On My Mind Monday 04.22.13

on my mind -- what's in the news

It’s never the same two weeks in a row. A collection of what I find interesting in the world of food, nutrition, and holistic health. Here’s what’s on my mind.

Potato chips are addictive – We’ve all seen the ad that promises, “Bet you can’t eat just one.”  Now it turns out that there may be something to it.  A new study scanned the brains of mice while they ate different foods including potato chips as a means of understanding why people overeat, especially on snack foods.  It turns out that even though the mice consumed chow with the same caloric and fat content as chips, when they ate the chips they engaged in hyperphagia.  This is a state where the subject gorges, or over consumes, past the point of satiety.  The study found that, “chronic intake of a high-fat diet decreases the rewarding effect of food, leading to disorganization of the feeding pattern which eventually results in overweight.”  Furthermore, it appeared that eating potato chips (and, the resultant overfeeding behavior) was correlated with a reduction in brain activity as related to sleep.

Cook Your Cupboard – A new project by NPR that seeks to help people who are on pantry overload.  You know…those oddball jars you bought in a moment of inspired indecision at the ethnic market.  Or that strangely eclectic gift basket you received for on occasion or another and there are  a few stragglers left over.  Now you can plan the online version of Chopped in your home with your own basket of goodies.  [ed. note: before you use them be sure to #ReadTheLabel.]

 Bluefin Tuna Almost Extinct  – Overfishing, illegal fishing, and the rise of sushi have contributed to the severe reduction in population numbers of Bluefin Tuna in the Pacific Northwest.  If we are to stop destroying species we need to be more mindful of our impact on our environment.  If you eat fish consider downloading the Seafood Watch App from Monterey Bay Aquarium which will help you make ocean friendly choices for seafood and sushi.

Speaking of Sushi – Many people around the world eat bugs. Oddly enough when we look at the global map of entomophagy we see that it mostly occurs in the southern hemisphere. There have been an increasing number of articles about eating bugs and how they are more environmentally friendly to raise, a more concentrated source of protein, a better use of resources, and pound-for-pound, an inexpensive source of food.  Now a young group of entrepreneurs has come up with the idea of repackaging various insects into a more sushi-looking form to sidestep the squeamishness many people face when seeing something on their plate with legs, wings and antennae.  While not an acceptable food source for those who are vegetarian, vegan, or kosher, it will be interesting to see if this concept takes off.

Pruning tomatoes, cucumbers and melons = this video clearly shows and explains how and why to prune for best results in the garden.  If you haven’t started your vegetable garden it’s not too late, this is a great time of year and when you’re enjoying the bounty of the season you’ll be glad you planted food.

We have a rather challenging situation in our back yard with a lot of shade, sunny areas that have, in years past, burned the plants once they get to a certain point in the season, and several pine trees that make for very acidic soil.  So this year I’m trying an experiment and growing  my tomatoes in pots.  This will give me the flexibility to move them around and find just the right location as well as having better control of the soil.

Need help figuring out how to clean out and clean up YOUR pantry?
Schedule a Pantry Party with Mira.

photo: alvimann

About Mira

Mira Dessy is The Ingredient Guru. A holistic nutrition professional, author, and a popular public speaker, she knows that it's not just what you eat, but what's in what you eat. She is the author of The Pantry Principle: how to read the label and understand what’s really in their food. Dessy is a Board Certified Holistic Health Practitioner whose mission is to educate and empower consumers. She curates the Lean Clean Green Subscription box, the premier, organic, earth-friendly, healthy, sustainable subscription box which can be found online at https://theingredientguru.memberbox.com