The Pros and Cons of Just In Time Inventory Control

JIT (just in time) inventory control is an inventory and production control system in which materials are purchased for manufacturing of products so that units can be produced and shipped based on the actual customer demand and confirmed orders in the pipeline. This type of system occurs in real time and the units are produced based on actual orders and current levels of demand. One way to look at this is to imagine if a household never went to the grocery store to stock up the refrigerator and cupboards, except on a daily basis based on daily hunger level. In fact you would have a very small fridge and almost no pantry. So imagine you go to the store every single day to pick up the meals du jour and the specific portions for each member of the household. This is a crude way to illustrate how JIT actually works but the food will be ultra fresh each day.

If you really think about the grocery shopping example and how a household would really implement a daily shopping routine you likely realize there are going to be some advantages and disadvantages. This is the case with JIT. There are many advantages and some big disadvantages. Since raw materials are ordered very frequently, only when production is going to occur, so that units can be produced and immediately shipped the same day means that a company can save on many expenses. A warehouse facility to store raw materials (the refrigerator example) can be a fraction of the previous size. The room needed to store finished units can be drastically reduced as well (the kitchen pantry or freezer) since units will ship the same day, as they are manufactured. So the result in savings is multifaceted. The funds that are not tied up in inventory can be freed up for use elsewhere in the company. The ordering, production, and delivery processes all become much more efficient because of the JIT system. The goal is to have virtually no inventory and to only fire up production if a customer down the line actually places an order.

Think about the daily grocery shopping analogy and I am sure you can begin to imagine some of the drawbacks. Implementing a JIT system could be cost prohibitive for most companies. In order to completely revamp the ordering, manufacturing and delivery processes a hugh capital investment could be required. Completely overhauling a companies manufacturing and business flow process is very expensive. The other big issue centers around the supply chain or the delivery chain. If there is an interruption in the marketplace it could shut down the companies manufacturing activities and with no inventory on hand you have nothing to deliver. So lets say that the raw materials for your manufacturing process become unavailable due to a natural disaster, or some other unexpected event. If there is no raw material on hand the manufacturing could stop with little or no notice, and if you can’t fill a …

Outback Steakhouse

One of the most successful concepts of all time is Outback Steakhouse. Who would have guessed that Outback founders Chris Sullivan and Robert Basham and Senior Vice President Tim Gannon’s philosophy of ”No rules, just right” would become so successful? When it opened in 1988, beef was not everyone’s favorite dish. Now there are more than 880 Outbacks. Chris Sullivan says, ”Our restaurants serve the freshest food possible, using our imported Parmesan cheese, grated fresh daily, and our imported virgin olive oil. Our fresh midwestern grain-fed beef is the highest-quality choice beef available, and we serve only fresh, never frozen, chicken and fish. Almost everything is made fresh daily.

We like to describe our menu as ‘full flavored.’ In 1993, the Outback concept was growing so well that they decided to diversify into Italian food and purchased a 50 percent interest in Carraba’s Italian Grill. In 1995, Outback purchased the sole rights to develop the Carraba’s concept, which features a casual dinner in a warm festive atmosphere with a variety of fresh handmade Italian dishes cooked to order in the exhibition kitchen. Continued growth of all concepts came, in large part, from Outback’s mission statement: We believe that if we take care of Our People, then the institution of Outback will take care of itself.

We believe that people are driven to be a part of something they can be proud of, is fun, values them, and that they can call their own. We believe in the sanctity of the individual, the value of diversity, and in treating people with kindness, respect, and understanding. We believe that caring for people individually results in their emotional involvement in Outback. We believe in working as a team: having shared goals and a common purpose, serving one another, and supporting their Outbackers. We believe the most important function of the organization is to enable Partners and Managers to effectively run their restaurants and to support their Outbackers. Our purpose is to prepare Outbackers to exercise good judgment and live our principles and beliefs.

