ICYMI: 5 Latin Food News That Rocked the World

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Feb 13, 2016 06:29 AM EST

Latin food is gaining popularity in multiple levels all over the world from fast food to high end restaurants. Plenty of news articles since 2013 have predicted that the Latin American cuisine will thrive and trend in the coming years and they have not been wrong. However, out of all the Latin food news that were available online, here are the one that stood out among the rest:

1. The Banana's Extinction in Latin America

Food World News reported that the "World's Most Popular Fruit" might soon be extinct due to the incurable pathogen "Tropical Race 4," which has infected plenty of banana plants in South Asia, Australia, China, the Philippines, Jordan, Mozambique, Pakistan, the Middle East and Africa in 2013 and has left behind an infested and ruined banana plantations.

A group of scientist at Wageningen University, who published their findings in PLOS Pathogens, also warned that, if the fungi hits the biggest banana growers in Latin America, the banana as a whole will most likely cease to exist.

2. Sandra Gutierrez of Cary Wins An International Cookbook Award For Her Empanadas Recipe

According to Indy Week, Gourmand International recently awarded Gutierrez for her "Empanadas: The Hand-Held Pies of Latin America" as the 2016 winner in its Single Subject category. "Lisa Ekus, my agent, shared the news with me last night," Gutierrez told Indy Week. "It was a total surprise for me. I had no idea that it was in the running." The Gourmand Awards will be presented this May 2016 in China.

3. Ultra-processed Food Blamed for Obesity in Latin America

Considered to be fatty, salty, and sugary, ultra-processed food is the known culprit of obesity in Latin America from 2000-2013, according to Food World News. During this time, the number of obese persons in the region has also increased. Ultra-processed food contains little to no whole food in them, making them deficient in nutritional content in spite of their real food appearance.

The study by the Pan American Health Organization/World Health Organization (PAHO/WHO) includes 13 countries of the world and the countries with the highest rates of obesity are Mexico and Chile while the smallest rates of obesity come from Bolivia and Ecuador.

4. Gazpacho-To-Go is A Total Hit

Gazpacho is a soup made of raw vegetables and served cold and usually with a tomato base were popular in the past few years - in bottle form. Famous portable gazpacho brands include Bodega & Co. Mucho Gazpacho, Gina Cucina Watermelon Habanero Gazpacho, The Splendid Spoon Market Gazpacho and Tio Gazpacho's Gazpacho del Sol, according to Specialty Food.

5. Hand Drawn "Mi Comida Latina" Cook Book Has Hit The Shelves

Author and illustrator Marcella Kriebel created "Mi Comida Latina" to document recipes from her travels throughout much of Latin America, including Ecuador, Peru, Colombia, Puerto Rico and Mexico, to name a few, along with recipes from family and friends in the United States.

"Once I got there, I became incredibly inspired by the warmth of the people ... and the vibrancy of the cultures [that] can be found in many different things - the visuals and the smells and the cuisine itself," the author says, as per NPR.

Kriebel is not Latin American but she hopes readers who pick up the book will see food as she does: as an invitation to explore the world.

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