economics

The Real Costs of Cooking

“You should spend less time on food and more time on your career”

A boss actually said this to me once. I was the bad employee who took a full hour for lunch. And didn’t just slurp a bowl of microwaved glop while reading tech listservs like some of my co-workers. I also left at the end of the working day to join friends at dinner or to go home and cook a meal rather than reading documentation until the sun went down. 

A Good Paula Deen is Hard to Find

 “I was always conflicted about being from the South” says Andrew Beck Grace at the beginning of Eating Alabama, a documentary about attempting to eat local which I watched while I was in Alabama.

The Myth of Sustainable Meat and James McWilliams

People keep sending me The Myth of Sustainable Meat by James McWilliams. If you've followed this blog long enough you'll know I've blogged about James before. I'm also a regular commenter on his articles on the Atlantic. I've been enough of a nuisance that I've gotten his attention and he's written about me too

Taxes are not the solution to our food problems

 Some people have occasionally asked me to comment on the Danish fat tax. I do have a background in economics, but I didn't comment at first because I don't live in Denmark and they won't let me live there even if I wanted to. Oh, and based on my time in Denmark, it seems like they are used to paying more for everything anyway and their consumption won't change much, except canola oil will be used in most commercial/institutional food, but that was already happening. Scandinavia taxes alcohol through the roof and makes it difficult to buy.

Anthropologist writes that the paleo diet is not the key to a healthy future

I'm going to call the paleo diet portrayed in the media the PaleoStrawman diet. It contains only lean meat and non-starchy vegetables. The meat comes from factory farms. The latest place it has showed up on is NPR, where anthropologist Barbara King contends that it is not the way to a healthy future for the world. She says she has interacted with paleo dieters online and has read Paleo magazine, but it doesn't show at all.

She says:

Wisconsin, 2022

Wisconsin 2022. Things have gotten bad since 2011. The economy recovered somewhat, employment didn't. Outsourcing, automation, productivity per person, and general economic stagnation have produced a dire economic situation, particularly among young people. The dream of productivity gains allowing people to work less has turned into a nightmare. It's more productive to have fewer employees than to let people work less. Few young people are getting married. Fertility is dropping. Resource prices, particularly for fossil fuels and synthetic fertilizer, just reached an all-time high.

What about all the people that can't afford to do XYZ?

 What about all the people that can't afford grass-fed meat? Can't afford to stay home from work to breast feed? Can't afford to purchase whole foods? 

Are we evolved to gorge on meat?

 In his latest editorial, cookbook author turned food expert (I don't know how), Mark Bittman argues that our instinct to gorge on meat is what is causing people all over the world to eat too much meat.