Hysterical. Tasting menu as art at the expense of nutrition and enjoyment is a bold strategy for a restaurant. I'd still try it though. After you've read the blog post (and stopped laughing uncontrollably) you've got to check out the chef's response, which is extremely pretentious but sort of makes sense. Three Page Letter - scroll down on this link till you see drawings of horses -B
Text me your reaction when you get to the part about...well you'll know when you get to the part you're supposed to text me about. -C
I have no idea who is right and wrong here. I'm a bit leery of "nobody grows almonds in alabama because of the racisms" type arguments as these things are never mono-causal and while something like that might be A root cause it seems more plausible that amongst other things the weather just doesn't work in the south for that type of agriculture to be the best option? Like it could be done but growing rice and soybeans and corn and cotton and tobacco are all just better economic options given the entirety of the set of circumstances. Also the almond industry out west is extremely disruptive in terms of water usage and the various knock on environmental effects of that. -B
In a serendipitous twist, I just read an interview with Sarah Taber that was entertaining, about how she thinks ag food waste is an overplayed marketing ploy. But the rebuttal thread to her thoughts on nuts was also quite entertaining so maybe I don't care who is right I just want to read snarky stuff. -C
I realize you probably don't think about almonds, pecans, and figs very often but here we are sharing multiple links about these foods. If you're new here, welcome. This is what it is. -C
Editor's Note: We welcome another new outside voice this week to provide some dynamic counter balancing to the boys. Please give a warm mark as read welcome to JD. We sent JD an early draft of the opening essay of this issue and asked him to provide some centripetal swing.
So….. Brian’s drafted in a first time guest host- one he knows is as libertarian AND personal responsibility believing as just about anybody out there- to add a few comments about The Fat Issue of the weekly blog. God help me. This may be a one off.
There’s tons of studies on obesity and tons of fad diets out there; almost as many of each as there are morbidly obese people according to the charts in the links at least. I suspect that there’s likely something to the research into the various chemical and metabolic processes that various foods cause in the body, and how the modern ‘Merica diet incorporates many of the worst possible inputs.
As Brian can attest, I spend an inordinate amount of time trying to figure out what’s really important (and then making bullet point list): so what I’m mainly struck by in the discussions of various fad diets is:
a) how little discussion there is on the concept of “restricting your food choices in anyway is probably going to mean you eat less and therefore lose weight” and
b) how little focus there is in most cases on calories and the measurement of calories.
Particularly B. It’s like we don’t want to talk about the basics if they’re even slightly uncomfortable, and we are willing to look right past the obvious in search of something more clever (sort of like Paul Krugman does with any issue). Anyway, lots of good links in this issue…. But don’t forget the obvious. -JD
Theory: Food has changed
People don't appreciate how much food has changed. Food has never been more calorically dense or more delicious. Modern processing techniques have perfected food to incredible new heights of flavor, variety and caloric density. And food scientists don't aim for just flavor, they aim for craving. Craving is an altogether different beast than just flavorful.
Theory: We are just eating more calories and burning fewer calories
Fair enough JD!
The Hacker's Diet aka Calories In Calories Out aka CICO works. I lost 80 lbs a while back and kept it off for 5 years. The laws of thermodynamics are undefeated... energy has to come from somewhere. Makes sense to me as the underlying mechanic. But I find it not satisfying when applied to the broader problem. -B
Theory: "PUFAs" in Seed Oil put the body into literal hibernation.
The standard American diet meanwhile, passed the 8% linoleic acid threshold sometime between 1960–1990, right around the same time that the obesity epidemic began.
Theory: There is evidence of some sort of obesogenic chemical in the water supply...
The first mystery is the epidemic itself. For most of history, the obesity rate was about 1%, even for people who had all the food they wanted. Today, many countries are 40% obese or more. Even in lean countries like Italy, France, and Sweden, the obesity rate is around 20%.
When we include articles about food, we try to make sure the writers are tackling questions that matter. This article opens with just such a question: "How does a fruit that basically hurts you to eat it not go extinct?" A quick read with pretty pictures of peppers, and also makes me want to try to breed a spicy bell pepper. - C
I was born in MN in 1978. While we were there my dad was a food chemist for Pillsbury, which bought Totino’s in 1975. His team worked on the Totino’s pizza expansion project after the acquisition (the secret was frying the crust instead of baking it). In a sense I was born there because of my favorite frozen pizza. -Brian