Issue No. 01/Nov 2015
FOR PEOPLE WHO WANT MORE
£4 €6 $7
CONTENTS Nov 2015
03 EVERYBODYâ€™S DARLING 07 DO OLIVES AND OLIVE OIL HAVE THE SAME HEALTH BENEFITS? 09 HOW DOES BOOZE SHAPE YOUR PERSONALITY? 11 EAST MEETS WEST
13 THE SCIENCE BEHIND THE PERFECT CHIP 17 ARTS & FOODS
21 HOW THE CHICKEN CONQUERED THE WORLD 25 ITâ€™S TEA TIME
29 IS FAST FOOD MAKING US DEPRESSED? 35 SOCIAL MOVEMENT 39 FOOD SECURITY
41 ARE YOU EATING YOUR RIGHT COLORS?
Nov 2015 www.olie.com
EVERYBODY'S DARLING Pasta has topped a global survey of the world's favourite foods. So how did the dish so closely associated with Italy become a staple of so many tables around the globe? “So how did pasta become so popular? It’s because it is cheap, versatile and convenient, says Jim Winship, from the UK based Pizza, Pasta and Italian Food Association. A sauce to go with it can be made from simple ingredients. “You can create lots of different dishes with it. It tastes good and it’s filling.”
How pasta became the world's favourite food?
But now a global survey by the charity Oxfam has named pasta as the world's most popular dish, ahead of meat, rice and pizza.As well as being popular in unsurprising European countries, pasta was one of the favourites in the Philippines, Guatemala, Brazil and South Africa. And figures from the International Pasta Organisation show Venezuela is the largest consumer of pasta, after Italy. Tunisia, Chile and Peru also feature in the top 10, while Mexicans, Argentineans and Bolivians all eat more pasta than the British. Global sales figures reflect the world's love affairwith pasta they have risen from US$13bn (£8bn) in 2003 to US$16bn (£10bn) in 2010. The analysts at Datamonitor predict it will hit US$19bn (£12bn) by 2015, despite rising wheat costs. Just in the UK, retail sales of dry and fresh pasta amounted to £53m in 1987. In 2009, the figure was £282m include pasta based ready meals and the value rises to £800m, says consumer research experts Mintel. So how did pasta become so popular? It's because it is cheap, versatile and convenient, says Jim Winship, from the UK based Pizza, Pasta and Italian Food Association. A sauce to go with it can be made from simple ingredients. "You can create lots of different dishes with it. It tastes good and it's filling. It also has a long shelf life, so you can keep it in the larder until you need to put a meal together." But that's only part of its success. Pasta is also relatively easy to mass produce and transport around the world, making it a popular product with food companies as well.
'Overrated gloppy stuff'
"It's always been an industrial product," says John Dickie, professor in Italian Studies at University College London and author of Delizia! A History of the Italians and their Food. "It is definitely one of the things that has contributed to its success it's easy to transport and has a long shelf life. It has commercial genes." Tim Lang, professor of food policy at City University London, says technological advances in the 19th Century allowed pasta to be produced on a big scale. But the Industrial Revolution did that for everything else, he adds, and the reason pasta had been particularly successful was because people liked it and the Italian way of life.
The first reference to pasta in Italy was notedin 1154 and it was about an export factory in Sicily, he says. He says its breakthrough as a common food came in Naples in the 1700s, when it was recognised as "a good way to feed a large part of the populace". But pasta popularity outside of Italy really took off at the turn of the 20th Century with large scale Italian immigration to the New World. This is when it started to become known as Italy's national dish, he says. Italian restaurateur Antonio Carluccio said pasta may have a long history, but the Italians made it their own by eating it with tomatoes. He says most pasta is spaghetti outside of Italy but there are actually 600 different types and shapes and each region cooks it differently. He says its appeal is in the taste and its nutritional value. "It is pleasurable with a good sauce, but it should just be coated, otherwise you lose the taste of the pasta. It is a complex carbohydrate which releases all the goodness slowly and you feel satisfied for a long time."
"It's a cultural phenomenon, not an industrial phenomenon," he says. "People like the Italian way of life and their simple, staple foods." Pasta has always had a global aspect as its origins are not purely Italian, which is unsurprising considering it can be made with just wheat and water. The Greeks and Romans had pasta like foods but they tended to be baked, not boiled. Ancient China had dumplings, but it's a myth that the Venetian explorer Marco Polo returned from China with pasta in 1295. The most accepted theory is that the Arab invasions of the 8th Century brought a dried noodle like product to Sicily. This early pasta was made using flour from durum wheat, which Sicily specialised in. Under Italian law, dry pasta or pasta secca can only be made from this type of wheat, and the vast bulk of pasta is still made in Italy. And despite being considered a cheap meal now it was the preserve of the rich in the very beginning, says Prof Dickie. "We tend to think of pasta like potatoes but it has never been viewed as a bland staple. It's been associated with prestige people used to buy votes with pasta."
"I don't know one person who doesn't like pasta. It is very similar to bread both are made with flour and water and they both need an accompaniment." He's clearly not met food critic and broadcaster Giles Coren, who described pasta as"overrated gloppy stuff" that appeals only to children. "Ask a footballer what they can cook and they always say spaghetti. It is what you reach for when there is nothing else left in the larder. It's poor people's food and it's unsophisticated. It's the same as bread you just boil it instead of putting it in the oven." So as popular as it is, pasta hasn't conquered everyone in the world.
While not everyone knows the difference between farfalle, fettuccine and fusilli, many people have slurped over a bowl of spaghetti bolognese or tucked into a plate of lasagne. Certainly in British households, spaghetti bolognese has been a regular feature of mealtimes since the 1960s. It's become a staple of children's diets, while a tuna pasta sweetcorn concoction can probably be credited with sustaining many students through their year sat university.
By Caroline McClatchey
Q&A DO OLIVES AND OLIVE OIL HAVE THE SAME HEALTH BENEFITS?
By Monica Reinagel, MS, LD/N, CNS, Nutrition Diva
When I was growing up, there were only two kinds of olives at the grocery store: green olives stuffed with pimentos and pitted black or “ripe” olives that you could wear on the tips of your fingers until your Mom made you stop playing with your food. Today, of course, most grocery stores have entire olive bars, with all kinds of exotic varietals everything from the tiny brown Nicoise to the giant, bright-green Cerignola, to the shriveled black Morrocans. But “are they all the same nutritionally?” asks Grace. “Or are some types particularly good for you?” Meanwhile, Tania wonders how olives compare to olive oil in terms of health benefits. The Differences Between Olives and Olive Oil Here’s one big difference between olives and olive oil: Oil is virtually 100% fat, while whole olives are only about 20% fat. As a result, a serving of olive oil (1 tablespoon) contains 120 calories while a serving of olives (about 10 medium) has only 40. As you can see, olives and olive oil each have pros and cons. But it’s a little silly to try to compare them because they’re really not interchangeable. You’re not going to sauté your spinach in a handful of olives and you’re probably not going to have a tablespoon of olive oil as a snack. Suffice it to say that olive oil is one of the healthiest oils you can choose and olives make nutritious snacks and condiments. Q: Do olives and olive oil have same benefits? A: Both olives and olive oil are promoted as healthy foods primarily because they are high in monounsaturated fats. Cultures whose diets are rich in this type of fat tend to have lower rates of heart disease, cancer, and obesity even when their total fat consumption is on the high side. In fact, some researchers theorize that monounsaturated fats might be slightly less “fattening” than other types of fat because the body metabolizes and stores them differently. Monounsaturated fats also seem to be less likely to contribute to clogged arteries and heart disease.