This preparation will result in a company of restaurants that endures, prospers, and increases shareholder’s value. Outback has five principles for success: hospitality, sharing, quality, fun, and courage. Hospitality is defined as giving for the sake of giving, rather than for the sake of gaining. Given these ingredients, it is not surprising that Outback continues to grow and acquire other concepts. In 1999, it purchased Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse, an upscale contemporary steakhouse concept designed to be an ongoing celebration of the best in food, wine, and the company of friends and family. In addition to the finest prime beef and steaks, it sells more than 100 wines by the glass. In 2000, Outback opened the first Lee Roy Selmon’s restaurant, featuring soul-satisfying Southern comfort cooking.

The next year it acquired Bonefish Grill, a very popular fresh seafood concept with a stylish decor and great ambiance. Ever on a roll, Outback has opened several Cheeseburger in Paradise restaurants inspired by the …

Making Baby Food From Family Food – Step 2 – Eliminating Choking Hazards

Once you've identified which food your baby can eat (from Step One), it's time to consider how he will eat it.

Your baby most likely has relatively few teeth, and no molars. This means that although he may be able to bite with his front teeth, he still can not chew. Instead, he is gumming the food before swallowing.

Babies just grab and stuff. They do not consider size or amount. They're just thrilled to get it inside the right hole. Protect your baby by giving him foods that are as choke-proof as you can make them.

All foods should be soft and small. Cut them small enough that if the food is swallowed hole, it will slip easily down his food pipe. Raw vegetables, grains, and pastas should all be well-cooked and lightly mashed before sharing them with your infant.

Here are some other tips to make your baby's food as choke-proof as possible:

  • Do not apply topical teeth medicine right before eating. The medicine numbs his gums and may make swallowing more difficult.
  • Limit the amount of food you put on his tray to prevent gorging.
  • Cookies, crackers, spreads and biscuits should be either too hard to bite off a piece or so soft that it will instantly dissolve in his mouth.
  • Slippery foods (like dried fruit) can easily be inhaled into its windpipe. Roll the fruit in flour or wheat germ to provide more texture.

Tools of the Trade

Another ingenuous 100{ccdfc561878e9246e1a18999d5a21dd519dc1b039f0564ab04c9b3978134babb} choke-proof tool is the Fresh Food Feeder by Munchkin. It looks like a giant pacifier, but instead of a nipple on the end, there's a net.

Opening the top, place a whole piece of fruit or cooked vegetable inside the net and then close.

Your baby gnaws happily on an apple slice, banana chunk, broccoli spear, baked sweet potato, or whatever else you decide to give him without the fear of choking.

The Fresh Food Feeder helps him practice his sewing skills, but gives him only juice. I absolutely love this baby-tool. I carry it with me to restaurants, sharing with my daughter the age-appropriate foods from my order.

It is dishwasher safe, but occasionally needs a good 'ole fashion sink scrub for maximum cleanliness. I've lent my feeder out several times, and consider it an essential part of my baby feeding supplies.

Another great tool to have on hand is a baby food mill. This small device is small enough to fit into the diaper bag and is super useful (especially at restaurants).

Place your food inside, push the button, and it will puree the food into a consistency your baby can eat. Plus, it removes skins, seeds, and other things baby can not eat.

If you would rather quietly mill the food by hand, you can purchase hand-cranked versions.

The Art of Self-Feeding

At around 9 months your baby will start wanting to practice the art of self-feeding. If you have not already, this is a perfect time to introduce her to "family …

Raw Hide Bones Versus Pork Hide Bones, Which Is Better?

You’re thinking to yourself, “I’m bringing home my new puppy”. If you want the best for him/her, you will learn what you can about raising a dog in a positive way.

Your dog is part of your pack. It is important that they are a part of your everyday family life. Don’t ever leave dogs alone in the back yard or anywhere for days on end. They will get bored and lonely, just like you would. That is when dogs bark and dig. It’s not the dog’s fault, it’s the owners fault when that happens. It is important to include them as family members. Dogs will be the most loyal companion you will ever know, especially when you take care of them in a loving way.

