Happy New Year everyone and welcome to the first 2017 edition of Chop Talk!. What a year we’ve had in 2016 and we are looking forward to an even better 2017. This past year held some great adventures for us here at Ergo Chef, from the Costco Road Show with Chef Randy, to the awesome events in Chicago, Memphis, Cleveland, New Hyde Park with the CIA and more. We also had new product launches throughout the year as well with our newly redesigned and upgraded My Juicer and our new Shinzui Chef Knife. We are excited to announce the opening our new showroom in Danbury, CT, as well as our sponsorship of a local Connecticut TV Show, Edible Nutmeg On The Road, hosted by our good friend Chef Plum. Whew!!!! No wonder we’re exhausted, lol. Here’s a quick recap, as well as a new recipe for you highlighting the Michael Symon Vegetable Clever. Last but not least, to celebrate the New Year, a special “coupon code” sale.
We traveled to Memphis in May with Myron Mixon’s BBQ Team and the Grill Tool, where Myron won Grand Champion of the Competition!!! Though Myron brought those awesome Pitmaster skills, we’re pretty sure the Grill Tool is what put him over the top this year! The Grill Tool has been huge hit with it’s awesome 3-in-1 design. Pop it, Flip it & Slice it! The Myron Mixon Pitmaster Grill Tool is first tool to deliver a style and functionality that says “Game On”! The 3-in-1 design was specifically developed & tested for easily flipping all your proteins & large veggies on the grill with the patented flipper hook.
Each year The Culinary Institute of America holds it’s annual Run For Your Knives scholarship fund raising event, and Ergo Chef is proud to be a sponsor. This years event, while rainy, was a huge success and we were privileged to provide culinary knife kits to all the student winners.
We were very excited to introduce our new Japanese Damascus VG10 Knife SHINZUI in late October, which turned out to be a tremendous success with many chefs loving the razor edge & wicked performance of this knife. This 8 inch Chef (Gyuto) knife is appropriately named “SHINZUI™” to encompass it’s total composition. It’s the Japanese meaning for core, strength and essence. From the blade it highlights the super strong and durable VG10 “core” having super “strength” and to the look and “essence” in the form and functional design of this 8” Japanese chef knife to give you ultimate performance in your kitchen!
Recipe : Cassoulet, a hearty stew to keep you warm
1/2 lb bacon, cubed
1-15 oz can white kidney beans
1-15 oz can pinto beans
1 large Spanish onion, diced
10 garlic cloves, minced
3/4 lb ground pork
1/4 lb shredded duck confit
1 T dried parsley
2 T dried thyme leaf
1 T rosemary
1 bay leaf
1 t rubbed sage
1/4 to 1/2 c sherry (dry)
2-3 qts water (enough to cover all ingredients )
salt and pepper
fresh parsley Method
In a slow cooker, or large heavy bottomed pot, spread the bacon cubes, evenly over the bottom of the pan. This will be the first layer. Drain and rinse the beans. Mix beans, onion and garlic together and spread over the bacon creating the second layer. Crumble the ground pork and duck over the beans. This is the third layer. Mix all the herbs together (except the bay leaf) and sprinkle over the meat. Add water and sherry making sure all the ingredients are covered. This is important, so to ensure proper cooking. Add the bay leaf. Set temperature on very low and cook 6-8 hours or overnight if possible. If you are using a traditional pot, bring to a boil and then lower temperature and simmer on very low for 6-8 hours. After cooking is complete, gently stir in chopped parsley. Salt and pepper to taste.
We thank you for being a loyal Ergo Chef Customer and friend and to that end we are offering a Happy 2017 site-wide sale throughout the month of January! All month long we will offer up an Extra 12-20% off randomly – so shop often! Use the Coupon Code: HAPPY2017 when you check out!
Thanks again and All the best for this coming year!
Mike StaibErgo Chef 2016 Recap & A Look Ahead to 2017!
Hello everyone and welcome to the fall/winter edition of Chop Talk. We have got a fun filled couple of months ahead so let’s get to all the news. First up we’d like to thank all our supporters customers and fans, this has been an awesome year with lots of great adventures for us here at Ergo Chef.
Once again it’s Fabulous Food Show Time out in Cleveland. This is not your ordinary cooking show, it’s a full weekend of food, fun, and entertainment! Spread out over 400,000 square feet of indoor space, this unparalleled cultural experience features the country’s largest presentation of fine food, fine art, craft breweries, wineries, restaurants, and purveyors all under one roof! The Fabulous Food Show (November 11-13, 2016) lets you TASTE, TRY AND BUY your way around the exhibitor MarketPlace, International Beer & Wine Pavilions, Streetfare and more at the International Exposition (I-X) Center. Cleveland’s largest presentation of fabulous food, fine art, breweries, wineries, restaurants and purveyors all under one roof with a wide variety of live demonstrations and hundreds of companies showcasing specialty foods, drinks and culinary gadgets.Ergo Chef’s Booth is 1352/1354 and we will have special available ll weekend…who knows maybe even Chef Symon will stop by….you never know! Get you tickets here: https://www.fabulousfoodshow.com/tickets/ NOTE: #Cleveland, you can now get the complete Michael Symon Cutlery Line at all Bed, Bath & Beyond stores throughout the Cleveland area.
We are official sponsor of a local Connecticut TV show, “Edible Nutmeg on the Road” with Celebrity Chef Plum” from Newtown, CT. Edible Nutmeg is a quarterly magazine dedicated to real food, family farms, the community, and a sustainable future in Connecticut.
From Chef Plum: “One of my favorite things about Connecticut is our abundance of small farms and food producers, and I have always championed local produce, whether it’s at my award winning pop-up dining series, “Dinner Underground,” or at other events. It’s important to support these local farms and artisans, because if we don’t, we may lose them.
Edible Nutmegon the Road is all about supporting and promoting our local foods! We’ll be visiting some of the coolest places in Connecticut and meeting some of the state’s best farmers and food makers. The passion from the people we meet is inspiring, and we’ll be making a dish at the end of every episode to feature their talents.
If there is a place you think we should take Edible Nutmeg on the Road, email us or leave us a comment on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram @EdibleNutmeg.
Our gorgeous new SHINZUI 8″ 67 Layer Damascus Chef Knife has arrived and is shipping!!!. Order yours before supplies run out and get a FREE 10″ Oval Diamond Sharpening Rod! #Japenesesteel
The Shinzui Chef knife was designed for precise slicing through all types of food product. Crafted with our Patented design providing ultimate comfort and grip, abbreviated bolster blends into the VG10 Japanese Super Steel Core blade for durability and well known long lasting sharpness.
The Japanese VG10 steel blade has 33 layers of softer Damascus steel per side for a beautiful, one-of-a-kind. pattern with each knife. A Precision 15 degree cutting edge per side provides Samuri Sword-like cuts through the toughest of vegetables, fruit, red meat, poultry, pork and fish.
