Archive for the 'Food' Category

18
Aug
09

Eating healthy?

Those who deny themselves entire food groups or worry too much about the “purity” of their meals are risking their mental and physical well-being. Experts have reported a rise in such extreme behavior, which is known as orthorexia nervosa. Sufferers of orthorexia nervosa tend to be over 30, middle class and well-educated.

Orthorexia patients are different than anorexia patients, who restrict the quantity of food they eat. Sufferers of orthorexia, named after the Greek word for “right or true,” fixate on quality. Sufferers often eliminate sugar, salt, caffeine, alcohol, wheat, gluten, yeast, soya, corn and dairy foods from their diet. Foods tainted by pesticides or that contain additives such as MSG may also be ditched. Such habits may seem quirky, but they can have a serious effect on health.

Cutting out entire food groups can leave sufferers malnourished, while rigid rules can make eating out impossible, putting a huge strain on friendships and relationships.

11
Jun
09

Wendys wins

The chain that claims it’s “way better than fast food” did better than its competitors in a new survey. Wendy’s has been named the top fast-food chain by restaurant guide publisher Zagat.

The burger restaurants based in the Columbus suburb of Dublin, Ohio, rated No. 1 overall, followed by Subway, McDonald’s, KFC and Burger King. Wendy’s also ranked first in the last Zagat fast-food survey two years ago.

Separate rankings of the food and the facilities at the big quick-service chains have Wendy’s on top as well.

Zagat Survey CEO Tim Zagat says the chains that fared best offer a lot of value to diners, which he says is more important than ever in the current economy.

Wendy’s is part of Atlanta-based Wendy’s/Arby’s Group Inc.

25
Mar
09

Things that are actually on the rise

INSURANCE SCAMS ON THE RISE
Police detective Mark Menzie drove 55 miles into the desert Sunday to inspect the charred remains of a formerly silver Ford Expedition.

Later, he sat in a kitchen on the city’s south side where a 19-year-old man confessed to torching his girlfriend’s Chrysler PT Cruiser.

At noon Monday, Mr. Menzie was picking through the smashed windshield of a 2008 Land Rover in a desert canyon. His police radio crackled as he worked; another car was spotted burning southwest of the city.

Years of no-money-down car loans followed by sinking home values and rising unemployment has made many people desperate over car payments they can no longer afford. For some, the answer is to ditch the car, report it stolen and collect the insurance money to pay it off without hurting their credit.

Authorities report a growing number of cars dumped in the Great Lakes, burned along remote New Jersey roadsides and driven into canals in California. The phenomenon is acute in Las Vegas, where sharp declines in tourism and construction have left thousands of workers unemployed and broke.

Mr. Menzie, a burly 38-year-old detective wearing jeans, dusty work boots and a two-day stubble, toted up a day’s work. Four cars burned or wrecked in 24 hours: “Insurance fraud,” he concluded. “Lots of desperate people out there.”

“The economy is stretching people to the breaking point and some of them are willing to risk criminal conviction,” said James Quiggle, a spokesman for the Coalition Against Insurance Fraud, an industry-backed group. “They look at this as their own personal stimulus package.”

Tow yards in Las Vegas are filled with the blackened hulls of Mercedes sedans and Cadillac Escalades. The wrecks were pulled from desert hills and city streets by the department’s eight-member auto-theft unit, which responds to calls around the clock. Over one weekend this month, Mr. Menzie investigated eight car fires in 36 hours.

“This is a money town,” says Lt. Robert Duvall, who reorganized the auto-theft unit to include insurance arson fraud. “Where else can you lose a paycheck in a night?”

The cops hunt suspected arsonists by SUV and helicopter, trying to identify registered owners as quickly as possible. “We see people with singed eyebrows and hands,” said Sgt. Will Hutchings, Mr. Menzie’s boss. “Some of them still smell like gas.”

CANDY SALES ON THE RISE
The recession seems to have a sweet tooth. As unemployment has risen and 401(k)’s have shrunk, Americans, particularly adults, have been consuming growing volumes of candy, from Mary Janes and Tootsie Rolls to Gummy Bears and cheap chocolates, say candy makers, store owners and industry experts.

Theories vary on exactly why. For many, sugar lifts spirits dragged low by the languishing economy. For others, candy also provides a nostalgic reminder of better times. And not insignificantly, it is relatively cheap.

“People may indulge themselves a little bit more when times are tough,” said Jack P. Russo, an analyst with the Edward Jones retail brokerage in St. Louis. “These are low-cost items that people can afford pretty easily.”

12
Mar
09

Have You Gotten Your Girl Scout Cookies?

What are your favorites? Thin Mints? Samoas? Peanut Butter Patties? Tim and I review Girl Scout cookies, complain about how the Peanut Butter patties have gotten thinner, and how the Thin Mints aren’t minty enough. What do you think? Do you have an idea for a cookie? Give us your ideas – buzz@theblockfm.com




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