Doing the CanCan

According to the World Health Organization around 147 million people worldwide use cannabis; that is 2.5% of the world population. It seems that there are many opportunities to fight illness with cannabis, but predictably much opposition from those making a lot of money through the main stream medical industry. On the other hand, there are also lots of people making money and earning their living from this green revolution. In 2013, Uruguay became the first country in the world to completely legalize marijuana.  There is such fierce debate and division about this pretty plant, so I thought I would share a few facts about the drug and the trade with you from around the world:

CHINA
It may come as no surprise that China apparently holds 309 of the 606 patents relating to marijuana. China is world famous for its traditional medicine which includes herb-based medicines and so it seems fitting that, according to an article in the Independent, China is set to dominate trade in this drug which they were using in medicinal treatments as much as 5000 years ago. Read more here.

ISRAEL
Israel has been called the ‘marijuana research capital of the world’. In 2014, a government-backed Israeli start-up developed the first device of its kind to administer cannabis as a pharmaceutical. The Syqe (pronounced psyche) Inhaler enables patients to inhale metered doses of vaporized cannabis granules. Today, around 20,000 Israelis take doctor-prescribed cannabis. See the documentary: Cannabis Research Studies. Read more about the inhaler here and here.

JAMAICA
On 25 February 2015 Jamaica legalized the recreational use of marijuana and established a licensing agency to regulate a lawful medical marijuana industry. That is right, it was illegal to smoke before then, in spite of the Rastafari movement, born in Jamaica in the 1930s, which regards the herb to have religious significance. The use of marijuana by Rastafarians is a spiritual act and is highly ritualized; the following prayer is said before its use: ‘Glory be to the father and to the maker of creation. As it was in the beginning is now and ever shall be World without end: Jah Rastafari: Eternal God Selassie I.’ Read more on the Rastafari here.

NETHERLANDS
Probably the most famous place in the world for smoking weed in public spaces, yet cannabis is actually an illegal class II drug in the Netherlands. The tolerance towards the ‘soft drug’ had been very high since the 1970s but in the 2000s things changed. There was a move to make the notorious coffee shops for Dutch people only with the introduction of a ‘weed pass’ (!!), but that idea has not yet been officially introduced. Nonetheless, one source reports that 193 coffee shops have closed in Amsterdam since 1999 and the mayor of Amsterdam has decided that he will close 70 more in 2015. Read more here.

USA
Absolutely the most baffling, promising and scary country of all regarding this plant in my eyes. It is decriminalized but not legal in many states; Washington and Colorado legalized the recreational use of marijuana for 21s and over on 26 February 2015 (see an amusing story here); medical marijuana has been legalized in several states and municipalities, generating jobs and saving and improving ‘s thousands of people’s quality of life. Meanwhile young people (of course much higher numbers of black kids) are being arrested and imprisoned for possession which is both expensive and socially destructive; billions of dollars are being spent on the ‘war’ on drugs and at the same time the US is supplying arms to Mexican drug cartels. Watch this brilliant documentary to see a critique of the US involvement in the cannabis trade: The Culture High

Oh and by the way, cannibis and marijuana mean the same thing when talking about the drug, but the plant is called cannibis. Read more about the plant and drug here.

Here are a few more articles and websites for you to browse:

A Vogue Editor Cooks With Pot

Heavy cannabis use ‘linked to lower GCSE results at 16’

7 Stunning Figures that Sum Up Colorado’s Marijuana Market

Teen Challenge UK (help for teens with addictions in UK)

 

And my recipe today … no, I am not going to make anything using the herb. Instead I will give due attention to my Jamaican roots and share with you my method of cooking Rice and Peas. I cooked it at the weekend to eat together with a vegetarian coconut based curry. It goes well together with all Carribean dishes, but also Indian food and many Thai dishes too.

4 large spring onions
2 large cloves of garlic
1 teaspoon dried thyme (or 6 sprigs of fresh thyme)
2 tins of kidney beans (or two cups of dried beans soaked and stewed until soft)
1 tin coconut milk
300ml of stock  (chicken is good, but vegetable is fine)
200g basmati rice
generous pinch of salt

Cut off and discard the ends of the spring onion. Squash the remaining stems using the palm of your had and the side of a large knife (if you dare not do this then use a large, reasonably flat wooden spoon)  and cut them into 2.5cm (1 inch) pieces. Peel and similarly squash the garlic cloves. Add them to the stock together with the thyme, kidney beans and coconut milk. Bring to the boil and then simmer for about 10 minutes. Wash and rinse the basmati rice and then add to the mixture. Increase the heat keeping the lid off and stir intermittently. Once the rice mix starts to boil again reduce to a low heat and put on the lid. The liquid should be around one centimetres above the level of the solids at this stage. Cooking time can vary drastically between different brands of basmati, so the remaining cooking time could be anything between 10 and 20 minutes. If in doubt, check the packet for instructions.

