient Egypt. There are black and white varieties of the drought-resistant cereal which grows in just 60 or 70 days in the dry Sahel region of west Africa.

Fonio's grains are as tiny as sand - and the inedible husk needs to be removed before it's eaten. Most of this is carried out by hand, but a new mill in Senegal could see the gluten-free grain exported all around the world when it is finished next year.

Rich in iron, zinc and magnesium, fonio can be used in place of couscous or rice or even used to make beer.

Priya Tew is keen: "A great sounding grain that I would love to try. I think this will be popular as it is gluten free and the fact it is drought-resistant makes it a good option for a future food with global warming. "

legume protein
Bambara is a great source of protein
It's a legume that tastes like a less oily, sweeter version of a peanut. The Bambara bean has caught the eye of sustainable food experts because it can grow in poor soil, making it more fertile by "fixing" nitrogen in the earth.

The traditional African legume is also grown in southern Thailand and parts of Malaysia and can be boiled, roasted, fried or milled into a fine flour.

In east Africa the beans are pureed to create a base for soups. It's known as a "complete food", as it's high in protein and a source of the essential amino acid methionine - which promotes the growth of new blood vessels and the absorption of zinc, which is needed for the body's immune system, and selenium, which helps regulate thyroid function and also plays a role in the immune system.

"This sounds like a food that could be great for people on a vegetarian, vegan or plant-based diet due to it being a complete protein source and being a sustainable crop," says Tew. "With the current issues we have facing the future of our food we need more easy to grow foods that are versatile like this. "

Source:Five future 'super foods' that are good for you and the planet


How A Startup Plans To Make Edible Protein From Air And Electricity

Solar Foods, a Finnish startup, plans to produce edible protein from air and electricity. The company announced its partnership with the European Space Agency to work on food production for future space flights. Solar Foods previously received 2 million euros in funding and planned to start commercial production of its protein by 2021.



A former sex crimes prosecutor and lifelong food obsessive, Martha Hoover had never worked in the hospitality industry when she opened her first Indianapolis restaurant in 1989. But she figured if she served the kind of food she wanted to eat with her own family — simple, vaguely French, made with local ingredients grown across her agricultural state — she’d do okay.


Three Consumer Segments Are Hungry for a Positive Dining Experience

The restaurant industry continues to struggle with driving traffic, ending the first quarter of 2019 down -2.4 percent and marking the 12th consecutive quarter of negative visits. With this, it’s more important than ever for restaurants to understand the reasons behind consumer behavior. It’s also critical for brands to be able to predict, motivate and even incentivize consumers to take action in order to reverse declining guest counts.


Drinks packaging trends: From sustainability to technology

Many beverage companies are showing interest in overhauling their packaging – switching from bottles to aluminium cans for water and introducing interactive digital platforms, for example. Packaging Gateway takes a look at five innovative drinks packaging trends to look out for.
Drinks packaging trends: From sustainability to technology

With the rise of sustainability and introduction of technology making its way into the packaging sector, beverage companies are now looking to understand how they can integrate these solutions into their drinks packaging.

Five drinks packaging trends to watch
Solutions such as flexible packaging, which reduces costs and material waste – taking away old packaging formats, and blockchain technology, which enables transparency throughout the supply chain, are emerging to be the next big drinks packaging trends to look out for.

1) Aluminium cans
The use of aluminium cans for drinks packaging has risen significantly in recent years. Companies such as CanO Water and Eau Lab have decided to make use of this indefinitely recyclable, sustainable packaging, responding to the continuing ‘war on plastic’.
View image on TwitterFurthermore, aluminium packaging can keep beverages cooler for longer than plastic and pack tighter, making it more efficient for transporting. And despite reservations, aluminium cans are actually easily adaptable – with CanO Water adding a resealable pull closure so that consumers do not have to finish their water in one go.

2) Shape designs
The innovative packaging shape trend has started to gain traction in the drinks sector due to its efficiency for packing and transporting. Tetra Pak’s cube packaging solution for dairy juice and liquid food does just this. With every six packages forming a cube, the product enables Tetra Pak to reduce costs, save space and material, and allows the consumer to purchase the product at an affordable price.
Drinks packaging trends: From sustainability to technology

3) Paper straws
With the UK Government announcing a ban on the sale and use of plastic straws, drink stirrers and plastic-stemmed cotton buds in England from next April, companies are ditching single-use drink accessories and opting for paper alternatives.
View image on Twitter

Companies that have already made the plastic to paper straw switch this year include Global food packaging specialist Huhtamaki, Coca-Cola Amatil Australia, US-based tableware products maker World Centric, ice cream chain Ben & Jerry’s and Macau integrated resort developer and operator Sands China.

4) Eco-friendly drinking mechanisms
Keeping on the topic of drinks accessories, other sustainable drinking mechanisms are gaining traction, with many consumers searching for recyclable, biodegradable or compostable items with improved functions when purchasing beverages. Novolex brand Eco-Products introduced compostable cup lids, which enable customers to drink without any spills, earlier this year.
View image on Twitter

5) Interactive digital platforms
Finally, in a digitally-driven world, it is expected that companies would integrate some sort of technology advancement to further their growth and consumer popularity.
Drinks packaging trends: From sustainability to technology

Last month, Tetra Pak launched a new connected packaging platform to transform milk and juice cartons into interactive channels, full-scale data carriers and digital tools. Using code generation, digital printing and data management to offer insights to food producers, retailers and shoppers, the platform also provides consumers with product information on manufacturing, ingredients and packaging recycling.

Source:Drinks packaging trends: From sustainability to technology


The brain nutrient vegans need to know about

People who eat vegan or plant-based diets should ensure they are getting enough of a key, but little-known, brain nutrient, say experts.
The brain nutrient vegans need to know about

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