Summary of “”Ugly Delicious” Reviewed: David Chang Combats Culinary Purity in His New Netflix Series”

“It shouldn’t be changed. It should be eaten the same way it’s always been made.” She’s behind the counter at her restaurant, talking to David Chang, the chef-impresario behind Momofuku and the host of “Ugly Delicious,” an eight-part documentary series that débuted on Netflix, on Friday.
Chang has shown up at her door looking for an answer to the Houston-New Orleans crawfish conundrum, some reasonable justification for one city’s embrace of change and another’s resistance to it.
The fried-chicken episode features plenty of fried chicken, but it’s mostly about black culinary culture’s erasure at the hands of white chefs, and food as a tool of oppression, and the enduring appeal of fast food.
Despite his position of moral authority throughout “Ugly Delicious,” Chang foregrounds some of his own prejudices and inadequacies: trying foods he doesn’t like, being corrected on facts he gets wrong, getting unflatteringly angry at people who don’t deserve his wrath.
Chang embraces culinary synthesis across all cultures, but reacts almost violently to the idea of anyone except for him adulterating Korean food, about which he feels deeply possessive-he recalls, more than once, childhood friends’ horror at the smells emerging from his mother’s kitchen, and his intense resentment that the same foods that made him feel ostracized are now considered cool.
What makes “Ugly Delicious” compelling, ultimately, is Chang’s commitment to rejecting purity and piety within food culture.
Sitting down with the white proprietor of a Nashville hot-chicken chain, Chang forces himself, with obvious steeling of will, to ask astonishingly direct questions about the moral burden of a white man profiting from black culture.
Watching a Tokyo chef make a perfect margherita pizza, Chang observes that here he sees a man making food “More Italian in its idea, its thesis, than some people in Italy are making.” The chef explains himself, later on, in Japanese: “What Naples has given me is pizza, which I make in the image of myself.”

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Summary of “An Olympic Challenge: Eat All the Korean Food That Visitors Won’t”

In our conversation, David Chang said it had been frustrating at times to see that Korean food – beyond bibimbap, barbecue and kimchi – was still so inscrutable for so many people he encountered during the Olympics.
Among his pet peeves, he said, was how non-Koreans used Japanese names to describe Korean dishes: Hwe, sliced raw fish, is not sashimi, he said, his voice rising again; dduk, rice cakes, can be pretty different from mochi; and kimbap, rice rolled inside seaweed with various vegetables or meats, should never, ever, be called maki.
“It’s like having to explain that French and Italian food are different,” Chang said.
Still, Chang concedes, sometimes people might need reference points.
At the opening ceremony Chang bought eomuk, or fish cakes, at a concession stand, which provoked some bewilderment among his non-Korean companions.
I’ve been lucky to have the company of Chang W. Lee, a Pulitzer Prize-winning New York Times photographer raised in South Korea, and more important for me, a soul mate in gluttony.
A lot of the dinners have ended the same way: with a second dinner.
“I’ve never had a food marathon like this,” he said, his chopsticks in a bowl of noodles.

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Summary of “Counting Calories Is Not the Key to Weight Loss, New Study Finds”

The new study stands apart from many previous weight-loss trials because it did not set extremely restrictive carbohydrate, fat or caloric limits on people and emphasized that they focus on eating whole or “Real” foods – as much as they needed to avoid feeling hungry.
While people on average lost a significant amount of weight in the study, there was also wide variability in both groups.
Dr. Gardner said that the people who lost the most weight reported that the study had “Changed their relationship with food.” They no longer ate in their cars or in front of their television screens, and they were cooking more at home and sitting down to eat dinner with their families, for example.
Dr. Gardner said many of the people in the study were surprised – and relieved – that they did not have to restrict or even think about calories.
“A couple weeks into the study people were asking when we were going to tell them how many calories to cut back on,” he said.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, for example, tells people who are trying to lose weight to “Write down the foods you eat and the beverages you drink, plus the calories they have, each day,” while making an effort to restrict the amount of calories they eat and increasing the amount of calories they burn through physical activity.
The new study found that after one year of focusing on food quality, not calories, the two groups lost substantial amounts of weight.
He said the most important message of the study was that a “High quality diet” produced substantial weight loss and that the percentage of calories from fat or carbs did not matter, which is consistent with other studies, including many that show that eating healthy fats and carbs can help prevent heart disease, diabetes and other diseases.

