TIME Food

USDA Says Bird Flu Vaccine Works on Chickens

Officials are testing the vaccine on turkeys

(DES MOINES, Iowa)—Scientists have developed a vaccine strain that has tested 100% effective in protecting chickens from bird flu and testing is underway to see if it also protects turkeys, U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack told the House Agriculture Committee at a hearing on Wednesday.

If it does, the agency plans to quickly license it for widespread production and is seeking funding from the Office of Management and Budget to stockpile it nationally.

“Hopefully we’ll be able to get a lot of folks working collaboratively together and we stockpile enough so that if this does hit and hits us hard we’re in a position to respond quickly,” Vilsack said.

Developing a vaccine targeted to the H5N2 virus that has killed 48 million birds since early March in 15 states, including hardest-hit Iowa, Minnesota and Nebraska, is one aspect of planning for a potential recurrence of the bird flu, Vilsack said.

Scientists believe the virus was spread through the droppings of wild birds migrating north to nesting grounds. They’re concerned it could return this fall when birds fly south for the winter or again next spring.

While this year Midwest turkey and egg farms were hit hardest, the industry that raises chickens for meat in the southern and eastern states including Alabama, Arkansas and Georgia is worried it could spread there.

Still not all poultry producers are on the same page when it comes to using vaccine to fight an outbreak.

Turkey producers tend to favor vaccination to protect flocks because turkey immune systems appear more vulnerable to viruses. Some egg producers and farmers who raise broilers — chickens produced for meat — often resist vaccination programs because of the possible impact on export markets.

U.S. producers export nearly $6 billion worth of poultry and egg products yearly with about $5 billion of that chicken meat.

“There are many unanswered questions that must be addressed before any strong consideration is given to a vaccination program,” said Tom Super, a spokesman for the National Chicken Council, which represents producers of 95 percent of the U.S. broilers sold. “Two concerns of several are the effectiveness of the vaccine and potential impacts on trade.”

Meetings also have been held with importers of U.S. poultry products to try and convince them not to block all poultry imports if a vaccination program is enacted in response to another outbreak.

“That’s still an open question and we’ve been working with a number of countries today to get them convinced to ban regionally as opposed to the entire country,” Vilsack said.

Many countries have a strict policy of refusing to accept meat from nations using a vaccine because it can be difficult to discern through testing whether birds were infected with an active virus or were vaccinated, said James Sumner, president of the USA Poultry & Egg Export Council.

Even during the current outbreak which affected 15 states, about 10 trade partners banned poultry imports from the entire U.S., Sumner said.

Vilsack said it’s uncertain when a vaccine would be ready for large-scale production. Even once stockpiled, a vaccination program would not begin until the USDA, consulting with affected states, decided it was necessary to control an outbreak

TIME Diet/Nutrition

3 Easy Peach Recipes That Will Make You Look Like a Gourmet Chef

Celebrate the nutrient-packed summer fruit with these recipes

Summer is the perfect time for peaches—a classic farmers’ market staple that is not only juicy and refreshing, but also packed with essential nutrients, like vitamins C and E, calcium, and iron.

Here are three creative recipes from Peaches ($14, shortstackededitions.com), a new cookbook from Health‘s food director, Beth Lipton, to help you make the most of this healthy and versatile seasonal treat.

  • Peach upside-down cake

    peaches-upside-down-cake
    Courtesy of Short Stack Editions

    “Take a tarte Tatin, mate it with a buttery cake, and the resulting love child is this fancy-looking but simple dessert,” Lipton writes. “The strong butter flavor and a little hint of ginger are a delicious setting for the slightly boozy, very brown sugary sauteed peaches.”

    Serves: 8

    Ingredients

    12 tablespoons (1½ sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature, divided, plus more for the pan
    1¼ cups all-purpose flour
    1 teaspoon ground ginger
    ½ teaspoon baking powder
    ¼ teaspoon baking soda
    ¼ teaspoon plus a pinch salt
    ¾ cup packed dark brown sugar
    2 teaspoons vanilla extract, divided
    3 tablespoons bourbon
    2 to 3 medium-ripe peaches (8 to 12 ounces)—peeled, pitted, and sliced
    ¾ cup granulated sugar
    2 large eggs, at room temperature
    ½ cup buttermilk, at room temperature
    Ice cream or whipped cream, for serving

    Instructions

    Place a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 350°. Butter a 9-inch-round cake pan. In a bowl, combine the flour, ginger, baking powder, baking soda, and salt; whisk until well mixed and set aside.

    Cut 4 tablespoons of butter into slices and place in a large skillet. Add the brown sugar, 1 teaspoon of vanilla, bourbon, and a pinch of salt and cook over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until the butter has melted and the mixture is well combined. Add the peach slices and cook, gently stirring occasionally, until they begin to soften and their liquid thickens, 7 to 9 minutes.

