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Nutrition

6 Things to know about GMOs

Although GMO foods are widely available to consumers, there is sometimes confusion around what GMOs are and how they are used in the food supply.

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You may have heard of “GMO” foods before, but what you may not know is the science and purpose behind them.

“GMO” is a common term used to describe foods that have been created through genetic engineering. A GMO (genetically modified organism) is a plant, animal or microorganism that has had its genetic material (DNA) changed using technology that generally involves the transfer of specific DNA from one organism to another.

Although GMO foods are widely available to consumers, there is sometimes confusion around what GMOs are and how they are used in the food supply. As part of the Feed Your Mind education initiative, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) provides science-based information to help consumers better understand GMOs:

1.  Only a few types of GMO foods are sold. 

Soybeans, cotton, corn, alfalfa, apples, canola, papaya, potatoes, summer squash, sugar beets, pineapple and AquAdvantage salmon complete the list of GMO foods currently sold in many locations. Only a few of these are available in the produce sections of grocery stores. Most are instead used to make ingredients that are then used in other food products like cereals and snack chips.

2.  GMOs can help farmers grow crops that are resistant to diseases and insects. 

Humans have used traditional ways to modify crops and animals to suit their needs and tastes for more than 10,000 years. Genetic engineering lets scientists take a beneficial gene, like insect resistance, and transfer it into a plant. Results can include higher crop yields, less crop loss, longer storage life, better appearance, better nutrition or some combination of these traits.

3.  GMO foods are as safe to eat as their non-GMO counterparts. 

The FDA, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and U.S. Department of Agriculture work together to make sure GMOs are safe for human, plant and animal health. GMO foods are carefully studied before being sold to the public to make sure they are safe. Some GMO plants have even been modified to improve their nutritional value. For example, some GMO soybeans contain healthier oils, which can replace oils containing trans fat.

4.  GMO foods are no more likely to cause allergies than non-GMOs. 

You will not be allergic to a GMO food unless you’re allergic to the non-GMO version of that food. For example, if you’re not allergic to foods made with non-GMO soy, you won’t be allergic to foods made with GMO soy. When developing GMOs, scientists run tests to make sure allergens aren’t transferred from one food to another.

5.  GMOs can reduce farmers’ use of pesticides. 

Some GMO plants contain plant-incorporated protectants to make them resistant to insects. This lowers farmers’ need for and use of spray pesticides.

6.  A “bioengineered” disclosure will be on some of the foods you eat. 

The National Bioengineered Food Disclosure Standard requires bioengineered foods to be labeled by 2022 with text on the packages that reads “bioengineered food,” the bioengineered food symbol or directions for using your phone to find the disclosure. Sometimes the terms “bioengineered,” “GMO” and “genetic engineering” are used interchangeably, but labels required under the Standard use the term “bioengineered.”

Find more answers to your questions about GMOs at fda.gov/feedyourmind.

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Nutrition

Revamp your pantry, start living healthy

Eat and live better with products that make healthy living a lifestyle.

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In the past, many Filipinos put wellbeing and wellness on the back burner until major health concerns arose. But since the pandemic began, health has been thrust into the forefront, taking on a new importance for many.

Now more than ever, individuals are finding ways to live healthier lifestyles. Whether that means taking precautions against getting sick, eating wholesome and nutritious food, or managing a healthy weight. 

A quick Google search about healthy living and dieting will result in a ton of information that it can be hard to know what is accurate. Be wary of fad diets all over social media that promise quick and easy results. The truth is these quick fixes don’t work. What does work is a lifestyle change. It’s more sustainable too. Here are a few tips to make a healthy change to one’s lifestyle.

Munch on good snacks

Not all snacks are bad. Go for snacks that include protein, fiber, and healthy fats. Good snacks also help curb sugar cravings. In fact, snacking is beneficial when increasing intake of nutrient-rich foods for a burst of energy. Snacks that are good to have on hand are those that will keep the stomach full throughout the day. Consider the Macro Fruit Free Muesli Bar and Classic Fruit & Nut Muesli Bar for great sources of fiber. 

Eat whole, organic food

Whole foods are those that have not been overly processed. They have many benefits because they are loaded with vitamins, minerals, and nutrients that help keep the immune system and body strong. Try products that can be used in more ways than one such as Macro Tomato Garlic & Basil Chunky Pasta Sauce which can be used as a sauce for fish or chicken. Another versatile product is Macro Quick Oats which can be used in baking or to make a classic oatmeal recipe or overnight oats. These products promise more than just great taste, but also healthier alternatives to traditional ingredients.    

