Summary of “Why the world is becoming more allergic to food”

Around the world, children are far more likely than ever before to develop food allergies.
Food allergy now affects about 7% of children in the UK and 9% of those in Australia, for example.
The frequency of food allergy has increased over the past 30 years, particularly in industrialised societies.
Australia has the highest rate of confirmed food allergy.
The increase in allergies is not simply the effect of society becoming more aware of them and better at diagnosing them.
A newer, “Dual allergen exposure” theory, suggests food allergy development is down to the balance between the timing, dose and form of exposure.
There is currently no cure for food allergy, and managing the condition relies on avoiding the offending foods and on an emergency treatment plan in case of exposure.
The main way to identify food allergies is for a patient to gradually eat increased amounts of that food under medical supervision.

The orginal article.

Summary of “How Much to Tip at Restaurants in America”

How much? People are eating out more and more at restaurants that fall outside of the full-service box, and it’s not always entirely clear how they should adapt tips to these new dining styles.
Here’s what to tip in just about any situation, according to dining experts and the people for whom tips really matter.
Etiquette guide the Emily Post Institute may say between 15 and 20 percent is fine, but to tip well – and who wouldn’t want to tip well – 20 percent is the gold standard.
Eater NY chief critic Ryan Sutton says that 20 percent before tax is actually the minimum one should tip at a restaurant, “Though for extra good service, 20 percent after tax instead of before tax is nice.” He also says that if the restaurant comps you an item, you should factor the full price of the comped drink or dish into the final tip.
Gratuity-included restaurants: Don’t tip – really! Because of the many issues with tipping, some restaurateurs have made the switch to eliminate it altogether.
In the latter case, a dollar tip is perfectly acceptable, but if you are sitting down and being served by a person at anything other than a dive bar, you should tip as much as you would if you were sitting down for food.
“Before working in this setup, I’d tip between 15 and 18 percent. Now I always tip 20 on the total.”
Tsai says that over half of customers at Kopitiam tip, and it’s not uncommon to see a guest opt not to tip when ordering, but then leave cash at the end of the meal, after seeing how much the staff does.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Tex Mex Is Actually More Important to Texans Than Barbecue”

Chili con carne, even if it’s now out of style, has had the kind of cultural impact Texas barbecue brisket is only beginning to dream of: Chili was the first and most famous manifestation of the robust, misunderstood, supposedly inauthentic and staggeringly influential cuisine that we now call Tex-Mex.
Along with the crispy tacos and burritos of Cal-Mex, Tex-Mex became one of America’s most beloved and important regional cuisines, even if most Americans didn’t realize that was what they were eating.
Ask Texas to choose between barbecue and Tex-Mex, and all but the most dedicated partisans will quail.
To be honest, I did not realize how important Tex-Mex had become to me while I was in Texas.
What does barbecue have that Tex-Mex doesn’t? It has meat, it has fire, it has an aura of mastery – and, currently, it’s associated primarily with Anglos, and the area in and around Texas’s famously progressive, and also profoundly segregated city, Austin.
Arellano notes that Tejanos have smoked Texas-style barbecue for as long as Anglos; a smoked brisket is just as beautifully accompanied by a flour tortilla and an acidic salsa as it is by barbecue sauce and white bread. Though if the next dish to sweep across America might be brisket tacos, within Texas the larger trend is, as Dallas-based writer and editor José R. Ralat says, Tex-Mex becoming more Mexican.
There is nothing more Tex-Mex than a migas taco, eggs and tortilla chips or leftover tortilla scrambled together, then folded into a fresh tortilla, and the Veracruz All Natural version, with its handmade tortilla and fresh avocado, is the current pinnacle.
Co-owner Reyna Vazquez, the truck and now restaurant’s head chef, says she develops her recipes using fresh, and more Mexican ingredients, and wouldn’t call her food Tex-Mex, just her own spin on Mexican.

The orginal article.

Summary of “How to Fuel for a Solo, Unassisted Antarctic Crossing”

Two days before Colin O’Brady flew to Antarctica to attempt the first solo, unassisted crossing of the earth’s most inhospitable continent, I asked him about the definition of a perfectly planned expedition.
The more food you bring with you, the heavier your sled becomes, the more calories you burn pulling it, and the slower you move, meaning that you have to bring even more food to cover the extra days.
O’Brady started his trip with 280 of them lashed to his sled: four a day for 70 days.
Scott’s rations added up to between 4,200 and 4,600 calories per day.
Careful measurements of energy consumption using isotope-labeled water showed that they were burning an astounding 7,000 calories a day for 96 days.
While Scott maxed out at 4,600 daily calories and Stroud and Fiennes took 5,000, O’Brady is taking 8,000 calories per day, including oatmeal in the morning and Alpineaire freeze-dried meals in the evening.
Four days into his trek, O’Brady acknowledged in an Instagram post that the sled’s weight was pushing him to his limits: “Today was the first day I haven’t cried into my goggles,” he wrote.
“If it starts to look like it’s going to take 80 days to do this expedition,” he says, “I do think that I have the ability to switch some of those calories and stretch the expedition to 75 or 78 days.” After all, most Antarctic travelers before him made do with less.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Diet Culture Exists to Fight Off the Fear of Death”

Human self-awareness means that, from a relatively early age, we are also aware of death.
Even for people in extreme poverty, for whom survival is a more immediate concern, the cultural meanings of food remain critical.
It is not a coincidence that the survival function of food is buried beneath all of this-who wants to think about staving off death each time they tuck into a bowl of cereal? Forgetting about death is the entire point of food culture.
Diet culture and its variations, such as clean eating, are cultural structures we have built to attempt to transcend our animality.
We seek variety and novelty, and at the same time, we carry an innate fear of food.
The omnivore’s paradox was originally defined by psychological researcher Paul Rozin as the anxiety that arises from our desire to try new foods paired with our inherited fear of unknown foods that could turn out to be toxic.
If it weren’t for the small chance of death lurking behind every food choice and every dietary ideology, choosing what to eat from a crowded marketplace wouldn’t be considered a dilemma.
Everyone would be just a little bit calmer about food.

The orginal article.

Summary of “My Healthy Diet Is Boring, But It Works”

Everyone I knew on these “Systems” seemed to like talking about their diet more than they actually liked being on the diet itself.
I decided to collect all the advice I’d read from the vast body of scientific research and dietitians I’d talked to as Food & Nutrition Editor of Men’s Health magazine and try to eat a sensible diet.
On a low-fat diet you have to eat shit like Snackwells because god forbid you actually enjoy a real cookie.
On Dave Asprey’s bonkers Bulletproof Diet you’d better only buy his special brand of coffee because a study he sort of read from 1832 says that mycotoxins in commercial coffee will turn you into a half-man, half-bat with one sole purpose: to consume every last one of those you love.
If I told you I had a brand-new diet called The Cotton Candy Diet, where you could eat anything in the world except for cotton candy, what does that make you want to do? You want to find the nearest carnival barker and load up on some of that oh-so-sweet pink fluffy spun sugar, don’t you now?
Diet’s like Whole30 put god-awful endpoints, stages, or “Phases” to eating plans, which grow ever-more restrictive with the passage of time.
If you’re meticulously counting calories, or carbs, or worse yet tiny milligrams of sodium, you’re going to drive yourself crazy, distance yourself from the enjoyment of eating real food, and continuously subject yourself to the downward spiral of yo-yo weight loss and weight gain perpetuated by trendy diets that only really, truly care about one thing: how much money they make off of you.
The best diet is one that is based on the inclusion of healthful foods-not the exclusion of food groups-and will last you far longer than the lifespan of whatever Atkins, Zone, Whole30, South Beach, low-fat, low-carb, Paleo, Mesozoic, Bulletproof, or keto plan is the hot new thing.

The orginal article.

Summary of “When Food Doesn’t Bring Us Together”

Ben had warned me that labeling my food as is would make people reluctant to try it, especially if they didn’t know what jicama was, for example.
When I make the food I grew up cooking and eating with my father, they seem to fear it; they’re afraid they’ll sound foolish trying to pronounce ingredients or dishes they don’t know, and they’re always afraid the food will be too spicy.
Breaking bread is usually thought of as a feel-good way to share space and find commonalities, but for me, loving food in North Carolina has been an isolating experience.
My hope for future Homecomings is also my fear: that someone will actually engage me about my food or ask about my family.
Ben has been going to the one at his church for each of his 36 years, and for this reason he can assure me that I’m one of less than a handful of people of color who have ever attended, and likely the only one who has ever brought Mexican food.
None of them have ever been a problem, mostly because few people outside of Ben’s family interact with me, much less express any curiosity about my food.
Food can open people up to new worlds, and this can be especially true in the rural South.
My food reflects my identity and heritage, and when my new community picks and chooses the aspects of my cuisine they find most palatable, I know they are in some sense doing the same to me.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Allergies: the scourge of modern life?”

To anyone from Generation X or older, it often feels like food allergies are far more common today than in their youth.
From their outset, allergies were linked with those more distanced from rural upbringings.
Genetic studies are well on their way to unravelling the relationship between our DNA and allergies.
As to why there are more food allergies today, nobody knows the precise reason, but experts now believe there are three contributing factors.
Prof Gideon Lack of King’s College London, lead investigator on Learning Early About Peanut Allergy found that “Of the children who avoided peanuts, 17% developed peanut allergy by the age of five years. Remarkably, only 3% of the children who were randomised to eating the peanut snack developed allergy by age five.” The children involved in the trial already had severe eczema and/or an egg allergy.
Imbalances in gut ecology have been strongly linked with allergies.
This science shows that it’s the distance from, and lack of exposure to, natural environments that is driving the allergy epidemic in modern life.
In a number of papers and studies, Prof Carlos Camargo in the US and Prof Katie Allen and her colleagues in Australia have explored how a lack of exposure to sunlight – and a consequent vitamin D deficiency – can make infants three times more likely to have an egg allergy and a staggering 11 times more likely to have a peanut allergy.

The orginal article.

Summary of “‘Flexitarian’ diets key to feeding people in a warming world”

If the world wants to limit climate change, water scarcity and pollution, then we all need to embrace “Flexitarian” diets, say scientists.
Without action, the impacts of the food system could increase by up to 90%. Fast on the heels of the landmark report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change comes this new study on how food production and consumption impact major threats to the planet.
The authors say that the food system has a number of significant environmental impacts including being a major driver of climate change, depleting freshwater and pollution through excessive use of nitrogen and phosphorous.
“We can eat a range of healthy diets but what they all have in common, according to the latest scientific evidence, is that they are all relatively plant based,” said lead author Dr Marco Springmann from the University of Oxford.
“You can go from a diet that has small amounts of animal products, some might call it a Mediterranean based diet, we call it a flexitarian diet, over to a pescatarian, vegetarian or vegan diet – we tried to stay with the most conservative one of these which in our view is the flexitarian one, but even this has only one serving of red meat per week.”
If the world moved to this type of diet, the study found that greenhouse gas emissions from agriculture would be reduced by more than half.
“Tackling food loss and waste will require measures across the entire food chain, from storage, and transport, over food packaging and labelling to changes in legislation and business behaviour that promote zero-waste supply chains,” said Fabrice de Clerck, director of science at EAT who funded the study.
“Feeding a world population of 10 billion people is possible – yet only if we change the way we eat, and the way we produce food,” said Johan Rockström, director designate of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, who is one of the authors of the study.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Food for thought: the smart way to better brain health”

In the long term, this affects every one of us, because food affects not just our moods and thoughts but also the way we age.
The good news is that we have learned so much about what every one of us can do to optimise our brain health day to day.
These effects are particularly evident by looking at brain scans of people on different diets.
In terms of the food that helps, there is no single miracle food or supplement that will keep us young, healthy and bright-eyed with a perfect memory.
The brain is so sensitive to dehydration that even a minimal loss of water can cause symptoms such as brain fog, fatigue, dizziness, confusion and brain shrinkage.
Purified water, fizzy water – all these beverages were stripped of the precious nutrients and natural electrolytes the brain needs to stay hydrated and work efficiently.
The brain needs more than something wet; it needs the essential nutrients that real water carries with it.
Pour over the mixed salad. Lisa Mosconi is the author of Brain Food: How to Eat Smart and Sharpen Your Mind, published by Penguin Life at £14.99.

The orginal article.