Blade: VG10 Japanese Super Steel Core with Our Custom Damascus Layer Patterns – Each knife pattern will be slightly different. Edge: Heat Treat: 60 HRC +/- 2 for superior long lasting sharpness and durability. Tempered to perfection. Handle: G10 Fiberglass Resin Composite with Mosaic Center Rivet and 2 Stainless Steel Rivets – Fully Polished for Beauty. The G10 handle is one of the world’s strongest materials for lifetime of worry free use.
Pork Belly Ingredients:
5lb. pork belly
½ oz. fresh thyme
2 large garlic bulbs
1 cup dry white wine
Salt and pepper
Preheat oven to 325 degree F
First score the pork belly by making crisscross cuts along the entire top surface of the meat. Next, cut the whole bulbs of garlic in half across its width and place each quarter (cut side up) at the corner of a pan large enough to house the pork belly. Place the fresh thyme sprigs in the center. Now lay the pork belly to rest on the garlic bulbs – they will act like table legs, raising the meat up from the pan. Pour in the wine and sprinkle the top of the belly with salt and pepper. Cover loosely with foil and braise in the oven for 2 hrs.
Once the pork belly is cooled, transfer it to a casserole dish large enough to house it – although at this point it may be cut to any size. You’ll need to weigh it down by placing another casserole dish directly on top of the pork belly so that it is sandwiched in between. Place a couple of soup cans or some weighted item on top of that so that it may press in your refrigerator overnight, or 24 hours.
Mashed Sweet Potatoes Ingredients:
3 large sweet potatoes
2 tablespoons butter (melted)
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 pinch salt
Start a pot of water to boil. Peel and dice the sweet potatoes and add to boiling water. Remove when potatoes are fork tender. Place in a mixer and add all other ingredients and mix until smooth. Place in a piping bag and set aside until ready for use.
Haricot Verts or fresh green beans, have simply been blanched in salted hot water for about thirty seconds, remove immediately to an ice water bath until ready for sauté.
Bourbon Apple Demi – Glaze Ingredients:
1/4 cup apple butter
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 shallot (fine dice)
*1 cup demi – glaze
Pinch of salt
1 shot bourbon
Fond from the pork belly pan
In a small sauce pot, heat the olive oil and sauté the shallots until translucent. Add remaining ingredients and whisk until smooth, and let reduce until it coats the back of a spoon.
*Commercial demi glaze is fine for this recipe. In fact, for the home cook, I recommend it. For the die hard foodie – you can make it, but it’s three days of your life you’ll never get back!
Preheat oven to 400. Remove covering from pork and place in oven until crispy golden on top. It is now ready to serve. Quickly sauté Haricot Verts in a small amount of olive oil, just enough to heat.
Using a pastry bag, pipe the mashed sweet potatoes in the center of the plate. Place a small portion of the haricot verts on the left side of the potatoes. Drizzle the bourbon demi around the potatoes. Place a portion of the pork belly on the right side of the potatoes; be sure to let the ridges stay visible. Garnish with a sprig of the fresh thyme and, voila!
Last but not least to thank you for your loyalty and to help you celebrate the Holiday Season, we are having our Holiday Season Special with 20% OFF discount good from Nov. 24th – Dec. 8th Coupon Code: Holiday20
We wish you a great Thanksgiving and Christmas and we’ll be back at the beginning of the New Year. We’ll see you in Cleveland and wish all the best to you and yours!
Mike StaibIt’s a Fun Filled Fall/Winter…Fabulous Food Show here we come!
It’s hard to believe Summer is almost over and the kids will be going #backtoschool. It certainly has been a hot one. In this SPECIAL edition of Chop Talk we have some great info and promotions for you. First up, in Food Tricks & Kitchen Tips. In keeping with the fact that everyone loves a good list, we thought we’d give you a great rundown of the some of the abundance of autumn produce and ingredients that are available, or coming available, in this coming season. In addition we are bringing you our #BacktoSchool Blowout Sale with all products on the website at huge discounts. We also have two delicious video recipes for you from our partners, Pitmaster Champion Myron Mixon and America’s Favorite Chef, Michael Symon. We hope you enjoy.!
Food Tricks & Kitchen Tips: Autumn Produce
Autumn has long been associated with the transition from warm to cold weather, the primary harvest has dominated its themes and popular images throughout the world. For many of us, especially here in the States, the smell of freshly made donuts, watching through the window while cider is being fresh pressed, and folks starting to get that wistful look in their eyes as they start to glimpse the hint of Thanksgiving and Christmas just over the horizon, is a childhood memory that brings warm thoughts of family and friends. We’re sure many of you can remember returning home from the farmers market with arms full of fresh produce, apples, cider, fresh donuts, placing pumpkins on the front stoop to await their fateful appointment with the carving knife that would soon transform them into the Jack-o-Lanterns for Halloween night. The cooling of the nights, the touch of color in the leaves and the anticipation of the coming holiday season always gives the air clarity, as if shaking off the haze of summer.
Apples There are thousands (7500) of varieties of apples, ranging from tender to crisp to sweet to tart. Apples are available year-round, but they’re best from September to November. Apples contain phytonutrients which can help you regulate your blood sugar. Eaten raw, or used as a great addition to any cheese board, baked alone, or used in a pie, they are healthy and delicious. Apples were brought to North America by colonists in the 17th century, and the first apple orchard on the North American continent was planted in Boston by Reverend William Blaxton in 1625. The only apples native to North America are crab apples, which were once called “common apples.” All other varieties were brought here from Europe.
Celery Root (Celeriac) Celery root, also known as celeriac, is the root of the celery plant. It is often available year-round, especially in temperate climates, but is at its best in the cooler months of fall, winter, and early spring (except in cold climates, where you’ll find it during the summer and early fall). Freshly harvested celery root is sometimes sold with the stalks and leaves still attached, as pictured here. It is edible raw or cooked, and tastes similar to celery stalks. It can be roasted, stewed, blanched, or mashed. Sliced celeriac occurs as an ingredient in soups, casseroles, and other savory dishes.
Chestnuts In Europe, Asia and Africa, chestnuts are often used as an everyday potato substitute. Although they are wonderful straight from the oven or fireplace, you can make use of the winter chestnut crop in many ways, both sweet and savory. Before trying one of the many chestnut recipes, learn about chestnut history and how to store them. Probably one of the first foods eaten by man, the chestnut dates back to prehistoric times. The majority of the chestnut trees currently found in America are of native European stock, but Native Americans feasted on America’s own variety, Castanea dentata, long before European immigrants introduced their stock to America. Today, most of the chestnut food crop is imported from Japan, China, Spain, and Italy. Legend has it that the Greek army survived on their stores of chestnuts during their retreat from Asia Minor in 401-399 B.C. Chestnuts contain twice as much starch as potatoes. It is no wonder they are still an important food crop in China, Japan, and southern Europe, where they are often ground into a meal for bread-making, thus giving rise to the nickname of “bread tree.”
Cranberries 95% of all cranberries are used as to make juice. The remaining 5% is used to make sauce, compotes and jellies. They are a a major commercial crop in the U.S. with Wisconsin the leading producer of cranberries, with over half of U.S. production. Massachusetts is the second largest U.S. producer. Cranberries are harvested in the fall when the fruit takes on its distinctive deep red color. This is usually in September through the first part of November. To harvest cranberries, the beds are flooded as we’ve all seen from the TV commercials, with six to eight inches of water above the vines. A harvester is the driven through the beds to remove the fruit from the vines. Although most cranberries are wet-picked, 5–10% of the US crop is still dry-picked. Labor costs are higher and yield is much less, but dry-picked berries are less bruised and are usually the ones sold at your favorite farmers market or fresh fruit stand.
