Summary of “Eating Toward Immortality”

They made structures to live in, wrote songs to sing to each other, and added spices to their food, which they cooked in different styles.
Even for people in extreme poverty, for whom survival is a more immediate concern, the cultural meanings of food remain critical.
Wealthy or poor, we eat to celebrate, we eat to mourn, we eat because it’s mealtime, we eat as a way to bond with others, we eat for entertainment and pleasure.
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.
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 “The race to grow a more planet-friendly burger”

The biggest name in this area: Impossible Foods, whose faux meat sells in more than 5,000 restaurants and fast food chains in the US and Asia and should be in supermarkets later this year.
Impossible’s research team of more than 100 scientists and engineers uses techniques such as gas chromatography and mass spectrometry to identify the volatile molecules released when meat is cooked.
Datar, a cell biologist and a fellow at the MIT Media Lab, believes cultured meats will more closely resemble real meat, nutritionally and functionally, than the plant-based kinds do.
The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association in the US dismissively dubs these new approaches “Fake meat.” In August 2018, Missouri enacted a law that bans labeling any such alternative products as meat.
Growing muscle cells from scratch creates pure meat tissue, but the result lacks a vital component of any burger or steak: fat.
Cultured meat will need a way to grow fat cells and somehow mesh them with the muscle cells for the end result to be palatable.
“A meat company doesn’t do what they do because they want to degrade the environment and don’t like animals,” says Tetrick, the Just CEO. “They do it because they think it’s the most efficient way. But if you give them a different way to grow the company that’s more efficient, they’ll do it.”
“If we can grow the meat without the animal,” he said, “Why wouldn’t we?”.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Why Food Could Be the Best Medicine of All”

Launched in 2017 by the Geisinger Health System at one of its community hospitals, the Fresh Food Farmacy provides healthy foods-heavy on fruits, vegetables, lean meats and low-sodium options-to patients in Northumberland County, Pennsylvania, and teaches them how to incorporate those foods into their daily diet.
Geisinger’s program is one of a number of groundbreaking efforts that finally consider food a critical part of a patient’s medical care-and treat food as medicine that can have as much power to heal as drugs.
Food is becoming a particular focus of doctors, hospitals, insurers and even employers who are frustrated by the slow progress of drug treatments in reducing food-related diseases like Type 2 diabetes, heart disease, hypertension and even cancer.
Early last year, Congress assigned a first ever bipartisan Food Is Medicine working group to explore how government-sponsored food programs could address hunger and also lower burgeoning health care costs borne by Medicare when it comes to complications of chronic diseases.
“The idea of food as medicine is not only an idea whose time has come,” says Dr. Dariush Mozaffarian, a cardiologist and the dean of the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts University.
The power of food as medicine gained scientific credibility in 2002, when the U.S. government released results of a study that pitted a diet and exercise program against a drug treatment for Type 2 diabetes.
Not all doctors agree that the science supports administering food like drugs, but he’s hoping the controversial idea will prompt more researchers to study food in ways as scientifically rigorous as possible and generate stronger data in coming years.
Talking about food in terms of doses might push more doctors to put down their prescription pads and start going over grocery lists with their patients instead. So far, the several hundred people like Shicowich who rely on the Fresh Food Farmacy have lowered their risk of serious diabetes complications by 40% and cut hospitalizations by 70% compared with other diabetic people in the area who don’t have access to the program.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Gordon Ramsay’s food approach helped my family of autistic eaters.”

