Food Banks That Churches Count On Are Challenged By Rising Demand, Spoilage Issues

To compile our list of the 15 Most Dangerous Food Destinations, we used reports from the U.S. State Department as our main source, and advise anybody planning to visit a destination in these “culinary danger zones” to always look out for the most recent warnings and advisories before your trip. However, if high crime, risk of terror attacks, and political riots are not stopping you from craving new, thrilling, food adventures, continue browsing through our countdown of the 15 Most Dangerous Food Destinations in the slideshow. 1Syria With an ongoing civil war, violence, and threat of terror attacks and bombings, visiting Syria is highly dangerous, and should be avoided. But despite the current unrest, Syria is still famed for its culture and cuisine, and in 2007 the capital Aleppo was awarded with a cultural gastronomy prize by the International Academy of Gastronomy in Paris. The regional cuisine blends Mediterranean and Middle Eastern flavors, and includes many varieties of kebab Halabi, or spiced kebab, traditional mezze dishes such as hummus and baba ghanoush, and za’atar, a dried herb and spice mixture, often eaten by dipping it with bread in olive oil. According to Khaled Yacoub Oweis, writing for Reuters, the best place to enjoy za’atar is restaurant Qubrusi in Aleppo, which “is a favorite among locals.” Another restaurant well worth a visit is Beit Sissi, rated as “Aleppos finest” by Lonely Planet. Located in a restored house from the 17th century, the restaurant servers French and Syrian cuisine, including items such as sujuk, spicy pork sausage rolled in bread, and ratatouille. 2Yemen Reuters You should really not be in Yemen, even on a visit. The U.S State Department is clear with the message, as terrorist activities and civil unrest have pushed the security threat level to “extremely high.” But for daredevils, Yemen can also provide plenty of unique food experiences, distinct from the more commonly known Middle Eastern flavors. Simple stews and breads might not sound intriguing, but spices such as ginger, cardamom, and aniseed give Yemeni food a unique aromatic touch. Each region has a slightly different version of the national dish, saltah, a meat stew with chiles, tomatoes, garlic, and herbs, and usually mixed with potatoes, scrambled eggs, or even rice. Chicken, goat, and fish are other typical proteins, and dairy products, such as butter and cheese, are rarely used. The capital Sanaa is home to several restaurants, from high-end to budget eats. Freelance journalist Adam Baron, based in Sanaa, recommends Matam Taiz for the peculiar Yemeni specialty aseed a doughy dumpling of fish meal, covered in gravy. 3Cote DIvoire Peeter Viisimaa/iStock Cote DIvoire is yet another country stricken by civil war and political unrest, and its capital, Abidjan, is recognized as the third most dangerous city in the world. Street crime, robbery, and car-jackings are common here.

Fast-food drive-thrus are getting slower

Voisin/ The Washington Post ) – William Valle of the Institute of the Incarnate Word in Chillum, Md., is pictured loading potatoes onto his cart at the food bank. By Hamil R. Harris , E-mail the writer From the loading dock of the cavernous Capital Area Food Bank, Bishop Godfrey Nwaneri and members of the Divine Grace Mission loaded several carts of frozen meat and fresh vegetables that they would take back to the church and offer to those in need of food. Once at the church, Nwaneri said he would make sure that the meat and vegetables were distributed quickly after all, such precious food shouldnt go to waste. Video Bishop Godfrey Nwaneri of Divine Grace Mission discusses what it’s like to work closely with a food bank to feed those in need. (Sarah L. Voisin/The Washington Post) – Gerri Magruder, executive director of Helping Hands Ministry at the First Baptist Church of Capitol Heights, is pictured at the Capitol Area Food Bank. We try to shop very close to the distribution day so the perishables would not spoil, said Nwaneri, who hands out food on the first Saturday of every month. The Maryland pastor is part of a network of more than 500partner agencies that distribute 45 million pounds of food to more than 500,000 people across the Washington area each year. And although the distribution includes bread, cereal and canned goods, there is increasing focus among church food banks to supply fresh vegetables and meat for the good health of those in need. Fresh food thats the key to lowering high blood pressure and diabetes, said Jeri Bailey, director of the food pantry at the Dupont Park Seventh-Day Adventist Church, who was at the food bank the same day as Nwaneri. We prepare bags for 130families a week that includes a meat, fresh greens, canned goods and other items, Bailey said. But the distribution of fresh food means extra attention must be paid to ensuring that the donated perishables dont spoil. Nearly 36 million tons of food were wasted nationally in 2011, said Nancy Roman, president of the Capital Area Food Bank.

