A Chat with Je-Yong Ha, the “Korean Hulk” Who Jets Around the World with Lindsay Lohan

Courtesy of Je-Yong Ha

Meet the very buff Korean playboy who captured our attention, if only for an afternoon.

Earlier this month, Lindsay Lohan blessed the world with her presence once again when reports surfaced that she was dating someone new. Evidently, a jet-setting playboy who could bench press a Hyundai Elantra. And because Lindsay Lohan is a speckle of stardust cruising through life on a sunbeam who we only want the best for, and failing to find much information about this mysterious man online, I reached out to Je-Yong Ha, who goes by Korean Hulk on Instagram, to hear his side of things.

Ha is a competitive power lifter who lives in “Seoul, Moscow, Dubai” and no, they’re not together. (A source close to the actress told Vanity Fair, “Lol they are 100% not dating at all. They’re just friends.”) We exchanged a few messages on WhatsApp and agreed to conduct the interview over email so he could write me back in Korean, because I, like everyone on Earth, had a few questions.

GQ: How did you and Lindsay become friends? Where did you guys meet? Did someone introduce you?

We first met in Mykonos, Greece. Lindsay is a great person. She’s very kind, and she’s an angel.

What was your reaction when you first saw American reports that you and Lindsay were dating?

We originally planned to go to New York together. But I had another schedule so I couldn’t go. I was at home watching TV when I got a message from Lindsay. She told me to Google her name. When I searched her name on Google, there were tons of articles about us. Lindsay and I laughed hysterically at this.

How often are you hanging out with her? How is she doing?

We contact each other a lot. We will spend Christmas and New Year’s Day together.

Are you currently dating anyone?

This is a video of my biceps.

When did you first get into working out?

I’ve been working out for about 10 years now. I particularly enjoyed armwrestling and powerlifting. I won national champion at an open category for armwrestling, and I have been competing at world championships in which I dream of becoming the world champion one day.

“I eat a lot of pizza, hamburgers, and noodles. But I like natural raw food such as garlic, ginseng, abalone, oyster, caviar, foie gras, truffles, and sea urchins, which are some of my favorites. These foods make my body healthier.”

I competed at many open categories for powerlifting in which I was named national champion for bench press (270kg), deadlift (340kg), and squat (320kg), which are all national records.

That’s why many people call me the “all time no. 1 strength in Korea” or the “koreanhulk.” Especially for bench press, my record is extremely close to the world record in which I am working towards breaking the world record in the near future.

How much protein do you eat in one day? What does a typical meal look like?

I don’t have a set amount of protein I eat per day. I just try to eat as much as I can. I’m not someone who’s trying to diet to make my body look pretty. I like big, beefy, and strong bodies. That’s why I eat a lot. I eat a lot of pizza, hamburgers, and noodles. But I like natural raw food such as garlic, ginseng, abalone, oyster, caviar, foie gras, truffles, and sea urchins, which are some of my favorites. These foods make my body healthier.

How often are you in the gym? Can you give me a quick overview of your gym routine?

I go to the gym every day. I exercise in 5 minute intervals. I repeat sets that exercise my chest, back, shoulders, arms, and legs. I try my best to eat as much as I can, and lift as heavy as I can.

What is your ultimate fitness goal?

I plan to break the world record for bench press. I also want to become the world champion for armwrestling.

How many fur coats do you own?

I love fur. It’s one of the styles I found. I own over 50 fur coats.

Is it hard for you to find suits and T-shirts?

It’s very hard. I’m short, my body is big, and my arms are too big so it’s hard for me to find clothes that fit me. I like wearing suits so I have a personal tailor. I want to show people that even if you’re short with a big body, you can wear clothes that make you look good.

Your life looks awesome. How did you become a baller?

I do business in Moscow, Russia, and Dubai. I have interest in the entertainment business so I’m preparing to open night clubs in many different countries. I am planning to open a Lohan Club in Dubai. In Moscow, I plan to make the most luxurious and expensive restaurant in the world. I also have huge interest in charity and volunteer work, therefore I want to make a foundation that’ll allow me to help as many people in need as I can.

What do you like to do when you aren’t working out?

I go to art galleries a lot, and I participate in art auctions as well. I also like jewelry and watches so I enjoy collecting limited edition and exclusive models. I have also recently developed an interest for acting. I heard that Marvel is looking for a Korean hero. I really want to be that Korean hero character, and act on the big screen.

What are your favorite stores to shop at?

I like a brand called Billionaire Couture. I also like Versace these days. Brands are important, but since I like bespoke suits, I think that the fabric, design, and how well it suits my body is more important.

I saw you drove a Bugatti Veyron.

I like Bugatti. It’s the best. I recently read an article that compared Tesla and Bugatti Chiron. Tesla is faster, bigger, and less pricey than a Bugatti. However, Tesla is Tesla and Bugatti is Bugatti. It’s another level. It’s like comparing Casio to Patek Philippe.

Tell me about your dog! A friend says it looks like a Caucasian Ovcharka. What is his/her name? How long have you had it?

My dog is a Caucasian Ovcharka. His name is Taeja. I bought him in Russia. Taeja is a famous and popular dog. He’s been on many TV shows. He’s also a dog show world champion. He’s 1m euros, and his height is 1m 20cm and his weight is 130 kg. He’s heavier than I am. He eats more protein than I do. He eats 9 chickens every day.

If you could give guys a piece of style advice, what would it be?

Try new different things. That’s how you find what suits you the best. And then you can make that your own style by customizing it. But the most important thing is confidence. Confidence makes you more stylish, and it’s sexy.

If I visit Seoul, can we party?

Expert Advice On The Fad Diets To Avoid In 2018

If you have grand plans to change your diet for the healthier in 2018, or indeed before then – there’s no time like the present – it’s important to look in the right places for advice. Generally that means steering clear of celebrities, unless they are celebrity dietitians, which are unfortunately in short supply.

Dietitians are the only nutrition professionals that are regulated by law, and while there are undoubtedly many nutritionists, nutritional therapists and other food experts out there who will give sound advice in good faith, for reliable, science-based guidance, dietitians are the gold standard.

That means when the British Dietetic Association takes issue with a fad diet, it’s worth taking the criticism on board. In an article on its website, the BDA suggests avoiding these five fad diets in 2018.

1. Pioppi Diet

We’ve covered the Pioppi Diet already, speaking to both the author of the book behind the diet – cardiologist Dr Aseem Malhotra – and asking for a dietitian’s opinion of it. It’s not a horrendously bad diet, with advice to eat more vegetables and exercise more always worth heeding, but this take on the Mediterranean Diet still raises the hackles of the BDA because it restricts carbs and encourages 24 hours of fasting each week.

“The book pays homage to eating plenty of fruit and vegetables, fish, olive oil, alcohol in moderation and not being sedentary (much like the current UK government guidelines),” the BDA writes. “But the authors may well be the only people in the history of the planet who have been to Italy and come back with a diet named after an Italian village that excludes pasta, rice and bread but includes coconuts – perhaps because they have a low-carb agenda.

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“The suggestion that this Italian village should be associated with recipes for cauliflower base pizza and rice substitute made from grated cauliflower or anything made using coconut oil is ridiculous. It also uses potentially dangerous expressions like ‘clean meat’ and encourages people to starve themselves for 24 hours at a time every week. Following a more typical Mediterranean diet would also be kinder on the wallet, as the dietary approach in Pioppi is unlikely to be cheap.

“The traditional Mediterranean diet is a healthy choice but this has been hijacked here. Fasting may help weight loss, but the only reason their other advice is likely to help people lose weight is because it involves eating less food and fewer calories.”

2. Raw Vegan Diet

It’s perfectly possible to eat healthily on a vegan diet, as long as you keep an eye on certain vitamins like B12 and D, which are harder to get when animal produce is off the agenda. But there’s no evidence that avoiding cooked food is good for your health.

