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The Legend Behind Dragon Boat Festival

Posted by Renee Chan on

The Legend Behind Dragon Boat Festival

Renowned Poet & Minister of StateThe Dragon Boat Festival occurs on the fifth day of the fifth month of the Chinese lunar calendar, where people practice customs to dispel disease and invoke health. It was also held in memory of Qu Yuan’s death (c. 340-278 BC), a poet and minister of the Chu state during the Zhou Dynasty. Qu Yuan was banished by the king for treason when he opposed the king’s decision to form an alliance with the Qin state. As a result of his banishment, he had plenty of time to write poetry, gaining support from the locals. Origin...

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XOXO Dry Noodles with Pork & Pickled Mustard Recipe

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Monk Fruit: Not Your Regular Fruit

Posted by Renee Chan on

Monk Fruit: Not Your Regular Fruit

You’ve most likely heard of natural sweetener alternatives like stevia, agave nectar and xylitol. Given the negative consumer attitudes toward synthetic sweeteners, the push for natural sweeteners have been on the rise. Yet, people still speculate on how healthy natural sweetener alternatives actually are.  Let's explore the potential of monk fruit and its derived sweetener, unsurprisingly named “monk fruit sweetener”.  Wait a Sec…What’s Monk Fruit?Monk fruit, also known as Luo Han Guo, comes from the gourd family. It’s named after the Buddhist monks who first cultivated it centuries ago in Southern China, and has been traditionally used in Chinese medicine...

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What's the Deal with Antioxidants?

Posted by Renee Chan on

What's the Deal with Antioxidants?

Image by Jenő Szabó from Pixabay  Chances are you’ve seen the word “antioxidant” bouncing around. Whether in a smoothie or a social media post, antioxidants are gaining widespread popularity, and we’re encouraged to eat foods rich in them.  But how exactly are antioxidants helpful to our bodies and what foods should we be eating? What Exactly ARE Antioxidants? When we exercise or are exposed to environmental factors like air pollution or smoke, our body naturally produces unstable molecules called “free radicals.” In small amounts, free radicals are harmless, but in large amounts, they can lead to oxidative stress - i.e. damaging the cells...

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What's Hiding in Our Beloved Fries

Posted by Renee Chan on

What's Hiding in Our Beloved Fries

What makes fries taste so good? Sure, there are added flavours, but did you know that preservatives are also added to the oil? When oil is used at high temperatures, like in deep frying, it tends to break down via chemical reactions. This produces off-flavours and other compounds that can ruin the taste and the shelf life of food (5). However, one preservative known as tert-butyl-hydroquinone (TBHQ) requires a bit more attention. What is TBHQ?TBHQ is a preservative added to vegetable oils used in deep frying. It extends the shelf life of the oil and deep fried products. However, when oil...

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