Difference between revisions of "Philosophy of Food Fall 2018 Class Notes"
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:*Social trends: female labor market participation, changes in perception of "cooking". Scratch cooking associated more with sub-cultures.
:*Social trends: female labor market participation, changes in perception of "cooking". Scratch cooking associated more with sub-cultures.
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Revision as of 03:10, 9 October 2018
Return to Philosophy of Food
SEP 18: 1
SEP 20: 2
SEP 25: 3
Gastrpod, "The End of the Calorie"
- Sanctorio Sanctorius - 1600’s Padua - 30year practice for weighing inputs and outputs.
- Antoine Lavasier — Guinea pig in coffee urn - we “burn” food chemically. Change in temperature of water the pig is in. 1st “calorimeter”. Axed in French Rev.
- Later defined by a german scientists (Favre and Silbermann in 1852 or Mayer in 1848) as: Amount of heat energy to raise 1 gram of water by one degree centigrade from 14.5 to 15.5 at sea level.
- We still use calorimeters......museum of calorimeters also. Visit to contemporary calorimeter. USDA site: Converted walk in cooler. Implication that the woman with the sewing machine “made a mess”?
- Bomb calorimeter. You burn the food. Segment on how it works.
- Wilbur Atwater. Atwater values. USDA scientist. “Father of nutrition science” (Nestle likes him.). 4,000 food values. Method...omg. Potental energy (bomb cal value) - excretion = value. 4 cal/gram of carb or protein. 9 calories per gram of fat. (7 alcohol).
- Recent evidence about variability of calorie values — researchers repeating Atwater research, but using additional measures. David Baer and Bill Rumpler both work at the Food Components and Health Laboratory at the USDA-ARS headquarters, in Beltsville, Maryland. Check out Baer and his colleagues' papers on the difference between the calories on the label and those our bodies can extract for almonds and walnuts.b. “The food is free, but you have carry ...”. 5-6% off on tree nuts, 30% on almonds, 21% walnuts,
- Richard Wrangham is the author of Catching Fire: How cooking made us human. Harvard medical anthropologist. —
- First to show that cooking changes food to allow earlier digestion (small intestine) and greater calorie recovery. 30% for starch. Also cooked meat, peanuts. All research on mice (and pythons). Still hard to say what the variation will be for us. Maybe 20-50%, depending upon food.
- What about heat extrusion, also called Food Extrusion? (Used in cereals.). Industrial food might raise calorie levels relative to atwater values. That's a good thing, right? Or is it? (Note that early digestion means less activity for large intestine.)
- Digression on Food Extrusion (not in podcast):
- So, if extrusion damages nutrition, what about pasta? Why doesn't it have a high glycemic index like breakfast cereals?
- "In pasta products, gluten forms a viscoelastic network that surrounds the starch granules, which restricts swelling and leaching during boiling. Pasta extrusion is known to result in products where the starch is slowly digested and absorbed (59,60). Available data on spaghetti also suggest that this product group is a comparatively rich source of resistant starch (61). The slow-release features of starch in pasta probably relates to the continuous glutenous phase. This not only restricts swelling, but possibly also results in a more gradual release of the starch substrate for enzymatic digestion. Pasta is now generally acknowledged as a low glycemic index food suitable in the diabetic diet. However, it should be noted that canning of pasta importantly increases the enzymic availability of starch, and hence the glycemic response (62).
- Indivudal variation: age, gender, muscle mass.
- Sarah Haley — scientist claiming counting calories didn’t work for weight reduction. After second child, big change in metabolism.
- CALORIES AND THE GUT MICROBIOME - how does microbiome affect calorie processing.
- Peter Turnbaugh's lab at the University of California, San Francisco, promises "better living through gut microbes." In our conversation with him, we discussed this study on the effects that transplanting gut microbes from lean and obese twins had on the weight of mice. Further examples of the impact of microbes on energy balance can be found in this paper on one woman's weight gain following a fecal transplant, and this paper on how risperidone is associated with altered gut microbiota and weight gain.