There are so many different ways to cook Rice and Peas, and mine is by no means the best, but it is pretty simple and tastes good. The best is to use dried beans, and actually my favourite is with black-eyed beans, but I have not tried making it often enough to share with you here. Here is an alternative method from BBC GoodFood accompanied by what looks to be a delicious recipe for Jerk Chicken … I might well try this one out at the weekend rather than relying on my Jerk mix!

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Food, glorious food

The other day I saw a post on Facebook about the chemicals used to keep ready-to-eat (i.e. chopped and pealed) fruit looking ‘fresh’. I found the post interesting mostly because I had thought it was, for want of a better word, obvious that this fruit was treated with something to be able to stay so bright and perky all day long. (By the way, a tip for removing the unwanted chemical stuff from your fresh whole fruit and veg is to soak them in water that has a couple of tablespoons of apple cider vinegar in for 15mins, then scrub them a little and rinse them off.) There is an astronomical amount of information available nowadays on how the food industry ‘prepares’ food for us, the negative effects of ‘sugar-free’ and ‘fat-free’ products, the relationship between the food and pharmaceutical industries and government, but it is seemingly not far-reaching enough. And perhaps, even if it does 'reach far', the machinery of global capitalism is so strong that changing eating patterns and the content of one’s diet is not a particularly easy thing to do, and is often not economically viable for many, many people. One good tip that Michael Pollan gives which I think is particularly useful for those with a wide range of products to choose from yet have budgetary constraints is that no matter what food it is that you eat, it is always better to cook it yourself (see How Cooking Can Change Your Life). But then there is the modern-day challenge of time which must be saved for another blog post.

At the Nordic Institute of Asian Studies (NIAS) where I currently have an office space, food is a major part of our day, so much so that when NIAS moved to the new premises, the kitchen was redesigned so that it resembled more a ‘proper’ kitchen than a ‘staff’ kitchen: there is an oven, two induction hobs, a microwave, two fridge-freezers, pots, pans, cutlery, cooking utensils etc. … everything to facilitate a DIY lunch. And the fridges are packed! Many of us love food and it is visible at mealtimes. Most days everyone comes together for lunch at 12.30 and the colours and diversity of the food can be quite amazing. It is rare to see people eating pre-packed food (apart from sweet stuff!). In fact in four years I think the most I have witnessed is pre-packed salads and 3-minute noodles. But this can also make people uncomfortable. I remember one person saying that when she started she would just heat her food up in the microwave and bring it to the table and eat from her Tupperware. But, she said, she became a little bit self-conscious because everyone ate their ‘good looking’ meals on plates, so she started to do the same. I have to say, I enjoy eating every day with seemingly healthy eaters … I am not a food saint: I love fish and chips, well, chips in general, I love pizza and I am by no means a food snob. If microwave lasagne is all that is available, I will polish it off no problem! I am and have always been food and health conscious, and nowadays (it has happened with the more sedentary lifestyle that has come with age, change in work environments and change in family life) if I eat such ‘fast’ foods, I do have some kind of adverse reaction afterwards.

In the so-called advanced industrial societies, most people have access to the resources they need to address issues of diet, nutrition and weight gain/loss, however there are many who are not aware of the options that are open to them, such as free or low-cost advice, guidance, classes etc. at public institutions, community centres and churches. This is often not the case in other countries, regions and communities that are at different stages of development, which have been infected by the bad consumption practices of the so-called ‘developed’ world.  In reading around for today’s post I came across the term ‘New World Syndrome’. The term was first used by Weiss et al. (1984) to describe something that was happening in American indian tribes: they experienced major dietary changes from traditional high protein, low carbohydrate diets to diets consisting high refined carbohydrates and high saturated fats, and (coupled with living more sedntary lives) suffered/are suffering severe health consequences as a result. New World Syndrome is now characterized by obesity, type-2 diabetes and gall bladder diseases, and cardio-vascular diseases and a resultant short life span. The sedentary lifestyles of so-called ‘advanced’ and ‘developed’ societies also contribute greatly to the onset of NWS, and the speed with which this is infecting societies around the world is such that it is common to refer to it as an epidemic (see more on the role of capitalism in the obesity epidemic here). Reference is also made to the ‘obesity-malnutrition paradox’ that exists in countries whatever their stage of development (see examples from the US here and India here).

