Category Archives: Restaurant Review

Most Americans can’t kick this habit, and it’s killing them

Thanks;Ilene Raymond Rush

Published;Aug 24, 2017 1:52 pm ET

*Should you give up sugar?

This article is reprinted by permission from NextAvenue.org.

With obesity on the rise and high rates of Type 2 diabetes, more people are attempting to give up sugar. It isn’t easy. Although scientific opinion is far from unanimous, there is tantalizing evidence that sugar can be as neurologically rewarding as some addictive drugs, helping to explain why it’s so hard to kick the habit.

Even figuring out how much sugar you eat is tricky. As Gary Taubes points out in his book, “The Case Against Sugar,” the sweet stuff appears in everything from breakfast cereals to tobacco. And sugar can evade even careful label-readers, masquerading as glucose, fruit juice concentrate, high fructose syrup and sucrose.

75 pounds of sugar a year

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, average consumption of added sugars amounts to about 75 pounds of sugar per person a year.

Taubes find the widespread idea of sugar as simply “empty calories” naïve. Instead, he sees sugar as having specific and possibly harmful effects in the human body.

“Different carbohydrates, like glucose and fructose, are metabolized differently,” he says, “leading to different hormonal and physiological responses. Fat accumulation and metabolism are influenced profoundly by these hormones.”

“People act as though all that matters is the dose, but when you talk about sugar like any other drug you have a paradigm shift,” says Taubes. “Why does Zoloft [an antidepressant] do something different than Lipitor [used to lower cholesterol]? No matter what dose we give a patient of Lipitor, it’s never going to be an antidepressant.

“We keep talking about what’s the right dose of sugar rather than how it works in the body,” Taubes says. “We need to look at it differently.”

Sugars for fats: a poor trade-off

“I think we’re just starting to understand the short- and long-term problems that increased sugar intake can cause to the human body,” says Dr. David Becker, associate director of the preventive and integrative heart health program at the Temple Heart and Vascular Institute in Philadelphia. “From the heart point of view, sugar raises [unhealthy] triglycerides, lowers [healthy] HDL and causes something called metabolic syndrome, a condition where the body can’t process things normally. As we get older, this is as powerful a risk factor as high cholesterol, which causes an increased risk of hypertension and hyperlipidemia and sets the body up to have [a heart attack] over time.””

The dilemma is that “we traded one problem for another,” says Becker. Over the years, in giving up cholesterol, people turned to processed foods that were low in saturated fat but high in sugar.

“But because cholesterol is bad, that doesn’t mean sugar is good. They’re both bad for you,” Becker says.

So what should people eat?

Becker suggests the Mediterranean diet — which is high in healthy fats, proteins and complex carbohydrates such as legumes or whole grains — as one option.

“Diets have been operating between polar extremes,” says Becker. “On one end, there is the Ornish plan, which cuts fats below 10%, which means people eat more junk carbs such as white breads, pasta and sugar, to make up for missing calories. Then there is the Atkins diet, which is very high in saturated fat. I believe we need some balance.”

‘Stepping down’ from sugar

“You can definitely live without sugar,” says Susan Renda, assistant professor of community and public health at Johns Hopkins Medical School. “Mainly, it’s a source of quick energy that rapidly raises blood sugar. If you’re running a marathon, you might need that burst of energy, but in most cases you don’t.”

For those who can’t go cold turkey, Renda advises a “step-down” approach.

“First, be aware of the foods you’re eating. Sugar is everywhere, even in bread, where high fructose corn syrup can be used to help the yeast grow. People aren’t aware of how much sugar they consume.”

Then, she recommends substitutions.

“Pick a processed or refined carbohydrate and substitute a food of the earth, something closer to its natural state,” says Renda. “If you eat ice cream every night, consider substituting a handful of grapes or a few nuts three nights a week.”

Her third step is to work hard to enjoy whatever food you select.

“We tend to eat things we like very quickly. Choose a corner of a bar of dark chocolate — which is healthier than milk chocolate — and eat it very, very slowly,” says Renda.

Skip the soda

Becker finds that the simplest tip for many people is to watch what you drink.

“Sugary sodas are the most harmful — you can have 10 teaspoons of sugar in a single can. And fruit juices aren’t much better,” he says. “Get back to water, and if you must, put a tiny bit of fruit juice in it. It’s something that cuts down the calories and makes a huge difference.”

