Food Inc.: Corporations Cooking for Us

Who decides what we eat - CookinGenie

04 Nov 2020

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Food Inc.: Corporations Cooking for Us

A few years ago, an infographic went viral that showed how most of the world’s food brands are owned by just a handful of corporations. 

food brands owned by corporations

Image Source: visualcapitalist

Around the same time that this infographic started circulating, a study found that nearly 60% of the calories in the modern American diet come from processed foods.  

 How did we get here with our food 

 In the early years of our countryhome cooked meals & fresh cooked meals were the ways to eatWe plucked our own chickens, grew our own vegetables, made our own bread. We ate whole foods made from scratch. There were innovations—a company called Van Camp sold canned beans to the Union Army during the Civil War, Clarence Birdseye introduced frozen foods in the 1920s—but for the most part, we knew where your food came from or at least knew the local farmer or butcher who provided our ingredients. 

 It was post World War II that our food supply really started to change. Food manufacturers who had secured government contracts during the war saw their profits plummet. To make up for lost wartime revenue, they started introducing new food innovations designed to appeal to housewives’ demand for convenience, like Minute Maid concentrated orange juice, Duncan Hines cake mixes, and Minute Rice.1 

(Also ReadMade to Cook: The Cooking Hypothesis)

The way Americans shopped for food was changing, tooTurn-of-the-century housewives bought their food from the freestanding grocer, butcher, and dry goods stores. They’d hand their shopping list to the store clerk, and the clerk would pick all the items for them. The first self-service grocery store, Piggly Wiggly, opened in Memphis in 1916, and this new store model—where consumers roamed through the store picking out their own items from the shelf—quickly caught on. According to the National Women’s History Museumbetween 1948 and 1958, the number of supermarkets in the United States doubled to over 2,500 and for the first time, it was cheaper to buy processed food than fresh.   

 Suddenly there were lots of money to be made in packaged convenience foods and the mergers and acquisitions began. Large companies started gobbling up smaller brands, and the steady consolidation of the industry continues to grow. In the last 20 years, there have been 9,007 mergers and acquisitions in the food, beverage, and grocery space, according to The Food Institute.  

 Industry watchdog Food & Water Watch says that all this consolidation means that these companies have an outsized influence on the food choices, diets, and working conditions of people around the world — not to mention the impact they have on the environment. Reduced competition gives these corporations control of the market price that farmers get for their crops and livestock. It’s led to the decrease of family farms and the growth of factory farms, ecologically damaging farming practices, and more and more unhealthy processed foods on grocery store shelves.  

(Also ReadAvoid wasting food: save $1600 per year)

Amidst all this, what can we do to eat healthy? We love eating out and that will always remain an enjoyable experience. But the sure shot way to eat healthily is to have more home cooked meals. Meal prepping can also be an effective strategy. But if modern life gets in the way of fresh cooked meals or meal prepping, consider businesses like CookinGenie. CookinGenie can send a Genie (culinary experts ranging from classically trained chefs to specialized home cooks) to your house to make home-cooked meals for you and your family. Click here to view our menus and book your Genie today & enjoy fresh cooking from wholesome ingredients.  


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02 Nov 2019

Turmeric Demystified..

One of the reasons we are hesitant about trying new foods is lack of familiarity with the ingredients. Today, we would like to demystify turmeric – a key ingredient of most Indian dishes & curries. Turmeric is an ingredient that is derived from the turmeric plant.

Wondering what it tastes like? Turmeric has a warm slightly bitter taste and is commonly used to add both flavor and color to curries, mustard, butters and cheeses. Because of it’s powerful yellow orange hue it is often used as dye products and cosmetics.

Outside of its popular flavor profile it also has a history of being used medicinally. In fact, turmeric is commonly used to treat conditions involving pain or inflammation. Historically it has been used in treatments for hay fever, high cholesterol, and even liver disease. Some people even take it in capsule form to treat issues like heartburn, inflammatory bowel disease, stress, and other conditions.

Turmeric carries importance in the Indian culture and goes far beyond medicine. The Hindu religion views the spice as sacred and auspicious. Turmeric is an integral part of many wedding rituals in India. In parts of southern India turmeric rhizome is often worn as a good luck charm or an amulet for protection against evil spirits.

Probably most well-known for its use in curry, this spice is having a moment in pop culture. It is sometimes referred to as Indian Saffron, at times when saffron is unavailable it can be used to obtain that signature golden color. If you’re wanting to experiment with this spice for flavor or medicinally it can be found in most grocery stores. Remember to use it sparingly although the touted benefits are impressive remember that this spice is pungent, and it takes only a small amount to flavor an entire dish.

