Food News Today for Saturday August 30th, 2014

Is Our Gut Bacteria Making us Food Zombies? Bacon Hits the Road.

August 30, 2014

 Is Our Gut Bacteria Making us Food Zombies?! 

Next time you head to the fridge hungry, dazed and looking for a snack, beware!  According to a new study, what you end up choosing may not be under your control! This new research comes out of UC San Francisco, Arizona State University, and the University of New Mexico, and it says; the microbes that grow in our guts (known as the microbiome) might direct us to make food choices that will help them grow big and strong -- even if those foods make us grow big and fat.

The research report says: "Microbes in the gastrointestinal tract are under selective pressure to manipulate host eating behavior to increase their fitness, sometimes at the expense of host fitness,"  So what are some of the foods that can increase the fitness of these bugs? Unfortunately for us, they tend to include fat and sugar. 

And how do they actually manipulate our thought process?  Well, that's not yet entirely clear although researchers say "Microbes have the capacity to manipulate behavior and mood through altering the neural signals in the vagus nerve, changing taste receptors, producing toxins to make us feel bad, and releasing chemical rewards to make us feel good." Don't worry though,  researchers also say that we don't have to be complete food zombies.  Apparently it is possible, by eating healthier foods, to convert your gut bacteria into those that will want foods that align with your health goals.

Bacon Hits the Road

We know there are a lot of bacon lovers out there, any google search will direct you to a million and one ways you can incorporate bacon into your life, from chocolate to perfume to lip balm. But here's something you may not have heard of yet. A motorcycle that runs on bacon grease! 

About a year and a half ago, Hormel Foods was looking for a way to promote its Black Label Bacon line, and this was one of the few things that hadn't been done!  The company worked with BBDO Minneapolis to create the bike.  And how does it work?  Some 275 gallons of grease was converted into 250 gallons of biofuel - made up of bacon grease, paraffin hydroxide, and methanol. Fuel costs about $3.50 per gallon, and the bike gets somewhere between 75 and 100 mpg. The bacon bike took a road trip from Minneapolis to San Diego, and ended up at the International Bacon Film Festival happening right now! The motorcycle's entire journey was documented by a film crew will be shown at the festival! And in case you're wondering, yes, when the motorcycle's on the road, it smells like bacon!



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