Green tea health benefits.
Penn State researchers find green tea has potential value in fighting oral cancer. Photo by Nathan Cooke. Used with permission under Creative Commons license.

Researchers at Penn State say they have found another point to add to the growing list of green tea benefits, this time potential anti-cancer effect. Their research shows that a compound in green tea targets mouth cancer cells, without harming healthy cells. Read more at MicrobeWorld.org.

According to a news release from the researchers:

Earlier studies had shown that epigallocatechin-3-gallate — EGCG — a compound found in green tea, killed oral cancer cells without harming normal cells, but researchers did not understand the reasons for its ability to target the cancer cells, said Joshua Lambert, associate professor of food science and co-director of Penn State’s Center for Plant and Mushroom Foods for Health. The current study shows that EGCG may trigger a process in the mitochondria that leads to cell death.

“EGCG is doing something to damage the mitochondria and that mitochondrial damage sets up a cycle causing more damage and it spirals out, until the cell undergoes programmed cell death,” said Lambert. “It looks like EGCG causes the formation of reactive oxygen species in cancer cells, which damages the mitochondria, and the mitochondria responds by making more reactive oxygen species.”

(Source: Penn State News Office)

The storm on its way to the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast has the makings of a major snow and weather event. The National Weather Service rarely uses language like this, which was included in the forecast Sunday afternoon:

"...CRIPPLING AND POTENTIALLY HISTORIC BLIZZARD TO IMPACT THE AREA
FROM LATE MONDAY INTO TUESDAY..."

Here’s some detail from NYNJPAWEATHER.com, a private forecaster who has been helpful and reliable during past major weather events. While the amount of the snowfall in the New York City area could be anywhere from a few inches up to two feet, the bigger concern has to do with wind and “thunder snow.” Also, surrounding areas look like they will get well more than a foot of snow. If the storm duration is greater than 24 hours, as the current forecast indicates, there will be much disruption, especially on Tuesday.

Click on any area on the map below for details of the projected storm impact.

The New York Times reports that Hershey’s is enforcing geographic licensing restrictions that forbid some British-made versions of candies like Kit Kats from sale in the United States.

As a result of a settlement with the Hershey’s Company, Let’s Buy British Imports, or L.B.B., agreed this week to stop importing all Cadbury’s chocolate made overseas. The company also agreed to halt imports on KitKat bars made in Britain; Toffee Crisps, which, because of their orange packaging, and yellow-lined brown script, too closely resemble Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups; Yorkie chocolate bars, which infringe on the York peppermint patty; and Ms. Perry’s beloved Maltesers.

The British chocolates are richer because they contain more milk than sugar and different stabilizers from the additives used in the United States that give the products a longer shelf life.

Star chef David Chang of Momofuku posted this gem to Facebook late last night, and I couldn’t resist sharing. His caption, “My cook thought he spelled it right.”

Not all chefs know how to spell.
Momofuku chef David Chang posted this gem of a misspelling from one of his kitchens.

Famed Napa Valley restaurant The French Laundry in Yountville is the apparent victim of a wine heist. Chef-owner Thomas Keller announced what happened on Facebook:

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The thieves clearly knew what they were picking from the restaurant’s esteemed wine cellar. DRC and Screaming Eagle each are among the world’s most highly prized wines. Each sells for over $3,000 per bottle at Keller’s flagship restaurant.

Barbie Entrepreneur Doll
Barbie Entrepreneur Doll

Uproar over a misogynistic Barbie childrens book that portrayed girls as inept at writing software or even operating a desktop computer overshadowed the recent introduction of Entrepreneur Barbie, who is “ready for the next big pitch” right out of the box, according to manufacturer Mattel on its website.

“Barbie Entrepreneur doll wears a sophisticated dress in signature pink that features modern color blocking and a sleek silhouette. Luxe details, like a glam necklace, cool clutch and elegant hairstyle, are smart, professional touches,” says Mattel. “Her “smartphone,” tablet and briefcase are the tools of her trade and always by her side!”

Adds UnMarketing, the doll “now comes with gut-wrenching self-doubt and receivables collection issues!”

Here’s a fun idea from Times Square Alliance that is also good for the environment and probably your mental health, too, as a way of starting 2015 with a clean slate. Good Riddance Day is a designated time to close the chapter on 2014 so that 2015 starts fresh. Everyone has thoughts or issues they want to leave behind, right?

Times Square is the site of New York's Good Riddance Day, a time to seal the books on 2014.
Times Square is the site of New York’s Good Riddance Day, a time to seal the books on 2014.

The official event is Sunday, December 28 at noon in Times Square in New York City, but you can mark the occasion from anywhere. From the business group’s website:

Have a picture of a significant other who’s proven less significant, a mortgage document that’s now history, or a medical bill that signifies a triumphant defeat?  Shred-it and forget it!

Good Riddance Day is inspired by a Latin American tradition in which New Year’s revelers stuffed dolls with objects representing bad memories before setting them on fire.  There will be no bonfire in Times Square, but we invite you to shed and shred your forgettable memories from 2014 for a fresh start in 2015.

Can’t make it to Times Square?   Submit your unwanted memories here or tweet at @TimesSquareNYC using #GoodRiddanceDay and we’ll help you forget it by shredding it.

Cleverly sponsored by a shredding company, this seems like a tradition worth adopting.

This video about a vegetarian’s first encounter with excellent meat by Takepart.com has it all: a great story, beautiful photography of food, and chefs explaining why they do what they do. The story is about a skilled chef and his mate, who is an experienced restaurant manager and has been vegetarian since childhood. They visit the new, hot, exciting barbecue restaurant in the Studio City neighborhood of Los Angeles, Barrel and Ashes, where Katie discovers what fabulous barbecue tastes like. And, her partner loved the vegetables. It’s fun to watch:

Barrel and Ashes also sounds like a “must” for my next visit to the Los Angeles area. Run by a chef who cooked at the French Laundry and Bouchon, two of Thomas Keller’s restaurants, it has all the ingredients for a top quality yet home style place. The pictures alone are rather enticing.

Smoked meats at Barrel and Ashes, a new haute barbecue restaurant in Studio City, Calif.
Smoked meats at Barrel and Ashes, a new haute barbecue restaurant in Studio City, Calif.

Barrel & Ashes on Urbanspoon

Not sure whether this sounds delicious, or horrifying, or both. According to Gothamist.com, a database engineer in Texas created this thing he calls a Cthurkey (a nod to horror writer H. P. Lovecraft’s octopus-head creature the “Cthulhu“) made from turkey, octopus, crab legs and bacon. His recipe calls for cooking each part separately, so it’s more of a presentation than an actual dish. Read more at Gothamist.com, which published this first in 2013.

Rusty Eulberg, a database administrator from Texas, created what he called the Cthurkey. Photo via Gothamist.com.
Rusty Eulberg, a database administrator from Texas, created what he called the Cthurkey. Photo via Gothamist.com.