Pet parents love to give their dogs treats. It’s part of the joy of owning a dog. You get to bond with your pampered puppy many different ways. One of the most fun ways is giving your loved dog treats. It brings great pleasure not only to your dog, but to you as well.

Since you want your dog to live the longest, healthiest life possible, it is vital to be aware of how important nutrition is. Reading and understanding labels on pet food and products is critical to the well being of your pampered puppy.

Dog’s natural tendency is to chew. Pulling meat apart is their nature. It cleans their teeth and keeps their gums healthy. Picture wolves in the wild. They pull meat off of a carcass when they eat. That is why giving your pampered puppy things that they can tear apart with their teeth will save you frustration and a lot of money when they don’t ruin your shoes, or a couch leg by chewing them.

Puppies need to chew a lot. So keeping things available to keep them engaged will make you and your precious puppy happier.

People have asked themselves, “Raw Hide Bones Versus Pork Hide Bones, which is better?” There can be so much confusion over the healthier choice. Rawhide and Porkhide Bones are made from the same part of the animal, there is no difference there. The processing is much the same. Both are used for cleaning the teeth and healthier gums. So what is the big difference?

Rawhide Bones are known to choke dogs. That is every pet parent’s worse nightmare! Many people say to stay away from Rawhide Bones because they can be dangerous and cause choking. Rawhide is very stiff. If your dog swallows a piece of Rawhide, it can get lodged in their throat. This can lead to your dog gagging, vomiting, diarrhea and fever with signs of pain. In worse case scenarios, dogs have had to undergo painful and expensive surgery to remove the blockage.

Sometimes it is recommended to wash our hands after handling Rawhide Bones with soap and water to avoid contamination! I don’t want to feed any of my pets, products where I am told to wash my …

Finding Food Savers to Fit Your Needs

Food Savers keep meat, produce, and other grocery items fresh and tasty for much longer than other storage methods. Ordinary refrigerator or freezer bags just do not allow food to retain its quality the way FoodSavers custom fitted bags do. Whether you want to usually put away a few items or you really want to get serious about food storage, there are Food Savers just for you.

No matter what kind you look at be sure you consider the ones with a full sized vacuum channel. This is necessary to get the best seal on your bags. A crush-free seal is also important so that you can keep the vacuum from squeezing the bag too much when your food items are fragile. A light, fluffy piece of birthday cake can be kept in its original form rather than be crushed to crumbs.

Hands free operation makes FoodSavers convenient, especially on the models where it is done by the touch of a button. A touchpad control panel makes using Food Savers easy, especially when you are bagging heavy meats, cheeses, and vegetables. A design that preserves counter space is welcomed in any kitchen.

The most versatile models are capable of sealing all the different sizes of bags and canisters. Settings may include buttons for moist or dry foods. Roll and pen holders make it easy to make custom sized bags and mark them by date and contents. A locking latch makes it possible to keep the bag in place while the FoodSavers are sealing the contents.

Because you will be taking all the air out of the bags, you will often pull out liquids from the foods. Juices might be sucked out of the bag when you are packaging meats for example. This makes it doubly important to have an antibacterial drip tray. It works best if it can be removed for easy cleaning in the dishwasher.

Food Savers offer some extra special features, such as a DVD that comes with one model, showing ways to use the kitchen appliance to its best advantage. Look for the one year warranty on Food Savers appliances. A variety of bags are available to buy for the set.