If you’re wanting to incorporate this spice into your life but feel uncertain where to start contact us today to hire a Genie. Let us demonstrate to you how this ingredient can be a part of your diet. you on different dishes it can be added too. Fresh food, with some flavor, color & health benefits. We urge you to get to know turmeric – the reasons are endless.

References:
https://www.webmd.com/vitamins/ai/ingredientmono-662/turmeric

What is the History of Turmeric?

https://www.vedicaorganics.com/blogs/news/25739841-using-turmeric-in-indian-cooking

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How to Elevate Dining Experience

01 Oct 2021

Have a hankering for French food?  How about Italian, Mexican, or maybe Korean? Have adventurous taste buds? You might like to try something new, perhaps Peruvian, or Greek? Luckily, there’s CookinGenie, an amazing online service that can bring all those amazing flavors, and more, right to your very own kitchen.  

CookinGenie has chefs that can prepare foods from around the world, plus your all-American favorites. There are many amazingly tasty meals to choose from, and they’re all cooked from scratch in your own kitchen!  You can choose from a wide variety of appetizers, entrees, soups, salads, and desserts. 

Pandemic travel restrictions may prevent you from traveling the world, but world cuisine can still come to you. Simply pick a day and time and your own personal chef (AKA Genie) will come to your home. 

To hire your own personal chef, just go to www.cookingenie.com. The site has a biography and photo for each Genie, which includes their education and background. A complete menu from every genie is available online for you to choose from. 

The online booking system shows you exactly when a chef is available and where they will travel to. All it takes is a few clicks and your unique culinary experience will be booked. 

When CookinGenie comes to you, there is no wait to be seated. You stay in the comfort of your own home while the Genie does all the cooking. You have complete control over who you invite as guests. Plus, your home is certainly much quieter than a busy restaurant. You can also choose your own background music or just enjoy a peaceful conversation. 

If someone in your family does not feel well on the day the personal chef is scheduled, they will gladly reschedule. Safety during these uncertain times is a top priority. 

Still, thinking why you should hire a personal chef for your next meal? Here are the benefits and features of hiring a personal chef with CookinGenie –   

Shopping & packing      

There is no need to worry about not having the right ingredients on hand. Your personal chef will do all the shopping and packing, leaving you free to entertain your guests. 

The chef will arrive with all the ingredients they need to prepare the meal you have chosen. They will use your pots and pans. If there is a special type of dish or utensil the chef needs, but you don’t have, you can arrange for the chef to bring it. Otherwise, the Genies are quite adaptable. 

When you have a special occasion to plan, hiring a personal chef from Cookingenie leaves you with more time to focus on the other important details. When you have happy occasions to celebrate, you want to enjoy them as much as your guests, not spend all your time hunched over the stove or washing dishes.  

Your Genie will do all of the shopping and upfront cooking that provides more value $ than a restaurant! 

Having a CookinGenie come to your home has many advantages over going to a restaurant. Because the food is cooked at your home, from scratch, it’s fresher and tastier than takeout. Plus, there are no boxes or bags to contend with, nor trying to figure out which dish goes to which person. 

The prices per person are comparable or even lower than what you would pay for high-end in-person dining. CookinGenie is affordable luxury combined with convenience. 

The meals will serve four to eight people. Most likely there will also be leftovers. You won’t have to ask for one of those awkward Styrofoam boxes! You can use your own containers, or just leave the food in the dishes it was cooked in and pop it in the refrigerator. 

With your leftovers, you can extend your dining experience through the next day or divvy up the leftovers into single portion sizes and put them in the freezer for weeks or months into the future. It’s totally up to you!  

You can learn new culinary techniques and novelties from the chef 

Unlike being in a restaurant, with a CookinGenie chef you can actually watch him or her at work. You can talk to him or her and ask questions. You may learn some new techniques and tricks and improve your own home cooking. When it’s time to compliment your chef, you won’t have to flag a waiter down to send a message. You can thank him or her in person. 

Highly convenient 

Even when there’s no pandemic complicating things, trying to get a large group of people organized to go out to a restaurant can be a hassle. When the restaurant is your home, there is never any worry that your table will be given away because you got stuck in traffic or were late for other reasons. 

Having the chef come to you means you won’t have to sit in a crowded lobby while you wait for your table to be ready.  

Safety is very important. All CookinGenie chefs have had background checks and undergo an extensive interview process, so you can be confident letting them into your home. They will also wear masks, wash their hands, and follow all CDC guidelines to keep you and your guests safe. 