Q: What’s the Healthiest Type of Olive? A: Green olives, which are picked before they ripen, tend to be higher in polyphenols. Black olives, which are allowed to ripen on the tree, generally have higher oil content. I’ve written previously about the best types of olive oil to buy. But what are your best choices when you belly up to the olive bar? The concentration of oil and polyphenols varies according to the variety of olive and the degree of ripeness. Green olives, which are picked before they ripen, tend to be higher in polyphenols. Black olives, which are allowed to ripen on the tree, generally have higher oil content. Both ripe and unripe olives are good sources of iron, copper, and vitamin E. Q: Which Olives Have the Least Salt? A: The amount of sodium in processed olives depends on their curing process. Unfortunately, detailed nutrition information may be hard to come by at the olive bar. In my experience, the big Cerignola olives are among the least salty varieties. And as a general rule, black olives will have about half the sodium of green olives. If you’re very salt sensitive, you might want to skip the bulk olives and stick with olives in jars, which have nutrition facts labels. Here, too, your options have increased. In addition to the classic green-with-pimiento, even a modestly-stocked grocery store is likely to carry kalamata, Seville, and maybe even some oil-cured olives in jars.
There are a few other distinctions: •Olives, which have to be cured or pickled in order to be edible, usually contain a lot of sodium while olive oil is virtually sodium free. •The curing process removes a lot of the polyphenols in olives whereas these are largely preserved in extra virgin olive oil. (Polyphenols are phytonutrients thought to protect against disease.) •Whole olives provide some fiber; olive oil does not. •Some olives are processed with natural fermentation, meaning that they would be a source of beneficial bacteria; olive oil is not.
Green olives, which are picked before they ripen, tend to be higher in polyphenols. Black olives, which are allowed to ripen on the tree, generally have higher oil content.
HOW DOES BOOZE SHAPE YOUR PERSONALITY? www.olie.com
Rachel Winograd, at the University of Missouri, who first came up with these four distinct types of drunk, as she started exploring the way that alcohol can alter our character. By David Robson
Existing experiments, Rachel says, had looked at the way that alcohol influences clear-cut measures, like reaction time or self-control but never the messier question of personality. “We all talk about the ways that people are so different when drunk the ‘good’ drunks or ‘bad’ drunks but there was this gap in the scientific literature.” This is despite a long interest in the transformative effects of booze: an Elizabethan satirist, for instance, named eight types of drunk after different species of animals, including the “ape drunk” who “leaps and sings and hollows and danceth for the heavens”, the swine drunk who is “heavy, lumpish and sleepy”, and the “goat drunk” who “hath no mind but on lechery”. Yet psychologists hadn’t put the idea to the test. So Winograd invited a few hundred students to bring along a drinking buddy to her lab. There, they were asked to answer detailed personality questionnaires about how they perceived themselves, and their friend, when both sober, and drunk. Through this, she could examine the change in traits characteristics such as conscientiousness, extraversion, and agreeableness. Winograd and her supervisor then analysed their answers to pick out certain clusters of behavioural characteristics, finding four distinct types of drunk in total, which they named according to popular cultural icons.
Ernest Hemingway: Who like the writer, retain their intellect and rationality and generally change when drunk. Mary Poppins: The cheery, agreeable drunk who remains responsible throughout the night. The Nutty Professor: Who starts out as an introvert but suddenly becomes more outgoing (and even a little risky) with some Dutch courage. Mr Hyde: The “mean” drunk who becomes less agreeable, less conscientious, and more irresponsible the more they consume.
Interestingly, most people were Ernest Hemingway, while just 15% were Mary Poppins. Our quiz has tried to capture the essence of these findings, but it was written purely for entertainment, and shouldn’t be read as a scientific assessment of your drinking habits. Although her labels for the different personality types may sound frivolous, Winograd hopes that appealing to popular culture will help her research reach a broader audience. “We weren’t naïve enough to think it fully captures all the nuances,” she says, “but it’s something that is easy to understand and that people might recognise and apply to themselves or their family when interpreting the research.”
There was only a modest agreement between the drinking buddies’ ratings of each other. One possibility is that our beer goggles lead us to paint a rosier picture of ourselves than our friends see; alternatively, it could be that we are simply better at perceiving the changes in ourselves whether we feel shy or confident, for instance that our friends miss. It would also be interesting to see how people’s drunkenness changes in different situations; it’s perfectly possible you may be The Nutty Professor one night and Mr Hyde the next. To resolve these issues, Winograd is working on experiments that will film students getting a little tipsy, so that independent experts can analyse their behaviour.
In the meantime, she hopes her work will at least help us all think a little bit more analytically about our drinking and any problems it may bring. “It could trigger conversations that might start out light-hearted, but may have a clinical impact if someone realises that maybe people don’t like being around them as much as they thought they did.” Whether you are Mr Hyde or Mary Poppins, we could all raise a glass to that.
EAST MEETS WEST
DIFFERENCES BETWEEN CHINESE AND WESTERN TABLE MANNERS
China is a nation of etiquette, whose table manners have a long history. In fact, western countries have their own peculiar dining custom. Knowing our table manners can make us polite in the public, and knowing western dining customs can let us integrate into world preferably.
Due to the Chinese people and foreigners have different life styles, the way of thinking, cultures, the table manners between china and western countries show big difference. Chinese table manners have a long history, which date from Zhou Dynasty, at that time table manners have a quite complete system. Those table manners gradually go to a level of mature and perfect, moreover, they took an important part in the past and still have a deep influence in the modern society. Western dining customs originate in Merovingian Dynasty, France, and in the 20 century, Italian culture came to France, table manners and menu turned to be more elegant and delicate, from that time, books of etiquette are published gradually. Today, table manners inherit in Europe. Table manners in Western countries have influence on Chinese table manners because of World Integration. In order to protect our table culture, we can make the two table manners integrated, which is good for us communicating with foreigners. So, it is necessary for us to know the differences of the two table manners.
The order of serving
IN CHINA: We prefer to the round table in the Chinese banquets. If there is just a round table in the family dinner, so it has no table order. But if the banquets are held in a restaurant or a hall and there are two or over two round table, then it must have the table setting order. The rule of table setting is that the top table is the round table which is back to the restaurant or the hall and the right of which is senior and the left is inferior. If there are three round tables, then the table in the middle is senior, the right is next and the left is second. Anyway, the right is honor and the left is low, whatever how many the tables are.
IN CHINA: The first dishes are cold dishes, beverage and wine; then the hot dishes; next staple food; at last the sweets and fruit. When the banquet has many tables, each table should be on every dish at the same time. Besides, hot dishes should be served from the left side opposite the seat of the guest of honor, single copies of vegetables or side dishes and snacks should be given to the guest first then the host. Plastic dishes like whole chicken, whole duck, and whole fish can’t put their heads and tails toward the host seat. In general, there are several ways of serving: First, the big dish is putted side, selfserved by the people. Second, a waiter holds a dish one by one to each guest. Third, it is in full bloom with small dishes, and then each one enjoys those dishes. IN WEST: Western serving steps are usually that: bread and butter, cold dishes, soup, seafood, main course, dessert, coffee and fruit. Eating the cold dishes, soup and bread at the same time. Cold dishes, also known as appetizer dish, served as the first course, usually with an aperitif. And soup includes stains soup and cream soup. The main course has fish, pork, beef, and chicken and so on. Dissert usually has icecream, pudding etc.
