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News to Chew | food news

News to Chew

Taking a bite out of the world of food and food news

Portion Control, Japanese Style

April 28, 2009 By: admin Category: Food News

OK, sometimes you want to buy some groceries, but you only need one of something. Well, leave it to the Japanese and their penchant for micro-packaging to come up with a way to do so. Call it innovative, clever or, yes, as we are wont to ponder, “Now, that’s really stupid.”

As posted on Tokyo Damage Report, single-serve packaging has become quite literal. We at News to Chew call it the anti-Costco merchandising approach. Instead of huge bunch of bananas, you can buy one – nicely packaged, at that. Don’t need a flat of eggs? Just buy one – yes, one egg. Don’t need five pounds of sliced ham? Well, how about one slice. (Notice that the pictures show these items are found in the Japanese 7-Elevens).

But then again, maybe this isn’t really so stupid. Think about it: America’s obesity can be traced to our Costco mentality to food. “But this #10 can of mayo is such a good deal. We’ll just slop it on everything we eat!” Maybe a hermetically sealed single pancake isn’t such a bad idea after all.

We’re just waiting for the individually packaged potato chip.

Just some news to chew on.

Do the Math: Chewing Gum Makes You Smart

April 23, 2009 By: admin Category: Food News

The world is filled with “scientific” studies that come up with eyebrow-raising conclusions, especially ones that involve food. And they are a big reason why News to Chew came into existence. So, when we read in the LA Times about a recent study involving chewing gum, we thought, “Now, that’s really stupid.”

But then again, if actually true, it could completely blow out of the water one of the essential reasons for being a teacher: to make their students spit out their gum. Because researchers at Baylor College of Medicine have recently conducted a study showing that chewing gum boosts academic performance. The results were presented at the Annual Meeting of Experimental Biology 2009 in New Orleans on April 22.

OK, so the study had 108 students, ages 13 to 16, assigned to either chew sugar-free gum during math class, while doing math homework and during math tests or to no chew gum. After 14 weeks, the students’ took a math test and their grades were assessed.

The researchers found:

Those who chewed gum had a 3% increase in standardized math test scores and had final math grades that were significantly better than the other students. Teachers observed that those who chewed gum seemed to require fewer breaks, sustain attention longer and remain quieter.

So there you go. No more excuses. All these years of lesson plans, outside consultants, and enduring the cries of “I can’t do math,” and it seems all our teachers have had to do is pass around a bowl of Chiclets before algebra. And we’re sure no child wouldn’t be left behind. Would chewing a big wad of Bubble Yum raise the scores even higher? Why not?

Oh, did we mention that the study was funded by the Wrigley Science Institute? Oh, hmmm, we get it. So, what’s next? Eating Slim Jims will raise your science aptitude? Drinking Mountain Dew will help you compose a coherent sentence? It all depends on who funds the study, we guess.

Just some news to chew on.