Strong opinions, weakly held

Tag: food (page 2 of 6)

On appreciating food

In a post discussing the value of liberal arts education, Tyler Cowen talks about why he’s interested in food:

I am interested in food (among other topics), not only because of the food itself.  I also view it as an investment in understanding symbolic meaning, cultural codes of excellence, the transmission of ideas, and also how the details of an area fit together to form a coherent whole.  I believe this knowledge makes me smarter and wiser, although I am not sure which mass-produced formal test would pick up any effects.  I view this interest as continuing my liberal arts education, albeit through self-education.

The future of food production

Ezra Klein on the future of food production:

But for now, I think of the preference for farmers markets and small producers as being mainly important in sending certain signals about production methods and branding preferences to Big Ag than in actually creating some sort of viable alternative.

That’s importance in a society-changing sense, of course. Choosing your food based on how it is produced can be very important to individuals for perfectly sensible reasons.

More on Gulf seafood

The Blue Legacy expedition blog has more details on the safety of Gulf seafood. Yesterday’s piece from The Daily Beast said that their tests checked for the presence of dispersants, but this article gives the impression that there is no reliable test for those chemicals.

It’s safe to eat Gulf seafood

The Daily Beast commissioned its own tests on Gulf seafood to determine whether it is contaminated by the BP oil spill or the byproducts of its cleanup:

So is the caution among America’s seafood consumers justified? Seeking a definitive answer to the question, The Daily Beast commissioned an independent lab, one of a handful certified to measure chemical dispersants, to analyze a cross-section of Gulf seafood—red grouper, jumbo shrimp, and crabmeat—for both oil and the dispersants that have prompted almost as much alarm as the petroleum itself. To further sharpen the test, we also performed similar tests on samples of those three types of seafood culled from the Atlantic Ocean.

The results? Immaculate. As with the Atlantic samples, all of the Gulf seafood contained either undetectable or incredibly minute (well below everyday federal thresholds) levels of petroleum hydrocarbons or dispersants.

I’m posting this mainly as a public service. The environmental crisis bad enough, people shouldn’t compound it with misplaced fears. It’s worth noting (as you’ll read in the article), the Daily Beast’s tests were conducted as a spot check to confirm or refute the government’s reports. They didn’t test enough seafood to reach a conclusion on food safety on their own.

Another line diet success story

Sam Ruby has had success losing weight and keeping it off on the line diet, which I wrote about earlier this year. I’ve lost about 35 pounds on the line diet since the end of August last year. I’ve also been working out at the gym religiously since October.

Anthony Bourdain on food bloggers

Anthony Bourdain responds to a question about whether foodies are too precious:

Yeah. It could be silly, it could be annoying and I like to make fun of bloggers. But when we’re researching a show some place, chances are, it’s bloggers we’re reaching out to first. It’s not the restaurant review in the newspaper that’s going to determine [a place’s] future. The Internet is a big bathroom wall with people writing on it all the time. At the end of the day, some consensus will be reached. You know, 3,000 words on a hot dog, why not? What better thing to write 3,000 things on? How many tens of thousands of words has been written about Kate Gosselin for f—‘s sakes. Or the Kardashians. So I don’t see anything out there…what better than a hot dog or a chef?

I think a world where millions of people can publish 3,000 words on any subject they’re passionate about is a wonderful world. If you don’t like it, don’t read it.

Breeding pigs for a subsistence existence

I loved this sentence in a blog post about Meishan pigs:

If one reflects for a moment on the needs of Chinese subsistence farmers, it makes sense that the Meishan is the pig that it is; it is a pig best-suited for a Malthusian world.

Fact checking the fast food infographic

I’ve seen a number of links to the Everything You Need to Know About Fast Food infographic, which is chock full of interesting statistics, not all of which I’m entirely sure are accurate. It lists the average caloric intake for Americans as 3,760 calories, but I am pretty sure that is impossible.

This statistic comes from the UN Food and Agriculture Organization, but unfortunately the link is dead. Other sources report that the average caloric consumption for men in the US is around 2,618 calories for men and 1,877 calories for women — significantly less. A little back of the envelope math shows that the number cited in the infographic is impossible. The average height of men in the US is 5′ 9.5″ and the average weight is 191 pounds. The resting metabolic rate for 25 year old men of average height and weight is about 1900 calories. If you eat only 100 more calories a day than you expend, you’ll gain 10 pounds per year.

I’ve seen this number being repeated a lot, and I wanted to point out that there’s absolutely no way it’s correct. I haven’t seen the original source data, so maybe it’s a valid statistic that’s being misused, but in the context people are using it, it’s wrong.

Don’t eat that

Eating is now a major moral issue in America, and whatever choice you make is wrong.

Jessica Gross

The psychology of fast food

A study by researchers at the University of Toronto shows that fast food makes us impatient:

Eating habits have shifted dramatically over the last few decades–fast food has become a multibillion dollar industry that has widespread influence on what and how we eat. The original idea behind fast food is to increase efficiency, allowing people to quickly finish a meal so they can move on to other matters. Researchers at the Rotman School of Management, however, have found that the mere exposure to fast food and related symbols can make people impatient, increasing preference for time saving products, and reducing willingness to save.

This makes me think about the more general inefficiency of being in a hurry. Rushing to get things done often results in a bad job, and promotes disorganized thinking that in the end costs you more time than hurrying was supposed to save. I hurry a lot, but I am trying to get better about it.

Older posts Newer posts

© 2024 rc3.org

Theme by Anders NorenUp ↑