Rules when enjoying the meal
Dinnerware IN CHINA: The dinnerware we use are those: the chopsticks, small dishes, spoons, bowl and so on. In the banquet, water glass is on the left of the dishes and wineglass is on the right. Chopstick and soup spoon can be put on the special seat or in the paper sleeve. And the toothpick and ashtray is necessary. IN WEST: They prefer to use the knife and fork, spoon, dish, glass and so on. In the way of setting, Chinese dinner is easy but western dinner is complex. The setting ways of the western dinner in the world is basically unified. The common principle is: under plate is placed in the middle; fork is on the left and knife is right, knifepoint keeps upward and knife edge inward; spoon is putted on the front of plate; main dish is left and dinnerware is right, the others are putted by circumstances. Besides, the number of wine glasses equal to the variety of wine. And the putting ways are in the order of that strong wine glass, wine glass, champagne glass, beer glass. The napkin is placed on the plate. If the guest wants to put something in the plate before the dinner, the napkin can be putted beside the plate.
IN CHINA: Chinese food its atmosphere is lively, people like chatting over eating. But talking and laughing loudly is not polite. While eating, the older is first, when a dish served the young can’t eat until the older eat. When a person has a cough, he or she should turn his or her back. IN WEST: Men should move the seat for women. People always talk with their neighbors when eating, they don’t talk loudly. They do not use their own utensils for others to take their food; do not cut food on a plate after a good use of all right hand fork to eat; do not put the bones and food that don’t eat on the floor or on the tablecloth, while put them on the on the plate of iceberg. Besides, the polite way is eating out the food on your plate.
IN WEST: In the west, the long tables are the choice in the banquet. They also think that the right is honor and the left is low. In the banquet, the host and hostess sit from each other, gentleman of honor sit near the host, his Madame sit near the hostess and the others follow them. In the informal party, it follows that women is first. If a man and a woman have a diner, the man should let the woman sit on his right and don’t let she sit near to the passageway; anyway the man ought to let the woman sit inside. When there are two couples, ladies should sit against the wall and the opposite are their husbands. When two men with a woman, men should let woman sit in the middle place. When two people have a dinner, the senior sit inside. Besides, men should remove the chairs and let women sit first.
Chips arenâ€™t cooked in batter, of course. They donâ€™t need to be, because potatoes naturally have plenty of starches.
THE SCIENCE BEHIND THE PERFECT CHIP How and where should you fry the ultimate chips? Veronique Greenwood takes a piping-hot plunge into the secret ways to create fried potato perfection.
By Veronique Greenwood
The very best chips combine a crisp crust with a piping hot, snowy white interior a delicious combination that arises when potatoes descend into a nice hot pool of oil. But how does the magic happen and can food scientists find ways to improve the French fry?
Deep frying has been described as “a pretty violent type of cooking”, and that's perfectly accurate. On contact with the oil, the moisture on the surface of the chip, or any other food item, immediately vaporises, sending out volcanic jets of steam that spatter the oil. The exterior of the chip is now dry, mummified into a hard crust. Within that shell, the temperature skyrockets and the water vapour that didn't make it to the surface in time to escape is trapped. It steams the potato flesh instead, giving it that fluffy quality that contrasts so nicely to the crunch. This steaming process is why so many deep fried foods are battered onion rings, fish, corn dogs, Oreos, and Mars bars, to name just a very few. The shell must form instantaneously, or the vapour will continue to seep out, dampening the outer layer and desiccating the interior. At the same time, oil will seep in, making the food leaden and soggy. Most things can't form a solid shell fast enough. A starchy batter can, though, and the more the starch molecules latch onto each other, in a process called cross-linking, the more water is expelled and the crunchier the outcome. What’s more, starch has the potential to undergo the chemical reactions that cause browning and caramelising key to the sweet notes in a good fried food.
Chips aren’t cooked in batter, of course. They don’t need to be, because potatoes naturally have plenty of starches. The russet, a potato variety that's widely touted as the best for chips, has a high relative starch content and high density, which keeps the oil from penetrating too deeply. In the quest for the perfect chip, everything that follows after choice of potatoes has to do with fine tuning this crust and steam process. Most cooks and food scientists agree that the best chips are fried twice: first at a relatively low temperature, then at high heat, which is the go-round when the crust forms. (Although twice-fried isn't always standard: at McDonald's, the potato strips are blanched and then frozen, for instance, to be fried on demand.) One theory holds double-frying helps ensure the centre is cooked through but a great post at The Burger Lab by J Kenji Lopez Alt suggests otherwise. He performed some experiments, and found that chips that were cooked by boiling and then fried instead of twice fried did not crisp up, instead forming a paper-thin shell that split easily. The same was true of chips he cooked in the microwave before frying, so the problem wasn't that boiling added water. In the end, Lopez Alt found that the oil of the first frying changes the structure
of the outer part of the chip. The water that's easy to boil away leaves, and the starches released by the heat of the oil combine with what's left to form a gel. That gel seeps around and stiffens the edges of the potato strip. When the hot oil of the second frying hits, the whole thing is primed to form that thicker crust and to have what remains of the moisture become steam. Boiling water cannot get hot enough to cause the gel to form.
But are twice-cooked chips the pinnacle? Heston Blumenthal of the Fat Duck thinks not. He famously concocted a recipe for cooking chips three times. The first time isa light boiling, followed by a stint in a vacuum chamber to remove the traces of water. The second is deep-frying at a relatively low temperature, and the third is the high-heat, crust-forming extravaganza. The chips you get at the end are so desiccated they have a glassy texture, with a fluffy interior making them arguably the finest chips on the planet. Nathan Myhrvold, former Microsoft CTO and author of the Modernist Cuisine cookbook has gone several levels of difficulty further with his recipe for “ultrasonic French fries”. It’s not exactly something you can try at home, but the result is apparently a “hugely satisfying crunch when you bite through the exterior” before yielding to
“a centre of incredibly smooth mashed-potato consistency”, and a process he says could be automated by food manufacturer. The recipe vacuum seals chips in 2% brine before hitting them with ultrasound waves from the same device dentists and jewellers use, which cracks and blisters each chip with tiny bubbles and fissures. Next, the chips are vacuum dried, to adjust the water content of the exterior, and then are briefly blanched in oil at 170C (340F) to tighten the network of starch molecules. After cooling, they are fried for a few minutes in hot oil at 190C (375F). The idea here is that the water turns to steam inside each minuscule bubble on a chip’s surface, forcing the bubbles to puff up. Earth is not necessarily the best environment in the known Universe to fry chips, however. A few years ago, chemists John Lioumbas and Thodoris Karapantsios of the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki in Greece used a centrifuge facility in the Netherlands to show that chips cook best at three times Earth’s gravity roughly the sort of conditions you might experience if you could live on Jupiter’s “surface”. The reason is that the water vapour produced inside the chip as it cooks behaves differently depending on the strength of gravity: at three times Earth’s gravity the water escapes in smaller clumps that accelerate the transfer of heat from the oil to the potato, contributing to a perfectly thick and crispy crust.
Blumenthal famous for using scientific equipment in his cooking might want to consider incorporating his centrifuges into his formula in the future. This all goes to show that the key to the perfect chip, whether you fry twice or thrice, on Earth or in space, is getting rid of the moisture at the right speed. Then, that magic dance of crispy and soft has a chance to develop its perfect rhythm.