The behaviors that Gordon Ramsay models on the show have completely changed my family’s relationship to food.
Some people would call us “Picky eaters.” Medical professionals would call us “Sensory avoidant in relation to food.” To further complicate dinnertime, my kids have vastly different tolerances around food.
Then the way they related to food started to change.
He gives feedback on flavor and texture, and sometimes, after critiquing the presentation, even Ramsay finds that something he thought would be awful actually tastes “Quite nice.” Whether he knows it or not, Gordon is mimicking the advice of my daughter’s occupational therapist: Engage food with all your senses.
You can identify ways in which it’s familiar to other things you’ve eaten or find senses that aren’t overwhelmed by food.
For my kids, food was just food; if one version of a slider was bad, all sliders were bad. But Gordon never just says “Yuck.” Instead, he explains why he doesn’t like a dish: The vegetables are underdone, the meat is overcooked, the presentation is unappealing, or the spices aren’t on point.
Ultimately, what Gordon Ramsay and Hell’s Kitchen did was to change our family conversation around food.
Gordon Ramsay elevated our family’s food experience into something that’s more fun for all of us.

The orginal article.

Summary of “How to Eat Your Least Favorite Food”

Still, my distaste for such an innocuous food feels vaguely shameful, and after much deliberation, I’m ready to switch sides.
The good news, according to researchers, is that most people can reset their neural pathways to one day enjoy-or at least tolerate-a nice gazpacho.
There is evidence of genetic differences that make some people more sensitive to certain chemicals in food, but those people might actually prefer the taste of those chemicals.
There is one type of aversion that scientists understand pretty well according to Anthony Sclafani, a professor at Brooklyn College who studies the neurobiology of taste: If you eat a novel food and then experience nausea or vomiting, your brain is primed to blame that food.
That’s true even if you know, on an intellectual level, that the food isn’t at fault.
People lose olfactory sensitivity as they age, which is a big reason that many people seem to outgrow childhood aversions: A food that might have been overwhelming to a kid will read as more mellow to an adult.
Childhood can be key to later-in-life food preferences in a lot of ways.
“Her infant will be more accepting of garlic than the infant of a mother who doesn’t eat garlic.” For mothers who don’t breastfeed, varying an infant’s formula flavor can help prevent later pickiness.

The orginal article.

Summary of “The Trials of Creating Vegan, Kosher, Halal, Meat-Free Gelatin”

These newly converted gummy teetotalers joined strict vegetarians, vegans, and millions of kosher and halal eaters in the still-untapped consumer market for foods made with gelatin that doesn’t come from the slaughterhouse.
“We have essentially moved the molecular program for making collagen from a cow into a microbe,” says Alexander Lorestani, Geltor’s co-founder and CEO. The idea that meat, eggs, milk, and byproducts like gelatin don’t have to originate in animals has been gaining traction in recent years.
One criticism of Geltor’s work is that the effort to create lab-grown gelatin will do little to reduce the consumption of meat sourced from industrial farms, since most gelatin comes from the unwanted byproducts of livestock that have been raised for slaughter.
Theoretically, Geltor could use any collagen from any animal, even from species that have gone extinct, while most gelatin comes from hogs and cattle whose meat is destined for your local grocery store.
After the initial burst of publicity the company received for its mastodon gummies, Lorestani and Ouzounov’s mission had shifted to piecing together collagen molecules from throughout the tree of life to form gelatin superior to anything made through standard processes.
If Lorestani were to invent a wholly novel food product, such as a gelatin so stiff it could not exist in nature, then it would be ineligible for GRAS status and the FDA would intervene.
Back inside Geltor’s lab, Lorestani opened the fridge and removed two gelatin samples.
A few years ago, Bhatia attended an IndieBio Demo Day and was so impressed with Lorestani’s vision for lab-grown gelatin that she eventually joined the company.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Starting Your Day on the Internet Is Damaging Your Brain”

I’ve said before the first 3 hours of your day can dictate how your life turns out.
You can either start you day with junk food for the brain or you can start the day with healthy food for the brain.
Anytime I start my day with junk food for the brain, the quality of the day goes down.
As Mark Manson so brilliantly said, cell phones are the new cigarettes, And a significant amount of what’s on the internet is nothing more than junk food for the brain.
The idea for this article was actually the result of giving my brain some health food to start the day.
When you start the day with health food for your brain, you don’t end up depleting your willpower, and as a result you get more done in far less time.
So how exactly do you start the day with health food for your brain? To wean ourselves off of junk food for the brain, we have to actually replace it with something else.
You can accomplish extraordinary things in just one focused hour a day of uninterrupted creation time.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Can we ditch intensive farming”