Despite Becker’s best advice, he admits that not many of his patients abandon sugar completely.

Don’t miss: Still not losing weight? These may be the reasons why

“We need a lot of educating,” he says. “People like things that taste good. But this is a condition that can be cured. Try a sugar purge for a couple of weeks — people say that within two or three weeks they lose the taste for sugar really quickly.”

Ilene Raymond Rush is a health and science writer whose work appears in the Philadelphia Inquirer, Diabetic Lifestyle, Diabetic Living, Good Housekeeping, Weight Watchers Magazine, Philadelphia Magazine and many other publications. She lives in Elkins Park, a suburb of Philadelphia, with her husband and overweight schnauzer, Noodle.

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Event Preview: InnoPack F&B Confex 2017

Thanks;
PUBLISHED; March 18th, 2017

Water-Bottles

The Packaging industry continues to post strong growth in India. Packaging for Foods is the largest industry in the overall industry. India has continued to be the third largest market globally for Food Packaging in terms of Retail/off-trade Unit Volume. The region also is the eight largest in beverage packaging in terms of total volume.

Given the opportunities it presents we have partnered with UBM India for the 2017 edition of InnoPack F&B Confex organised by UBM India. This is scheduled on the 11th – 12th April, 2017 in Gurgaon, India. This event strives to present a platform for F&B professionals to network, exchange ideas and knowledge, form future alliances and forecast new opportunities for the F&B packaging industry, in the dynamic economic environment.

CONSUMER’S EVOLVING PURCHASING PATTERNS

In addition to demographic changes, the packaging industry in India is also having to respond to changes in the way consumers shop. Strategies have to be adapted to suit urban and rural areas, and also vary across regions in India. Many lower-income demographics are paid on a daily basis and can only afford to shop daily preferring local convenience stores as opposed to shopping on a weekly basis in city centre supermarkets.

Several more consumer specific trends will be addressed by the industry with discussions on – Understanding the F&B packaging based on consumer purchase decisions and Recent updates on the regulations in food and beverage packaging.

GREEN AND SUSTAINABILITY

As the world consumes more resources than it can produce, there is an impetus to push away from a linear economy based on a make/use/dispose model and towards a circular economy based on a reduce/reuse/recycle model that focuses on minimizing waste and recycling or reusing all end products.

A focused conversation – Evaluating different ways to implement sustainable packaging and sustainable printing for food and beverage Industry will also be part of the two day event.

HEALTH TREND, SNACKING AND PACKAGING

The health and wellness trend also encouraged the use of packaging innovation by brand owners in flavoured milk drinks, cheese, processed meat, and fruit and vegetables in developing a snacking product. Strengthening of the snacking trend, led to biscuits, snack bars, confectionery and baked goods overall providing the biggest incremental growth for packaging in foods. Flexible plastic, as a widely used snack pack solution for products such as toffees, caramels, nougat and sweet biscuits, will benefit the most to 2020.

Some of the conversations which would deliberate further on trends include – Exploring the new ways of packaging designs used for food and beverage packaging to attract the customers and Maximizing brand image through packaging.

What Bangkok’s public transport network will look like in 2020

Thanks;BK;The insider’s guide to Bangkok

With the new MRT purple line between Khlong Bang Phai-Tao Poon set to open this year, we look at what developments we can realistically expect from public transport by 2020 (fingers crossed).
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See also: As Bangkok gears up for a single ticket transport system, here’s everything we know so far


1. The MRT purple line

Set to officially launch on Mother’s Day, Aug 12, the first section of the much-delayed MRT purple line will run between Khlong Bang Phai-Tao Poon. A trial period will commence in May, when you can ride for free, before the full fare kicks in (B14-42). This line is a much-welcomed development for residents of Nonthaburi. Of note for those living in central Bangkok, the line will take you straight to the massive Central Westgate Bangyai (see below), one of the city’s more significant recent mega-mall openings. The purple line will connect with the existing Bang Sue station and eventually also run from Tao Pun-Rat Burana.

Moving out

New lines mean more affordable accommodation for commuters. Here are the top upcoming developments along the Purple Line.

