For The Love of Food

by | Nov 6, 2009
For The Love of Food

For The Love of Food

Welcome to Friday’s For The Love of Food, Summer Tomato’s weekly link roundup.

We’ve had spectacular conversations on both posts from this week (Orthorexia, Bacon Worship And The Power of Food Culture and Fishing For Answers: How To Choose Fish and Seafood), thank you all for your thoughtful contributions.

Essential reading for today includes the New York Times examination of meat and sustainability. Sadly, 2 people have died and dozens were sickened this week (again) because of an E. coli outbreak from industrial beef. If you’re wondering why this keeps happening, check out the article about how these poor cows are fed chicken poop. Seriously. Also, Europe steps up to shut down health claims about probiotics, and Cynthia Kenyon gives us one more reason sugar is evil.

I still need votes for the People’s HealthBlogger Award by Wellsphere and would greatly appreciate your support. Wellsphere is a fantastic resource for anyone interested in healthy living. To vote for me you have to create an account with them, but you can delete it when you’re done (I have yet to get any spam). If you enjoy this blog, please take a minute to show your support. Much thanks to those who have already voted.

I read many more wonderful articles than I post here each week. If you’d like to see more or just don’t want to wait until Friday, be sure to follow me on Twitter (@summertomato) or the Summer Tomato Facebook fan page. For complete reading lists join me on the social bookmarking sites StumbleUpon and Delicious. I’m very active on all these sites and would love to connect with you there. (Note: If you want a follow back on Twitter introduce yourself with an @ message).

For The Love of Food

  • The Carnivore’s Dilemma <<Exceptional article on the issue of meat eating and sustainability. It’s more complicated than you think. Now could you pass the bacon? (New York Times)
  • 7 Food Groups That Will Help Boost Your Mood <<Not sure about how much science rests behind these recommendations, but they are all healthy foods and if they help with mood too, woohoo! (Dumb Little Man)
  • The Omega-3 Battle: Which Margarine Is Healthier? <<Don’t eat margarine. However, since we discussed the health benefits of fish and omega-3 fatty acids this week, you might be interested in reading up on the debate going on in Europe right now. (Time)
  • Grain Relapse <<B.S. of the week People who follow the primal/paleo lifestyle adhere to a diet of only meat and vegetables, refraining entirely from grains and legumes in any form. Though it is hard to find health flaws in a diet like this, I have a lot of trouble understanding the purpose of this much dietary restriction–it eliminates virtually every cuisine on the planet. Mark Sisson argues there is no reason to eat grains at all, but does this much dogma really make your life better? In my experience, small amounts of grains (preferably intact) make existence a whole lot more enjoyable. I also feel better and weigh less. (Mark’s Daily Apple)
  • The Claim: A Person Can Pay Off a Sleep Debt by Sleeping Late on Weekends <<It takes longer than you think to make up for lost sleep, and it costs you in both physical and cognitive performance. Do yourself a favor and make sleep a priority. (New York Times)
  • Sugar Negates Worm’s Life-Extending Mutation <<Sugar won’t just make you fat, it also slowly kills you. Seriously, if you’re going to bother with sugar make sure whatever you’re eating is worth it. (Scientific American)
  • Europe rejects droves of health claims <<Although I’m proud of the FDA for essentially shutting down the Smart Choices campaign, Europe has always been better about making sure health claims on food labels actually mean something. This week they called bullshit on hundreds 🙂 (Food Politics)
  • From The “Who Knew?” File: Cattle Commonly Fed Chicken Poop <<Can anyone name a way that industrial beef isn’t completely and utterly nauseating? I love a good piece of meat, but not when it was grown on chicken poop. Did I mention at least 2 people died this week because of a new E.coli outbreak from beef? So gross. (Treehugger, Marler Blog)
  • Phys Ed: Why Doesn’t Exercise Lead to Weight Loss? <<Exercise is good for you, but it is nearly impossible to experience meaningful weight loss without dietary changes. Exercise is more beneficial for weight maintenance. A new study helps illuminate why. (Well Blog)
  • How to Poach Pears <<I have never tried poaching pears, but now I want to. This recipe looks relatively easy, delicious and healthy. A perfect fall dessert. (David Lebovitz)

What awesomeness are you reading?

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11 Responses to “For The Love of Food”

  1. Janet Helm (Nutrition Unplugged) exposed fitness celebrity Jillian Michaels’ endorsement of highly questionable weight-loss supplements:

    Janet isn’t afraid to make waves. She’s going to get herself sued if she’s not careful.


  2. Michael says:

    Grain Relapse <<B.S. of the week

    Ouch! LOL! While I appreciate Mark Sisson and regularly read his site, this line of argumentation really fails in my opinion. Of course we don’t need grains but one can demonstrate we don’t need vegetables, fruits, or any other available food besides meat. A diet consisting of eating essentially the entire animal is quiet capable of sustaining human existence. Reading Stefansson’s Adventures in Diet makes that quite clear (as does reading Dr. Weston Price on the Inuit and the Masai – who weren’t all meat but did consume only animal products).

    So to follow the logic of the no grain argument you have would to say we shouldn’t eat any plant matter at all, and only a very small group is actually willing to go that far. For optimal health, it simply isn’t necessary to be so restrictive.


  3. Michael says:

    God forbid we should enjoy it too!

    LOL! Well they like to tout the supposed science behind it as well but upon further examination it really doesn’t hold up. Taubes for example is quite good, but he doesn’t establish the case for low carb as the diet, although most paleo’s think so.

    Nevertheless there is plentiful evidence that carbs per se is not the problem although it tends to be ignored or briefly acknowledged and then passed by as if it doesn’t exist.

