Food News Today transcripts for the week of June 18th, 2012

June 22, 2012

Americans eating all the time, the chocolate dispenser that teaches self control and the top Universities for food lovers, for June 20th 2012, this is Food News Today.

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

How's your willpower these days? Do you believe you can strengthen your self-control or will power?  According to Marc Hassenzahl, a psychologist and “experience” designer, and professor at the Folkwang University of Arts in Essen Germany, it’s absolutely possible. He says willpower, like a muscle, can be strengthened and trained. How? He helped design the Chocolate Machine, “a transformational product to improve self-control strength.” The device itself is simple: a tube like dispenser that, every 40 to 60 minutes, releases a chocolate ball. You can then choose to eat it or put it back into the machine. He calls this device and a few others yes to be released – the aesthetic of friction - It places value on self control, and is trying to help you learn. He says unlike rewarding good behavior and punishing bad behavior; It’s like a friend who’s commenting on your behavior and saying: ‘You’re doing it again; wouldn’t it be better if you did it this way instead?’” 

>Food enthusiasts seem to be starting their passions earlier these days –  9-year-old Martha Payne started chronicling her school meals on her blog NeverSeconds - with critical acclaim. We can only imagine that when its time for her to apply to colleges, the food they serve will most likely be a deciding factor. The good news is that for Martha and her older peers – many Universities are now boasting about some awesome innovations in their foodservice.  Northwestern University has six dining facilities that serve foods like Tuscan kale salad, to a peanut butter, bacon, and apple sandwich…the school says they are passionate about student engagement, and hosts events like Moroccan Dinner and Reggae Night Dinner. The university also works toward sustainability by recycling its cooking oil and using bio-degradable bags on campus.

What has more than 30 food spots, including dining halls, restaurants, cafés, a weekly produce market and food trucks? None other than number 2 on the food list, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology who's operations are run by Food management company Bon Appétit. For those who prefer to cook their own, MIT has 7 “Cook-for-Yourself Communities.”

And the top food university? Number one on the list goes to Washington University in St. Louis, which hosts events that range from a moonlight breakfast to "Dine with a Dietician" classes, and the university hosts five to ten events per week. Students can learn in Studio 40, an open kitchen for cooking classes, meeting chefs, and cooking demos.  The university even boasts a facility with authentic food concepts, including two tandoori ovens tended to by trained chefs from Pakistan and India. To top it all off, Washington University, is super sustainable - they convert waste oil to biofuel, compost food scraps, and have made a strong commitment to serving local food.

>When do you eat?  According to the USDA’s Economic Research Service, on an average day, Americans age 15 and older spent 78 minutes involved insecondary eating and drinking, that defined as eating while doing something else that is considered to be the primary activity- like driving, working, or talking on the phone.

Secondary eating and drinking was reported as occurring in 400-plus detailed activities, except sleeping. Perhaps highlighting yet another cause for our rampant obesity and overeating? Yes! Americans are just filling their bellies without even thinking. Of course the two most popular activities that accompanied secondary eating or drinking were watching television and working - both activity groups measured higher than average BMIs.  Just proves, once again, that paying attention to your food and eating occasions matters.

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