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SAMMAKORN

MRT Bang Rak Yai Sammakorn S9. Starts from B1.49 million.
Soi Yothathikarn, Rattanathibet Rd., 002-142-9922. www.s9condominium.com

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ANANDA DEVELOPMENT

MRT Tao Pun IDEO Mobi Bangsue Grand Interchange. Starts from B2.61 million.
Pracharat Sai 2 Rd., 02-316-2222. www.ananda.co.th
MRT Bang Son IDEO Mobi Wongsawang Interchange. Starts from B2.29 million.
Bangkok-Nonthaburi Rd., 02-316-2222. www.ananda.co.th

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PRUKSA

MRT Ministry of Public Health The Tree Elegance Tiwanon. Starts from B1.49 million
Pracharat Sai 1 Rd., 1739. www.pruksa.com 

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APTHAI

MRT Wong-sawang AspireRatchada Wongsawang. Starts from B1.59 million
Bangkok-Nonthaburi Rd., 1623. www.apthai.com
MRT Sriponsawan Aspire Rattanathibet 2. Starts from B1.69 million.
Rattanathibet Rd., 1623. www.apthai.com

lppn1

LPN

MRT Sriponsawan LPNLumpiniPark Rattanathibet-Ngamwongwan. Starts from B1.35 million
Rattanathibet Rd., 02-527-6777. www.lpn.co.th

supalai

SUPALAI

MRT Phra Nang Klao Bridge Supalai City Resort . Starts from B1.65 million.
Rattanathibet Rd., 1720 Ext. 83. www. supalai.com
MRT Nonthaburi City Hall Supalai Park Khaerai-Ngamwongwan. Starts from B1.5million.
Rattanathibet Rd., 1720 Ext. 83. www. supalai.com
MRT Bang Son Supalai Veranda. Starts from B1.85 million.
Prachacheun Rd., 1720 Ext. 87. www.supalai.com

2. BTS Sukhumvit line

Since its conception in 1999, Bangkok’s BTS skytrain has been operating on two lines—Sukhumvit and Silom—which presently service a total of 34 stations.

The Sukhumvit line is set to extend from Bearing through Samutprakarn and all the way to Bang Pu. Said to be operational by early 2020, the extension will cover seven stations and is supposedly 57.06-percent complete already. That will easily get you to the picturesque Ancient City (Muang Boran, below), the seaside Samutprakarn City Hall and Samutprakarn Crocodile Farm.

From Mo Chit, meanwhile, there is also a plan to extend to Saphan Mai through to Khu Khot, which is also expected to be completed in 2020, too. Highlights on this line include Kasetsart University, 11th Infantry Regiment (where the last Maya Music Festival was held) and the Royal Air Force Museum.

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3. The MRT blue line

The MRT has been operating since 2004, with just the one line covering 18 stations. Construction to expand the current blue line from Hua Lamphong-Bang Kae (14km) will commence next year, and has been scheduled for completion within four years. That means your trips to explore the Old Town will be much more convenient as the line passes through Charoenkrung, Chinatown, Sanam Chai Road (Museum Siam and Wat Pho) and Pak Khlong Talad over to the Thonburi side of the city. The first 4km of the line from Hua Lamphong to Tha Phra will be underground, before it converts into an overground train for the rest of the journey to Bang Kae (9km).

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4. The SRT dark red line

Finally, the Bangsue-Rangsit dark red line, covering some 24.6km of Bangkok (and planned to connect to the North/Northeastern region of the country in the future) as part of the planned SRT Red Line suburban railway system, is scheduled to be complete by 2019 after some delays in the bidding process. Why we’re excited? No more ungodly traffic time on the way to Don Muang Airport, improved access to MOCA (see below).

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Further down the tracks

Upcoming lines for the more distant future

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Looking at the complete map of all the future lines, here’s a brief summary of transport coverage you can expect…eventually:

Dark red line — Hua Mak-Bang Sue-Thammasat Rangsit Campus

Light red line — Taling Chan-Bang Sue-Hua Mak

Pink line — Khae Rai-Minburi

Orange line–Taling Chan-Thailand Cultural Center- Minburi

Yellow line — Lad Phrao-Pattanakarn-Samrong

Sukhumvit line — Mochit-Saphan Mai-Khu Khot, and Bearing-Samut Prakarn-Bang Pu

Silom line — Yotse-National Stadium-Saphan Taksin-Bang Wa

Purple line — Bang Yai-Bang Sue-Ratburana

Blue line — Hua Lamphong-Bangkhae and Bangsue-Tha Phra-Phutthamonthon Sai 4

Extended Airport Rail Link– Phayathai-Bang Sue-Don Muang

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The other side of the MRT purple line 