    Using a slotted spoon or tongs, remove the peach slices and arrange them in circles in the bottom of the cake pan, beginning on the outside and moving into the middle of the pan, overlapping if necessary (you may not use all of the slices; save any extras for snacking or another use). Pour the remaining juices from the skillet over the peaches, taking care not to move them.

    In a separate bowl, using an electric mixer, beat the remaining 8 tablespoons of butter with the granulated sugar at medium-high speed until light and fluffy, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Scrape down the side of the bowl. Using a wooden spoon or sturdy spatula, stir in half of the flour mixture, followed by the buttermilk and remaining teaspoon of vanilla, then the remaining flour mixture, stirring until just combined.

    Using an offset spatula, gently spread the batter over the peaches, taking care not to move them too much. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes, until the cake is golden and bounces back when lightly pressed in the center. Let the cake cool in the pan on a wire rack for 5 minutes. Run a knife along the outer edge of the pan and invert the cake onto a serving dish. If any peach slices are stuck in the baking pan, carefully place them on top of the cake. Serve warm or at room temperature with ice cream or whipped cream.

  • Halibut & shrimp ceviche

    Halibut-shrimp-ceviche
    Courtesy of Beth Lipton

    Best thing about ceviche in the summer: You don’t have to go near a stove, Lipton writes. “Peaches set this ceviche apart from others I’ve tried; the fruit’s sweetness balances the salty fish and spicy jalapeño and makes the whole thing just scream ‘summer.’ Plus, the peaches add a burst of color that plays well with the pink in the shrimp and the green of the chile.” You can also try serving it in small paper cups at a party.

    Serves: 4

    Ingredients

    ½ small red onion, halved and very thinly sliced
    1 large peach (or 2 small ones)—peeled, pitted and sliced or cut into ½-inch chunks
    1 small jalapeño, seeded and thinly sliced
    8 ounces halibut, cut into small chunks
    8 ounces medium peeled and deveined shrimp, cut into 4 or 5 pieces each
    ⅓ cup fresh lime juice
    ¼ cup fresh lemon juice
    Salt and freshly ground black pepper
    2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
    2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
    Zest of 1 lime, for garnish, optional

    Instructions

    Place the onion, peach, jalapeño, halibut, and shrimp in a nonreactive bowl. Stir in the lime and lemon juices and a large pinch of salt. Cover the bowl and refrigerate for 1 hour, stirring every 15 minutes or so.

    Drain the fish mixture and return to the bowl. Stir in the oil. Taste and season generously with salt and pepper. Gently stir in the cilantro. Spoon the ceviche into glasses, garnish with the lime zest, if desired, and serve.

  • Peach preserves

    peaches-preservative
    Courtesy of Beth Lipton

    As Lipton explains in Peaches, this recipe adopts the techniques of French jam maker Christine Ferber, who macerates the fruit overnight, cooks the resulting syrup first, and then returns the fruit to the cooked syrup. The result: jam that just screams fruit. This is especially important with peach preserves. Using this method, the fruit itself isn’t cooked as much, so it retains its essential peachiness.

    Makes: 1 ½ cups

    Ingredients

    1½ pounds ripe peaches (about 5 medium)—peeled, pitted and chopped
    ¾ cup sugar
    Juice of ½ lemon (about 2 tablespoons)
    Generous pinch of kosher salt

    Instructions

    Combine the peaches, sugar, lemon juice, and salt in a large bowl. Cover and refrigerate for at least 8 hours or overnight.

    Place a fine-mesh sieve over a large saucepan. Pour the peach mixture into the sieve and let the fruit’s juices collect in the pan. Reserve the solids, place the pan over medium heat and bring to a boil. Boil, stirring often, until the liquid is syrupy and reduced by half, about 8 minutes.

    Add the peach mixture to the pan and bring back to a boil. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the peaches are very soft, 15 to 20 minutes. Crush the peaches with the back of a wooden spoon as they cook (for a smoother preserve, use an immersion blender). Transfer the preserves to a large bowl to cool.

    Spoon the peach preserves into a pint-size jar with a tight-fitting lid and refrigerate. The preserves will keep, covered and refrigerated, for up to 3 weeks. Or seal the preserves in sterilized jars using the boiling water method and store at room temperature.

    For more cool summer recipes celebrating all things peach, be sure to check out the rest of Lipton’s cookbook!

    peaches_center-fold-copy
    Courtesy of Short Stack Editions

    This article originally appeared on Health.com

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TIME Food

38 Things Americans Say They’ve Found in a Hot Dog

The All-American Hot Dog 1972
Ralph Morse—The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images Girl eating a hot dog, 1972.

