When we were growing up, our mothers often told us that we are what we eat. Well, it turns out that some of us are apparently eating cancer.
The Atlantic made my job incredibly easy when they posted an article yesterday about America’s poor health habits and the association with cancer. The article cites the American Association for Cancer Research’s new cancer progress report, which noted that roughly 50% of the 585,720 projected cancer deaths in the United States this year are related to preventable behaviors, with smoking being the biggest culprit. But poor diet and sedentary lifestyles accounted for nearly one third of preventable cancer deaths.
The good news? Smoking rates in the United States continue to decline, and smoking related cancers also seem to be on the decline. Obesity rates, however, continue to climb in the US – and their associated cancers are also increasing. Not to mention that smoking and obesity are synergistic – in combination, the two habits increase the risk for cancer.
I love food, and Ina Garten’s is some delicious stuff. But if only she wasn’t so pretentious
Originally posted on Thought Catalog:
Political views aside, I think we can all agree that Ina Garten (also known as The Barefoot Contessa) is the Martin Luther King, Jr. of our generation. A plethora of cookbooks and an award-winning television series on the Food Network, this East Hamptonite has managed to draw in millions of fans and single-handedly fuel the recovery of our economy.
How does one achieve such success? Here are 10 reasons for Ina’s rise to complete world domination as conveyed through her show, The Barefoot Contessa:
1. For Ina, everything is easy as shit to make.
One of Ina’s copyrighted catchphrases (more on that later) is, “How easy is that!” It doesn’t matter if she is explaining how to pump gas or grow one’s own grapes in a backyard vineyard to make a peppery, full-bodied Malbec over the course of 5-10 years. It’s. All. So. Fucking. Easy. For…
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We’re in that awkward stage where half of our friends are having babies and the other half are too drunk to find their phones.
@JoshElder: I eat gummy bears two at a time because it feels cruel to make them face the void alone. #PeopleForTheEthicalTreatmentofGummyAnimals
In case you missed it, producers of Bravo’s reality chef competition Top Chef announced yesterday that Boston will be the location of the show’s twelfth season. The show will film in the Hub during the spring and early summer, with contestants battling it out in the “Birthplace of the American Revolution.” The show will premiere in the fall.
That Boston was the location for the show had been previously rumored, with locations like Fenway Park and Plimouth Plantation as possible locations for challenges.
Boston’s culinary scene is no stranger to the show. The winner from Season 10, Kristen Kish, formerly worked at Menton. Tiffany Faison, runner-up of Season 1, is currently the chef and owner of Sweet Cheeks and the previous owner of Rocca (now Cinquecento). And the owner of Tico, Michael Schlow, appeared on the “Top Chef: Masters edition of the show.
Well, the folks at the Washington Post are at it again. In advance of Valentine’s Day, Will Feltus and Mike Shannon published a piece regarding the correlation between candy consumption and politics. You may recall that the Post recently described the correlation between alcohol brand and politics.
The authors admit that there doesn’t seem to be too much correlation or an obvious connection between candy types and partisanship. Maybe because candy brands aren’t seen as an expression of values, unlike a car (think hybrids vs gas guzzler) or a fast food chain (Cracker Barrel or Chick-Fil-a). There were some differences though. Democrats tend to prefer their candy be filled with extras like almonds, raisins and rice, while Republicans are more likely to favor peanuts, creamy fillings and darker chocolate.
One think that was crystal clear? There was one brand that seemed to have something for everyone in the political spectrum: M&Ms.
Check out the graph below and see where your candy preferences put you. I have to say that I don’t necessarily agree with this one as much. But at least we can all agree on M&Ms of some variety.
On Monday, the Huffington Post published a piece cautioning diners on putting lemon wedges in their water glasses. Titled “This Will Make You Never, Ever Want To Put A Lemon Wedge In Your Water Again”, the article quotes a research study from the Journal of Environmental Health, where researchers swabbed the outside of fresh lemons and found 70% of them produced microbial growth. The samples were collected as soon as a beverage was served, before drinking or touching, thus reducing possible contamination from other sources. The article then goes into excruciating detail about the types of contamination and some of the bacteria and fungi isolated from the rind of lemon wedges.
The article is clearly written to produce the “wow” scare factor that will capture headlines and the attention of viewers. The problem? Somewhere near the end of the article, the authors speak with an expert from NYU Medical Center who notes that the risk of actually getting sick is “decidedly small.” According to the expert, “you can’t live in a bubble. Your immune system is usually pretty good.”
This article is everything I hate about how ridiculously germ phobic we’ve become as a nation. As the article states, the likelihood of getting sick from a slice of lemon is essentially negligible. Of course, they bury that lead in order to feed into the culture of germophobic fear mongering that is pervasive in this country. Our parents’ generation was constantly dirty as children, rolling around in dirt, mud, dust, etc. They weren’t afraid to get their hands dirty, and most of them did just fine.
The real problem with the article is that they hardly highlight the fact that the reason the lemons are likely contaminated is because of unsanitary food handling practices – poor practices that also likely occurred during the preparation of meals. Meals that will ultimately contain a much higher bacterial load and therefore much more likely to make you sick. The greater public health disaster then is not the tiny amount of bacteria on your lemon wedge, but the mountain of bacterial that likely contaminated the side salad that came with your entree. So you can probably continue to enjoy the lemon slice (as the article points out, just squeeze the juice into your drink and don’t drop the rind in if you’re really that worried), because you may actually want to think twice about your actual meal.
I posted this Forbes article to Twitter yesterday, but this infographic about SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program – aka food stamps) is really great and dispels a lot of the myths about food stamps. Given the recent decision by lawmakers to cut money from SNAP while enrollment has increased, perhaps these same lawmakers should be looking at some of this data as well…