- microbiota creates variation in calorie capture.
- 36:45. Sarah Hailey comment.
- CALORIE REPLACEMENTS?
- Susan B. Roberts is the creator of the satiety-based "iDiet." She has also done extensive research into the accuracy of calorie counts on menu labels. David Ludwig's book, Always Hungry?, also proposes measuring foods based on their satiety score. Adam Drenowksi's Nutrient-Rich Food Index is explained here.
- They acknowledge that we don’t have a better standard, but other methods might tell us more.
- DAVID WISHART AND METABOLOMICSDavid Wishart's research group is based at the University of Alberta. You can check out the Human Metabolome Project Database online here. And the Israeli study on personalized nutrition based on individual glycemic responses is available online here.
- WHY THE CALORIE IS BROKEN
- We wrote a feature article for Mosaic, the online publication of the Wellcome Trust, to accompany this episode. You can read it online here.
- THE CHEMICAL DEFINITION OF THE CALORIE
- In the episode, we say that a calorie is the amount of heat energy needed to raise the temperature of one gram of water by one degree centigrade, from 14.5º to 15.5º, at one unit of atmospheric pressure. This is accurate, but it is misleading, because throughout the rest of the episode, we are discussing a different kind of calorie—the kilocalorie, which is the amount of heat energy needed to raise the temperature of one kilogram of water by one degree centigrade. The kilocalorie is the number we see on our food labels and recommended daily allowances, but no one other than chemists actually calls it the kilocalorie. Instead, it has been shortened to "calorie" on labels and in everyday usage. Throughout our episode, we follow common practice by calling a kilocalorie a calorie, but then we mistakenly gave the definition of a true calorie without noting the difference. We apologize for any confusion!
- The University of Alberta's David Wishart offers us a glimpse of the future, in which truly personalized nutrition advice will evolve from the emerging science of how the chemicals in our bodies interact with all the different chemicals in the food we eat. And Susan Roberts, director of the energy metabolism laboratory at the Tufts USDA nutrition center, suggests an alternative unit as a replacement for the traditional calorie.
Andrews, Chapters 1 & 2, The Slow Food Story
Chapter 1, "Politics in Search of Pleasure"
(This wasn't assigned for us, but I have these notes to share:)
- context for slow food: social movements of the 60's and 70's. (Italian counter-culture.)
- low power radio stations common means: Radio Bra Onde Rosse.
- politics at Club Tenco, also the pursuit of pleasure.
- revival of traditional festivals: the singing for eggs (Cante i'euv)
- 1982 incident: Montalcino Sagra del Tordo (thrush) Mention Arci clubs.
- in play: Is the pursuit of pleasure through healthy food and culture a capitalist bourgeoisie plot or a fundamental right to be advocated politically?
- formation of an "Arci Gola" (appetite)
- projects: Gambero Rosso, wine guides, Osterie d'Italia, guides to osterie.
- 1986: wine poisoning scandal. McDonalds opens in Rome at Spanish Steps.
- Slow Food Manifesto
- parallel movement in US embodied on story of Alice Waters, founder of Chez Panisse. Pollan also finds sources of these ideas in 1960s US counter-culture.
- Eco-gastronomy -- (a great sub-field of food study, by the way! cf. Dan Berber, The Third Plate) and the "politics of aesthetics" (only partly in line with Marxism). (So Carlo Petrini is another candidate for Gramsci's authentic intellectual.)
- Projects: international food exhibitions, then Terra Madre (2004), related movements in Germany (Greens)
- slow food also has a conservative dimension.
Chapter 2, "The Critique of 'Fast Life'"
- some key dates: McDonald's in Rome, 1986, incident between the two arci chapters (a moment in which politics and gastronomy interact to great effect!).
- critique of "productivity culture"; efficiency vs. frenzy; idea that you need to live faster because other things are accelerating (financial trade volume, sale, news cycles, social media posting and communication)
- critique includes resistance to corporate formations and rationalizations (degradation) of taste. Slow Food is tied to leftist politics, but also has a US upper middle class "face" in the US site. 