Stock up on superfoods

Superfoods are those that are rich in antioxidants, good fat, and fiber. Instead of foods that are high in sugar, consider superfoods like Macro Turmeric Latte and Macro Black Chia Seeds. Turmeric helps lower inflammation levels in the body and reduces the risk of health problems. Chia seeds on the other hand are packed with antioxidants and fiber which can help lower high blood pressure and regulate the digestive system.

All Macro products are available in Shopwise, Robinsons Supermarket and The Marketplace Rustans branches nationwide. Woolworths products are also available via the GoCart website.

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Nutrition

5 Reasons to add lobster to meals

In addition to its distinctly sweet flavor, consider these reasons to add Maine lobster to your menu this summer.

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The arrival of summer means favorites like fresh seafood are back on the menu for many families. This year, as you explore new and inventive ways to add variety to weeknight dinners and backyard barbecues, consider including lobster as a versatile, indulgent ingredient.  

Throughout the summer months, lobstermen up and down the Maine coast set off before dawn in pursuit of one of the most beloved crustaceans in the world. As one of the oldest fisheries in the country, the industry boasts a rich history with an unparalleled commitment to sustainability and environmental stewardship that has allowed it to thrive for generations.

In addition to its distinctly sweet flavor, consider these reasons to add Maine lobster to your menu this summer:

Sustainability

To help protect the lobster population and the livelihood of those in the fishery, the lobstermen pioneered sustainability and traceability practices before it was fashionable. The sustainability measures developed and adapted over generations, such as protecting egg-bearing females and releasing juvenile lobsters, have preserved the fishery and produced abundant lobster stocks.

Small Business Support

Unlike many commercial fisheries, the Maine Lobster industry consists of more than 5,000 independent lobstermen who own and operate small day boats. Many lobstermen are from multi-generational lobstering families, which, along with a mandatory apprenticeship program, ensure its continued survival.

Front Lines of Science

Mother Nature and science guide the fishery, meaning ongoing collaboration between scientists and fishermen to research the health of the lobster population and adapt to the effects of climate change to help protect the oceans.

Protection of Endangered Species

Sustainability for the industry means taking care of the larger marine environment and the species that rely on it. Since the 1990s, Maine lobstermen have taken proactive steps to protect endangered North Atlantic right whales by eliminating surface float rope, incorporating weak links to allow whales to break free in the event they encounter gear and marking rope to ensure traceability.

Community Engagement

The lobster industry goes well beyond the fishermen on the water; including the dealers, processors, restaurant owners, trap and boat builders and more. The fishery is part of the identity of Maine, which means enjoying lobster rolls, grilled tails or steamed lobsters this summer directly supports the community and the lobstermen who call it home.

To find more ways to support the industry and recipes to enjoy this summer, visit lobsterfrommaine.com.

Chilled Lobster with Orange and Basil Vinaigrette 

Recipe courtesy of Erin Lynch on behalf of the Maine Lobster Marketing Collaborative 
Servings: 4Dressing:

1          tablespoon minced shallots
2          tablespoons olive oil
2          tablespoons fresh orange juice
1          tablespoon fresh lime juice
2          tablespoons chopped fresh basil
1          tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
1/2       teaspoon salt, plus additional, to taste, divided 
1/4       teaspoon Dijon mustard
            pepper, to taste
1          pound cooked Maine Lobster meat, cut into 1-inch pieces

1          head butter lettuce, torn
1          ripe avocado, peeled and diced
3          radishes, thinly sliced
            kosher salt 
            freshly ground black pepper

To make dressing: In medium bowl, whisk shallots, olive oil, orange juice, lime juice, basil, parsley, salt and Dijon mustard. Season with additional salt and pepper, to taste.

Add lobster to bowl; toss to coat. Chill at least 1 hour, or up to one day.

To serve: Arrange lettuce on serving plate and place lobster on top. Sprinkle with avocado, radishes, kosher salt and ground black pepper.

Traditional Lobster Rolls

Recipe courtesy of the Maine Lobster Marketing Collaborative 
Yield: 4 rolls

1          pound cooked Maine lobster meat 
            mayonnaise, to taste, for binding
            freshly ground black pepper, to taste
            salt, to taste
            fresh lemon juice, to taste
4          buttered, toasted rolls or preferred bread 
            sliced chives, for garnish

In bowl, combine lobster meat; mayonnaise, to taste; pepper, to taste; salt, to taste; and lemon juice, to taste.

Place 3-4 ounces lobster salad on each roll.

Garnish with chives and serve.