Tao Pun-Ratburana 

Phase two of the MRT purple line is intended to serve the southern part of the city. The underground train will cover areas in the Phra Nakhon and Dusit district—that means Samsen Road, the national library, Thewet Market, Banglamphu (one of the world’s fastest growing Airbnb areas), the Golden Mount—before crossing to the other side of the river into Thonburi through Wongwian Yai and terminating at Rat Burana. Phra Pradaeng (home to the trending cycling destination Bang Krachao) will also be easier to access. So far, this phase has not yet received cabinet approval.
The new orange line

Taling Chan-Thailand Cultural Center-Minburi 

After much rerouting due to resident protests, the Thai cabinet has finally approved the construction of the orange line. This will also pass a lot of the city’s major sights serving people who live around Minburi. Other highlights include: Siriraj Hospital, Sanam Luang (Grand Palace and Tha Maharaj), Democracy Monument (RCAC and Rattanakosin Exhibition Hall), Lan Luang (Seven Spoons, Mad Moa, Talad Nang Loeng), Pratunam (Platinum Shopping Mall), Thailand Cultural Center and Hua Mak Stadium. Estimated completion in 2023.

How Panama Is Becoming The Next Luxury Hot Spot

Panama’s Cityscape (Credit: Panama Tourism Authority and Copa Airlines)Forbes-Panama-CityView-PanamaTourismAuthorityCopaAirlines

Panama’s Cityscape (Credit: Panama Tourism Authority and Copa Airlines)

THANKS;Jennifer Kester, Contributor

Panama may be best known for its canal, but the country isn’t merely a convenient passageway between east and west—it’s a destination made up of a unique mix of city, rainforest and beaches. One of the fastest-growing economies in Latin America, Panama is on the cusp of becoming a hot luxury travel spot.

April 2015 saw the unveiling of Soho Panama mall, a new luxury epicenter in downtown Panama City. Not only did it bring shops from the likes of Chanel, Versace, Burberry and macaron masters Ladurée, but the mall also will house The Ritz-Carlton, Panama when the 220-room hotel (with two swimming pools, a spa and four dining venues) opens in late 2016. The Ritz-Carlton company will follow up its Panama debut with a second hotel in the country; its Reserve boutique brand will open an outpost on Pearl Island, a pristine private island about 45 miles south of Panama City, in 2018.

The country also is making it easier to travel to and within Panama. It launched Central America’s first subway in 2014 and plans to add a second line that will connect Panama City to Tocumen International Airport in the future. Speaking of which, the airport is building a state-of-the-art second terminal to nearly double its capacity in 2017 (Tocumen is still in transition, but you can peruse several luxury shops, like Carolina Herrera and Valentino). Even the canal is seeing improvements—a $5.25 billion expansion, the largest canal project since it was constructed, will double its capacity when it wraps up in 2016. While many changes await for Panama, here’s why our Forbes Travel Guide editors think you should beat the crowds and go now.

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InterContinental Miramar (Credit: InterContinental Hotels and Resorts)

Where to Stay

Opened in 1997, InterContinental Miramar Panama is one of the city’s stalwart hotels. As part of an ongoing renovation, the cream marble lobby recently was refreshed and the modern, neutral rooms were upgraded with new flooring, beds and more. For the best views, book accommodations facing the water and gain access to the fifth-floor Club Lounge (which is slated for a makeover in 2016), where you can glimpse the city though big-picture windows at sunrise with breakfast and coffee and at sunset with appetizers and wine. The Bella Vista hotel sits along Cinta Costera, a 2.5-mile stretch lining Panama Bay where you can walk, jog or bike along a palm-framed path while taking in skyline panoramas. Follow the path south and you’ll hit the Mercado de Mariscos, or seafood market, where you can see fish mongers displaying local catch like corvina and locals popping by the no-frills outdoor booths for a helping of fresh ceviche.

If you’re looking to explore a less touristy part of the city, try Trump Ocean Club International Hotel & Tower Panama in Punta Pacifica, a tony residential neighborhood. The 70-story sailboat-shaped building stands out on the city skyline. But what’s more impressive are the views from the floor-to-ceiling windows in the waterfront hotel’s chic guest rooms, the sexy deck where you can choose among five pools or simply sprawl out on a chaise lounge in front of an infinity pool that seems to drop off into the ocean, and the casino, whose 66th high-roller floor affords stunning vistas.