- Castell's theory of time-space compression -- capitalism more and more about speed of transactions. circuluation of capital. (on edge of a big discussion about the future of work - piece work is coming back).
- Counter view of Charles Leadbeater and others: fast culture is the answer, the problem is that we have all of these institutions from the 19th century and earlier slowing us down.
- Ritzer's "McDonaldization of Society" -- "globalization of nothing" (social forms centrally conceived, centrally controlled and lacking in context).
- Schlosser, Fast Food Nation:
- 1970 6 billion on fast food; ("million" in the text is a mistake)
- 2001 110 billion
- 2010 200 billion (not in text)
- British "trolley towns"; American suburbs. globalization of construction and architecture.
- Petrini on slowness: p. 39 read
- Slow cities: features of slow cities
SEP 27: 4
Microbiome Movie Notes
Sonnenbergs, C 1, "What is the Microbiota and Why Should I Care?"
- How the world looks to a microbiologist! "Without microbes humans wouldn't exist, but if we all disappeared, few of them would notice." 10
- Introduction to the Tube and digestion
- Microbiota Case against the Western Diet
- Sets the history of human diet in context. Agriculture already a big change, but then industrial ag / industrial foods
- Adaptability of M remarkable. Makes us omnivores.
- Baseline M - cant' be health Western Diet eaters. studies of groups like Hadza -- far more diverse.
- 19 - Evolved Symbiotic relationship between us and bacteria --
- types of symbiotic relationship - parasitic, commensal (one party benefits, little or no effect on the other), mutualism.
- The heart warming story of Tremblaya princeps and Moranella endobia. (21) -- why we should be happy mutualists. Delegation and division of labor might create resiliance.
- 22-30 - Cultural History and History of Science on Bacteria
- The Great Stink 1858 London, Miasma theory disproved, Cholera bacterium, not isolated until near end of century. Dr. Robert Koch.
- 60-70's: Abaigail Salyers: early pioneer, 2008: Human Microbiome Project
- Contemporary research: gnotobiotic mice. early fecal transplant studies of [Dr. Jeffrey Gordon].
Montgomery, David and anne Bilke, "What Your Microbiome Wants for Dinner" (recommended for Florence Fall 2018)
- Digestion Basics
- good introduction to digestion.
- inverse relation between complexity of the food molecule and how far it continues to contribute to digestion as it moves through the tube.
- note distinct environments of the tract and their respective "ecologies" - 7 quarts of fluids through small intestine.
- genomic "division of labor" -- our genes code for 20 enzymes to break down complex carbs but our bacterial guests code for 260 enzymes for that purpose.
- Microbiota (M) like a pharmacy.
- Grain Wreck
- Chemistry of Typical cereal crop seed --
- Note that you lose the fats in the grain to stabilize it for production purposes. Fats go rancid. Also, white bread is sweet to the taste. Because it's already breaking down into sugars (simpler carbs) even in your mouth.
- historical point: total carb consumption stable over 20th c US, but types of carbs changed. Whole grains and rate of sugar absorbtion (tracked by "glycemic index")
- Protein Putrefication (Does this happen alot?) - compounds produced by undigested meat in large intestine interferes with butyrate production -- important for general colonic health. Thinning of bacterial density leaves openning for pathogens and physical damage.
- High fat diets can lead to higher rates of bile in the large intestine, which it doesn't handle well. secondary bile acids.
- Needn't be a general health argument against meat, but he acknowledges some legitimate health advantages to a vegetarian diet. Point is that cereal fermentation might be part of the process that helps us tolerate the protein putrefication and excess bile of meat and fat.
- espouses what I'm calling the "consensus healthy diet" - movement away from industrial processed food.
Philosophical Implications of the Microbiome
- The Microbiome research we are reading seems to have implications for the following course research questions:
- 1. What is food?
- 5. What are the challenges of nutrition science as a field of knowledge and what is the state of knowledge about nutrition, broadly?
- 6. What is a nutritious diet?
