All Calories Are Not Created Equal

One of the challenges of arguing that hyperprocessed carbohydrates are largely responsible for the obesity pandemic (“epidemic” is no longer a strong enough word, say many experts) is the notion that “a calorie is a calorie.”

Accept that, and you buy into the contention that consuming 100 calories’ worth of sugar water (like Coke or Gatorade), white bread or French fries is the same as eating 100 calories of broccoli or beans. And Big Food — which has little interest in selling broccoli or beans — would have you believe that if you expend enough energy to work off those 100 calories, it simply doesn’t matter.

There’s an increasing body of evidence, however, that calories from highly processed carbohydrates like white flour (and of course sugar) provide calories that the body treats differently, spiking both blood sugar and insulin and causing us to retain fat instead of burning it off.

In other words, all calories are not alike.

Read the rest of this column here.

Posted in Food Politics

How to Cook Everything: The Basics: Corn Chowder with Cheddar

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By Meghan Gourley

Ubiquitous as it is, it’s easy to forget the subtle side of corn. Chowder—here with cheddar and scallions—reminds us that summer’s favorite crop is versatile. The key to this chowder is finding the freshest summer corn you can, and shaving it off the cob like a pro: spare nothing. Get as close to the cob with the blade of your knife as you can. Work slowly and carefully, and don’t waste anything—the meatiness of the kernels is what makes this soup so hearty. Recipe from How to Cook Everything: The Basics.

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Posted in American, Recipes

Good News in Food

Certainly there is plenty wrong with our food “system,” and it’s easy to point that out week after week. Every day there’s more bad news, and when credible people say that 900 million Indians are hungry — really hungry, not “dying” for a Snickers — the tendency is to get so depressed that one overlooks progress. (Perhaps, too, New Yorkers are born to kvetch.)

But here in the United States at least, every week there’s evidence that the pendulum is swinging. One could allow pessimism to reign, but it’s my sworn duty to occasionally point out some of The Good Stuff. And there’s been plenty the last few weeks. (All tempered, of course, but we’ll try to tame the inner curmudgeon here.)

Read the rest of this column here.

Posted in Food Politics