Dates Dates are the fruit of the date palm tree, which grow in the desert. Harvested between September and March In the US they are grown in Arizona and California. They have a sweet, caramel-like taste and soft texture. Farmers markets may have fresh dates in season, but they are also available mail order from some growers and can usually be found at Middle Eastern markets.
Fennel Fennel has a light anise, or licorice, flavor. Crisp and refreshing when raw, but melts into a savory sweetness when slowly cooked. The tall green stalks look like celery with wispy dill-like leaves at the top. The stalks grow from a white onion-like bulb. All parts are edible, although the mild, tender bulb is most commonly used and served and is most associated with Italian cooking. It is often available year-round, but is at its best during its natural season from fall through early spring.
Hazelnuts Hazelnuts are used in confectionery to make some pralines, in chocolate for some chocolate truffles, and in hazelnut paste products. They are rich in protein and unsaturated fat and contain significant amounts of thiamine and vitamin B6, as well as smaller amounts of other B vitamins. In season primarily in October, the majority if not all the hazelnuts available in the US come from Oregon. In Austria, hazelnut paste is an ingredient in the making of tortes(such as Viennese hazelnut torte). In Kiev cake, hazelnut flour is used to flavor its meringue body, and crushed hazelnuts are sprinkled over its sides. Dacquoise, is a French dessert cake, and often contains a layer of hazelnut meringue and is also a primary ingredient of the vodka-based liqueur Frangelico. Over 2,000 tons are imported annually into Australia, mostly to supply the demand from the Cadbury-Schweppes company. Hazelnut oil pressed from hazelnuts is strongly flavored and used as a cooking oil.
Mushrooms There are over two thousand types of mushrooms, but only 2 ½ – 5 % are edible. Though you can usually get mushrooms all year round they are at their peak in fall and winter. Always look for mushrooms that are firm, not broken and avoid those that seem damp or smell of mildew. There are many varieties available, from Shitake to Crimini, to Portabello and more exotic varieties like the Black Chanterelle.
Pears The pear is native to coastal and mildly temperate regions of the Old World, from western Europe and north Africa east right across Asia. Most of North American pears are grown in Oregon and Washington, and the harvest months listed here reflect that. Pears have no cholesterol, sodium, or saturated fat. They offer a natural, quick source of energy, due largely to high amounts of fructose and glucose, plus Levulose, the sweetest of known natural sugars, found to a greater extent in fresh pears than in any other fruit. Great raw, on cheeseboards, and poached.
Peas Freshly frozen garden peas and petits pois are frozen within just two and a half-hours of being picked. Peas are a good source of vitamin A, vitamin C, folate, thiamine (B1), iron and phosphorus. They are rich in protein, carbohydrate and fibre and low in fat which is mostly of the unsaturated kind. The less water you use when cooking peas, the less vitamin C is lost. Steaming helps to conserve this vitamin.
Pumpkin As one of the most popular crops in the United States, 1.5 billion pounds of pumpkins are produced each year. The top pumpkin producing states in the U.S. include Illinois, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and California. Pumpkins are a warm weather crop that are usually planted in early July. When ripe, the pumpkin can be boiled, baked, steamed, or roasted. Often, it is made into various kinds of pie which is a traditional staple of the Canadian and American Thanksgiving holiday. Pumpkins that are still small and green may be eaten in the same way as the vegetable marrow/zucchini. Pumpkins can also be eaten mashed or incorporated into soup.
Quince A quince is a hard, round or pear-shaped fruit. It looks and tastes like a cross between an apple and pear. Unlike apples and pears though, quinces are inedible raw. When cooked, quinces develop a slightly grainy texture similar to a firm pear and develop a rosy amber color. Their season is very brief, from October to December, so be sure to get them when you see them. Quince is a great side for duck and other game meats. You can use it as a paste on cheese boards, compote, poach it and also tarte tatin.
Sage Once prized for its medicinal value, the most popular use of sage these days is in stuffing for the Thanksgiving turkey. In ancient Rome, it was considered to have substantial healing properties, particularly helpful in the digestion of the ubiquitous fatty meats of the time, and was deemed a part of the official Roman pharmacopeia. Sage has been used effectively for throat infections, dental abscesses, infected gums and mouth ulcers. Great when used with game meats.
The term “summer” and “winter” for squash are only based on current usage, not on actuality. “Summer” types are on the market all winter; and “winter” types are on the markets in the late summer and fall, as well as winter.
Acorn This winter squash is shaped like an acorn. Great for baking. A small acorn squash weighs from 1 to 3 pounds, and has sweet, slightly fibrous flesh. In addition to the dark green acorn, there are now golden and multi-colored varieties.
Butternut Beige colored and shaped like a vase, this is a more watery squash and tastes somewhat similar to sweet potatoes. It has a bulbous end and pale, creamy skin, with a choice, fine-textured, deep-orange flesh with a sweet, nutty flavor. It weighs from 2 to 5 pounds. The more orange the color, the riper, drier and sweeter the squash.
Spaghetti A small, watermelon-shaped variety, ranges in size from 2 to 5 pounds or more. It has a golden-yellow, oval rind and a mild, nut-like flavor. When cooked, the flesh separates in strands that resemble spaghetti. The most yellow squash will be the ripest and best to eat. Those that are nearly white are not very ripe. Spaghetti squash also freezes well.
Think outside the box when setting up your weekly menus and try different ingredients and techniques. You’ll be glad you did and it’s always great to get the family to try new things and expand their palette.
#BacktoSchool End of Summer Blowout!
My Juicer Back to School Special 20% OFF* 1 week only using Discount Coupon code: MYJUICER20 My Juicer
*Sale ends 8/22/16 Midnight.
My Juicer II Personal Blender Smoothie Maker with Grinder Assembly & Extra 20oz. Sport Bottle.
Blend Well – Live Better!
This new My Juicer II has an updated stylish design with a powerful heavy duty 300+ Watt motor for crushing Ice, blending juice drinks and smoothies for a healthy lifestyle. The My Juicer II by Ergo Chef extracts the nutrients from the food your blending so your body can better digest and absorb the nutrients, for a healthier you. The additional Grinder Cup and special blade allow you to grind nuts, coffee beans, Flax & Chia seeds & fresh herbs etc. Beautiful and sleek stainless steel & black design looks great in every kitchen.
INCLUDES: Stainless Steel and Composite black plastic Motor Base with suction feet, Blade Assembly, 2 – 20 Ounce Sport Bottles, Grinder Blade Assembly & Cup, Instruction Manual & Recipes.
