Tuesday, September 20, 2022

Batch of links

- I read two articles recently about a new study showing that early Europeans had not yet developed lactase persistence when they started raising animals for their milk (or, at least, not in the overwhelming proportions that we know today). There’s an article in the New York Times titled Early Europeans Could Not Tolerate Milk But Drank It Anyway, and one published by McGill University called Putting Up With Farts: A Story of Our Ancestors and the Animal Milk They Loved in which the information is popularized quite well. Essentially, it now looks as though people without lactase persistence were quicker to die in times of famine, which is why lactase persistence is now so prevalent in populations with European ancestry. 

- My friend Jen shared this article titled Stop telling busy parents to meal plan, though interestingly the URL says “meal prep” instead of “plan.” The gist of it is that when you have kids, especially small kids, you can’t spend as much time cooking as before, and that’s absolutely true. However, I am someone who does a lot of meal planning and almost no meal prepping ahead of time. The planning part, even though it’s long and sucks, actually helps me manage anxiety and free up brain space for the rest of the week. This isn’t to say that I’ll plan anything elaborate, just that I know what I’ll be eating for the week and will have the ingredients on hand. It also minimizes waste because I’ll plan to use up leftover ingredients before they go bad. And I always plan around my schedule so that I stay realistic in what I can accomplish on any given night. So all this to say that while I agree with the uncomplicated cooking advocated in the article, to me that’s an entirely separate thing from meal planning. 

- There was this really cool article in Bon Appétit, written by a woman who goes hunting for the first time. I found it well written, nuanced, showing pros and cons and all sides of the issue, and going in depth with facts and statistics as well as feelings. It’s a good article and I do recommend it. However, as I was looking it up online to link to it (Bon Appétit doesn’t put everything up right away upon print publication), it turns out that the author, Rachel Levin, is a fixture of the niche social media subculture of female hunters. She wrote about going bow-hunting years earlier (with some of the same players as in her recent firearm hunt in Bon Appétit, who presumably at this point are not experts she meets for the first time but are in her circle of friends already), and she was interviewed in 2020 about how unusual it is for Jews to hunt, given that hunted meat is not kosher. So all this left a bad taste in my mouth because she’s not the inexperienced layperson she made herself out to be, even though I’m sure she was at one point. 

- Molly Wizenberg wrote about Mollie Katzen’s cookbook Still Life With Menu

- Here’s an interesting article about why Italians avoided eating tomatoes for centuries

- I learned that the color of a hen’s eggs is correlated with the color of her earlobes. Hens with white earlobes lay white eggs, hens with red or dark earlobes lay brown eggs, and hens with blue earlobes lay blue eggs. 

- If your chocolate cake is dry, it could be due to the type of cocoa powder you’re using (hint: you want at least 1 g of fat per 5 g of cocoa).

- A study found that there’s a type of starch that can reduce cancer risk by more than half. It’s present in underripe bananas as well as beans, pasta, and rice. 

- This article explains how the color of cheddar correlates with its taste, and there’s a really cool map showing regional preferences in the U.S.! 

- It’s PCOS Awareness Month! I enjoyed listening to these podcasts about the best diet for PCOS and snacking for PCOS (TL; DL: protein+produce or fiber+fat). 

- And I really liked this video explaining what it’s like to have face blindness.

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