Hail to the Caesar Salad

Hail to the Caesar Salad!! Adapted from Jeffrey C. Pommerville Alcamo’s Fundamentals of Microbiology, Eighth Edition.

For history buffs, the first Caesar salad is reported to have evolved on July 4, 1924, in the mind of Caesar Cardini, the proprietor of a restaurant (Caesar’s Restaurant) in Tijuana, Mexico. Cardini was desparate for a fill-in during a paraticular busy day, so he threw together some Romaine lettuce, Parmesan cheese, lemon, garlic oil and raw eggs. ‘’

“Over the years the reputations of the salad and its inventor grew. The highlight of the preparation of the salad was at table side. However, a problem had existed for years – the raw eggs. They are used for adding creaminess to the dressing. Raw eggs had contributed to many sauces, e.g. Hollandaise Sauce without a problem and eating raw eggs had been considered to contribute protein to muscle bound young men. However, the problem became serious when eggs were omitted from the recipes due to reports of Salmonella infections that were traced to them and nothing else contributed to that wonderful quality of creaminess.”

The problem became a debate among Caesar salad connoisseurs – many felt that a Caesar salad is not really truly up to par unless the raw egg was present.

Now we have the choice of using pasteurized raw eggs that involves heating eggs in hot water or a microwave oven, then maintaining them at 134 degrees F in a hot air oven for one hour. This procedure has been shown to disable the Salmonella. Better yet is to use commercially produced pasteurized eggs, however, they are often hard to find and should be found in those eggs that meet the standards for egg pasteurization by the FDA. Until then you cannot find it safe to test the cookie dough, have eggs over easy or enjoy Caesar Salad the way it was meant to be.”

Four Surprising Foods That Can Give You Food Poisoning

Source: Partly Adapted from:

Bottom Line’s Breakthroughs in Health and Healing
Robert B. Gravani, PhD, CFS, is professor emeritus of food science at Cornell University, Ithica, New York. He is past president of the Institute of Food Technologists.

Fact Checked by Sally Feltner, PhD, MS, Publisher Food Facts and Fads

How can food make us sick? Food-borne illness is any illness that is related to the consumption of food or contaminants or toxins in food. The harm caused by contaminants in the food supply can occur where it is grown or produced, during processing, storage, or even in the home kitchen. The harm caused depends on the type of toxin, the dose, the length of time over which it is consumed, and the size and health status of the consumer. The more we know about how to prevent these illnesses, the better and food safety becomes imperative and even life-saving.

You may have become familiar with the following rules of food safety. For example: True or False?

Freezing causes most bacteria to cease multiplying, but does not kill them.
Smell is not a foolproof indicator of contamination. Bacteria that most commonly cause food-borne illnesses may not change the smell, taste, or appearance of foods.

Both of these statements are true. However, there may be other food safety practices to follow that are not as familiar for self protection.

  1. Melons and other fruits with thick skin (cantaloupe, mango, papaya and avocado. The risk for illness may occur as you cut into the fruit that can transfer the bacteria from the skin to the flesh. There have been several outbreaks blamed on cantaloupe. What to do? Wash fruits using water and a brush to get at nooks and crannies – soap is not necessary.
  1. Raw flour – who likes cookie dough or cake batter off the spoon? “Recently, there were dozens of the people in the U.S. that became ill by eating raw dough from flour contaminated with the E. coli bacterium. About 10 million pounds of flour were recalled because of these outbreaks.

3 .”Cooked packaged Meat A GENERAL RULE – TOSS ANYTHING THAT REMAINS FIVE DAYS AFTER YOU OPENED THE PACKAGE. For unopened packages, use the “Best Buy” date as a rule of thumb of when to toss.

Note: A bacteria called Listeria is particularly dangerous for any one with a compromised immune system (diabetes or cancer) or pregnant women. To be extra careful, heat deli meats and smoked food until they are steaming. Listeria is a troublesome bacteria in that it can grow on equipment in the kitchen and at refrigerator temps. Keep your fridge at less than 40 degrees F,

For rare or even medium-rare hamburgers a reliable meat thermometer should register greater than 160 degrees F. Also avoid burgers that appear pinkish – they are not fully cooked. Ground Meats especially should be cooked until there is no red seen and the juices run clear.

4.”Bagged Salad Greens have been the cause of many outbreaks – especially romaine lettuce for some reason? It is best to buy the whole head of lettuce and rinse thoroughly. No need for soap, but dry and refrigerate.”
Organic may make no difference. Look for brands that claim that it is harvested by “hands-free cultivation and appears to be locally grown. This may be the best – however, sometimes contamination occurs in the field that has been invaded by animals (prone to carry E. coli). Sprouts of any kind should not be eaten raw. If you see some on your salad or sandwich, politely discard them.

Does Calorie restriction affect immmune system response?


Can food restriction affect immune health?

 A new study says yes. Research reported in the journal Science investigated the relationship of eating fewer calories, immune response, and inflammation.

“The body makes both pro-inflammatory and anti-inflammatory compounds, both called prostaglandins, so the body can ramp up an inflammatory response if it needs to, and also dial it back in order to not “burn down the house. If you have too high of an inflammatory response, you have an increased risk of heart disease, diabetes, cancer, and so on.”