Powerful Heavy Duty Motor for Crushing Ice, Frozen Veggies & Fruit with 300+ WATTS (320 Watt Max Power)
Motor Base has suction feet for stable operation & Handle for easy storing and taking with you to the office
2 – 20 Ounce Sport Bottle is Triton(R) shatter Proof Composite Plastic Material when on the go & BPA Free for a healthier lifestyle Fits in most car cup holders
Bottle top has compression fit cap for no accidental spills
Bottle has measurement Marks on side so you fill it just right
Easy to use, convenient size and easy cleanup!
1 Year Limited Warranty
Motor Base Dimensions: Height: 6.750″, Width: 5.125″, Depth: 5.5″, Weight: 2 lbs. 5 Ounces, 2 Prong 120V Extension Cord Length: 44″ Long, Height with Sport Bottle Attached: 14-3/8″ Tall
Sport Bottle Dimensions: Height with Lid: 9.5″, Dia. at Base: 2.925″, Lid Size: 2.9″ Dia. with 1.3″ handle length for easy carry, Spout: 1.050″ Outer Dia. / .780″ Inner Dia. / .550″ Tall
Grinder Blade & Cup Dimensions: Height Assembled: 4.5″ Tall x 3″ Dia. Blade Assembly, Grinder Cup Size: 3.650″ Tall x 2.5″ Dia.
Cleaning: Simply place warm water in bottle upto fill line after use with a few drops of dish soap. Place on motor base and turn on. It will blend & naturally clean itself. If needed use sponge for dried on drinks. Take apart and dry with a clean towel.
Culinary School Kits & ALL WEBSITE PRODUCTS (services excluded)
USE Coupon Code: August15 for 15% OFF
That’s right you read correctly, 15% off everything on our website!
Our Culinary kits were designed for #professionalchefs and #homecooks who shop for exceptional value and want a reliable knife set without spending a fortune. Designed for ergonomic comfort and precision, the blades are crafted from high carbon stainless steel and have an 18 degree cutting edge so they can slice, chop or carve up any food product you need.
The Myron Mixon @Lord_of_Q 3-in-1 Grill Tool is the ultimate tool for you Pitmasters. Pop it, Flip it & Slice it! The Myron Mixon Pitmaster Grill Tool is first tool to deliver a style and functionality that says “Game On”! The 3-in-1 design was specifically developed & tested for easily flipping all your proteins & large veggies on the grill with the patented flipper hook.
A good sharp knife is a must to slice up your mouth watering Q, hence we use the “Workhorse” an 8” Chef knife size blade with 7″ cut for slicing up your meats and veggies, from prep to serving. The blade is high carbon stainless steel for superior durability, ground precision sharp for perfect slices. It boasts an ergonomic non-slip grip handle over a full-steel tang for strength and balance, so cutting is effortless with ultimate control. Next, a flipper hook to easily grab your Q and turn it on the grill. Last but not least is the bottle opener, built into the blade to keep you cool, sipping your favorite beverage.Now get grilling your favorite foods, and be the boss of your grilling domain with the ultimate “Myron Mixon Pitmaster Grill Tool”.
Only $29.99 or upgrade to our Kit with Ergo bag & a 15” DUO Grill Tong for only $59.99 here: Grill Tool
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This Michael Symon Cutlery set provides you with your essential 9″ Chef knife for chopping up large fruits, vegetables and proteins. You also get a 6″ Serrated Utility knife for slicing up smaller soft veggies, bread, bagels and cheese. Lastly you have a 3.5″ paring knife for peeling and small cutting tasks, as well as fancy garnishes. Get cooking in your kitchen with these high quality tools.
Set Features: 9″ Chef knife, 6″ Serrated Utility knife, 3.5″ Paring knife, Lifetime Limited Warranty~30 Day Satisfaction Guaranteed – Money Back Guarantee! We guarantee you’ll love the quality & craftsmanship of these tools designed with Iron Chef Michael Symon.
Hello everyone and welcome to the Independence Day edition of Chop Talk. We’re full on into summer and we’ve got some great info for you. First up we take a look at the origins of the backyard barbecue. Next up we take a trip around the country to the most famous places for BBQ in the US and expand on the styles, tastes and traditions of regional barbecue. We are very pleased to introduce the new My Juicer II, our updated and improved version of our personal blender. Next it’s Myron Mixon and his Pitmasters Grill Tool to get you set for summer grilling and finally a terrific new sweepstakes giveaway of a 7PC Michael Symon Cutlery Set by Holiday Contest and Sweeps. We hope you enjoy and have a great safe and wonderful summer!
The Origin of the Backyard Barbecue?
The most plausible theory claims that the origin of the word “barbecue” is a derivative of the West Indian phrase “barbacoa,” which describes a method of slow-cooking meat over hot coals. The Oxford English Dictionary traces the word back to Haiti, and others claim that “barbecue” might actually come from the French phrase “barbe a queue,” meaning “from head to tail.”
In America, barbecue can be traced back to colonial times, with a Virginia law written in the 1600s providing that, “discharging of firearms at a barbecue was prohibited.” In George Washington’s diaries, one entry, dated May 27, 1769, describes him traveling to Virginia for a barbecue. What we find most fascinating about his subsequent entries over the next few years, is that it reveals George to be the very antithesis of what we have come to believe with regard to his personality and demeanor. To most of us, the ‘Father of Our Country‘ is portrayed a stoic and serious individual, yet most of his entries concerning barbecue, are usually followed by entries about his ‘laying low for a few days and doing nothing of note.‘ Seems ol’ George was a partier at heart and we might very well have documentation of the first Presidential Hangovers! You Go George, Party like it’s 1799!”
In 1820, in a letter to her grandfather, Thomas Jefferson, Ellen Randolph wrote him of ‘a great barbecue’ held on the Fourth of July in Charlottesville. By that time, Independence Day barbecues had become the norm. It is even recorded that upon the marriage of Abraham Lincoln’s parents, on June 12, 1806, the ‘reception‘ was a barbecue. From the book, “Lincoln: The Prairie Years, 1927,” written by Carl Sandburg, a guest at the wedding, Christopher Grahm wrote, “We had bear meat, venison, wild turkey and duck eggs, both wild and tame, maple sugar lumps tied to a string to bite off with coffee or whiskey, syrup in gourds, peaches and honey, a whole sheep roasted in a pit over coals of burned wood and covered with green boughs to keep the juices in.”
So as you can see, the tradition of gathering with your friends to cook some sort of meat over wood or coal outdoors seems to have been around for centuries. Now if only our Award Winning DUO tongs were available then, they may have made BBQ easier.
Food Tricks & Kitchen Tips: Styles of American Barbecue
From Carolina pig-pickin’s to Kentucky mutton, the idea is the same everywhere; an outdoor party with friends, food, and beer. The meat is generally marinated before being put on the grill, where it’s brushed with whatever kind of sauce is available or popular. More than anywhere else, American barbecue makes use of specific kinds of wood to impart flavor in the meat: in Texas, mesquite brush is common, but hickory and oak are more readily available elsewhere. Outside the South, culinary specifics often take a back seat to the social aspect. You’re more likely to find burgers, hot dogs and vegetable skewers than pulled pork at a BBQ, but the soul of the barbecue is alive and well.
