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Star Food

Month: January 2019

All About Food Sealers

Whether Storing or Freezing Food, Air is the Enemy

Food sealers can reseal original packaging of most snacks to prevent air from making them stale.

Many vacuum food sealers now offer air-sealing containers for storing food items that allow for sealing without collapsing of the container. These containers are great for keeping bakery or fruits and vegetables fresh.

When air is able to come in contact with food in the freezer, it will allow frost to develop and freezer burn to discolor and spoil the taste of any food. Vacuum sealers remove air from the bag that will collapse around the food and create a tight seal to prevent air from getting in.

Food Sealers Can Help Save Money and Time

Money will be saved just by keeping food fresh and preventing the waste from spoilage. Other money saving tips include, buying in bulk and separating food into individual serving sizes. Fruits and vegetables are cheaper to buy when they are in season and can be easily stored in the freezer, preserving the nutritional content of the food. Grow your own fruits and vegetables at pennies a serving and store in the freezer for that fresh taste later in the year.

Save time by making larger batches when cooking meals and store leftovers in the freezer for another fresh tasting meal at a later date. By pre-package meals that have quick cook times, they can be taken from the freezer and prepared in a fraction of the time.

Food Sealers Are a Must Have for Hunters and Fishermen

Vacuum Food Sealers allow hunters and fisherman to keep their catch as fresh as the day it was caught. By removing the air from the package and creating an air tight seal the meat will stay fresher longer whether stored in the refrigerator or freezer. The air tight seal also prevents smells from escaping the package to prevent unpleasant odors from affecting other food.

Additionally, meals for that hunting or fishing trip can be prepared ahead of time to be available quickly when returning from that long day with a huge appetite.

How do Food Sealers Work

Food Sealers usually have one or two wires that are heated to a high temperature to allow for plastic packaging be heated and sealed to keep out air or water.

Vacuum food sealers contain devices that suck the air from the package first and senses when to heat the wires to create the seal.

Other Uses for Food Sealers

Protect valuables from water damage when storing items in a damp basement. Moisture can deteriorate various materials in a short amount of time.

Whether camping, hiking or boating, items can be sealed in plastic bags to save space and to protect from moisture or water.

Protect those value items, like silverware and collectable coins that tarnish from air, in the air tight bags for longer preservation.

When traveling store toiletries in a see through sealed bag to easily get through security check points and not have to worry about spillage in the carry on.

Important documents and children’s artwork can be sealed and stored for protections for years.

More about Food Sealer Bags

Food Sealer Bags are made by the manufacture for the specific unit based on the temperature and functions of the sealer. It is recommended to purchase bags specific to the brand of the unit to get the best seal.

Most bags are re-usable and can be used in microwaves, freezers and dishwashers. Bags that are used to store oily items or meat products are not recommended for re-use because it is difficult to remove all oil or meat residue from the bag even after washing.

Children Develop Positive Attitudes About Food

One of the most important things you can teach a child is to have a healthy and positive relationship with and about food. Allowing children to make choices and feel as though they are in control of their little world will lead to healthy feelings about food.

There are often concerns about what and how children are eating. Are they getting the nutrition they need? Are they eating enough? They only eat certain foods, they don’t like vegetables and eat with their fingers.

Well, what is normal? Changing behaviors at different times in a child’s development is normal.

By one year old, a child’s growth begins to slow down and children are eating regular table foods with the family. Choking is the biggest issue as a child explores chewing and swallowing. Any food that is hard, round, and difficult to chew should be avoided. Children should always be sitting in one place, preferably the table, and monitored while eating.

Just like any other social skill, children are not born knowing what is acceptable regarding manners and behavior at the table. Example is often the best teacher.

Some tips:

All meals and snacks should be eaten in a calm environment. Don’t expect a child to eat when irritable, tired or sleepy.

Plan a transition time between play and food whether it’s for dinner or a snack. This is a good time to read a story or sing a special song to set the mood.

Setting times for meals and snacks is helpful so that children know what to expect. Be flexible, their stomachs are small, they need to eat often. An over-hungry child is a set up for excessive eating when food is available.

Offer small portions. Large portions or plates that are too full, with too many things, can be overwhelming.

It is not uncommon for young children to touch their food, put in their mouths, chew it for awhile and then take it out and look at it. It’s an experiment.

Offer new foods one at a time and serve them with foods you know are usually well liked. It is good to have a child try a new food but it doesn’t mean they will like it. It may take 10 or 12 times for a child to like something or it’s possible they will never like it.

Never force children to eat a food they don’t want to or make them finish everything on their plate. No one should eat anything they do not like, including adults. There are so many choices available to us from all the food groups.