“While some foods are good to have raw, others are more nutritious cooked – like carrots – and some foods cannot be eaten raw at all – like potatoes,” says the BDA.

“The human body can digest and be nourished by both raw and cooked foods so there’s no reason to believe raw is inherently better. Raw food can be time-consuming to prepare and hard to find when eating out. And it’s not suitable for certain groups like children or pregnant women so family meals could be a challenge.”

3. Alkaline Diet

Boost your health by changing the pH of your blood through avoiding acidic foods and eating alkaline ones! Or not.

“This diet is based on a basic misunderstanding of human physiology,” says the BDA, with admirable patience. “While encouraging people to eat more fresh vegetables is a good thing, the pH of your food will not have an impact on the pH of your blood – and you wouldn’t want it to! Your body is perfectly capable of keeping its blood within a very specific pH range (between 7.35 and 7.45). If it fails to do so you would become very ill very quickly and die if not treated!

“Diet can change the pH value of urine, but testing the pH of your urine just measures the pH of your urine. It is not related to the pH of your blood, which cannot be affected by diet.”

4. Ketogenic Diet

Restrict the carbs in your diet and your body will start to burn fat instead, which increase the amount of ketones in the body. That’s the theory behind this diet.

“Supporters claim it [the ketogenic diet] can help you to lose weight, control hunger and improve your health,” says the BDA. “Worryingly some say it can treat or prevent a number of different types of cancer, which is just not true.

“A carefully dietitian-planned ketogenic diet can be a very effective treatment for people with epilepsy. For weight loss, there’s no magic – the diet works like any other by cutting total calories and removing foods people tend to overeat. Initial side effects may include low energy levels, brain fog, increased hunger, sleep problems, nausea, digestive discomfort, bad breath and poor exercise performance.

“It can be an effective method of weight loss in the short term with careful planning but it is hard to sustain for many in the long term and most of the initial weight loss seen is often associated with water and fluid loss. It is never a good idea to ‘over-restrict’ any one food group (including carbohydrate), because this can mean it is more difficult to achieve a balanced diet overall with respect to vitamins, minerals and fibre in particular. And if you’re eating a high-fat diet, you need to consider the types of fat carefully.”

RECOMMENDED: Six Mad Fad Diets From History You Definitely Shouldn’t Try

5. Katie Price’s Nutritional Supplements

Hopefully you weren’t planning on basing your diet around Katie Price’s advice and meal-replacement products, but just in case you were…

“Rapid weight loss can be motivating, but it is unsustainable,” says the BDA. “Appetite suppressors are not a healthy, advisable or sustainable way of losing weight either. Interestingly the website admits that the diet’s claims have not been evaluated by the appropriate authorities.”

You don’t need to adopt a sachet-based existence to eat more healthily, basically, especially because those sachets are usually very expensive.

“She [Price] may have business talent but she has no nutrition qualifications,” says the BDA. “Meal replacement products work by restricting calories, whoever’s name is on them, and they are not needed as part of a healthy, balanced weight loss plan.”

‘Our dog Herbie had cancer – but he lived for eight more years when we put him on a raw-food diet’

When the Dalys’ family dog became ill with bone cancer, it led to a startling discovery and a savvy business idea.

Sharon Daly’s dog Herbie was given just one year to live, but after the family switched him to a raw diet, he made a rapid recovery.

Sharon’s son Tyler said: ‘We saw a huge improvement in his health and he lived for a further eight years.

‘We found that dried kibble contained known carcinogens. Mum decided to make raw dog food at home by mincing meat from the best suppliers in the region.

‘Removing the toxins and additives found in man-made, synthetic food had major benefits.’

Soon, Paleo Ridge Raw was born. The family found its small business expanding rapidly from day one, as friends began asking for extra batches for their pets.

Tyler said: ‘We moved into a converted barn in Droxford which had a small shop and space for manufacturing plus four freezers.

‘Hundreds of locals and their dogs would pop in to say hello. We offer 63 different options including beef, chicken, kangaroo and ostrich. All human grade cuts.’

The family has just moved into much larger premises in Waterlooville to meet demand.

‘The best thing about being based here is that there’s lots of land and countryside, so lots of dog walkers.

‘Our produce is manufactured, frozen and shipped from site to customers and trade buyers as far away as Scotland and the Channel Islands.

‘We now service 1,500 orders per month. We hope to expand further with a dream to sell in every major supermarket, but we want to keep our rural setting.’

The family loves hearing about the products’ benefits. Tyler said: ‘People share cards, reviews and pictures of their dogs to show how much happier and healthier they are.’

The Parable of Juicero: A Tech Lesson for 2017

In 2015—long before the name Juicero became unofficial shorthand for Silicon Valley snake oil—Doug Evans appeared on Ventured, a podcast run by his investor Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers. For the past two years the founder had been operating the company in “stealth mode,” an industry term for when a startup quietly raises money prior to its product launch; the appearance was one of his first real opportunities to explain the motivation behind his product to the public, or at least the TechCrunch set.

During the 25-minute chat with KPCB general partner Randy Komisar and Beyond Meat CEO Ethan Brow, Evans revealed that his interest in health began after his mom died of cancer, his father died of heart disease, and his brother was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. He cited a report from the Union of Concerned Scientists that said if every American had just one more serving of fruits and vegetables, our country’s mortality rate would be reduced by “tens of thousands.” He made no mention of the trendy juice-based diets en vogue among celebrities. Rather, he offered a mission statement that seemed appropriate for 2015, a time when First Lady Michelle Obama was still touring the nation extolling the virtues of gardening and exercise, and the economy was showing steady, promising growth. “Our focus is on how do we use technology to almost coddle that fresh, ripe, raw fruits and vegetables so that we can deliver it in the way that it was intended,” he said. “So it’s a healthier solution, not a more shelf stable solution, and then how do we make that healthier solution more affordable.”

A year later, Evans debuted a funhouse mirror reflection of the vision he’d once described, skewed to reflect the priorities of Silicon Valley. The futuristic white processor—for which he’d raised a whopping $120 million to manufacture—looked like a robot sidekick off the set of Star Wars. Inside the hulking device was a motor that was capable of crushing produce with 8,000 pounds of force. But before a Juicero owner was able to do that, a lot more had to happen. First, they had to order the $5 to $8 packets of fruits and vegetables from the company to insert into the device. The machine was equipped with a camera that read each packet’s QR code and, via a Wi-Fi connection, determined whether it was fresh enough to squeeze. If it was just a day past its expiration date, no juice. If it was made by a different company, no juice. If your in-home Wi-Fi connection happened to cut out, no juice. It cost $700.

Evans’ pitch had evolved, too. Alongside his mention of deceased family members and affordable produce, he talked about amalgamous concepts like “chi” and “life force.” He went on an entertaining press tour where he said things like “If you look at a two year ROI at $700, it’s less than a dollar a day. So if you look at someone who makes juice, it’s a bargain, because their time is so valuable.” Because he couldn’t make definitive claims about juice’s positive effect on a person’s health, his best argument for the product was simply that it required less clean-up and was better tasting than the juice produced by his competitors.

However confident Evans was as a salesman, it became clear that he had room for improvement as a CEO. The initial Juicero processor engineered under his leadership was so expensive to manufacture that, despite its high price tag, it lost the company money on each sale. According to Gizmodo report, Evans was a “micromanaging tyrant and a demeaning bully” who frequently forced his employees to adhere to his extreme environmentalist ideals. For a period of time, employees were reportedly forbidden from expensing non-vegan meals on business trips. Rather than address an office fly infestation by hiring an exterminator, he reportedly requested employees research how to “relocate” the insects.

