Chocolate prevents strokes?

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, March 18, 2014

It won’t be nearly as much fun as eating candy bars, but a big study is being launched to see if pills containing the nutrients in dark chocolate can help prevent heart attacks and strokes.
The pills are so packed with nutrients that you’d have to eat a gazillion candy bars to get the amount being tested in this study, which will enroll 18,000 men and women nationwide.
The study will be sponsored by the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute and Mars Inc., maker of M&M’s and Snickers bars. Participants will get dummy pills or two capsules a day of cocoa flavanols for four years, and neither they nor the study leaders will know who is taking what during the study. The flavanol capsules are coated and have no taste.
— Associated Press

The fifth flavor: Who knows who first mixed soy sauce and butter and discovered the pleasures the combination provides? Try the mixture on warm white rice, a steaming pile of greens or an old sneaker — regardless, the taste is a sublime velvet of sweet and salty, along with a kind of pop the cognoscenti call umami, a fifth taste beyond bitter, sour, salty and sweet. Soy butter provides warmth and luxury, elegance without pomp. It raises recipes to heights almost indescribable in the telling.
— The NY Times Magazine

A fork to save your diet? File this under “what will they think of next?”; a special diet utensil. The Hapifork monitors how fast you munch and warns, with vibrations and lights, whether you’re chowing down too fast. But should you fork over $100 for it? Here’s what a top diet told us: “It might make you more conscious about how fast you eat,” says Brian Wansink, Ph.D., director of the Food and Brand Lab at Cornell University. But your best bet is to make other changes too, such as cutting your portions and skipping seconds.
— Consumer Reports Food & Fitness.

Detox needed? Consuming more vegetables is great, mainstream doctors and nutritionists agree. But they dismiss the detox claims as a confusing jumble of science, pseudoscience and hype. They argue that humans already have a highly efficient system for filtering out most harmful substances — the liver, kidneys and colon. “If you’re confused, you understand the issue perfectly,” says Edward Saltzman, an associate professor at Human Nutrition Center on Aging at Tufts University.
— Wall Street Journal

Food events:
The Center for the Environment at Catawba College and Bread Riot will host a screening of “Cafeteria Man” today at the center. Bread Riot will offer a tasting of local foods at 6 p.m. before the movie begins at 6:45. A panel discussion will follow.
• Rowan Public Library will host a “Going Green” workshop about how to prepare spinach, kale and other greens, 5:45-7:15 p.m. Monday at the South Rowan branch, 920 Kimball Road, China Grove. Free. Register at or call 704-216-7734 to register or for more information.

Quote of the week:
“Too many cooks may spoil the broth, but it only takes one to burn it.”
— Madeline Bingham
“The Bad Cook’s Guide”