black holes and gray matter. in one thousand tangos.

             

Mr. Golper, like many comrades in the revolutionary salt-flour-water brigade, is engaged in an ancient and ceaseless battle: against the whims of working with fermenting dough whose personality can shift on a daily or even hourly basis; against the high costs of making bread in what he considers the purest manner; against decades of commercialization that have trained the American eye and palate to expect bread that is soft, gummy, pale and tasteless.

'Most people are trying to make bread as quickly as possible… I don’t think it’s healthy.'

Instead, Mr. Golper, 36, wages a loving blitz upon the miche dough, fermenting it for up to an epic 68 hours and hardening the crust with a bake that goes on for almost double the time (at a slightly lower temperature) than you would find in the average shop. The dough itself contains six different types of flour.”

Small independent bakers in New York, California, Oregon, Virginia and North Carolina (and many points in between) are going to great lengths to approach an ideal of bread that is simultaneously cutting-edge and primordial. They’re hunting down heirloom grains, early forms of wheat like emmer and einkorn, and milling their own flour. …

They’re using unusually wet dough and stretching out fermentation times. They’re trying to conjure up the baker’s version of terroir, creating sourdough starter in the classic manner: simply by letting it sit, welcoming the bacteria in the air so the bread presumably tastes like the place where it was made.”

Read on: Against the Grain

“In 1983, after more than 10 years of research, a Texas A&M University horticulturist named Leonard Pike created an onion that did not make people cry. This alone was revolutionary, but Dr. Pike also conferred another attribute upon his plant progeny: a single center. Previous onion varieties had multiple centers and were a mess of interlocking circles when sliced, but the sweet Texas 1015 — named after the optimal planting date, Oct. 15 — would cut into perfect concentric circles. …
For a relatively small institution, the center has contributed a great deal to the produce aisles. It has bred about 40 cultivars, or new vegetable and fruit varieties, and identified 56 bioactive compounds that are important for health research and are worth an estimated $6.3 million. Before retiring in 2006, Dr. Pike created the maroon carrot, which has up to 40 percent more cancer-preventing beta-carotene. David Byrne, an A&M AgriLife Research scientist, released his 19th peach varietal, TexFirst, designed for Texas’ mild winters. Kevin Crosby, an A&M associate horticulture professor, is responsible for seven types of peppers, including the golden yellow mild habanero, which is low in capsaicin — the chemical responsible for a pepper’s heat. …
Dr. David L. Katz, the director and a founder of the Yale-Griffin Prevention Research Center, argued in his keynote address for the role of a plant-based diet in fighting the leading causes of death, including cancer and heart disease.
'If you were told there was a drug safe for old and young with no side effects that was very cheap, and that taken daily would reduce chronic disease by 80 percent, you’d call your doctor immediately for a prescription or you’d call your stockbroker. But that drug already exists.'” 
20 Years of Creating Vegetables

In 1983, after more than 10 years of research, a Texas A&M University horticulturist named Leonard Pike created an onion that did not make people cry. This alone was revolutionary, but Dr. Pike also conferred another attribute upon his plant progeny: a single center. Previous onion varieties had multiple centers and were a mess of interlocking circles when sliced, but the sweet Texas 1015 — named after the optimal planting date, Oct. 15 — would cut into perfect concentric circles. …

For a relatively small institution, the center has contributed a great deal to the produce aisles. It has bred about 40 cultivars, or new vegetable and fruit varieties, and identified 56 bioactive compounds that are important for health research and are worth an estimated $6.3 million. Before retiring in 2006, Dr. Pike created the maroon carrot, which has up to 40 percent more cancer-preventing beta-carotene. David Byrne, an A&M AgriLife Research scientist, released his 19th peach varietal, TexFirst, designed for Texas’ mild winters. Kevin Crosby, an A&M associate horticulture professor, is responsible for seven types of peppers, including the golden yellow mild habanero, which is low in capsaicin — the chemical responsible for a pepper’s heat. …

Dr. David L. Katz, the director and a founder of the Yale-Griffin Prevention Research Center, argued in his keynote address for the role of a plant-based diet in fighting the leading causes of death, including cancer and heart disease.

'If you were told there was a drug safe for old and young with no side effects that was very cheap, and that taken daily would reduce chronic disease by 80 percent, you’d call your doctor immediately for a prescription or you’d call your stockbroker. But that drug already exists.'” 