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Our Panamanian obsession: Riesen’s vegetable root crisps topped with national cheese, dried cherry tomatoes and avocado (Credit: Jennifer Kester)

Where to Eat

As Panama modernizes, segments of the capital city remain charmingly stuck in the past. Casco Viejo (aka Casco Antiguo), the city’s historic district that was established after 1671, landed on UNESCO’s World Heritage List for this reason. It recalls Puerto Rico’s Old San Juan with brick streets and colorful Spanish colonial buildings with upper-floor balconies running the length of the structures. Even buildings with peeling rosy paint or a chipped-away straw-colored façade bearing “Me encanta tu piel” (“I love your skin”) in cursive graffiti look romantic rather than rundown.

Casco is the spot to visit for cuisine. One of the hottest restaurants is Manolo Caracol, where chef Andrés Morataya leads the charge in using hyper-local ingredients by any means necessary. About 70 percent of the menu (such as rice and cacao) comes from the restaurant’s own farm. Lobster and octopus are sourced from free divers. A team drives through villages scouring for chicken to buy them piecemeal. Morataya then turns these fresh items to modern dishes (order the tasting menu for a feast). Of course, the selection varies depending on what seafood, produce and such he can secure that week. But expect to savor dishes like a flavorful seafood soup with achiote and coconut, silky bone marrow covered with caramelized onions, or crispy patacónes (fried plantain slices) topped with prawns.

Venture outside of Casco to the bawdier El Cangrejo neighborhood for a meal at Riesen. After winning the annual Panama Gastronomica competition, chef Hernan Correa Riesen used the prize money to convert part of his family home into a small restaurant. Don’t let the modest dining room fool you—Riesen’s creative cuisine deserves your attention anyway. The chef incorporates Panamanian ingredients and modernist techniques to craft dishes like the addictive housemade vegetable root crisps topped with dabs of national cheese (soft and creamy, it has the consistency of ricotta), dried cherry tomatoes and avocado slices. Entrées include a filling grilled octopus with peach palm and coconut, and a tender 48-hour braised beef tongue.

While Morataya and Riesen represent a new, younger generation of chefs in the city, you’ll still find traditional Panamanian favorites. At lunch, follow the locals to an oversized seafoam-green window on Avenue B that looks nondescript, save for a blackboard that says “Menu” with a few dishes listed underneath it. The namesake chef at La Cocina de Rosita serves to-go plates out of that window. For a mere $3.50, enjoy authentic dishes like guacho, a Panamanian version of risotto, or almojábanos, fried cornmeal with cheese that’s pure comfort food.

A visit to Panama wouldn’t be complete without a raspao, a snowcone made with condensed milk and fruit. You’ll run into vendors throughout Casco hawking raspao, but seek out the shiny silver cart of El Viejo Talentoso (typically parked in the Plaza de Francia). The raspao whiz puts on a show, scraping shards off of a large ice block. We opted for the coconut, so our refreshing treat came with coconut milk, condensed milk, a honey drizzle and a sprinkle of shredded coconut.

For something a bit stronger, head to the hip lobby of American Trade Hotel (Ace’s first foray into the high-end hotel market) for a mojito or seco, the country’s potent national liquor made of fermented sugar cane. Order seco like a Panamanian—with milk and on the rocks. American Trade also serves as a jazz hot spot; Wednesday to Thursday nights, it hosts Danilo’s Jazz Club with Grammy-winning jazz pianist-composer Danilo Pérez, featuring local and international musicians.

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Panama Viejo (Credit: Panama Tourism Authority and Copa Airlines)

What to See

To see the city’s origins, head to Panama Viejo, where you can wander through grassy grounds, exotic trees and the 16th-century ruins of the first European settlement on the Pacific Coast of the Americas. The cathedral is the best preserved among the stone remains. Climb up 72 feet in its bell tower for expansive views of Panama in all directions. It once served as a lookout post for pirates.

Discover another side to Panama at Gamboa Rainforest Resort, which is a half hour from Panama City. Skip the resort and go straight for the forest, which is relatively young due to deforestation from the building of the canal. An aerial tram will raise you 280 feet above the rainforest floor for prime photo ops of the lush flora, including trumpet trees, mountain figs and balsa trees, along with wildlife. With the help of our tram guide, we spotted baby sloths, a chestnut-mandibled toucan and a flurry of butterflies (Panama has more than 16,000 species) during the 20-minute ride. As you glide through the treetops, you may hear drumming in the distance—there’s an indigenous Embera village nearby that performs for visitors.

