Plant-based Jerky Made from King Oyster Mushrooms

Ashlen Wilder wrote . . . . . . . . .

Beef jerky is a salty, chewy, and high-protein snack best eaten on road trips. However, with one in four Americans reporting that they have cut back on eating meat, several companies are offering plant-based alternatives to classic beef jerky by using ingredients such as soy, wheat protein, mushrooms, and more.

Moku Foods is a Hawaiian-based start-up that produces plant-based jerky made from mushrooms to create a texture similar to traditional beef jerky.

I spoke with Moku Foods CEO, Matt Feldman this week to learn more about the company and its plant-based jerky products. Feldman started developing jerky made from mushrooms in his home kitchen with the goal of creating a sustainable jerky alternative made from clean label ingredients. When asked about the sustainability aspect of using mushrooms over beef, Feldman said “If you compare one bag of Moku Jerky to beef jerky, you’re saving 12 square feet of land, 107 gallons of water, and 11 pounds of methane.”

Moku Foods’ jerky is made from marinating and cooking King Oyster mushrooms, which have a naturally meaty texture. Feldman said the product is cooked several different times to achieve a chewy texture similar to beef jerky. The mushroom jerky is both soy and gluten-free and comes in three flavors: Original, Hawaiian Teriyaki, and Sweet & Spicy. Each serving contains 4 grams of protein and 7 grams of fiber.

Another company making jerky from mushrooms is Pan’s Jerky, which appeared on an episode of Shark Tank at the end of last year. Akua uses a combination of kelp and mushrooms to create its vegan jerky. In addition to consumers avoiding beef jerky because they are choosing to eat less meat, one may choose to avoid it because beef jerky can also contain an unhealthy amount of sodium (which acts as a preservative) and saturated fats. On the other hand, mushrooms are low fat, still contain a decent amount of protein, and provide a variety of vitamins and minerals.

At the moment Moku’s mushroom jerky is only available on the company’s website and Amazon, but it will soon be available on Thrive Market. A pack of six, 1.5 oz bags of mushroom jerky retails for US$40. Feldman also said that plant-based jerky is just the first product from the company, and it plans on developing other product lines in the future.

Source: The Spoon

Study: Common Antidepressants Won’t Raise Risk for Bleeding Strokes

The most widely prescribed antidepressants in the United States don’t appear to increase the risk of the deadliest type of stroke, according to a new preliminary study.

It examined the association between selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) and intracerebral hemorrhage. This is when a brain blood vessel bursts and blood spreads into the surrounding tissue.

The most common causes of this type of stroke are high blood pressure and head trauma, but some earlier research had suggested that SSRIs may increase the risk. SSRIs include drugs such as Prozac (fluoxetine) and Zoloft (sertraline).

“Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors work by preventing reabsorption of the chemical serotonin, which regulates mood, into the cells, making more of it available in the brain,” said study author Dr. Mithilesh Siddu, who did the research while at the University of Miami. He’s now an assistant professor of neurology at the Medical College of Georgia at Augusta University.

“However, by interfering with serotonin, which also plays a role in blood clotting, SSRIs may increase the risk of bleeding. Therefore, to determine if these antidepressants increase the risk of bleeding strokes, we looked at a large population of people with stroke,” Siddu said in an American Academy of Neurology news release.

The study included nearly 128,000 people who had a stroke between 2010 and 2019. Of those, just over 17,000 had been prescribed antidepressants before their stroke, and nearly 111,000 had never had an SSRI prescription.

Rates of intracerebral hemorrhage were 11% in people who’d been prescribed antidepressants and 14% in those who had not, according to the findings. The results will be presented at the American Academy of Neurology’s virtual annual meeting, April 17-22.

After they adjusted for other stroke risk factors — such as age, high blood pressure and diabetes — the study authors concluded that the risk of intracerebral hemorrhage was the same in people who took antidepressants as those who didn’t take the medications.

“These findings are important, especially since depression is common after stroke, and selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors are some of the first drugs considered for people,” Siddu said.

“More research is needed to confirm our findings and to also examine if SSRIs prescribed after a stroke may be linked to risk of a second stroke,” he added.

Research presented at meetings is generally considered preliminary until peer-reviewed for publication in a medical journal.

Source: HealthDay

In Pictures: Food of Andō in Central, Hong Kong

Fine Dining of Argentinian and Japanese Fusion Cuisine

The 2021 Michelin 1-star Restaurant

Structured Exercise Program, Not Testosterone Therapy Improved Men’s Artery Health

Twelve weeks of exercise training improved artery health and function in middle-aged and older men (ages 50-70 years) with low-to-normal testosterone levels, while testosterone therapy provided no benefits to the arteries, according to new research published in Hypertension, an American Heart Association journal.