A look at public records provides a window into how America's favored sausage gets made

We’re in the meat of hot dog season, the sweet sweaty weeks from Memorial Day to Labor Day, when Americans consume consume 7 billion wieners. That is 21 per person, according to the National Hot Dog and Sausage Council. Sure, we all know that hot-dog ingredients aren’t always the choicest. But there are those very rare occasions, as with almost any food produced in such massive numbers, when something appears inside the bun that even the most zealous hot-dog lover could never find palatable. A TIME request to the USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (yes, the Freedom of Information Act covers encased meats) showed that 38 consumers have reported finding foreign objects in their hot dogs and contacted the feds to complain.

That’s a very small number—think of the billions of hot dogs that peaceably find their way onto our grills —but together the reports provide a window into how America’s sausage gets made. In their wieners Americans reported finding, among other things: “a large ant,” “a peppercorn like material…that appeared to be metal shavings,” “a clump of hair (looks like eyelashes),” “a needle resembling an injection needle,” “a sheared off portion of a metal box cutter,” “a dime,” “a white hex nut” and “a pill.”

“I put a hot dog in the microwave for my toddler and while warming it started sparking and smoking which I thought was weird,” a complaint for 2014 reads, “but took it out and looked at it and didn’t see anything wrong so went ahead and gave it to him. After eating it he kept picking at his teeth and when I looked he had a piece of metal stuck between his teeth.”

“Caller found a large silverfish inside package of hot dogs,” a food safety official noted in a 2015 report. “…Caller owns a food manufacturing business and is therefore familiar with processing and packaging and is concerned that if a large silverfish could be packaged with the hotdogs the plant must have an infestation.”

Janet Riley, the president of the National Hot Dog and Sausage Council and self-dubbed “Queen of Wien,” says, “We sure do what we can to avoid any kind of foreign object in there, and the records suggest that we do a really good job considering the numbers we produce. What’s on the label is what you’re going to find in the product.” Among USDA product recalls, hot dog recalls are relatively rare, and inspectors watch plants closely.

Hot dog integrity appears to have improved since 1999, when the Wall Street Journal reported on what had been, by its estimation, “the wiener’s worst year ever.” Mass-market hot dogs were recalled in spades and blamed by the Centers for Disease Control for listeria poisoning. The Journal reported that Sara Lee, the manufacturer of the popular Ball Park Franks brand, had five foreign-object complaints against it from the start of 1997 until mid-1999. Flash forward and American consumers have filed just one foreign-object complaint concerning Ball Park Franks from the start of 2013 through Feb. 2015.

Still, according to the federal records, 38 Americans claim not to have been so fortunate. “A piece of rubber band (blue),” “what looks like insect larva,” “tiny hard white pieces of plastic about 2-3 mm long,” “a clump of hair or something ratlike,” “the tip of a razor blade,” “sharp metal,” “glass shards,” “a long piece of blue plastic, like very thick plastic wrap,” “a piece of bone, hard, jagged,” “a 3 in. long piece of something, “a metal wire,” “glass and potential mercury,” “a crown,” “a metal staple,” “a metal shard,” “a large piece of bone,” “plastic,” “piece of rubber,” “huge chip of bone,” “huge amount of shredded plastic,” “a metal object… seemed like it was sharpened,” “piece of bone measuring 1 in. by 3/4 of an inch,” “piece of metal… the size of 2 or 3 grains of sand,” “metal button shaped like a sharp object,” “a bug,” “a sharp hard object,” “two hairs… one was short, black and could have been facial hair. The second hair was thinner and was actually sticking out of the hot dog.” Reported one caller: “The hot dog appeared to be written on with a black magic marker with the letter ‘T’.”

Most hot dogs are made of the same beef or pork or poultry one would buy elsewhere in the supermarket meat aisle. Well, OK, that familiar meat, but spiced and blended with ice chips into a batter and then stuffed into casings and cooked and then peeled and often packed in plastic with sodium nitrate or sodium nitrite as a preservative. Also occasionally with fat, water, dry milk, cereal or isolated soy protein added, all of it permissible under U.S. Department of Agriculture regulations. So at least 54.5 percent of the hot dog must be meat. And those are the ones that pass USDA mustard. Er, muster.

