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Keeping Little Breaths Flowing

The trachea, or windpipe, of a young child is about the width of a drinking straw, and if food or a small object is inhaled instead of swallowed, it can block the airway. Even when something is swallowed and becomes lodged in a child’s throat or esophagus, it may compress the trachea enough to impair breathing. After just four minutes without oxygen, a child’s brain can be permanently damaged. - A NYTimes piece gives useful advice on preventing and responding to a young child's choking
posted by beisny on Dec 16, 2013 - 31 comments

we are bacteria all the way down

Some of My Best Friends Are Germs
It is a striking idea that one of the keys to good health may turn out to involve managing our internal fermentation. Having recently learned to manage several external fermentations — of bread and kimchi and beer — I know a little about the vagaries of that process. You depend on the microbes, and you do your best to align their interests with yours, mainly by feeding them the kinds of things they like to eat — good “substrate.” But absolute control of the process is too much to hope for. It’s a lot more like gardening than governing. The successful gardener has always known you don’t need to master the science of the soil, which is yet another hotbed of microbial fermentation, in order to nourish and nurture it. You just need to know what it likes to eat — basically, organic matter — and how, in a general way, to align your interests with the interests of the microbes and the plants. The gardener also discovers that, when pathogens or pests appear, chemical interventions “work,” that is, solve the immediate problem, but at a cost to the long-term health of the soil and the whole garden. The drive for absolute control leads to unanticipated forms of disorder.
[more inside]
posted by ninjew on Jun 1, 2013 - 24 comments

nutrition database

An exceptionally informative, nicely designed and useful nutrition database, where you can easily look up the glycemic load, inflammation factor, vitamins, proteins, nutrients, calories etc. It is a practical source of information if you wish to either shed excess poundage or put some on. There is a glycemic index info page and lots more. The site was created by Self magazine.
posted by nickyskye on May 2, 2013 - 15 comments

Coronet Instructional Films

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]
posted by Blasdelb on Nov 1, 2012 - 41 comments

Are Healthy Foods Really More Expensive?

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).
posted by Jasper Friendly Bear on Oct 20, 2012 - 123 comments

Why a calorie is not a calorie

The known knowns, known unknowns, and perhaps even the unknown unknowns of why a calorie is not a calorie.
posted by NortonDC on Aug 27, 2012 - 96 comments

"I hate myself."

The Terrible Tragedy of the Healthy Eater. All you want to do is eat a little healthier. Really. Maybe get some of that Activa probiotic yogurt or something. So you look around and start researching what “healthier” means.
posted by mykescipark on Aug 1, 2012 - 243 comments

Travel on your stomach

The Perennial Plate: An American Food Trip is an online documentary series of short videos featuring "adventurous and sustainable eating" beginning in Minnesota and continuing around the US.
posted by Miko on Jul 22, 2012 - 3 comments

Dirtying Up Our Diets

Increasing evidence suggests that the alarming rise in allergic and autoimmune disorders during the past few decades is at least partly attributable to our lack of exposure to microorganisms that once covered our food and us. [more inside]
posted by j03 on Jun 22, 2012 - 84 comments

Well that explains a lot

Everything you know about buttermilk is wrong. [more inside]
posted by cross_impact on May 9, 2012 - 119 comments

Once upon a time, consumption meant you were thin and sick

How America Is Making the Whole World Fat and Unhealthy It is hardly news that the United States faces epidemic health problems linked to poor diets. Nearly two out of every five Americans are obese. But according to a press release from the UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food, Olivier de Schutter, "The West is now exporting diabetes and heart disease to developing countries, along with the processed foods that line the shelves of global supermarkets. By 2030, more than 5 million people will die each year before the age of 60 from non-communicable diseases linked to diets." [...] De Schutter, whose work usually focuses on ending hunger, just published a new report saying, "The right to food cannot be reduced to a right not to starve. It is an inclusive right to an adequate diet providing all the nutritional elements an individual requires to live a healthy and active life, and the means to access them."
posted by infini on Apr 4, 2012 - 59 comments

How Much BPA Exposure Is Dangerous?