The natural aging process for men includes decreased testosterone and physical activity levels decline with age, leading to declines in artery health and function. Testosterone replacement therapy is often used to combat the symptoms of decreasing testosterone levels, including low energy, reduced muscle mass and reduced vigor. In the absence of any new clinical indications, testosterone sales have increased 12-fold globally in the past decades.

“The global increase in testosterone use has been very large, particularly among middle-aged and older men who might see it as a restorative hormone to increase energy and vitality,” said study author Daniel J. Green, Ph.D., Winthrop Professor and cardiovascular exercise physiology researcher in the School of Human Sciences at The University of Western Australia in Perth, Australia. “However, previous studies are mixed as to whether replacement testosterone is beneficial or not, or whether it provides additional benefit over and above the effects of an exercise program.”

Green and colleagues evaluated men ages 50 to 70 years old, with no history of cardiovascular disease, higher than normal waist circumferences and testosterone levels that were in the low to normal range. The researchers also excluded current smokers, men currently on testosterone treatment or men on medications that would alter testosterone concentrations. At the beginning and end of the study, researchers measured artery function using a method that increases blood flow inside an artery. This assesses whether the inner lining of the artery is healthy and can help the artery to increase in size or dilate.

The 12-week study included 78 men randomized into four groups: 21 men received topical testosterone and completed a supervised exercise program including aerobic and strength exercises two to three times a week; 18 men received testosterone with no exercise; 20 men received a placebo and no exercise; and 19 men received a placebo with exercise. The exercise training was supervised in a research gymnasium at Fiona Stanley Hospital in Perth, and the program was overseen by an Accredited Exercise Physiologist (AEP).

The researchers found:

  • Testosterone treatment increased the levels of the hormone to above average levels in 62% of men in the groups that received the treatment.
  • Exercise training also increased testosterone level; however, the levels were highest among the men in the groups who received the testosterone supplement.
  • Artery function and health improved in the groups who received exercise training; but no improvement was found in those who received testosterone without exercise training.
  • Artery function in response to testing improved by 28% in the group who received exercise without testosterone, and by 19% in the group who received a combination of testosterone and exercise.

The researchers did not see changes in other tests that stimulated muscle cells in the middle of the artery wall, following exercise training, testosterone treatment or the combination of the two.

“The results of our study suggest that if you are a healthy but relatively inactive middle-aged or older man with increased abdominal girth, and you are worried about your risk of heart attack, stroke or diabetes, then an exercise program with some support and supervision can help to improve the function and health of your arteries,” Green said. “Testosterone therapy may have some benefits, for example in increasing muscle mass in the legs, however, we didn’t find any benefits in terms of artery function, which is a determinant of future cardiovascular risk.”

Green noted that the study’s small size is a limitation, and this research lays the foundation for larger studies that could lead to health recommendations for men.

Source: American Heart Association

Korean-style Spicy Bouillabaise Hotpot


5 liters water
1 squid, about 350 g, cleaned
2 medium watari gani (blue swimmer crabs), about 200 g, substitute with dungeness or any other live crab or lobster, cleaned
2-1/2 kg kinki (red snapper), substitute with any fatty, white flesh fish, cleaned, rinsed, and heads removed, cut crosswise into steaks
200 g oysters (serve 1 or more per person depending on size), shucked
800 g scallops in their shell (serve 1 or more per person depending on size), substitute with unshelled or frozen scallops
150 g nagate ebi (similar to Italian scampi), substitue with crawfish, slice in half lengthwise and devein
150 g hakusai (Chinese cabbage), roughly chopped
150 g mizuna (pot herb mustard green), substitute with any mustard greens or other green leaf vegetable, roughly chopped
100 g naga negi (long welsh onion), substitute with white part of scallion (spring onion), roughly chopped


2 tablespoons Korean virgin sesame oil
1/3 cup koikuchi shoyu (soy sauce)
2 medium cloves garlic
2 tablespoons kochujang (Korean red chili paste), or to taste
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon Korean red pepper flakes


  1. Add the water and seafood to a large saucepan or stockpot and heat. When it reaches a hard boil, reduce the heat to low and simmer for 30 minutes or until the stock tastes rich. Skim off the foam that rises to the surface.
  2. Combine all the seasoning ingredients and mix thoroughly. Adjust the red chili paste to taste. Add the seasoning to the pot.
  3. Pour the stew into an earthenware or copper pot. Put the pot on the charcoal brazier or portable gas stove at the table. Adjust heat to low to maintain a strong simmer throughout the course of the meal.
  4. Add half of the chopped Chinese cabbage, thicker bottom pieces first. When the cabbage is thoroughly cooked, add half of the mizuna and welsh onion and, as soon they have wilted, serve immediately divided into individual small bowls, or diners can serve themselves directly from the pot.
    Repeat when diners are ready for their next round of portions. Don’t forget to frequently skim off the foam that floats to the surface.

Makes 4 servings.

Source: Shunju New Japanese Cuisine

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