One article that I looked at by Prentice (2005: 96-97) highlights another interesting point about social stigma:

‘In the Western world social stigmatism against obesity and a widespread (though usually unsuccessful) obsession with trying to remain lean have probably helped limit to some extent the rate of rise in obesity. In many developing countries this psychological brake has been absent. The classic example comes from Polynesian islanders who associate large body size with power, beauty, and affluence. […] Studies in African Americans have reported a lack of social pressure to be thin and reduced social negativity toward obesity especially in women. However […] there have been very few reports of attitudes to obesity in native African populations.

This point makes me think of Wonderful Copenhagen where food is such a craze – ‘New Nordic Cuisine', food magazines, numerous Michelin-starred and non-Michelin-starred restaurants, websites, TV programmes, organic-food-mania – and there are almost as many sports centers, gyms and such as there are inhabitants! I joke with my guests that come to visit, who are amazed by the healthy appearance of the average Copenhagener, that a big difference between the Danish and British partiality for drunkenness and alcohol is that Danes are up the next morning/afternoon and biking to the gym and sweating off all they indulged in the night before. The main stream media and academia Danes tend to deny that they treat people differently according to their appearances and that fat people are stigmatized, but there is strong evidence to suggest the contrary, which is the downside to the health consciousness here.

In summer the Asia Dynamics Initiative (ADI) at the University of Copenhagen have their annual conference. This year the focus is on food. Take a look at their website here: “Food, Feeding and Eating In and Out of Asia”.  ADI are hosted here at NIAS and so I am reminded about the conference by my colleagues and conscience each day; even though food is not my research focus, I am eager to write and present a paper. The difficulty for me is in deciding which aspect to focus on – there is so much to discuss. I am looking forward to attending the conference and hearing what others have to say.

Please click:
here for Michael Pollan’s website.
here for a list of more recent documentaries on food.
here for healthy eating/lifestyle tips from the European Food Information Council.
here for food tours in Scandinavia.
here for food tours in other European cities.

A couple of weeks ago I made two recipes using beetroot. It is considered a ‘superfood’ because of all the goodness it contains and I would like to incorporate it into my diet a bit more. In looking for recipes I came across this fun website called LoveBeetroot.co.uk dedicated solely to beetroot! I want to share with you the two delicious recipe’s I found and made. Both absolutely delicious:

The first is for Beautiful Beetroot and Feta Patties from the BBC’s GoodFood site. I followed the recipe and cooking tips almost 100%. The one change was to add two tablespoons of olive oil to the mixture. I actually did it by accident, but the outcome was great – I think they might have been a little bit dry without it.

The second is for a scrummy Flour-Free Beetroot and Chocolate Cake. I was particularly pleased with this one as I am not quite as experienced with baking as I am with cooking savoury dishes and so I rely on the recipe and description of the method a lot. This recipe was taken from a cookbook I bought recently, Love, Bake Nourish, by Amber Rose, to guide me with making delicious healthy desserts. The texture is amazing, the flavor delightful, but next time I make it I will add something (maybe a sweeter honey than the one I used) to make it slightly sweeter, or make sure I eat it with some vanilla ice-cream! I’ll add the recipe I used when I get home, but in the meantime take a look at this recipe for a Decadent Beet and Chocolate Cake from a really wonderful website called Green Kitchen Stories.

Flour-Free Beetroot and Chocolate Cake

300g cooked unseasoned beetroot, peeled and pureed
4 large free-range eggs
4 tablespoons honey
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon raw cocoa powder, plus extra for dusting
1 teaspoon (gluten-free) baking powder
pinch of salt
125g ground almonds (I used half almonds and half walnuts)
125g dark chocolate (70%)
4 tablespoons cold-pressed olive oil

Pre-heat oven to 180 degrees. Greese and line a 22cm loose-bottomed cake tin.

In a large mixing bowl, beat the beetroot, eggs, honey, vanilla extract, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt with an electric hand mixer. When these ingredients are thoroughly combined, fold in the ground nuts.

