Food as Science

Splenda™, Sugar’s Weird “New Age” Cousin—A Chemist’s Perspective

Even amateur bakers (like me) know that you can’t bake with Splenda™, a sugar substitute which has become more and more common among calorie-counters all over the world. One yellow packet of the stuff boasts zero calories with arguably comparable sweetness to normal sugar, leaving consumers a little bit less guilty as they add some to their iced tea at a restaurant. So why can’t we use Splenda for baking? Continue reading

Trust Your Gut: Inside the World of Microbes and Fermentation
Food as Science

Trust Your Gut: Inside the World of Microbes and Fermentation

When you hear the word microbe, you probably picture something along the lines of a scary cartoon germ that was shown to you during biology class. However, without microbes, there would be no process of fermentation. And without fermentation, we would not have bread, alcohol, greek yogurt, kimchi, soy sauce, cheese, and a bevy of other foods and drinks. Let’s clear the air for friendly microbes once and for all, and delve into the incredible microbiological world that exists right on your plate. Continue reading

The Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookie
Food as Science

The Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookie

The Levain cookie has achieved a legendary status among New Yorkers. The bakery was founded in 1994 on the Upper West Side and has since expanded to locations in Harlem and East Hampton. Fortunately, both New York City locations are extremely accessible to Columbia students either by a 10-15 minute walk from campus or a few stops away on the 1 train. Walking into Levain is a warm comforting experience, with a friendly staff to help you choose between all wonderful creations: chocolate chip walnut cookie, oatmeal raisin, dark chocolate chip, and dark chocolate peanut butter chip. Continue reading

Stress Eating: Why do we do it?
Food / Food as Science

Stress Eating: Why do we do it?

It’s midnight and you’re studying for a midterm. Fueled solely by stress and caffeine, you don’t even notice as your hand reaches into a bag of potato chips. Why is it that when you are feeling stressed and upset, your body craves food? And not just any food, but addictive, unhealthy junk foods?

Turns out, a real reason exists for your cravings. Continue reading