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GMO Salmon from Aqua Bounty
Genetically engineered salmon (top) compared to natural salmon.

A Food and Drug Administration (FDA) panel will decide Monday, September 27 whether the first genetically engineered food animal proposed for public consumption will be safe to eat and safe for the environment. The fish in question is a salmon that can grow at twice the normal rate, making the journey from inland fish farm to the table twice as fast.

The salmon’s maker, Aqua Bounty Technologies, Inc., based out of Massachusetts, has said the gene inserted has not mutated over multiple generations of fish and does not harm to the animals. Based on recent taste test, Aqua Bounty claims the fish is similar in almost every way to natural salmon and tastes the same.

Aqua Bounty Chief Executive Officer Ronald Stotish told the FDA's panel that the fish could provide the "healthy kind of diet that Americans are used to.” Overfishing and increased demand have put a strain on many fish species in recent decades. Industrialization in the Northeast has seriously impacted the Atlantic salmon’s habitat, and most Atlantic salmon now comes from inland fish farms. Aqua Bounty has said it will sell its salmon eggs to fish farms in Canada and Panama, and eventually in the U.S., if the FDA panel grants approval.

How the public will react is not yet clear. Critics have voiced concerns over the amount of time allowed for testing the salmon, as well as concerns over how to label genetically engineered animals in supermarkets. Current FDA rules require special labels for altered food when there is a vast difference between natural and genetically modified food (most genetically engineered crops are not labeled).

Genetically engineered vegetables such as corn, rice, and peppers have been sold in markets since the early 1990’s.

Read more about the controversy surrounding genetically engineered salmon here.


Peppered Seals?

Posted by: Kelli Bergthold

peppered sealPepper spray has a long history of being used for self defense against both humans and wild animals. It’s an effective, non-lethal weapon that can keep people safe without having to resort to brute force. The active ingredient in pepper spray is oleoresin capsicum, which is a wax-like resin extracted from finely ground capsicum converted into an aerosol. The most common uses of pepper spray are against dogs and bears, which are known to attack humans and domestic animals. In Alaska, for instance, it’s common to take a can of pepper spray with on walks and other outdoor excursions just in case. In Coyote Country in the Southwestern United States, residents rely on pepper spray to protect their children and pets from hungry critters.

Now, fishermen along the Tasmanian coast in the South Pacific are trying out pepper spray on aggressive bull seals. Dangerous seal encounters are a recent phenomenon; in the past decade, as competition for food lures the animals closer to shore, aggressive bull seals are becoming a very real risk.

"People have been bowled over, literally, by the seals trying to charge past them. Divers have been nipped, they've had their fins nipped, they've been dragged underwater," says Pheroze Jungalwalla from the Tasmanian Salmonoid Growers Association.

To counter-act the attacks, the state government is encouraging fishermen to carry pepper spray. Fishermen are first trained in the use of pepper spray to prevent accidental injury. There are doubts whether pepper spray will really work against a two-ton bull seal, but it’s a possible alternative to shooting aggressive animals that are being driven into dangerous encounters by a lack of other food sources.

Source:

ABC News: Peppered Seal the New Fish Farm Defense



ThrowdownRippin’ Red Wing Sauce, the newest product from Rizzotti Foods, LLC will be going head to head with the one and only DEFCON Sauces! The gauntlet was thrown in a thread on peppersandmore.com in August, and both Rippin’ Red Wing Sauce and DEFCON have accepted the challenge.

“It is an honor and pleasure to challenge the mighty DEFCON sauces. We have nothing but respect and admiration for John Dilley and his products,” said Rizotti Foods owner John Rizzotti.Rippin Red Hot Wing Sauce

Hosted by Peppers and More, the contest will feature a blind taste test using tasters who have never tried either of the two sauces. The sauces will be judged on a list of four criteria, rating the food with a 1 to 5 number system, 5 being the best:

  1. How well does the sauce cling/stick to wings? 1-2-3-4-5
  2. Aroma? 1-2-3-4-5
  3. Color of sauce 1-2-3-4-5
  4. Overall taste? 1-2-3-4-5Defcon Sauces

To find out more about the Throwdown, visit www.scottrobertsweb.com, or read the original thread on www.peppersandmore.com!

