Taxing Temptations – Taming or Torment?

You filed with the feds, but would you ante up to get a fix from your favorite food vices?


That last hike in cigarette prices was enough to motivate more smokers to quit  and programs to help reported a surge in calls on their hotline.

But would a tax on sugary sodas, candy or “junk” food help tame those desires, inspiring discipline to limit them in better balance? or does it just create a more tormented backlash about individual choice and the blame game for public health woes?

File your returns on it here.

And though “junk food” tax tends to be a state and municipal issue, the U.S. Dietary Guidelines are up for 2010 revisions and now is your chance to speak up by submitting comments on-line. Attend the 3rd meeting of their advisory committee— a webinar open to the public — to be held April 29-30 2009 by registering at their site.


Thoughts To Chew On

Check out my interview on KJAM Radio!

Ms. Piggies Smokehouse & Catering Company St. Louis, MO

“Improve Your Eating Lifestyle”




Chatting it up on WHYY A Chef’s Table and National Public Radio






Those Confusing Food Labels

Grocery Tour: How Healthy Is ‘Healthy’ Food?

Sugar Substitutes

About allergies and the FDA

Better understand food labels

Domino® Sugar debuts Certified CarbonFree®

‘Tis a season for sweet treats – would you buy this for your baking, beverage or any sweetening just because its carbon footprint is “neutral”?


domino-carbonfree-bag5Domino® Sugar Certified CarbonFree®


Would flavorful function win over better tasting personal preference?

A recent Nutritional Food Pairings article has me wondering – how much of a selling feature is such a concept? 

Nutrient synergies are hardly a new finding. I still recall from my ’80s clinical training that iron is better absorbed with a vitamin C rich food, or even just the acidity – like from ground beef browned in a cast iron skilled and cooked in tomato sauce.

 If a tasty meal is planned with nutritional pairing would it be chosen over selections more appealing by personal preference that didn’t have the extra health benefit of a higher functioning combo?

 Like salmon served with polyphenol rich grapes that protect the omega-3 – would knowing that edge out the same fish dish served with seasoned sliced tomatoes if the latter was your more flavor-satisfying desire? salmon-and-vegetables

 How much of an influence does a value-added health plus have?

Share your thoughts here

From Lauren’s kitchen!

Check out my sweet potato recipes.  The moist, dense texture of sweet potatoes can eliminate the need for margarine or shortening in quickbreads and cookies while their sweetness requires less additional sugar.  These are loaded with beta carotene too!


Sweet Potato Bread

Sweet Potato Bread

Sweet Potato Bread


1-1/2 cups whole wheat flour

1-1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1 cup cooked peeled mashed sweet potato

2 large eggs

¼ cup finely chopped raisins

½ cup brown sugar

¼ cup cranberry juice cocktail


Preheat oven to 300°F. Lightly grease an 8 inch loaf pan.  In large bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda and cinnamon.  In a medium size bowl, mix the sweet potato, eggs, raisins, sugar and juice.  Add the wet mixture to the dry ingredients and stir until just combined.  Spread the batter in a loaf pan and bake for about 1 hour or until an inserted knife comes out clean.  Cool for about 5 minutes, then remove from pan and continue cooling on a wire rack.  Makes about 16 (1/2 inch thick) slices.


Calories 100, Fat 1 g, Saturated Fat 0g, Trans Fat 0 g, Cholesterol 25 mg, Sodium 150 mg, Carbohydrates 21 g, Fiber 2 g, Sugars 10 g, Protein 3 g, Vitamin A 3260 IU (70% Daily Value) 


Sweet Potato Oat Bran Cookie Balls


2/3 cup cooked peeled mashed sweet potato

1/4 cup brown sugar

1 large egg

1 tsp vanilla

1 cup oat bran (dry for cooked, not cold cereal type)

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1 cup whole wheat flour

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon


Preheat oven to 325°F. Lightly grease a cookie sheet. Combine sweet potato and brown sugar; add egg and vanilla. Mix in remaining dry ingredients.  Shape into 3/4 to 1 inch balls and place about 1 inch apart on greased cookie sheet. Bake for about 15 minutes or until bottoms turn dark brown.  Cool before serving. About 3 dozen cookies.

Sweet Potato Oat Bran Cookie Balls

Sweet Potato Oat Bran Cookie Balls