How much for the hot dog?

A University of Michigan study claims that some foods take time off your life. Crunching the numbers on nutritional value and amount of processing, they concluded that a hot dog will cost you 35 minutes of healthy life. Sort of like hearts in an RPG…

They also decided to rate food according to its “environmental impact,” predictably finding that meat is the baddie and going vegan might be our only hope to save the planet. In other food news.. If this start-up gets its way, all that future food will be cubed.Some other interesting reading about well being… 

Futurity has reported on an Australian study which shows that childhood trauma may affect how opioids make you feel.

 LitHub noted a connection between great thinking and obsessive walking.

The illusion of choice

The Guardian has investigated the extent of monopolization of food production and it’s quite a thing. Though most of us are aware that many of the products on the shelves are from the same company, even competing brands, the investigation found that “for 85% of the groceries analyzed, four firms or fewer controlled more than 40% of market share.” For many supermarket goods, just a few international corporations “dominate every link of the food supply chain: from seeds and fertilizers to slaughterhouses and supermarkets to cereals and beers.”

On the lighter side of food, there is, apparently, a trend for “no-recipe-recipe” books in the modern culinary world, and Marian Bull writing at Eater decided to dive into the history of recipe writing. While this may be a subject more for the foodie Mad Monday readers, Bull actually covers some interesting ground.

Writing in paragraph form started in the 1500’s, as did the printing of recipe books, yet the way of writing recipes that we see as standard today is fairly new. Before that, many steps in cooking a dish were assumed. Citing the example of a Vietnamese cookbook from the 1940’s, Bull highlights how the author’s omissions reflect the “implied cultural proximity between author and reader… Her readers know which bones to simmer for pho broth, and for how long.” Many people today probably forget there was a time when Americans didn’t know what pizza was

While there is controversy and politics even in the world of recipe writing, nevertheless, the article is an interesting insight into the the global nature of modern cuisine, the passing on of cultural knowledge, and how you need to learn the rules “before you can begin riffing.”

Got any more bright ideas?

A member group of the World Economic Forum has recently suggested that the world requires a great “metabolic reset.” The group says the world needs “fundamental and structural changes in the way we engineer foods,” with a focus on gut, brain and liver health. Moving away from processed foods and sourcing locally-grown produce is something Mad Christians can agree to. But as with most things the folks at Davos propose, it is a top-down approach with international elites assuming they can solve all the problems if they just have more control.

The targets set by WEF action groups call for a “50% worldwide cut in red meat and sugar consumption and a doubling of the consumption of nuts, fruits, vegetables, and legumes between 2020 and 2050.” There is also a lot of enthusiasm for “personalized nutrition,” with tech companies lining up to develop apps and algorithms to “identify what people should eat and avoid, and keep track of what is in their cupboards, refrigerators, and online shopping carts.” I’m sorry, Dave, I’m afraid you can’t eat that.

Critics of the plan say that it only stands to benefit Big Food and multinational companies, not people, nor the poor.

While we’re talking about diet, Pinterest has banned weightloss and diet ads as well as “weight-loss language or imagery, testimonials about weight loss, and references to body mass index, or BMI, among other content” from its platform. CBS says it is part of the “broader body-positivity movement” which accepts “people of all sizes.”

Several outlets have reported that grocery stores are stockpiling food and cleaning supplies in “anticipation of rising prices and demand.”

An interesting article from Vox faces up to our habit of throwing out a lot of food and how expirations dates are not an exact science.

Finally, a new study suggests there is a link between sugary drinks and colon cancer in young adults.

0135: In Praise of Ruminates (and other God-given Mercies)

w/ Pastor Will Weedon, host of The Word of the Lord Endures Forever talks hyper-carnivorism, and we dig into the place of health, wellness and stewardship in the post-modern Christian life.

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Watch him on the 10 Minute Bible Hour here.

Preorder my new book Without Flesh: Why Christianity is Dying even though Jesus is Still Alive