Food News Today Transcripts for the week of July 23rd, 2012

July 27, 2012

Food co-ops a viable channel, social media tips for food brands and ethnic foods invented for Americans.

>Food co-ops are becoming a popular place to shop and in an exclusive SupermarketGuru quick poll we found that 43 percent of the food involved subset of our consumer panel are currently members of a food co-op. What drives people to shop at co-ops? When we asked the SG panel if they feel like the quality of food at a co-op is higher, over half said yes. In the case of food safety, 50 percent feel that the food at their co-op is safer, and in the case of pricing, 35 percent feel that shopping a co-op is more economical. Current trends in buying local, a growing interest in knowing where food comes from, and a large amount of attention being directed towards the ability for struggling families to afford fresh, healthy foods, could all be part of why shoppers' may be interested in joining a food co-op more than ever.

>So what keeps us interested online, especially when it comes to consumer goods – specifically foods and brands? I interviewed Van Vandergrift, Hollywood Producer and digital marketing expert who shared how major brand owners are successfully executing online campaigns to win at the shelf

>It’s rumored that many of the ethnic foods that Americans have come to love are not actually served in their respective countries and that they might have been thought up to suit the American palate. So we had to ask if some of the most popular ethnic foods actually invented for Americans

General Tso’s Chicken is supposedly named after General Tso Tsung-tang, or Zuo Zongtang, a Qing dynasty general .The dish is reported to have been introduced to New York City in the early 1970s as an example of Hunan cooking, though it is not typical of Hunanese cuisine, which is traditionally very spicy and rarely sweet.

Nachos are Mexican right? Wrong! indulgence nachos. Sure tortillas are a Mexican staple, but the idea of topping what were originally tortilla scraps with cheese and more was the idea of Ignacio “Nacho” Anaya, maître d’ of the Victory Club just over the border from Eagle pass Texas in the 1940s – it’s said that he was closing up when a dozen wives of US soldiers wandered in after a day of across-the-border shopping. Having little to offer, He threw together chips, cheese sauce and sliced jalapeno. When the ladies asked the name of the dish, He proclaimed, “Nacho’s especiales.”

When I went to China I was dismayed to find that the fortune cookie was no where to be found. But there is a cookie similar in appearance that is made in Kyoto, Japan, and there is a Japanese temple tradition of random fortunes – but the Japanese cookies also differ in taste and size. Los Angeles back in 1918 a baker reportedly handed out what we now think of as fortune cookies to the homeless, each containing an uplifting biblical passage.

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