Nutrition

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Capitalism and farmer practices are to blame

An apple still on the tree.
An apple still on the tree.
Photo courtesy of Japan Brands

“An apple a day keeps the doctor away.” As a child, I remember happily chanting this saying after a pleasant day at school, excited to share with my friends on the school bus what I had learned. After growing up and becoming an educated adult, we all know that you’d be naive to take this saying literally.

But what if the saying were true?

There’s research that shows that fruits and vegetables from 1999 versus those from 1950 have a difference in vitamin and mineral content of up to 38 percent. In other words, for the same amount of fruits/vegetables…


This is shoku-iku

Photo: Richard Iwaki via Unsplash

Shoku-iku refers to food and nutrition education in Japan, but it is quite different from the food education you might receive in the United States or other Western nations. While Western eating guidelines tend to focus on diet science — technical calculations on when to eat, how to eat, and what not to eat — Japanese shoku-iku takes a more nature-based philosophy on how to adopt a sustainable, well-balanced lifestyle.

4 Main Principles of Shoku-iku

1. Forget calorie counting: Focus on your stomach.

While many weight loss or heart-healthy diets encourage calorie counting as a way to control your eating, this strategy has proven ineffective for many people. …


Don’t fear the fungi.

Photo: Nick Grappone via Unsplash

Mushrooms are having a CoverGirl moment. They’re popping up in everything from tea to tinctures and are widely touted as a health miracle.

Psilocybin (magic) mushrooms are the focus of extensive medical research for their therapeutic efficacy in the treatment of depression, anxiety, and addiction. The results are astounding; the more you learn about the powerful properties of these fascinating fungi, the more you’ll want to include them in your life.

But, you don’t have to buy expensive powders and potions or go on a hallucinatory trip to reap many of the benefits of these beauties. You can eat them…


What is furikake?

Illustrations: Kaki Okumura

Furikake is a Japanese seasoning, often used on top of rice, cooked vegetables, or fish. It is traditionally made of dried fish (most often bonito), dried seaweed, sesame seeds, salt, and a bit of sugar.

Hundreds of different versions exist, including variations using salmon flakes, shiso herbs, dried vegetables, kombu and hijiki seaweed, wasabi, dried miso, peppers, or cured egg bits.

Furikake was first invented by a Japanese pharmacist named Suekichi Yoshimaru during the Taisho period, roughly 1912 to 1926. To address calcium deficits in his patients, he developed a powdered mixture of fish bones, roasted sesame seeds, poppy seeds…


It’s not much different than how you should be eating — but here’s how to get started

Photo: Aya Brackett

In times of crisis, it’s natural to seek guidance on how to stay healthy. As the coronavirus spreads throughout the U.S., I couldn’t help but wonder if there were specific immune-boosting foods we should stock up on.

I reached out to my friend and collaborator Dr. David L. Katz for advice, and then compiled a few recipes to make it easy to follow the doctor’s orders.

How to eat if you’re worried about the potential of a pandemic is not that much different than how to eat normally: Katz noted that most of us have a pro-inflammatory diet, and the…


Focus on small victories

Anything is possible. Photo: Michelle McMahon/Moment/Getty Images

Brethren, it has been a week. A month. A year. And it’s only March.

In such complicated and anxiety-provoking times, simple wins mean a lot. I’ve got a tip that involves avocados — a prime culprit in the wellness movement.

For a long time, I found avocados very annoying. They barely taste like anything unless you douse them in hot sauce. Certain grocery stores price them like tiny mounds of green orgasms. Toast tastes better with jam, peanut butter, plain butter, or olive oil. Fight me on it.

And yet, I began regularly consuming avocados a few months back, when…


New Releases

It’s not so much what you eat, but what you don’t eat

Photo: Daria Ustiugova/iStock/Getty Images Plus

When I was writing for the opinion section of The New York Times, I had a number of close advisers. On nutrition matters, I came to rely more and more heavily on David Katz. Later, we became friends and, in 2018, I asked him to sit down and talk with me about how we should be eating, for a Grub Street piece that ran (untruthfully) as “The Last Conversation You’ll Ever Need to Have About Eating Right.”

The response was tremendous — it was one of the most-read articles of the year. …


New Releases

We’re not saying ‘don’t eat sugar.’ We’re saying ‘don’t eat a lot of sugar.’

Illustration: Alex Testere

When I was writing for the Opinion section of the Times, I had a number of close advisors. On nutrition matters, I came to rely more and more heavily on David Katz. Later, we became friends and, in 2018, I asked him to sit down and talk with me about how we should be eating, for a Grub Street piece which ran (untruthfully) as “The Last Conversation You’ll Ever Need to Have About Eating Right.”

The response was tremendous, as one of the most-read articles of the year — not just in food; not just for New York Magazine, but…


The one-pot that feeds the body and spirit

Photo: DigiPub/Moment/Getty Images

Healthy food is a lot of things, but one thing that I believe we don’t pay enough attention to is the spiritual element of it.

Extreme diets, already-prepared delivery meal services, and snacks that tout themselves as healthy are not necessarily “bad” for us, but over time they are unsustainable and can’t complement our social and emotional needs. We’re complex humans, not robots, and food needs to reflect that. In this sense, food is not just fuel — it’s society, it’s culture, it’s love, and it’s community. …


What I Eat

Also, he’s over 70 and still breaking records

Photos: Tom O’Connor

You’ve likely never heard of one of the fastest septuagenarians in the world — or that his diet is key to his record-breaking speed.

At 72, Charles “Buddy” Allie holds nine world records for sprinting, and he’s not done yet. He’s currently training for the Masters Indoor Championships in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, in March, followed by the Masters Outdoor Championships in Greensboro, North Carolina, in July.

In 2018, he broke his own record for the 400-meter in Spain, reaching the finish line in 57.26 seconds. No one in Allie’s age group came close to hitting the under-a-minute mark.

“I’m always…

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Food from every angle: From Medium x Mark Bittman

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