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By Laura Stec

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About this blog: I've been attracted to food for good and bad reasons for many years. From eating disorder to east coast culinary school, food has been my passion, profession & nemesis. I've been a sugar addict, a 17-year vegetarian, a food and en...  (More)

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Microbiotic Bowl / Stanford Cook in Pictures

Uploaded: Aug 25, 2018

Researchers at Stanford are starting to think that not only what we eat, but the order in which we eat it, might effect our microbiome, the bacteria that live in and on our bodies. We first wrote about the Microbiome Individuality and Stability Over Time study a few weeks ago.

This theory is to be tested by 20 study participants who will eat the same meal for breakfast, lunch, dinner and snack, for 7 days. We call it a Microbiotic Bowl, and we had to cook it.



This required A LOT of food. Try 33 rotisserie chickens, 35 pounds of carrots, 17 pounds of parmesan cheese, 210 cups of stock...



cartons of corn (63 pounds to be exact) and yes, hotdogs too (bowl composition based on the NHANES (National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey) data for Standard American Diet.



We had buckets of broccoli (30#)



And reams of rice (60# raw or 143# cooked)



plus 65 pounds of onions and a few other ingredients covered with love, and our yummy, savory gravy.

All ingredients were weighed carefully...



to make sure bowls had the same nutrient levels.



We divided, conquered...



tossed, seasoned, and packaged.



After 37 hours in the kitchen, the FINAL bowl was assembled.



and soon after - the 1000th package.

YIPPEE!!



Next stop - the freezer at Stanford, where bowls await the bellies of our beloved study participants. There's still space in the study if you wish to join. You can do it any week that works for you. Contact me or the study coordinator listed here.



And stay tuned for a report on study results.

A special thanks to Brad at 1505 Kitchen in San Jose, and our A+ crew for a such a focused and joyful job in the kitchen.


Comments

 +   3 people like this
Posted by You Did Well But..., a resident of College Terrace,
on Aug 26, 2018 at 3:12 pm

Store-bought rotisserie chickens have a very high sodium content...475mg-500mg per 3 oz. serving (due to the brining for moisture retention).

Time permitting, perhaps you could have cooked your own birds. A dab of butter + your choice of herbal seasonings would have been far more healthier.

Rotisserie chicken = not good for those with diabetes or high blood pressure issues.


 +   3 people like this
Posted by Laura Stec, a resident of Portola Valley,
on Aug 26, 2018 at 3:27 pm

Remember this bowl wasn't designed to be the "healthiest." The nutrient levels were factored to match current consumption, or the common American diet. Yes, we knew about the sodium in the chicken. Interesting, we couldn't even saute in olive oil because it didn't fit the profile, we had to use vegetable oil.


 +   3 people like this
Posted by Macro Man, a resident of Cuesta Park,
on Aug 26, 2018 at 5:37 pm

>>> Remember this bowl wasn't designed to be the "healthiest."

Then 'Macrobiotic' might be a misnomer. A traditional macrobiotic diet only allows fish & is low sodium.

Web Link


 +  Like this comment
Posted by MV Vegan, a resident of Gemello,
on Aug 26, 2018 at 5:45 pm

"A traditional macrobiotic diet only allows fish..."

Then canned tuna is out due to the mercury content. Actually any of the larger fish that are towards the top of the fish feeding scale (shark, swordfish etc.).

Not sure if shellfish fall under the category of fish but most of them would be non-macro as well due to their siphoning of potentially polluted water.

Macrobiotic is an often misused term.


 +   3 people like this
Posted by Laura Stec, a resident of another community,
on Aug 26, 2018 at 6:11 pm

Macro folks - Please read the link to the first posting about this project, listed in the piece (2 weeks ago). This project is NOT about macrobiotics. The name is a play on words. "Microbe + biotic," get it? I lived at and studied macrobiotics at Vega Macrobiotic Study Center under Herman and Corneillia Aihara. We've Food Partied! about macrobiotics a number of times. Happy to talk more about the subject, but this article is not about macrobiotics (the study of macro (large) biotic (life).


 +  Like this comment
Posted by Micro Query, a resident of Castro City,
on Aug 27, 2018 at 3:42 pm

Is it possible to conduct a micro-biotic study but with something more interesting (or enjoyable) to eat 3X daily?

If fat and sodium content are non-issues, why not have pizza and french fries on the menu? Or pre-approved fast-food options? Not every day but just to break the monotony.

Ribs and cole slaw would be amenable as well.

So long as the blood/stool/urine samples remained constant within the test group, what does it matter?


