Dining and Restaurants / Eating / Food and Cooking

TASTE TRENDS: Caffeinated alcohol, discounted veggies, ‘Big Mother’

– From the New York Times:

COATBRIDGE, Scotland — What is it about Buckfast Tonic Wine that makes it so alluring to consumers and yet so repulsive to politicians?  The drink is 15 percent alcohol by volume, a bit stronger than most wines. Also, each 750 milliliter bottle contains as much caffeine as eight cans of Coke. 

Buckfast has emerged as a symbol of Scotland’s entrenched drinking problems. In a survey last year of 172 prisoners at a young offenders’ institution, 43 percent of the 117 people who drank alcohol before committing their crimes said they had drunk Buckfast. On average, Scots age 16 and older drank the equivalent of 12.5 quarts of pure alcohol each in 2007, the eighth highest rate in the world. Legislation to curb drinking is of particular interest here in Scotland’s old industrial heartland, or the “Buckfast Belt.”

In the United States, the Food and Drug Administration is considering banning caffeinated alcoholic drinks, which can make people uninhibited from the alcohol but also hyper, anxious and combative from the caffeine and sugar.

The drink is favored by young, rowdy men with a taste for making trouble — “neds,” they are called in Scotland. Hard-core aficionados drink two or three bottles in succession, right down.  It would seem to be an acquired taste. To the neophyte sampler, it evokes a thick, sweet wine — sherry, perhaps — fortified with cola and Vivarin.

From Reuters:

Reducing the price of healthy foods could land more whole grains, carrots and bananas in shopping carts, even months after the discounts are removed, according to a new study in New Zealand. According to a report in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, after six months of intervention, participants receiving price discounts bought approximately 1.7 more pounds (790 grams) of healthy food per week compared with those not randomized to pay the lower prices. This was an 11 percent increase from purchases made prior to the study and included just over a pound (480 grams) more fruits and vegetables per week, or about six servings. The total difference dropped to around 0.8 pounds (380 grams), but remained significant, six months after the study was over.

From the Wall Street Journal:

NEC Electronics Corp. has designed a method for digital signs to track the age, gender and number of pedestrians that walk by them, providing advertisers with a more accurate reading of the potential audience.  The company embeds a camera into the monitor, allowing it to constantly film people walking by. NEC takes that footage and applies a program that can automatically scan each person’s face, calculating the individual’s rough age and gender.  Consumers may object to getting their faces scanned without their knowledge. Likewise, retailers may not want to involve themselves in what some may perceive as a violation of privacy.

JohnLehndorff.com

The Pie Calendar 2010http://magcloud.com/browse/Issue/53186

The Kombucha Report: http://www.teareport.com/

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