Marks Daily Apple
Serving up health and fitness insights (daily, of course) with a side of irreverence.

Mark's Daily Apple

12 Mar

Mystery Meat: Imitation Crab

While it is often said that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, when it comes to imitation crab meat, that’s actually far from the case! But to understand why imitation crab is not the way to go, we must first understand exactly what it is…

To create imitation crab meat, manufacturers typically start with a base of Alaska Pollock (also known as Walleye Pollock, Whiting or Snow Cod). This fish is chosen primarily because it has a mild flavor that allows it to easily take on the flavor and texture of traditional crab meat, but also because it is readily available and is cheap to buy and process. To create the crab meat, manufacturers skin and de-bone the fish, mince it and then leach it of water to create a thick paste known as surimi. But we all know a fish paste isn’t going to cut it, so manufacturers add some combination of starch – usually wheat or tapioca – to stiffen up the mixture, sugars to preserve the surimi for storage and freezing, and egg whites to again stabilize the mixture and add gloss and shine. Vegetable oil can also be added to improve the texture of the mix.

Keep reading…

11 Mar

Questions About Soy Formula

Several weeks ago Mark offered the piece Scrutinizing Soy that mentioned he was unequivocally against soy formula. At the time he suggested the topic was a whole post in itself. Of course, we couldn’t just leave the topic hanging, now could we?

Let’s first get this point on the table: we support the opinion of the American Pediatric Association, the World Health Organization and every other major medical organization in saying that breast milk is definitively the best food for infants. Hands down. Absolutely, positively. (Regardless of what we thought of the pro-breastfeeding ad campaign a couple of years ago featuring pregnant women on a mechanical bull…)

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11 Mar

10 Innovative Uses for Salt

Thought that salt shaker on your table was only good for seasoning an otherwise bland dish? Or perhaps something to throw down on the pavement to prevent a lawsuit during icy weather? Turns out salt actually has a number of innovative – albeit strange – uses related to health, cooking and food preparation.

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10 Mar

Dear Mark: Hardgainer

Dear Mark,

I am 6 feet 2 inches tall. I have been eating and exercising in the “evolutionary” or “primal fitness” way for about 18 months, and I was in good physical condition prior to that. I have been lifting weights for years. I am fit and active with a low percentage body fat. My stomach is flat. You can tell that I have abdominal muscles. But here is my hang up: I can’t seem to pack on any extra muscle. I weigh in at 150 pounds. I am the ultimate hardgainer, as they say in the iron game. I’m not looking to become huge. I have a lanky, Jimmy Stewart kind of frame, and no amount of training will turn me into Arnold. But what the heck does a guy have to do to gain a lousy 5-10 pounds of muscle? — Ed

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9 Mar

You Are What You Eat… Kinda

I know, I know. You hear the soothing songs of Enya and all of a sudden carrots really do look like eyes and it is sort of weird that avocados are important for reproductive health and take nine months to mature (plus, it was kind of cute when they superimposed those little avocado babies, right?)

Keep reading…

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