Less than a year after Juicero’s public launch, Evans was replaced by Jeff Dunn, a former president of Coca-Cola North America. A company press release presented the shakeup as an amicable, logical step toward the future—one that assured Evans would still have a role as chairman of its board, and continue to drive Juicero’s “vision and strategic relationships.” “Because of his deep experience building fresh produce and beverage businesses, Jeff is the ideal leader to execute the next phase of our ambitious vision,” Evans said. But as soon as Dunn took over, he began running damage control. He slashed the price of the juicer by $300, and he set engineers to work designing a cheaper, $199 iteration. Meanwhile, Evans embraced his role as salesman, rustling up more potential investors and serving juice to Katy Perry at Coachella.

Dunn’s efforts were not enough to battle the scandal that would soon come. In April 2017, Bloomberg published a side-by-side video of a person using their two hands to squeeze juice out of one of the company’s custom juice packets, next to a Juicero doing the same task. The short clip demonstrated that a very expensive gadget—which cost roughly the same amount of a round-trip plane ticket—could essentially be replaced with a little arm muscle. To the already unsympathetic tech pulpit, this was cold, hard evidence of a scam, and deeply embarrassing proof that investing in the pet project of a man who exclusively eats raw produce and wears hemp shoes was categorically unwise. This internet had a field day. “It’s easy to mock Silicon Valley, where too often companies repackage familiar ideas and sell them back to us as exemplars of Groundbreaking Disruptive Innovation™,” wrote Slate. “But, if you’ll pardon a pun that will explain itself in just a moment, you’d be hard-pressed to find a sillier example of that tendency than Juicero.”

Dunn took to Medium to smooth over the discovery, but it only seemed to make things worse. “The value of Juicero is more than a glass of cold-pressed juice,” he wrote, arguing that Juicero ensured food safety, enabled a tight supply chain of raw food, and ensured consistent taste and nutrition. “Much more.” Still, his offer to refund any Juicero owner’s machine was interpreted as an acknowledgement of defeat. The post was widely mocked as a desperate attempt to save an already-doomed company by way of empty marketing speak. Wrote one commenter. “This is everything wrong about Silicon Valley in one note.”

There have been plenty of useless, buzzy consumer tech flops over the years, but every once in awhile an invention comes from a place of such miscalculated overconfidence that it communicates something profound about the frivolousness of American consumerism. The 2001 debut of the Segway, which Steve Jobs said would be as big a deal as the PC, predicted a Terminator-lite vision of society where our bodies would rely on more powerful exoskeleton. Its designers didn’t account for the fact that people would still rather use their human legs to walk just a little bit slower. In 2012, Google debuted a face computer named Glass as an antidote to smartphone-induced social isolation. In a TED Talk, CEO Sergey Brin praised the product’s ability to “free” your hands, eyes, and ears. It fizzled under legitimate concern that no one in the presence of a “glasshole,” as they came to be known, would be free from being covertly recorded or photographed. The 2014 smartphone app Yo, whose only function was to send a push notification that said “yo,” went viral for its stupid premise. That its creators immediately stumbled into a $1.5 million seed round was proof of a new Silicon Valley cynicism that prioritized press exposure over substance.

On a basic level, Juicero was a company that helped concentrate the guts of fruits and vegetables into an eight ounce glass of juice that you could then consume. Zoom out a little, and it also distilled two trendy startup schemes into one gloriously impractical hunk of plastic and metal. On one side was the fetishistique cult of Yves Béhar-designed hardware, a meme in the tech industry that began at Apple and has since seeped into nearly every company product and price tag, no matter how inconsequential. On the other was a pseudo-scientific interpretation of what it means to be healthy, rooted in both California’s love affair with food and exercise fads, and the average technologist’s desire to extend his lifespan with the help of apps, exercise bands, and blood boys. From its very debut, Juicero stood as a glorious tribute to the tech industry’s incessant navel gazing. It was made for and by the rich—the Tesla of produce secretion. (Evans himself often made that comparison.)

Evans was able to collect an absurdly large pile of cash for his idea by riding the wave of the tech industry’s optimistic “food technology” movement. It began with Soylent, the company that marketed nutrition shakes to coders as a food replacement and inspired all kinds of niche subgenres. Highlights included the Impossible Burger, which marketed its plant-based meat substitutes as an equally delicious substitute for protein; Hampton’s Creek, which similarly offered a plant-based alternative to mayo; and Habit, a food-delivery service that planned your meals based on the supposed needs of your DNA. But Juicero was the crown jewel of the trend because it was utterly extravagant, did very little to “disrupt” an existing market, and had no plan to tackle a larger existential problem in society. It was made because some venture capitalists were self-obsessed enough to think that the rest of America would spend money on a nice juice machine, too.

For that reason, the tale of Juicero’s downfall feels like a modern-day version of The Grapes of Wrath, refashioned to debunk the intoxicating myth of Silicon Valley’s innovative food kick. A handful of its industry peers have already suffered from some form of debunking over the past few years. First-person tales about living off of Soylent depicted the experience as a form of self-punishment. A Bloomberg exposé revealed that Hampton Creek had a history of making exaggerated claims about its mayo’s environmental benefits and supermarket sales. My own investigation of Habit discovered that the company’s “proprietary” DNA testing mechanism lacked the peer-reviewed research to prove it was effective. But when it came time for Juicero’s unraveling, it was by far was the most visually jarring of the bunch.

By September, Juicero was no more. In a rundown of the company’s demise, Bloomberg reported that several investors felt it was “a victim of an anti-elitist political and media climate.” This is a fancy way of saying that the company was shamed into oblivion. Consumers were finally fed up with being duped into spending too much money on something they didn’t need. For years, Silicon Valley’s band of miracle-working health startups had hidden behind a smokescreen of slick marketing and perpetual caveats. Prior to Juicero’s hand-squeeze scandal, disproving the effectiveness of something like a health tracker or a DNA-inspired meal plan required consumers to weigh a long-winded study that may or may not have been convincing enough for them to admit they wasted their money. Researchers have long said that health trackers don’t make people more fit, but tell that to the desk-worker who religiously aims to reach a 10,000-step goal each day. For every story arguing that meal plans organized around your DNA are a scam, there might be another first-person account that argues they point people “in the right direction.” But Juicero’s proof of deception was immediate and devastating: an indisputable receipt in GIF form. The thing might as well not exist. Soon enough, the company didn’t.

As 2017 comes to a close, Juicero is now etched into history as a parable for Silicon Valley hubris. What happens when a misguided modern-day health food evangelist manages—like many before him—to co-opt California hippie culture’s obsession with homegrown raw food, and refashion it into an unnecessary, over-engineered accessory for the rich? Juicero is proof that there’s only so much profit the tech industry can squeeze out of pseudoscience until the empty calories become quite obvious. Is this the year they finally learn?

The problem with food allergy testing

You might be surprised to learn that food allergy testing, a common laboratory test done by both physicians and nontraditional practitioners, has almost no clinical validity.

It is no surprise that serious food allergies and less serious food sensitivities are more common than in the past. In an effort to determine which foods are causing reactions, health care providers have turned to food allergy testing. However, there are fundamental problems with the tests themselves as well as the interpretation of the results. These issues impact millions of people per year.

As a clinician, it seems that at least a third of my patients tell me they are allergic to one or more foods because someone tested them for food allergies. This has become one of the most common tests done in both traditional and nontraditional medicine.

Allergy testing can be ordered by medical physicians, chiropractors, nutritionists, naprapaths, physician assistants, nurse practitioners, nurses and even the patients themselves.

I cannot uncover any data to tell me how many food allergy tests are done every year, however the annual medical costs of treating all allergies including food allergies exceeds $20 billion.

Indeed, many patients who come to see me for their bowel issues often bring with them multiple tests for food allergies. The big question is, “do they accurately reflect a clinical issue?” And the answer, for most people, is no.

