Thought for Food Blog

Naomi McGrath

Naomi is a Production Editor at IFIS and joined in 2008 after graduating with a BSc in botany. When she is not busy writing blogs, she enjoys reading, travelling, swimming and playing the piano.

Recent Posts

Edible Insects – The Food of the Future?

Posted by Naomi McGrath

10-May-2017 08:30:00

The eating of insects, or entomophagy, is not a new concept. In fact, insects have been eaten around the world since prehistoric times.

 

A history of insect consumption

Stable carbon isotope analysis of the bones and dental enamel of australopithecines, for example, has shown that they were significantly enriched in isotope 13C, suggesting that the diet of these people was largely composed of animals feeding on grasses, including insects. Termites are reported to have been included into the Plio-Pleistocene hominin diet, and an analysis of fossils from caves in the USA and Mexico showed that coprolites from caves in Mexico contained ants, beetle larvae, lice, ticks and mites, providing further evidence for entomophagy in human history. 

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Topics: zinc, texture, food safety, food security, nutrition, protein, allergies and allergens, pesticides, cholesterol, nutrients, magnesium, amino acids, fatty acids, calcium, enzymes, vitamins and minerals, environment and sustainability, Asia, Africa, consumer behaviour, insect foods, novel foods

Why buy local food?

Posted by Naomi McGrath

09-Dec-2016 12:25:17

Interest in local food is growing. Consumers choose to buy local foods for a wide variety of reasons, including their perceived nutritional superiority and health benefits, advantages for the local economy, and to help protect the environment.

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Topics: labelling, food quality, Christmas, organic, packaging, flavour, nutrients, fruit, vegetables, meat, retail and marketing, food production, environment and sustainability, food economics, consumer behaviour, local foods, plant-based diets

Adulteration of Spices – it’s just “nut” right.

Posted by Naomi McGrath

06-Sep-2016 11:20:19

Every day, millions of people put a lot of trust in the food industry. More and more of us check product labels on a regular basis to make sure what we are buying meets our individual requirements – be they for low fat foods, sugarless concoctions, organically certified foods, clean label products or anything else. And when we buy a food product, we expect it to contain what it says it does on the label.

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Topics: food safety, labelling, allergies and allergens, spices, regulations and guidance, contaminants, nuts, food fraud, analytical techniques

Is Breakfast the Most Important Meal of the Day?

Posted by Naomi McGrath

04-May-2016 09:42:31

Breakfast on the brain?

Breakfast, we’ve all been told countless times, is the most important meal of the day. It is claimed that a good breakfast can provide us with the energy needed to start a new day, offer a good source of important nutrients and fibre, helping to contribute to a more nutritionally complete diet overall, and even reduce the risk of becoming overweight or obese, or developing high blood pressure, heart disease, or type 2 diabetes.

In addition to being good for our health, eating – or not eating – breakfast has also been linked to effects on our cognitive performance, alertness, concentration, and mood. It is claimed that eating breakfast can enhance memory, improve concentration levels and mood, decrease stress, and improve attention span.

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Topics: healthy eating, diabetes, nutrients, obesity, fibre, neuroscience, cognitive function, mental health

Why Are We Wasting So Much Food?

Posted by Naomi McGrath

30-Nov-2015 09:45:50

Almost 800 million people are suffering from malnutrition in the world today. Meanwhile, around a third of all the food produced for human consumption is wasted or lost. This food waste, which amounts to around 1.3 billion tonnes every year, occurs at all stages of the food chain, from the farm to the consumer’s home, and its value is thought to be around US$1 trillion. As the world population continues to increase, reducing the amount of food that is lost or wasted will become more essential than ever. It has been estimated that by 2050 we will require a 60% increase in global food production to feed the population.

The causes of food waste differ between countries around the world. In developing countries, losses tend to occur at the earlier stage of the supply chain and are often due to financial and structural limitations in harvest techniques, storage and transport infrastructures, processing, cooling capabilities, packaging, marketing and infrastructure, as well as climatic conditions that favour food spoilage. Social and cultural conditions can also play a role in food loss in these countries. In medium- and high-income countries, meanwhile, waste tends to occur at the more downstream end of the food chain and often relates to food quality standards and consumer behaviour.

 

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Topics: food safety, labelling, food quality, food security, packaging, regulations and guidance, contaminants, retail and marketing, food production, environment and sustainability, food waste, consumer behaviour

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