Try food in other forms or dishes. For example, plain beans as a side dish may not be a favorite but in a soup they take on a different texture and flavor. The nutrients are all still there.

Offer choices. As adults we accept the fact that we do not like all foods, children are no different. Let the child decide what they would like to eat between the healthy options you have provided.

As they age, encourage involvement in all aspects of meals from shopping to cooking to clean up. All age groups can do something to participate no matter how small.

If behavior erupts that you are not happy with, like throwing food, remove the child from the area or just remove the food and try again later. They need to know this is not appropriate and the end of eating time is likely enough to get the point across. Be careful that the child does not begin to use this as a way to communicate that they are finished eating.

When they play with their food, it is an obvious sign that they are full. Ask the question, “Are you all filled up?” or “Is your tummy full?” Help them to understand what this feeling is and respect their answer. Let them be finished. The next eating period will be at the scheduled time.

A Few Facts About Food Grade Warehousing

Whether it involves the storage of fresh fruits and vegetables, food ingredients and additives, refrigerated or frozen meats and seafood, or finished packaged food ready for sale, food-grade warehousing plays a vital role in getting food from the producers to the consumers. Food-grade warehousing also plays a key role in the health and safety of our food supply. The best food warehouses maintain an AIB Superior food-grade rating.

Here are 17 facts you should know about food grade warehousing:

    1. A food warehouse can be a food storage facility of any size, storing any amount of food for either long or short periods of time, for distribution in normal food channels. Food warehouses serve as a critical link in the food chain from the farmer to processor to distributor to retailer and ultimately to the consumer.

    1. Like all businesses, the goal of the food warehouse is to generate profits for its owners and provide job opportunities for workers. It serves its customers by providing access to food in and out of season whether locally sourced or from other regional, national or international sources.

    1. The most common types of food warehouses include: dry storage warehouses, cold or frozen storage warehouses, chilled or refrigerated storage warehouses.

    1. Safe food warehousing is vital. It prevents economic losses for all members of the food channel, facilitates economic growth and trade, promotes health and well-being within the community at large and prevents the spread of food-borne illness and diseases.

    1. Certification programs like that provided by AIB International play a crucial role in food safety auditing and education.

    1. When touring a food warehouse during an on-site visit, you should pay attention to the grounds surrounding the building to make sure they are free of weeds, trash, standing water, rodent tracks and/or burrows.

    1. The exterior of the warehouse building should be well-maintained and in good repair. There should be no obvious cracks or holes in walls. Openings for pipes or conduit entering the structure should be properly sealed to prevent entry of pests. Roofs should not leak.

    1. Inside the warehouse building, floors, walls and ceilings should be smooth, clean and maintained in good repair. Windows and doors should close tightly to prevent entry of pests.

    1. Frequent thorough cleaning plays a significant role in preventing cross contamination and maintaining sanitary conditions within the warehouse.

    1. Typical equipment used in a food grade warehousing include forklifts, shelving, storage bins, pallets, refrigeration units (chillers), freezer units (freezers), temperature and humidity gauges. Equipment should be rust resistant, odor resistant and non-porous, so that it can be easily cleaned and sanitized.

    1. Food items should be stored at the proper temperature and humidity in areas of the warehouse that are free from physical, chemical or microbiological hazards.

    1. Food items should be stored and rotated on a first-in, first-out basis.

    1. Thermometers should be present in all frozen storage, refrigerated storage and dry storage areas. On-site temperature logs should be maintained for these storage areas.

    1. In general, all frozen food products should be stored at a temperature of 0 degrees F or lower.

    1. Temperatures in chilled or refrigerated storage should be kept between 34 degrees F and 39 degrees F.

    1. Temperatures in dry storage areas should be kept between 50 degrees F and 70 degrees F.

  1. Hazardous chemicals needed for the operation of the warehouse, such as pesticides, cleaning agents, solvents, lubricants, etc. should be safely and securely stored with access limited to authorized, trained employees. These materials should be properly labeled and used in accordance with the manufacturers’ instructions regarding handling procedures, required protective ware, quantities for safe usage, etc.

Misleading Myths About Food

A small amount of information about nutrient and food that you are convinced about is not right fully medically. That information is often just myth and bosh. The followings are 8 misleading myths about food:

1. Sugar can cause diabetes

If you have diabetes, you need to pay attention to your consumption of sugar and carbohydrate to keep your blood sugar level. If you do not have diabetes, the consumption of sugar will not cause diabetes. The truth is that high calorie diet, including drinking and eating the sweets a lot, fatness, and never doing sport are the main factors for you to have diabetes type 2.

