March 2019

Relax, pour yourself a mug of coffee or, if it’s late, a glass of wine and enjoy catching up on news about food.

“What we stick in our mouths matters to our mental health” says Australian scientist Felice Jacka, a leading light in the field of nutritional psychology in her book “Brain Changer”. Amy Fleming highlights some of Jacka’s findings in her article Nutritional psychiatry: can you eat yourself happier? [The Guardian, March 18, 2019]. I downloaded the book on my Kindle, it’s fascinating, it could be the “bible” of flexitarian eating! Debunking a lot what pseudo health gurus – sorry nowadays they are called influencers – babble about.

During a quick trip to NYC last week to see the Met Breuer’s Lucio Fontana exhibition “On the Threshold” we really enjoyed dinner at Somtum Der in LES. Not your regular Thai but Isan Thai! Flavors are complex but instead of the ubiquitous curries simmering for hours, fresh and savory salads form the backbone of the Isan cuisine, reportedly Thailand’s most popular regional food. Tripsavy’s webpage Guide to Isan Food in Thailand gives a short overview.

Here is a new business opportunity for Silicon Valley: The A.I. Diet – forget government-issued food pyramids. Let an algorithm tell you how to eat. [NY Times opinion piece by Eric Topol, March 2, 2019]. There is a “remarkable heterogeneity of human metabolism, microbiome and environment, to name just a few of the dimensions that make each of us unique”. An effective diet has to be individualized – the result of a large study using artifical intelligence.

The English breastabloid The Sun (part of Murdoch’s press empire I try to avoid at all cost) reports a hilarious story titled BARMAN’S REVENGE – Pub landlord hailed a ‘legend’ for his witty responses to bad TripAdvisor reviews.

Finally some good news on the sustainability front: Trader Joe’s is reducing non-recycable plastic waste in a big way, here is their announcement: https://www.traderjoes.com/announcement/packaging-improvements