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Summary of “The Quorn revolution: the rise of ultra-processed fake meat”

Many of us are prepared to accept this understanding gap because Quorn seems to be on the right side of the prevailing food paradigm, which holds that eating meat, fish, dairy and eggs is a redneck habit that has had its day, one that amounts to propagating cruelty and environmental ruin and will lead to dire consequences for human health.
Quorn has built up a range of more than 100 products, from mince and sausages to goat’s cheese and cranberry escalopes and toad in the hole, and it is beefing up – excuse the pun – its vegan range; most Quorn products contain egg, but its vegan equivalents use potato protein instead. With artful use of additives and hi-tech ingredients in the food manufacturer’s cabinet – factory flavourings and colourings, milk proteins, tapioca starch, palm oil, pea fibre, firming and gelling agents and so on – it seems that many of us will take chameleonic Quorn at face value as a dead ringer for everything from steak and bacon to gammon, chicken supreme and hot dogs.
While it is true that Quorn shows some of the bouncy, muscular resistance of lean meat, in every other respect – taste, smell, consistency, cooking properties, digestibility – it is nothing like meat.
“We have sold about 4bn Quorn products over 30 years and we know the safety record of the product is exceptional,” says CEO Kevin Brennan.
They now read: “Mycoprotein is a mold [sic]. There have been rare cases of allergic reactions to products that contain mycoprotein.” In the UK, Quorn packaging reads: “There have been rare cases of allergic reactions to Quorn products, which contain Mycoprotein. Mycoprotein is made with a member of the fungi/mould family. Mycoprotein is high in protein and fibre which may cause intolerance in some people.”
While Quorn can claim with justification that it more or less invented fake meat, it must now contend with the technologically sophisticated faux meat rival concepts emerging in the US’s Silicon Valley, the hub of the world’s “Plant meat” gold rush.
The highly processed nature of Quorn and other plant “Meats” may yet be a stumbling block.
Quorn, in common with other fake meats, is incontestably ultra-processed.

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Summary of “It’s not just in the genes: the foods that can help and harm your brain”

Our diet has a huge effect on our brain and our mental wellbeing, even protecting against dementia.
The foods we eat are broken down into nutrients, taken into the bloodstream and carried up into the brain.
Next-generation medical imaging and genomic sequencing studies, including work from my lab at the Alzheimer’s Prevention Clinic at Weill Cornell Medical College, New York, have helped us understand that some foods play a neuro-protective role, shielding the brain from harm.
It’s no surprise that, conversely, other foods are harmful for the brain, slowing us down and increasing the risk of cognitive decline.
A specific kind of fats called polyunsaturated long-chain fatty acids, such as the famous omega-3s. Fatty fish, such as salmon, mackerel, anchovies and sardines, is the best natural source of the only kind of fat the brain needs throughout a lifetime.
Glucose is the only energy source for the brain, so it’s crucial that the brain gets enough of it.
Dementia risk was further reduced by taking vitamin E in combination with vitamin C. Both these vitamins protect brain cells from the harmful effects of toxins and free radicals, while vitamin E has the added benefit of increasing oxygen delivery to the brain.
Beyond thoughts, moods and memory, diet plays a clear and determinant role in brain ageing and the risk of developing Alzheimer’s, the most common form of dementia, which affects 46 million people worldwide.

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Summary of “This is the U.S. county that buys the least healthful groceries”

The 4,500 people of Musselshell County, Mont., collectively buy the least healthful groceries of any county in the United States.
For years, advocates have argued that it’s largely a problem of access: Consumers eat junk because they can’t afford healthful foods or find them in their communities.
An area’s food culture, he acknowledged, “Could make a big difference in the formation of food preferences.”
Even major changes in a household’s immediate food environment, the paper found, had a limited impact on the foods that people purchased.
Instead, the economists write, there appears to be a great deal of variation in demand for healthful foods.
Each county is colored according to its “Average health index,” a standardized measure of grocery nutrition based on the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, with darker shades representing the least healthful food purchases.
There are also other factors, which his model did not consider, that could explain lower demand for healthful groceries among certain groups: among them, time available to plan and cook meals, exposure to food marketing and stress levels.
The Food Trust offers free nutrition classes to both children and adults and has been a vocal supporter of programs like SNAP-Ed. When it comes to cultivating demand for healthful food, “There are a lot of barriers,” Young said.

The orginal article.