Finding Food Savers for your kitchen is as easy as comparing the features of the different models. While some Food Savers are simple in design, others offer the full gamut of features and accessories. By comparing their features, you can choose the best model for you. …

Food Dehydration Techniques

Factors affecting the quality of food dehydration are:
1. Time
2. Temperature
3. Air Speed ​​or velocity
Raw material preparation

Drying time varies depending on the type of food dehydrator you use and the properties of your food for drying. Let us visualize what water must do in order to get discharged. The moisture from the center of the food must travel to the surface to escape. For example, apples can be cut into uniform slices with appropriate thickness for drying. Too thick slices will take longer time to dry. On the other hand, too thin slices will crumble and break easily. Based on experience, inch inch (0.5cm) seems to be appropriate for most drying applications.

When using your food dehydrator, food is spread on drying trays which are then stacked up or placed into the specially designed drying chamber. It is important to spread the food evenly so that the entire surface of the food is exposed for drying. To ensure that all the food surfaces are exposed for drying, it is recommended that you periodically flip over the food.

Some food dehydrators may not have a uniform distribution of air but this can be easily resolved by rotating the trays every few hours so as to minimize the unevenness.

Drying time is in fact the most important factor in any drying process. However, it is affected by the air temperature and air velocity. Therefore, when considering these drying elements, remember that these are inter-related. The most common mistake made by people when drying foods is thinking that increasing the temperature to shorten the drying time. The recommended temperature for drying most products is 130degF. …

Increasing Interest in Healthy and Specialty Food in the US

Polls from recent food events in the US show that Americans have a passion for Italian food. Their curiosity about Italian products is constantly growing. After years of recession and crisis, their attention to quality food, traditional cuisine, and organic products is on the rise.

The watchword is “value”, and Americans are quite conscious of the relationship between quality and price. The price difference between organic and non-organic food has been reduced considerably, and now it is around 15{ccdfc561878e9246e1a18999d5a21dd519dc1b039f0564ab04c9b3978134babb}. According to the Organic Trade Association, the sales of organic foods in the United States have long passed those in Europe. The US is now the world’s largest consumer of natural and organic food.

As American interest in products from Italy grows, so does the number of “Italian fakes” on the market; products with Italian names whose labels state an Italian origin even though they come from other countries. This is especially in the dairy sector. Just think of the countless imitations and counterfeiting of Parmigiano Reggiano! For the first time, in 2014 the global production of fake parmesan and grana padano has overtaken that of the authentic Italian originals.

According to the organization of Italian farmers Coldiretti, last year the production of parmesan-like and grana-like cheeses exceeded 300 million kg, while in Italy cheese makers produced 295 million kg of genuine Parmigiano and Grana Padano.

Fortunately, American consumers are becoming increasingly aware. The growing trend is to explore beyond established mainstream products in order to identify those that represent not just a culinary delight, but also belong to local tradition, which tell a story, and represent a view into Italian life. Nearly a quarter of consumers of gourmet foods looks for specialties tried while on holidays – a particularly relevant factor considering the high number of American tourists travelling to Italy.

Supermarkets are a major provider of Italian foods in the USA, but the need of large retailers often does not allow small companies which produce excellent niche food products to reach consumers. More and more specialty shops and smaller chains serving a sophisticated and wealthy clientele play an increasing role in this context. But only online stores, with their capillarity and wide distribution, can guarantee everyone the opportunity to discover and taste the best products from Italy at affordable prices.

Starting from this scenario are springing up a variety of interesting projects online, bequeathed to the world of quality food. Ambitious projects bringing to the tables of Americans products that cannot be found anywhere else.…

Yin and Yang Food – How Does it Affect You?

Did you know that Yin and Yang, the principle at the heart of Chinese philosophy, applies to Chinese food and cooking as well? In Chinese medicine, all food can be divided into four Qis: Hot, warm, cool and cold; or yang, mild yang, mild yin and yin respectively.

In general, yang food improves blood circulation and warms us up, but too much yang food (or eaten during the wrong season e.g. summer) will induce constant thirst, hot flashes, night sweats and constipation. In contrast, yin food quenches thirst, cleanses our systems and cools us down, but if eaten inappropriately it will lower our metabolism and weaken our bodies. In particular, according to traditional Chinese, pregnant women are traditionally advised not to eat yin food (e.g. crab, watermelon) as it may increase the chance of miscarriage.