- 10. How should I critically assess my own food practices in light of my understanding of the nature of food and food culture?
- Here are some possible theoretical claims for you to evaluate in terms of their plausibility and their own implications:
- Your food doesn't just feed you.
- Your food doesn't just nourish you, it also supplies a pharmacy in your gut. These effects cut across the health spectrum and life span.
- You exist as a distinct organism, but you cannot survive outside of the symbiotic relationships you have with bacteria and other organisms that call you home.
- Mental health is influenced by the health of our M.
- We have co-evolved with our Microbiome.
- The interic nervous system is an ecology.
- Some of the requirements of industrial food production are at odds with the requirements of a healthy Microbiome.
- In small group discussion, consider how information about the Microbiome might change your approach to questions like "What is Food?" Then look over the proposed philosophical implications above. Are they too strong? Warranted? Do you have sceptical doubts about using this research to alter your view of these research questions?
OCT 2: 5
Sonnenbergs, C 5, "Trillions of Mouths to Feed"
- Microbiota extinction -- not just from change in foods, less fermented foods, more sterile food and sterile environments. pets help with our microbiota.
- Microbiota mechanisms:
- direct response to diet, "recyclers",
- life is hard for our M germs: no oxygen down there and transit time is fast. So they make SCFAs that can metabolize in the blood stream where there is oxygen.
- Why feed the gut? Isn't that just more calories? (116) - No. people with high scfa diets lose weight, decrease inflammation, Western diet diseases. Back to the connection between satiety and nutritional health. (N - S - P)
- History of research -- field doctors: Thomas Cleave, 70s "The Saccharine Disease" "Bran Man"; Denis Burkitt studies comparing Western and Africans on fiber, stool quality, and health. Overconsumption of refined carbs.
- Carb chemistry/metabolism basics -- 120: also in our nutrition textbook chapters. Note unique types of saccharides in particular foods: read 121 and 126; insulin resistance.
- Measuring MACs - the authors acronym for Macrobiotically Available Carbohydrates. - no standard measure of dietary fiber (note discrepancies from above.)
- RDAs: 29/38 grams. Actual 15 grams/day. 126: Notes that not all complex carbs are available to the M.
- research discovering enzyme in nori, a seaweed based sushi wrapper: found in Japanese guts. Helps digest fish. Note: Terrior. Local adaptation of the M.
- 128: Dutch research on rich and poor M. richness of M better predictor of disease than obesity.
- Gordon's famous 2013 FMT mouse research: need M and M-supporting diet. Note caveat 129. Can't just benefit from the microbes alone.
- what's wrong with refined cereal seeds (130) (like Montgomery's account). Wheat bread vs. Wheat berries. The form of the food matters to the fiber count.
- What about the Inuit?
- What about excess gas?
- 135: Note their dietary advice.
Sonnenbergs, C 7, "Eat Sh*t and Live" (Recommended)
- This chapter is more focused on diseases that have been treatable with new knowledge about the M, and the limits of that research currently.
- Gastroenteritis, infectious diarrhea, -- culprits like Giardia, Salmonella, and norovirus.
- Immunological effects of the M: "colonization resistance" - mechanisms (165) - crowding out, bacteriocidal chemicals. Problematic nature of antibiotics in the M.
- C. difficile (Cdiff) -- associated disease CDAD. 14,000 deaths in US a year. why antibiotics don't always help. spores.
- 2013 Dutch FMT therapy for CDAD - 94% cure rate (note earlier researcher in 50s who tried this.)
- Antibiotics -- Interesting that Americans not only eat the Western Diet, but take high levels of antibiotics. Effects of Cipro on M. -- decrease in volume (-10-100x) and diversity of bacteria (25-50% of species). Test subject had diverse responses. Some recovered M in several weeks. Some sustained damage. 2nd round of Cipro hurt everyone's M.
- IBS and IBD - 177:
- Difficulties with FMT as a therapy: dangers in introducing new bacteria into someone's gut. Might be hard to remove. (Like issue of releasing GMOs in environment.)
- Limited results from FMT in humans for obesity treatment. or inflammatory bowel disease.