ARTS & FOODS
Nov 2015 www.olie.com
*Rituals since 1851 The exhibition Arts & Foods. Rituals since 1851, running from April 9 to November 1, 2015, is the first section of the EXPO 2015 to open, as well as the only thematic area of the Expo located in the center of Milan. The exhibition, inspired by the main theme of the EXPO, â€œFeeding the Planet, Energy for Lifeâ€?, is aimed to investigate the manifold relationship between food, its rituals and different means of artistic expression over a 160 years long period -from 1851, the year of the first World Exposition in London, to present day. by Riccardo Bianchini
EXHIBITION CONCEPT AND LAYOUT
The first section, located at the ground floor inside the “Curva” gallery, is a journey from the mid-19th century first World Exposition in London up to the post-war era, based on a vast set of items related to food and nutrition: exceptional works of art, from the 19th century figurative painting to the early-20th century abstract movements; utensils, tableware, cooking books; applied artworks, reconstructions of “typical” domestic and retail spaces, as well as architectures including projects by Rietveld, Le Corbusier and Jean Prouvé.
The exhibition, which combines two different points of view one chronological and one thematic is a complex narration presenting various spaces where food is prepared and consumed, artifacts and utensils which the indoor and outdoor rituals of eating are based on, artworks, architectures, films and graphics.
Arts & Foods extends on surface of 7,000 square meters inside a Milan cultural landmark, the palace of the Triennale, and also includes an open-air section, located into the Triennale’s garden.
ARTS & FOODS. RITUAL SINCE 1851 TRIENNALE DI MILANO 9 APRIL – 1 NOVEMBER, 2015 HTTP://WWW.TRIENNALE.ORG/EN/
FROM THE 1950S TO THE 1970S The second part of “Arts & Foods”, housed in the “Aulenti” Gallery, depicts the period from the 1950s to the 1970s. This section presents all the hopes and contradictions of a period that embodied an ideal of optimism and innovation, but eventually came to criticize the degeneration of that ideal. On the one hand, in the years immediately following the end of the World War II, a confident belief in modernity introduced new materials for furniture, utensils and food containers, aimed to a domestic space which is more and more free from the conventions of the past; furthermore new typologies of space and new objects were created to support habits and trends related to the mass consumption of food. On the other, many begin to criticize this social model, and especially its degeneration into consumerism; like Warhol through his “serialized” food icons, the hippie culture and many desecrating filmmakers, such as Antonioni, Bunuel and Kubrick, to name a few. FROM THE 1970S TO PRESENT DAY The present-time section of the exhibition is located within the “Cube” gallery at the fist floor; here, works by contemporary artists express the complexity of what food represent these days. Visions depicting a, often crude, reality where the “the food question” involves politics, consumerism, over-production and globalization of food, only in theory available everywhere, are placed alongside critical proposals envisaging a more strict relationship between food and local communities.
FROM 1851 TO THE POST-WAR ERA
The exhibition, which combines two different points of view one chronological and one thematic is a complex narration presenting various spaces where food is prepared and consumed, artifacts and utensils which the indoor and outdoor rituals of eating are based on, artworks, architectures, films and graphics. Arts & Foods is divided into three parts, each housed in a different gallery.
HOW THE CHICKEN CONQUERED THE WORLD Nov 2015
THE EPIC BEGINS 10,000 YEARS AGO IN AN ASIAN JUNGLE AND ENDS TODAYIN KITCHENS ALL OVER THE WORLD
BY JERRY ADLER AND ANDREW LAWLER
Nov 2015 www.olie.com
The chickens that saved Western civilization were discovered, according to legend, by the side of a road in Greece in the first decade of the fifth century B.C. The Athenian general Themistocles, on his way to confront the invading Persian forces, stopped to watch two cocks fighting and summoned his troops, saying: â€œBehold, these do not fight for their household gods, for the monuments of their ancestors, for glory, for liberty or the safety of their children, but only because one will not give way to the other.â€? The tale does not describe what happened to the loser, nor explain why the soldiers found this display of instinctive aggression inspirational rather than pointless and depressing. But history records that the Greeks, thus heartened, went on to repel the invaders, preserving the civilization that today honors those same creatures by breading, frying and dipping them into oneâ€™s choice of sauce. The descendants of those roosters might well think if they were capable of such profound thought that their ancient forebears have a lot to answer for.
“A generation of Britons is coming of age in the belief that chicken tikka masala is the national dish, and the same thing is happening in China with Kentucky Fried Chicken.”
Chicken is the ubiquitous food of our era, crossing multiple cultural boundaries with ease. With its mild taste and uniform texture, chicken presents an intriguingly blank canvas for the flavor palette of almost any cuisine. A generation of Britons is coming of age in the belief that chicken tikka masala is the national dish, and the same thing is happening in China with Kentucky Fried Chicken. Long after the time when most families had a few hens running around the yard that could be grabbed and turned into dinner, chicken remains a nostalgic, evocative dish for most Americans. When author Jack Canfield was looking for a metaphor for psychological comfort, he didn’t call it “Clam Chowder for the Soul.” How did the chicken achieve such cultural and culinary dominance? It is all the more surprising in light of the belief by many archaeologists that chickens were first domesticated not for eating but for cockfighting. Until the advent of largescale industrial production in the 20th century, the economic and nutritional contribution of chickens was modest. In Guns, Germs, and Steel, Jared Diamond listed chickens among the “small domestic mammals and domestic birds and insects” that have been useful to humanity but unlike the horse or the ox did little outside of legends to change the course of history. Nonetheless, the chicken has inspired contributions to culture, art, cuisine, science and religion over the millennia. Chickens were, and still are, a sacred animal in some cultures. The prodigious and ever-watchful hen was a worldwide symbol of nurturance and fertility.
But one major religious tradition ironically, the one that gave rise to matzo-ball soup and the Sunday chicken dinner failed to imbue chickens with much religious significance. The Old Testament passages concerning ritual sacrifice reveal a distinct preference on the part of Yahweh for red meat over poultry. In Leviticus 5:7, a guilt offering of two turtledoves or pigeons is acceptable if the sinner in question is unable to afford a lamb, but in no instance does the Lord request a chicken. Matthew 23:37 contains a passage in which Jesus likens his care for the people of Jerusalem to a hen caring for her brood. This image, had it caught on, could have completely changed the course of Christian iconography, which has been dominated instead by depictions of the Good Shepherd. The rooster plays a small but crucial role in the Gospels in helping to fulfill the prophecy that Peter would deny Jesus “before the cock crows.” (In the ninth century, Pope Nicholas I decreed that a figure of a rooster should be placed atop every church as a reminder of the incident which is why many churches still have cockerel-shaped weather vanes.) There is no implication that the rooster did anything but mark the passage of the hours, but even this secondhand association with betrayal probably didn’t advance the cause of the chicken in Western culture. In contemporary American usage, the associations of “chicken” are with cowardice, neurotic anxiety and ineffectual panic.
Once chickens were domesticated, cultural contacts, trade, migration and territorial conquest resulted in their introduction, and reintroduction, to different regions around the world over several thousand years. Although inconclusive, evidence suggests that ground zero for the bird’s westward spread may have been the Indus Valley, where the city-states of the Harappan civilization carried on a lively trade with the Middle East more than 4,000 years ago. Archaeologists have recovered chicken bones from Lothal, once a great port on the west coast of India, raising the possibility that the birds could have been carried across to the Arabian Peninsula as cargo or provisions. By 2000 B.C., cuneiform tablets from Mesopotamia refer to “the bird of Meluhha,” the likely place name for the Indus Valley. That may or may not have been a chicken; Professor Piotr Steinkeller, a specialist in ancient Near Eastern texts at Harvard, says that it was certainly “some exotic bird that was unknown to Mesopotamia.” He believes that references to the “royal bird of Meluhha” a phrase that shows up in texts three centuries later most likely refer to the chicken.