So what are some examples of yin and yang food?

Grains and Beans

  • Mild Yang (warm food): glutinous rice, black rice, barley, sago, sorghum
  • Mild Yin (cool food): wheat, barley, green beans, buckwheat, millet
  • Right in the middle: Rice, corn (maize), sweet potato, sesame, soy beans, rice beans, oat, long beans, sweet peas, kidney beans, mung beans, lentil, broadbean

Meat and Dairy Product

  • Mild Yang (warm):beef, lamb (mutton), chicken, shrimp, lobster, mussels, goat milk
  • Mild Yin (cool): duck, abalone
  • Yin: duck egg, crab, clam, octopus, squid, escargots, raw food
  • Just Right: chicken egg and egg white, pork, scallop, fish, cow milk, yogurt

Fruits and Nuts

  • Mild Yang (warm): peach, almond, dates, lychee, long yan, lemon, papaya, pine nut, walnut, chestnut, cherry, mango
  • Mild Yin (cool):apple, pear, orange, strawberry, pipa
  • Yin (cold): Persimmon, pomelo, banana, starfruit, kiwi, water melon, sweet melon
  • Just Right: plum, pineapple, grapes, olive, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, coconut milk, peanut, hazelnut

Vegetables

  • Mild Yang (warm): spring onion, garlic, leeks, coriander / parsley, onion, pumpkin
  • Yang (hot): pepper
  • Mild Yin (cool): tomato, celery, egg plant, choy shum, spinach, asparagus, artichoke, cauliflower, tofu (including soy milk), gluten, lotus root, winter melon, cucumber, mushroom, needle mushroom
  • Yin (cold): bok choy, arrowhead, water spinach, watercress, bamboo shoots, seaweed, straw mushroom, bitter melon, water chestnut
  • Just Right: carrot, potato, taro, mushroom, turnip (very mild yin), black fungus (very mild yin)

Other Food and Ingredients

  • Mild Yang (warm): spices such as young ginger, clove, dill, rosemary, sage, turmeric, thyme, horseradish, cayenne, nutmeg, wild pepper, cumin, star anise; stimulants such as alcohol, coffee, black tea and other caffeinated drinks; red sugar, ginseng
  • Yang (hot): Cinnamon
  • Mild Yin (cool): green tea, honey, beer, chrysanthemum tea, mint
  • Yin (cold): Soy sauce, soy bean paste, salt

How Does This Apply To Us?

According to the Chinese, each of us are born yin, yang or somewhere in between. For example, if you always crave for spicy food you may have a “yin” body; and if you love watermelon anytime in the year you are likely a Yang.

Your health condition can also indicate the yin-yang balance of your body. Constant cold hands and feet? A …

What Do You Need to Cook Chinese Food?

Are you, like many people, attracted by the possibility of cooking scrumptious and healthy Chinese meals at home? What do you need, in addition to the recipe, the ingredients, and your kitchen?

Well woks have been the mainstay of Chinese cooking for centuries – over 3000 years use in China, indeed. If you have not got one, is a wok necessary? Highly desirable, but not really essential, would be my view.You can use a frying pan to cook stir frys. A wok, does, however, have numerous advantages. It needs much less oil, and distributes heat much more even more than a frying pan does. And the unique concave shape of a wok makes tossing the food around during stir frying more straightforward. Coupled with the fact that you can also use the wok as an simple every day frying pan, and a deep fryer if wanted.

Other equipment that is also not essential, but desirable includes:

A wok lid . Which can either be domed shaped or flat topped. It should be able to fit the lid of the wok. And the lid needs to be high enough to ensure that it will allow the wok to be used with the desired quantities in it.

