My Food

I cooked an 8-course fusion Dinner on Father’s Day.


Prosciutto, Cucumber and Hami-melon Skewer

Consomme with Abalone and Mixed Vegetables

Shrimp on Spelt Bread Toast

Baked Italian-style Stuffed Indian Eggplant

Grilled Black Cod with Teriyaki Glaze

Grilled Garlic Butter Lobster Tail on Cauliflower Puree

Angus Striploin Steak, Ricotta Zucchini Fritters, Shimiji Mushroom and Vegetables

Coffee Gelatin and Walnut Puff Pastry Mini-straw

Thai-style Vegan Red Curry

Ingredients

200 ml coconut milk ( or low-fat coconut milk )
1 Tbsp of red curry paste
2 Kaffir lime leaves
1 Tbsp palm sugar
2 Tbsp soy sauce
carrots, broccoli and snow peas
tofu (extra firm) cubed
green beans
1/2 cup pineapple, cubed
1/2 cup lychees
1/4 red pepper
2 Tbsp Thai red chili
2 handfuls of Thai basil

Method

  1. Heat up the coconut milk over med-high heat in a saucepan.
  2. Add curry paste and cook, stirring occasionally, for 3 to 5 minutes.
  3. Add the kaffir lime leaves (roughly torn into small pieces).
  4. Add palm sugar and soy sauce, and if needed top up the coconut milk to bring to desired consistency.
  5. Add carrot, broccoli, snow peas and green beans.
  6. Mix in tofu, pineapple and lychees and bring to a gentle simmer.
  7. Add red pepper, chili and basil and cook for 1 to 2 more minutes.
  8. Remove and garnish with fresh Thai basil leaves.
  9. Serve with cooked rice.

Source: Vegan Food and Living magazine

Plant-based Industry Triples Over Ten Years in South Korea, One Fifth of the Population Now Reducing Meat

South Korean newspaper The Korea Herald reports that the plant-based meat industry there is beginning to take off. According to the Korea Vegetarian Union, veganism has tripled in the last 10 years, but the real difference in the Korean market is being driven by meat reducers who reportedly now make up almost a fifth of the population.

South Korea is interesting to look at in terms of plantbased acceptance, as a country where dining traditions are centred around tabletop meat BBQs and even the consumption of many raw, and often still-living, meat and seafood dishes. However, the number of flexitarians or semi-vegans who occasionally pursue a plant-based diet is growing, and the figure could go up to 10 million when accounting for such consumers, the KVU stated.

Supermarkets and stores are introducing their own plant-based ranges. Lotte Mart has Gogi Daesin, introduced in May this year, sales figures have not yet been released but the company is keen to get an early foothold in the market. 7-Eleven has also rolled out two new pre-packaged meals from Green Meat last month, using a meat alternative made of beans and mushrooms.

We reported in April that Zikooin, a plant meat company based in Seoul, is producing a vegan product called Unlimeat, which uses upcycled grains. South Korean investors are also reportedly getting into the alternative meat sector, with Pulmuone investing in US startup BluNalu and Mirae Asset Global Investments which led series F investment into Impossible foods earlier this year.

The Korea Herald goes on to say that Dongwon F&B signed an exclusive contract in December 2018 to import Beyond Meat from the US to South Korea. In March 2019, the food company introduced the flagship Beyond Burger to the Korean market and about 82,000 patties were sold there in that year, according to Dongwon F&B. Dongwon has now extended its range from Beyond to include Beyond Beef and Beyond Sausage, to its imported products.

South Korea organic food concept. National flag background with basket full of vegetables on wooden table. Copy space for text.

Lee Won-bok who heads up the KVU stated: “Regarding the taste and texture there’s still much room for development”. He goes on to say: “It is an inevitable trend. People now care about the environment, and the rights of animals and they are more cautious of what they eat”.

Source: Vegconomics

Physical Activity Prevents almost four million Early Deaths Worldwide Each Year

At least 3.9 million early deaths are being averted worldwide every year by people being physically active, according to a new study published in The Lancet Global Health today by researchers at the Universities of Cambridge and Edinburgh.

The team behind the study argue that too often we focus on the negative health consequences of poor levels of physical activity when we could be celebrating the achievements of physical activity.

Professor Paul Kelly from the Physical Activity for Health Research Centre at the University of Edinburgh said:

Research into lifestyle factors such as lack of physical activity, poor diet, drinking alcohol, and smoking, tends to focus on the harms these do to health, this helps create a narrative to try and prevent and reduce these behaviours. We also believe there is value in trying to understand the benefits that ‘healthy behaviours’ confer in order to argue for maintaining and increasing them. Can we look instead at population activity levels and estimate the health benefits of all this activity to society?”

In their study, Dr Tessa Strain from the MRC Epidemiology Unit at the University of Cambridge and colleagues used a number known as the Prevented Fraction for the Population – in this case, the proportion of deaths that were prevented because people are physically active.

The team looked at previously published data for 168 countries, on the proportion of the population meeting World Health Organization global recommendation of at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity throughout the week, or 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity activity, or an equivalent combination. The proportion of the population meeting the recommended amount of physical activity varied substantially between countries, from 33% for Kuwait, to 64% for the United Kingdom, to 94% for Mozambique.

By combining these data with estimates of the relative risk of dying early for active people compared to inactive people, the authors were able to estimate the proportion of premature deaths that were prevented because people are physically active.

They found that globally, due to physical activity the number of premature deaths was an average (median) of 15% lower than it would have been – 14% for women and 16% for men – equating to approximately 3.9 million lives saved per year.