Some implications of Microbiome research
- The form of the food you eat partly determines the kinds of nutrition you can get from it.
- Nutritional information about the food is incomplete for assessing potential nutrition from the food.
- Which part of you eats the food affects what kind of nutrition (and other benefits) you receive from it.
Montanari, "Food is Culture"
- Creating One's Own Food
- q. 3: roughly, now that we're in a postindustrial age, we look at agriculture as "natural" and traditional, but from the perspective of those adopting, it wasn't. - but they experienced ag as a break from nature. against nature, but also a breakthrough and innovation. ...gave us power to rule nature (later ideas about space and time).
- demography of agriculture is amazing.dates for ag in diff regions (5), "invention of agriculture...matter of necessity tied to population growth"
- cites Franz Braudel, who made a version of this thesis. Agriculture organized everything (roughly). see list. economy, religion (make side point about warrior / ag gods). Civitas and civilitas depend upon agriculutre!
- Bread, breadeaters, marks break from nature. Bread is an invention from nature (sidepoint: can sustain life, man can live on bread alone, it just isn't pretty.). Interesting reference to mythology of bread and woman in Epic of Gilgamesh (short term research oppportunity).
- Fermented drinks - like bread, break from nature.
- germ idea about culture: culture is produced where tradition and innovation intersect
- Even Nature is Culture -
- two oppositions: 1. ag and hunt/gather goes through plant and animal kingdom. but 2. sedentary/nomad favors plant over animal (in fields vs. forest opposition, plants are identified with culture, hunting with nature)
- gods/myths of agricultural societies: stories of Persephone, rice in asian narratives, corn in Mayan legend. hunting practices treating bones of animal as sacred, basis for rebirth. Germans have their grand Miale!
- thesis: opposition between nature and culture somewhat fictitious. something like: civilized man uses nature (food structured) in the primary myths to separate him/herself from nature.
- p. 11: difference btween Greco-Roman and German food systems. Germ of European food system in the clash between these cultures (note that Romans saw German meat culture as barbaric. Romans would have eaten meat, but not as primary food (note, later, Christian calendars with meatless and fasting days). Christianity coming from Med culture, has bread and wine as liturgical symbols. Unification of these cultures produces European food culture, balancing bread and meat. Implications for gastronomy.
- Playing with Time
- no seasons in Eden or Land of Cockainge.
- Food culture developed by prolonging and stopping time, through species variation and food storage. examples 14-15. "man made putrefaction a means to a useful end" cheese, cured meats.
- Playing with Space
- goal of transcending spatial limits to food, transpo. Nice story from the Mantuan court of Gonzaga. "good horse and a full purse". involves concept of "terroir".
- food systems are not nec. harmonious (esp. given what is at stake in a food insecure world). Medieval system was a class based system of control of food production. Peasant rebellions over restricing forest access. Robin Hood. famine image: scene of farmers at the city gate starving. conflicts between lords also about food, cities taxed area villages in food. Irish food famine of 1846 due to English control of food. (can't live on potatoes).
- examples of movements of food in global trades cultures. For Columbus ( int. term "Columbian exchange") and age of conquest, exploitation was avowed purpose.
- Original text in "bio-history".
OCT 4: 6
Pollan, In Defense of Food, first 4 chapters of Part 1
- background on previous work and personal food history.
- 5: example of failure of advice on fat and cancer, coronary heart disease. Failure of claims about fiber not reducing cancer risk., also on value of fish.
- best to understand confusion on nutrition as result of interaction of food industry, gov't and journalism.
- claim for Part One: most of the nutritional advice of the last 50 years has made us less healthy.
- surprising claim: It's a dangerous idea to think that food is just about health. orthorexics.
- 10: Western Diet defined. Four of the top ten causes of death today are chronic diseases with well-established links to diet: coronary heart disease, diabetes, stroke, and cancer. Even after adjusting for longevity. Note: You could define it epidemiologically or in terms of principle traits.
- goal: advice for enjoying food.
