Food - Hektoen International


Lentils (Lens esculenta and Lens culinaris) are widely cultivated legumes. They are grown and consumed throughout the world, but almost half of the world’s lentils, 45%, are produced in Canada and another 18% in India. The legume is a good source of plant-based protein, fiber, vitamins, and minerals, and is an excellent choice for vegetarians […]

Soul power

Shannon Adams-Hartung Chicago, Illinois, United States   Cooking fried supper for a benefit picnic supper on the grounds of St. Thomas’ Church, near Bardstown, Kentucky. Photo by Marion Post Wolcott, August 7, 1940. Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division, FSA/OWI Black & White Negatives Collection, LC-USF33-030967-M4. Soul food has deep historical, cultural, and economic […]

Entomophagy: History, global food shortage, and climate change

James L. Franklin Chicago, Illinois, United States   Figure 1 – Khoisan – Igniting a Fire On a recent wildlife adventure to the Kalahari Desert in Botswana, our group of adventurers was treated to an afternoon walk with a group of local Khoisan villagers. They were eager to show us how they were able to […]

The tomato in medicine and the Bloody Mary

Tomatoes and a Pewter Tankard on a Table. Oil painting by Paul Gauguin, 1883. No known restrictions on publication. The tomato was first grown by the Aztecs under the name of tomatl on the slopes of the Andes Mountains in present day Bolivia, Chile, Ecuador, and Peru, where it was neither cultivated nor eaten […]

Marmite versus Vegemite

James Franklin George Dunea Chicago, Illinois, United States   Marmite and Vegemite are similar but not quite the same. Both are classified as spreads and are typically spread with a knife on bread or crackers. They may be regarded as cousins and are both derived from yeast. Marmite, though discovered by a German, is a […]

Asparagus in history and medicine

  A bundle of asparagus. Photo by Evan-Amos on Wikimedia. CC BY-SA 3.0. In Germany, in the spring, everyone goes wild about asparagus. It is on the menu in all restaurants—asparagus with steak, with ham, or with schnitzel. Its delicious stalks are white if grown in the shade, green from chlorophyll if grown in sunlight. […]

Beans: an indelicate subject of conversation

  Beans from Nepal. Crop of photo by Gaurav Dhwaj Khadka on Wikimedia. CC BY 4.0. Anatomy books describe kidneys as bean shaped, but the converse does not apply. This is because beans, multitudinous in their species, come in different shapes and sizes. Many look like small kidneys, but only one is called a kidney […]

Garlic in medicine and at dinner

  Garlic. Photo by Amin on Wikimedia. CC BY-SA 4.0. Garlic (Allium sativum) is a bulbous flowering plant that belongs to the same genus as onions, shallots, chives, and leeks. Its bulbous part consists of 65% water, carbohydrates, organosulfur compounds, protein, and free amino acids. It also produces a substance called allicin which gives it […]

Egg rhapsody

  Girl with a basket of eggs. Painting by Joachim Beuckelaer or his follower, early 17th century. National Museum in Warsaw via Wikimedia. Public domain. In 1490, the famous author and publisher William Caxton wrote of a merchant sailing to France. Stranded on the coast of Kent, he tried to buy some eggs from a […]

Marmite: Its place in medical history, Lucy Wills, and the discovery of folic acid

James L. Franklin Chicago, Illinois, United States   Marmite – Photograph taken by the author, April 2022, in the Okavango Delta, Botswana. On a recent visit to Botswana in southern Africa, the author was introduced to a food spread known as Marmite.* Apparently very popular in Africa, a distinctive jar of this condiment was present […]