from the world's big
The Basics of Cooking
Mark\r\nBittman: Well, let's\r\njust distinguish between chefs and cooks because I think this is\r\nimportant. A chef is a person -- I\r\nknow the word is thrown around a lot but a chef is a person who runs the\r\nrestaurant. So, people who cook at\r\nhome are cooks. There's nothing\r\nwrong with that. People who like\r\nto cook are cooks and I think that's a word that's been sadly denigrated and I\r\nthink it’s a lovely word. It's an\r\nimportant word. So what are the\r\nmost experienced -- what are the most important techniques for shall we say\r\nnovice cooks?\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n
Well, reading I\r\nthink is probably very important technique because probably the best way to\r\nlearn how to cook remains getting a couple of decent cook books and working\r\nyour way through them and paying attention to what they're asking and learning\r\na few of the terms and it's such an easy – it's so much easier than playing\r\ntennis, for example, that it's just a matter of starting to do it and then\r\ndoing it over and over again until you kind of get it.\r\n\r\n
So it has more –\r\nit's presented as a highly skilled occupation and indeed for real chefs or\r\npeople running restaurants or people doing demonstrations on Food Television\r\nit's not that easy. But for most\r\nof us it's not any harder than driving a car, it just needs a little practice.
Question: What ten ingredients should everyone\r\nhave in their kitchen?\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n
Mark Bittman: Well, off the top of my head without\r\nlooking at my pantry, garlic, olive oil, that's two. It's sort of a hard question because do you want to count\r\nrice and pasta? Do you want to\r\ncount vinegar and lemons? Do you\r\nwant to count onions and eggs? Maybe\r\nthat gets you close to ten. The\r\nthing is that there are – I'd there are probably 30, somewhere between 25 and\r\n50, but say 30, ingredients that should be in pretty much every kitchen all the\r\ntime. Ten is not going to do\r\nit. You can't do much with 10 but\r\nif you have 30 you can start doing serious cooking and if you have those 30 and\r\nyou stop at the store and pick up the piece of meat and fish and some\r\nvegetables, something fresh, you're completely in business. You can cook half of what there is to\r\ncook in all of the world.\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n
Question: What are common bad habits of at-home\r\ncooks?
Mark\r\nBittman: That's an interesting question. People don’t use high enough heat and\r\npeople don’t preheat their pans and their ovens and things like that enough. If you really want to put a crust on\r\nsomething, the pan needs to be hot, the butter or oil needs to be hot. I mean, these are things that trained\r\npeople learn. Home cooks are a\r\nlittle afraid -- tend to be a little afraid -- or beginning home cooks tend to\r\nbe a little afraid of high heat. \r\nSo that's a mistake people make.\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n
Having lousy\r\nknives is a mistake people make and it's not that they don’t have expensive\r\nknives, it's that they don’t have sharp knives. On the other hand, spending too much money on cooking equipment\r\nis a mistake a lot of people make because you don’t need to spend a lot of\r\nmoney on cooking equipment. What\r\nelse can I think of?\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n
Well,\r\nattitude. Attitude is interesting\r\nbecause people tend to be intimidated by cooking and there's nothing to be\r\nintimidated about it. As I said at\r\nthe beginning, it's really pretty simple. \r\nSo the right attitude is the attitude of I'm going to get something done\r\nand it's going to be good. It's\r\nnot, "Oh, I'm afraid of this," but nor is it, "Oh, I'm going to\r\nbe Bobby Flay and do something breathtaking." It's just going to be I'm going to try -- just like my\r\ngrandma cooked for my mom I'm going to try to cook for my friends or my kids or\r\nwhatever, which is normal food, the food you like.\r\n\r\n
Question: What ingredients and spices are\r\nunappreciated?\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n
Mark\r\nBittman: Well, spices in general go under\r\nappreciated by American cooks. I\r\nmean, the spices that most Americans used in cooking tend to be the sort of you\r\nmight call them warm spices or sweet spices like the kind of stuff you put in\r\nApple Pie: cinnamon, all spice, nutmeg, cloves, ginger a little bit. Chilies are certainly becoming more and\r\nmore popular and that's great.\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n
Mild\r\nchili powder is a wonderful ingredient that's still not fully appreciated. Pimenton, which is mild smoked paprika,\r\nwhich is a form of chili, so mild smoked chili powder is Spanish ingredient,\r\nreally fabulous. All the Indian\r\nspices or Asian spices, however you want to call them, tend to be\r\nunder-appreciated and these are really simple things to use. I think part of the problem is when you\r\nadd four or five spices to a recipe, it makes the recipe look long. It makes the ingredient list look long\r\nand no one wants to see a long ingredient list.\r\n\r\n
So, when writing\r\nrecipes one has to be careful but, you know, spices are really -- if you\r\nreplace them every now and then so that they're fairly fresh, they're there,\r\nthey're easy to use, it's not a big deal and they make a huge difference.\r\n\r\n\r\n
How at-home cooks can stock their pantry with vital ingredients, avoid bad kitchen habits, and make better meals.
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Gender and sexual minority populations are experiencing rising anxiety and depression rates during the pandemic.
- Anxiety and depression rates are spiking in the LGBTQ+ community, and especially in individuals who hadn't struggled with those issues in the past.
- Overall, depression increased by an average PHQ-9 score of 1.21 and anxiety increased by an average GAD-7 score of 3.11.
