New Packaging from Carlsberg Uses Glue to Cut Plastic Waste

James Masters wrote . . . . . .

Beer loving environmentalists will be raising a pint to Carlsberg after the brewer revealed plans to replace traditional can holders with a new technology that cuts plastic use.

In what Carlsberg describes as a world first, the Danish company will introduce a new “Snap Pack” where cans are bonded together with glue. It claims the new packaging will reduce plastic waste globally by more than 1,200 tonnes a year — the equivalent of 60 million plastic bags.

Plastic rings, which have been used on multipacks of canned drinks for decades, pose a risk to wildlife and have been heavily linked to increased ocean pollution.

“We are working hard to deliver on our ambitious sustainability agenda and to help tackle climate change,” Cees’t Hart, CEO of Carlsberg Group, said in a statement. “We look forward to giving our consumers better beer experiences with less environmental impact.”

The “Snap Pack” will first be introduced to the United Kingdom on September 10 in a number of Tesco supermarkets, and will debut in some other European markets from late September. It is expected to be made available in Carlsberg’s home market from early 2019.

There have been growing calls to eliminate single-use plastics across the business world, with ocean plastic waste predicted to triple by 2050.

Companies such as Starbucks, Disney and McDonald’s have pledged to limit or ditch plastic straws, while US cities like Seattle have banned them completely.

Sportswear firm Adidas said last month that it was committed to using only recycled plastic by 2024 while IKEA has also promised to phase out all single-use plastic products from its shops and restaurants by 2020.

The subject is also being heavily discussed by the European Union, which is pushing for many single-use plastic products to be barred by 2030.

Source: CNN

Spanish Tapa with Puff Pastry, Cheese and Sun-dried Tomato


2-1/2 oz sun-dried tomatoes in oil, drained, oil reserved, and finely chopped
1 zucchini, thinly sliced
1 garlic clove, crushed
9 oz puff pastry, thawed if frozen
5-1/2 oz soft goat cheese
salt and pepper


  1. Preheat the oven to 425°F/220°C. Dampen a large cookie sheet.
  2. Heat 1 tablespoon of the reserved oil from the tomatoes in a large skillet, then add the zucchini slices and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, for 8-10 minutes, or until golden brown on both sides.
  3. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, for 30 seconds. Remove from the heat and let cool while you prepare the pastry bases.
  4. Thinly roll out the pastry on a lightly floured counter. Using a plain, 3-1/2-inch cutter, cut out 12 rounds, re-rolling the trimmings as necessary.
  5. Transfer the circles to the prepared cookie sheet and prick 3-4 times with the tines of a fork.
  6. Divide the zucchini mixture equally between the pastry circles, add the tomatoes, leaving a 1/2-inch border around the edge, and top each tart with a spoonful of goat cheese. Drizzle over 1 tablespoon of the remaining oil from the tomatoes and season to taste with salt and pepper.
  7. Bake the tarts in the preheated oven for 10-15 minutes, or until golden brown and well risen. Serve warm.

Makes 12 tarts.

Source: Tapas

New Food: Colourful Kamaboko (かまぼこ) Sheets

Totosheet (ととしーと)

The sheets are made with white fishes. They are easy to work with die cutting and knives and so are perfect for decorating bento and dishes.

Each sheet is sold for 120 yen (tax included).

Below are some application examples.

Develop a Mindset Before Dieting for Weight Loss

Len Canter wrote . . . . . . .

New to weight loss or tired of yo-yo dieting? Learning “stability skills” first may lead to greater long-term weight loss success.

Many dieters regain up to 50 percent of the weight they lose within a year because they abandon the healthy lifestyle changes they made to lose the weight.

According to research done at Stanford University, the answer may be to learn “forever skills” first — skills you’ll practice for life.

Researchers tested their concept by starting one group of women on an 8-week maintenance plan before any dieting began. The women learned how to be more active and eat healthy, with correct portion sizes and without feeling deprived.

They also were encouraged to approach dieting with more of a relaxed attitude. But they did learn how to deal with diet disruptions and even went through a simulated vacation during which they used new skills to stay within the prescribed calorie range in the face of high-fat and high-calorie meals.

Here are some stability skills to master:

  • Weigh yourself every day.
  • Practice mindful eating — awareness of what you’re consuming.
  • Eat in moderation.
  • Make small cumulative changes over time.
  • Reward yourself with non-food reinforcement.

Beyond education, the Stanford program left participants feeling confident they’d be able to maintain results after weight loss. The benefits were visible at a one-year follow up: The women who first learned about maintenance and then dieted regained about 20 percent of their lost weight, far less than the 43 percent weight regain experienced by the women in the group who dieted first.

If you want to lose weight, it might pay to start with maintenance skills and develop a mindset more in tune with keeping lost weight off.

