Local Eating, Organic Eating, and a Last Meal from Jean-Georges Vongerichten
Question: How important are organic foods, and\r\nhow truthful is the labeling?\r\n\r\n
Mark\r\nBittman: One has to\r\nhope that things that are certified organic are organic. But what does organic mean? It's a term that’s defined by the\r\nUnited States Department of Agriculture. \r\nIt doesn’t mean anything or it doesn’t mean much about how the animals are\r\ntreated. It doesn’t really mean\r\nmuch about what kind or what breed of the animals there are. It doesn't mean anything in terms of\r\nhow the workers who are raising these animals or farming these crops are\r\ntreated. Doesn’t mean anything\r\nabout where the food is from.\r\n\r\n
So does organic\r\nhave some meaning? Yes, I think\r\nthe term organic has some meaning. \r\nBut I think that it's not the most important thing. I won't go so far as to say it’s a red\r\nherring because I think there are some important things about it but I will say\r\nthis. The most important division\r\nin our style of eating right now is not organic versus non-organic and it's not\r\nlocal versus non-local. It's plants\r\nversus anything else and I don’t mean to be repetitive but the message is very,\r\nvery clear.\r\n\r\n
The way that\r\npeople can eat best is to eat less crap to put it bluntly. And crap is processed food and junk\r\nfood and you can have organic processed food and you have organic junk food and\r\nthat food is maybe a little better than non-organic processed and junk food but\r\nit's not good food and that's the most important lesson we could learn, I\r\nthink.
Question: Is it important to eat locally grown,\r\nseasonal foods?\r\n\r\n
Mark\r\nBittman: Well, again, I think the clear answer\r\nis that, as far as your body is concerned, a grape from Chile is better than a\r\ncheeseburger from around the corner. If you're willing to eat turnips, carrots,\r\nbread you bake yourself, frozen meat, a very limited diet, you can eat locally\r\nalmost anywhere, at least in this country, all year round and that's great but\r\nit's expensive, it's inconvenient, and it takes dedication.\r\n\r\n
I think it's a\r\nswell idea and I think that ultimately for food to make sense in this country I\r\nthink we're going to see more regionalism and less food coming out of California. But I don’t think we'll ever be at a\r\nplace where we see no food coming out of California, unless it falls into the\r\nsea, of course. And I think that\r\nif you want to be truly a local eater, you're not going to be drinking it. If you live in the northeast, as I do,\r\nyou're not going to be drinking any coffee. You're not going to be drinking any caffeinated tea. You're not going to be using any olive\r\noil. There are a lot of things\r\nyou're just going to be missing out on. \r\nThat's fine if you think that that's the highest priority. There are other priorities, I\r\nthink.\r\n\r\n
I'm a fan of\r\nlocal food. I really like local\r\nfood, but to go back to the discussion of trendiness in food. Everything need not be taken to an\r\nextreme and this is another thing that has been taken to an extreme.\r\n\r\n
Question: What foods are your guilty pleasures?\r\n\r\n
Mark\r\nBittman: If I'm driving\r\nsay six hours and I decided to stop at Wendy's or whatever I guess there's a\r\ntwinge of guilt. But there's also\r\nan excuse because you're away and, you know, you're busy and blah, blah, blah\r\nand I don’t exercise that excuse very often. So I don’t really feel guilty about it. I think what would make me feel guiltiest,\r\nand I don’t do it, is going to a supermarket and buying a huge bag of potato\r\nchips and coming home and eating it but I don’t do it, so.\r\n\r\n
Question: What would you choose as a last\r\nmeal?\r\n\r\n
Mark\r\nBittman: Why do they choose -- because they want\r\nsomething comfortable, they want something they're familiar with. They all want bacon and eggs,\r\nright? I mean I don’t -- that's my\r\nguess. Everybody wants four fried\r\neggs in butter with unlimited supply of bacon and really, really great toast. I would – am I being executed? I have to get the scenario. So assuming I'm being executed and I\r\nhave the – its not a last meal, like I don’t want to think about cancer last\r\nmeals, I want to think about execution last meals. I would call – I'm privileged I can do this -- I would call\r\nmy friend Jean-Georges Vongerichten and tell him I want to cook for me until I\r\ntell him to stop. That would be my\r\nlast meal. But I do like the four\r\nor six eggs cooked in a lot of butter with bacon and really good toast. I like that, too.\r\n\r\n\r\n
The writer talks about the virtues of eating locally grown food and what foods he considers guilty pleasures.
