Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Color and Size Matter

The Color of A Plate Makes A Difference

According to a study, participants who had low contrast between their food and the plates they served themselves on, for example pasta with Alfredo sauce on a white plate or pasta with tomato sauce on a red plate, served themselves 30 percent, or 42 grams, more pasta than participants with high contrast between their food and the plate they served themselves on. Serve pasta with tomato sauce on a white plate or pasta with Alfredo sauce on a red plate if you want to trim calories. 

Size matters too. Plate sizes have increased by 22 percent since 1960 and so have waist sizes. Most weight loss experts recommend shrinking your plate in order to lose weight.
“There are plenty of studies that have shown that people who eat or are given smaller plates or smaller bowls simply eat less. However, the opposite is true when it comes to fork size,” said Integrative Medicine doctor Sheryl Spitzer- Resnick.

A Journal of Consumer Research study analyzed how fork size affected how much people eat. Plates of Italian food were weighed before and after participants ate. Participants were seated at tables with large forks or small forks. The large forks held 20 percent more food than an average-sized restaurant fork and the smaller forks held 20 percent less.

When the study concluded, researchers saw that participants who ate with larger forks left almost 8-ounces of food compared to 4.5 ounces of food for those with smaller forks. Those with larger forks were satisfied quicker and ate less than those who ate with smaller forks.
According to the study, “If people have a well-defined hunger goal to satisfy and put forth effort to reach the goal, they consume more from a small fork rather than from a large fork. The bite size becomes the medium that helps them satisfy their goal and also influences quantity consumed. The small fork gives a feeling that they are not making much progress in satiating their hunger, which results in more consumption compared to when they have a larger fork.”

Sharon Harbison's miniature food creation smaller than a nickel

Cookbook author Barbara Stafford uses pint-size portions, such as small 4- or 5-inch skillets, to help people eat delicious food in smaller portions or for small-plate entertaining. Perhaps she should also add larger forks to eat with.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Are Purple and Violet the Same Color?

Violet is just another word for purple, right? Not quite. The colors may look the same, but in terms of physics, they're totally different. Our eyes have three types of color-sensitive cells, or cones, each specialized to one color: red, green, and blue. These colors lie in order on the visible light spectrum. Despite their specialization, the cones generally combine their forces and activate in the presence of more than one color. Green and orange, for example, both activate the red and green cones, but in different ratios. Violet activates the blue cones in abundance and the red cones a little less. Of course, not all colors are in the light spectrum as we know it: brown, for instance, is not a spectral color, but a combination of many different colors on the spectrum. When you see brown, you're seeing a mixture of light wavelengths that activate different cones in varying ratios to produce a color your brain finally interprets as brown. This is how we see purple: it's a combination of the spectral colors blue and red. Rather than activating blue and red cones in a given ratio, purple combines the cone ratio for blue with the cone ratio for red to come up with an entirely new color.


Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Organize Pantry with Color-Coded System

 Heloise, the queen of hints, recommends using a color-coded system to organize our pantries in this New Year. This is a new concept for me.

 First, get rid of items which have expired, check all the way in the back of shelves where we are prone to push seldom or never used items. She writes:

"Put GREEN veggies such as beans, peas, spinach and pickles together.
 Then gather RED canned items, like tomatoes, sauces, salsas, ketchup and kidney beans.
Shades of YELLOW could include pineapple, pears, applesauce and corn products.
WHITE items would include mayonnaise jars, sauerkraut and potatoes."

I like beets, so I could combine them with other PURPLE items like plums, raspberry pie filling, kalama olives, etc.

This color grouping might encourage children to find ingredients for dishes the parents or grandparents prepare. For spicy beans, for example, it would be fun to combine all the RED items plus ground meat and a chopped onion of one's choice for a zippy chili for the cold days and evenings.

Youngsters might enjoy organizing canned goods by color also if they help clean and sort out the pantry if you make it a game. Good luck on color-coding your pantry!