US Feds Reject Petition To Ban BPA In Food -- "...recent studies done by government researchers at the request of regulatory agencies suggest it's very unlikely that BPA poses a health risk to people." (NPR Audio) [more inside]
posted by crunchland on Apr 3, 2012 - 122 comments

The Automatic Diet Planner

Swole.me is a completely free automated diet planner that creates meals according to your goal calorie intake and how many meals you’d like to eat per day. [more inside]
posted by netbros on Jan 30, 2012 - 51 comments

Sure, let's meet the meat

IBM is currently putting together database and barcode tracking to allow farmers and grocers in China to track your porkchop, from the pig to the plate. Using supply chain tracking (similar to what is done already in other industries), the goal is to limit and hopefully prevent disease outbreaks by tracking the health of the animal, including which other animals it has come into contact with. So the next time you sit down for some nice ham, you might be able to scan the barcode (or RFID tag) to see whom else on your block shares your own porcine six degrees of separation. [more inside]
posted by Old'n'Busted on Dec 19, 2011 - 21 comments

Chinese heavy metals

About one tenth of China's farmland is polluted with heavy metals, with whole villages being poisoned. All too frequently, local governments have reacted by ignoring the problems and even denying treatment (HRW report).
posted by jeffburdges on Nov 9, 2011 - 37 comments

The cost of healthy food

Food Fight: Does Healthy Food Have to Be More Expensive? In which the blog Get Rich Slowly chronicles an argument about nutrition vs cost and then invites readers to chime in.
posted by Brandon Blatcher on Sep 23, 2011 - 129 comments

The Dirt on Clean Eating

My favorite response to questions about how to eat clean is, “Wash your food.” On the always-changing understanding of ‘good’ food and how some of the bodybuilding community’s dogma doesn’t hold up to research.
posted by the mad poster! on Aug 28, 2011 - 52 comments

Tax Soda, Subsidize Veggies

Subsidizing Healthy Foods by Taxing Unhealthy Foods. Mark Bitman proposes a "national program that would make progress on a half-dozen problems at once — disease, budget, health care, environment, food access and more — while paying for itself." [NYT] [more inside]
posted by modernnomad on Jul 24, 2011 - 103 comments

"Take the death off the table."

The Billionaire Who Is Planning His 125th Birthday. Also: The Die-Later Diet [more inside]
posted by zarq on Mar 6, 2011 - 66 comments

Buy-N-Large Pledges to Promote Healthier Foods

Why Wal-Mart Is Making Our Health Its Problem - "So what's behind the [healthier-eating] initiative? In a word: scale. In a recent article in HBR, Chris Meyer and I argued that we'll see companies taking more and more ownership of externalities they could ignore because of changing sensibilities and better sensors (meaning detection and reporting of impacts by third parties). But we also identified a third driver: the scale of modern business. Whereas in the past, a single grocer could not have much impact on society, in today's highly consolidated market, Wal-Mart touches a significant percentage of the nation's food intake. Once you reach a scale where your decisions have ramifications for millions, it is hard to pretend that the impacts, even as distant ripples, are not your problem."
posted by kliuless on Jan 24, 2011 - 75 comments

The Candy Man Can

A dude eats nothing but Christmas candy for a week.
posted by gman on Dec 26, 2010 - 66 comments

Because it is bitter, and because it is my mouth

Suddenly everything you eat or drink tastes horribly bitter and metallic, with the bitterness persisting at the back of your tongue after each swallow. The symptom recedes somewhat after a few meals but still persists after days. What's wrong with you? Brain tumor? Liver failure? First check if you ate pine nuts a few days ago - if so, you've probably just got pine mouth. [more inside]
posted by dfan on Apr 20, 2010 - 36 comments

HURF DURF 1000 CALORIE EATERS

The health care bill requires chains with 20 or more restaurants to post calorie counts on their menus, as is already the law in New York and Philadelphia. A study published last fall suggested that the labels didn't change the eating behavior of low-income New Yorkers. A recent study at Yale, conducted under laboratory conditions, found the opposite. Corby Kummer at the Atlantic says calorie labeling works -- once you understand the point is to change the behavior, not of the consumer, but of the vendor. Will calorie labels lead the way to a healthier America, or a part-skim socialist dystopia? Or is the call of the Thickburger just too strong for mere numbers to dispel?
posted by escabeche on Mar 24, 2010 - 119 comments