A spatula . Which is used for stirring and tossing the food It needs to have a long handle – for obvious reasons! And it can be made of metal or wood – the latter is especially desirable for non stick woks and frying pans.

A ladle . Used for adding stock, in addition to other seasoning. A ladle can also be used to measure out other ingredients to add.

A cleaver . Cutting and slicing before food preparation is especially important. Having bite size pieces enables the food to be eaten with chopsticks. It also reduces cooking time by increasing the amount of surface area exposed to heat. And permits greater absorption of sauces and flavorings. Although Chinese cleavers often look as though they could cut through bones, do not use cleavers for this – it may damage them. Although traditionally made of carbon steel, this can rust and add a taste of metal. Best to get a knife made from stainless steel. The flat end can also be used as a pestle.

A steaming basket . This is a round basket that can hold food hovering over boiling water. Bamboo baskets are generally better than metal ones as the bamboo absorbs the moisture and allows the steam to circulate. Dripping water from metal ones can reduce the flavor of the food.

Ring stand . A ring stand can stabilize the wok. Generally these have open sides for gas stoves, and closed sides for electric ones. If your wok has a tapered stand then use it so that the helmet side is up for electric stoves, and other side up for gas ones.

Rack . Usually a semi circle and can be used to keep food warm.

Skimmer . A skimmer is a implementation …

Tips For Cooking With Asparagus

Most people regard asparagus as an ingredient that needs to be cooked with caution. Here are a few helpful tips on how to cook with this vegetable.

Begin by buying asparagus right. Select asparagus spears that look a fresh and bright green and that have compact but firm tips. If you need to cook with asparagus that has slightly wilted tips, firm them up by soaking them in cold water for a few minutes.

After buying fresh asparagus, you need to keep it in a moist place till you are ready to use it. Frozen asparagus can be kept in the freezer. Remember not to defrost frozen asparagus before cooking. Once you’ve taken the frozen asparagus out of the freezer, do not refreeze it. You can store asparagus in the freezer for a maximum of eight months. If you are using the canned variety, it should be stored in a cool and dry place.

Asparagus is a versatile vegetable and lends itself to various food combinations. You can top steamed asparagus with sour cream, mayonnaise or yogurt. You can also infuse herbs like parsley and tarragon into melted butter and pour the mix over asparagus. Fresh asparagus works well with a squeeze of lemon juice.

Asparagus goes best with dry white wines such as Chenin Blanc, French Colombard or Fume Blanc. After trimming asparagus, do not discard the trimmed ends. These can be pureed and used in soups, stews or sauces.

Asparagus can be cooked in several ways. If you are cooking on the stovetop, you can steam fresh asparagus by boiling it in a small quantity of water until tender. This should take about five to eight minutes.

If you want to steam asparagus while in an upright position, tie the stalks together with a string. Make the stalks stand straight in a double boiler so that the tips stay an inch or so above the salted, boiling water. Cover the double boiler and cook for about five minutes or until tender.

For stir-frying asparagus, start by chopping the spears diagonally into half inch pieces. Keep the tips whole. Next stir-fry the cut pieces in a skillet containing hot butter or olive oil over a medium heat. It should take about three minutes for the asparagus to tenderize. Stir-fried asparagus should be soft yet crisp.

Fresh asparagus can be cooked in a microwave in a baking dish or even in a serving bowl. Place about a pound of asparagus in the cooking dish. If you are using whole asparagus spears, keep the tips in the center. Pour in about a quarter cup of water and cover the dish. Cook at 100{ccdfc561878e9246e1a18999d5a21dd519dc1b039f0564ab04c9b3978134babb} power for 5 minutes. Turn over the spears half way through cooking. Reduce the cooking time by about a minute if you are microwaving cut pieces or tips.

Frozen asparagus can be cooked in the microwave by placing it in a covered microwaveable dish containing about two tablespoons of water. The cooking time is about five minutes at …