Source: HealthDay

Wholegrains Important for Preventing Type 2 Diabetes

​It doesn’t matter if it’s rye, oats, or wheat. As long as it is wholegrain, it can prevent type 2 diabetes. This is the finding of a new study from researchers at Chalmers and the Danish Cancer Society Research Center.

​The comprehensive study is a strong confirmation of previous research findings on the importance of whole grains for prevention of type 2 diabetes – previously sometimes known as adult-onset diabetes. Even if the link has been known for a long time, the role of different wholegrain sources has not been investigated earlier. It has also been unclear how much wholegrain is needed to reduce the risk of developing diabetes.

“Most studies similar to ours have previously been conducted in the USA, where people mainly get their wholegrain from wheat,” says Rikard Landberg, Professor at the Division of Food and Nutrition Science, and senior researcher on the study.

“We wanted to see if there was a difference between different cereals. One might expect there would be, because they contain different types of dietary fibre and bioactive substances, which have been shown to influence risk factors for type 2 diabetes.”

The amount matters

The study was conducted in Denmark, where there is a big variation in wholegrain-intake. The study showed that it made no difference which type of wholegrain product or cereal the participants ate – ryebread, oatmeal, and muesli, for example, seem to offer the same protection against type 2 diabetes.

What is more important is how much wholegrain one eats each day – and the study also provides important clarification to the scientific knowledge when it comes to daily dosages.

The participants were divided into 4 different groups, based on how much wholegrain they reported eating. Those with the highest consumption ate at least 50 grams of wholegrain each day. This corresponds to a portion of oatmeal porridge and one slice of rye bread, for example.

The proportion who developed type 2 diabetes was lowest in the group which reported the highest wholegrain consumption, and increased for each group which had eaten less wholegrain. In the group with the highest wholegrain intake, the diabetes risk was 34 percent lower for men, and 22 percent lower for women, than in the group with the lowest wholegrain intake.

“It is unusual to be able to investigate such a large range when it comes to how much wholegrain people eat,” says Rikard Landberg.

“If you divided American participants into 4 groups, the group that ate the most wholegrain would be the same level as the group that ate the least wholegrain in Denmark. In Europe, Scandinavia eats the most, Spain and Italy the least.”

Additionally, the study was uncommonly large, with 55,000 participants, over a long time span – 15 years.

In line with dietary advice

If you compare wholegrains’ role in the risk of developing type 2 diabetes against other foods that have been investigated in other studies, it is one of the most effective ways to reduce the risk when it comes to diet. Drinking coffee, and avoiding red meat, are other factors that can similarly reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes.

“Our results are in line with dietary advice, which recommends switching out foods containing white flour for wholegrains,” says Rikard Landberg.

“You get extra health benefits – white flour has some negative effects on health, while wholegrain has several positive effects, beyond protection against type 2 diabetes.”

Good to eat carbohydrates

Wholegrains are defined as consisting of all three main components of the grain kernel: endosperm, germ, and bran. Those who avoid all cereals, in an attempt to follow a low carb diet, therefore lose out on the positive health effects of wholegrain, which come principally from the bran and the germ. Rikard Landberg thinks that cereals, and carbohydrates in general, should not be avoided in diet.

“Carbohydrates are a very varied group of foodstuffs, including sugar, starch, and fibre. We should discuss these more individually, and not throw them together in one group, because they have totally different effects on our physiology and health. When it comes to wholegrains, the research results are clear: among the many studies which have been made, in varied groups of people around the world, there hasn’t been a single study which has shown negative health effects.”

Facts: Wholegrains

Wholegrains consist of all three main components of the grain kernel: endosperm, germ and bran. It can be both loose grains, and wholegrain flour. Grains such as oatmeal and rye, wheatberries, bulgur, and wholegrain couscous are all wholegrains. In bread and pasta, the wholegrain content can vary. Common cereals include wheat, rye, oats, corn, maize, rice, millet and sorghum.

Swedish dietary advice is to eat around 70g of wholegrain a day for women, and 90g a day for men. Some examples of how much wholegrain different foods contain:

  • One 50 g slice of rye bread: 16g wholegrain.
  • One 35 g serving of oatmeal porridge: 35 g wholegrain
  • One 12 g crispbread: 12 g wholegrain

Facts: The study

The study used data from a prospective Danish cohort study on diet, cancer and health. It covered more than 55,000 participants, who were between 50-65 years old when the study started. During the initiation of the cohort study in the early 1990s, healthy participants had filled in detailed forms of their eating habits. Through these, the researchers established the participants’ total wholegrain intake per day, which of the most common cereals they got their wholegrain from, (wheat, rye, oats, in grams per day), and the total number, and different types, of wholegrain products (in grams per day) – rye bread, other wholegrain breads, oatmeal porridge and muesli.

The cohort study was linked with data from Denmark’s national diabetes register, to investigate which participants developed type 2 diabetes during a 15 year period – which in total was over 7000 people.


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