IT’S TEA TIME What are the differences between tea the drink, tea the meal, high tea and afternoon tea?
by Marcus Stout
Walk into a good tea shop and you’ll encounter shelves upon shelves of canisters, all brimming with teas of different shapes, sizes, and scents. The array can be dizzying: leaves sporting shades from bright to pale green, from mahogany to rich, deep black. And you could easily spend an hour breathing in fragrances that range from sweet to spinachy to the smell of a dank cellar. With so much variety, you may be surprised to learn that black, green, oolong, and even white teas are all made from just a single plant species, camellia sinesis (and by tea, we mean the brewed beverage made with tea leaves. Herbal teas, also known as tisanes, aren’t actually teas at all). And with its plain-jane, oblong leaves, it’s a pretty unremarkable-looking plant, at that. Nondescript it may be, but centuries of growers have coaxed wonders from the tea shrub. There are two main varieties of the species sinensis (so, camellia sinensis, var. sinensis), originally developed in China, and assamica, native to the Indian subcontinent but producers have developed hundreds of cultivated varieties, or “cultivars.” It’s that combination of variety, a plant’s unique recipe of soil and microclimate (terroir isn’t just an attribute of wine and coffee!), and the processing that follows the harvest whether the leaves are rolled or crushed, the level of oxidation, even fermentation that ultimately determines whether a leaf becomes a golden monkey black, a sencha green, or a musty pu-erh.
Chinese tea boasts many health benefits, making it a popular drink worldwide. The main classes of Chinese tea are green tea, Oolong tea, red tea, peuer tea, white tea and flower tea.
2. WILD SAGE SAOIENS (CYPRUS)
3. GREEN TEA (CHINA)
4. CYPRIOT OREGANO ORIGANUS (CYPRUS)
1. CHRYSANTHEMUM (CHINA)
TEA THE DRINK
Tea is a very important part of many people’s lives and it is important for those who drink tea or participate in tea meals to understand the correct terminology.
There are two forms of tea that often cause confusion in the tea world: tea the drink and tea the meal. Tea the drink is made from the Camellia Sinensis plant and from the processing of the plant white, green, oolong, and black teas are produced. The basic teas are also often blended with other plants like vanilla, mint and melon as well as flavors like Oil of Bergamot to make Earl Grey Tea, The beverage is made by steeping processed leaves, buds, or twigs of the tea bush in hot water for a few minutes. The processing can include oxidation, heating, drying, and the addition of other herbs, flowers, spices, and fruits. The term “herbal tea” usually refers to infusions of fruit or of herbs (such as rosehip, chamomile, or jiaogulan) that contain no Camellia Sinensis.
5. TIE GUANYIN TEA (CHINA)
6. TIBET CHRYSANTHEMUM (CHINA)
TEA THE MEAL
Tea the meal on the other hand involves tea the drink as an important part but really is directed toward social and family gatherings where tea and food are often consumed together. Generally speaking , the tea meal became most popular and refined in England but spread to English speaking countries or former English colonies as well. Tea meals are also celebrated in other countries in differing forms. The key distinction between differing tea meals is the time of day, type of food served and the location of serving.
To the uninitiated “high tea” may be a confusing term. High tea is an early evening meal, typically eaten between 5:00 and 6:00 pm. It would be eaten as a substitute for both afternoon tea and the evening meal. The term comes from the meal being eaten at the ‘high’ (main) table, instead of the smaller lounge (low) table. It is now largely replaced by the later meal tea. It would usually consist of cold meats, eggs and/ or fish, cakes and sandwiches. In a family, it tended to be less formal and is an informal snack (featuring sandwiches, cookies, pastry, fruit and the like) or else it is the main evening meal. On farms, in rural areas or other working class environments, high tea would be the traditional, substantial meal eaten by workers immediately after nightfall, and would combine afternoon tea with the main evening meal. In recent years, High tea somehow became a word for exquisite afternoon tea. Such usage is incorrect. High Tea is not, in traditional terms, afternoon tea.
Afternoon tea (or Low tea) is a light meal typically eaten at 4:00 pm. It originated in Britain, though various places in the former British Empire also have such a meal. However, most Britons no longer eat such a meal. Traditionally, loose tea would be served in a teapot with milk and sugar. This would be accompanied by various sandwiches (customarily cucumber, egg and cress, tuna, ham, and smoked salmon), scones (with butter, clotted cream and jam) and usually cakes and pastries. Traditionally the tea and food would be served on a lounge (or low) table. While afternoon tea used to be an everyday event, nowadays it is more likely to be a treat in a hotel, café, or tea shop, although many Britons still have a cup of tea and slice of cake or chocolate at teatime. Accordingly, many hotels now market and promote afternoon teas.
over the last few years, a series of striking findings have begun to suggest that fatty, sugary diets are bad for the mind, as well as the body. The result is a cascade of reactions in the brain that can eventually lead to depression.
IS FAST FOOD MAKING US
Do burgers, sugary snacks and other unhealthy foods exacerbate the effects of mental illness? David Robson investigates the evidence, and discovers a surprising new idea to help treat depression. By David Robson
“Improving diet quality could not only reduce depression, but also the overall quality of life.” Charles Reynolds
The people entering Felice Jacka’s offices over the next few months will be in the throes of depression. She wants to help them but her approach is unorthodox. Her team at Deakin University in Australia won’t be trying out a new cocktail of drugs. Nor will they be mulling over the patient’s childhood, their jobs, or their marital difficulties to help them cope with their problems. Instead, she wants them to talk about food. If Jacka is right, changing their eating habits could be a key part of these people’s recovery. She has good reason to believe this; over the last few years, a series of striking findings have begun to suggest that fatty, sugary diets are bad for the mind, as well as the body. The result is a cascade of reactions in the brain that can eventually lead to depression.
Although the link is by no means proven, the fear that we are eating our way to depression is already prompting governments to take action. The US Department of Defence is now funding a trial that will deliver daily nutrient-rich food parcels to a group of former soldiers, to see if it can reduce suicide rates in army veterans. And at the start of this year, the European Union launched the 9m euro MoodFood project to further explore the way different nutrients may influence our minds. Certainly, no one is suggesting that a new diet should immediately replace existing treatments; Jacka’s volunteers will still be taking their medications as well as changing their eating habits. But if healthier eating can improve their recovery rate or prevent some people developing symptoms in the first place it would make for a simple, complementary way to help tackle mental illness.
As the scientists pressed on, it became clear that this was a two-way process: not only could depression cause inflammation, but crucially, inflammation from other causes seems to be triggering depression. Some grounds for this link came from diseases that are known to send cytokines flushing through the body, like arthritis or cancer; patients often report depression before a diagnosis has even been made. “The people become depressed even before they know that they have cancer, and it ties in with the high levels of cytokines” says Michael Maes, who has pioneered work on the biological basis of depression. More solid evidence comes from an ingenious experiment by Naomi Eisenberger at the University of California, Los Angeles. Her study involved injecting healthy volunteers with small fragments of the E. coli bacteria; it’s not enough to trigger food poisoning, but it nevertheless kicks the volunteer’s immune system into action, causing a release of cytokines. Although all the participants going into Eisenberger’s lab were reasonably happy and healthy, over the course of the day they began to develop many of the feelings you would normally associate with depression: their mood dipped and they were more sensitive to social slights, reporting feelings of disconnection and loneliness. And when Eisenberger asked them to play a computer game, for real cash prizes, the subjects appeared to take less pleasure in their wins than those who had not been injected with the fragment of bacteria changes that were also reflected in scans of the brain’s reward circuits. An inability to feel pleasure, called anhedonia, is one of the most symptoms of depression.