Intensive farming has already had a huge effect on biodiversity and the environment worldwide.
The most obvious alternative to industrialised intensive farming in the developed world is organic farming.
Rob Percival, head of policy at the Soil Association, says organic farming can feed the world, if consumption patterns are adjusted to encourage those who can afford meat to eat less of it.
For many farmers, the investment and time needed to meet organic standards may be a stretch, but there are ways to move towards more sustainable farming without organic certification.
Agroecology is the name given to a broad range of farming techniques that seek to minimise the environmental impact of farming.
Urban farming can deliver food – or at least some fresh produce – efficiently to dense populations without the greenhouse gas emissions and nutrient loss associated with transporting it across long distances.
Already, urban farming produces about a fifth of the world’s food.
Our reliance on artificial fertiliser and intensive farming techniques did not happen overnight, but took decades.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Foodie Localism Loves Farming in Theory, But Not in Practice”

A few years ago, as the co-owner of a direct-market vegetable farm, my life revolved around harvests and freeze dates, farmers’ market sales and enrolment numbers for our Community Supported Agriculture programme.
The economic realities for farmers still sit uncomfortably alongside the practice of many farmers’ markets.
A fellow farmer and I began composing an op-ed under the working title ‘No More Fucking Farmers’ Markets’.
The USDA’s aforementioned Trends in US Local and Regional Food Systems: A Report to Congress confirms this: ‘While the growth in farmers’ markets signals increased consumer interest, for some local food farmers, marketing food in multiple locations can increase marketing and transportation costs, reducing overall net farm income.
During the years in which farmers’ markets took off, the US lost 4.3 per cent of its farms, continuing a downward trend that began in the 1950s.
Net farm income is projected to go down, as are farm asset values.
While local food has emerged as an alternative to industrial food, many people have simply transferred their expectations from the grocery store to the farmers’ market.
Obvious options include expanding Individual Development Accounts for beginning farmers and adding farmers to the Public Service Loan Forgiveness programme through the Young Farmer Success Act.

The orginal article.

Summary of “‘Ugly Produce’ Subscription Boxes Have Ignited a Food War”

Depending on who you ask, ugly produce is either the salvation or destruction of America’s food system.
Last week on Twitter, the crop scientist Sarah Taber wrote a long thread arguing that ugly produce isn’t the problem or solution.
“The food system is a hot mess but using ugly produce is one thing it’s actually really good at,” she says in the thread. In her estimation, my carrot nuggets are proof of concept: Odd produce might not go to Whole Foods, but much of it still does go to stores that serve working-class people, or gets sent to processors who turn it into salsa or apple juice.
The vast majority of American produce does indeed make it to a packinghouse for processing and distribution, but farmers point out that efficiency varies wildly depending on what kind of producer you are.
According to David Earle, the business manager for the farm collective Tuscarora Organic Growers Cooperative, in Pennsylvania, around 20 percent of the produce from his organization’s small growers doesn’t meet stringent grocery-store or restaurant standards.
Tuscarora has started distributing its excess produce through the ugly-produce-box company Misfits Market, and Earle says it’s been a boon to the business.
In an interview with The New Republic, Imperfect Produce, the start-up that serves Terra Organics’ former community, conceded that it works with industrial-scale producers like Dole to source food, which critics say can make these start-ups an ally of exactly the food system that creates waste and hunger in the first place.
If affluent consumers can feel as if they’re making ethical purchases while enjoying the savings and convenience of wonky vegetables delivered from commercial producers, they might be less likely to buy from local producers and cooperatives.

The orginal article.