    It is what one blogger calls the “low carb oops.” They get you very close. They write great books. They get dramatic results (at least the first time around). But then at the moment of victory they slip at the finish line.

    In my opinion they become the equivalent of the “low fat” folks in mainstream nutrition, although they operate in the alternative diet and nutrition world.

    • Darya Pino says:

      Agreed. I did the lowfat once too and was super thin. Any crazy diet can work if you have the willpower, which I do. My question to all those people is why bother when you can have it all?

  4. Jan says:

    Hi Darya! So I was wondering…

    Could you kindly explain the explanation as to why you still lost weight when u started incorporating whole grains into your diet? I can understand the science behind the low carb “diet” and I could see why people lose weight (rather quickly but still lose it nonetheless).

    I guess I am trying to understand the science behind the whole grain healthstyle you have. You seem like a naturally very thin lady so I guess I’m trying to understand if eating whole grains would benefit most people without health issues (like thyroids) the way it has benefitted you…

    I hope this request/question makes sense! Hope you are having a good weekend. 🙂


    • Jan says:

      I made some HUGE grammatical errors that was due to poor editing (or lack thereof), sorry!

    • Darya Pino says:

      Hi Jan,

      Great question. I agree the science behind “low carb” is very alluring and, in my opinion, accurate. For me the issue is that real, intact whole grains (not whole grain flour, but actual grains) don’t digest the same as traditional “carbs” and do not have the same impact.

      In my opinion, books like Good Calories, Bad Calories only really describe the effects of processed carbs–sugar, flour and high-fructose corn syrup.

      For me the moment of revelation was that when I started eating oatmeal and brown rice I didn’t gain weight, though I entirely expected to. For me that alone is reason enough to eat them since life is so much easier with this small adjustment.

      However, since this was my only real dietary restriction, removing it pretty much eliminated the diet mentality for me and I just tried to eat healthy whole foods. As I followed this course I just started to feel much better and more energetic. I was never hungry (I think the small amount of grains helps tremendously for this), never had food cravings and lost even more weight. I’ve completely lost my taste for sugar and dessert now. Amazingly, I’m still losing weight (I have to consciously eat enough to not get too skinny).

      I would never say that this same diet would work for everyone. My guess is the more overweight someone is the more they need to restrict carbohydrates. But I am very athletic and I think the few grains I eat really help me a lot.

      My suggestion would be if you are already not eating grains to add them back slowly. I really only eat grains (muesli) for breakfast. Sometimes I have brown rice or quinoa in my lunch or dinner, but only a few times per week. But I do occasionally eat bread or dessert, I just never seek it out. Like I said, I really don’t even want this stuff anymore.

      In many ways this is “low carb,” but not as extreme as the primal/paleo people who for some crazy reason don’t even eat beans. I live on beans and use them as most people would use starches like rice and bread 🙂

      I hope this answers your question. Let me know what you think.


  5. Jan says:

    Hi Darya,

    I think what you’re saying definitely makes sense. I’ve lost about 7 lbs in the last couple of months I’ve started slowly changing my eating habits and exercising a little bit more. I’ve honestly been doing more low carb (as in almost no grains/legumes) but I cant help but want to splurge and have them a few times a week.

    Because I’m a bigger shape at the moment (I gained 30 lbs in the last year due to my stay at home job and a 5 month trip to Asia where I pulled a “supersize me”) trying to lose weight, I don’t think I can pull of the everyday morning muesli or oatmeal. Instead I eat quinoa instead of rice or pasta, wheat tortillas from La Tortilla Factory, and black beans. I’m not sure if this is slowing down my weight lost but for the most part I do feel healthier than ever.

    Perhaps I am just getting impatient that in the last two months I’ve only lost 7 lbs. But I feel sometimes that I’m on a diet even though I am not trying to be. I do feel remorseful sometimes when I have that rare occasional slice of pizza, even if it’s something healthier from Cheeseboard or Arizmendi.

    How did you deal with being brave enough to start taking the right step? I am trying to do it as well but sometimes can’t help but feel as if I am going against science and am prolonging my weightloss?

    Thanks, Darya.


    • Darya Pino says:

      Hi Jan,

      I completely understand where you’re coming from, and brave is exactly the right word. Although I often discuss the importance of losing the diet mentality, I probably should mention more often how difficult it can be. For me, finding my healthstyle was mainly a head change that required deconditioning myself from 15 years of dieting.

      As I explain in my diet history, personally I had to take a leap of faith. Because it was based in science, which is one of the only things that can persuade me of anything, it made it easier. The science supports consuming intact whole grains.

      Another factor in my “bravery” is that I was training for a marathon at the time, so I figured I wouldn’t gain *too much* weight if my little experiment didn’t work out. My experiment was having oatmeal for breakfast.

      But like I said before, I didn’t just not gain weight when I did this, I lost more weight than I ever had while starving myself of carbs. I’m still losing weight. It’s the weirdest thing having to consciously not lose weight!

      I’d also like to point out that 7lbs in 2 months is nothing to scoff at. At that rate you’ll be down 42 lbs in one year. Seriously, you probably shouldn’t be losing weight any faster if you want to actually keep it off.

      I think that one of the tricks for me is that once your meals are a little more balanced, it is easier to shrink portion sizes and not feel deprived. Then you get used to eating that way and the new “normal” is much smaller and yet more nourishing. You feel better and you lose that feeding urgency that you can get while dieting.

      My advice is to keep trying to find your healthstyle and don’t make sweeping changes all at once. Experiment, make gradual changes and find what works for you.

      Personally I think you’d be better off with the oatmeal than the tortilla 😉

      Thanks for connecting!


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