A national pastime
While now as American as baseball, apple pie and Chevrolet, the hot dog is in fact a foreign object. In Germany, they have been slinging sausage since at least the fourteenth century, many centuries before Polish immigrant Nathan Handwerker set up his eventually famous nickel hot dog stand on Coney Island in 1916. (On Friday, Famous Nathan, a documentary of Handwerker’s life created by his grandson Lloyd Handwerker, was released in movie theaters.) The German immigrants who landed in America in the middle of the nineteenth century brought their sausages with them, says Bruce Kraig, hot-dog historian and the author of Man Bites Dog: Hot Dog Culture in America. And a still-young nation that liked its food cheap, hot, fast and meaty went about making the sausage its own. Chicagoans cast their lot with mustard, onions, relish and a host of other toppings. Michiganders went with the chili-and-onion covered Coney Dog. New Yorkers more often served them with merely mustard.

The hot dog was also, Kraig says, the first-ever American food with a real relationship to leisure. They were the food of Coney Island, of Chicago’s Riverview Park, of the Jersey Shore—and of baseball, the new national pastime.

Americans loved their hot dogs. But they rarely bothered to sweat what might be in them. The name “hot dog” came from a running joke among Yale students in the 1890s that the sausages they loved so much might contain dog meat among the tasty butchers’ scraps. “That’s American humor for you. Mordant and wry,” Kraig says.

But the supermarket hot dogs we know now have little in common with the local, butcher-made hot dogs of the late nineteenth century. It would take the development of major meatpacking factories in Chicago and of new preservation and refrigeration technologies to clear the way for the mass-produced hot dog. (One such Windy City factory, the Armour Meat Packing Plant, worked like this, Kraig says: Cows would enter on the top floor for slaughter. Then their carcasses would make their way through the factory, and workers would carve off special cuts as directed. By the time the carcasses reached the bottom of the building, the beefy oddities that remained were fit for hot dogs.) The mass-produced hot dog arrived hand-in-hand with the magic of advertising. Chicago, after all, built not only America’s meatpacking plants but the Oscar Mayer Wienermobile in 1936.

Indeed, the story of the hot dog contains the stories of so many things we as Americans hold dear—of recreation (of baseball!), of industry, of intense regional difference, of transcendent marketing, of cheerful insouciance in the face of troubling whispers. So if you should find yourself nearby a friend’s grill before summer’s end, with a hot dog in your hand, know that, as you prepare to bite into it, as you sniff its barely peppery aroma, you will soon be sinking your teeth into this beautiful and brilliant nation itself. And maybe a razor blade too. Hopefully not. Eat up!

Jacob Koffler contributed reporting to this story.

TIME Television

Watch John Oliver Take a Bite Out of Food Waste

Oliver also took a moment to slam Donald Trump and discuss Iran

John Oliver turned his attention from politics to the plate on Last Week Tonight on Sunday to discuss food — specifically, food waste. “Food waste is like the band Rascal Flatts: it can fill a surprising number of stadiums even though most people consider it complete garbage,” said Oliver.

According to a report by the Natural Resources Defense Council, Americans waste about 40% of food that’s produced every year, which is enough grub to fill 730 football stadiums — and we all know how Oliver feels about stadiums. That fact alone is alarming, but it’s especially so when taken in consideration with the fact that in 2013, close to 50 million people in the U.S. experienced food insecurity and worried about being able to put food on the table.

Oliver also noted that food waste is appalling due to the amount of resources put into creating that food, which are also wasted when the food is chucked. “At a time when the landscape of California is shriveling up like a pumpkin in front of a house with a lazy dad, it seems especially unwise that farmers are pumping water into food that ends up being used as a garnish for landfills,” said Oliver, noting that landfills can lead to methane, a greenhouse gas that contributes to global warming. Or in Oliver’s words: “When we dump food into a landfill, we’re essentially throwing a trash blanket over a flatulent food man and Dutch-ovening the entire planet.”

Oliver ended with a call to arms: “We all have to address our relationship with food waste.”

Oliver also discussed the new deal between the U.S. and Iran, which can be summed up perfectly in this tweet:

TIME

McDonald’s Franchise Owners: The Turnaround Isn’t Working

McDonald's Reports Poor Quarterly Earnings
Justin Sullivan—Getty Images Signs are posted on the exterior of a McDonald's restaurant in San Francisco, Calif.

They are not impressed

Although McDonald’s is trying to shake off years of underwhelming results and win back customers with new menu items, franchise owners still aren’t happy.

A recent survey of 29 respondents who run 208 McDonald’s restaurants found that the owners are not impressed with the company’s turnaround efforts, The Wall Street Journal reported.

In fact, it’s the worst six-month outlook for the U.S. business in the 12 years that analyst Mark Kalinowski has conducted the poll of franchisees, the Journal said. The latest round of responses are even worse than the previous low seen in April, the report said.

The franchisees predict a 2.3% decline in June U.S. same-store sales, the report said, noting that it’s far below analysts’ expectations of a 0.3% decline. They also said the changes recently implemented by McDonald’s management have not yet born fruit.