Place a heatproof bowl on the top of a saucepan containing a little water. Make sure the bowl is big enough to cover the top of the pan, but do not allow the bottom of the bowl to be in contact with the water. Put the chocolate pieces in the bowl and allow to melt over a low heat, then mix in the oil. Gently stir the chocolate and oil into the cake mixture until well combined.

Scrape the mixture into the prepared tin and bake in the ven for 35-40 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Remove from the oven and leave the cake to cool in the tin before turning out onto a wire rack.

Once the cake is completely cool, dust with cocoa poweder. Serve on its own or with creme fraiche.

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“Det har ikke noget med uhøflighed at gøre … vi er danskere!”

I sidste uge måtte jeg ringe til et dansk flyselskab for at hjælpe mine svigerforældre med deres booking fra Rom til København. Den ene dag snakkede jeg med en meget høflig og hjælpsom medarbejder. Dagen efter var jeg nødt til at ringe igen:

Mig: ”Goddag. Jeg ringer på vegne af …”
Ekspedient: ”Hvad drejer det sig om?”

Jeg må indrømme fra starten af, at jeg har været opdraget til at være meget høflig, lige meget hvem jeg taler med, derfor var denne afbrydelse, inden jeg fik sagt navnene, uhøflig i mine øjne. Samtalen fortsætter med korte spørgsmål og korte svare og endte med, at jeg skulle ringe til et rejsebureau for at få hjælp. Jeg måtte spørge efter nummeret tre gange, fordi ekspedienten udtalte nummeret for hurtigt for mig, og så var samtalen slut. Nummeret virkede ikke, så måtte jeg ringe til flyselskabet igen. Den gang fik jeg en anden kvindelig ekspedient, som tog telefonen, mens hun grinede med sine kolleger. Jeg ventede. Efter en kort tid kom: ”Ja … hallo?” Endnu en dårlig start. Og en endnu værre afslutning.

Jeg fik ordnet alt, hvad jeg skulle – meget hurtigt, igen uden nogen form for pynt, og jeg måtte til sidst angive min e-mail-adresse. Efter 13 år i Danmark er jeg stadig ikke så god til at udtale vokaler, når jeg staver, så jeg måtte slå over til engelsk, kun for at stave e-mail-adressen. Resten af samtalen foregik på dansk. Jeg tænkte, at der måske var en grund til, at de havde været så uvenlige, så jeg spurgte, hvor mange de var på kontoret, og oplyste, at jeg mente, at samtalerne i dag havde været lidt ubehagelige, og at personalet virkede uhøfligt og aggressivt.

Ekspedienten svarede, at de havde travlt. Hun forklarede mig, hvorfor alt gik så hurtigt (inklusiv deres sprog). Men det forklarede ikke, at der ingen form for venlighed var, ingen høflighed, ingen menneskelighed. Det var trods alt kundeservice, jeg ringede til. Nå, jeg er klar over, at mine forventninger er høje, og at nogen, når de har travlt, ikke er så opmærksomme på små ting som høflighed. Vi er alle sammen forskellige, heldigvis. Jeg forstod godt og tilføjede, at selv om de havde travlt, kunne den måde, de to damer talte med folk på, blive fortolket som uhøflighed og aggression, hvortil hun svarede: ”Det har ikke noget med høflighed at gøre. Det er, fordi vi er danskere!”

Jeg var målløs. Det eneste, jeg kunne sige, var farvel. Jeg ringede til administrationen og klagede over dette udsagn og havde en meget behagelig samtale med en meget høflig, kundeorienteret medarbejder. Lige som min samtale var med manden dagen før. De var begge danskere, mener jeg.

Jeg sidder for tiden på Nordisk Institut for Asien Studier og skriver min Ph.d. i socialpolitik. I år har jeg læst meget om kultur, og min personlige baggrund og livsforløb har gjort, at jeg tænker meget over, hvad folk siger, hvordan de siger det, hvorfor de siger det, og forskellen mellem hvad de siger, hvad de mener, og hvad andre forstår. Der er ofte store forskelle.

