Showing posts from December, 2012

How tastes change

Image from here
I was just reading an old canning industry manual for my dissertation research, and came across this sentence amid a list of other agricultural "achievements":
"Canners were among the first to use the strains of beets that are solid red in color all the way through, instead of having alternate bands of red and white" This sentence made me do a little bit of a double take--the canners were proud of this?

I don't know about you, but I remember the first time I cut into a beautiful chioggia beet--the rarer kind with red and white stripes (pictured above)--that I'd gotten from the farmers' market, or in our CSA farmshare box. I was stunned by its beauty. I wanted to capture those stripes and hang them as artwork all over my house, reveling in their messy symmetry and the watercolor effect of the deep reds and pinks and whites.

It felt like a real discovery to find that not all beets were just red throughout. Not that the solid red beet isn…

Fostering healthy eating habits

There was a short piece on the Wall Street Journal blog today called "How to Have the 'Happy Meal' Talk,"  in which the author considered how to tell his five-year-old twin sons why they would not be eating at McDonald's, that magical place where "they give you a toy with your food."

The Dad/author considered a number of strategies and evaluated their efficacy:

Saying, as his wife suggested, "it’s poison and you must never go there."Problem: (You can fill in the blank here, I imagine)
Describing the problem of feedlots and factory farmsProblem: Too scary for five-year olds? 
Michael Pollan's suggestion: teach kids about the marketing itself, explaining why the healthiest foods tend not be adorned with pictures of cartoon characters.Problem: Too complicated?
Just say “No, we’re not going to McDonald’s.”Problem: Elevates fast food to an unattainable treat that makes kids want it even more.
Tell kids how healthier foods do more to make them gr…