Welcome to the jungle

One hamburger sent a 23 year-old woman into a coma for nine weeks. When she awoke, she could no longer walk. A lengthy expose in the NYTimes follows the secretive chain of events bringing E. coli into her life. Contemporary carnivores read at your own risk... [more inside]
posted by pjenks on Oct 4, 2009 - 157 comments

Yuk

Traction Man is writing about the food he receives in an NHS hospital bed in England. He's got a Downfall tribute video too.
posted by debord on Sep 17, 2009 - 34 comments

Cuz I'm free...free rangin!

A recent study, commissioned by the UK Food Standards Agency, has found that there is no evidence that organically produced foods are nutritionally superior to conventionally produced foodstuffs. On the basis of a systematic review of studies of satisfactory quality, there is no evidence of a difference in nutrient quality between organically and conventionally produced foodstuffs. The small differences in nutrient content detected are biologically plausible and mostly relate to differences in production methods. Who cares?
posted by Christ, what an asshole on Jul 30, 2009 - 123 comments

Fat, Salt and Sugar Alter Brain Chemistry

David Kessler Knew That Some Foods Are Hard to Resist; Now He Knows Why. Former FDA commissioner David Kessler goes dumpster-diving to investigate the neurological impact of eating junk food. [Via]
posted by homunculus on Apr 27, 2009 - 40 comments

Diet Trend Smackdown--and no winners?

"People lose weight if they lower calories, but it does not matter how." According to recently published study in the New England Journal of Medicine, "For people who are trying to lose weight, it does not matter if they are counting carbohydrates, protein or fat. All that matters is that they are counting something." [more inside]
posted by mecran01 on Apr 5, 2009 - 98 comments

Lard: The New Health Food?

As I sent my friends home bathed in the warm glow of hog grease, I felt sure that our generation would pass the test of lard. We might not cook with it every night—natural lard is expensive and (all right, I'll admit it) deep-fried foods are often loaded with calories, no matter which fat you use. But we won't live in fear of it, either. When we want deep-fried excellence, we'll reach for the best fat for the job: lard. [more inside]
posted by jason's_planet on Aug 30, 2008 - 30 comments

Finish your plate please.

The Twenty Worst Foods in America. There's something for everyone!
posted by monospace on Feb 11, 2008 - 143 comments

Yum-O

Mystery meat macrophotography by Mike Adams, not the one full of full of baloney. (via)
posted by Mblue on Nov 30, 2007 - 39 comments

You're nuts if you don't eat almonds.

Almonds. Eat more almonds. They're good for you. The fall harvest is now in and you can get organic almonds online. Also, they're better than pecans. [more inside]
posted by five fresh fish on Nov 26, 2007 - 59 comments

Eating, drinking make you die.

Body fat causes cancer according to a scary report from the American Institute for Cancer Research and the World Cancer Research Fund that reviewed 7000 studies. Obesity creates "a low-grade chronic inflammatory state" that promotes cancer. This report seems more foreboding than others of its ilk, e.g.: "Even small amounts of excess body fat, especially if carried at the waist, increase risk." Drinking is also carcinogenic: better limit yourself to 2 drinks a day if you're male and 1 if you're female. (Of course, breathing is also bad, and so is sunlight. ) Conclusion: you can live a really long time if you don't like to eat or drink, though you want to avoid taking this to extremes.
posted by cogneuro on Oct 31, 2007 - 115 comments

Epicurean Delights of the State Fair

A photoessay of the culinary highlights of the Texas State Fair, now in progress. [more inside]
posted by jonson on Oct 11, 2007 - 63 comments

"What Makes Us Healthy", or "Was Woody Right"

"Sleeper":
Dr. Melik: This morning for breakfast he requested something called "wheat germ, organic honey and tiger's milk."
Dr. Aragon: [chuckling] Oh, yes. Those are the charmed substances that some years ago were thought to contain life-preserving properties.
Dr. Melik: You mean there was no deep fat? No steak or cream pies or... hot fudge?
Dr. Aragon: Those were thought to be unhealthy... precisely the opposite of what we now know to be true.
Dr. Melik: Incredible.
Has anything changed?
posted by caddis on Sep 19, 2007 - 11 comments

We’re too sophisticated to allow bioregional commerce.