Time-saving & customized menu 

You can search the menu by country or cuisine type, including entrees, appetizers, and desserts. The site will then show you the Genies that will prepare that type of food and when they are available. 

You can also click on a Genie’s profile photo to see what their specialties are. From there, you can book a time right online. 

There are mouth-watering photos of each item shown on the menu. Click on the photo of the dish and it will take you to the list of ingredients. Knowing what is in the food you will serve is important if any guests have food allergies or are just plain picky. If you have dietary preferences or restrictions, the genies are very adaptable, and the platform’s support staff will be happy to work with you to come up with the perfect menu!  

No need to find a babysitter! 

If you are the parents of young children, you may think you’ll have to wait years before you can enjoy fine dining again. Think again! Thanks to CookinGenie the children can stay at home with you while your own kitchen is transformed into a fine dining restaurant. 

The menu even includes kid-friendly dishes like grilled cheese. 

The children will have their own toys to keep them entertained. There will be no worries about keeping squirmy toddlers in their seats in an unfamiliar location. If one of the kids gets cranky, they can be sent to take a nap in their own, familiar bed.  

The best of all, no dishes or clean up to do, the chef takes care of everything! 

When the meal is finished, you won’t have to be worried about the cleanup. Your personal chef will put everything away and leave your kitchen in the same order as when they arrived. The chef will even do the dishes. 

At the end of the day, your belly will be full, your guests will be happy, and your children won’t have to leave the comfort of their own home. The kitchen will be left in order, and you will likely have leftovers to enjoy later. It’s a home-run of a dining experience, all the way around.  

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Chicken Tacos

25 Nov 2020

When thinking about famous foods from around the world, some key dishes come to mind. We’re willing to bet Mexican cuisine ranks high on many people’s lists, with tacos at the top. But, have you ever stopped to wonder how the tasty taco came to be?  

It turns out, the history of the taco is as colorful and varied as the taco fillings themselves.  

Tacos as we know them today were believed to have started in the 1800s as the humble lunch of Mexican silver miners. The word “taco” translates to “plug” or “wad” – reflecting the small sticks of dynamite used in the mines.  

There is evidence, however, that the taco’s origins began much earlier.  

It is believed that the Aztecs invented tortillas using masa cooked on hot stones. The Aztec emperor, Montezuma, used the tortillas like a spoon to scoop or hold food such as cochineal, beans, and chiles. The word “taco” stems from the Nahuatl word “tlahco,” meaning “half” or “in the middle” in reference to how it is formed. 

(Also ReadMade to Cook: The Cooking Hypothesis)

Early taco fillings were simple and reflected what was available, such as fishcooked organs, small insects, ants, locusts, and snails. It wasn’t until the 1500s, when Spanish soldiers arrived in Mexico with pigs from Cuba, that pork was introduced as a filling and served at large banquets (the first “taco parties” as documented in 1520 by Bernal Diaz del Castillo, a Spanish soldier sailing with Hernan Cortes). From here, the taco spread across the “New World” as a staple food 

Whether crediting the Aztecs or silver miners, the taco is a dish woven through the fabric of Mexican cuisine. 

Into America & Beyond 

Portable and easy to eat, tacos became a primary meal of the working class. In time, street food vendors filled soft corn tortillas with a simple, spicy filling to offer workers on their breaks. Around 1905, this delicious and practical meal crossed the border into the United States when Mexican laborers moved north to work on the railroads.  

It wasn’t until the 1920s that the traditional filling of organs was replaced by beef and chicken. In addition, lettuce, tomato, and cheddar cheese became standard fillings in America  this fusion brought forth by the availability of American ingredients and a more subtle palate.   

While some may prefer more traditional preparation, today, tacos in America include a vibrant blend of traditional Mexican flavors combined with new ingredients and influences from around the globe – a fusion of flavors to satiate a wide variety of tastes.  

Need further evidence of the taco’s cult-like following? In 2019, Netflix released the first season of Taco Chronicles, a docuseries that explores the rich histories of popular taco styles. From barbacoa to carnitas, cochinita to birria, and many others, watch this mouth-watering series on your next taco night.  

Whatever fillings you like, tacos are arguably one of the most-loved foods in the world. Whether you prefer vegetarian sweet potato and black bean, or chicken, pork or beef, CookinGenie offers fresh, authentic home-cooked Mexican-styled tacos to make every night taco night. We cook from scratch with wholesome ingredients, right in your kitchen. Whether meal prepping or organizing a small dinner party, our Genies can help create a taco bar like no other, connecting you back to hundreds of years of tradition and fusion of cultures through food.  

 

Sources 

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