Lethargy during illness may have made sense during our evolution, says Eisenberger. “When dealing with infection, you would want to slow down, withdraw, and use your energy to recuperate instead of going out,” she says. But if, for whatever reason, the effects linger in the long-term, the results could be devastating; besides dampening your mood, inflammation can exacerbate oxidative stress in the brain. Oxidative stress, caused by toxic ‘free radicals’, could itself cause depression, since it can kill neurons, erode the brain’s long-range connections and disrupt the brain’s chemical signalling sweeping changes that seem to come with long-term mental illness and may well contribute to the symptoms. The upshot is that we may need to think about depression in an entirely new lightas a disease of the body as well as the mind. If so, many more things, besides life’s stresses, could put us at risk. Poor general fitness, smoking, and alcoholism are all known to increase an inflammatory response. And so, feasibly, could your diet: high fat and sugar levels and the fatty tissue that results from it are known to increase inflammation and oxidative stress. Conversely, ce rtain nu trie nts such as omega-3 fish oils and minerals like zinc and selenium are anti-oxidants that can reduce inflammation and mop up some Foods rich in olive oil, leafy vegetaof the toxic chemibles and wine reduced inflammation, cals, while boosting others that can help and slashed the risk of depression by about the brain to heal 40%, compared to the ‘pro-inflammatory diet’, from damage. Proving that this really which includes sugary drinks, processed grains can explain certain and red meat. kinds of depression has been no mean feat, however. As a result, it was difficult to know if the findings had just arisen by chance. But around 2010, three landmark papers caused more doctors to sit up and take notice. One took place in southern Europe, where doctors were charting the transition from the traditional Mediterranean diets, full of seafood, olive oil and nuts, to the fast food served in the rest of the West. Besides studying the risks of heart disease and diabetes, the scientists also looked at the 10,000 participants’ mental health. The differences were striking; those who lived almost exclusively on the traditional Mediterranean diet were about half as likely to develop depression over the period as those eating more unhealthy food even when you control for things like education and economic status.
To grasp why your favourite dishes could be influencing your mental health, you first need to understand a strange aspect of the mind-body connection that first came to light 20 years ago. At the time, doctors were concerned that the stresses of poor mental health would weaken the body’s immune response, leaving them open to infection. Instead, they found the exact opposite was true; in people with depression, the immune system seemed to be going into over-drive. For instance, blood of depressed people was awash with a particular type of protein, called cytokines, which normally lead to inflammation after illness or injury.
MIND AND BODY
Nov 2015 www.olie.com
Even your water supply might be having an impact, according to a recent study by Leigh Johnson at the University of North Texas Health Science Centre. She was recently studying the mental health of people in the western parts of the state a rural population who still draw their drinking water directly from nearby wells. Crucially Johnson found that levels of the mineral selenium an anti-oxidant that can combat inflammatory stress and which is also involved in brain signalling in the well water had a direct impact on the chances of depression. People drawing water from wells with the highest levels of selenium, had about 17% lower scores on a standard measure of depression, compared to those in other areas. “That is very high,” says Maes. “It’s a really amazing result.”
Yet a chance finding by Charles Reynolds at the University of Pittsburgh offers some room for optimism. He had originally been testing a new form of psychotherapy in a group of older African Americans. “These people have a disproportionate burden of risk factors for depression,” he explains. Although they hadn’t been formally diagnosed with depression, his hope was that the therapy would offer some kind of protection against mental health problems in the future. Half the group were given simple advice on how to eat more healthily basic stuff on ways to eat delicious, nutritional meals on a low budget. Reynolds didn’t expect such a simple lifestyle change to heal his visitors’ minds he just wanted to use it as a baseline, allowing him to measure the benefits of the ‘real’ therapy.
As provocative as these findings are, the researchers will readily admit that there is still a long way to go before we can be sure of these conclusions. Eisenberger, for instance, acknowledges that certain foods can increase our inflammatory response, but she says it wouldn’t be as pronounced as the effects seen in her E. coli study. So it’s not clear that a poor diet would be enough to set you on the road to full-blown depression. And Johnson says that we should be careful not to over-generalise the results. “There are so many factors that can affect how depression could present itself in a patient,” she says. Your genes, lifestyle, and personal circumstances could all play a role. With so many different paths, it will be important to identify who would and wouldn’t benefit from better nutrition. Some of these issues will be addressed in the next wave of studies. So far, the results have mostly come from observational studies watching people’s existing behaviour, but the researchers are now trying to actively change people’s diets in randomised trials, to see how it changes someone’s mental health. Success is by no means guaranteed; apparent correlations seen in observational studies can sometimes evaporate to thin air when you try more active measures to intervene in people’s lives either because some other explanation lay behind the apparent effect, or because the interventions themselves are not practical. It is possible, for instance, that people at risk of depression may find it more difficult to change their eating habits, if they are already facing other stresses.
“It is possible, for instance, that people
Two years later and it was at risk of depression may find it more clear that something very strange was going on. As difficult to change their eating habits, expected, the people takif they are already facing other stresses.” ing the psychotherapy had a reduced risk of developing depression; but so had the diet group,to an extraordinary degree; they were about half as likely to develop depression as you would expect for this kind of group, says Reynolds, and they reported a noticeable elevation in mood. Either way, the result has enthused Jacka about her own upcoming trial in Australia. Unlike Reynold’s study, she is trying to find out whether it can relieve the symptoms in those people already diagnosed with depression. Her subjects will have regular meetings with a dietician, who will advise them on the best ways to improve the nutritional value of their meals. Along the way, Jacka is taking blood tests to see if she can forge a more concrete link between components of the diet, levels of inflammation and oxidative stress, and the volunteers’ ongoing symptoms. If the visits to the dietician have a big enough effect on their recovery rate, she thinks it might then be possible to try out a dietary change as a treatment in its own right. Reynolds points out that this kind of approach may appeal to people who feel uncomfortable with seeking other kinds of treatment. “Lifestyle changes may be more acceptable because they aren’t burdened by stigma and they aren’t as expensive,” he says. He agrees that it holds a lot of promise: “Improving diet quality could not only reduce depression, but also the overall quality of life.”
For Jacka, a break in our love affair with fast food can’t come Yet a chance finding by Charles Reynolds at quickly enough. According to some predictions, nearly half of all the University of Pittsburgh offers some room for optimism. He had originally been testing a Americans will be obese by 2030 with countries across the world new form of psychotherapy in a group of older following similar trends. “If we add depression to the burden African Americans. “These people have a disburden of risk factorsshe for depresof illness that resultsproportionate from unhealthy diet.” says, “no country sion,” he explains. Although they hadn’t been can afford the cost.”formally diagnosed with depression, his hope
Either way, the result has enthused Jacka about her own upcoming trial in Australia. Unlike Reynold’s study, she is trying to find out whether it can relieve the symptoms in those people already diagnosed with depression. Her subjects will have regular meetings with a dietician, who will advise them on the best ways to improve the nutritional value of their meals. Along the way, Jacka is taking blood tests to see if she can forge a more concrete link between components of the diet, levels of inflammation and oxidative stress, and the volunteers’ ongoing symptoms. If the visits to the dietician have a big enough effect on their recovery rate, she thinks it might then be possible to try out a dietary change as a treatment in its own right. Reynolds points out that this kind of approach may appeal to people who feel uncomfortable with seeking other kinds of treatment. “Lifestyle changes may be more acceptable because they aren’t burdened by stigma and they aren’t as expensive,” he says. He agrees that it holds a lot of promise: “Improving diet quality could not only reduce depression, but also the overall quality of life.”
