November 15: The internet this week was full of great food reads. If you’d like to contribute a link for future round-ups, please email them to LaurenRMoore@uky.edu. Submissions of food reads focused outside the U.S. are particularly encouraged.
When thinking about the many meanings of “hunger,” food scholars may be interested in research showing that hunger can increase all forms of wanting, including for non-food items like binder clips: Hunger Makes You Crave More Than Food
Nautilus published a story whose concerned tone about the “Western Diet” will be familiar to many—but this time, the story focuses on Westerners’ microbiomes, which are found to be lacking in comparison to rural, non-Western populations: How the Western Diet Has Derailed Our Evolution
Genetic evidence calls into question claims that wheat was present in the British Isles 8000 years ago. Evidence of wheat had been interpreted as evidence of wheat trade far earlier than previously believed. Contesting the presence of wheat in the British Isles 8,000 years ago by assessing ancient DNA authenticity from low-coverage data.
Other archaeological research dates the widespread exploitation of honeybees to the early Neolithic. One of the researchers, interviewed for Science Daily, said, “Our study is the first to provide unequivocal evidence, based solely on a chemical ‘fingerprint’, for the palaeoecological distribution of an economically and culturally important animal. It shows widespread exploitation of the honeybee by early farmers and pushes back the chronology of human-honeybee association to substantially earlier dates.” Widespread exploitation of the honeybee by early Neolithic farmers
While this exchange is now a few months old, it just came to my attention and I found it worth sharing: NPR summarized research suggesting that chimpanzees, given the opportunity, would cook their food just like humans: Chimps Are No Chumps: Give Them An Oven, They’ll Learn To Cook. Anthropologist Rosemary Joyce responded, writing Chez Chimp: Why our primate cousins don’t cook.
Louise O’Fresco, former Assistant Director-General of the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization, denounced small-scale agriculture and the “romantic myth” of local and organic agriculture, calling instead for “smart technology and scaling up” in Aeon Magazine this week: Splat Goes the Theory
Those interested in Soviet cuisine may want to take a look at the new CCCP cookbook, A Cookbook to Rehabilitate Soviet Cuisine.
Part apple-centered adventure, part history lesson, Boston Magazine published a long read on The Hunt for the Tinmouth Apple, the apple that “has the power to transform New England into the Napa Valley of hard cider…if only we can find it.”
NPR reports that the FDA, considering ways to define “natural” in food labeling, is seeking Americans’ input: What’s ‘Natural’ Food? The Government Isn’t Sure And Wants Your Input
Oxford American’s Spring 2015 issue featured a fantastic reflection on what Americans mean by “trash food,” and how language, class, cuisine, and bigotry are interwoven in the ways we think and talk about “trash food:” Trash Food
Though I could not verify this announcement through any other source, Compassion in World Farming announced this week that the USDA would suspend its verification of Perdue chicken as “humanely raised:” USDA No Longer Verifying Factory Farm Chicken as Humane
Finally, in case any SAFN readers are looking for a property in France, why not buy Julia Child’s house? The House That Julia Built