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Why Is Red Meat Bad for You?

3 Oct


Photo Credit Jupiterimages/ Images

Beef is a staple in the typical Western diet and can be found in hamburger, steak and some processed meats like hot dogs. The term “red meat” is often used interchangeably with beef but may also refer to goat, horse or sheep meat. Despite its rich iron and protein content, red meat can be unhealthy when eaten in excess. Learning why red meat is bad for you allows you to weigh the risks and benefits to make an informed choice about your diet.



Saturated Fat

Like lard, butter and other animal products, red meat is high in saturated fat. According to the Mayo Clinic, excessive consumption of saturated fat raises cholesterol levels, increasing the risk of type 2 diabetes and heart disease. In addition, Harvard School of Public Health states that people who eat more than 18 oz. of red meat per week are at an elevated risk for colon cancer. Frying beef in lard, butter or excessive amounts of oil further increases fat content.

Bacterial Contamination

Like humans, cows naturally harbor bacteria in the intestines. While harmless to their hosts, these bacteria can multiply to dangerous levels during slaughter, cooking or other steps in the handling process. The USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service lists E. coli, salmonella, staphylococcus and listeria as common culprits in meat-related food poisoning. Symptoms of food-borne illness include vomiting, fever, diarrhea and abdominal cramping. While food poisoning is usually non-fatal, complications like kidney damage and bleeding disorders can sometimes result. Secondary symptoms such as vomiting and diarrhea may lead to dehydration, which can be life-threatening if left untreated.

Drugs and Hormones

Animals raised for their meat are sometimes treated with pharmaceutical drugs like antibiotics or hormones. The USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service states that growth hormones such as estradiol, testosterone and progesterone are approved for use in beef cattle. Antibiotics may also be administered to prevent or treat bacterial diseases that could contaminate meat and cause illness. While these drugs must be discontinued prior to slaughter, trace amounts may remain in some samples.


Most healthy people can enjoy red meat occasionally without harmful effects. To prevent excess fat consumption, Harvard School of Public Health suggests eating red meat sparingly and choosing the leanest cuts possible. Limiting saturated fat from other sources on the days you plan to eat red meat allows you to indulge without exceeding your daily allowance of fat. When handling meat, wash your hands frequently, use a meat thermometer during cooking and follow other basic safety precautions to reduce the risk of contamination. Choosing organic, grass-fed beef may lessen your exposure to drugs used in commercial beef production.




The Future of Money and Mobile Commerce [INFOGRAPHIC]

7 May

From Mashable Tech


Tasting Success: Careers in Restaurant Consulting

27 Apr

Illustration by Holly Siemon

Like any good entree, a successful restaurant requires a precise blend and balance of the right ingredients. But getting those ingredients to work in harmony, and in turn pleasing customers and making a profit, is a difficult task. (In fact, nearly 60 percent of restaurants will close or transfer ownership within three years of opening, according to a 2005 study published by Cornell Hotel and Restaurant Administration Quarterly.)

Behind many of those restaurants that do survive and thrive, from neighborhood bistros to billion-dollar chains, stand restaurant consultants: seasoned industry veterans tasked with creating and updating the eateries we know and love—and rescuing the ones we don’t.

What They Do
“Restaurants fail because they’re underfunded, poorly planned, or mismanaged,” says Danny Bendas, managing partner at Synergy Restaurant Consultants. “Before launching a new restaurant, it’s our job to ensure the concept is viable for a particular market and that it’ll generate the numbers required to keep operations up and running.”

Beyond helping fledgling eateries get off the ground, restaurant consultants pull ailing restaurants out of the red by streamlining operating procedures, cutting food costs, or rebranding to attract a larger or different clientele. They’re also hired by the likes of McDonald’s and Cosi to save a few pennies on each order of French fries (which adds up to big money savings) or incorporate healthy options into the menu. Some consultants specialize in one aspect of a restaurant—menu development, marketing, finance—once they’ve come to understand all the components of a successful restaurant.

Kitchen Smarts
Typically, the first step to becoming a restaurant consultant is completing coursework in culinary arts or hospitality management, either as an undergrad, post-grad, or through a certificate program. But the most important degree, according Mark Mollier, president of The Recipe of Success, is from the school of hard knocks. “You can learn all you want in college, but if you don’t have some real restaurant experience, you won’t be taken seriously by a client, and in turn, a restaurant consulting firm.”

A keen understanding of the back and front of the house is required; those specializing in menu revamp should know how scheduling is handled and be able to analyze a profit and loss statement, while finance gurus need to understand service procedures and kitchen management. Less technical but just as important is common sense, Mollier says. “Perhaps a new elaborate entrée would generate buzz, but if the kitchen is cramped, it doesn’t make sense to add some dish that takes up three burners at a time.”