Upon landing, you’re left to make your way up a 10-story observation tower (it’s all inclines, no steps, which makes it a breeze to walk to the top) to take in more rainforest vistas, and then you can catch the open-air tram back in the other direction.

Gain a deeper understanding of the importance of Panama’s biodiversity at the Biomuseo, which opened in 2014. The building’s misshapen roof panels in saturated hues like yellow, blue and red are enough to draw you to the museum, renowned architect Frank Gehry’s only work in Latin America, as is the lovely park surrounding it along the water. But step inside to learn how there are more tree species in 2.5 acres of Panamanian forest than all of North America combined. And if being in the rainforest wasn’t enough for you, the “Panamarama” audiovisual exhibit puts you in an immersive space plastered with 10 screens that offer an extreme close-up of the unique local ecosystem. The south wing hosts traveling exhibitions, but the goal is to fill it with permanent exhibits, including two aquariums, one representing the Pacific Ocean and the other the Caribbean Sea. Like the rest of this up-and-coming country, the museum has big plans for the future.

Important!!!

Thanks;Experimental Study of Princeton University /My Darling@Pennsylvania 

 

Decorative magnets outside the refrigerator door panels must be quickly removed! ‘Experimental Study of Princeton University proved that just a small piece of refrigerator magnet will attract radioactive materials and actually cause cancer!

 Refrigerator magnets affixed to the outer fridge door will absorb radiation and will make you and your family absorb more radiated food, causing high carcinogenic risk!

So please immediately remove the magnets from the fridge door to protect food from radiation contamination! @ interesting discovery!

 A researcher at Princeton University has made a horrible discovery for months. He fed two groups of mice: The first group ate food stored in a refrigerator with no decorative magnet at the door. The second group ate food stored in a refrigerator with some decorative magnets on the refrigerator door. The purpose of this experiment was to see electromagnetic radiation’s effect (i.e. decorative magnets on a refrigerator door) on the food. Surprisingly, the rigorous clinical studies showed that as high as 87% of the second group of mice which consumed “radiation” food contracted cancer i.e. the probability of cancer is higher than the other group of mice! 

Please remove any decorative magnets on your fridge, and put it away from any food!
Decorative magnets outside the refrigerator door panels must be quickly removed! ‘Experimental Study of Princeton University proved that just a small piece of refrigerator magnet will attract radioactive materials and actually cause cancer 

Tesco Homeplus Virtual Subway Store in South Korea

Thanks;Recklessnutter

Tesco Homeplus Virtual Subway Store in South Korea

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fGaVFRzTTP4&sns=em

China Bans Shark Fin, Bird’s Nest Soups From Official Events

Thanks;Courtney Subramanian

President Xi Jinping has pledged to crack down on fiscal waste, political corruption

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In the latest crackdown on political extravagance, China is banning shark fin and bird’s nest soups from official receptions, and prohibiting lower-level officials from staying in suites on business trips.

A document from the Communist Party of China (CPC) explicitly states that the two dishes, considered delicacies in China as well as wild animal products, are not allowed at official reception dinners, state news agency Xinhau reports. The rules are meant to regulate public funding of reception dinners, and also bans cigarettes and alcohol from official meetings.

Cash, negotiable securities and souvenirs are also ruled out as gifts to politicians, according to the document.

The document is aimed to “promote frugality, oppose extravagance and enhance the anti-corruption efforts among Party and governmental authorities,” according to Xinhua. Chinese President Xi Jinping has pledged to address public outcry over political corruption and fiscal waste.

Top Tables Update: Bangkok’s 10 Best New Restaurants 2013

Thanks;Gregoire Glachant, Pieng-or Mongkolkumnuankhet | Oct 17, 201

Showing our dedication, we’re already thinking about our Top Tables guide for 2014 (out in March, next year). Here are the new restaurant openings most likely to make the cut—along with a few things that have fallen out of favor.