Two years later and it was clear that something very strange was going on. As expected, the people taking the psychotherapy had a reduced risk of developing depression; but so had the diet group, to an extraordinary degree; they were about half as likely to develop depression as you would expect for this kind of group, says Reynolds, and they reported a noticeable elevation in mood. “We were surprised, frankly,” says Reynolds. Importantly, these improvements came from minimal contact with the subjects around 10 hour-long sessions across the two years. “That’s a remarkably short period of time to get the magnitude of effect that we saw.” His results were recently published in the American Journal of Psychiatry.
was that the therapy would offer some kind of protection against mental health problems in the future. As a comparison, half the group were given simple advice on how to eat more healthily basic stuff on ways to eat delicious, nutritional meals on a low budget. Reynolds didn’t expect such a simple lifestyle change to heal his visitors’ minds he just wanted to use it as a baseline, allowing him to measure the benefits of the ‘real’ therapy.
SOCIAL MOVEMENT Meet the woman leading China’s new organic farming army by Katrina Yu
“If you’re healthy when you get a cold, you’re able to recover naturally and faster. With farms, the most important thing is healthy soil. If the soil is carefully maintained, then the diversity and quality of the produce is also good and you can deal with problems better.”
“I was searching for a real-world solution to this problem, But it changed my life. It wasn’t only a workable business model, it’s a lifestyle.” Yan
Shi Yan’s approach to organic farming is helping to break the country’s “addiction to pesticides”.
Thirty-three-year-old Yan is a trailblazer in Chinese agriculture. As a young student at Beijing’s Renmin University, she was concerned about the widespread environmental damage, such as soil erosion, being caused by chemical-reliant farming practices. In 2008, she travelled to the US as an intern at Minnesota’s ecological Earthrise Farm and to see CSA in action. Being community-focused, CSA farms are run under organic or biodynamic principles. A key element of CSA is its shared risk, membership-marketing structure, which helps to financially protect farmers while linking them directly to consumers. “I was searching for a real-world solution to this problem,” says Yan. “But it changed my life. It wasn’t only a workable business model, it’s a lifestyle.” Shared Harvest is the result of what Yan learned during her six-month stint at the American farm, which covered everything from farming methods to member management. And the farm is not only her workplace, it’s also the place where she held her wedding. At Shared Har-
vest, Yan walked down the aisle carrying a bouquet of broccoli instead of flowers and fed her guests dishes made from food grown on-site. Today the farm supplies fresh produce to its 500 members living in the city. “A lot of people don’t know where their food comes from. It’s a world far away, but CSA is about relationships. It’s important for consumers to understand and build a relationship with farmers,” says Yan. When she first started Shared Harvest, few had heard of CSA. Now, there are more than 500 CSA farms in China. This month, Yan helped organise the sixth annual international and seventh national CSA conferences, which took place in Beijing.
“Organic farmers believe that weeds are an index of the character of the soil, so spraying pesticides only treats the effect, not the cause.”
WHAT IS ORGANIC FARMING? The term organic farming goes back to the 1940s when a British writer, Lord Northbourne, described an integrated farm as a “dynamic living organic whole”. This idea of wholeness and complexity is still present within the definition of organic farms today. Unfortunately, organic farming is often described as an opposite; it is defined by what it does not do (Tamm2001). So organic farmers do not use synthetic fertilizers and pesticides and do not plant genetically engineered seeds. But what is the proactive definition? What does organic farming mean? According to organic agricultural researchers and the farmers interviewed for this book, it means crop rotation (changing the crops grown in a field each season) to build healthy fertile soil that has few pest problems. Organic
farmers believe that “weeds are an index of the character of the soil,” so spraying pesticides only treats “the effect, not the cause” (Walters and Fenzau 1996, xii). Organic farming means using “beneficials” beneficial insects such as ladybugs that destroy the bad bugs like aphids, and beneficial interplanting of certain plants to keep pests away. It means unique farm management decisions in terms of crop choice, planning, harvesting, and marketing. It means marketing through distinct channels farmers must work hard to identify and maintain their sales outlets, often selling to numerous wholesalers, to brokers, or directly to consumers (Lampkin and Padel 1994).Marketing their farm products sometimes takes as much time as growing them, as organic farmers are trying to
TEN REASONS TO BUY ORGANIC FOOD 1 STRICT STANDARDS
2 CHEMICALS AND PESTICIDES
Organic farming does not use the chemicals and pesticides that are routinely used in non organic food production
3 ANIMAL WELFARE
Animal welfare is a priority for organic farmers and all animals are reared on grassland which is entirely free of chemical fertilisers, herbicides and pesticides. Animals have free range and adequate living space and bedding so you can rest assured that an organic animal has had a good life
4 HEALTHY SOIL
Organic farmers ensure that they maintain a healthy soil to pass on to future generations by incorporating methods such as rotations and adding natural fertility such as green manures
Studies have shown that organic farms support a greater number of species than non-organic farms Organic farms do not apply artificial chemicals and fertilisers which are by-products of the fossil fuel industry. Instead organic farming methods increase soil carbon and therefore reduce green house gases. Organic farming can directly contribute to reducing our emissions and therefore reducing the impact of climate change
Organic farming prohibits the use of genetically modified organisms
Many people genuinely believe that organic food tastes better!
10 GOOD FOR NATURE GOOD FOR YOU!
Organic farms preserve our valuable resources as no pollutants are released into our waterways
“Organic farming means using “beneficials” beneficial insects such as ladybugs that destroy the bad bugs like aphids, and beneficial interplanting of certain plants to keep pests away.”
gain back the farmer’s share of the customer’s food dollar (decreasing from 40 percent in 1910 to only 10 percent today, according to Magdoff et al. 2000) by marketing directly to consumers. Organic farming also means diversity growing a large number of crops both for ecological diversity and for sales diversity; not putting all your crops in one basket, so to speak (Newton 2002). It means independence staying outside the mainstream industrial agricultural system as much as possible. And most certainly, it means innovation trying new crop rotations or varieties or timing, trying new machinery (that they probably build themselves), and trying new sales venues to meet consumers’ demands. The term certified organic is important because it signifies a specific process of certification
5 WATER QUALITY
Organic food meets strict standards that are your assurance that it is healthy safe to eat
that has been regulated by the United States Department of Agriculture’s National Organic Certification Standards since 2002. Accredited by the usda, various state and regional certifying agencies act to verify the field methods employed and to document the organic farming processes found on each farm. Farmers must forego synthetic agrichemicals for three consecutive years; they must maintain detailed farm histories; they must document every input to their fields; they must have an annual inspection by an outside inspector; and they must show that they are building their soil through rotation and use of green manure.
Are any foods safe to eat anymore? Here is the truth
By David Robson
“Food was once seen as a source of sustenance and pleasure. Today, the dinner table can instead begin to feel like a minefield. Is the bacon on your plate culinary asbestos, and will the wheat in your toast give you “grain brain”? Even the bubbles of gas in your fizzy drinks have been considered a hazard. Worse still, the advice changes continually.”
THE FEAR: Processed meats are as dangerous as cigarettes.