- The researchers recommended that health care providers check in with LGBTQ+ patients about stress and screen for mood and anxiety disorders—even among those with no prior history of anxiety or depression.
Study findings<p>For the study, <a href="https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s11606-020-05970-4" target="_blank">published in the Journal of General Internal Medicine</a><em>, </em>Flentje and her team evaluated survey responses from nearly 2,300 individuals who identified as being in the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ+) community. Most of the participants were white, while nearly 19 percent identified as a racial or ethnic minority. Multiple genders were represented with cisgender women (27.2 percent) and men (24.6 percent) making up a majority of the participants. Sixty-three percent had been assigned female at birth. For the most part, participants identified their sexual orientations as queer (40.3 percent), gay (36.5 percent), and bisexual (30.3 percent).</p><p>The JGIM study participants were recruited from the 18,000-participant <a href="https://pridestudy.org/" target="_blank">PRIDE Study</a> (Population Research in Identity and Disparities for Equality), which is the first large-scale, long-term national study focusing on American adults who identify as LGBTQ+. It conducts annual questionnaires to understand factors related to health and disease in this population. </p><p>Participants filled out an annual questionnaire (starting in June 2019) and a COVID-19 impact survey this past spring. Flentje noted that on an individual level, some people may not have experienced a big change in anxiety or depression levels, but for others there was. Overall, depression increased by a <a href="https://patient.info/doctor/patient-health-questionnaire-phq-9" target="_blank">PHQ-9 score</a> of 1.21, putting it at 8.31 on average. Anxiety went up by a <a href="https://www.mdcalc.com/gad-7-general-anxiety-disorder-7" target="_blank">GAD-7</a> score of 3.11 to an average of 8.89. Interestingly, the average PHQ-9 scores for those who screened positive for depression at the first 2019 survey decreased by 1.08. Those who screened negative for depression saw their PHQ-9 scores increase by 2.17 on average. As for anxiety, researchers detected no GAD-7 change among the study participants who screened positive for anxiety in the first survey, but did see an overall increase of 3.93 among those who had initially been evaluated as negative for the disorder. </p>
Risks among gender and sexual minorities<span style="display:block;position:relative;padding-top:56.25%;" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="fc3fd1ae68b77bbbf58a6995638d6d65"><iframe type="lazy-iframe" data-runner-src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/EnUqDjCqg0A?rel=0" width="100%" height="auto" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" style="position:absolute;top:0;left:0;width:100%;height:100%;"></iframe></span><p>The LGBTQ+ community is a vulnerable population to mental health concerns because of their fear of stigmatization and previous discriminatory experiences.</p> <p>Previous research by the Human Rights Campaign has found "that LGBTQ Americans are more likely than the <a href="https://medicalxpress.com/tags/general+population/" target="_blank">general population</a> to live in poverty and lack access to adequate medical care, paid <a href="https://medicalxpress.com/tags/medical+leave/" target="_blank">medical leave</a>, and basic necessities during the pandemic," said researcher Tari Hanneman, director of the health and aging program at the campaign.</p> <p>"Therefore, it is not surprising to see this increase in anxiety and depression among this population," Hanneman said in the release. "This study highlights the need for <a href="https://medicalxpress.com/tags/health+care+professionals/" target="_blank">health care professionals</a> to support, affirm and provide <a href="https://medicalxpress.com/tags/critical+care/" target="_blank">critical care</a> for the LGBTQ community to manage and maintain their mental health, as well as their physical health, during this pandemic."</p>
What should health care providers do?<p>The authors of the study recommend that health care providers check in with LGBTQ+ patients about stress and screen for mood and anxiety disorders in members of that community—even among those with no prior history of anxiety or depression.</p><p>As cases of COVID-19 continue to mount, the sustained social distancing, potential isolation, economic precariousness, and personal illness, grief, and loss are bound to have increased and varied impacts on mental health. Effective treatments may include individual therapy and medications as well as more large-scale coronavirus support programs like peer-led groups and mindfulness practices. </p><p>"It will be important to find out what happens over time and to identify who is most at risk, so we can be sure to roll out public health interventions to support the mental health of our communities in the best and most effective ways," said Flentje.</p>
What we know about black holes is both fascinating and scary.
- When it comes to black holes, science simultaneously knows so much and so little, which is why they are so fascinating. Focusing on what we do know, this group of astronomers, educators, and physicists share some of the most incredible facts about the powerful and mysterious objects.
- A black hole is so massive that light (and anything else it swallows) can't escape, says Bill Nye. You can't see a black hole, theoretical physicists Michio Kaku and Christophe Galfard explain, because it is too dark. What you can see, however, is the distortion of light around it caused by its extreme gravity.
- Explaining one unsettling concept from astrophysics called spaghettification, astronomer Michelle Thaller says that "If you got close to a black hole there would be tides over your body that small that would rip you apart into basically a strand of spaghetti that would fall down the black hole."
The team caught a glimpse of a process that takes 18,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 years.
- In Italy, a team of scientists is using a highly sophisticated detector to hunt for dark matter.
- The team observed an ultra-rare particle interaction that reveals the half-life of a xenon-124 atom to be 18 sextillion years.
- The half-life of a process is how long it takes for half of the radioactive nuclei present in a sample to decay.
A new study looks at what would happen to human language on a long journey to other star systems.
- A new study proposes that language could change dramatically on long space voyages.
- Spacefaring people might lose the ability to understand the people of Earth.
- This scenario is of particular concern for potential "generation ships".