20131120-000350.jpgStill don’t have a copy of Top Tables 2013? Get it here.
1. Opposite Mess Hall

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Under chef Jess Barnes’s stewardship, Quince placed third in Top Tables 2013. So really, there’s not much suspense as to whether his new venture, Opposite, will make the cut for Top Tables 2014. It’s the same wonderful Aussie-influenced European cuisine he was doing at Quince, and even if it’s been copied a lot since (see This Needs to Stop), he’s still the guy doing it best. The bigger issue is that Opposite is super noisy (a problem they’ve promised to address) and the bench seating is not the most comfortable. Also, the kitchen is tiny, meaning Barnes can’t do some of his more elaborate, or slower-cooked dishes in there—no bone marrow risotto, for example.
Eat this: Steamed Chinese bun with pork belly, slaw, shrimp mayo and pickled cucumber (B140).
27/1 Sukhumvit Soi 51, 02-662-6330. Open Tue-Sun 7pm-midnight
2 Paste
Paste is one of the most exciting openings this year. For one, it’s Thai food, which always gets extra points in our book. Secondly, the Australian-Thai couple in the kitchen isn’t shy of personalizing recipes (please don’t call it fusion). Thirdly, the food is delicious. The space, a narrow shophouse, is definitely cozy, but the separation between back and front of the house is a tad clumsy. We had to put up with the din of waiters putting away cutlery in the cupboard next to us for nearly an entire meal once. We’ve also been awkwardly seated with a view on the open kitchen, despite never interacting with the chef (in a place this tiny, trust us, it can feel odd).
Eat this: Stock-poached pork neck with chili, red grapefruit, local flowers and toasted sticky rice (B380).
120/6 Sukhumvit Soi 49, 02-392-4313. Open Wed-Sun noon-2:30pm;Tue-Sun 6pm-midnight
3 Chef Man

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The first Chef Man opened at the Eastin Grand Hotel Sathorn where it generated instant buzz as the new go-to place for dim sum. Chef Man’s second branch, at the Eastin Hotel Makkasan has done it again, with reservations an absolute must if you’re hoping to sample a steamed cream bun with salted egg or a pork dumpling with abalone. As for the piece de resistance, Chef Wai Yin Man likes to boast about his B2 million kiln made especially for peking duck (B1,200) and his Beijing-native cook who serves up the dish. Do be punctual as the duck will be ready the very minute you booked the table—but note that there’s now also a third branch in Bang Na.
Eat this: Steamed cream bun with salted egg (B110).
3/F, Eastin Grand Sathorn, Sathorn Rd., 02-212-3741. BTS Surasak. Open daily 11:30am-2:30pm; 6-10pm
4 Hong Bao
Run by the high-rolling investor behind Water Library, this Chinese restaurant is another place stirring people into a dim sum delirium. While the food leans towards a decidedly Cantonese direction, the decor is quite lively and, unlike most typical Chinese restaurants, features Shanghainese accents like dark red and black lacquer and basket ceiling lamps. Noon is the best time to visit as, while some of the regular dishes are merely OK, their expertly prepared dim sum packs some serious wow factor.
Eat this: Steamed buns stuffed with lava cream and salted egg (B110).
G/F, Thanya Shopping Park, Srinakarin Rd., 02-108-6055. Open daily 11:30am-2:30pm, 5-10pm
5 Maya

20131120-162723.jpgYou wouldn’t expect a Holiday Inn to be the center of a big buzz, but Maya’s striking cantilevered structure on the 29/F of the new hotel on Sukhumvit Soi 22 has certainly been turning heads. The kitchen serves up the North Indian culinary creations by Chef Ramneek Singh Lamba such as murgh chandi kebab (marinated chicken with yogurt, cardamom and mace, B380) and crispy okra with cashew and mango powder (B320). Is it going to be competition for heavyweights Indus and Rang Mahal? It’s a still a bit early to tell.
Eat this: Jhinga khada masala (king prawns with shallots, tomatoes, spring onion and spices, B800).
Holiday Inn Sukhumvit, Sukhumvit Soi 22, 02-683-4704. BTS Phrom Pong. Open daily 6pm-1am
6 Rocket

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Rocket is bordering on annoyingly hipster, with its marbletop bar, brunch-y menu and Scandinavian-style furniture. Still, it’s definitely one of the more handsome places out there, and the food, while very simple, is both tasty and fresh. Lunch is usually expedited with a salami-cheese on homemade focaccia (B175) or gravlax on Danish rye (B175) but there are also breakfast options from omelettes (B95) and eggs benedict (B185) for those lazy weekend mornings. But while Rocket is a lovely coffee shop with its own in-house bakery, can it offer enough choice to really be considered a restaurant? We’ll have to see how the planned expansion pans out.
Eat this: Gravlax on Danish rye (B175)
149 Sathorn Tai Soi 12, 02-635-0404. Open Tue-Sun 7am-7pm
7 Scalini

Woman Drinks Coke Instead Of Water For 16 Years

Thanks; Dan Nosowitz Posted 06.25.2013 at 3:30 pm

A real-life Super Size Me, only for 16 years instead of a month. Want to take a guess what happens to your body?