- Chapter 1 - From Foods to Nutrients
- food disappearing in favor of "nutrients" - a kind of reductionism.
- William Prout, early 19th division of macronutrients into Protein, Carb, and Fat. Justus von Leibig, also studied soil, imp. or minerals.
- 1912: Casimir Funk, "vitamines" - goes back to "vitalism", also "amines" because nitrogen based.
- McGovern Committee: important ideological moment: part of the story starts in 1977, with the first Fed comm on nutrition. blow back on recommendations 23. This led to a strategy of not referring to foods directly in terms of "more or less" but nutrients. Also, good foods reduced to nutrients.
- also from 1950's "lipid hypothesis" - that fats from meat and dairy were responsible for much dietary disease.
- Chapter 2 - Nutritionism Defined
- Gyorgy Scrinis -- 2002 claim.
- Nutritionism puts the food scientists in charge. leads to thinking about foods as "good" or "bad" based on their nutrients. you find this in the history of nutrition. 29ff. Liebig made "protein" a master nutrient. Others, like Kellog and Fletcher, would promote carbs. Good place to see limits of nutritionism is in baby formula. Still no match for the real thing.
- Chapter 3 - Nutritionism comes to Market
- nutritionism works well with marketing of food. margarine, for example. starts as cheap fat, but then marketed as healthier. industrial foods can be redesigned as nutrition fads change.
- early history of food adulteration. Sinclair's The Jungle, 1938 Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act. Objections to "imitation" rule. (note other controversies: milk, real). Thrown out in 1973. If an imitation food is nutritionally similar to the food it imitates, it doesn't need to be called imitation. Opened the door to lots of chemical substitutes.
- Chapter 4 - Food Science's Golden Age
- diet fads tend to favor foods that can be re-engineered. Some of that can be done with animals by feeding them differently, but mostly this favors industrial food over whole foods. Note on taste of leaner corn-fed beef. Arguably a decrease in satisfaction.
Group Writing Exercise
- What is nutritionism? Does it makes sense to say that it contributes to an ideology about food? Express both majority and minority views from your group. 300 words.
Montanari, "Food is Culture" "Fire > Cooking > Kitchen > Cusine > Civilization
Fire > Cooking > Kitchen > Cuisine > Civilization
- cooking essential to human being. (note other resources) . Western story of Prometheus (30), the hearth identifies human being (abode).
- Not true that cuisine is only about cooking. raw food methods. Chinese critic of western gastronomy as based too much on cooking. meanings of "Cucina". transition from womens' domain to men's.
Diamond, Ch. 10, "Agriculture's Mixed Blessings" (recommended)
- Old "progressivist" view
- Ants practice agriculture and something like animal husbandry
- Details about the spread of agriculture
- Advantages of hunter gatherer lifestyle
- short work week, more leisure
- better nutrition (in some comparisons)
- no impact from crop failures
- paleopathology: what you tell from old bones and cookware
- health evidence from early adoption of agriculture
- height, nutrition, cavities, anemia, tb, syphillis, mortality
- low carb, varied nutrients
- class structures emerge after agriculture: diff outcomes dep. on class
- sexual inequality
- other differences that sustained agriculture
- increased population density made hunt/gather politically vulnerable
- hunt/gather requires lots of room
- agriculture created society that could produce sophisticated art (churches).
- grants that agriculture led to lots of great things, but also to large populations, which affects the equation about quality of life.
OCT 9: 7
Two famous restaurants started by Chef/food activits.
Barber, "Intro and Ch 12"
- Story of Eight Row flint corn at Blue Hills. sig. "varietal restoration" "heritage cultivation"
- Story of the summer of corn at Blue Hills Farm when Barber was a kid. Note diffs.
- planted in "Three Sisters"
- polenta not typically thought of as high flavor experience, but in this case it was.
- some background on "farm to table" "artisanal eaters" "locavores" -- (another side of industrial food, esp. for a chef, is the effect of varieties and production methods on flavor).
- chef as activist (p. 10 reference to Paul Bocuse) -- Wolfgang Puck -- eventually industrial food system produces a version of the chef's innovation.