There are several methods for food allergy testing. The most popular way of assessing a food allergy is to measure whether or not the body is producing antibodies to the food.

If no antibodies are found, it is assumed that there is no food allergy (not true). If antibodies are present it is also assumed that a food allergy exists (also not true).

The most pressing problem concerning these tests is that the results often fail miserably at establishing validity. Validity is the cornerstone of any laboratory test consisting of reproducibility of the test and correlation between different testing laboratories. Reproducibility means that a specific sample, tested several times at the same laboratory, will yield basically the same result.

Studies have shown that many, not all, laboratories have poor reliability. Several studies have shown poor correlation between laboratories. The same sample tested at different allergy testing facilities yielded significantly different results. These results differed by 40 percent to 65 percent — almost the same as flipping a coin.

The immune system is dynamic and changes rapidly in response to the environment. Cooking, storage, preparation (spices, herbs) physically change food making the usual allergy testing inaccurate because food allergy testing is commonly done using raw food extracts.

Antibodies to raw food are quite different from those to cooked food. For example, people who have a reaction to boiled eggs rarely react to raw eggs. Widespread food allergy testing leads to (probably) unnecessary therapies, medications, herbs, supplements, more allergy testing and expense.

My experience is that simply changing the diet for awhile can reset the immune system and food sensitivities often resolve.

• Patrick B. Massey, MD, PH.D., is medical director for complementary and alternative medicine at Alexian Brothers Hospital Network and president of ALT-MED Medical and Physical Therapy, 1544 Nerge Road, Elk Grove Village. His website is www.alt-med.org.

Yet Another Sad, Unfortunate Reason Not To Eat Raw Cookie Dough

The holidays mean different things to everyone, but there’s a good chance you’ll be doing some baking this season. And, if cookies are on the menu, you’re probably going to be eating a spoonful or two of raw cookie dough. Sure, you know you’re not supposed to eat it thanks to the salmonella risks from raw eggs, but let’s get real: You’re still gonna do it, it’s gonna be delicious, and you’ll feel like a total rebel in the process.

But, sadly, the FDA is warning that it’s a really bad idea to eat raw cookie dough—and not just because of the eggs.

Yes, you can still get salmonella from raw eggs in cookie dough (or brownie or cake batter), but flour is also a major concern, the organization says in a new consumer update. That’s right, flour. It turns out the innocent-looking stuff can carry E. coli, which can make you sick or, in rare cases, even kill you.

The FDA specifically points to an outbreak of illnesses last year in which dozens of people across the country became sick from a form of E.coli called Shiga toxin-producing E. coli O121 that was found in General Mills flour. During the outbreak, 17 people were hospitalized due to the foodborne illness and one person developed hemolytic-uremic syndrome, a condition that can cause anemia, kidney failure, and a low blood platelet count. In response to the outbreak, General Mills voluntarily recalled 10 million pounds of flour (sold under the brand names Gold Medal Flour, Signature Kitchens Flour, and Gold Medal Wondra), the FDA says.

But the FDA warns that it’s possible that some contaminated flour is still out there—and that it’s possible for another outbreak to happen.

Of course, you have to be especially careful about food safety when you’re handling raw meat and eggs, but flour?

“We put this [update] out because people don’t think about flour,” FDA spokesman Peter Cassell tells SELF. “We know more people are baking than usual around the holidays and we want to make sure they’re taking the right precautions.”

Food safety experts say this was the right move. “People don’t think about flour in terms of being a vehicle for which pathogens can exist, and there are people that don’t believe that you can get sick and die from this—but you can,” food safety expert Darin Detwiler, director of the Regulatory Affairs of Food and Food Industries program at Northeastern University, tells SELF. And Benjamin Chapman, Ph.D., an assistant professor and food safety extension specialist at North Carolina State University, agrees. “Raw flour is a raw product, and it doesn’t go through any heat treatment before you get it,” he tells SELF. “You should treat that flour like you’re handling raw meat.”

The good news is that high temperatures kill E. coli, so once your cookies are baked, you’re totally fine to eat them. Also, mercifully, cookie dough ice cream is OK to keep eating because that dough is heat-treated beforehand, Cassell says.

E. coli is no joke, but it’s usually not life-threatening.

“The average person can get incredibly sick and experience terrible symptoms as well,” Chapman says. For instance, you might experience nausea, bloody diarrhea, and vomiting. But healthy adults can expect to feel better within a week, according to the Mayo Clinic.

However, the risk is especially concerning for those who are pregnant or are handling flour around young children, the elderly, or people who are immunocompromised, such as those with cancer, Detwiler says. People who fit into all of these groups aren’t able to fend off an infection as well as everyone else, and that raises the odds they can become really sick or even die from contaminated flour, Detwiler says.

You don’t need to stop all of your baking operations, but you do need to be smart about them.

To get sick from E. coli-laden flour, you need to actually ingest it, Detwiler says. So if you’re planning to handle raw flour, wash your hands before and afterwards. It’s also a good idea to clean your countertops well after you bake to get rid of traces of flour (and potential pathogens) that could be lurking there, Chapman says.

If you have little kids around, it’s important to know that you’re taking a risk if they handle raw flour and dough, Cassell says. If they’re under the age of five (and therefore have especially vulnerable immune systems), Detwiler says it’s probably best to just have them handle and decorate cookies after they’re baked.

Food safety experts feel your pain, but really recommend you take a hard pass on eating this stuff raw. “This is a tough one. Raw cookie dough is pretty tasty and eating it is one of the benefits of making cookies at home,” Chapman says. “But there’s not a lot you can do to make raw cookie dough safe in your home other than turn it into cookies.”


Writer Stephen Satterfield’s Grub Street Diet

After building a career as a food writer and media producer at Food52, the San Francisco Chronicle, and Civil Eats, Stephen Satterfield this year launched a print magazine, Whetstone, that explores the origins of ingredients. This week, while putting the finishing touches on the second issue, Satterfield attended not one but two posole-verde parties, feasted at Olmsted, and cooked mac and cheese with three different cheeses. All this, and more, in this week’s Grub Street Diet.

Thursday, November 30
Today begins with steel-cut oats. Not just any old oats, though. These are improved oats, enlivened with tasty, toasty supplements: black rice, cultured butter, pepitas, and sesame seeds. These flourishes ought to be attributed to Standard Fare Cafe in Berkeley. I had their version of this dish a few months ago and haven’t been the same since. This one gets a baby pool of maple syrup — keeps the semillas in place.

I’m an enthusiastic coffee drinker. Not fanatical, but for real about my coffee. This week’s roast came from Abraço. It’s the Matteo Caetano blend from Chiapas. It’s named after the owner’s son, whose likeness is stamped on the front of the bag. I buy coffee from Chiapas on sight (also from Kenya and Ethiopia), and this one doesn’t disappoint. It’s fragrant, lean, and choco-fruity. But not too much of any of them. Just how I like it.

Midmorning intermission: Toast Time. This is not the last you’ll be hearing of the toast. I eat lots of it. Today it’s cut thin, too thin actually, pan-fried, and topped with avocado, of course, flaxseed, and “Aleppo” chili (most likely from Turkey). The toast is Mestemacher flaxseed. I like my bread earthy and without preservatives. Half an avocado is covered in Frankies olive oil and given a squeeze of lemon juice.

Alongside that, I have Blue Hill Bay smoked salmon and Consider Bardwell Rupert raw Jersey cows’-milk cheese. Whenever possible, I pass on pasteurization. Stale toast from a prior day become the crackers for my snack spread, and a single bite of Blue Marble organic vanilla ice cream.

