Since mid-January, cities around the country have been celebrating “Restaurant Week.” New York City— where foods tends to dominate talk anyway — has been buzzing over where to go for the three-course $38 dinner or $25 lunch deals (prices vary from metropolitan area to metropolitan area). While the last of the restaurant weeks wrap up in the next few days, that doesn’t mean we need to stop talking about food, how people are making money  at it and the advances the industry is making. Check out a few fun facts to get our conversation going: In 2007 there were 220,089 full-service restaurants in the United States which brought in $192 billion according to the U.S. Census Bureau, this data is collected every five years so expect updated figures soon. That year the industry employed 4.6 million people and paid them $63 billion, also according to the Census Bureau Franchise sales complete 19% of restaurant industry sales that year The National Restaurant Association expects combined

  Since childhood we have all been informed that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Nevertheless many of us skimp on the first meal. According to a survey by the NDN group, 31 million (10%) Americans skip the morning meal all together. Unless coffee counts, I have long been the same. Often because I simply forget. However, this month, I have been making the meal a priority as a part of my attempt to live better in 2013. In order to finish January strong, I went all in this week by adding chia seeds — an up and coming ‘super food’ — to my morning routine. On Sunday night I made coconut-almond chia seed pudding. The simple Food & Wine inspired recipe mashes together coconut milk, almond milk, agave nectar (I used honey) and chia seeds. Chias look like sesame seeds until submerged in liquid for a while. After a night in the fridge the little black seeds had a clear coating and the consistency of

  Taking the seeds out of a pomegranate is a long and messy process (editor’s note: there are still juice splatters around my kitchen from an attempt earlier this week). Therefore it should be no surprise that many people have tried to capitalize on the so-called ‘super fruit’s’ popularity. At a New York City Fairway, $5 will get you a loosely packed half pound container of the tart and chewy seeds. A $3 fruit, sold a few feet away, will earn you double that. But with the whole fruit you need to loan the time and clean hands to the process. The biggest money maker of the pomegranate fad of the 2000s is POM Wonderful. A 16 Oz bottle of the popular juice costs around $11. The brand as also added millions to the coffers of the company’s billionaire owners and had put the once unknown fruit on the map in recent year. But Time Magazine says, “Move over pomegranate, it’s pitaya time,” referring to a sweeter, pink shelled

  If you own a chain of restaurants, in certain states you are required to loan space on your menu to displaying calorie counts. Many of the restaurants that fall under this requirement are fast food chains, turning the three digit (usually) strings into a stamp of unhealthiness sprawled across big board menus. This, although most people know there is more to healthfulness than calories. According to The New York Times, Emmanuel Verstraeten, the owner of Rouge Tomate in New York City, hopes to turn this concept on its head. Instead of numbers, he dreams of dressing up menus across the globe with a little red logo. His script SPE — Sanitas Per Escam, Latin for “health through food” — will note that a dish or restaurant meets a holistic set of health standards. The concept is in full force at Rouge Tomate. The chefs works with a dietician to make sure food options are as nutritious as they are tasty.The menu changes with the season, this

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