FOR THE LOVE OF FOOD: Nutrition science is corrupted, a huge mistake in habit hacking, and lack of sleep makes you eat like a stoner

by | Mar 4, 2016
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. 

This week nutrition science is corrupted, a huge mistake in habit hacking, and lack of sleep makes you eat like a stoner.

Too busy to read them all? Try this awesome free speed reading app I just discovered to read at 300+ wpm. So neat!

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Links of the week

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11 Responses to “FOR THE LOVE OF FOOD: Nutrition science is corrupted, a huge mistake in habit hacking, and lack of sleep makes you eat like a stoner”

  1. Kristina says:

    Thanks for the links — very interesting information as always! 🙂
    Millenial here: I actually agree about the packaged cereal. I used to eat a lot as a teen but realized it wasn’t good for me — too much sugar, not filling enough, not long-lasting enough. I suspect that people have been eating it mostly because of the huge amount of marketing done for it since the early 1900s.
    What I DO eat, however, is a different kind of cereal: muesli with rolled oats and other flakes, mixed with dried fruits and nuts. Although it’s very sweet too, it has no extra sugar added and is very filling because it contains a lot of fiber. It lasts long and keeps me full until lunch.
    I also love oatmeal (or other flakes/grains), cooked with milk and flavored/topped with all sort of things — I guess this counts as a cereal too. 🙂

  2. Louise says:

    I have a couple of quibbles with that Kitchn article on the whole Millennials & breakfast cereal thing.

    First, the NYT article itself says: “Almost 40 percent of the snake people surveyed by Mintel for its 2015 report said cereal was an inconvenient breakfast choice because they had to clean up after eating it.” If I’m reading that right, the respondents themselves SAID their reason for not eating it is because of the inconvenience of cleaning up — so writing a big list of the “real” reasons while people might not eat cereal for breakfast is ignoring the fact that all those respondents claim that inconvenience *is* the real reason.

    Second, and the Kitchn blog post isn’t the only reaction I’ve seen like this, I think some people are totally misinterpreting both the NYT article and the whole inconvenience claim itself. Here’s another quote from the NYT article: “[Younger people] either don’t eat breakfast at all, or eat it somewhere other than home. And when they do eat breakfast, a bowl of cold cereal is often replaced by hot grains, smoothies, yogurt or breakfast sandwiches.” Giving up on cereal for breakfast because it is inconvenient is *not* necessarily about either laziness *or* health consciousness.

    It is inconvenient for me, personally, because if I have time for breakfast at all it better be a granola bar or a hard boiled egg that I can down in the car on my way to work, or maybe an orange that I can peel and eat at my desk. I only know 2 people in my age group who have a sit-down breakfast most days, and they’re both SAHMs who have budget reasons for avoiding typical breakfast cereals. Anecdotal evidence, sure, but I’d guess that my peer group is fairly representative of our generation in this case.

    I just hate that this article has been twisted to either support the view that Millennials are all lazy brats *or* support the idea that Millennials are just healthier/more foodie than their parents.

    Sorry about the rant, I just got a little irritated with seeing this whole “Millennials are weird!” thing pop up AGAIN.

    • Beth says:

      “If I’m reading that right, the respondents themselves SAID their reason for not eating it is because of the inconvenience of cleaning up — so writing a big list of the ‘real’ reasons while people might not eat cereal for breakfast is ignoring the fact that all those respondents claim that inconvenience *is* the real reason.”

      I was curious what the actual REPORT said, because all I could find were references to the 40% statistic. http://store.mintel.com/hot-and-cold-cereal-us-august-2015 Look, it’s only $4000!!! I like to take consumer surveys for fun, and while I don’t think I took this one, often they will say “Select all reasons why you don’t consume cereal.” Frankly, if I had been answering this, I can totally see myself saying “Enh, compared to just stopping for Dunkin Donuts, it IS a pain to clean a bowl.”

      Furthermore, without having other generations to compare to, well, we don’t know how “weird” this millennial statistic is to start with!

  3. Hope says:

    I’m a millennial, and I haven’t eaten cereal in at least 20 years. It’s what my parents gave me when I was a really little kid, I didn’t eat breakfast at all as a teen, and by the time I was shopping for myself, I stuck mostly to the “avoid the middle aisles” school of shopping (though I do fall victim to chips every now and again)! It’s too sugary, the box is stale by the time you finish it, it’s not portable…. etc, etc. I also find the soggy flakes thing pretty gross.

    As an aside about that article – I’m a millennial and I never leave *any* dirty dishes. Cleaning the spoon/bowl is NOT the issue.

  4. Polly says:

    Warm nutritious oats for the win! Cereal is so ‘meh’. It’s not because I’m lazy or have no time in the morning. Indeed, I take time to cook eggs, but usually just gotta have my oats. That article is spot on!

  5. Darya Rose says:

    Thanks for chiming in Millennials 🙂 I have a feeling the entire country is underestimating you guys. Prove ’em wrong.

  6. Leila says:

    Millenial here: I don’t eat cereal because it isn’t filling. I usually skip breakfast though.

  7. Sally says:

    Another millennial here:

    I don’t eat cereal because its too much sugar, too processed, and I don’t actually eat breakfast at a table- I eat some fruit on my way out the door (if I eat it).

  8. Jules says:

    The vox article does raise some important issues regarding the funding of nutrition science work. However, the nutrition scientists I know do utilize clinicaltrials.gov, have to obtain IRB or IACUC approval for studies, and are also asked to disclose funding sources when publishing. The current definition of “conflict of interest” in nutrition science also does not encompass accepting grants, as far as I am aware.

  9. Pamela says:

    I’m a millennial, and I don’t eat cereal anymore. It’s not filling, it’s boring, and it’s difficult to find cereal that tastes good and isn’t drenched in sugar. (Also, I have celiac, so the range of truly gluten-free cereals limits my options)

    I find that eating veggies and protein for breakfast is much more filling, offers more variety, and is just as convenient as pouring a bowl of cereal. Usually it’s leftovers from dinner or some other meal that’s reimagined as breakfast.

  10. Justine says:

    Another millenial here. I also don’t have cereal for breakfast because it isn’t filling. I have an active job and if all I ate before work was cereal I’d be starving. Instead I usually have oatmeal loaded with fruit and nuts.

    However, sometimes I have a small bowl of cereal before bedtime if I’m a little hungry. It’s just filling enough to allow me to sleep.

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