Mark Bittman, David L. Katz MD. How to Eat: All Your Food Questions Answered.

Some undifferentiated cells from the bone marrow, proceed to the thymus gland to become T cells (T stands for thymus). The thymus is large at birth and increases until puberty, when it begins to shrink. Mature T cells become immunocompetent  (educated) meaning they colonize in the lymph nodes, spleen, and tonsils where potential interactions can occur with pathogens and other immune cells.

With aging, the thymus gland accumulates fat that interferes with thymus function.  Fewer T cells are produced; thus immune function decreases.  

Study participants restricted their caloric intake about 14% for two years. Using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) less thymus fat accumulated compared to a control group with no caloric restriction. Although no changes of gene expression were detected in the T cells DNA; however changes in the fat tissue showed that expression that encodes a protein involved with inflammation was inhibited by the calorie restriction.

Editor’s Note: “Moderately decreased food intake that does not cause malnutrition has beneficial effects on health span and lifespan in model organisms.” The authors stated.

Science. 2002 Feb 11;375(6581):671-677.

Tricks for Weight Loss?

Foods You Can Eat Without Gaining Weight

These healthy options are light on calories and fat, plus they fill you up

Healthy lettuce wraps with grilled cauliflower, cabbage and tomatoes. Top view over a dark slate background. Plant-based diet concept.


Stephanie Watson,


January 20, 2023

Cutting is critical when you’re trying to lose weight. You cut calories. You cut fat. Basically, anything that’s crammed with carbs, sweetened with sugar or dipped in a deep fryer is suddenly off-limits.

But dieting doesn’t have to require deprivation. Many delicious (and healthy) foods can still be part of your dining repertoire. Some members of the produce family are so light in calories and fat that you can eat them with (relative) abandon.

Vegetable love

The one category of foods that you can eat loads of without suffering the consequences of weight gain are nonstarchy vegetables, says Alexis Supan, an outpatient dietitian with the Cleveland Clinic Center for Integrative & Lifestyle Medicine. “Mostly any vegetable besides potato, corn and peas, you can eat endlessly,” she says.

ripe grapefruit slices, closeup

domnicky/Getty Images

10 healthy foods you can eat without gaining weight

Indulge in these to your heart’s content, along with a balanced diet.

  1. Celery
  2. Lettuce
  3. Watermelon
  4. Broccoli and cauliflower
  5. Grapefruit
  6. Mushrooms
  7. Berries (strawberries, blueberries, blackberries)
  8. Kiwi
  9. Carrots
  10. Spinach and kale

A cup of chopped broccoli or a grilled portobello mushroom contains just 30 calories and less than 1 gram of fat. You can chow down on two entire cups of lettuce and consume less than 16 calories. Because of its high water content, a whole tomato has a mere 22 calories. Cauliflower, kale, carrots and sprouts are similarly nutrient-dense and light in calories.

These produce mainstays bring a few other things to the table. “What makes them so incredible and so beneficial for weight maintenance and weight loss is they are high in macronutrients [such as carbohydrates] and micronutrients [vitamins and minerals]. And they’re rich in fiber,” says Beata Rydyger, a registered nutritionist based in Los Angeles. Fiber keeps your blood sugar levels stable, which helps you avoid sudden attacks of the munchies that might otherwise make you crave junk foods.

If vegetables aren’t your favorite foods, you might be thinking how unappealing this way of eating sounds. But there are ways to spice up your veggies to make them more palatable.

Roast them in olive oil spray, then add a blend of garlic and other herbs and spices, Supan suggests. If you love dip, which tends to be high in fat, use salsa instead to add even more vegetables into the mix. Or blend a ranch flavor packet into plain Greek yogurt. “Now you have a really high-protein, very healthy dip that you can use along with your vegetables,” she says.

What about fruit?

Fruits are a different story. With most of them, you don’t want to go overboard. “Grapes are a perfect example. A lot of people love to snack on grapes and could eat the whole bag in an afternoon without really thinking about it. But grapes are a high-sugar food,” Supan cautions. “Keeping most fruits to a cup-and-a-half for the day is a good goal to have.”

The exceptions are berries (strawberries, blueberries, blackberries), kiwi and grapefruit. These fruits are high in fiber and low on the glycemic index — which means they won’t boost your blood sugar too much. Just be careful before eating grapefruit to make sure it doesn’t interact with any medications (such as statins) you take. And don’t load it up with sugar to make it taste sweeter.

Filling up the healthy way

If you’re looking for all-you-can-eat foods, it may be worth revisiting your entire diet to make sure it’s satisfying. “When people eat the right meals throughout the day, that tends to fill them up much more, and they don’t have that constant hunger,” Supan says.

Many other foods pack a powerful nutritional punch for their calorie count. Examples are healthy proteins such as fish, chicken, tofu or beans, which should be part of each meal. You also want to add healthy fats from nuts and olive oil, vegetables and whole grains such as quinoa or brown rice to your meals. “These foods will create satiety, and you can go longer without feeling that urge to snack, so you won’t overindulge,” Rydyger says.

