CK Friday Links--Friday May 30, 2014

A quick update for readers: I'm going to take the month of June off from posting Friday Links, returning in July.

In the meantime, Casual Kitchen will be running a burst of posts over the next two weeks: I'll be articulating this blog's core principles in a six-part series. Enjoy! And as always I welcome your thoughts.

PS: Follow me on Twitter!
"While comparisons between food and tobacco are tempting, comparisons between food and sex may prove far more meaningful." (David Katz)

I was surprised to learn that sexism goes both ways in the kitchen. (Munchies)

Critical thinking CK readers will have a field day finding gaps in the logic of this short post on food costs. There are a lot of 'em. (Pew Research, via Addicted to Canning)

We're experiencing yet another "green revolution" with remarkable innovations in drought- and flood-resistant seeds. (Economist)

The perfect, easy-to-peel boiled eggs come from... your pressure cooker? (The Kitchn)

Home fermenting: it's catching on. (Guardian)

Douglas Adams' eerily accurate rules for how we react to new technologies. (Farnam Street)

Is frugality deprivation? (Early Retirement Extreme)

Ten striking and wise lessons not taught in college. (Fee)

Book Recommendation: Daniel Kahneman's Thinking, Fast and Slow. Remember back in April when I ran a post on great books to learn about fallacies and cognitive biases? Kahneman's book is twice as good as the best of those four books. Extremely readable, incredibly useful, and after reading it, you'll never look at the world in the same way again. Highly, highly recommended.

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Melissa said...

"But I must confess, the movie rather confused me- or rather, it seemed to me at risk of confusing others."

David Katz is a bit full of his own brilliance, isn't he? He feels the need to clarify and explain to all of us, lest we be confused. Thanks, David.

Certainly he has a good point to make and certainly he has some great suggestions about how we can all be better, do better, live better. Overall, though, I think it was a poorly-written post. I had a hard time trudging through it.

That aside, my primary thought is this: if people want to compare food to tobacco because of consumer manipulation and they want to compare it to sex because of biological and evolutionary impulses (which I "get," but ugh, no), then the comparison to alcohol (or other drugs) has to be on the table.

I can tell you from personal (and, quite frankly, harrowing) experience how similar the thoughts and behaviors that drive overeating are to those that drive excessive drinking or drug-taking. And I am far from alone.

I'm sure I have bias, but from my experience and that of so many other folks I know who still struggle to eat well, eat the right kinds of foods and not binge, I am of the opinion that my comparison to alcohol/drugs is the most valid and that is easily the #1 reason people overeat. Brain chemicals and the cycle of addictive behavior. I think that is the issue that needs the hardest examination.

And before you ask: I propose tackling that issue with more health education coupled with will power and a return to personal responsibility. I suppose in the end, regardless of theory on the "why," our path forward is the same.

Daniel said...

Thanks for your take on it Melissa. Agreed that it was somewhat poorly written, but the central idea--that there's something about food that we are hardwired to be unable to resist--was mind-opening... and yeah, it led me to the same thoughts as yours about other addictive substances.

The other thing that always interests me is the idea of *seeking* a "theory on the why" (I'm borrowing your phrase). On some level the reasons why don't matter so much as action taken. And in some cases we can all too easily confuse seeking "the reason why" WITH taking action. And in such cases the search for a reason actually subverts the end goal. I know this is getting a bit far afield of the post itself, but this was the stuff that was on my mind about this particular article.


David Somerville said...

My comment is not as thoughtful as Melissa's.

I just want to say that fermentation is cool :)

Daniel said...

No worries at all David. I think fermentation is cool too. ;)


Melissa said...

Not far afield - I totally get what you mean. I like looking at why, but I am the first to acknowledge that people get bogged down in it as opposed to saying "forget the why, let's take action!" I even wrote a post to that effect a couple of years ago, in relation to binge eating. The why doesn't matter - at least not nearly as much as forward action.