Summary of “In Sweeping War on Obesity, Chile Slays Tony the Tiger”

Soaring obesity rates are forcing governments around the world to confront one of the more serious threats to public health in a generation.
Today, three-quarters of adults are overweight or obese, according to the country’s health ministry.
Officials have been particularly alarmed by childhood obesity rates that are among the world’s highest, with over half of 6-year-old children overweight or obese.
In 2016, the medical costs of obesity reached $800 million, or 2.4 percent of all health care spending, a figure that analysts say will reach nearly 4 percent in 2030.Such sobering statistics helped rally a coalition of elected officials, scientists and public health advocates who overcame fierce opposition from food companies and their allies in government.
“People have a right to know what these food companies are putting in this trash, and with this legislation, I think Chile has made a huge contribution to humanity.”
From India to Colombia to the United States, countries rich and poor have been struggling to combat rising obesity – and encountering ferocious resistance from food companies eager to protect their profits.
During the long fight over the food law, Senator Girardi, 56, publicly assailed big food companies as “21st century pedophiles” and before Ms. Bachelet took office, spent weeks protesting outside the presidential palace with placards that accused her predecessor, Sebastián Piñera, of destroying the nation’s health by vetoing an earlier version of the legislation.
In the end, industry pressure succeeded in easing some measures in the original legislation, including loosening the advertising restrictions and quashing a proposed ban on junk food sales near schools.

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Summary of “In London, The American Food Aisle Is Filled With Nostalgia And Preservatives”

To Americans abroad, comfort food so often looks like junk food.
Plenty of food shops in the U.K.’s capital have sections catering to American immigrants, as well as to the large population of Brits who have spent time in the U.S. and developed some American tastes.
In the U.K., certain garden centers – and even Urban Outfitters – stock packaged American food.
Pop-Tarts are the one mainstay of every American food section in London, whether the shop is a small convenience store or a large branch of supermarket behemoth Tesco.
Unsurprisingly, there are plenty of varieties of Pop-Tarts for sale at the American Food Store, the only all-U.S. food shop in London.
The American Food Store used to be a post office branch.
A.S.M. Mustafiz has been working as a clerk for the American Food Store for over two years now.
What about American versions of internationally available products? Some people insist that the differences in recipes make it worthwhile to opt for American formulations, such as the American version of Cheerios that contains less sugar than the British one.

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Summary of “How to feed your gut”

“The cabbage actually feeds other microbes in your gut, so I’m definitely a fan of kraut, kimchi, all those kind of things.”
“The [former] are moving through the body, but they can have an effect on your existing microbes and we also know they produce substances that are beneficial. So, in a way, they’re energising your gut microbes as they go through, producing some chemicals that look as if they’re good for weight loss as well.” However, he reserves the title of “Super yoghurt” for kefir.
Not surprisingly, warns Spector, “Microbes don’t cope very well if you drink too much, and liver damage also causes problems for your microbes”.
In her book Gut, gastroenterologist Giulia Enders writes that, as they cool, some of the starch crystallises, making it more resistant to human digestion, “So your potato salad or sushi rice reaches your microbes untouched”.
Intermittent fasting with low-calorie days, or simply leaving long gaps between meals, is beneficial for your gut microbes.
In the introduction to a new book, The Healthy Gut Handbook, by Justine Pattison, Spector writes that after he put his student son on a fast food diet for 10 days, the boy had lost 40% of his microbe species and felt sick and lethargic.
Emulsifiers, which keep texture consistent, are rife in heavily processed foods and, warns Spector, “It has been shown in a couple of studies in rodents that they cause disruption of the gut microbes, which react differently and produce funny chemicals, in a similar way to sweeteners. If you give animals lots of sweeteners, you get a reduction in diversity of the microbes and they produce abnormal chemicals – different metabolic signals which have been shown to be more likely to give you diabetes and make you put on weight.” There’s no hard evidence yet in humans, but Spector has seen enough to make him wary of regularly eating these additives.
One simple answer, he suggests, could be: “If you’re eating junk food, you’re having a surge of fat and sugar that are absorbed before they reach the gut microbes, so you’re starving the guys of fibre lower down. Then they send out signals that promote obesity.”

The orginal article.

Summary of “‘Charlottesville’: A Government Story About Nuclear War”

Much of the country had been devastated by massive nuclear attack, but the small, gracious city of Charlottesville, Virginia, had escaped unharmed.
The combined populations of Charlottesville and Albemarle County rose to 150,000 in the seven days after the nuclear attack.
After several long meetings-in the basement of the courthouse where the government officials had stayed to avoid fallout-an emergency government, led by the city manager of Charlottesville, was agreed on.
Three weeks after the nuclear attack, almost all the Charlottesville and Albemarle County residents had returned to their homes.
Government officials, many of whom had visited Charlottesville and the university frequently in the past, kept in closer contact with the city than with many other locales.
A year almost to the day after the nuclear war between the United States and the Soviet Union, Charlottesville was host to a blue-ribbon panel of experts on reconstruction planning.
The residents of an area such as Charlottesville were most loyal to their local government, particularly when that government had a reputation of basic evenhandedness.
In certain rural sections, such as Nelson County, south of Charlottesville, farmers had barricaded themselves off, ignored government orders, and occasionally, it was rumored, took potshots at the government agents.

The orginal article.