Some McDonald’s franchisees said years of investments for store remodeling and new equipment have left them with debt and unable to expand or make further investments to boost their businesses, the paper reported. And one person surveyed said some store operators are nearing the end of their 20-year franchise agreement and may not be able to enter into a new one if they fall below the required financial thresholds.

“Everyone is worried that there are no longer any operators that can buy their stores,” the franchisee stated in the survey. “I suspect there will be a large number of fire sales with the end result that everyone’s equity will go down.”

McDonald’s recently hired a new CEO Steve Easterbrook to help turn things around at the fast-food giant, which recently celebrated its 75th birthday.

Easterbrook acknowledged in a video and press release that the company has been bogged down by a cumbersome structure and too much bureaucracy, making it slow to adapt to big changes like customers gravitating to what they perceive as healthier fare. It also has been grappling with a poor perception of its food quality and customer service.

“Approximately 3,100 franchisees own and operate McDonald’s restaurants across the U.S. Less than 1% of them were surveyed for this report,” a McDonald’s spokeswoman told the newspaper. “We value the feedback from our franchisees and have a solid working relationship with them.”

TIME Diet/Nutrition

10 Foods That Make You Look Younger

watermelon-sliced
Getty Images

These foods pack the building blocks of healthy hair and skin

You can head off a lot of your most common beauty concerns simply by downing the right foods. That’s right—eating well not only does wonders for your waistline and bolsters your immune system but can also provide some very real get-gorg benefits, such as smoothing wrinkles, giving hair a glossy shine and strengthening flimsy nails. “Your diet directly affects your day-to-day appearance and plays a significant role in how well you age,” says Joshua Zeichner, MD. The smart approach, Dr. Zeichner says, is to create a plan that includes what he calls “the building blocks of healthy skin and hair”—nutrients, minerals and fatty acids—as well as antioxidants to protect your body from damaging environmental stresses. Get ready to nab some beauty-boosting perks by tossing these essential face-saving edibles into your grocery cart.

Coffee

Grabbing some java every morning doesn’t just jump-start your day—that cup of joe has bioactive compounds that may help protect your skin from melanoma (the fifth most common cancer in the U.S.), according to a recent report in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute. Researchers found that the more coffee people downed, the less likely they were to get the disease: Those drinking four cups daily had a 20 percent lower risk of developing malignant melanoma over a 10-year period than non-coffee drinkers.

Watermelon

The summertime fave is loaded with lycopene. “This antioxidant compound gives watermelon and tomatoes their red color—and helps skin stave off UV damage,” says nutrition pro Keri Glassman, RD, founder of NutritiousLife.com. Researchers believe that the melon contains as much as 40 percent more of the phytochemical than raw tomatoes; that’s the equivalent of an SPF 3, so use it to bolster (not replace) your daily dose of sunscreen.

Pomegranates

The seeds of this wonder fruit are bursting with antioxidants, like vitamin C, that prevent fine lines, wrinkles and dryness by neutralizing the free radicals that weather skin. A study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that higher vitamin C intake lessened the likelihood of dryness and wrinkles in middle-aged women. Also in the fruit’s arsenal: anthocyanins (which help increase collagen production, giving skin a firmer look) and ellagic acid (a natural chemical that reduces inflammation caused by UV damage).

Blueberries

Boost radiance by popping some of these plump little beauties. Blueberries supply vitamins C and E (two antioxidants that work in tandem to brighten skin, even out tone and fight off free-radical damage), as well as arubtin, “a natural derivative of the skin lightener hydroquinone,” Dr. Zeichner says.

Lobster

High in zinc, shellfish has anti-inflammatory properties that can help treat a range of skin annoyances, acne included. “Zinc accelerates the renewal of skin cells,” says Whitney Bowe, MD, clinical assistant professor of dermatology at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. “That’s why you find the nutrient in many acne medications.” In fact, research shows that people with acne have lower levels of zinc than people with clear skin.

Kale

On the long list of this leafy green‘s nutrients are vitamin K (it promotes healthy blood clotting, so the blood vessels around the eyes don’t leak and cause Walking Dead-like shadows) and loads of iron. “Insufficient levels of iron in your diet can cause your skin to look pale, making it easier to spot blood vessels under the skin,” explains Howard Murad, MD, associate clinical professor of medicine at UCLA. To max out the benefits, eat the veggie cooked, not raw.

Eggs

Your fingernails (toenails, too) are made of protein, so a deficiency can turn those talons soft. Keep yours thick and mani-pedi-ready by cracking smart: “Eggs are a good source of biotin, a B complex vitamin that metabolizes amino acids, which are the building blocks of protein,” says Frank Lipman, MD, director of Eleven-Eleven Wellness Center in New York City.