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?
posted by ZachsMind on Aug 29, 2007 - 110 comments

Beans, beans, the magical fruit...

8 Foods You Should Eat Everyday
posted by ThePinkSuperhero on Aug 21, 2007 - 85 comments

The Economics of Fat

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.
posted by monju_bosatsu on Mar 27, 2007 - 61 comments

I think it might be time to get my own cow - or goat.

What's in your milk? Estradiol, testoerone, and growth hormones (IGF-1) IGF-1 is what Fox News doesn't want you to know is in your milk.
posted by bigmusic on Feb 20, 2007 - 65 comments

Starving to live

Julian Dibbell, the same journalist that lived off virtual cash for a year, gives Calorie Restriction a 9-week test drive and tells all about it in this long New York Mag piece. Sure preliminary evidence says you could lengthen your life by 50 years, but is 150 years of starving yourself worth it?
posted by mathowie on Oct 24, 2006 - 59 comments

Eat your weeds!

Summer seems the perfect time for eating weeds and wildfoods. Granted, no one wants to grow their own, but is it better to forage or to buy them?
posted by owhydididoit on Aug 21, 2006 - 9 comments

Darlene Rockey's walk of pain

"I choose to hang on to the anorexia" (requires Flash, disturbing images)
posted by matteo on Aug 17, 2006 - 45 comments

Microbes made me do it

Can microbes make us fat? Of the trillions and trillions of cells in a typical human body — at least 10 times as many cells in a single individual as there are stars in the Milky Way — only about 1 in 10 is human. The other 90 percent are microbial. These microbes — a term that encompasses all forms of microscopic organisms, including bacteria, fungi, protozoa and a form of life called archaea — exist everywhere. New evidence suggests microbes in our bodies can determine how efficiently we process food and affect our hunger centers.
posted by caddis on Aug 13, 2006 - 29 comments

Johnny, Don't Eat Your Vegetables!

Eat less, live more - maybe.
posted by daksya on Apr 21, 2006 - 14 comments

The impact of food on mental health

Feeding Minds - the impact of food on mental health. 3Mb PDF, Google cache. Only 3% of men and 5% of women now eat five portions of fruit and veg per day. This report lays out the evidence linking trends in food consumption with mental ill-health.
See also: Myths About Food and Low Income (PDF 168Kb)
posted by Lanark on Mar 16, 2006 - 86 comments

You Feel What You Eat

Feeding Minds - the impact of food on mental health
posted by Gyan on Jan 15, 2006 - 24 comments

MegaFeeders

Obesity: Epidemic or Myth?
posted by Gyan on Nov 16, 2005 - 54 comments

SOS or Safegaurd organic standards

SOS or Safegaurd Organic Standards is what the Organic Consumers Association is calling their effort to protect the USDA's National Organic Program's organic food standards adopted in 2002. A rider attached to the 2006 agriculture appropriations bill and sponsored by the Organic Trade Association contains changes to the standards that in their view will make "technical corrections" to the national organic standards. This became necessary in their view after a 73-year-old organic blueberry farmer from Maine named Arthur Harvey won a court appeal against the USDA, arguing that federal regulations guiding organic food standards were less stringent than the original legislation had intended. This issue is splitting the organic standards lobbying community. Or perhaps this has been in the works for sometime as large corporate food producers have moved to take advantage of the rapid growth of the organics market. (more inside)
posted by flummox on Oct 9, 2005 - 14 comments

No more knuckle sandwiches in the cafeteria.

Diet and behavior.
posted by Gyan on Sep 30, 2005 - 30 comments

on my tongue

Are you HUNGRY or do you just crave the flavor? (my favorite is that Mustard is under the heading Exotic.)
posted by Phantast on Aug 17, 2005 - 29 comments

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