- p. 11ff: Barber's critique of farm to table and the 1st and 2nd plates. Criticizing the way we eat: protein-centric plate, small side of veg Protein consumption per capita by country
- Some detail on Blue Hills.
- lamb chop story-- Problem: farm serving table. Table is still in charge of the plate. "cherry picking ingredients that are often ecologically demanding and expensive to grow" So, eliminate the menu! p.14 top of 15. Note characterization of American cuisine vs. French and Italian. No peasant heritage to base it on. Am: immoderation, big slabs of meat.
- 1st, 2nd, 3rd plates 17. Claim: "The future of cuisine will represent a paradigm shift, a new way of thinking about cooking and eating that defies Americans' ingrained expectations." 18
- The food "supply chain" is an ecology. The implication is that we can assess it in terms of sustainability, flavor, quality, diversity...etc.
Nestle, "Introduction: The Food Industry and 'Eat More,' from Food Politics"
- Intro: "This book exposes the ways in which food companies use political ernment and professional support for the sale of their products."
- Note opening picture of food industry: overproduction, connection to publicly traded companies creates need to sell more. [What is relationship between ownership type and production, capitalization, industrialization? Digress to woofing. More traditional farm structure might focus on sustaining real income rather than meeting investor expectations.]
- On the other hand, this model worked well to meet nutritional deficits that continued well into the 20th century for many americans.
- historic note: early 20th century still battled nutritional disease from inadequate calorie intake. Then shift to overconsumption.
- her professional experience (3) with editing Surgeon General's report: no "eat less meat" - Government gave up producing the report in 2000. Authoritative advice would have required some "eat less" messaging. Could say "eat less sat. fat". (Note nutritionism.)
- Side note: "New Dietary Guidelines Crack down on Sugar but red meat gets a pass," NPR Jan 7, 2016 
- her thesis: "that many of the nutritional problems of Americans—not least of them obesity—can be traced to the food industry's imperative to encourage people to eat more in order to generate sales and increase income in a highly competitive marketplace."
- note her concise nutrition advice on p. 5ff.
- 7ff: stats on diet and mortality, childhood obesity. Note that she does endorse "energy balance" as legitimate (more so than in Fed Up, but she would agree with their point)
- 8ff: food production and consumption trends. more total daily calories (3200 in '70 to 3900 in the 90's), increased consumption of low fat foods, more restaurant food, where we are in relation to USDA advice. see p. 10. low variety of food in actual diets. (Note: Not just more protein. More of everything! Revise our protein hyp.)
- 11: dimensions and trends in food industry and international - European diets are approximating US diet in calories from fat. "nutrition transition" idea that as cultures move from primary healthy diets to industrial diets they ironically seek more calories and want cheap calories. US less than 10% of income on food (see wiki links for more)
- Some food economics: percent of food value from farming across food types. Advertising spending on industrial food, using philanthropy for branding, new food products (25)
- Follow data: size of industry, timeline of tobacco company purchases of industry. Farm value vs. Marketing of industrial food. p. 18. Stop to consider explanations.
- Social trends: female labor market participation, changes in perception of "cooking". Scratch cooking associated more with sub-cultures.
OCT 11: 8
Pollan, Part II of In Defense of Food
- Part II : Western Diet and diseases of civilization
- Chapters 1 and 2
- Summer 1982 - W. Australia aborigines study -- "metabolic syndrome" -- defined, theorized as signiture disease of western diet.
- O'Dea's results p. 87. Note that she didn't look for a silver bullet, a single factor. Just the diet change.
- Major premise: Compare us to many traditional diet populations and the difference in diseases profile is stark. It might be the "whole diet pattern" rather than a single imbalance. (The imbalances are symptoms.)
- Group of early 20th c intellectuals (bot 90) noticed absence of chronic disease in populations they travelled to. Pollan chooses the story of Weston Price from this group.
- Two objections to hyp that Western diet is to blame: disease/race theory, demographic theory (live longer). In both cases, the evidence refutes the claim.
