Mark Sisson offers up a bunch of reasons Why It’s Important to Cook Your Own Meals. Here’s one that I think is key (emphasis Mark’s):
The better cooks we are, the richer and more varied our diets can be. The principle worked for our ancestors’ collective health, and it applies to us individually today. Like our ancestors, the right techniques open up new food possibilities for us – like cheaper and otherwise tougher cuts of meat. Additionally, many foods may be wholly uninspiring on their own but become fast favorites when paired with the right sauce or some novel herbs. As we expand our repertoire, we lessen the chance that we’ll get bored with our choices.
It occurs to me that if I could cook like Paul and Shou-Ching Jaminet, I’d find far less reason to deviate from the Perfect Health Diet!
Aye, there’s the rub. I suspect cooking is a skill that is best learned the traditional craft way — essentially by apprenticing yourself to someone who knows how. Using your average cookbook seems to me a terrible way to learn (unless you like to be intimidated by scary ingredient lists) and with a few exceptions (like America’s Test Kitchen or the now retired Good Eats), food TV isn’t a great route to learning to cook either.
But where there’s a will there’s a way I suppose! Here are the books I’ve found that seem reasonably promising in terms of teaching actual technique (in no particular order):
Posted in Cooking, QOTD | 2 Comments »
The above quote — “It is better to light a candle than curse the darkness.” — showed up in my Facebook feed today. It really resonated with me, as I spent the last couple of days doing a lot of cursing the darkness.
Alas, it turns out that the above isn’t actually a quote by Eleanor Roosevelt, though something close was said of her. In his 1962 eulogy of Roosevlelt, Adlai Stevenson said that she “would rather light a candle than curse the darkness, and her glow has warmed the world.” But Stevenson isn’t the originator of the quote either; it’s actually a Chinese proverb.
But whatever the origin, I like the sentiment. Note to self: start going in search of some candles for the future!
Posted in TMOZ | 1 Comment »
Journalist Kristin Wartman has an idea what to do with processed food taxes — pay people to cook at home:
Those who argue that our salvation lies in meals cooked at home seem unable to answer two key questions: where can people find the money to buy fresh foods, and how can they find the time to cook them? The failure to answer these questions plays into the hands of the food industry, which exploits the healthy-food movement’s lack of connection to average Americans. It makes it easier for the industry to sell its products as real American food, with real American sensibilities — namely, affordability and convenience. …
To get Americans cooking, we need to make it possible. Stay-at-home parents should qualify for a new government program while they are raising young children — one that provides money for good food, as well as education on cooking, meal planning and shopping — so that one parent in a two-parent household, or a single parent, can afford to be home with the children and provide wholesome, healthy meals. These payments could be financed by taxing harmful foods, like sugary beverages, highly caloric, processed snack foods and nutritionally poor options at fast food and other restaurants. Directly linking a tax on harmful food products to a program that benefits health would provide a clear rebuttal to critics of these taxes. Business owners who argue that such taxes will hurt their bottom lines would, in fact, benefit from new demand for healthy food options and from customers with money to spend on such foods.
Posted in Cooking, Policy, QOTD | 6 Comments »
For those of you who like your real food blogs in a NSFW style, there’s Thug Kitchen.
Plant nachos? LOL!
Posted in Made me laugh, Photography, Real food | 1 Comment »
In an apparent bit of self-serving research, an anti-nanny stater surveyed 800 Americans and shocker, found that 80% “said individuals were primarily to blame for the rise in obesity.” Next after individuals were parents at 59%:
Stephan Guyenet, who tweeted the study had an interesting conversation with a follower that pretty much sums up my thoughts:
Interestingly, Michael Prager just tweeted a link to a researcher who holds a very different view:
The socioeconomic dimension of the obesity epidemic becomes apparent once you start looking at maps where the obese people live … obesity rates in Seattle can vary by a factor of five depending on address.
It reminds me a bit of Gibson’s quote on the future: it’s here, it’s just not very evenly distributed. Apparently there’s a lot more personal responsibility in those wealthy white neighborhoods, eh?
I’ve gone on record before as not being optimistic about nanny statism (and I don’t use that term pejoratively) as a solution. But I do think it’s ludicrous to look at the rise in obesity as a global failure in personal responsibility.
Posted in Obesity, Public health | 20 Comments »