Pizza is life. I love it so much. A slightly chilled red wine plus pizza is a dinner that excites me seven out of seven nights. It’s a work night, though, so it’s delivery from Best Pizza, plain pie. Not that I’m anti, but I don’t love cold pizza the way others do. But far worse is the tepid in-between temperature from a pizza delivered on a bike in a New York winter. Do yourself the courtesy of reheating on very high heat. Before it goes in, I add chili, basil, and olive oil. I find garlic knots gratuitous, but I was talked into these, and stunningly, they exceed the pizza. Testament to the knots, not slighting the pie. It comes with a side of pickled veg. Olivier Lemasson’s R16 red blend is the wine of the night, and man, it is good. I close the night with hot water.

Friday, December 1
I drink hot water all day, every day. I’m not dogmatic about having it before my coffee, but it is much better for the belly. It’s like how, in the winter, you gotta let the car run for a bit before driving.

Coffee: more Abraço Matteo Caetano with hand-cranked coffee beans and an oversize measuring cup as Chemex. Delicious. Avocado toast with seed mix and Best Pizza pickled veg. It’s got flake salt and lemon on it, and I eat it while on a conference call.

Snack time! Two green Vietnamese orange wedges and two slices of pizza, again reheated, and not in that order.

I’m digging the Abraço. I head into Manhattan to visit the café in real life. I have an egg sandwich with boiled egg on Sullivan Street Bakery stirato. Honey saffron brioche. Yes, please. I order more coffee, and as an unexpected bonus, the owners walk into the bakery. I’m not introduced, nor do they announce themselves; they just walk in with two very energetic children and start doing owner stuff, like messing with the lights and asking about deliveries. One of the children, I realize, is Matteo, whose coffee I’ve been drinking this week! He’s too young to have this explained, I decide, but old enough to know how to high-five, which we do.

I’m feeling squirrelly from all of my travels. I hit Juicy Lucy on 1st and First for a carrot, kale, ginger, and garlic juice. This gives me the fortitude for a walk to my beloved Scarr’s Pizza. This place speaks to my soul. Gucci Mane poster, nostalgic ’90s Knicks, loud rap, and crucially, Presidente on tap. If none of this means anything to you, that doesn’t mean you won’t love Scarr’s, it just means that I really love Scarr’s. I eat a white pie loaded with ricotta.

It was worth it, but I was not healed by the pizza and beer. My homegirl Sana Javeri Kadri just started a direct-trade turmeric company called Diaspora Co. Her turmeric — blended with honey, lime, lemon, and cayenne in hot water — is restorative, but arousing even in health. I make a turmeric tonic.

Chicken soup and corn bread for dinner. You can find the corn-bread recipe here. It turned out well. Two words: yogurt, milk. The chicken soup has the leg and thigh only, rehydrated shiitakes, ginger lots, goji, fresh turmeric, and black peppercorns.

Killed the bottle of R16, then hot water.

Saturday, December 2
I’m blessed with day-old salted buckwheat-chocolate cookie from Bien Cuit and Abraço orange-polenta cake to join my coffee this morning. That salted chocolate cookie is almost too salty for the coffee, but toes the line in just the right way.

Pizza is life, but papas are my favorite food. Without chips or fries, my day feels incomplete. The bodega can fix that. I house a five-ounce bag of Kettle salt-and-pepper chips, the ones with the deep ridges. No matter the volume of the bag, inevitably, I will eat them all.

At home, I make collard greens. The bacon ends from Flying Pigs Farm at the Greenmarket were on sale, two for one. Cut onions in the shape of crescent moons and sweat them with the bacon and chilies. Remove the small, square bacon chunks, and cook the collards in apple-cider vin, rice-wine vin, and lemon.

Mac and cheese is a rich and creamy foil to the austere and sour greens. Especially day two. I make the mac with two cheddars — one from the U.K., one from New York — and a third cheese, Pantaleo, a goat cheese from Sardinia. Lotsa black pepper. It’s made mostly on a stove top and finished in the oven, drizzled with olive oil, and cooked for about ten minutes on superhigh heat. Eat it all with the corn bread.

After dinner, head to Scout Rose and Ora Wise’s place for a village convening. Scout greets mid-Manhattan stir and shares Etsy ornaments over Christmas music and a YouTube fireplace, which is exactly what it sounds like.

Sunday, December 3
Hot water. Leftover mac eaten at room temp with my fingers.

The Abraço coffee is gone. Head out for a disappointing Ethiopian pour-over. Sadness everywhere. And a pumpkin morning bun from Bien Cuit, which is not disappointing.

Toast party! Miss Kimberly Chou, Food Book Fair co-captain, is our toast host. She is the toast queen. She and Chandra Frank have been friends for ten years and mercifully let me crash their toast time.

Today’s toast: Grindstone Rye from Hot Bread Kitchen, buttered on both sides. It’s dense and delicious. Fixings: smoked salmon drizzled with olive oil, flaked sea salt, and lemon zest. Peach-chamomile jam, roasted acorn squash, avocado.

My move is to smoosh the squash and smear the ricotta. I toast dried wild thyme flowers that Chandra brought and crush them in a mortar and pestle. There’s also an impromptu green-pickle situation — leftover pickles, sushi ginger from a while ago, finely chopped scallions cooked in butter from a prior toast party, and pea shoots. This is especially good with the salmon.

Also part of the spread: skin-on Marconas; picholine olives; sweaty Pantaleo; honeycomb; a salad of grapefruit, satsuma, and pomegranate with lime zest. Plus aforementioned turmeric tonics for the table.

My magazine’s done, and I have coffee at the Brooklyn Public Library with George McCalman. We’re going over the final details before we go to print. Yay, Whetstone! Brain food: sweet-and-sour satsumas.

I have the very good fortune of eating Jordana Rothman’s homemade posole verde. When I arrive, she is casually pressing and cooking tortillas as we debrief over super-dry bubbles from the Jura. She has all the fixings: radish, shredded cabbage, jalapeño, tortillas, cilantro, onion, chile de árbol. Everything’s clean, and except for the tortillas cooking in the sauté pan, dinner’s ready. She’s very good at hosting.

Dessert is Asian pear, to which I add a squeeze of lime and chile de árbol. Ginger tea. Not a thing I drink, but grateful to have it. We debate whether or not Airborne is a candy. (It totally is.) As a very sweet parting gift, I’m given five tiny tomatillos for my next posole party, which, it turns out, is coming up very soon.

So this part’s crazy. Crazy and wonderful. I have a cherished group of friends living in the Crown–Prospects Heights zone who’ve colloquially taken to calling their hood, “The Village.” I had, several days prior, confirmed to attend a posole party in the village for Monday, tomorrow night. Back at the crib, it’s corn-bread butt, crispy parts of the chicken skin that have been left on the counter, and hot water before bed.

Monday, December 4
Breakfast is a slice of rye toast with cultured butter and jam.

Lunch: leftover collards, mac with Pisqueya Dominican hot sauce.

Snack: collard-and-bacon pot likker, and bacon ends and collard stems over some coconut rice.

I have an early dinner at Olmsted. I think it will be just a quick fix, but my boo Emmanuel Aguilar is behind the bar. A glass is filled with Domaine Migot bubbles. This is a wine I co-sign, Champagne without the price tag. I need food that can meet me in the glass.

“Neo-Fjordic” oysters with pickled beet mignonette, horseradish cream, and smoked-trout roe. Beer-battered squash rings come out in dramatic plating, hanging from some branches. They’re coated with a sweet, homemade green-tomato ketchup that is imperceptible because the whole thing’s covered in crushed pepitas. Uni-potato pierogi, steamed, with red kraut and sour cream. There is a rutabaga “tagliatelle” with black truffle. The most memorable dish by far (and one of the very best I’ve had anywhere in some time) is a bouillabaisse hot-pot special with mussels, shrimp, and scallops. The seafood arrives raw, so it’s up to you to cook it tableside in the hot broth. There’s a charming little hourglass that comes with it and expires in three minutes.

