The tech infrastructure of the city hints at the varied diets of the people of the Roman empire.
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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?
The most mouthwatering cookbooks and culinary histories of the year.
For a song that’s on heavy rotation in malls and soft-rock stations this time of year, the “Twelve Days of Christmas” has surprisingly mysterious origins.
It was first published in England in 1780 as a nursery rhyme in the book Mirth Without Mischief, but that rendition might have been predated by an even earlier French version. The song wasn’t set to the tune we now know it by (gooooold riiiiiings!) until 1909, by the composer Frederic Austin. A rendition from as late as 1908 includes the lines, “12 bulls a-roaring” and “11 bears a-baiting.” Sweet dreams, kids!
We also don’t know exactly what the song is supposed to mean. Some think it’s a coded way of teaching Catholic children the Catechism. In Mirth Without Mischief, it was intended as a memory game.
At least one theory holds, though, that the “Twelve days of Christmas” paints an image of a joyous festival, in which seven days of feasting on birds are followed by five more of revelrous dancing and leaping. It’s not as weird as you think: Europeans centuries ago ate most of the animals mentioned in the song, including the “golden rings,” which some think refers to pheasants, not jewelry.
That’s the idea I’d like to embrace today, as I attempt to determine what a “Twelve days” feast would actually look like, nutritionally speaking.
Highly-poisonous botulinum toxin (the stuff in Botox), played a formidable role in the history of food and warfare. It is still a factor in prison-brewed alcohol and some canned foods, and can quickly kill a person.
Read more. [Image: Andrew Dinh/Flickr]
I like to think it started like this. “You know what’s wrong with your Instagrams?” said the one. “Um, what?” said the other, her mind scanning the possibilities: poor filter choice, skewed shot-framings, overuse of the #nofilter tag. She was, honestly, a little bit offended.
She was also unprepared for the answer she got. “You can’t eat them!” he replied.
Which is … true. Instagrams, for all the things they are, are decidedly not one other thing: edible. And that’s largely because Instagrams are not, strictly speaking, things.
But you know how you could eat your Instagrams? By spray-painting frosting-y versions of them onto the surfaces of marshmallows. Seriously. Think Stickygrams … for your mouth.
Read more. [Image: Boomf]