Walnuts

Omega-3 fatty acids (found in the natural oils that keep your hair hydrated) and vitamin E (which helps repair damaged follicles) are two secrets behind strong, lustrous strands—and these nuts are full of both, Dr. Lipman says. All you need is 1/4 cup a day. What’s more, walnuts are packed with copper, which will help keep your natural color rich: Studies show that being deficient in the mineral may be a factor in going prematurely gray.

Avocado

Like you need another reason to love them: These rich fruits are high in oleic acid, an omega-9 fatty acid that helps skin retain moisture in the outer layer to keep it soft, plump and supple, Dr. Bowe says.

Cantaloupe

The sweet melon contains beta carotene, or vitamin A, which is believed to regulate the growth of skin cells on your scalp and sebum in the skin’s outer layer, Dr. Zeichner says. This keeps pores from getting clogged and causing flakes.

Pop a pill to get pretty

Hearing more about beauty supplements? Nutraceuticals, as they’re called, are big news right now—and with good reason. “There is clinical proof that some of these supplements, which are basically a preformulated set of ingredients, really work,” notes Joshua Zeichner, MD. Here are four worth downing.

Biomarine complex

A lot of interesting stuff is lurking beneath the sea, according to Dr. Zeichner, who points to a study in the Journal of Clinical and Aesthetic Dermatology showing that a supplement containing marine protein powder, along with other nutrients and vitamins, helped regenerate skin cells in the scalp, resulting in increased hair growth after 90 days. Go fish! A good source: Viviscal Extra Strength Dietary Supplements, $39; walmart.com.

Probiotics

To get healthy skin, you need a healthy gut. “Oral probiotics, filled with ‘good’ bacteria, help maintain a balance between good and bad bacteria in your system to help your body dial down the inflammation that can trigger a host of skin problems, including acne, rosacea and dandruff,” says Whitney Bowe, MD. A good source: Align Probiotic Supplements, $29; drugstore.com.

Green tea extract

By now you know there’s a great deal this bionic brew can offer—yep, younger-looking skin, too. Double down on the benefits by adding a supplement to your daily sips: “The high concentration of polyphenols, powerful antioxidants found in green tea, help make skin more resistant to UV damage that leads to premature aging,” says Frank Lipman, MD. A good source: Vitamin World Super Strength Green Tea Extract, $26; vitaminworld.com.

This article originally appeared on Health.com

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TIME Diet/Nutrition

5 Kinds of Food-Shamers (and How to Deal With Them)

aerial-view-meal-table
Getty Images

“You’re so lucky you can eat ALL that.”

If you’ve ever had anyone walk in to your cubicle as you were inhaling a Quarter Pounder with Cheese and say, “I didn’t know anyone ate fast food anymore,” congrats: You’ve been food shamed. You should know you’re in excellent company, as it’s happened to Health staffers at previous jobs (see No. 2 and No. 4), Olympic athletes, even celebs like Heidi Klum and Demi Lovato.

“Once foods are called ‘good’ and ‘bad,’ then the people who are doing the eating are judged good and bad as well,” Pamela Peeke, MD, author of The Hunger Fix, told Health. But don’t let food bullies get under your skin: People who are made to feel embarrassed about their guilty pleasures are less likely to make future healthy choices, according to a 2015 study in the journal Appetite. Instead, fight back with this field guide to the biggest Judgy Jennies out there and how to hang on to your dignity and your more-evolved-than-theirs approach to healthy eating.

The passive-aggressive metabolism praiser: “You’re so lucky you can eat ALL that.”

On the surface, this person is praising your superhuman metabolism and digestive tract, so why do their words make you feel all queasy inside? Because she is getting her jab in, implying that you suck down food like you’re going for gold at the Coney Island Hot Dog Eating Contest. Just remember, though, it’s not about you, it’s aboutthem. “People tend to declare more negative comments and judgements when they themselves feel less grounded in their own eating behavior,” explained Dr. Peeke, who is also an expert in food addiction and senior science advisor at Elements addiction treatment centers. “There are mixed emotions involved—envy that perhaps a more slender person can ‘get away with it'; terror and fear that the judging person will fall to temptation if overeating is going on around them.” Your best bet? Don’t engage. “Simply smile with grace and change the subject,” she advises.

The food fascist: “You can’t eat a tuna melt in this office.”