Memphis is probably best known for its dry barbecue. Most frequently used on ribs, the dry style is highly flavorful and is less messy to eat than wet. In the dry process, the ribs are coated with a rub made from ingredients such as garlic, paprika, onions, cumin, and other spices. They are then cooked in a smoker until they are fall-off-the-bone tender. Typically, dry ribs are served with a sauce on the side.
Memphis barbecue sauce has its own distinctive flavor, as well. Though the specific ingredients will vary from cook to cook, Memphis sauce is usually made with tomatoes, vinegar, and any countless combination of spices. It is generally thin, tangy, and somewhat sweet. Memphis sauce is poured over pulled pork or served along side of dry ribs. Nicknamed the “Pork Barbecue Capital of the World,” Memphis considers itself a leader in the world of barbecue. In his book, The Grand Barbecue, Doug Worgul credits the Memphis in May World Championship Barbecue Cooking Contest, which started in 1978, as the country’s oldest barbecue competition.
Meat: Smoked pork ribs on the slab, and pulled or chopped pork for sandwiches. Sauce and Flavoring: Ribs are served with a dry rub made with ingredients like garlic, paprika, onions and cumin. The sauce, made with tomatoes, vinegar, and spices, is served on the side. Cooking Method: Slow-cooked over indirect heat. Side Dishes: Coleslaw and baked beans.
Kansas City, Missouri
This style barbecue is characterized by its use of different types of meat (including pulled pork, pork ribs, burnt ends, smoked sausage, beef brisket, beef ribs, smoked/grilled chicken, smoked turkey, and sometimes fish) along with its sweet and tangy sauces which are generally intended for liberal use.
Kansas City has more than 100 barbecue restaurants and is known in Missouri as “world’s barbecue capital.” Ribs are mostly pork, but also come in beef varieties and can come in a number of different cuts. Burnt ends, the flavorful pieces of meat cut from the ends of a smoked beef or pork brisket, are a popular dish in many Kansas City area barbecue restaurants. Kansas City barbecue is also known for its many side dishes, including a unique style of baked beans, french fries, coleslaw, and other soul food staples.
Henry Perry is known as the “Father of K.C. Barbecue.” Perry is famous for the slow-cooked ribs he served for .25 cents a slab out of a trolley barn in the early 1900’s. His legacy thrives with the city’s countless barbecue restaurants and The Kansas City Barbecue Society, which has more than 8,000 members worldwide.
Meat: Beef and pork. Sauce and Flavoring: The sauce is tomato-based and sweetened with molasses or brown sugar. Cooking Method: Slow-cooked over hickory wood for as long as 18 hours.
Two styles, western (aka Lexington) and eastern, dominate North Carolina barbecue. The annual Barbecue Festival has been held in Lexington, N.C. every October since 1984. According to the festival’s official website, the event attracts more than 100,000 people each year.
Meat: Pork shoulder (western) and whole hog (eastern) chopped or pulled. Sauce and Flavoring: The western style sauce is called “dip” and is a thin tomato-based sauce mixed with brown sugar and spices. In the east, the sauce is a blend of vinegar, sugar, water and pepper. Cooking Method: Both styles are slow cooked over indirect heat with oak or hickory wood. To preserve the pork and smoke flavors the meat is never basted. Side Dishes: BBQ slaw, hush puppies (western), mayonnaise-based coleslaw and corn bread sticks (eastern) complement the barbecue. Sweet tea for a beverage and banana pudding or peach cobbler for dessert is served in both the western and eastern parts of the state. The town of Lexington alone, with a population of about 20,000 people, boasts more than 20 barbecue restaurants.
According to the Travel Channel show “Food Paradise,” the state legislature declared Lockhart the BBQ capital of Texas. The Office of Texas Tourism marks the so-called “Texas Barbecue Trail” as starting just north of Austin and continuing further south to Luling.
Meat: Beef, particularly untrimmed brisket. Cooking Method: Slow-cooked over coals or wood in above ground smokers. Sauce and Flavoring: No sauce is used before or during cooking. Pepper and salt are the most common seasonings. A thick tomato-based sauce with a sweet and spicy taste is served on the side of the barbecue meal. Side Dishes: In Texas the focus is on the meat, but occasionally beans, potato salad and thick toasted white bread called Texas Toast are added to the meal. Traditional desserts include pecan or lemon chess pies.
We’re pretty sure we’ve covered the topic thoroughly. Now, all that remains for us and barbecue is the eating. Our grill has been heating up for the last 15 minutes, the ribs and shrimp marinating for the last 24 hours and veggies are all prepped and ready for grill marks. Enjoy yourselves! Experiment. have fun.
The New My Juicer 2
The new My Juicer II is now available to Purchase Today! My Juicer II Personal Blender with Grinder Assembly. This new My Juicer II has an updated stylish design with a powerful motor for crushing Ice, Blending Juice Drinks and smoothies for a healthy lifestyle. The additional Grinder Cup and special blade allow you to grind nuts, coffee beans, flack seed, fresh herbs etc. Beautiful and sleek stainless steel & black design looks great in every kitchen.
Powerful Motor for Crushing Ice, Frozen Veggies & Fruit Up to 300WATT. Motor Base has suction feet for stable operation & Handle for easy storing and taking with you to the office
Sport Bottle is Triton(R) shatter Proof Material when on the go & BPA Free for a healthier lifestyle – Fits in car cup holders. Bottle top has compression fit cap for no accidental spills Bottle has measurement Marks on side so you fill it just right
INCLUDES: Motor Base & Blade, 1 Sport Bottle, Grinder Blade & Cup, Instruction Manual & Recipes Easy to use, convenient size and easy cleanup! 1 Year Limited Warranty
The Myron Mixon Pitmaster Grill Tool is first tool to deliver a style and functionality that says “Game On”! The 3-in-1 design was specifically developed & tested for easily flipping all your proteins & large veggies on the grill with the patented flipper hook.
A good sharp knife is a must to slice up your mouth watering Q, hence we use the “Workhorse” an 8” Chef knife size blade with 7″ cut for slicing up your meats and veggies, from prep to serving. The blade is high carbon stainless steel for superior durability, ground precision sharp for perfect slices. It boasts an ergonomic non-slip grip handle over a full-steel tang for strength and balance, so cutting is effortless with ultimate control.
Next, a flipper hook to easily grab your Q and turn it on the grill. Last but not least is the bottle opener, built into the blade to keep you cool, sipping your favorite beverage.
Now get grilling your favorite foods, and be the boss of your grilling domain with the ultimate “Myron Mixon Pitmaster Grill Tool.”
It’s The Summer Kitchen Fun with Ergo Chef/Michael Symon Cutlery Giveaway!!!
Holiday Contest and Sweeps is pleased to bring you a great giveaway from Ergo Chef. Two of our readers the chance to win a 7 Piece Ergo Chef Knife Kit Featuring Michael Symon Cutlery. Ergo Chef is by far the finest Cutlery you will ever find and by combining their knife set with World Famous Chef Michael Symon it doesn’t get any better.