 +   1 person likes this
Posted by study coordinator, a resident of another community,
on Aug 27, 2018 at 4:09 pm

Good point Micro Query! We are looking at many small molecules that are different in different batches of the same foods, that is a broccoli that was bought today and one bought yesterday at a different market will have different small molecules. Also the cooking time and temperature will affect these. Because of these reasons, we wanted to get the food from the same source at the same time and control every aspect of the cooking and storing.
The choice of foods to include was based on the foods most frequently consumed by Americans based on the NHANES surveys.


 +   5 people like this
Posted by Pizza and Ribs are "Better?", a resident of Blossom Valley,
on Aug 27, 2018 at 4:31 pm

To Each Her Own Micro Query. I think a grain bowl sounds like a good thing to eat, if I had to eat one thing for a week. You would choose pizza to eat all week, every day, every meal? Or ribs? Oink oink to you!


 +  Like this comment
Posted by Laura Stec, a resident of Portola Valley: other,
on Aug 28, 2018 at 7:12 am

You know, the future of food and eating IS the grain bowl - a mix of grain, protein, veggies, sauce, maybe pickle, flavor accent, and crunch. It's the upcoming trend! Bowls offer us an easy way to eat all the things we should be eating but never get around to, mixed together with an interesting sauce to keep our palate interested and entertained. Mark my words Micro Query - you heard it here first at The Food Party!


 +   5 people like this
Posted by Micro Query, a resident of Castro City,
on Aug 28, 2018 at 8:51 am

>>>You would choose pizza to eat all week, every day, every meal?

I didn't say that...just mentioned some variables to break the monotony.

>>>You know, the future of food and eating IS the grain bowl - a mix of grain, protein, veggies, sauce, maybe pickle, flavor accent, and crunch. It's the upcoming trend! Bowls offer us an easy way to eat all the things we should be eating but never get around to, mixed together with an interesting sauce to keep our palate interested and entertained.

Haven't the Asians been doing that for centuries? Speaking of 'coming trends' as they pertain to food bowls...I would imagine that using chopsticks will also become part of it as the use a fork or spoon to devour a food bowl seems kind of gauche.


 +   1 person likes this
Posted by Laura Stec, a resident of another community,
on Aug 28, 2018 at 9:03 am

Those Crazy Rich Asians, and all the others - yes. We have much to learn from them, including the savory breakfast. The average America though? Good luck teaching about grains. No one ever comes to the Grains class! I am changing it now the the Grain Bowl class in the three series Healthy Eating: #1 Eat More Vegetables, #2 The Grain Bowl 3# Clean Protein. (available to corporations around the Bay - shameless plug!)


 +  Like this comment
Posted by Lauralies, a resident of another community,
on Aug 28, 2018 at 9:04 am

I'm surprised no one has pulled out the white rice in this bowl yet.


 +   6 people like this
Posted by Quang, a resident of Martens-Carmelita,
on Aug 28, 2018 at 3:24 pm

"I'm surprised no one has pulled out the white rice in this bowl yet."

Good point. No nutritional value in white rice. Just filler.

Sticky (short grain) vs long grain...only debatable choice.

That is why some people say they are hungry after eating Chinese food.

Eat more rice.


 +  Like this comment
Posted by Laura Stec, a resident of another community,
on Aug 28, 2018 at 7:02 pm

And once again, this bowl is based on NHANES data, representing the average America diet. I love Food Partiers! they like good healthy eatz. But the AVERAGE American? Alas Partiers! - ain't like us.

White is rice d'jour, all over the world actually


 +  Like this comment
Posted by Laura Stec, a resident of Portola Valley: Westridge,
on Aug 28, 2018 at 7:07 pm

You know what's interesting about this bowl? It shows easily what we / the average American, eats. Look at the numbers. We used approximately 33 chickens. 20 people/ 7 days means participants eat more than one chicken a week.

So first question has to be... do you?


 +  Like this comment
Posted by Dietary Advantages?, a resident of another community,
on Aug 29, 2018 at 2:50 pm

Will I lose weight eating Micro Bowels? How many total calories for the 3 meals?
Is 2000C still the basic guideline?


 +   4 people like this
Posted by Questions, a resident of Downtown North,
on Aug 29, 2018 at 5:28 pm

@Dietary Advantages
> Will I lose weight eating Micro Bowels?

I don't think eating bowels is what Ms. Stec had in mind.



 +   7 people like this
Posted by Duong, a resident of Cuesta Park,
on Aug 30, 2018 at 3:05 pm

> Haven't the Asians been doing that for centuries?

Asians invented Micro Bowl. Nothing new, just copycat.


Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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