- Weston Price -- b. 1870. diseases of teeth are effects of Western diet. 1939 major work after global travels looking at teeth. Lots and lots of teeth. kind of an amateur scientists, but collected important data (and seen right by later dental research). hard to find control groups. Price found big differences in Vit A and D. (Note comment about Masai -- . Multiple successful diets for omnivores.) pl 98: note comparison of groups with wild animal flesh and agriculturalists. made comparisons of grass fed / winter forage fed animals to find vitamin differences.
- Albert Howard -- similar time period, making argument against synthetic nitrogen (more later). both pioneers in what would later be seen as an ecological approach to food production.
- Chapter 3
- thesis: Calling for a more ecological way of thinking about food. think of food as mutual adaptation of plants and animals to humans. propagation/place in ecology of food chain. example of fruit: ripeness, transportation, high nutrient state. Corn vs. corn syrup. (Note point about possible future humans who could use HFCS. also true of milk in history of agriculture. Pollan doesn't quite give the details on milk. not like a light switching on. Textbook example of gene-culture co-evolution. Selective advantage for those who keep lactase expression going past breast feeding. You can always leave it to natural selection to favor those who can get on with the new diet.)
- Types of Changes that mark the Western Industrial Diet
- 1. From Whole Foods to Refined
- prestige of refined products: prior to roller technology, white rice and flour would be labor added, story of grain rollers 107, Refined flour is the first industrial fast food. Fresh flour lasts days. 108: specific details germ/endosperm, but also local mills, water power, (again, conquering space and time, as Montanari would say). Fortified bread.
- Jacobs and Stefffen study: epidemiological study showing effects of whole grains, but also that groups not eating whole grains, but getting equivalent nutrients did not enjoy benefits. alludes to possible wholism in effects. Sugar intake since 1870's.
- 2. From Complexity to Simplicity
- The flip side of food degradation is soil degradation. nitrogen fertilizers. simplification through chemical processing. control. Documented nutrient decline in foods. (Think about this in terms of diet. You get a larger variety of X fruit or veg with less nutrition, but it's cheaper. Problem is that you have a limited volume of food intake, so you lose value in the end and possibly compromise nutrition.) Simplification of species diversity and monoculture of ag. corn and soy are very efficient producers of carb calories. but then we draw less food diversity by focusing on these two.
- conclusion: there may be a false economy in industrial food production. varietals, soil, diversity of food have values that are lost in assessing costs at the retail level and without this knowledge.
- 3. Quality to Quantity
- decline in nutrient content (118-119: review), "nutritional inflation," interest in "phytochemicals" -- seem related to anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory effects.
- decline in food nutrient content from food grown in impoverished soil. Calls the result "nutritional inflation" because you have to get greater volumes of food to get your nutrition. some details on how soils matter: growing time affects mineral and vitamin levels (bio-accumulation). some evidence that organic plants have chemicals related to immune responses.
- "overfed and undernurished"
- cites Bruce Ames, serious researcher interest in micronutrition and cancer. Interesting theory (unproven) that "satiety" mechanisms are tied to nutrition such that a malnurished body always feels hungry.
- 4. Leaves to Seeds
- shift from leaves to seeds decreases anti-oxidants and phytonutrients in our diet. seeds tilt in their fat profile toward O6. less healthy fat. O3 fats spoil faster, so tend to be removed from industrial food. nutritional advice to move toward seed oils didn't originally distinguish O3 from O6. Claims that lipidphobia led us to shift to seed oils (give up butter --which has some 03 fats and move to corn -- which is high in 06 fats) and that led to a change in ratio of O6/O3 from 3:1 to 10:1. note the connection p. 129 between fat profile and sense of "food security" -- interesting digression here. Could we have a deep fear of hunger that still leads us to choose overeating, especially of caloric foods?
- O3 decline also related to mental health. 130
- 5. From Food Culture to Food Science
- shift from reliance on national / ethnic food cultures to science. (digress on how national food cultures are often defined by major cookbooks).