FOR THE LOVE OF FOOD: Devastating news from CA coast, meditation is better than vacation, and GMOs not living up to hype

by | Nov 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 devastating news from CA coast, meditation is better than vacation, and GMOs not living up to hype.

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

I also share links on Twitter @summertomato and the Summer Tomato Facebook page. I’m very active on all these sites and would love to connect with you.

Links of the week

  • Seafood’s new normal <<This is so heartbreaking. If nothing else click through and look at the map of kelp loss off the CA coast from 2008-20014. (SF Chronicle)
  • Doubts About the Promised Bounty of Genetically Modified Crops <<What bothers me most about this article is the unspoken assumption that more corn, soybean and sugar beets (aka junk food) are the best way to feed a growing population. (NY Times)
  • Why Washington’s First Lady is Growing Her Own Grains <<In contrast, these are the sort of food innovations I’d love to see more of. (Civil Eats)
  • Americans Blame Obesity on Willpower, Despite Evidence It’s Genetic <<This is infuriating. Not only is it completely irresponsible to claim that obesity is “genetic” (it has only been a problem for 20 years), but the study this article is based on was funded by the bariatric surgery society. While I 100% agree willpower and dieting are NOT the solution, claiming that surgery is the best option for most people is just as misguided. There are tactics to building health habits that are not based on willpower and that work far better. I hope one day The NY Times and the health community in general will recognize that.
  • Fitness Trackers Might Help Us Live Longer (if Only We Used Them) <<Speaking of blindness to psychology, in this article they present direct evidence that externally imposed health incentives (e.g. getting cash or giving to charity) at first increase but ultimately sap motivation for maintaining health habits. The conclusion of the scientists: “Look at Pokemon Go, that could be the future.” How many of you are still playing Pokemon Go? (NY Times)
  • Regular meditation more beneficial than vacation <<As someone who has taken many vacations and been on only one 10 day meditation retreat, this rings true for me. I feel like my relationship with stress has permanently improved since my retreat a year ago, and if anything continues to improve as I grow my meditation practice. (Harvard Health Blog)
  • “Personalized nutrition” isn’t going to solve our diet problems <<Pretty good primer on the state of personalized nutrition and nutrigenomics. TL;DR be skeptical for now, but one day it might be awesome. (Vox)
  • When Soda Makers Fund Studies, Links to Obesity Weaken <<While I’m not at all surprised that industry sponsored studies are more favorable for those industries than government funded studies, I’m shocked to hear that West Virginia teens drink an average of five Mountain Dew sodas per day (!!!!). If that’s not a sign of the apocalypse I don’t know what is. (Medline)
  • Want to exercise more? Get yourself some competition <<I’m happy to see that psychology and motivation are being studied, but I’m skeptical of how lasting this effect is given the study’s length of only 11 weeks. (ScienceDaily)
  • roasted cauliflower with pumpkin seeds, brown butter and lime <<A flavor combination I wouldn’t have thought of but sounds intriguing and delightfully seasonal. (smitten kitchen)

What inspired you this week?

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6 Responses to “FOR THE LOVE OF FOOD: Devastating news from CA coast, meditation is better than vacation, and GMOs not living up to hype”

  1. Christie Kline says:

    You should know that your 10-day meditation retreat is also responsible for my 66 hours of meditation so far this year. Very soon after your post, I subscribed to Headspace and I love it. I’ve meditated just about everyday (and I have a minor crush on Andy Puddicombe). Finally, I got over the hump of want into action. Your post convinced me to put a little money behind my efforts, and it worked.

  2. Beth says:

    Blurgh. The NYTimes article is frustrating, at least partially because she doesn’t even refer to the “evidence” of genetics in the title. I mean, there have been some studies with results indicating a genetic component, sure, but the idea that it’s “not willpower but genetics” makes it sound like there are only two possible factors. I know I’m preaching to the choir here, but the lack of nuance in nutrition/obesity reporting drives me batty. One of the NORC papers itself actually says “The consensus of medical experts, however, is that obesity is caused by a combination of genetic, environmental, behavioral, and emotional factors.”

    That said, I understand how complicated it is to simplify these messages. I recently saw a video about how “You have no control over your weight” and have been working on a response blog post to it for days.. but it’s so hard to address “Yes, you have control” without also acknowledging that certainly there are challenges to losing weight, such as the aforementioned environmental, behavioral, emotional etc. etc.

    Obviously Darya, you get this, but even you needed an entire book to get the whole point across! (A concise, easy to read book, but a book nonetheless).

  3. Loved reading the “meditation is better than vacationing” bit. Stress levels do improve once you are made aware of how to deal with the physiological and mental cues tied to it. We owe to ourselves and to the people around us to seek remedies for the problems in our life and not wait for external help to just drop from the sky…

  4. Sabrina B says:

    thanks for sharing all of these links, NY Times article interesting but agree with other post, no nuance, but then again it’s likely written for eyeballs rather than as a stand alone summary of the state of research!

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