That’s what a Health senior editor was told at a fashion industry job she once had (it was orders of the boss lady). No faux flattery here; these people are straight-up with their efforts to control what everyone else consumes. Take the family member who says, “I don’t permit sweets in my house” when you come bearing a bakery box, or the diet-trend-hopping friend who announces, “I can’t have any gluten at the table,” evidently suffering from the only known case of Sudden Sight-Induced Penne Intolerance. “Women especially tend to veer toward perfectionism in their eating,” Dr. Peeke explained. This kind of rigidity, though, “sets people up for disordered eating.” And it can be contagious. So why not be conveniently busy the next time a dinner-out invite comes from your super-obsessive friend?

The snack obituary writer: “Whoa, I didn’t know they still make double-stuff oreos.”

In a golly-gee tone, this trickster feigns shock that your occasional treats are actually on store shelves in America in 2015. Really—if they find you eating a donut, it’s like you were caught smoking opium and must have some overseas connection to secure your illicit goods. Hold your head high and enjoy your occasional Ring Ding, Dr. Peeke advised. In fact, she recommends following a reasonable 80/20 rule: “Nourish yourself with delicious whole foods 80 percent of the time and leave room for treats 20 percent of the time. This way you have breathing room to just be human.”

The mean minimalist: “You’re eating…Chipotle.”

They present, as fact, your lunch choice. It’s as if there’s no need for commentary; the simple statement about what is on your plate is damning enough. One Health.com editor was subjected to this understated put-down at a previous job. “I felt ashamed of my choices and I never got it again for lunch,” she recalls. “But how is it their business? They don’t know what I eat at home.” If you’re always having to defend your Taco Tuesday, Dr. Peeke added, “limit your time together because it’s just plain too toxic to hang out with people like that.”

The salad slammer: “Look at you with your teeny kale salad again.”

This is the reverse food diss, in which you feel criticized for happening to like green juice, salmon over greens, and a teeming quinoa bowl. The implication is that you’re showing off, or trying to make friends and colleagues feel bad about their lunches (you aren’t, right?). Nobody should feel self-conscious breaking out their lentil-tofu bake. So why the snide comments? “When someone is the outlier and practicing a healthier lifestyle choice, it will make people who are not uncomfortable,” Dr. Peeke said. “My advice is to smile and say, ‘I’m feeling great and enjoying my meal. I hope the same for you.’”

Just try not to say it through a snarl.

This article originally appeared on Health.com

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TIME Diet/Nutrition

The 7 Best Food Combinations for Weight Loss

Bowl of black and kidney bean salad
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Try corn and beans

Would you pay top dollar for a comedy performance by…Peele? Or expect a great film from a singular Coen brother? Or rock to the sounds of just one of those robots from Daft Punk?

There’s a reason why people love the music of the Stones more than either Jagger or Richards: amazing things happen when two great collaborators work in tandem to create magic. That’s true in art, and it’s just as true in nutrition. More and more research confirms what great chefs and home cooks have always known: Foods weren’t meant to be eaten alone. They’re meant to work in partnership, each bringing its own set of unique flavors (and nutrients) to create the perfect weight-loss meal.

Case in point: Last month, a study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition reported that salads were more nutritionally potent if you added eggs to them. The reason is that the eggs made it easier for your body to absorb carotenoids, the pigments that give veggies their color—and help you fight weight gain. Here are 8 other ideal collaborators, each bringing its own unique nutritional talents to help keep you slim.

Weight-Loss Combo #7

Tuna + Ginger

Want to look better on the beach? Look no further than the ocean—or at least the oceanside sushi joint. Pairing a tuna roll, or a few pieces of tuna sashimi, with ginger may help your waistline. The ginger accelerates gastric emptying, which helps diminish that bloated look rapidly, and it also blocks several genes and enzymes in the body that promote bloat-causing inflammation. Tuna’s role here is critical, too; it’s a primo source of docosahexaenoic acid, a type of omega-3 fat that can ward off stress chemicals that promote flab storage and down-regulate fat genes in the stomach, stopping belly fat cells from growing larger.

Make a Power Combo: Place the ginger atop your brown rice sushi—but lay off the soy sauce. A single tablespoon has more than 1,000 mg of belly-bloating sodium, more than a Big Mac!

Weight-Loss Combo #6

Spinach + Avocado Oil

If you’re tiring of your usual go-to spinach-and-olive-oil salad, mix things up with avocado oil. Made from pressed avocados, it’s rich in heart-healthy monounsaturated fats that may help improve cholesterol and ward off hunger. It also contains vitamins B and E and bloat-banishing potassium. Meanwhile, the high-volume, low-calorie spinach will fill you up without filling you out. And studies show that women who eat foods with high water content, such as leafy greens, have lower BMIs and smaller waistlines than those who don’t. Go green to get lean.

Make a Power Combo: Sauté a cup of spinach in a tablespoon of olive oil for a quick, easy and filling side dish. Avocado oil also works well drizzled over whole-wheat breads, fish and homemade pizzas.

