Ersatz Foods, Ersatz Health

Question: What food issues are\r\n you most\r\nconcerned about right now?

\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n

Nina Planck: \r\nWell,\r\nI’m very concerned about the traditional foods versus imitation foods.  I still find people asking me about soy\r\nbutter that doesn’t contain trans-fats because now they know trans-fats \r\nare\r\nbad.  They’re still asking me about\r\nsubstitute foods and imitations and engineered foods and foods with \r\nadded this\r\nor removed that and what I want them to understand is that the whole\r\ntraditional foods are best.  Even\r\nif they can’t afford the best quality version of beef or eggs or milk \r\nthey\r\nought to be consuming beef or eggs or milk instead of ersatz foods.
\r\n

\r\n

And\r\n I’m also\r\nconcerned about a plant based diet for pregnant mothers and for young\r\nchildren.  There is a trend in many\r\nurban areas for young children to be vegetarians and I gather from \r\nparents and\r\nfrom journalists that it’s the children who are requesting to be \r\nvegetarians\r\nand this is presented as charming. \r\nOnce Johnny finds out that the chicken breast comes from a \r\nchicken he\r\ncan’t bear to eat his friend the chicken. \r\nWell our son Julian who is three helps me take apart chickens \r\nregularly.  He completely understands that his\r\nfriends the farm animals are also the foods we eat.  We\r\n are omnivores and nature created us as omnivores.  I\r\n think there are a lot of things five\r\nyear-olds might want.  They might\r\nwant junk.  They might want junk\r\ntelevision.  They might want to be\r\nvegetarians.  But it’s not a good time\r\nfor a person to be a vegetarian. \r\nIf, in adulthood, you’ve been well fed in your mother’s womb and \r\nat her\r\nbreast and in your growing years you want to experiment with a high \r\nquality\r\nvegetarian diet – or even a very carefully planned vegan diet – I think \r\nthat is\r\nacceptable, but I don’t think it’s right for children to be raised as\r\nvegetarians even if they ask. 
\r\n

\r\n

The\r\ngood\r\n news also is that there are now ethically sound and ecologically sound\r\nways to be an omnivore, and so I would urge you, if you are \r\nconscientious about\r\nthese matters, to find the farmers who care for animals and care for \r\nplants and\r\ncare for the environment and shop from them.

Substitute foods and engineered imitations are never as good as "real foods."

​There are two kinds of failure – but only one is honorable

Malcolm Gladwell teaches "Get over yourself and get to work" for Big Think Edge.

Big Think Edge
  • Learn to recognize failure and know the big difference between panicking and choking.
  • At Big Think Edge, Malcolm Gladwell teaches how to check your inner critic and get clear on what failure is.
  • Subscribe to Big Think Edge before we launch on March 30 to get 20% off monthly and annual memberships.
Keep reading Show less

Harvard: Men who can do 40 pushups have a 'significantly' lower risk of heart disease

Turns out pushups are more telling than treadmill tests when it comes to cardiovascular health.

Airman 1st Class Justin Baker completes another push-up during the First Sergeants' push-up a-thon June 28, 2011, Eielson Air Force Base, Alaska. Participants were allowed 10 minutes to do as many push-ups as they could during the fundraiser. Airman Baker, a contract specialist assigned to the 354th Contracting Squadron, completed 278 push-ups. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Janine Thibault)
Surprising Science
  • Men who can perform 40 pushups in one minute are 96 percent less likely to have cardiovascular disease than those who do less than 10.
  • The Harvard study focused on over 1,100 firefighters with a median age of 39.
  • The exact results might not be applicable to men of other age groups or to women, researchers warn.
Keep reading Show less

Apple, Amazon, and Uber are moving in on health care. Will it help?

Big tech is making its opening moves into the health care scene, but its focus on tech-savvy millennials may miss the mark.

Apple COO Jeff Williams discusses Apple Watch Series 4 during an event on September 12, 2018, in Cupertino, California. The watch lets users take electrocardiogram readings. (Photo: NOAH BERGER/AFP/Getty Images)
Sponsored by Northwell Health
  • Companies like Apple, Amazon, and Google have been busy investing in health care companies, developing new apps, and hiring health professionals for new business ventures.
  • Their current focus appears to be on tech-savvy millennials, but the bulk of health care expenditures goes to the elderly.
  • Big tech should look to integrating its most promising health care devise, the smartphone, more thoroughly into health care.
Keep reading Show less