THE FEAR: Our caffeine addiction will drive us to a heart attack.
THE FACTS: While the World Health Organisation has announced overwhelming evidence that bacon (and other kinds of processed meat) can contribute to colorectal cancer, the real dangers are not quite as worrying as the subsequent headlines would have us believe. As Cancer Research UK points out in an astute blog, colorectal cancer is itself relatively rare. If you eat barely any meat, there is a 5.6% risk of developing the disease over your lifetime; even if you pig out on bacon and ham every day, it only rises to about 6.6%. In other words, for every 100 people who stop eating bacon, only one will have avoided cancer. To put that in perspective, consider the figures for tobacco: for every 100 smokers who give up, 10-15 lives may be saved. The two are hardly comparable. Even so, you may want to reconsider a 20-rashers-a-day habit. The UK government advises that an average of 70g a day is still healthy about three rashers, or two sausages. In a nutshell? The odd English breakfast may not do you as much good as a bowl of granola but nor is it gastronomic asbestos.
THE FACTS: There is very little evidence that a cup of Joe will send you to an early grave; in fact, the opposite may be true. In 2012, the New England Journal of Medicine reported on the health of 400,000 Americans over the course of 13 years. The scientists found that people who drank between three and six cups a day were around 10% less likely to die during the 13-year period, with lower rates of heart disease, stroke, diabetes and infections. Considering a string of studies examining the health of more than a million individuals, a review in 2014 painted a similar picture: people who drank four cups a day were around 16% less likely to die at any one time. Note that these were only observational studies. Although they tried to account for other factors, there’s no way of knowing if the coffee itself was protecting the heart, or if there’s some other, hidden, explanation. Perhaps healthier people are just more likely to be drawn to coffee. But as “addictions” go, it’s pretty harmless. In a nutshell? It’s probably not the elixir of life that some claim, but based on this evidence, you can at least savour that morning espresso with impunity.
We’ve tried to cut through the confusion by weighing up all the available evidence to date. You may be pleased to learn that many of your favourite foods are not the ticking time bomb you have been led to believe.
EGGS THE FEAR: A heart-attack in a shell. THE FACTS: Like full-fat milk, eggs were once thought to cake our arteries in cholesterol and increase the risk of heart disease. There may be some truth in these claims, but provided you are otherwise healthy, eating up to seven eggs a week seems to come with no ill-consequences. In a nutshell? Besides the risk of flatulence and constipation, eggs are a safe and valuable source of protein.
WHEAT THE FEAR: So-called “grain brain” could contribute to Alzheimer’s disease. THE FACTS: So-called “grain brain” could contribute to Alzheimer’s disease. First things first: a very small number of people around 1% of the population do have a genuine gluten allergy known as celiac disease, that can damage their intestines and lead to malnutrition. Others may not suffer from celiac disease, but they may instead be “sensitive” to wheat; although they don’t suffer symptoms if they only eat a small amount, they may experience some discomfort if they eat too much bread. Explanations for this “non-celiac gluten sensitivity” are controversial: rather than the gluten in wheat specifically, it may instead be caused by a range of sugars and proteins that are also found in many other foods, including fruit and onions. If so, simply cutting wheat would not relieve the symptoms. In a nutshell? Humans have been eating wheat for at least 10,000 years and unless you have been tested for an allergy, there seems little reason to stop until we have far more evidence.
As TV cook Nigella Lawson recently put it: “You can guarantee that what people think will be good for you this year, they won’t next year.” This may be somewhat inevitable: evidence based health advice should be constantly updated as new studies explore the nuances of what we eat and the effects the meals have on our bodies. But when the media exaggerate the results of a study without providing the context, it can lead to unnecessary fears that may, ironically, push you towards less healthy choices. We’ve tried to cut through the confusion by weighing up all the available evidence to date. You may be pleased to learn that many of your favourite foods are not the ticking time bomb you have been led to believe.
ARE YOU EATING YOUR RIGHT COLORS? Nov 2015
Pick from a rainbow of beautiful fruits and veggies
FROM LEFT TO RIGHT: Permanent white; Naples yellow; Cadmium yellow; Chromium yellow; Orange; Vermillion light; Vermillion dark; Carmine extra fine; Madder carmine; Reddish purple; Rose madder; Tan light; Tan dark; Bluish purple, Prussian blue; Ultramarine; Bremen blue; Delft blue.
Nov 2015 www.olie.com
Is your daily diet starting to look a little bland and boring? Then maybe it’s time to add a little color to your plate. Not only do bright colors make food more fun to eat, but healthy fruits and vegetables in vivid colors have another huge benefit: “Different colors typically mean foods have different vitamins and minerals,” says Antonio Cain, RD, a nutritionist with Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta. “No single food can provide us with the variety of nutrients we need, so eating foods of different colors can help ensure we get the variety we need.” Simply click through the following slides for your complete guide to essential nutrients in vegetables and fruits by color.”
â€œDifferent colors typically mean foods have different vitamins and mineralsâ€? Antonio Cain
LOOK OUT FOR ORANGE Move around the color wheel just a bit, and you’ll find butternut squash, carrots, sweet potatoes, cantaloupes, oranges, pumpkins, orange peppers, nectarines, and peaches. Some healthy fruits and vegetables are loaded with the antioxidant vitamin C citrus fruits in particular and some, such as carrots, with vitamin A (beta-carotene) for improved eyesight. They also contain potassium, fiber, and vitamin B6 for general health support.
FIND OUT WHY WHITE RULES
Bananas are usually the first yellow food that comes to mind, and with plentiful fiber for good digestion, potassium for preventing cramps, and vitamin B6 for a variety of healthy benefits, they pack a big punch. Healthy vegetables in yellow include spaghetti squash, summer squash, and yellow bell
GIVE THE COLOR PURPLE A GO Whether you choose blackberries, Concord grapes, currants, or plums, deep, rich purple healthy fruits are brimming with healthy antioxidants. “Purple represents the anthocyanins, a powerful antioxidant that protects the blood vessels from breakage and prevents the destruction of collagen, a protein needed for healthy, radiant skin,” says Alonso. Aside from fruit, you can also find nutrients in vegetables of the color purple, such as radicchio, eggplant, purple cabbage, purple potatoes, and purple carrots, which are rich in vitamin A and flavonoids.
Virtually all greens are healthy vegetables and worth adding to your daily diet. Kathy Taylor, RD, the director of nutrition at Grady Hospital in Atlanta, focuses on spinach, broccoli, and asparagus. Lutein and folate are two nutrients in vegetables she likes. “Lutein helps with eyesight,” she says. “Folate helps in cell reproduction and prevents neural tube defects in infants.”
HARNESS THE POWER OF RED Whether you choose red bell peppers, tomatoes, tart cherries, cranberries, raspberries, rhubarb, pomegranates, or beets, all of these healthy fruits and vegetables are positively packed with antioxidants such as vitamin A, vitamin C, manganese, and fiber, making them great for heart health and overall good health, too. Plus, red apples have quercetin, a compound that seems to fight colds, flus, and allergies.
SAY YES TO YELLOW
Though it doesn’t show up on the color wheel, a number of white foods such as white onions, garlic, and leeks serve up nutrients in vegetables. “White represents allicin, a sulfur containing compound that protects against atherosclerosis and heart disease, lowers cholesterol and increases HDL, and has an antibacterial effective against Candida albicans and bacteria,” says Alonso. And don’t forget healthy vegetables such as cauliflower, rutabagas, and parsnips, which include vitamin C, vitamin K, folate, and fiber.