Weight-Loss Combo #5

Corn + Beans

While eating “a musical fruit” may not sound like the best way to lose weight or reduce bloat, hear us out. A calorie-restricted diet that includes four weekly servings of protein- and fiber-rich legumes has been proven to aid weight loss more effectively than a diet that doesn’t include beans, according to Spanish researchers. And pairing beans with corn can help boost the slimming effect. Corn—like bananas and cold pasta—contains resistant starch, a carb that dodges digestion. In turn, the body isn’t able to absorb as many of its calories or glucose, a nutrient that’s stored as fat if it’s not burned off. Music to our ears.

Make a Power Combo: Make a quick and easy corn and bean side dish. Combine cans of corn (free of both salt and BPA) and beans in a saucepan and warm over medium heat. Season with ground pepper and cilantro. Add the mixture to greens for a waist-trimming salad, use it as a flavorful topper for grilled chicken, or load the mixture into a toasted whole-grain pita pocket for a quick, on-the-go lunch.

Weight-Loss Combo #4

Honeydew + Red Grapes

Fight fat and banish bloating with a fruit salad comprised of honeydew and red grapes. Melon is a natural diuretic, so it helps fight the water retention responsible for making you look puffy even if you have a toned stomach. Red grapes add fuel to the better-belly fire because they contain an antioxidant called anthocyanin that helps calm the action of fat-storage genes. This dynamic duo makes for a delicious, healthy dessert, perfect for summer.

Make a Power Combo: Throw both into a fruit salad—and add some other red fruits. They pack the most phytonutrients, according to research.

Weight-Loss Combo #3

Cayenne + Chicken

You feel like chicken tonight? Good for you: Protein-rich foods like poultry not only boost satiety, but also help people eat less at subsequent meals, according to research. And adding cayenne pepper fires up your fat burn. A compound in the pepper, called capsaicin, has proven to suppress appetite and boost the body’s ability to convert food to energy. Daily consumption of capsaicin speeds up abdominal fat loss, a study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found.

Make a Power Combo: Just one gram of red pepper (about 1/2 a teaspoon) can help manage appetite and increase calorie burn after a meal, according to a study by Purdue University researchers. So go beyond chicken and season grilled fish, meats and eggs with a pinch of red chili pepper.

Weight-Loss Combo #2

Potatoes + Pepper

Thanks to the low-carb craze, white potatoes have been unfairly blacklisted. A second look at the science reveals the spuds can actually help you lose weight. Australian researchers found that potatoes are actually more filling than fiber-rich brown rice and oatmeal—and they’re a good source of bloat-banishing potassium. Just be sure to skip the butter in favor of pepper. Piperine, the powerful compound that gives black pepper its taste, may interfere with the formation of new fat cells—a reaction known as adipogenesis.

Make a Power Combo: Enjoy half a baked potato with a bit olive oil and fresh pepper—and not just as a side dish. It can be a snack, too.

Weight-Loss Combo #1

Coffee + Cinnamon

Next time you’re in a Starbucks, ward off diet-derailing hunger by adding cinnamon to your coffee. Cinnamon is flavorful, practically calorie-free and contains powerful antioxidants that are proven to reduce the accumulation of belly flab. Pair that with an appetite-suppressing cup of caffeine, and you’re losing weight first thing in the morning.

Make a Power Combo: If you’re making coffee at home, add cinnamon right into your brew-pot with the grinds for an even better taste.

This article originally appeared on Eat This, Not That!

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Check Out KFC’s Latest Menu Item: The ‘Chizza’

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Here’s how to improve the lowly pizza

How can the pizza be perfected? Ditch the dough crust and go with chicken instead.

At least that’s the plan that KFC is tinkering with in the Philippines, where the restaurant chain earlier this month has debuted a chicken dish that also serves as the base for a pizza of sorts.

What’s the business rationale for such dishes? Well, they often generate a ton of media buzz, as well as adulation and horror on social media among diners that can’t wait to try the new dish or those that are horrified by the concept.

KFC owner Yum Brands, which also owns the Taco Bell and Pizza Hut chains, has also established a reputation for delivering hybrid food offerings. Last month, for example, Pizza Hut debuted a pizza with a pigs-in-a-blanket crust. Taco Bell has experimented Doritos-flavored shells, though as Bloomberg as pointed out, the sales jolt from that innovation has since ebbed. That’s because many of these wacky food innovations only generate short-term buzz and are rarely long term, sustainable hits.

But whatever KFC is doing, it is working. During fiscal 2014, total system sales leapt 6% while operating profit was up 13%. Those figures outperformed Yum’s Pizza Hut and Taco Bell divisions.

Here’s the tweet announcing the menu item:

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