Learn more about the challengers: DEFCON Sauces and Rippin' Red Wing Sauces.


Deep Fried BeerMany wondered which deep fried concoctions would snag the Big Tex Choice awards for Most Creative and Best Taste at the 2010 State Fair of Texas; this year’s winner for “most creative” fried food is something every football-loving, beer-guzzling guy dreams of—Fried Beer. It’s really a deep fried pretzel pocket filled with Guinness, but the process doesn’t burn off the alcohol, so the recipe is strictly 21 and over.

“I was lazy,” said inventor Mark Zable of his motives for frying up a pocket of battered beer. Zable, who runs a Belgium waffle stand at the fair, has been a Big Tex Choice finalist twice before.

The Big Tex Choice award for Best Taste went to Texas Fried Frito Pie from the boys over at Bert’s Burgers & Fries stand. It’s a combination of Texas chili, sharp cheddar cheese and Frito corn chips lightly battered and deep fried, and according to its creator, it takes tastes back to the Golden Age of Fair Food.

Other entries included Deep Fried S'mores Pop Tarts, Fried Chocolate, Deep Fried Frozen Margaritas, Fried Lemonade, Fernie’s Fried Club Salad and Fried Texas Caviar.

Want more fried State Fair delicacies? Click here!


South Africans Unite with BBQ

Posted by: Kelli Bergthold

Tagged in: tasty travel , holidays , history , grilling

Braai4heritage Poster 2010This September, South Africans will be looking forward to a big event. No, the World Cup isn’t making a repeat appearance; instead they’ll be turning their attention to another one of South Africa’s pastimes – barbeque. The word braai is Afrikaans for “barbeque” and is an immensely popular pastime in Botswana, Lesotho, Namibia, South Africa, Zambia and Zimbabwe. September 24 marks South Africa’s National Braai Day, a celebration of the country’s rich cultural heritage.

Similar to a potluck, braaing is a laid back social event. Families and friends get together at a picnic spot or at someone’s home to cook meat and vegetables over an open flame. For most, it doesn’t matter what goes on the braai, so long as it’s good. Popular meat choices include kebabs, marinated chicken, pork and lamb chops, steaks, and seafood in coastal areas. Along with meat and vegetables, South Africans include a dish called “pap,” a thick porridge made from corn.

Nobel Peace laureate and Emeritus Archbishop, Desmond Tutu is the patron of National Braai Day, and has called on South Africans across the globe to throw some meat on the braai to honor the nation’s multi-cultural heritage and the fall of apartheid. While the 78-year-old will be retiring from public life this year, he says will remain the patron of the braai campaign, which aims to unite South Africans in an activity enjoyed by all demographic groups and religious denominations.

“The important thing is all of us on that one day again getting together and just enjoying the fact of being South Africans,” said the Archbishop.

Of course, you don’t have to be a South African to enjoy National Braai Day. Fire up your grill on September 24, throw some meat on the coals, and celebrate along with them!

Learn more about National Braai Day here.


Fiery Foods Show 2010There has been misinformation flying around on certain Chilehead blogs about the National Fiery Foods & BBQ Show. Some folks have been trying to compare our show with a competing show in Texas (which was recently purchased by new people who just managed to put up a website, and no longer has the backing of a certain food magazine that can’t seem to publish a magazine any more).

One comment claimed that the National Fiery Foods & BBQ Show was much larger (that part is correct), but the show in Texas was ‘more fun’ because of free alcohol and parties. Question: exactly why do companies exhibit at shows? Is it to have fun and get free booze? Or is it to promote your product to the largest possible audience? That’s the difference between a festival and a trade show.

Exhibiting at any show is costly and time consuming. Sometimes it’s a lot of fun. So if you’re going to spend that money, doesn’t it make sense to direct your energy where you’ll get the most bang for your buck? The Fiery Foods & BBQ Show is the place.

