News Roundup

Since the new season of The Mind of a Chef starts on this weekend, check local PBS listing for time, today’s stories will be food centric.

Oktoberfest troubles? It turns out that over in Germany the pretzel bakers are threatening to go on strike if they do not get a 6.5% wage increase. This seems like something that can be resolved before the beginning of Oktoberfest and I am certain that there are other things to munch on besides pretzels. I’ve never been to any Oktoberfests but it seems like since it is a large food festival that there would be other types of food available.

Food Gap is Widening: We’ve heard about the wage gap and the thigh gap, there are fans of both around the world but the Food Gap is something that is rarely talked about. According to The Atlantic the nutritional disparity between the wealthy and the poor is growing. The Food Gap is that the people with money are eating better than the people with no money, even with the assistance provided by SNAP. This is a big problem and First Lady Michelle Obama has done a little to help address the problem with telling people to go out a grow a vegetable garden. However the real problem is that there are so many subsidies for the less healthy foods, and therefore they are inexpensive to purchase. The other big issue is that of the genetically modified food and seeds and crops owned by Monsanto. if healthy foods were easier for all people to have access to the nation might not be overweight.

Low Carbs better than Low Fat: A recent study has found that eating foods with fat doesn’t make you fat it is eating too many carbohydrates that is making us fat. Now is this one study the be all end all of how we should eat it needs to be run again and see if the results are similar. Is this the flavor of the week in the health sciences or solid fact. As we look around the world and see that many of the great cuisines include fats in the diets. If it is carbohydrates that are making people fat should we blame this on the government for the Food Pyramid which had us eating 6-11 servings of carbohydrates a day and limiting our fat intake?

If we need to look somewhere for rules about eating I think Michael Pollan has a swell start. His rule are found in his book Rules for Food as well as the Eater’s Manifesto. Pollan’s rules are simple and somewhat common sense. My favorite of his rules is “Avoid food products that make health claims and\or containing ingredients that are a) unfamilar b) unpronouncable c) more than five in number d) High-fructose corn syrup” We need to become smart consumers and learn a little more about what we are putting in our bodies.

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