November 22, 2015: There’s good news for FoodAnthropology readers this week: it was a great week for internet food reads. Here’s a round of up what captivated FoodAnthropology over the last seven days.
If you have a link you would like to contribute to future round-ups, please email LaurenRMoore@uky.edu.
First, as apple-picking season draws to a close, there were two apple articles worth reading. The first, from The Atlantic: “What Do Professional Apple Farmers Think of People Who Pick Apples for Fun” (“you have to gently pull them away from the idea that the skilled employees we have … [are] not idiots off the street”). Then, NPR’s The Salt offered “Inside the Life of an Apple Picker”
There was news from two of the biggest names in U.S. food journalism, Michael Pollan and Mark Bittman. Pollan has turned his bestseller In Defense of Food into a documentary, which premiered at the 2015 Mill Valley Film Festival in October 2015. And, in honor of Mark Bittman’s departure from the New York Times, the NYT Magazine featured Mark Bittman’s Top 10 Columns.
Another documentary that’s making the news is Just Eat it: A Food Waste Story, which documents two filmmakers’ efforts to subsist on food waste in order to bring attention to stunning levels of food waste built into the North American food system.
Scientific American featured an article about the links between food insecurity and HIV outcomes, and summarizes pilot research that seems to improve HIV outcomes through agricultural interventions: “In Kenya, Improving Food Security and HIV Outcomes through Farming”
ReadThink published an article describing Switzerland’s cheese industry, and how the nation went from over 1000 cheeses under production to just three following World War I: “The Swiss Cheese Mafia“
Gastropod, the podcast that “looks at food through the lens of science and history” released a 40-minute dive into the world of mushrooms: “The Mushroom Underground”
On November 19th, the US Food and Drug Administration announced that AquAdvantage salmon, a genetically modified, fast-growing salmon, would be the first transgenic animal approved for human consumption in the US: “Salmon is the First Transgenic Animal to Win US Approval for Food”
Representatives from the Latin American Scientific Society of Agroecology (SOCLA) penned “Reflections on the FAO regional meeting of Agroecology for Africa” that offers insight into the goals and politics of agroecological work.
There were reports this week from a study showing that (American?) men overeat in the presence of women, and draws conclusions about the evolutionary basis of this behavior: “Men Overeat to Impress Women;” the original article can be found here: “Eating Heavily: Men Eat More in the Company of Women”
A report from on the U.S. Farm Bill from UC Berkeley’s Haas Institute for a Fair and Inclusive Society “finds that corporate control and structural racialization within the US food system leaves marginalized communities disproportionately impacted by the agricultural policies and outcomes generated by the Farm Bill”: “Farm Bill Report”
There were reports this week that present-day obesity in humans may be linked to a genetic mutation in an extinct species of ape: “Obesity in Humans Linked to Fat Gene in Prehistoric Apes”
Though this was published in August, it’s still worth reading in November: writer Ruth Tam’s reflection on “How it feels when white people shame your culture’s food-then make it trendy“
Scientific American wrote about efforts to save heirloom varieties of date palm in Egypt: “Save the Date: Preventing Heirloom Date Palm Extinction in Egypt’s Siwa Oasis”
Finally, The Atlantic reported on research from the Weizmann Institute of Science that uses an algorithm to “accurately predict how a person’s blood-sugar levels will spike after eating any given meal,” and can be used to develop personalized plans for blood sugar management: “The Algorithm that Creates Diets That Work for You“