20 Years of Creating Vegetables

“Julia Child, goddess of fat, is beaming somewhere. Butter is back…
That the worm is turning became increasingly evident a couple of weeks ago, when a meta-analysis published in the journal Annals of Internal Medicine found that there’s just no evidence to support the notion that saturated fat increases the risk of heart disease. (In fact, there’s some evidence that a lack of saturated fat may be damaging.) The researchers looked at 72 different studies and, as usual, said more work — including more clinical studies — is needed. For sure. … The tip of this iceberg has been visible for years, and we’re finally beginning to see the base. Of course, no study is perfect and few are definitive. But the real villains in our diet — sugar and ultra-processed foods — are becoming increasingly apparent. You can go back to eating butter, if you haven’t already.
This doesn’t mean you abandon fruit for beef and cheese; you just abandon fake food for real food, and in that category of real food you can include good meat and dairy. I would argue, however, that you might not include most industrially produced animal products; stand by. …
[L]et’s try once again to pause and think for a moment about how it makes sense for us to eat, and in whose interest it is for us to eat hyperprocessed junk. The most efficient summary might be to say “eat real food” and “avoid anything that didn’t exist 100 years ago.” …
Although the whole “avoid saturated fat” thing came about largely because regulators were too timid to recommend that we “eat less meat,” meat in itself isn’t “bad”; it’s about quantity and quality. So at this juncture it would be natural for a person who does not read volumes of material about agriculture, diet and health to ask, “If saturated fat isn’t bad for me, why should I eat less meat?”
The best current answer to that: It’s possible to eat as much meat as we do only if it’s grown in ways that are damaging. They’re damaging to our health and the environment (not to mention the tortured animals) for a variety of reasons, including rampant antibiotic use; the devotion of more than a third of our global cropland to feeding animals; and the resulting degradation of the environment from that crop and its unimaginable overuse of chemicals, soil and water.
Even if large quantities of industrially produced animal products were safe to eat, the environmental costs are demonstrable and huge. And so the argument “eat less meat but eat better meat” makes sense from every perspective. If you raise fewer animals, you can treat them more humanely and reduce their environmental impact. And we can enjoy the better butter, too.”
Mark Bittman | NYT

Julia Child, goddess of fat, is beaming somewhere. Butter is back…

That the worm is turning became increasingly evident a couple of weeks ago, when a meta-analysis published in the journal Annals of Internal Medicine found that there’s just no evidence to support the notion that saturated fat increases the risk of heart disease. (In fact, there’s some evidence that a lack of saturated fat may be damaging.) The researchers looked at 72 different studies and, as usual, said more work — including more clinical studies — is needed. For sure. … The tip of this iceberg has been visible for years, and we’re finally beginning to see the base. Of course, no study is perfect and few are definitive. But the real villains in our diet — sugar and ultra-processed foods — are becoming increasingly apparent. You can go back to eating butter, if you haven’t already.

This doesn’t mean you abandon fruit for beef and cheese; you just abandon fake food for real food, and in that category of real food you can include good meat and dairy. I would argue, however, that you might not include most industrially produced animal products; stand by. …

[L]et’s try once again to pause and think for a moment about how it makes sense for us to eat, and in whose interest it is for us to eat hyperprocessed junk. The most efficient summary might be to say “eat real food” and “avoid anything that didn’t exist 100 years ago.” …

Although the whole “avoid saturated fat” thing came about largely because regulators were too timid to recommend that we “eat less meat,” meat in itself isn’t “bad”; it’s about quantity and quality. So at this juncture it would be natural for a person who does not read volumes of material about agriculture, diet and health to ask, “If saturated fat isn’t bad for me, why should I eat less meat?”

The best current answer to that: It’s possible to eat as much meat as we do only if it’s grown in ways that are damaging. They’re damaging to our health and the environment (not to mention the tortured animals) for a variety of reasons, including rampant antibiotic use; the devotion of more than a third of our global cropland to feeding animals; and the resulting degradation of the environment from that crop and its unimaginable overuse of chemicals, soil and water.

Even if large quantities of industrially produced animal products were safe to eat, the environmental costs are demonstrable and huge. And so the argument “eat less meat but eat better meat” makes sense from every perspective. If you raise fewer animals, you can treat them more humanely and reduce their environmental impact. And we can enjoy the better butter, too.”

Mark Bittman | NYT

Scientists now say that five portions of fruits & vegetables a day is no longer enough, and that we need seven and mostly of vegetables. Oh and you can forget the frozen variety; they don’t count.

Alarmingly for some who thought they were doing the right thing, tinned and frozen fruit may not be helpful at all. …There was a surprise finding – people who ate canned or frozen fruit actually had a higher risk of heart disease, stroke and cancer.”

art: Beth Galton

In a lot of ways this is a city built on Pretend. We pretend that we aren’t getting older, that we can still be out until four in the morning and it won’t be any different when we wake up than it was in our early 20s. We pretend that we have plenty of time to accomplish all the goals we think are still within our reach. We pretend that the careless ways we act and the carelessness with which we allow ourselves to be treated in turn are merely temporary stops on the way to the true happiness that we think is surely our reward for working so hard at the things we pretend make a difference or mean something. We pretend that everything is practice, everything is temporary, and that on the one day we finally decide we are ready to take ourselves seriously the world will stand up and applaud and say, “Finally! Have anything you want, it’s no less than what you deserve!” If we catch a glimpse of ourselves in the mirror as we pass by we pretend that we don’t see the wrinkles, the hard-set eyes, the dents and dings and damage and decay that the years of hard living have chipped out of us, the sad and addled residue that is the inevitable result of what can only be characterized as a toxic lifestyle. But most of all we pretend that everything we eat here hasn’t been touched by rats at some point. Because as rough as all the other stuff is, you can probably cope with it if you really have to, but there’s no way to get by if you are forced to acknowledge just how much anything you put in your mouth has been all rubbed up on by vermin. Now let’s never talk about it again.”

Don’t Mention the Rats

©2011 Kateoplis