2. All fats are bad

All of you need fat because it can help the absorption of vitamin A, D, E, K, nerve transmission, and also help to keep the integrity of cell membrane. However, if you consume it too much, it can increase your weight and increase the risk for you to get heart disease and cancer. The truth is that not all fats are bad. Choose the good fat (unsaturated fat) that includes single and double unsaturated fat in your daily eating pattern. You can find the unsaturated fat in fish and beans.

3. Brown sugar is better than white sugar

Indeed, brown sugar contains a small amount of minerals. However, you can get benefit from mineral if you consume it in great quantities. The truth is that the difference of mineral in your daily consumption is not too significant.

4. Brown egg shell is more nutritious than the white egg shell

The color of egg shell can be colorful, but it is not related to quality, taste, and nutritious contents.

5. Reduce cholesterol by avoiding to eat seafood

In this case, the key is consuming seafood sufficiently because it contains cholesterol. Mostly, cholesterol level in your body is influenced by saturated fat and trans fatty acid. You can find both substances in red meat and canned goods, while trans fatty acid itself is in snack, fried food, or margarine that contains hydrogenated oil.

6. Avoid carbohydrate to lose your weight

The main message of low carbohydrate diet is that carbohydrate can fasten the insulin production, so it can increase your weight. However, limiting its consumption excessively can make your body be lack of carbohydrate for your daily activity. As the result, your body will burn carbohydrate reserve to get energy by releasing water. That is why, you will lose much water when you get low carbohydrate diet.

7. Avoid beans because they contain fat

Indeed, beans have high calorie. But, if you do not consume them too much, they are good for your health. It is known that they contain single and double unsaturated fat.

8. Pregnant mother should eat for two

The need of energy for everyone is different. The additional nutrient that is recommended for pregnant mother is about 100 kilo calories for the first trimester and 300 kilos calories for the second trimester. For example: a pregnant mother can eat fruit, yogurt, and some biscuits before sleeping.

That Will Change The Way You Think About Food

Every day we’re bombarded at all angles by cat videos, friend’s engagement photos, political ads or scandals and stupid people doing stupid things for attention. And it’s not just social media anymore– even the local news networks are doing segments featuring a YouTube video of the day. Modern attention spans are 10 seconds or less, and to be honest most things I see are hardly worth those 10 seconds. But once in a while, amidst the barrage of worthless information you come across an article, a documentary or even a book that changes your outlook about life. It can be about food, farming, business or politics, something near or dear to your heart or something you’ve never even thought about before. The people creating these kinds of stories are the ones that give me hope in humanity.

I think that people are more likely to press play on a video than to read an article or go out and buy a book, so listed below are the 6 best food documentaries and TED talks that have changed the way I think about food– the way I choose what to buy, who I buy it from, how I prepare it, how I talk to my clients about it, and so on. Formal education only taught me so much. These documentaries and talks have forced me to dig deeper.

1. Forks Over Knives

This was the doc that inspired that phone call. The film examines the notion that sickness is caused by food and that most diseases can be reversed simply by eating the right foods. There are interviews with farmers, scientists and normal, average, every day people wanting to live to see another day. At that point in my life, my dinners revolved around meat. I didn’t know how to begin to plan a meal that didn’t have chicken, beef or pork at the center of the plate. I started my blog in 2013 after a few months experimenting in the kitchen and as you can see 98% of my recipes are meatless. It took some creativity and a little research but now I can’t imagine my life any other way. Don’t let the meatless message scare you off. It’s not about being vegetarian or vegan. It’s not an all or nothing choice. It is about being conscious of your decisions and taking an active role in your health with your fork.

2. TED Talk with Birke Baehr

If you’ve got 6 minutes, listen to an 11-year old explain in simple terms what’s wrong with our food system. These issues are not just something that dietitians or scientists care about, they are issues that are effecting every single person, adult and child, in the US. (All TED talks are available online).

3. Food, Inc.

Food, Inc. accomplishes a very simple task: showing you where your food comes from. You can choose to remain blind and ignorant to how your spaghetti and meatballs shows up on your plate or you can choose to have a say in what you put in your body, how it’s raised and where it comes from.

4. Farmaggedon

Farmageddon tells the story of small, family farms aiming to provide safe, healthy foods to consumers as well as feed their own families who have been shut down by government-backed agencies and corporations. The film exposes what most of us are unaware of– we don’t have as much freedom as we think when it comes to choosing our food.

5. TED Talk with Jamie Oliver

How and why we need to teach every child about food

6. TED Talk with Dan Barber: A foie gras parable

Foie gras is made by force feeding ducks so much food that their livers become fatty and enlarged. How is it possible to make this a sustainable, cruelty-free practice?