Reading List (31/5)

OMG, we can eat fat? The battle of our stomachs and the ‘right’ nutrition advice. Apparently one of the spokespeople for the National Obesity Forum claimed that Carravaggio’s still life paintings showed ‘ideal’ foods to eat, Jonathan Jones at The Guardian was skeptical. There is also the role of the brain in influencing what we eat, sometimes even when our stomach is telling us we are full. I think we should talk more about balance, rather than demonising all industrial food (Ghostpops!) and making all foods cooked from scratch the salvation, is there a middle ground? And we need to talk about the problem  of this advice being targeted at the individual – eat fewer calories! – rather than talking about structural issues in the food system, the food industry and the problem of poverty. The reason we don’t all eat vegetables cooked from scratch all the time? Time, money, life…

This. So much this.

Should we all be vegans? Veganism is on the rise amongst young people aged 16-34. I wonder about this a lot, not least because part of me worries that I should at least try and be vegan some of the time. But then I remember cheese and my desire to become vegan wanes. But, I’ve been wondering recently about the focus of vegan arguments – that veganism is good for the environment and is a more ethical way to live – and I think that part of the problem is the way vegans do not talk about how food stuffs, including cheese, charcuterie, and the like, form part of our wider food cultures – ‘meat cultures’ if you will. I cannot imagine, for example, telling Andrés that we would no longer be eating jamón or chorizo, or telling my relatives that our braai will be only vegetables. Such foods form part of cultural identity and part of who we are, and are therefore impossible to conceive of life without. Has anyone got anything I can read about South Africans and braai culture by the way? I’ve been thinking about this over the weekend – meat cultures, relationships with fire, men’s cooking cultures – whilst watching the first two episodes of Cooked.

This rather lovely poem, in the style of a Greek tragedy.

Eater’s ‘Guide to the Whole Entire World‘ – by which I want to read ‘popular eating cities’. Anyone else feel the need for guides for Edinburgh, Johannesburg, Cadiz, Madrid, Sydney, Maputo, Helsinki and more?

Selling tacos in Copenhagen.

Researchers in Aberdeen are investigating the use of native Scottish plants in diets to increase metabolisms (and solve the obesity crisis).

Ruth Rogers, of The River Cafe, on food and clean eating.

We need more women in science. This article describes how, instead of saying ‘we need more women in science’, we need to look at how academia is structured to negatively affect female scientists in their early careers.

My friend Deniz put me onto a new podcast this last week – The Guilty Feminist. So far, I’ve laughed out loud to their ‘Crazy Cat Lady’ episode, particularly the challenge to have a Tinder profile that features cats.

I also listened to the Cherry Bombe podcast with Allison Robicelli. I love her, and how much she rails against the establishment, particularly the food establishment. It is so refreshing. Clean eating she is not.