Speaking of charming little accompaniments, it also comes with a mini Runner & Stone baguette and rouille with bitter herb oil. I pivot to Le Jouet, a rich white blend from the Cotes Catalanes. These are the moments people who love dining are constantly chasing when we eat out. Apparently, chef Daniela Soto-Innes was recently there and (very kindly!) gifted a bottle of Joel Barriga Espadin mezcal. Her generosity is carried forth, and I am a lucky beneficiary! Such a treat on a chilly night (or any night).

Posole dos! I wasn’t kidding about the posole. It’s a second dinner situation. Posole party in the village. It’s a semi-verde. The verde is a spicy, green hot sauce from Ora Wise’s (Harvest & Revel) backyard. Rancho Gordo hominy. It’s the only choice. Kate Barney, Kimberly Chou, and I drink the very classy 2015 Moreau-Naudet Chablis, which tastes way more expensive than it is — but mostly it’s me and Kate.

Fixings this time: homemade hot sauce and spicy pumpkin seeds from Ora Wise. De Mi Tierra chocolate-habanero hot sauce from Puerto Rico. Chapulines. Lime. Sliced black, purple, and green meat radishes. Julienne cabbage and totopos, baked in grape-seed oil. Halloumi — a covert queso-fresco substitute.

Skin-on Marcona almonds and sliced grapefruit with lime and chili. Satsumas and salty dark chocolate for dessert.

Tuesday, December 5
Hot water. Two spoonfuls of McConnell’s dark-chocolate-and-cocoa-nib ice cream. I defy you to find a better ice cream. It’s the GOAT.

Oolong tea from the Wuyi Mountains steeped for less than a minute, drank, then re-steeped for an additional minute for the next three consecutive cups. This is how I drink my oolong and pu-erh, and I have one or the other almost every day.

I eat more skin-on Marconas and salty dark chocolate. They’re excellent together.

Midmorning brings Hot Bread Kitchen nan-e qandi, toasted in the oven and split with butter, roasted squash, spicy pumpkin seeds, and flake salt. Pomegranate seeds. Legit coffee is back in action. Today, it’s the Ethiopia Amaro Gayo from No. 6 Depot Roastery. This is a strong breakfast-snacking session.

I go to the Fausto opening party. RIP, Franny’s, I know, but its new iteration as Fausto looks promising. Saveur has co-hosted a party, and I run into California friends! I congratulate Jon Bonné on the release of his new book, The New Wine Rules, and see Banshee co-founder, Steve Graf and his wife, Stacy Adimando, who co-authored one of my favorite cookbooks, Nopalito. Ted Lee is back from Rome, and professional traveler Leiti Hsu has just returned from Taiwan. A crunchy and piping-hot arancini is being passed around. I eat it whole and quickly, follow with chilled Grechetto — to pair, yes, but also to prevent my mouth from burning. The sweet-potato-and-parsnip tortellini comes around on a big soupspoon. It’s much safer and equally satisfying. I’d really love to catch up more with this group, but gotta cut early to head to the city for dinner at Jeju Noodle Bar.

Who knew they’d be getting reviewed today? Not me. Anyway, it’s not too crowded and very wet outside, so feeling grateful, given the convergence of all these variables. For dinner No. 2 tonight: the buttermilk-fried chicken wings, fish-coop Ramyun with shoyu egg, and before that, a crudo rice dish, Hwe Dup Bap. I like this one. For some meals, the quality of your conversation demands more attention than your food. It’s nice when that happens. This is one of those times.

Sparkling rosé throughout the entirety of the meal. I conclude the evening by (very strongly) suggesting a bite of McConnell’s, since, oddly, there was no dessert to be had at Jeju. No fruit. No granita thing. Nothing. We say our good-byes, and I think hard on rankings of the best McConnell’s flavors.

Xandre Borghetti — brother from another — has just arrived from Los Angeles. This leads to dinner No. 3. Sort of. Meeting dear ones from the Bay, I decide to convene at Diner, one of my favorite places in New York. The burger is medium-rare with cheddar, with fries. I order it for the fries. I quarter it to make a shareable feast. I always do. I just think this is the best way to eat a sandwich. We drink Fulcro Albariño from Spain and a 2015 Guy Breton Gamay. I’m full. It’s midnight and I’m on hour five of imbibing. It’s New York, we all know how this story goes.

Eating raw cake mix is a food poisoning risk


The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has warned licking the bowl after baking a cake increases your risk of E.coli

EATING raw cake mixture, dough or batter could land you with a nasty bout of food poisoning, experts have warned.

But while you may worry raw eggs are to blame, you would be wrong!

Eating raw cake mix increases your risk of E.coli

Corbis – Getty

Eating raw cake mix increases your risk of E.coli

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has warned licking the bowl after baking a cake increases your risk of E.coli.

And uncooked flour is the surprising culprit.

The FDA has updated its guidelines following an investigation into an E.coli outbreak in the US last year which was caused by the staple baking ingredient.

But don’t worry, your cake and cookies are perfectly fine to eat once they are cooked as the cooking process kills the bacteria.

The Food and Drug Administration has found flour was to blame for an E.coli outbreak last year

Getty – Contributor

The Food and Drug Administration has found flour was to blame for an E.coli outbreak last year

Leslie Smoot, a senior adviser for the FDA, said: “Flour is derived from a grain that comes directly from the field and typically is not treated to kill bacteria.”

Bacteria found in animal droppings can contaminate grains which are harvested and milled into flour.

Most people already know the dangers of eating raw cake mix because it contains raw eggs, which increases the risk of salmonella.

But flour adds the additional risk of E.coli.

E.coli causes stomach cramps, vomiting and diarrhoea

Getty – Contributor

E.coli causes stomach cramps, vomiting and diarrhoea

Jenny Scott, a senior adviser for the FDA said the rules also apply to homemade playdough.

She advised against giving your kids raw dough or baking mixes that contain flour to play with.

The UK Food Standards Agency also advised against eating raw flour.

A spokeswoman said: “We would advise that people should not eat uncooked cake mix unless manufacturers’ instructions say that it is safe to do so.

“Cake mix is not generally intended to be eaten in that state and some ingredients may not be safe to eat without cooking.

“While we are not aware of any particular current concerns in the UK with flour, we are aware that historical outbreaks of salmonella and E.coli have been linked with raw flour.

“Therefore, we do not advise eating uncooked flour or products containing uncooked flour because there is potential for it to be contaminated.”

E.coli can cause nasty symptoms like vomiting, diarrhoea, stomach cramps and a fever.

Most people recover in about a week, but it can last longer.

In severe cases E.coli can cause a type of kidney failure most common in children under five, the elderly and people with weakened immune systems.

When cooking with flour make sure you wash your hands thoroughly before and after use to avoid the transfer of germs.

Make sure you keep all the raw foods separate from other foods at all times and follow the directions on cooking products.

And be sure you aren’t tempted to taste it until it is properly cooked.

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Santa seem buff? Could be from hoisting all those vegan cookbooks

Sure, you could find vegan cookbooks 10 years ago, but they were neither as plentiful nor as polished as they are today. In 2007, “Veganomicon,” an impressive hardback, with a chatty style and comprehensive contents, changed all that. Co-authors Isa Chandra Moskowitz and Terry Hope Romero revolutionized the food world’s approach to vegan cuisine.

To mark the book’s 10-year anniversary, Da Capo has reissued it with a new (hard) cover, new layout, more photographs and 25 new recipes.

It is among dozens and dozens of books released in 2017 that are inspiring American cooks to try their hand at a vegan dish.

Another of this year’s new releases stirring up talk of plant-based eating is one that isn’t even vegetarian. “The TB12 Method,” by Patriots quarterback Tom Brady, is mostly a workout book, but it includes details about Brady’s plant-centric philosophy and a section of recipes (some with meat), including his-much discussed, all-vegan chocolate avocado ice cream.