This 7 Piece Michael Symon Knife Kit includes the Ergo Chef 5 pocket Roll Bag. This kit has the essential knives for food preparation. A Symon 9″ Chef knife, 6″ Serrated utility, and a 3.5″ Paring knife. Includes Edge Guards to protect the blades and your fingers, in colors for easy identification. All store nicely in our Ergo Chef durable Nylon/Polyester Roll bag with a handle and business card holder. Bag holds up to 5 knives.
Visit our store by clicking the VISIT OUR STORE at the top of the page to see our entire lineup of products
*This giveaway is in no way endorsed,associated or affiliated with Facebook, Twitter or any other Social Media Networking Site. This giveaway is valid in the Continental United States only and entrants must be 18+ years of age to enter. This giveaway will end at 12:00 AM (EST) 7/12/16.
Mike StaibHappy Fourth of July! Have we got some news for you!
Welcome to the May edition of Chop Talk. Wow, this month has really shaped up into a busy one with lots going on. First up as a treat to all the Mothers out there. In celebration of Mother’s Day we are offering a great special deal for mom from Michael Symon. Second up, Ergo Chef Vice-President Michael Staib & Pitmaster Myron Mixon will be at the World Championship Barbecue Cooking Contest in Memphis. The big NRA show is coming up and Ergo Chef will have a team from C-CAP – Careers through Culinary Arts Program working with us at our booth, #8150, in the McCormick Place, North Building, 5/21-5/24, 2016. Last, Memorial Day is coming up and Ergo Chef is supporting Rolling Thunder with every purchase of our New Presidential Chef’s Choice Seal~Stealth Black, 4″ Ceramic Paring Knife. Enjoy!
Mother’s Day Bonus
Order Michael Symon’s 6 Piece Knife Set between now & Mothers Day & Receive his cookbook “5 in 5 for Every Season Cook Book* & a 10″ Oval Diamond Sharpener** as a FREE bonus!
This knife set Includes a wall mount Bamboo Magnetic Strip & 5 knives: 9″ Chef, 7″ Vegetable Cleaver, 6″ Chef Knife, 6″ Serrated Utility Knife, 3.5″ Paring Knife. Note: Due to natural variations of our high quality hand selected bamboo, the final colors may vary from pictures on our website.
Chef Symon’s Knife Tip: “For good control, grip the base of the knife blade, just in front of the handle with your thumb and index fingers on my MS logo as a starting point. Wrap your remaining three fingers around the handle of the knife. Now you’re ready to prep. Enjoy!” ~Michael
Warranty: Lifetime Limited Warranty~30 Day Money Back Guarantee
Ergo Chef Vice-President Michael Staib will be in Memphis with our partner, Pitmaster Myron Mixon for the 2016 World Championship Barbecue Cooking Contest, May 12-14, 2016 Thursday, May 12: 11 a.m. – midnight
Friday, May 13: 11 a.m. – midnight, Saturday, May 14: 10 a.m. – 10 p.m.
Each year, the Contest entertains visitors from around the world. In 2013, visitors came from all 50 states and 8 foreign countries. Please let our guest services volunteers know you are our visitor, and they will explain all of the rib-tickling entertainment offerings.If you’re planning on visiting the event, please take advantage of the following programs and events for visitors.
While local codes prohibit teams from selling barbecue to the general public, the Kingsford Tour of Champions allows you to taste and judge world-class barbecue. If you are attending, stop buy the Mixon Team Pit and pick up this exclusive card for an online discount when you buy Myron’s new 3-in-1 Pitmaster Grill Tool.
The Myron Mixon Pitmaster 3-in-1 Grill Tool is the first tool to deliver a style and functionality that says “Game On”! The 3 in one design was specifically developed & tested for easily flipping all your proteins & large veggies on the grill with the patented flipper hook. “Pop it, Flip it & Slice it!” Only $29.99 Order yours today: Grill Tool
The big NRA show is coming up and Ergo Chef will have a team from C-CAP – Careers through Culinary Arts Program working with us at our booth, #8150, in the McCormick Place, North Building, 5/21-5/24, 2016. These students will be actively promoting and demoing all things Ergo Chef & handing out information about C-CAP. the great non-profit culinary education program. We are grateful to be supplying some of their school programs for 2016 with Ergo Chef knife kits. Discover. Learn. Connect. Whether you want to try out new equipment, brush up on emerging trends, collaborate with more than 63,000 food-service pros, or get hands-on culinary training, NRA Show has what you need.See you There!
Presidential Chef’s Choice Seal ~Stealth Black 4″ Ceramic Paring Knife
10% of profits help support “Rolling Thunder” when you buy our new Presidential Chef’s Choice 4″ Ceramic Paring Knife.
Crafted from high quality ceramic ground a razor edge, this knife is much more durable than past ceramic knives due to new technology and fibers to strengthen the blade.
Ceramic is the next hardest material to diamonds so it will hold an edge with years of proper use. The handle is non-slip providing great feel and control for all your smaller cutting tasks. Created in a stealth look with Presidential Chef’s Choice Chef, Sam Morgante.
Features Include: ~Official Silver Foil Printed Gift Box with Presidential Chef’s Choice Seal ~Stealth Black 4″ Ceramic Paring Knife w/ Protective Sheath ~Comfort Texture Handle Grip for Safer Control ~Exclusive Presidential Chef’s Choice Seal Laser Etched on Ceramic Blade
Hi everyone, we hope you had a wonderful Christmas and New Years. We are well into 2016 and great things are happening here at Ergo. First up, we will only be producing 4 blogs this year, 1 per quarter, but we’ll make sure they are jam packed with lots of interesting and important info.
The 2016 International Home+ Housewares Show
We will be at the IHH Show in Chicago, March 5th through 8th, 2016. Ergo Chef has a prominent placement in the shows South Building Booth S1460 setup to be partially incorporated in with our US distributor Harold Import Company to optimize buyer & Rep flow as well as efficiently handle direct customer contact and needs as well. This year, in addition to the new Myron Mixon 3-in-1 Grill Tool and our new Iron Chef Michael Symon Signature Cutlery Line, we are introducing 2 new knives.
We will have show promotions and introductions of Michael Symon’s new 6pc. Knife set with Magnet Strip and The Myron Mixon Pitmaster’s Grill Tool with demonstrations for hands on understanding of our superior products. A new introduction and presentation by Chef Samuel Morgante where he will introduce his new Presidential Chef’s Choice 4” Ceramic Paring Knife in a gift box and tell his stories of working with presidents as well as his military adventures around the world. We’ll also be showcasing our new Pro Series 2.3″ wide 8″ Chef Knife with no hollow grounds.
The International Home + Housewares Show features more than 2,100 exhibitors from over 40 countries and more than 62,000 total attendees from over 125 countries. The Show brings buyers and sellers together to create the home + housewares industry’s key marketplace!
The International Housewares Association is the 77-year-old voice of the housewares industry, which accounted for (US)$331.1 billion at retail worldwide in 2014 ($75.1 billion at retail in the U.S.). The not-for-profit, full-service association sponsors the world’s premier exposition of products for the home, the International Home + Housewares Show, and offers its 1,700 member companies a wide range of services, including industry and government advocacy, export assistance, State-of-the-Industry reports, point-of-sale and consumer panel data through Housewares MarketWatch, executive management peer groups, a unique Web-based community at www.housewares.org and group buying discounts on business.