Despite considerable variation in physical activity levels between countries, the positive contribution of physical activity was remarkably consistent across the globe, with a broad trend towards a greater proportion of premature deaths averted for low- and middle-income countries. In low income countries, an average of 18% of premature deaths were averted compared to 14% for high income countries.

In the USA, 140,200 early deaths were prevented annually and in the UK 26,600.

Health experts often frame the debate in terms of the number of early deaths due to lack of physical activity, estimating that 3.2 million die prematurely each year. But the researchers say that by showing how many deaths are averted, it might also be possible to frame the debate in a positive way and this could have benefits to advocacy, policy and population messaging.

Dr Strain said:

“We’re used to looking at the downsides of not getting enough activity – whether that’s sports or a gym or just a brisk walk at lunchtime – but by focusing on the number of lives saved, we can tell a good news story of what is already being achieved. It tells us how much good is being done and helps us say ‘look how much benefit physical activity is already providing – let’s make things even better by increasing physical activity levels further. Although there’s a risk of complacency – people asking why we need to invest more when it’s already providing benefit – we hope our findings will encourage governments and local authorities to protect and maintain services in challenging economic climates.”

Six ways to keep active during lockdown

  • Go out for a daily walk, wheel, or whatever movement you are able to do
  • Go for a cycle ride or run if you’re able to
  • Do stretching exercises or yoga for your muscles and joints
  • If you have a garden, do some gardening – great for stretching and bending
  • Activity in greenspace or parks and activity with others may have additional mental and social health benefits
  • Join an online exercise session

Source: University of Cambridge

Centenarian Study Suggests Living Environment May be Key to Longevity

Judith Van Dongen wrote . . . . . . . . .

When it comes to living to the ripe old age of 100, good genes help but don’t tell the full story. Where you live has a significant impact on the likelihood that you will reach centenarian age, suggests a new study conducted by scientists at Washington State University’s Elson S. Floyd College of Medicine.

Published in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health and based on Washington State mortality data, the research team’s findings suggest that Washingtonians who live in highly walkable, mixed-age communities may be more likely to live to their 100th birthday. They also found socioeconomic status to be correlated, and an additional analysis showed that geographic clusters where the probability of reaching centenarian age is high are located in urban areas and smaller towns with higher socioeconomic status, including the Seattle area and the region around Pullman, Washington.

Uncovering the keys to healthy aging

“Our study adds to the growing body of evidence that social and environmental factors contribute significantly to longevity, said study author Rajan Bhardwaj, a second-year WSU medical student who took an interest in the topic after serving as a home care aide to his aging grandfather. Earlier research, he said, has estimated that heritable factors only explain about 20% to 35% of an individual’s chances of reaching centenarian age.

“We know from previous research that you can modify, through behavior, your susceptibility to different diseases based on your genetics,” explained Ofer Amram, the study’s senior author and an assistant professor who runs WSU’s Community Health and Spatial Epidemiology (CHaSE) lab.

In other words, when you live in an environment that supports healthy aging, this likely impacts your ability to successfully beat your genetic odds through lifestyle changes. However, there was a gap in knowledge as to the exact environmental and social factors that make for an environment that best supports living to centenarian age, which this study helped to address.

In collaboration with co-authors Solmaz Amiri and Dedra Buchwald, Bhardwaj and Amram looked at state-provided data about the deaths of nearly 145,000 Washingtonians who died at age 75 or older between 2011 and 2015. The data included information on each person’s age and place of residence at the time of death, as well as their sex, race, education level and marital status.

Based on where the person lived, the researchers used data from the American Community Survey, Environmental Protection Agency, and other sources to assign a value or score to different environmental variables for their neighborhood. The variables they looked at included poverty level, access to transit and primary care, walkability, percentage of working age population, rural-urban status, air pollution, and green space exposure. Subsequently, they conducted a survival analysis to determine which neighborhood and demographic factors were tied to a lower probability of dying before centenarian age.

Findings offer clues

They found that neighborhood walkability, higher socioeconomic status, and a high percentage of working age population (a measure of age diversity) were positively correlated with reaching centenarian status.

“These findings indicate that mixed-age communities are very beneficial for everyone involved,” said Bhardwaj. “They also support the big push in growing urban centers toward making streets more walkable, which makes exercise more accessible to older adults and makes it easier for them to access medical care and grocery stores.”

Amram added that neighborhoods that offer more age diversity tend to be in urban areas, where older adults are likely to experience less isolation and more community support.

Meanwhile, Bhardwaj said their findings also highlight the importance of continuing efforts to address health disparities experienced by racial minorities, such as African Americans and Native Americans. Consistent with previous research findings, for example, the data shows being white is correlated with living to 100. Looking at gender, the researchers also found that women were more likely to reach centenarian age.

Finally, the researchers wanted to see in which areas of the state people had a higher probability of reaching centenarian age. For each neighborhood, they calculated the years of potential life lost, or the average number of years deceased individuals would have had to continue living to reach age 100. Neighborhoods with lower values for years of potential life lost were considered to have a higher likelihood of reaching centenarian age, and vice versa.

When they mapped the years of potential life lost for all neighborhoods across the state, they saw clusters with high likelihood of living to centenarian age in higher socioeconomic areas in urban centers and small towns across the state, including the greater Seattle area and the Pullman region.

While more research is needed to expand upon their findings, the researchers said the study findings could eventually be used to create healthier communities that promote longevity in older adults.

Source: Washington State University


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