Snacking on other high-protein, high-fiber foods will help to hold you over until dinnertime. A can of tuna, an apple with a tablespoon of peanut or almond butter, a handful of nuts, a cup of plain air-popped popcorn, a half-cup of cottage cheese or a hard-boiled egg all make excellent options. Though they do contain calories, they’re high in protein, so you won’t be tempted to overeat at your next meal.

Drinking a glass of water or having a cup of bone broth (which contains protein in the form of collagen) might also help fill you up before a meal

Revamping your diet

When you’re used to eating a certain way, making large-scale changes to your diet can feel overwhelming. “That’s why I recommend for clients to start very slow. Make a few swaps each week, and see if that works. Maybe add one vegetable into a meal once a day,” Rydyger suggests. “Starting very small and building your way toward a lifestyle change is important.”

When it comes to dieting, the aim is not “How low can you go?” Your body needs calories for energy. Try to focus less on the numbers and more on the overall quality of your diet. The most important thing is to eat whole foods — ones that aren’t processed in a factory

Eating nothing but low-calorie foods could rob your body of the nutrients it needs, such as the calcium that keeps your bones strong. Plus it could leave you starving and have the opposite of the intended effect. 

“Those low-calorie diets lead to blood sugar instability and harsh crashes,” Rydyger says. “You’re bound to crash at some point and overcompensate with even more food than you had originally planned to eat.”

When making changes to your diet, you don’t need to go it alone. It’s preferable to get some help from your primary care doctor or a dietitian. Your doctor can check your vitamin and cholesterol levels to make sure you safely embark on your new way of eating. A dietitian can assess your needs and create a meal plan that’s not only tailored to your goals but also sustainable over the long term.

Can Foods Have ‘Negative’ Calories?

Some fruits and veggies, notably celery, grapefruit and cucumber, have been touted as “negative-calorie foods.” The premise is that these foods are so low in calories that the very act of chewing and digesting them burns more calories than the foods contain.

It might seem a logical assumption. After all, celery is mostly water, and a whole stalk contains less than 6 calories. For a while, drinking celery juice on an empty stomach was all the rage with dieters. But what limited research exists on the subject has pretty much debunked the negative-calorie claim. Researchers tested out the negative-calorie hypothesis by feeding celery to humans, as well as to bearded dragon lizards, and in most cases, it was a bust.

Bottom line: Celery certainly won’t make you gain weight, but it won’t take weight off, either.

Stephanie Watson is a freelance writer with more than two decades of experience covering consumer health. Her work has appeared in WebMD, Time, Harvard Health Publications, Healthline, HealthCentral and many other publications. She also served as executive editor of Harvard Women’s Health Watch.

Why Is Epigenetics Important?

“The epigenome is a network of compounds surrounding our genes, which interacts with our environment, altering gene expression to external influences.”

“Although our DNA code does not change, the epigenome is flexible and reacts to our environment. Beyond helping cells know what to do, the epigenome also responds to things like diet, stress, toxins, behavior, and lifestyle. Our experiences help shape how genes are expressed. It is often referred to as an “on and off switch” that turns on or off certain genes. It is what makes even identical twins different over time.”


Is the Impossible impossible?

Good Saturday morning! Axios’ Erica Pandey is your host — reach her at erica@axios.com.Smart Brevity™ count: 971 words … 4 minutes. Edited by TuAnh Dam.
🍔 1 big thing: Fake meat fad combusts
Illustration of a burger patty on a flat top grill with grill marks in the shape of the Western hemisphere
Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios
Customers and investors alike are sticking a fork in fake meat.Why it matters: Plant-based meat was sold as a healthier, sustainable high-protein substitute for real meat. But after years of hype, the tide is turning against the first generation of plant-based protein makers, Axios Pro Climate Deals reporter Megan Hernbroth writes.🍽️ The big picture: Impossible Foods and Beyond Meat captured headlines — and plenty of legitimate interest from consumers — with their plant-based “hamburgers.”Both companies’ plant-based burgers were a hit — the “meat” looked and tasted similar enough to beef that many diners couldn’t notice the difference.The meats were so popular that fast food giant Burger King noticed and added an Impossible Whopper to its menu.📉 But now, sales are collapsing.Impossible Foods plans to lay off roughly 20% of its workforce amid falling sales, per a Bloomberg report.Beyond Meat also cut roughly 20% of its workers, and lost several executives, amid its own stock slump.What’s happening: “Some say the slowdown in sales is a product of food inflation, as consumers trade pricier plant-based meat for less-expensive animal meat. But others wonder if the companies have simply reached the maximum number of consumers willing to try or repeatedly purchase faux burgers and sausages,” The New York Times’ Julie Creswell notes.🔮 What we’re watching: Impossible Foods and Beyond Meat use a process called high-moisture extrusion, which effectively pre-cooks the protein prior to sale.The technique works well with ground meat that doesn’t require a uniform texture or a single cut of meat.A new set of startups is working on developing new techniques to create more types of plant-based proteins to replace large cuts of meat and fish.Share this story.