As in romance, a solid relationship with food may benefit from time apart. The “every-other-day diet” involves one day of eating whatever you want, followed by a day of eating very little. Of this year’s eating fads, intermittent fasting stands out as one less ridiculous than it might sound.
In all fairness, you were warned. The Amazon description for sugar-free Haribo Gummy Bears reads, in part: “This product is a sugarless/sugarfree item with ingredients that can cause intestinal distress if eaten in excess.”
"Intestinal distress," in this case, might be an understatement for what a series of viral Amazon reviews call, “trumpets calling the demons back to Hell,” “guttural pronouncement so loud it threatened to drown out my own voice," and "100% liquid. Flammable liquid. NAPALM.”
So why is it that gummy bears, an otherwise delicious, springy snack, become so sphincter-confounding once the sugar is removed?
Nighttime heists, Chinese knockoffs, and poisoned meatball-sabotage: the high-stakes pursuit of the world’s most-prized fungus,
Read more. [Image: Reuters/Stefano Rellandini]
Only one nation averages more than 2 cups of coffee per day. It’s the Netherlands.
Read more. [Image: Reuters]
A food desert, according to the USDA, is an area that lacks grocery stores, farmer’s markets, and other sources of healthy food. People living in food deserts often struggle to buy fresh produce, the thinking goes, so they rely on junk- and fast food, which contributes to their health problems.
But what happens when you live in the opposite of a food desert? A place that is literally surrounded by the freshest food possible—a farm?
Farmers’ days often stretch to 12 and 16 hours as they rush from field to CSA pickup to farmer’s market. As with Americans in other professions, the time crunch means cooking is often the first thing to go. A variety of growers told Modern Farmer that they snack on candy all day and their families live on pizza during harvest season.
“At the height of the season, it is a feat in and of itself to sustain the energy to work let alone come home and start preparing food,” one Massachusetts farmer told the magazine.
The tech infrastructure of the city hints at the varied diets of the people of the Roman empire.
Read more. [Image: University of Cincinnati]
Now that the holidays have come and gone, it’s time to look in the mirror and ask ourselves, “Did I really need to eat the whole box of chocolates?” If you did it in one sitting, you may suffer from Binge Eating Disorder, a newly-sanctioned psychiatric diagnosis in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual-V by the American Psychiatric Association. But even if you ate the box over several sittings, you might still suffer from its more controversial cousin—Food Addiction, not yet included in the DSM-V.
There’s been a lot of heat about food addiction, but little light. None other than Nora Volkow, director of the National Institute of Drug Abuse, has spoken out in favor of the diagnosis. Yet the psychiatric and the scientific communities have been slow to get on the bandwagon. Many scientists eschew the diagnosis while others embrace it. Not surprisingly, the food industry has largely dismissed the notion. No one argues that food isn’t pleasurable, or even that food doesn’t activate the “reward center” of the brain. But can food truly be addictive? In the same way that alcohol, tobacco, and street drugs are?
Hopefully we know by now not to eat a heaping spoonful of cinnamon, no matter what hilarity and brief Internet fame may ensue. But used appropriately in, say, a pastry context, you’d think would be okay. The European Union seems to be of a different opinion, though—that you can overdo it, even on a seemingly-innocuous cinnamon roll.
The EU’s regulations on a common type of cinnamon called cassia limit how much bakers can use: 50 milligrams per kilogram of dough, if it’s a traditional or seasonal pastry, or 15 milligrams per kilogram if it’s just a regular old everyday pastry. The concern is that cassia contains high levels of coumarin, a natural substance that can cause liver damage, if you eat too much.
This particular kerfuffle comes because the Danish food authority recently classified kanelsnegler, or cinnamon rolls, as an everyday pastry, which gives bakers a lot less cinnamon to work with than if the rolls were considered “seasonal.”
Read more. [Image: .vlctor Casale./Flickr]
Introducing the weekly email that details everything your child picked out in the cafeteria.
Read more. [Image: Toby Talbot/AP Photo]
“If you could make just three simple changes in your life to prevent, or even reverse, memory loss and other brain disorders, wouldn’t you?”
So asks Dr. David Perlmutter, in promotion of his PBS special Brain Change, coming soon to your regional affiliate. Three changes. Simple ones. Wouldn’t you?
The 90-minute special is a companion to Perlmutter’s blockbuster book on how gluten and carbs are destroying our brains. In November it became a New York Times number one bestseller. Since its September release, as Perlmutter told me, “It’s never not been on the bestseller list, frankly.”
“Is it still number one?” I asked. A pause over the phone as he checked. In modern interview style, we were both also on our computers.
“As of next week it’s number six … darn.”
The book is Grain Brain: The surprising truth about wheat, carbs, and sugar; your brain’s silent killers. It promises straightforward dietary solutions to prevent the illnesses we most hate and fear.
Why wouldn’t you make three simple changes?