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Whether or not women think beards are sexy has to do with "moral disgust"
- A new study found that women perceive men with facial hair to be more attractive as well as physically and socially dominant.
- Women tend to associate more masculine faces with physical strength, social assertiveness, and formidability.
- Women who display higher levels of "moral disgust," or feelings of repugnance toward taboo behaviors, are more likely to prefer hairy faces.
Beards and perceptions of masculinity<img type="lazy-image" data-runner-src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yMjU5OTg0MC9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTY0NzkxMjM3N30.cH-GqNwP5GVqvstgJWAhBPn1B_lYpVEAI0I7iax7EQw/img.jpg?width=1245&coordinates=0%2C1900%2C0%2C849&height=700" id="caae6" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="cb0a355a4e8e1899789bc45f3f7aef56" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" />
Photo Credit: Wikimedia<p>The study used 919 American (mostly white) women ages 18-70 who rated 30 pictures of men they were shown with various stages of facial hair growth. The photographs depicted men with faces that had been digitally altered to look more feminine or more masculine, with a beard and without a beard. The women rated the men according to perceived attractiveness for long-term and short-term relationships. The study found that the more facial hair the men had, the higher the men were rated on their attractiveness, particularly for their suitability for a long-term relationship.</p><p>Part of this might be attributed to facial masculinity — i.e. protruding brow ridge, wide cheekbones, thick jawline, and deeply set narrow eyes — which conveys information to a woman about a man's underlying health and formidability. Women tend to associate more masculine faces with physical strength and social assertiveness. It can also indicate a man with a superior immune response. The researchers suggested that their findings favoring bearded men could be due to the fact that facial hair enhances the masculine facial features on a man's face, like creating the illusion of a thicker jaw line. This could communicate direct benefits to women like resources and protection that would enhance survival among mothers and their infants. In other words, while a beard doesn't mean superior genetics in and of itself, it might be a primitive, ornamental way of saying, "Hey girl, I'm a testosterone-fueled lean, mean, pathogen fighting machine." <br></p><p>It could also be that a beard becomes its own destiny. The researchers in this study cite prior research that found that by growing a beard, men felt more masculine and had higher levels of serum testosterone, which was linked to a higher level of social dominance. They also tended to subscribe to more old-school beliefs about gender roles in their relationships with women as compared to men with clean-shaven faces.<span></span><br></p>
What does disgust have to do with beard preference?<p>Obviously, not all women dig beards. The researchers were particularly interested in what traits make a women prefer bearded men over clean-shaven faces. They looked into several factors including a woman's disgust levels on various concepts, her desire to become pregnant, and her exposure to facial hair in her personal life. </p><p>According to the study, women who were not into facial hair were turned-off by potential parasites or other critters they imagined could be in the hair or skin. Women ranking high on this "ectoparasite disgust" scale might have viewed beards as a sign of poor grooming habits. However, women who ranked higher in levels of "pathogen" did find the bearded men to be desirable, possibly because they perceived beards as a signal of good health and immune function. An intriguing discovery in the study was links to morality. Women who displayed higher levels of "moral disgust," or feelings of repugnance toward taboo behaviors, were more likely to prefer hairy faces. The authors opined that this could reflect a link between beardedness, politically conservative outlooks, and traditional views regarding performances of masculinity in heterosexual relationships.</p>
Additional findings<img type="lazy-image" data-runner-src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yMjU5OTg1My9vcmlnaW4uZ2lmIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTYyNDI1NjUyOX0.P9B8WbmJR0q4nfzYZKbuNSA-2SAigVWJgrQE-_Gxlds/img.gif?width=980" id="49143" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="2ed3b1d6f20fc170bf2974646e565e8d" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" />Giphy<p>The correlations that existed between married and single women's rating on the attractiveness of beards were not particularly clear, although the researchers noted that single and married women who wanted children tended to find beards more attractive than the women who didn't want children. They also found that women with bearded husbands found beards to be more attractive, which might indicate that social exposure to beards influences how desirable they are perceived of as being. Or it could be that men with wives who like beards grow beards.</p><p>It's important to note that culture plays a huge role in how attractive women perceive certain male characteristics as being. This study looked at a small, culturally specific group of American women, so no big, universal claims should be made about masculinity, facial hair, and male desirability to women. However, research like this is important in highlighting how human grooming decisions are driven by much more than fashion trends. Sociobiological, economic, and ecological factors all play a part in the way we choose to present ourselves.</p>
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