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Coke Bottle Service Wikimedia Commons

A 31-year-old Monaco woman was recently admitted to the hospital after suffering arrhythmia and fainting spells. Her potassium levels were found to be absurdly, dangerously low. These are bad warning signs, but the woman had no family history of heart problems. Further investigation revealed that the patient had not had a sip of water in 16 years; instead she drank only cola.

The doctors told her to stop drinking cola, and then promptly wrote a paper describing the case.

This is one of those instances, like in the movie Super Size Me, that isn’t really indicative of anything besides the specific case it describes. In Super Size Me, filmmaker Morgan Spurlock consumed nothing by McDonald’s for a full month, and found that his health rapidly deteriorated. And, well, yes, of course it did; probably not even McDonald’s executives would suggest that anybody actually do this.

That, though, was a movie about an experiment, not someone’s actual life. And so it’s fascinating to see just what kind of damage such an extreme diet choice can do to a person’s body. The patient apparently drank about two liters of cola every day! Here were the effects:

The patient’s blood-potassium level was 2.4 mmol/L. Normal blood-potassium levels for a woman of her age should have been about twice that.

A QT interval is the time in between the start of the Q wave and the end of the T wave in a patient’s heart. It’s dependent on heart rate but indicative of other things; a lengthened QT interval suggests severe arrhythmia and could indicate death. This patient’s QT interval was 610 ms. A normal QT interval for a woman her age should have been no more than 450 ms.

The patient suffered severe fainting fits.

Amazingly, as soon as the doctors took the patient off of her bonkers cola habit, her potassium levels and QT intervals returned to near-normal. Within one week, her QT interval was 430 ms, and her blood-potassium levels returned to 4.1 mmol/L. Amazing how much torture the human body can bounce back from!

The case was reported at a European health conference this week, though it hasn’t yet made its way to a peer-reviewed journal.

Ten drinks brands control 40% of DF

Thank;Kevin Rozario
Friday, 18 October 2013 15:09

The leading liquor brands in the duty free and travel retail business are taking a greater share of the channel’s business, with Diageo’s Johnnie Walker (range pictured) surging last year to underline its number one position.

According to London-based wine and spirits analyst IWSR, the top 10 brands alone accounted for almost 40% of volume sales in 2012, while the top 100 accounted for 85.7% of the market in 2012, up from 83.8% in 2008 and 79.4% in 2003.

“The leading travel retail brands are inexorably controlling a greater share of the channel every year,” says IWSR.

At the top, Johnnie Walker’s volume sales swelled by +15.3% to 2.3m 9-litre cases, bettered (within the top 10) only by Beam’s Courvoisier in tenth place with +20.9% (see table below). The only other brand showing double-digit growth was fourth-ranked Jack Daniel’s at +11.8% which has benefited from the rollout of its Tennessee Honey extension, as well as higher visibility due to the introduction of Jack Daniel’s concept outlets at a number of international airports.

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Johnnie Walker’s big gains mean that it now has twice the market share of number two brand, Pernod Ricard’s Absolut (10.9% and 5.0% respectively). Johnnie Walker has more sales than Absolut and third placed Chivas Regal combined, also from Pernod Ricard.

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Diageo also had the largest brand representation in IWSR’s Top 100, with 18 brands. Behind it came Pernod Ricard with 17, then Beam (10), Bacardi (6), William Grant & Sons (5), Campari (5) and Brown-Forman (3).

By category, whisky was the largest category, accounting for 26 brands followed by liqueurs with 13 brands, and vodka with 12.

IWSR’s Duty Free/Travel Retail Summary Report 2013 is a global overview of DF&TR trends from 2007 to 2012. It includes data by category, region, channel and quality, as well as rankings of the leading brands, suppliers, outlets and retailers. The report provides volume sales data at brand line and quality level by country and region for 16 product categories.