The growing international profile of plant-based eating can be seen in both the recipe composition and the author biographies of this year’s vegan titles. The new crop of books also makes clear that vegan eating is coalescing into a cuisine of its own, one that includes standard dishes ranging from pancakes and mac and cheese to shepherd’s pie and cauliflower Buffalo wings. Cauliflower, in fact, continues to pop up everywhere, from sauces to gratins to steaks to “rice,” while carrot hot dogs are an emerging trend.

On the dessert front, smoothies, granola bars and cookies remain plant-based mainstays while more decadent sweets such as panna cotta, doughnuts and ice cream are on the rise in the vegan repertoire.

The embrace of homemade pantry staples, such as condiments and plant-based “meats” and “cheeses,” continues to be a strong focus of vegan cookbooks.

Chickpeas, too, remain a favorite of this year’s plant-based books.

But the real story is the liquid in the chickpea cans – recently dubbed aquafaba and used as a substitute for egg whites.

It skyrocketed to super star status this year, with two titles devoted solely to the topic, “Aquafabulous!” and “Baking Magic with Aquafaba,” and many, many vegan cookbooks featuring the ingredient in their recipes.

After spending weeks reading through piles of new cookbooks, here’s my list of 2017’s 10 best vegan books, well worthy of gift giving. Happy holidays, and may your winter season be filled with good food and great books.

“The China Study Family Cookbook: 100 Recipes to Bring Your Family to the Plant-Based Table,” by Del Sroufe. BenBella. $19.95.

Best for: Fans of “The China Study” and “Forks Over Knives”; parents of young children; people who eat an oil-free, plant-based diet; and anyone in need of a dietary intervention.

With vegan eating’s arrival in the mainstream, it’s no longer just a health food trend.

And while many of this year’s vegan cookbooks use refined sugar, white flour and processed oils freely, Stoufe stays true to vegan eating’s nutrient-dense roots in this book.

It’s an approach well-suited to “The China Study” conception, and it’s well-paired with family-centric recipes that kids can help cook.

Stoufe also includes a section of age-specific suggestions for getting children involved in the kitchen.

Recipes center on oil-free remakes of vegan comfort food classics, including breakfast tacos, grilled cheese sandwiches, carrot dogs, tater tots, Mediterranean meatball subs, ramen and tortilla pie. Sweets, such as cheesecake pops and whoopie pies, close out the cookbook.

“The Edgy Veg: 138 Carnivore-Approved Vegan Recipes,” by Candice Hutchings. Robert Rose. $27.95.

Best for: Fans of Candice Hutchings and her Edgy Veg YouTube channel; meat-eaters skeptical about vegan food but whose family member has recently gone vegan; vegetarians who crave veganized fast food; and cooks who prefer their vegan veal Parmigiana served with a side order of sass and “straight talk.”

Based on the ideas that “you can’t eat a kale salad every day,” this hardcover book features only a handful of heavier salads but is chock-full of heartier remakes of animal-based comfort foods. It covers a lot of standards with plenty of recipe hacks and variations on a theme – three recipes for pancakes, three more for ice cream, four for bacon, six for aioli, and seven for Buffalo cauliflower wings.

At the center of the table find chive and sriracha beer waffles (made with aquafaba); très flawless French onion soup, Montreal poutine, famous Edgy Veg fried chicken, street-food style Thai basil beef, shredded Hogtown jackfruit and the pho-ritto.

The book ends with smoothies, cocktails and sweets such as New York cheesecake with raspberry coulis and “literally dying” skillet cookie à la mode.

“Field Roast: 101 Artisan Vegan Meat Recipes to Cook, Share & Savor,” by Tommy McDonald. Da Capo Lifelong Books. $30.

Best for: Fans of Field Roast meats; lovers of plant-based charcuterie; skilled kitchen wizards; vegetarians who own meat grinders; and people who appreciate artisanal preparation techniques.

Since 1997 Field Roast, the vegetarian meat and cheese company from Seattle, has been steadily increasing its shelf space in the coolers and freezers of the country’s mainstream grocery stores. Now its executive chef has written a hardcover book that provides a how-to for making plant-based roasts, sausages and deli slices.

The recipes don’t spill the beans (or more precisely the vital wheat gluten) on the company’s signature products, but they do serve up 15 unique plant-based meat recipes and more than 100 other recipes that use those meats (or the store-bought variety).

The book’s meat recipes include harvest holiday roast, pastrami roast, fennel and garlic sausage, and Little Saigon meatloaf. These plant-based meats then star in recipes including biscuits and gravy with spicy sausage and corn; Jackson Street five-alarm chili; cornmeal-crusted oyster mushroom po’boy; and leek dumplings in dashi.

“The Healthy Convert: Allergy-Friendly Sweet Treats,” by Nicole Maree. Hardie Grant Books. $19.99.

Best for: Lovers of dessert; people who want to stop eating junk food but don’t want to give up doughnuts or cheesecake; people you invite to your parties; and anyone who is allergic to gluten, eggs or dairy.

This approachable introduction to the world of healthful sweets comes from an Australian who suffers from food allergies but loves dessert.

The hardcover book begins with a thorough section on substituting for white sugar, wheat flour, eggs, dairy and nuts, where Maree also provides a number of conversion charts. The recipes range from bars (triple layer caramel cream; strawberry blondie bars; and peanut berrybutter fudge) to baked goods (cappuccino cupcakes; red velvet cake; and pumpkin pecan tart) and finally special treats (sticky date donuts; cookie dough ice cream; and rainbow meringue, which uses aquafaba).

“The Naked Vegan: 140+ Tasty Raw Vegan Recipes for Health and Wellness,” by Maz Valcorza. Murdouch Books. $24.99.

Best for: Fans of raw food; fans of boozy late nights who need a detox; chefs who like new challenges; people seeking health food; and people who don’t eat enough health food.

From the former owner of a raw vegan restaurant in Sydney, Australia, this lavishly illustrated book elevates the uncooked meal. Valcorza organizes the book like a restaurant menu with sections for smoothies and cold-pressed juices (piña colada zinger; green velvet smoothie); breakfast (banana crepes with coconut whipped cream, chocolate fudge sauce & berries; the Sadhana Kitchen Benedict); breads (bagels; burger buns); snacks (cheezy pea & cauliflower croquettes; mushroom calamari with tartare sauce & pickles); main meals (stir no-fry with coconut cauliflower rice; banh mi wraps with sriracha mayo); fermented foods (aged macadamia cheeze; kombucha); and desserts (choc-raspberry cheezecake; strawberry doughnuts). Sections devoted to nut milks and tonics finish the book.

“This Cheese Is Nuts! Delicious Vegan Cheese at Home,” by Julie Piatt. Avery. $25.

Best for: Cheese lovers who are sensitive/allergic to dairy; vegans who like to make homemade pantry staples; fans of ultra-endurance athlete Rich Roll; and adventurous cooks who want to tackle new challenges.

Piatt, who co-authored “The Plantpower Way” with her husband, Rich Roll, and used to live in Paris, returns with a cookbook devoted to plant-based cheese.

Her vegan alternatives are organized into quick spreads and sauces, formed cheeses, aged cheeses, nut-free cheeses, and cheese-based recipes.

Her creations rely on nuts (most often cashews) and ingredients that include acidophilus, agar-agar, nutritional yeast, miso, coconut oil and aquafaba.

Cheese recipes range from cream cheese, fondue and queso fresco to smoked gouda, cashew bleu cheese and aged red pepper cashew-pine nut blend. These creations can then be turned into elaborate dishes, such as raw beet ravioli with cashew-macadamia nut aged truffle cheese, almond fettuccine alfredo and banana cream pie.

The book ends with a handful of dairy-free crackers, yogurts and other related staples.

