Mark Bittman on At-Home Cooking and the Cult of 'Foodies'

Bestselling cookbook author and New York Times food columnist Mark Bittman stopped by the Big Think offices a few weeks ago to talk with us about eating, cooking, and the cult of "foodies." For novice at-home cooks, he suggests keeping a set of sharp knives and a range of spices around in your kitchen -- as well as garlic, eggs, olive oil and other staples. Bittman adopted a healthier diet over the past few years, eating only

fruits and vegetables before sundown (though whatever he wants in the

evening) -- he explains how this has benefited him, and talks about

what people can do on a daily basis to eat and cook better food.

He also touches on some current proposals circulating through state and local governments to tax sugary sodas and eliminate salt from restaurants, and reveals what he would

prepare if he had nothing ready and guests arriving in an hour. And while he enjoyed shooting

television episodes in Spain with Mario Batali and Gwyneth Paltrow

(or at least drinking and eating with them afterthe show wrapped in the

evenings), he says his wife and kids are his favorite people to cook


LinkedIn meets Tinder in this mindful networking app

Swipe right to make the connections that could change your career.

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No, we aren't talking about Tinder. Introducing Shapr, a free app that helps people with synergistic professional goals and skill sets easily meet and collaborate.

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Brain study finds circuits that may help you keep your cool

Research by neuroscientists at MIT's Picower Institute for Learning and Memory helps explain how the brain regulates arousal.

Photo by CHARLY TRIBALLEAU / AFP/ Getty Images
Mind & Brain

MIT News

The big day has come: You are taking your road test to get your driver's license. As you start your mom's car with a stern-faced evaluator in the passenger seat, you know you'll need to be alert but not so excited that you make mistakes. Even if you are simultaneously sleep-deprived and full of nervous energy, you need your brain to moderate your level of arousal so that you do your best.

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34 years ago, a KGB defector chillingly predicted modern America

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Politics & Current Affairs
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How pharmaceutical companies game the patent system

When these companies compete, in the current system, the people lose.

Politics & Current Affairs
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  • When this phenomenon happens in the pharmaceutical world, companies quickly apply for broad protection of their patents, which can last up to 20 years, and fence off research areas for others. The result of this? They stay at the top of the ladder, at the cost of everyday people benefitting from increased competition.
  • Since companies have worked out how to legally game the system, Amin argues we need to get rid of this "one size fits all" system, which treats product innovation the same as product invention. Companies should still receive an incentive for coming up with new products, he says, but not 20 years if the product is the result of "tweaking" an existing one.