The economics of dining as a couple - "I am eternally astonished to find not only that many couples I know failed to discuss this key area before they marched up to the altar, but also that many of them still have not developed a joint dining strategy even after 10 or 20 years together. This is madness." Megan McArdle blends economics and marriage therapy.
Feeding America is a network of food banks that feeds more than 46 million people. In 2005, four professors at the University of Chicago helped replace their centralized distribution system with an auction-based one, allocating "shares" to each bank to bid on donated food. The Week reports on a more detailed paper describing the transition to the new system and its overall success. [via] [more inside]
"All too often, cooking is explained in terms of social norms about femininity, or immigrants, or, in one recent New York Times column, the Cold War. This is all very well for sophomore sociology classes, but why does no one ever offer simple theories such as 'they liked it'; 'they thought it looked pretty like that'; or 'that was what they could afford'? Having read quite a lot of the era's cookbooks and food writing, I find these the most likely reasons for the endless parade of things molded, jellied, bemayonnaised and enbechameled."
An article from The Atlantic's Olga Khazan discusses the invention of a $1 fresh salad vending machine in order to make healthier food options available in lower socioeconomic communities like East Garfield Park in Chicago's West side. [more inside]
Tip The Pizza Guy is the most exhustive, detailed, old-school website about Tipping and Pizza Delivery I have ever seen. (last seen in 2001 and still being updated.)
'There’s more lobster out there right now than anyone knows what to do with, but Americans are still paying for it as if it were a rare delicacy.' Also, from 2004: David Foster Wallace goes to the Maine Lobster Festival. Via)
From the mid 40s to the mid 50s Coronet Instructional Films were always ready to provide social guidance for teenagers on subjects as diverse as dating, popularity, preparing for being drafted, and shyness, as well as to children on following the law, the value of quietness in school, and appreciating our parents. They also provided education on topics such as the connection between attitudes and health, what kind of people live in America, how to keep a job, supervising women workers, the nature of capitalism, and the plantation System in Southern life. Inside is an annotated collection of all 86 of the complete Coronet films in the Prelinger Archives as well as a few more. Its not like you had work to do or anything right? [more inside]
Are Healthy Foods Really More Expensive? (6.78 MB PDF) It turns out that it depends on how you measure the price. In a recent study by the USDA, some 4,439 foods were compared using the following metrics: the price of food energy ($/calorie), the price of edible weight ($/100 edible grams), the price of an average portion ($/average portion), and the cost of meeting the federal dietary recommendations for each food group. The study found that for all metrics except the price of food energy ($/calorie) healthy foods cost less than less healthy foods (defined as foods that are high in saturated fat, added sugar, and/or sodium, or that contribute little to meeting dietary recommendations).
Researchers at the New England Complex Systems Institute say they've uncovered a pattern that triggers riots wherever it's found. What is that pattern? The price of food. When it rises to a certain level, social unrest & violence are soon to follow. According to their calculations the food price index is due to peak in August of 2013, assuming no corrective action is taken. The original paper is here.
""You can't forget there are people listening when you say you are going to do things, and I try not to overpromise."
This past March, former US President Bill Clinton acknowledged to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee that tariff policies his administration championed in the mid-1990's helped destroy Haiti's rice production and contributed to the impoverished nation's inability to feed itself. But while most of the world has stopped paying attention to Haiti's woes, Mr. Clinton has become the de facto leader of the effort to rebuild it after the catastrophic earthquake this past January. Will his influence be enough? Reports from the UN Office of the Special Envoy to Haiti indicate that the reconstruction progress has been slow. [more inside]
Everything I Want to Do Is Illegal by Joel Salatin. This Saturday will mark this article's four year anniversary. Frankly, I was mildly surprised not to have found it mentioned before in MeFi. It's a good read about a sad state of affairs; how our government is turning its own people into outlaws, because freedom has been traded in for an illusion of security. ...but then we already knew that. Don't we?
Cheap Donuts and Expensive Broccoli: the Effect of Relative Prices on Obesity. Using data from the National Health Interview Survey (NHIS) for the period 1982-1996, we find that individual BMI measures, as well as the likelihood of being overweight or obese, exhibit a statistically significant positive correlation with the prices of healthful relative to unhealthful foods.
Home Economics Archive: Research, Tradition and History (HEARTH). From Cornell University, HEARTH is an internet resource collecting home economics texts from 1850 to 1950, including Meals that cook themselves and cut the costs, by Christine Frederick (1915), and The young woman's guide to excellence, by William A. Alcott (1852), as well as the Journal of Home Economics from 1909 to 1980.
The Challenge: Purchase, prepare and eat healthy, mostly organic meals on a food stamp budget. These are the results.