A new study published in the online journal PLoS ONE demonstrates that diners mimic the eating patterns of their dining companions, matching them bite-for-bite . The researchers studied pairs of young women who did not know one another, and found that they influenced each other with regard to eating patterns. Particularly within the first ten minutes of dining together, the women tended to mimic each other, taking bites of food within five seconds of one another.
Last month, First Lady Michelle Obama and Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack unveiled the federal government’s new food icon, MyPlate. MyPlate is a new generation icon with the intent to prompt consumers to think about building a healthy plate at meal times. The new icon will replace the MyPyramid image as the government’s primary food group symbol as an easy-to-understand visual cue to help consumers adopt healthy eating habits consistent with the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans .
Today more than ever, science is playing a pivotal role in food and cooking as the worlds of the laboratory and the kitchen come closter together. A perfect example of this in today’s culture is the Food Network show Good Eats with Alton Brown along with websites like the Science of Cooking, Molecular Recipies, Modernist Cuisine and the Molecular Gastronomy Network.
The result of this movement to bring science into the kitchen is Molecular Gastronomy, the application of biological and chemical knowledge to cooking. Molecular Gastronomy is a discipline practiced by both scientists and food professionals to study the physical and chemical processes that occur while cooking.
As the price at the gas pump continues to climb, so does the cost of diary, grain and meat products. Why? Because increasing fuel prices make it more expensive to grow, harvest, transport, process and package food. Indeed, food costs rose by 4 percent in 2007, the highest annual increase since 1990 . In 2008, the U.S. Department of Agriculture predicts the consumer price index for all food will increase 4.5 to 5.5 percent as retailers continue to pass on fuel costs to consumers .