Small Bites From Around the Country: May 17

By ABC May 18, 2012

Viewers’ Choice Week on The Chew is wrapping up and, boy did we have some fun! What were your favorite recipes from the show this week?

Here’s a look at the food news we’re reading today:

*Good news, coffee lovers! Coffee is good for you! Researchers tracked 400,000 people over 14 years and found that those who drink four or five cups of java a day have a lower risk of death than non-drinkers. They aren’t quite sure why this is yet, but it’s welcome news anyway! Don’t look a gift horse in the mouth, right? You can learn about how to order the perfect cup of coffee here.

*Mario and Michael put salt on just about everything they make. But how did we as a society come to be so dependent on it? Well, a new book, Salt: A World History tries to discover the “cultural importance” of the seasoning. Read an interview with the author here.

*Cilantro is the herb that people love to hate. Some people think it tastes great, but others gag at the sheer thought of tasting it. Why? A new study aims to find out: "People who dislike cilantro extremely describe it very, very differently from those who love it," explains [Dr. Ahmed] El-Sohemy, an associate professor of nutrition at the University of Toronto. The reason? "These individuals live in very different sensory worlds and are not perceiving the same thing," he says. Which side do you fall on?

*A Wisconsin man was arrested after protesting outside a local restaurant. He showed up for “all-you-can-eat” fish night, but the proprietors tried to cut him off at 12 pieces. After he objected, they gave him another eight pieces but that STILL wasn’t enough. Now, he’s hit the street to alert fellow citizens to this “false advertising.” The police don’t seem to be buying his argument.

*The average American drinks two sodas per day. That’s down 16% from the height of soda consumption in 1998.  The soda industry is starting to worry since we’re drinking less and now that some schools are banning sodas on campus all together. How many sodas do YOU drink every day? Read more about it here.

*Speaking of soda, maybe it’s a good thing we’re starting to cut back. A new study from UCLA says consuming too much high-fructose corn syrup (found in most sodas and six-times sweeter than sugar) makes you stupid! The average American consumes almost 40 pounds of it every year, but the researchers say it negatively affects our abilities to learn and remember. "Eating a high-fructose diet over the long term alters your brain's ability to learn and remember information. But adding omega-3 fatty acids to your meals can help minimize the damage." More on the findings here.