Dear Clean Plates,
I’ve seen something called “erythritol” on the labels of sodas and new foods in the health food section. Is it actually healthy? What is it?
Dear Sugar Mama,
Not quite as sweet as table sugar, erythritol is a sugar alcohol that has a low impact on blood sugar levels (read: low glycemic index). You’re likely seeing it in the health food section because of that and the fact that it’s considered a natural sweetener, like xylitol; it also has close to nil calories and carbs. In fact, it is found naturally in some fruits, mushrooms and fermented foods like wine and soy sauce.
Erythritol is often blended with other more-intense sugars to mimic the mouthfeel of sucrose, as erythritol exhibits only about 60 to 70 percent of the sweetness of pure sugar. And while sugar alcohols generally “can act as a laxative in high quantities and also cause gastrointestinal distress like gas and bloating” according to Clean Plates founder Jared Koch, erythritol normally doesn’t cause as much gastrointestinal distress as other sugar alcohols since a majority of it is absorbed before it enters the large intestine. Still, in large doses, it can cause nausea.
Two interesting facts: erythritol is certified tooth-friendly since sugar alcohol can’t be metabolized by oral bacteria, and it has a cooling effect (think: minty sensations) when it’s not already dissolved in water, such as when it’s used in frosting, chewing gum, or hard candy.
“Erythritol can be a good option for many, but because it is a sugar alcohol, it can also have some side effects,” Koch says, referring back to the gastrointestinal distress. “There have also been some reported cases of allergic reactions. That being said, it might be worth trying to see if it works for your body.”
You may have sweet success.
Photo by nicoleleec
While the food movement continues to deepen its roots in traditional, sustainable farming and emphasize whole foods, a new company is helping food start-ups through a well-known concept to the tech world: incubators.
Incubators are taking the world by storm: For those unfamiliar with the dot com world, they’re basically places that help tech entrepreneurs turn their ideas into a business plan and shop it around to investors. Now, Local Food Lab is applying the techie model to the ever-burgeoning food world as more and more people are finding a new beginning in local food businesses. Continue reading
While childhood obesity now affects one in five kids, there’s an inverse problem that gets a lot less press: due in part to the recession, more kids than ever are food insecure and lack access to healthy, nutritious meals.
Many kids who receive free or reduced-price lunches during the school year still have access to the same food over the summer through the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Summer Food Service Program, but the bulk of children don’t have the lunches because the food is only available at the school cafeteria; kids often feel stigmatized for having to go to school during summer vacation to get the free meal. Continue reading
Whether it’s a healthy breakfast you’re in search of or just a wholesome snack, Vigilant Eats Superfood Oat-Based Cereal is fueling the food revolution in more ways than one.
Acknowledging the relationship between health and food to be “harmonious yet non-lucrative,” Vigilant Eats attempts to defy “the interests that wish to see the public mentally and physically dependent on drugs, junk foods, GMO’s, and pesticides” [and] “wish to use their power to squash those promoting health and self reliance” with its super-convenient product that makes a statement.
The 100 percent kosher and organic cereal is full of gluten-free oats and oat flour, goji berries, cacao nibs, hemp flour, coconut palm sugar, yacon powder, maple powder and cinnamon. What it’s free of: Soy, dairy, additives, preservatives and refined sugar.
From the messaging and the convenience the packaging offers, right down to what’s inside, we’re betting that food activists and time-starved health nuts alike will love what they find in the 3-oz. orange cup (which comes with a folding spoon). Just add cold water or milk.
We say, “Right on, Vigilant Eats.” As it says on the lid of the cup: “Delicious justice.”
To search stores across the country where Vigilant Eats is carried, or for more information, go to vigilant-eats.com.
Image courtesy of Vigilant Eats.
Farmstead Meatsmith makes me want to cut and cook some meat.
Comprised of husband and wife team Brandon and Lauren Sheard, Farmstead Meatsmith in Washington state is a butchery and charcuterie service for small farms and homesteads in the Puget Sound region that brings back a traditional—if not antiquated—approach to slaughter and butchery. The company educates farmers in slaughtering, butchering and prepping animals for full culinary use, but it doesn’t stop there; it also creates beautifully charming videos (watch below) that educate consumers with the goal of restoring traditional knowledge of meat harvesting and cookery. Continue reading