And about that imagined absence of buyers at the Fiery Foods & BBQ Show. We’re in our 23rd year, and every year our buyer list expands—you do the math. It’s a proven fact that many buyers come to our show every year and make their buying decisions based on what they see.

We appreciate everyone who participates in the Fiery Foods & BBQ Show, either as a buyer, exhibitor, or attendee. Trying to decide which show will be the best for your company? That’s your call. But at the end of the day, Albuquerque is still home to the biggest, the longest running, the Hottest Show on Earth!

Lois Manno
Editor, www.fiery-foods.com
Sunbelt Shows

PS:  Chilehead blogger Scott Roberts has a poll up about what show you would attend in 2011 if you only had one show to go to.  If you like our show, please take his poll (3 seconds max) that is here.


Chile TreeChile peppers are hot, and we love them for it! From mild bell peppers to the insanely hot Bhut Jolokia, peppers can have an incredible heat range. But have you ever wondered why our favorite chile peppers are so hot? Join an American ecologist, his weary team of graduate assistants and scientists, and a curious journalist as they trek through the jungles and deserts of Bolivia in search of the answer.

Read the article from the Smithsonian Magazine by clicking here!


 

Chile Pepper HeartGood news for chile lovers: A recent study has found that long-term consumption of chile peppers may help lower blood pressure. Capsaicin is the compound in chile peppers that gives them their spicy kick; along with its heat properties, the compound works to relax muscles, including blood vessels.  The new study, published in the journal Cell Metabolism, is the first to examine long-term effects of capsaicin consumption in mice. Researchers found that long-term consumption increased the production of nitric oxide, which is known to protect blood vessels against inflammation and dysfunction. Many other health benefits are already attributed to chile peppers, such as reducing inflammation, headaches, and arthritis pain. Researchers of this most recent study concluded that further analysis should be done on humans to determine the full benefits of capsaicin. In the meantime, be sure to eat plenty of salsa!

Source:

Cell Metabolism: Activation of TRPV1 by Dietary Capsaicin Improves Endothelium-Dependent Vasorelaxation and Prevents Hypertension


 

Check out the Events Calendar at the bottom of the Fiery Foods & BBQ homepage for fiery events taking place across the country. Use our handy events list to satisfy your craving for all things spicy! Here's a tasty sampling for the weekend of August 21-22:

• Mammoth Festival - Wine, Music, Food & Art, August 20 - August 22 in Mammoth Lakes, CA

• Diamond State BBQ Championship, Saturday, August 21 in Dover, DE
• Salsa Showdown, Saturday, August 21 in Holland, MI
• Taste of Los Alamos Fundraiser, Saturday, August 21 in Los Alamos, NM

Click here to see all upcoming events. Have an event to add to the menu? Contact us at fiery-foods@comcast.net.


 

Hatch ChilesIt’s that time of year here in New Mexico—the air will soon be ripe with the fragrant scent of roasting Hatch green chiles; mouths will water, and tongues will burn. The 2010 Hatch chile season was off to a rough start this year as the New Mexico harvest was delayed due to weather, but this week, chileheads across the country can start salivating as stores put up “Coming Soon” signs for the popular crop.

A message blares on the homepage of Hatch-Chile Express, “Praise God, the 2010 chile season has begun!” The company, along with other producers in the Hatch valley area, is gearing up to begin shipping Hatch chiles this week. The harvest is a quick affair, lasting several weeks from late July to early September. Known for their distinctive taste and quality, the chiles are grown in the Hatch valley in southern New Mexico. Widely held to be the crème-de-la-crème of the chile harvest, Hatch chiles are perfect for roasting and freezing for later. New Mexicans are known for buying 25-100 lb. bags to satisfy their taste buds throughout the year.

Roasting Hatch ChilesIf you’re located outside of New Mexico, you might have to wait a week or two for shipments to start appearing in local markets, but as many foodies know, the wait is worth it. Keep your eyes—and noses—peeled for this spicy favorite; they’re guaranteed to go fast!

Can’t get enough Hatch? Check out the Hatch Chile Festival this September!


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