Getting In
Though there are many entry points into restaurant consulting, two paths in particular stand out. Mollier suggests going the corporate route, working for a chain like Macaroni Grill or Applebee’s, which generally have great management training programs. But keep in mind that smaller, independently owned establishments can offer a great learning environment. Plus, working in a hip restaurant will help you earn street cred in the culinary community, which goes a long way in this industry.

While you job hunt, mentor hunt as well: Find a successful consultant who’s willing to open doors and offer advice. It’s in his best interest: when your cooking puts a corner cafe on the culinary map, his firm stands to benefit too. In no time you’ll be specializing in menu development, you star chef, you.

Emily Callaghan

14 Mar

Infographics are the new way to share data visually. These are some of my favorite that I found. Good Magazine has a website that posts them on a regular basis:

Everything from politics to lifestyle, nutrition, health and more.






14 Mar

Although we live in a digital age where everything is electronic, I cant help but go back to my roots… PRINT! There is nothing like a well designed + well printed, identity. The feeling of high quality paper, elegant details of embossing, or unique spot varnishes is what makes you stand out! I stumbled upon this and I had to share: 

Guactruck in Philippines | Mobile Eatery

13 Mar



The food truck craze has officially hit Manila, Philippines by way of the a modern mobile eatery full of sustainable initiatives. The truck itself is a used delivery truck that has been outfitted locally with LED and energy-saving lighting.

Too bad this Filipino-Mexican food truck can’t swing its way through the States for a peek at the truck and a chance to taste the delicious-looking food.

Read more at Design Milk:


Time management

12 Mar

Time management

Great article about managing your time, staying on schedule and learning to stay no!

My fav:

Here are some of the techniques I regularly used to remain within the confines of my fixed schedule:

  • I’m ruthlessly results oriented. What’s the ultimate goal of a graduate student? To produce good research that answers important questions. Nothing else really matters. For some of my peers, however, their answer to this metaphysical prompt was: “work really long hours to prove that you belong.” It was as if some future arbiter of their future was going to look back at their time clock punch card and declare whether they sufficiently paid their dues. Nonsense! I wanted to produce a few good papers a year. Anything that got in the way of this goal was treated with suspicion. This results-oriented vision made it easy to keep the middling crap from crowding my schedule.
  • I’m ultra-clear about when to expect results from me. And it’s not always soon. If someone slips something onto my queue, I make an honest evaluation of when it will percolate to the top. I communicate this date. Then I make it happen when the time comes. You can get away with telling people to expect a result a long time in the future, if — and this is a big if — you actually deliver when promised. Long lead times allow to you to side step the pile-ups (which will bust a fixed-schedule) that accrue when you insist on an immature, “do things only when the deadline looms” attitude.
  • I refuse. If my queue is too crowded for a potential project to get done in time, I turn it down.
  • I drop projects and quit. If a project gets out of control and starts to sap too much time from my schedule, or strays from my results-oriented vision: I drop it. If something demonstrably more important comes along, and it conflicts with something else in my queue, I drop the less important project. Here’s a secret: no one really cares what you do on the small scale, or what things you quit. In the end you’re judged on your results. If something is hindering your production of the important results in your field, you have to ask why you’re keeping it around.
  • I’m not available. I often work in hidden nooks of the various libraries on campus, or from my apartment. I check and respond to work e-mail only a couple times a day, and never at night or on weekends. People have to wait for responses from me. It’s often hard to find me. Sometimes people get upset when they send me something urgent on Friday night that need done by Saturday morning. But eventually they get over it. Just as important, I’m not a jerk about it. I don’t have sanctimonious auto-responders about my e-mail habits. I just do what I do, and people adapt.
  • I batch and habitatize. Any regularly occurring work gets turned into a habit — something I do at a fixed time on a fixed date. For example, I work on my blog in the afternoon after lunch. I write first thing in the morning. When I was taking classes, I had reoccuring blocks set aside during the week for tackling their assignments. Habit-based schedules for regular work makes it easier to tackle the non-regular projects. It also prevents schedule-busting pile-ups.
  • I start early. Sometimes real early. On certain projects that I know are important, I don’t tolerate procrastination. It doesn’t interest me. If I need to start something 2 or 3 weeks in advance so that my queue proceeds as needed, I do so.
  • I don’t ask permission. I think it’s wrong to assume that you automatically have the right to work whatever schedule you want. It’s a valuable prize that most be earned. And results are the currency you must spend to buy it. So long as I’m actually accomplishing the big picture goals I’m paid to accomplish, I feel comfortable to handle my schedule my own way. If I was producing mediocre crap, people would have a right to demand more access.