“Vegan for Everybody: Foolproof Plant-Based Recipes for Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner and In-Between,” by the editors at America’s Test Kitchen. America’s Test Kitchen. $29.95.

Best for: Vegans who want hacks to popular plant-based recipes; non-vegans who want recipes tested by omnivores; fans of America’s Test Kitchen; and anyone who wants a comprehensive survey of American vegan cuisine.

Following up on its 2015 “The Complete Vegetarian Cookbook,” the editors behind the popular public television cooking show and magazine have returned this year with the results of their rigorous testing of popular vegan recipes.

These plant-based standards include tofu scramble, whole wheat pancakes, kale chips, Buffalo cauliflower bites, avocado toast, chickpea salad sandwiches, tofu banh mi, mac and cheese, shepherd’s pie, saag tofu, pad Thai, chocolate chip cookies, strawberry shortcake, coconut ice cream and tons of other vegan favorites.

All come with the tips and tricks the editors discovered while rigorously developing and testing the recipes. The test cooks worked extensively with aquafaba, and reveal the secret to whipped peaks (cream of tartar, just as with egg whites) as well as how to use to produce meringues and other baked goods. Two other notable tips: Using oat milk as the key to golden brown baked goods and processing potatoes in a blender to create a sticky nacho cheese.

“Vegan for One: Hot Tips and Inspired Recipes for Cooking Solo,” by Ellen Jaffe Jones with Beverly Lynn Bennett. Book Publishing Company. $17.95.

Best for: Single vegans; vegans who live with omnivores and cook for themselves; college students; and people with small appetites who love veggies.

Cooking when single brings a number of challenges. At the top of the list? The fact that most cookbooks are designed for family-sized meals.

Enter veteran cookbook writer, fitness trainer and former TV journalist Jones, who has put together a book that combines recipes that make just one or two servings with simple preparation techniques and money-saving tips.

Since single cooks often lack the motivation to spend a lot of time in the kitchen, these recipes fit the bill with few ingredients and steps.

The dishes include overnight oats, Tex-Mex breakfast burritos, seitan and veggie stew, easy vegetable fried rice, deconstructed veggie lasagna, rich and chewy brownies and no-bake dried-fruit cereal bars.

A handful of recipes – particularly for the soups – make larger quantities so some can be frozen for later.

“The Vegan Holiday Cookbook: From Elegant Appetizers to Festive Mains and Delicious Sweets,” by Marie Laforêt. Robert Rose. $19.95.

Best for: Non-vegans who host a lot of holiday parties; vegans who go to a lot of parties; fans of northern European food; and anyone who loves the winter holidays.

Packed with ideas for pretty party dishes, this book veganizes many staples of the Christmas holiday.

The author is a Parisian, so it’s no surprise that the 60 recipes tend to replicate meat-and-cheese-based dishes from northern Europe.

There are many veganized fish dishes, too, such as caviar (in three flavors), blinis with carrot gravlax, tofu gravlax canapés, and fisherman’s puff pastries.

Other dishes include foie gras-style terrine, mozzarella cranberry croquettes, vegan sausage mini tarts, chestnut vol-au-vents, holiday roast, lentil Wellington, Swedish meatballs, and seitan pot pies.

Those with a sweet tooth will appreciate recipes for cardamon almond kringle, mince tarts, pepparkakor, frozen tiramisu log, and glazed citrus merinque log (which calls for aquafaba).

“Vegan: The Cookbook,” by Jean-Christian Jury. Phaidon. $49.95.

Best for: Serious vegan cooks; chefs looking to expand their plant-based repertoire; cookbook collectors; and libraries.

Released as part of Phaidon’s library of international cuisine series, the hefty hardback (clocking in at 2 inches thick and more than 4 pounds in weight) is an encyclopedic compendium of 450 plant-based recipes from more than 150 countries.

While impressive in size, scope and presentation (including two sewn-in ribbons for marking recipes), the book’s prose is no-frills, without introductions to chapters or recipes. It’s the sort of book written for busy professionals. No surprise since Jury is an acclaimed chef from France who went plant-based after suffering heart failure. Now he works as head chef at the Blue Lotus plant-based academy in Thailand.

The recipes show their restaurant roots (including liberal use of margarine and sugar) but the ingredients and instructions are straight-forward and relatively short. (The exception is a staggeringly long French recipe for gargouillou of young vegetables in the guest chef section at the end.)

The recipes are wide-ranging and include shiitake and toasted hazelnut paté; black bean and mango soup; crispy orange-ginger tofu with broccoli; and sweet potato gnocchi. Desserts include lemon mousse; beet and chocolate cake; raspberry pie; panna cotta with caramel sauce; raw lime cheesecake; chocolate-mint macarons (that use aquafaba); and baked papaya with coconut cream.

Avery Yale Kamila is a food writer who lives in Portland. She can be reached at:

[email protected]

Twitter: AveryYaleKamila

Listeriosis – what you should know

South Africa is being gripped by a deadly food-borne disease, health authorities revealed on Tuesday.

No fewer than 557 cases of listeriosis, a bacterial disease, had been confirmed across South Africa, Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi told reporters in Pretoria.

Gauteng recorded the most cases followed by the Western Cape and KwaZulu-Natal.

But just what is listeriosis?

1. The Centre for Disease Control and Prevention describes listeriosis as a serious, but treatable and preventable disease caused by the bacterium, listeria monocytogenes.

The bacteria is found in soil, water and vegetation. Animal products and fresh produce such as fruits and vegetables can be contaminated from these sources.

ALSO READ: NEWSFLASH: ‘Listeria outbreak warning’

2. Anyone could get listeriosis. However, those at high risk of developing the disease include newborn babies, the elderly, pregnant women, people with weak immunity such as HIV, diabetes, cancer, chronic liver or kidney disease patients.

3. The age groups most affected are neonates (those in the first 28 days of life) and in the age group 15-49 years. These two groups comprise 70 percent of all cases.

4. It can be treated with antibiotics.

5. It is believed that for this particular outbreak, the most likely possible source is contaminated food at the origin; for example, at farms as well as food processing plants.

6. Infection with listeria may result in:

– Flu-like illness with diarrhoea including fever, general body pains, vomiting and weakness

– Infection of the bloodstream which is called septicaemia

– Meningoencephalitis (infection of the brain)

ALSO READ: Measles outbreak: Mass vaccination campaign for Gauteng

7. The source of the outbreak is likely to be a food product that is widely distributed and consumed by people across all socio-economic groups.

8. While investigations are underway, the public has been advised to do the following:

– Keep clean.

– Wash your hands before handling food and often during food preparation.

– If you are handling or storing raw food, don’t touch already cooked food unless you have thoroughly washed your hands and utensils. In other words, separate raw from cooked food.

– Cook food thoroughly. Never eat half-cooked or uncooked food, especially meat products.

– Food that does not usually need cooking before eating must be thoroughly washed with clean running water. Families with no clean running water should boil their water before domestic use.

– Keep food at safe temperatures. Food that should be kept cold should be refrigerated and food to be served hot should be served hot.

ALSO READ: Swine flu outbreak in Pretoria?

– Use safe water for domestic use at all times. Also use pasteurised milk products. Where pasteurisation is not possible, boil the milk prior to use for own domestic consumption.

9. The first documented outbreak of listeriosis in South Africa was in 1977 when 14 cases were reported in the Johannesburg area.

Since then sporadic cases occurred throughout South Africa. In 2015, seven cases were reported from a tertiary hospital in the Western Cape.

No common source of exposure was found among these cases, although at least five of the seven were shown to be related on laboratory examination.

10. The latest outbreak was flagged by doctors at Chris Hani Baragwanath and Steve Biko hospitals in Gauteng who noticed an unusual number of babies being brought in with the illness.

They then notified the National Institute for Communicable Diseases.


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