Are Pro Athletes Helping Market Junk Food To Kids?

That’s even nudged so-called fast-casual chains like Panera to move into the drive-thru arena and increase the number of drive-thrus it opens. The industry issue that’s slowing down service: menu bloat. Fast food’s ongoing market-share battle is forcing big chains to roll out more premium and more complex products more often. “The operational pressures to assemble those items are slowing down the drive-thru,” says Sam Oches, editor of QSR. For example, Taco Bell told QSR that its Cantina Bell bowls sometimes have up to 12 ingredients which are much more complex to assemble than, say, a Doritos Locos Taco. There’s another factor at work, too: accuracy. “The one thing that angers a customer most is to not get the right food,” says Oches. “It’s possible to be too fast.” Consumers get so upset when they find the wrong kind of burger or the wrong toppings in their bags, that many fast-food sellers are either slowing down the process or adding additional order-accuracy checks to assure correct orders. Some chains are “doubling down” on order accuracy, says Oches. “Customers will be patient if you give them hot, accurate orders,” says Oches. Even then, 2013 has not been the industry’s best year in order accuracy, either. Order accuracy for drive-thru meals for the industry was at 87.2% this year vs. 88.8% last year. The chain ranking highest in accuracy: Chick-fil-A at 91.6%. The lowest was Burger King at 82.3%. But Chick-fil-A customers paid for that industry-leading accuracy at the other end they waited in the drive-thru line longer than anyone this year: 203.9 seconds, on average.

Posted: 10/07/2013 5:14 pm EDT|Updated: 10/07/2013 6:00 pm EDT Subscribe Follow: Athletes Junk Food Marketing , Pro Athletes Drink Endorsements , Pro Athletes Food Endorsements , Pro Athletes Junk Food Endorsements , Pro Athletes Market Junk Food , Healthy Living News Professional athletes may inspire athleticism in young fans, but a new study in the journal Pediatrics suggests they could also be contributing to the promotion of junk food through their endorsements of calorie-laden foods and drinks. The study, conducted by researchers at the Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity at Yale University, showed that food and drink brands are the second biggest endorsement category for professional athletes, second only to sporting goods. And when looking specifically at what kinds of foods and drinks these athletes were endorsing, researchers found that sports drinks made up the biggest category for endorsements, soft drinks made up the second biggest category, and fast food made up the third biggest category. Some athletes seemed to be especially likely to throw their names behind the marketing of unhealthful foods and drinks: NBA player LeBron James, NFL quarterback Peyton Manning and tennis star Serena Williams had the most endorsements of any athletes included in the study. And NBA athletes were more likely to endorse junk food than athletes from any other sports league. “The promotion of energy-dense, nutrient-poor products by some of the worlds most physically fit and well-known athletes is an ironic combination that sends mixed messages about diet and health,” study researcher Marie Bragg, a doctoral candidate at Yale, said in a statement. The study, which is published in the journal Pediatrics , is based on analysis of 100 professional athletes who were ranked on the 2010 Power 100 report from Businessweek (the ranking is based on prominence and endorsement value). Then, researchers looked at what products these athletes endorsed and grouped them into categories, such as food and drink, sporting goods, airlines, etc. Five hundred and twelve brands were identified. Of all the food and drink brands endorsed by the professional athletes, most of them — 79 percent — were considered “energy-dense and nutrient-poor,” and nearly all of the endorsed beverages — 93 percent — got 100 percent of their calories from added sugars. Researchers also did an analysis of 2010 data from Nielson and AdScope, finding that youths ages 12 to 17 watched the most TV commercials with pro athlete endorsements for food. “Our ultimate hope would be that athletes reject the unhealthy endorsements or, at the very least, promote healthy foods,” Bragg told NBC News. “These athletes have an opportunity to work with parents. Instead, they’re promoting really unhealthy foods.” Loading Slideshow Peyton Manning For Papa John’s Peyton Manning For Gatorade LeBron James For Coca Cola LeBron James For McDonald’s Serena And Venus Williams + Peyton And Eli Manning For Oreo Contribute to this Story: