Summary of “What Are Natural Foods?”

An Aristotelian account comes to this: foods similar to the foods that our ancestors ate in their natural environments are the foods that we are designed to flourish on.
Gradually, selection designed bodies to make good use of the natural foods available.
Critics of natural living sometimes stress that all this focus on our ancestral, natural environment is only sentimental yearning for a past paradise that never was.
A related objection goes, we humans and all we do have always been part of our own natural surroundings; we can’t understand our natural environment as something isolated from ourselves and our creations.
One reason is today’s lifestyle, which might throw off our natural reception of foods for which we’re designed.
Perhaps natural is superfluous? Can’t we just say ‘whole foods’? No. Skim milk is not a whole food: the cream, which rises to the top of natural milk, has been skimmed off.
Not all foods natural to cows or birds are natural to us.
These foods and foods like them, which now make up a significant part of US consumers’ caloric intake, often ‘resemble natural foods, but actually represent a radically new creation’, as the US physician David Ludwig writes – tacitly presupposing, by the way, the sort of context we’re looking for.

The orginal article.

Summary of “A Living Larder: The Joys of Fermentation”

The clearest sign that chef Cortney Burns is adjusting well to life at the edge of the Berkshires comes a bit later on, when she shows off a slick collection of Japanese donabe, puts on a Keith Jarrett record, and fixes me and a few of her new collaborators what was at once a convincing case for hippie food and one of the best home-cooked meals I’ve ever had. First up are crackers made of sunflower, chia, and more seeds, so many seeds, that look like something you’d pat yourself on the back for snacking on but are in fact tremendously savory and addictive, like Doritos for those who fold ashwagandha into their morning smoothie.
There is live-culture brine in the mixture, Burns tells me conspiratorially.
As she built out her larder even further, Burns began meeting with farmers, slowly getting ideas for her new restaurant.
The biggest clues about the new restaurant lie in the food Burns makes for herself.
Faced with the need to shop for and prepare food every day in a town where there’s only one restaurant worthy of an occasional visit, she has gained the type of insight many chefs have a hard time gathering: How does eating what I cook every day actually make me feel? Here is where Burns, who also studied the Tibetan language and sold clothes at Grateful Dead concerts, does little to hide the hippie: “A dish can be really cool, but does it raise my personal vibration?”.
Burns’ first excursions into brining and pickling were driven by medicinal concerns, not culinary ones.
The cookbook is also known for its difficulty, but Burns insists that all you really need to get fermenting is salt, water, and a Ball jar.
Burns’ first piece of advice for the novice fermenter is to relax and trust yourself.

The orginal article.

Summary of “It’s the Year 2038-Here’s How We’ll Eat 20 Years in the Future”

The focus on climate change and food safety led the EU to create a kind of food police.
This organization uses technology and the ongoing carbon footprint left by each citizen to trace everything we eat and monitor our level of food waste.
As a preventive measure, we now have the Food Consumption Tax Agency, which analyzes the way we eat by means of a digital implant or tattoo, depending on the category.
Powdered food synthesizers can create simultaneous and changing snacks, with 10 or 20 different flavors in each bite.
The user just had to select the type of food they wanted from the database and their 3D printer created small cubes in the shape of that food, which were then injected with the corresponding flavors, colors, and nutrients.
Abundance, coupled with artificial intelligence’s ability to anticipate every decision, has emptied our minds and lives of any concerns related to food.
Marius Robles is the CEO and cofounder of Reimagine Food, the world’s first disruption center focusing on anticipating the future of food.
He is currently finishing his book Eatnomics: The New Food Economy, which provides a new perspective on where the future of food is heading, along with the opportunities and challenges that will come within.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Eating for Peace”

“I’m sharing my food, my culture,” Rimal says to us with a smile.
Eating the food that Rimal helped us prepare was amazing.
Do food and eating really help people connect across cultural differences? It’s a question you might ask Trump administration officials who recently made news for eating at Mexican restaurants during an immigration crisis at the southern border of the United States.
According to anthropologists and psychologists who have studied food in recent years, cuisines from international cultures can take us out of ourselves and help us better understand distinct people and cultures.
A culture may seem unfamiliar to a person, but after that person discovers the way people from an unfamiliar culture “Prepare their food, the way they eat, somehow they understand it. There’s link between you and them, and that gives you insight.”
The researchers found that eating the same food fostered a sense of trust and cooperation more strongly than wearing the same-colored shirt or eating different foods.
By eating the same food, the authors conclude, “People can immediately begin to feel camaraderie and develop a bond, leading to smoother transactions from the start.”
In their paper, Woolley and Fishbach admit that eating food from another culture is not necessarily “Indicative of whether two people will get along or someone is trustworthy.” Without the ingredient of human empathy, food from another land can only have a bland effect.

The orginal article.

Summary of “A New Theory of Obesity”

If it’s not carbohydrates, what is to blame for our global obesity problem? Sure, meal portions today are larger, food more abundant, and many of us are eating more calories than people did decades ago.
While humans have evolved to adapt to a wide variety of natural food environments, in recent decades the food supply has changed in ways to which our genes-and our brains-have had very little time to adapt.
These are the ultraprocessed foods, and they range from junk food such as chips, sugary breakfast cereals, candy, soda and mass-manufactured pastries to what might seem like benign or even healthful products such as commercial breads, processed meats, flavored yogurts and energy bars.
Small says that animal studies bear out the theory that ultraprocessed foods disrupt the gut-brain signals that influence food reinforcement and intake overall.
In the natural world, carbohydrates almost always come packaged with fiber, whereas in ultraprocessed foods, fiber is either not there at all or included in a form not found in nature. And it is rare to find carbohydrates and fat in the same food in nature, but ultraprocessed foods tend to have both in one package. We’ve created all these hyperpalatable foods filled with fat, sugar, salt and additives, and we clearly prefer these foods. But these foods don’t necessarily provoke satiety. What they seem to provoke is cravings.”
Eating large amounts of ultraprocessed foods may actually change brain circuitry in ways that increase sensitivity to food cues, adds Kent Berridge, a professor of psychology and neuroscience at the University of Michigan.
“We’ve found an association of ultraprocessed foods and overeating, and there are many hypotheses about the causal mechanism. But until you fully understand the mechanism, it’s too early to intervene. It could be that the additives and artificial flavoring are having an impact or that ultraprocessed foods have micronutrient deficiencies that the body senses and responds to by overeating. There are likely other factors as well. We just don’t know-yet.”
At the same time, he does think the available evidence on ultraprocessed foods is a reason to worry about them: “We can change our diet to minimize the damage. And for now I think that’s where we need to set our sights.” The food industry can help, perhaps by designing more foods with less processing, but people have to show they want such food by buying more of it.

The orginal article.

Summary of “The Conqueror Who Longed for Melons”

Babur loved the foods of his homeland and hated those he found when he had to reestablish himself in India, which to him was mostly a way station on the bloody road back to the melon patches of his youth.
In introducing his hometown of Andijan, Babur opens with a note on the quality of its grapes and melons before turning his attention to its layout and fortifications.
Babur doesn’t forget food once he gets into the meaty war stories, either.
Given the chaos he grew up in it’s incredible that Babur could spare any thought for food.
Babur shouldn’t have had time for food in India either.
According to Rukhsana Iftikhar, a historian of social life amongst the Mughals, the Persian word for “Mongols” by which Babur’s descendants came to be known, many of these dishes differed in style and flavor profile from the Persian-influenced Central Asian cuisine Babur preferred.
For over a century after his death, Mughal rulers continued to praise the same foods Babur praised and keep the caravans of his beloved Central Asian fruits and nuts flowing.
Later descendents were not as invested in Persianate culture and the foods of Ferghana as Babur.

The orginal article.

Summary of “The Dollar Store Backlash Has Begun”

“While dollar stores sometimes fill a need in cash-strapped communities, growing evidence suggests these stores are not merely a byproduct of economic distress,” the authors of the brief write.
While dollar store might not be causing these inequalities per se, they appear to be perpetuating them.
When a dollar store opened up in Haven, Kansas-subsidized through tax breaks by the local government-sales at the the nearby Foodliner grocery store dropped by 30 percent, The Guardian reported earlier this year.
The Pushback Against Dollar Store Clusters While some local governments continue to lure dollar stores to town with tax subsidies and incentives, others are doing the opposite.
A dollar store NIMBY movement has been gaining traction.
In Chester, Vermont, for example, residents argued in 2012 that allowing dollar stores to come to town “Will be the beginning of the end for what might best be described as Chester’s Vermontiness,” per the New York Times-a statement that itself perhaps signals the class and race associations dollar stores have come to embody.
In Buhler, Kansas, the mayor saw what happened to surrounding grocery stores in neighboring Haven and rejected the dollar store chain, also citing a threat to the town’s character.
In Mendocino County, California, dollar store foes passed legislation restricting chain store development writ large.

The orginal article.

Summary of “The Cup Noodle Industrial Complex”

The gold bars and serifed red type of Cup Noodle stand out-with a parade of constantly rotating new flavors.
In a country where fresh noodles in hot broth were already ubiquitous, cheap, and fast, Cup Noodle were at first a hard sell.
“It is no exaggeration to say that we would not have this rich cup noodle culture without the original Nissin Cup Noodles,” says Ossern, who runs Cupmen.org.
Ossern has sampled 200 varieties of Cup Noodle in 12 years of reviewing over 4,000 instant noodles.
According to Nissin Foods, Cup Noodle are sold in more than 80 countries, and total sales reached 40 billion units in 2016-and the shelves are crowded with competitors.
In contrast, Yuuki, who has tasted every Cup Noodle flavor since he started reviewing them four years ago on his blog, Kyo mo Tabete Mimashita, describes the Japanese broth as “High quality” and notes that the thickness of the noodles varies depending on the soup.
Each limited-edition Cup Noodle I’ve tried in Japan is a remarkable likeness of another dish, and yet it always tastes comfortingly like Cup Noodle-salty, slightly spongy ramen in a facsimile of chicken broth, rich with MSG and industrial oil.
Unlike a new iPhone or Supreme shoes, you don’t need to wait in line or spend more than a few dollars for limited-edition Cup Noodle.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Ancient dog bones tell us what was on the menu for both dogs and humans”

Dogs have been living alongside us for at least 12,000 years, eating many of the same things we do – both given or scavenged.
A team of researchers used this strategy in a contemporary Indigenous community in two Nicaraguan villages, and found, by and large, dogs and humans dine from the same menu.
The idea of using dog remains to decipher what humans ate has been around since the late 1970s.
Since the 1970s, archaeologists have applied this idea with varying levels of success, finding dog diets both mirroring and diverging from that of humans.
The scientists compared dog and human diets, and discovered that dogs mirrored human diets at the community level, over the villages as a whole.
Dogs may eat a lot of things humans don’t – not just bone and poop, but also low-status or taboo foods.
Confirming the ability to use dogs as proxies for humans is difficult because of the complex nature of that relationship, which varies widely across time and space.
If dog populations generally share the same menu as the people they live alongside, canines might be the key to unlocking new data on ancient diets – and therefore revealing how we feasted our way from the past to the Anthropocene present.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Dallas, Texas, Is the 2019 Restaurant City of the Year”

“We’ve always been looking over our shoulders at Houston,” says the first guy I meet in Dallas, his tone dramatic.
Though Dallas and its food scene have long been overlooked in favor of other Texas towns, today, the city’s in the midst of a renaissance, with excellent new restaurants and bars opening so fast and so furious that it’s hard to keep up.
It’s not just one person or one thing that’s driving the change, but rather Dallas’ community of highly ambitious chefs, hailing from all different backgrounds, working independently and yet with a palpable sense of synchronicity.
These chefs are ditching the large-scale restaurant group models of yesteryear and instead forging their own paths, creating highly specific, highly personal spaces that feel more like stepping directly into said chef’s brain.
I was actually born in Dallas, but until this past summer hadn’t been back for a proper visit since elementary school.
So I enlisted the help of some locals-including the Dallas Observer’s infinitely knowledgeable food critic, Brian Reinhart-to help me look past the slick football-field-sized steakhouses I remembered and discover instead a city of thriving neighborhoods, each boasting its own homegrown gems.
Tucked into a former gas station on a quiet street in old East Dallas is a wonderland of dried flowers, jars of fermenting shiso leaves, and animal skulls.
Chef Misti Norris is doing crazy and incredible things with animal parts, homemade pastas, and fermentation.

The orginal article.