Food News Today Transcripts for the week of December 5th, 2011

December 09, 2011

The lipstick index and what it means for you, calories differ in raw and cooked foods and the tastiest places in the world, for December 7th 2011, this is food news today.

Good Morning, we are now streaming on our SupermarketGuru Facebook fan page and on Food News If you have any thoughts or comments on today's show, tweet me -@phillempert- or send me a note on Facebook, immediately following today's broadcast we will continue the discussion with a live chat on Facebook. 


Food News Today is sponsored by ConAgra Foods, who shares with me the desire to provide the most current, interesting and unbiased food news.


December 7th is a date that lives in infamy, but it's also National cotton candy day - uh, those facts are unrelated.  It’s also the Feast of St. Ambrose of Milan, the patron of beekeepers! (Look around) REally, the patron of beekeepers?  Who's writing this stuff??  Do you know any fun food facts you'd like to share? Let me know. If I use your fact I'll send you a Supermarket Guru Canvas Tote.


>Time magazine recently reported on “The Lipstick Index”, yes the lipstick index….Lipstick sales have long been an economic indicator; when the economy is down, lipstick sales traditionally increase. It’s the little luxuries that count and women would rather spend on something that makes them feel pampered and pretty – because we all know that when you look good, you feel good.  According to Time magazine, lipstick sales are up 14 percent in 2011. And HEY!, so is nail polish - up 54 percent. As well as home hair color – and in this case, even men are included. Men’s home hair-color sales reached $113.5 million last year, a 50 percent increase in just five years. The rise in do-it-your-self everything, is allowing consumers more freedom to try more expensive salon treatments at home -  but I’m not sure i'd trust my long flowing locks to a... box.


And that’s not all. According to SymphonyIRI Group, the sale of at home teeth whitening products rose 12 percent to $55.9 million in the first quarter of 2011.  Making at home whitening another “Lipstick Index.”


And in food? Consumers are spending more on wine, and less on wine glasses. Spending on wine is up 14 percent. "Wine is considered an affordable luxury," according to the Wine Institute.


Overall it looks like were headed into better times, the four day weekend that included Black Friday brought in a record $52.4 billion, up 16% from $45 billion last year, according to a survey by the National Retail Federation. The rest of the holiday season will likely bring more lipstick, nail polish, hair color and teeth whitening kits – but who knows what other luxuries shoppers will splurge on this year.



>I know if I was to travel to some of the Lonely Planet’s tastiest places I would definitely splurge- I mean I would have to try the spices in a Turkish spice bazaar, gelato in Italy, experience sushi near a Japanese market, and of course eat chocolate to my hearts content in Belgium.


The lonely planet’s new book is out “Lonely Planet's 1000 Ultimate Sights” and along with historic sites, natural wonders, architectural masterpieces and wildlife spectacles, the lucky travel editors (they have traveled to all of these places!) have included culinary food stops.


For example, cheese lovers are advised to make it out to the Roquefort caves of France, where the blue-veined cheese has been aged for centuries.  For travelers who are a bit more adventurous, the Donghuamen night market in Beijing is a sensory feast, or rather "a kaleidoscopic food zoo of all the Chinese food you could wish to try." Including candied insects and scorpions on a stick.  Let me know where you have gone and what foods you have eaten?  I'd love to hear about it!


>We’re in the thick of the holiday season and many of us are watching the calories add up – with all of the decadent meals this time of year, but a recent study from Harvard found that the amount of energy in food depends not only on the calorie content but how it’s prepared.  We know that the composition of food, its vitamins, minerals, and even macronutrients are more or less bioavailable after the cooking process. Evolutionary biology researchers striving to understand our history and how cooking food played a big part in our evolution, looked into how different diets, raw vs cooked affected the body composition of mice. 


The researchers found that pounded meat and potatoes caused more weight gain than raw food. And that cooking increased weight the most. Cooking food boosts the amount of energy your body can get from it, it is more easily digested, and easily assimilated and excess can be stored (ie weight gain).


The extra calories that cooking makes available may have allowed the survival of humans with larger bodies and more complex brains, starting around two million years ago; cooking allowed humans to obtain more energy from a smaller quantity of food.


So when you’re choosing what to eat this holiday season and year round, consider the fact that, generally, cooked foods are more easily assimilated than raw foods- the more excess cooked foods you eat the more easily the calories will be stored as fat.


What's on your food mind this week? Thanks for watching!  You can always tweet me @phillempert or post your comments on our SupermarketGuru facebook page.