Famed chef Emeril Lagasse, Food Network chef Aarón Sánchez and, Addison, the most recent winner of MasterChef Junior, join the line-up of celebrity chefs appearing in the Cooking Theater at the 2016 International Home + Housewares Show, March 5-8 at Chicago’s McCormick Place.
Other chefs recently added include Ron Ben-Israel, host of the Food Network’s Sweet Genius and guest judge on Cake Wars; Lorena Garcia of Top Chef Masters; Sarah Grueneberg, runner-up on Top Chef: Texas; and Fabio Viviani, a Top Chef “Fan Favorite.”
Also appearing will be George Duran of Better TV; Tom and Patty Erd, second generation owners of The Spice House, listed as one of Food & Wine magazine’s “Top Spice Shops in the World;” Vivian Howard, star of the PBS series A Chef’s Life; Manuela Kjeilen, baker, Passion for Baking blogger, author and Swedish TV personality; Tess Masters, The Blender Girl; and local favorite Anupy Singla, a Chicago-based cookbook author and journalist. They join previously announced celebrity chefs Rick Bayless, Ming Tsai, Trisha Yearwood, Rose Levy Beranbaum, Bernard Guillas, Sara Moulton and Billy Parisi. The Cooking Theater, located in the Dine + Décor Expo in the South Building, is jointly sponsored by KitchenAid, Oneida® and WellnessMats. The chef demonstrations will begin on Saturday, March 5 and continue through Tuesday, March 8.
The 2016 International Home + Housewares Show will feature more than 2,200 exhibitors and attract 62,000 total attendees. The Show opens at 10 a.m. Saturday, March 5 and closes at 3 p.m. on Tuesday, March 8. To register for a Show badge or for more information, please visit https://www.housewares.org/show/register-plan.
Location; McCormick Place~2301 S. Lake Shore Drive, Chicago, Illinois 60616
Hope to see you there!
The new Pro Series 2.3” Wide Ergonomic Chef Knife
This new 8” Pro-Series Wide Ergonomic Chef knife has an extra wide blade height 2.3”, and is NOT hollow Ground. Nice clean sides with no hollow grounds for easy cleaning and keeps it’s strength and durability even after you sharpen it for years. Precision balanced and fully forged for a lifetime of use. The 8″ Chef knife is the work horse in the kitchen. Our patented design, with its ergonomic angled handle, can make virtually all types of cutting more comfortable and effortless than standard knives (cutlery). This chef cutlery helps reduce wrist movement during chopping, and can decrease stress on the muscles in your wrist, hand and forearm; and the extended heel or blade of the knife prevents your knuckles from contacting the cutting surface. The cutlery is perfectly balanced and ground to perfection. Once you try it, you will want no other. Our knives were highly rated by many publications and by many culinary professors!
Features: Blade: German Made Carbon Stainless Steel (X50CrMoV15), Blade Length: 8″ of Cut, Blade Height: Wide 2.3″, Handle Length: 5.2″ Long, Handle Material: Durable POM, Knife Weight: 9.3 Ounces, Precision Balanced at Bolster, Lifetime Warranty & 30 Day Money Back Guarantee. $69.99. Order yours today: Pro Series 2.3″ Wide Chef Knife with No Hollow Grounds
The Presidential Chef’s Choice 4” Ceramic Paring Knife
It was designed for former White House Presidential Military Chef, Sam Morgante from ceramic, which is second hardest material next to diamonds so it stays sharp for years when properly used. The razor edge also slices vegetable with ease. The ceramic doesn’t react like steel or duller knives and helps prolong your salad and veggies from browning. It has a non-slip grip handle for safety and the official Presidential Chef’s Choice Seal on the blade. Comes with protective sheath and gift box. The new age ceramic we use is more durable, so if you drop it chances of it breaking are slim to none. This knife will be available mid March 2016.
Till next time,
Mike StaibIt’s the IHH Show 2016, Chicago & Launch of Two New Knives!
We will produce five individual knives for the Symon series. The blades will include a 9-inch chef knife; a 6-inch chef knife; a 6-inch serrated utility knife; a 7-inch vegetable cleaver; and a 3.5-inch paring knife. A four-piece steak knife set will also be available. Symon says that the opportunity to produce his own line of knives was appealing because of the quality of the tools Ergo Chef produced for a small number of other celebrity chefs.
“They sent me a knife years ago which has always been one of mine and Lizzie’s [wife Liz Symon’s] favorites in the kitchen – even though it is sitting next to knives 5 times its price,” Symon describes the knives as providing “good balance and strength of blade.” The knives will be ground in the conventional Western-style, rather than with a Japanese beveled edge that is growing in popularity. He’s opted for a small selection of blades, rather than an extensive collection of knives. “I’m of the belief you don’t need a giant set of knives – just a couple that perform at a high level,” Symon added. “It will have a unique handle that is not only stunning but also very comfortable and durable,” Symon said. We are very excited to partner with Michael and will keep you all up to date as to when the knives will be available.
Food Tricks & Kitchen Tips This month we are going to cover what is a very controversial topic, GMOs. We’ll take a look at the What’s Why’s, When and How’s of this topic. We are definitely in the NON GMO camp here at Ergo and thought you should have the facts so you can make the right food decisions for your family. There are two very diverse camps, for and against to GMOs and we’ll explore both sides to be fair.
So what exactly are GMOs?
Genetically modified foods (or GM foods) are foods produced from organisms that have had specific changes introduced into their DNA using the methods of genetic engineering. These techniques have allowed for the introduction of new traits as well as a far greater control over a food’s genetic structure than previously afforded by methods such as selective breeding and mutation breeding.
Commercial sale of genetically modified crops began in 1994, when Calgene first marketed its Flavr Savr delayed ripening tomato.To date, most genetic modification of foods have primarily focused on cash crops in high demand by farmers such as soybean, corn, canola, and cotton seed oil. These have been engineered for resistance to pathogens and herbicides and better nutrient profiles. GM livestock have also been experimentally developed, although as of November 2013 none were on the market.
There is broad scientific consensus that food on the market derived from GM crops poses no greater risk to human health than conventional food. However, opponents have objected to GM foods on several grounds, including safety issues, environmental concerns, and economic concerns raised by the fact that GM seeds (and potentially animals) that are food sources are subject to intellectual property rights owned by corporations, so we’ll look at both sides pf this controversial coin:
On The Plus Side:
These plants can help farmers boost their yield by making crops that can live through a drought or the cold and resist disease. Backers say GM products will help us feed the extra 2 billion people that will fill the planet by 2050. GMO supporters believe that using science to make the changes is better for the planet than older farming methods. Crops built to resist pests lower farmers’ need for toxic chemical pesticides. They also require less soil to be tilled, reduce runoff, and keep the soil in place. Scientists can create crops that contain vital nutrients. Swiss researchers created a strain of “golden” rice with high amounts of beta-carotene. Monsanto produced soybeans with lots of heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids. Other crops, like papaya and cassava, can be made to withstand disease.