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Nutrition

Dine outdoors with delicious plant-forward dishes

More time spent eating meals on the deck or patio calls for recipes that fit your al fresco theme from plant-forward takes on traditional summer fare to platters and spreads that offer everyone something to smile about.

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As rays of sunshine light up backyards and patios, many families take their meals outdoors to enjoy the warm weather while sharing special moments together. More time spent eating meals on the deck or patio calls for recipes that fit your al fresco theme from plant-forward takes on traditional summer fare to platters and spreads that offer everyone something to smile about.

For a unique twist on the classic backyard burger, prepare fresh Falafel Burgers with Cucumber Sauce that provide a plant-based way to emphasize nutrition at the center of your plate. As a trendy way to rethink summer cooking, this family-friendly recipe keeps flavor top of mind while adding plants to the menu.

If lunchtime or snacking in the sunshine calls for an even lighter dish, this Mediterranean Platter offers an opportunity for stylish expression that can be prepared ahead of time. As a simple snack that encourages people to gather and socialize, it’s a perfect summer spread that combines veggies, hummus, cheese and pita bread.

Visit Aramark’s Feed Your Potential website, fyp365.com, to find more ways to celebrate the season.

Mediterranean Platter
Recipe courtesy of Aramark

1/2       lemon, thinly sliced
3/4       teaspoon kosher salt, divided
1/4       teaspoon sugar
3 3/4    teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
1          cup diced tomato
1          cup diced English cucumber
1          tablespoon diced dill pickle
2          tablespoons sliced green onion
2          tablespoons fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves, chopped
1 1/2    teaspoons red wine vinegar
1/8       teaspoon ground black pepper
1          pound fresh asparagus, trimmed
3          cups hummus
1/2       cup crumbled feta cheese
1 1/4    cups pitted mixed olives
6          pita breads, warmed and quartered

In bowl, mix lemon, 1/4 teaspoon salt and sugar. Cover and chill 2-6 hours. Dice lemon. Mix diced lemon and 1/4 teaspoon olive oil. Cover and chill.

Mix diced lemon, tomato, cucumber, pickle, green onion, parsley, vinegar, 1 1/2 teaspoons olive oil and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Cover and chill.

Lightly oil grill rack and heat grill to medium. Mix pepper, asparagus, remaining oil and remaining salt.

Grill asparagus 2 minutes, or until tender-crisp. Let cool. Cover and chill.

Set large serving platter on work surface. Place hummus and tomato salad in small bowls.

To assemble, place larger items on platter then arrange smaller items around them. Group pita in several small stacks next to bowls. Arrange feta and olives in remaining space.

Falafel Burgers with Cucumber Sauce
Recipe courtesy of Aramark

Cucumber Sauce:
2          medium cucumbers, peeled and coarsely grated
2          cups plain full-fat Greek yogurt
1/4       cup fresh lemon juice
2          tablespoons olive oil
2          small cloves garlic, minced
2          teaspoons dried dill
1          teaspoon kosher salt
2-3       tablespoons water

Falafel Patties:
2          cans (15 ounces each) chickpeas, rinsed, drained and patted dry
1/4       cup sesame seeds
1          large carrot, peeled and sliced
1          red onion, halved and sliced
1          cup loosely packed cilantro
6          cloves garlic, peeled
1          jalapeno, sliced
3/4       cup chickpea flour
4          teaspoons ground coriander
4          teaspoons ground cumin
2          teaspoons kosher salt
1          teaspoon ground black pepper
6          tablespoons grapeseed or vegetable oil
4          buns
            lettuce (optional)
            tomato (optional)

To make cucumber sauce: Place grated cucumber in clean dish towel. Roll dish towel around cucumber and squeeze to remove excess liquid.

In bowl, mix cucumber, yogurt, lemon juice, oil, garlic, dill and salt. Stir in 2 tablespoons water, adding more as needed until mixture is smooth and creamy. Cover and chill.

To make falafel patties: In food processor, cover and process chickpeas and sesame seeds until mixture is finely chopped. Transfer to bowl.

In food processor, cover and process carrot, onion, cilantro, garlic and jalapeno until finely chopped. Add vegetable mixture to chickpea mixture. Add flour, coriander, cumin, salt and black pepper; mix well.

Heat oven to 375 F. Line baking sheet with parchment paper. Shape chickpea mixture into four patties. In skillet over medium heat, heat oil. Cook patties 3 minutes, or until golden brown on bottoms. Turn over and cook 3 minutes. Drain on paper towels. Transfer patties to baking sheet.

Bake 20 minutes. Let patties cool 15 minutes. Place patties on buns and top with lettuce and tomato, if desired. Drizzle with cucumber sauce.

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