Friday, April 26, 2013

Potato Chip News: Hedonic Hyperphagia aka Can't-Eat-Just-One Syndrome

NEW ORLEANS, April 11, 2013 —The scientific secrets underpinning that awful reality about potato chips — eat one and you're apt to scarf 'em all down — began coming out of the bag today in research presented at the 245th National Meeting & Exposition of the American Chemical Society, the world's largest scientific society...
Tobias Hoch, Ph.D., who conducted the study, said the results shed light on the causes of a condition called "hedonic hyperphagia" that plagues hundreds of millions of people around the world.
"That's the scientific term for 'eating to excess for pleasure, rather than hunger,'" Hoch said. "It's recreational over-eating that may occur in almost everyone at some time in life. And the chronic form is a key factor in the epidemic of overweight and obesity that here in the United States threatens health problems for two out of every three people."
Hoch and his colleagues, delving deeper into the inner workings of hedonic hyperphagia, have found the root causes of the condition. His team, from FAU Erlangen-Nuremberg, in Erlangen, Germany, used lab rats to get to the bottom of the “can’t eat just one” conundrum. For the study, the rats in one group were allowed to feast on potato chips, while a second group was fed rat chow, and a third was given a mixture of fat and carbs.
While each group was offered similar amounts of each food type, the researchers found that those in the chip group more actively pursued their food, which can be explained partly by the high energy content of the snack. Hoch noted that the chip group was also more active after its feast than the other two groups.
Although the carbs and fats group got a source of high energy, the rats still pursued the chips most actively; the chow group was least active in its pursuit of a meal. Hoch noted that this provided further evidence that the chips contain some other ingredient that sparked interest in the rats.
...Hoch surmised that since chips, as well as other foods, affect the reward center in the brain: “In some cases maybe the reward signal from the food is not strong enough to overrule the individual taste,” he added, suggesting that some people may just simply have stronger willpower than others in not choosing to eat chips by the bagful.
What an interesting study....wait! What did they find out? They gave a name to the problem, they tested it on rats, and now (if you read the whole press release) they're going to use the data to try and develop a drug to counter hedonic hyperphagia. Ha! A drug? C'mon.
What I read in this study is that they "discovered" that rats prefer chips over regular chow or a fat-carb mixture. Duh. They also "discovered" that the potato chip rats more actively pursued their food. Duh. They concluded that if you have willpower you will probably not eat chips or overeat. Duh!
I think the only thing I learned from this study is that they suspect that potato chips might contain a substance that causes eaters to lose a bit of control, but what is that substance?
Let me know if I'm missing something important.

Calbee Seaweed & Salt Flavored Potato Chips

Tonight I opened my Chip Chest and pulled out this bag of Calbee brand Seaweed & Salt flavored potato chips. I'm pretty sure I bought these a few months ago at Assi Supermarket, a Korean grocery store.
Yum! These are really delicious, almost like putting a sheet of those seaweed snacks together with a regular potato chip and then CRUNCH! I love how well the chips capture the seaweed flavor and I love that its a mild flavor, meaning the chips would go well with many other food pairings because they're not too strong and overpowering. I thought the chip itself had a nice, crispy crunch to it, but it was a bit on the greasy side. Surprisingly, there was no unpleasant aftertaste or mouthfeel. Even though they have MSG listed in the ingredients, I see myself buying these again, or, at the very least, trying to make my own seaweed flavored chips.  They get four potatoes!

Sunday, March 31, 2013

Potato Chip News: Man Hits Another With His Car Over Potato Chips

Here's the link, but just in case that fails...
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – An argument over a bag of potato chips led to a brutal assault in East Nashville. A car was involved and the victim ended up with a broken leg.
Travis Patton told police he was inside the Z-Mart convenience store at 803 Dickerson Pike with 24-year-old Timothy Floyd early Monday morning.
Before they walked out, the victim said Floyd bought him a bag of potato chips and then asked Patton to pay him back.
Patton said he thought Floyd had bought the chips for him and just walked out of the store. He told police he didn't think anything of it until he saw Floyd drive up on the sidewalk and hit him with his car.
Officials said Patton sustained a broken leg. His family was nearby and was able to take him to the hospital.
"I didn't know he was hurt until I saw him hop on one leg over to a grey car. He was trying to get help," said Geraldine Jackson, Patton's aunt.
Police arrested Floyd not far from where the incident happened. He was charged with aggravated assault and driving with a revoked license. They said he should not have even been driving because his license was suspended.
Floyd was booked into the Davidson County Criminal Justice Center. 
Wow. Does Timothy Floyd blog about his love of potato chips, too? Geez.

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Herr's Pizza Flavored Potato Chips

This video was a long time in the making and I'm really happy with it. My parents, the two other crazy people you'll hear in this recording, are the ones who got me into tasting stuff. They always have new snack products around the kitchen to try and we always experiment when we go out to eat or to events. Both of them are great with words and fantastic at storytelling, so I thought they'd make excellent potato chip testers. This slideshow proves that I am correct, again!


Friday, December 21, 2012

Potato Chip Pop-Up Visit: A Slideshow

Here's a slideshow of mine and Dante's visit to the Potato Chip Pop-Up at Iam8bit Gallery, 2147 W. Sunset Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90026. We went on December 21, 2012. Enjoy!

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Nutty Brewnette at BJ's Restaurant and Brewhouse

I went out with a couple of my old co-workers just to get together and celebrate a few things at once. I've always had really good experiences at BJ's and obviously like brewhouses, so, despite the fact that the particular location they wanted to go to was in a mall, and this is the holiday season, I was excited to go and see these folks. Plus, I remembered that this BJ's had an outside entrance so I didn't have to actually go into the mall. Yay!
Jeremiah Red and Nutty Brewnette
 I normally order their house-made Hefeweizen, which is where I discovered that Hef is actually really great by itself, sans the added squeeze of citrus.  But, I felt like I should try something new and different. I couldn't decide and the server was too busy to help, so I ordered a sample of BJ's Jeremiah Red Irish-Style Ale and the Nutty Brewnette American-Style Brown Ale. If they failed, I'd just get a pint of Hef and call it a night. But the server proved to be so busy he forgot my order. First he brought me a strawberry lemonade. Then, he brought me a full pint of the Brewnette and said he'd be right back with a sample of Hef. I took a quick sip, and told him to forget the Hef. The Brewnette seemed to be fine.
Nutty Brewnette: Not a blonde!

I took a minute to taste it and it was actually really nice. It was flat and mouthcoating. It had a very distinct and strong flavor of caramel, but it wasn't salty or too sweet. There was also hints of sweet spices such as cloves and cinammon, as well as a pecans. It had elements that can be sweet, but the ale itself was not sugary in any way. 

My experience with darker beers is that their flavor is usually lost or severely distorted by most food, but I must've chosen a good pairing in the Mediterranean Pizza, because the beer and the pie were delicious together.  

A fun night with people I miss seeing on a daily, a yummy pizza and a great dark beer.