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Food in the news — Scary pancakes for Halloween

Participating IHOP Restaurants nationwide will give families a safe place to celebrate Halloween and offer children 12 and under a free Scary Face Pancake on Oct. 31 from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. Each order comes with one buttermilk pancake decorated with a beaming whipped topping smile and eyes, and a strawberry nose. Then, kids can use a kit of toppings, eight pieces of sweet candy corn and two mini Oreos to finish decorating the face any way they choose.

‘A Place at the Table’

The Center for the Environment at Catawba College and Bread Riot will host a screening of “A Place at the Table” on Tuesday, Oct. 28 at the center facility on the Catawba campus. Bread Riot, a non-profit food advocacy organization, will offer a tasting of local foods at 6 p.m. before the movie, which begins at 6:45. A panel discussion will follow the movie.

The event is free and open to the public, but registration is required at http://www.centerfortheenvironment.org/

Fifty million people in the U.S. — one in four children — don’t know where their next meal is coming from. Directors Kristi Jacobson and Lori Silverbush examine the issue of hunger in America through the lens of three people struggling with food insecurity: Barbie, a single Philadelphia mother who grew up in poverty and is trying to provide a better life for her two kids; Rosie, a Colorado fifth-grader who often has to depend on friends and neighbors to feed her and has trouble concentrating in school; and Tremonica, a Mississippi second-grader whose asthma and health issues are exacerbated by the largely empty calories her hardworking mother can afford.

Fried fare at fair

State fairs are often the place to try new and weirder fried foods. The North Carolina State Fair starts Thursday and runs through Oct. 26.

From the Raleigh News and Observer, here’s a list of what’s going to be offered at the fair.

State Fair Foods of Salisbury will offer deep-fried barbecue, chopped pork dipped in a cornmeal hush puppy batter, served with coleslaw or barbecue slaw.

The Ragin’ Cajun will sell deep-fried bananas Foster, which typically includes bananas sauteed in rum and brown sugar and served with ice cream.

Chef’s D’Lites will have deep-fried mini cupcakes.

Speaking of mini things, S2Connections will have fried mini red velvet doughnuts.

And here’s a nod to your healthier efforts — apples. Miss Debbie’s Specialty Apples has a new line featuring Krispy Kreme doughnuts called “Angry Gobstoppers.”

For the kids, Chester’s Gators & Tators will have deep-fried Rice Krispies treats.

Read more here: http://www.newsobserver.com/2014/10/08/4216918/the-new-deep-fried-foods-at-this.html#storylink=cpy

What is natural flavor?

Just what are “natural” and “artificial flavors”? No one knows, and it’s starting to bother people who concentrate on making the best food choices they can.

According to an Associated Press story, the flavor industry regulates itself, and is not subject to Food and Drug Administration scrutiny. Several consumer and environmental groups want to know what’s going on and in their food.

“The FDA says natural flavors have to be derived from ingredients like fruit, meat or spices, and obtained through processes like distillation or fermentation. Artificial flavors can be made chemically, say, by mixing an alcohol with a fat,” the story says.

A flavorist might use beef stock, fats and sugar to ignite the reactions to create a “grilled” taste, for example.

Flavorists can also produce items that have no smell or taste but alter how the flavor receptors in your mouth react.

The FDA is looking into some of those ingredients.

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