On the Negative side:
Crops built to withstand herbicides could breed with each other and transfer their genes to weeds. These “superweeds” would also beat the herbicides. On the other hand, GM fans say this is nothing new. Even nonchemical technologies create superweeds. The process often mixes or adds proteins that don’t exist in the original plant. GMO foes fear these will create new allergic reactions. They also worry that foods made to resist disease and viruses will linger in your system after you eat them, and that could make antibiotics less effective. But no studies confirm this claim.The long-term effects of adding new genes to common crops are still unclear. While the industry and health leaders cite hundreds of studies to support its safety, not to mention 20 years of animal data, experts say studies that show bad effects on animals — like harm to the kidneys, liver, heart, or other organs — should carry more weight.
So Are GMOs safe?
Most developed nations do not consider GMOs to be safe. In more than 60 countries around the world, including Australia, Japan, and all of the countries in the European Union, there are significant restrictions or outright bans on the production and sale of GMOs. In the U.S., the government has approved GMOs based on studies conducted by the same corporations that created them and profit from their sale. Increasingly, Americans are taking matters into their own hands and choosing to opt out of the GMO experiment.
Are GMOs labeled?
Unfortunately, even though polls consistently show that a significant majority of Americans want to know if the food they’re purchasing contains GMOs, the powerful biotech lobby has succeeded in keeping this information from the public. 64 countries with over 40% of the world’s population already label genetically engineered foods, including the entire European Union. China labels genetically engineered foods. The same companies that fight GMO labeling in the US reformulate or label GMOs in the foods they sell overseas. Labelling was introduced to give consumers the freedom to choose between GMOs and conventional products. Essentially, if a foodstuff is produced using genetic engineering, this must be indicated on its label. Actual labelling practice, however, is far more complicated – and must be planned and regulated with issues such as feasibility, legal responsibilities, coherence and standardisation in mind.
How common are GMOs?
In the U.S., GMOs are in as much as 80% of conventional processed food.
Alfalfa (first planting 2011)
Canola (approx. 90% of U.S. crop)
Corn (approx. 88% of U.S. crop in 2011)
Cotton (approx. 90% of U.S. crop in 2011)
Papaya (most of Hawaiian crop; approximately 988 acres)
Soy (approx. 94% of U.S. crop in 2011)
Sugar Beets (approx. 95% of U.S. crop in 2010)
Zucchini and Yellow Summer Squash (approx. 25,000 acres)
Some ingredients that seem low-risk may have less-visible high-risk ingredients. Take, for example, dried fruit. Raisins and similar fruit are sometimes packed with a small quantity of oil to keep them moist. This oil, when used, is sometimes high-GMO-risk. As such, it is critical that we do take the time to look carefully at ingredient spec sheets during the verification process, to ensure that risks like this are effectively mitigated, even in apparently low-risk products. Contamination incidents have occurred with seemingly “low-risk” products (rice, starling corn, flax). Non-GMO Project Verification supports manufacturers in being able to quickly and proactively respond to unexpected contamination issues. Verifying only high-risk products puts a heavy burden on consumers to know what products are at risk of containing GMOs. Many people, even in the world of Natural Foods, don’t know what a GMO is, let alone which crops and processed ingredients are high-risk.
Through verifying low-risk products, the Non-GMO Project’s work builds consumer interest and industry investment in Non-GMO, even for crops that aren’t genetically engineered yet. Biotech is constantly working to patent and commercialize new organisms (salmon, apples, etc.), and the more companies that have committed to Non-GMO production, the more resistance these new developments will see prior to release.
What are the impacts of GMOs on the environment?
Over 80% of all GMOs grown worldwide are engineered for herbicide tolerance. As a result, use of toxic herbicides like Roundup has increased 15 times since GMOs were introduced. GMO crops are also responsible for the emergence of “super weeds” and “super bugs:’ which can only be killed with ever more toxic poisons like 2,4-D (a major ingredient in Agent Orange). GMOs are a direct extension of chemical agriculture, and are developed and sold by the world’s biggest chemical companies. The long-term impacts of GMOs are unknown, and once released into the environment these novel organisms cannot be recalled.
How do GMOs affect farmers? Because GMOs are novel life forms, biotechnology companies have been able to obtain patents with which to restrict their use. As a result, the companies that make GMOs now have the power to sue farmers whose fields are contaminated with GMOs, even when it is the result of inevitable drift from neighboring fields. GMOs therefore pose a serious threat to farmer sovereignty and to the national food security of any country where they are grown, including the United States.
Chef’s Spotlight Chef Michael Symon cooks with soul. Growing up in a Greek and Sicilian family, the Cleveland native creates boldly flavored, deeply satisfying dishes at his four restaurants in America’s heartland: Lola, Lolita, Roast and B Spot. He also shares his exuberant, approachable cooking style and infectious laugh with viewers as an Iron Chef on the Food Network.
Since being named a Best New Chef by Food & Wine magazine in 1998, Michael and his restaurants have been awarded numerous honors: In 2010, he was the first chef ever to host the annual Farm Aid benefit concert; Bon Appetit magazine included B Spot on their list of “Top 10 Best New Burger Joints”; and B Spot’s Fat Doug burger won the People’s Choice Award at the SoBe Wine & Food Festival. In 2009, Michael earned The James Beard Foundation Award for Best Chef Great Lakes and the Detroit Free Press named Roast “Restaurant of the Year.” In 2000, Gourmet magazine chose Lola as one of “America’s Best Restaurants.”
In 2010, Michael appeared on four Food Network/Cooking Channel shows, hosting Food Feuds and Cook Like an Iron Chef, judging season three of The Next Iron Chef and competing on Iron Chef America. Michael won season 1 of The Next Iron Chef in 2008, earning him a permanent spot on the panel of esteemed Iron Chefs. He made his debut on the network in 1998 with appearances on Sara’s Secrets with Sara Moulton, Ready, Set, Cook and Food Nation with Bobby Flay, before being tapped to host more than 100 episodes of The Melting Pot. He is now the co-host of ABC’s popular daytime show “The Chew” and can be seen in a new Foodnetwork’s new hit show “All Star Academy”
While Michael shines on television, he is a genuine hometown guy who made his name cooking in his Midwestern restaurants, all of which became critically acclaimed. Lola opened in 1997 and is now the cornerstone of Cleveland’s dining scene. Lolita, a Mediterranean-style bistro in Cleveland’s historic Tremont neighborhood, opened in 2005. Roast brought Michael’s meat-centric cooking to Detroit’s Westin Book Cadillac in 2008, and two Cleveland locations of B Spot opened in 2009, showcasing his passion for burgers, bratwurst and beer.
When he’s not working, Michael is riding his motorcycle through Cleveland, cooking at home, playing golf, thinking about his next tattoo, gardening in the backyard and spending time with his wife, Liz, and their bullmastiff, Ruby, and Old English bulldog, Ozzy.
This month, rather than just give you one recipe we thought we’d spotlight our new partner Michael Symon, who gives us some great recipes from his Cooking Channel Show, Symon’s Suppers, using bacon. We hope you enjoy!
Till next Time,
Mike StaibMarch: GMO’s, Michael Symon & the new Ergo/Symon knives