Gennem de sidste tretten år har jeg, lige som mange andre i Danmark, haft et stærkt forhold til Danmark, der spænder mellem kærlighed og had. Jeg mener også, at lige meget hvor man bor, er der ting, som man kan lide, og andre ting, som man ikke kan lide. Det burde være i orden at kritisere, om man er udlænding eller indfødt. Jeg elsker mit liv her og har altid haft både danske og udenlandske venner. Når jeg er i udlandet, og også når jeg er her, forsvarer jeg tit danskere mod deres ry for at være racister. Efter min mening har det meget mere med xenofobi og national stolthed end racisme at gøre. Problemet er, at lige meget hvilket problem, der er mellem folk, er der en stærk tendens til at påpege, hvor dansk eller udansk noget eller nogen er, og ofte er det udtryk for, at den danske måde at gøre tingene på er den bedste og mest overlegne. Et sidste, og nogle gang første, forsvar, som handler om herkomst, bidrager til opfattelsen af danskere som racister.

Som jeg ser det, er der en stor afstand mellem, hvad mennesker, som ekspedienten, siger og hvad de mener, og som lytter kan det være svært at vurdere, om udsagnet er negativ ment (racistisk), eller udtryk for naivitet, ignorance eller noget andet på talerens side.  Jeg har den fornemmelse, at ekspedienten brugte sin nationalitet og sin viden om danskeres ry for at være direkte som en dårlig undskyldning for sin egen og kollegaens uhøflighed. Jeg tror ikke, at hun er/var klar over, hvor diskriminerende det er at antyde, at jeg har den forkerte opfattelse, fordi jeg ikke er dansker. Det er min fortolkning af det, hun sagde. Dybest set, ved hun ikke hvem jeg er, hvad min baggrund er, og hvor lidt eller hvor meget jeg kender til dansk kultur. I England og andre lande vil dette udsagn have kostet hende jobbet. Det synes jeg heller ikke rigtig, det burde gøre. Samfundet får ikke noget ud af det.

Der er nogle mennesker, som mener, at jeg bliver for irriteret, når jeg føler mig dårligt behandlet, eller når jeg læser noget, som jeg synes er forkert. Måske har de ret. Jeg behøver ikke at være så irriteret. På den anden side kunne man overveje, hvordan vi lærer af og om hinanden, hvis ikke vi taler om tingene? Hvordan kan ekspedienten forstå, at det, hun sagde, kan fortolkes meget negativt af udlændinge, hvis ikke jeg siger min mening om det til én, som har erfaring med personaleledelse, der kan forklare problemet grundigt på en måde, så damen får noget ud af det, i det mindst professionelt? Det er et internationalt flyselskab – hun kommer sikkert til at tale igen med nogle, som ikke er danske.

Vi lever i en globaliseret verden. Danmark er et lille land, som bliver mere og mere afhængigt af udlandet. Mon ikke der kommer en tid, hvor flere danskere, og andre rundt om i verden, vil kunne elske og være stolte af deres kultur og land uden at fornærme andre nationaliteter og kulturer? Lad os fortsætte med at tale sammen og håbe, at det sker om ikke så længe.

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The Mood for Writing

I have just listened to a guest lecture “Literature and Ideology” at the Nordic Institute for Asian Studies (NIAS) given by the Nobel Prize in Literature winner (2000), Gao Xingjian, a renowned novelist, playwright, critic and painter. I have not read any of his work, neither do I know very much about him apart from what I learned during his lecture.

Listening to his speech (which was read out by his translator as a time-saving measure) inspired me to pick up my pen, so to speak, and write a new post for the blog after some months of silence. The chief reason for the lack of posts has been my preoccupation with a book chapter I have been working on that is forthcoming in 2011 for a publication from the Institute of Migration edited by my colleagues Saara Koikkalainen and Elli Heikkilä, New Forms of Migration – Finns Abroad.

My needs from this project are satisfied through the process of thinking and writing and cooking and eating. My desire to share knowledge and debate is what has made this platform public and it is of course a wonderful added bonus if other people enjoy it too …. which they seem to … when I write! Apologies for the silence.

One of the main messages of Gao Xingjian’s lecture was that in order for literature to survive, writers must carefully scrutinize their own position and have a clear understanding of themselves. I would agree and add that this is the case for any kind of writing – it is certainly the case for academic writing and sometimes not an easy task: to be objective about one’s own subjectivity and, furthermore, write about it.

Another idea promoted was that there is currently spiritual deprivation and this state of affairs is crippling literary thought and creativity. I wanted to ask Gao Xingjian if he thought having some level of spiritual consciousness was a necessary condition for imaginative and creative thought, but didn’t. It is something I am still pondering, as is Gau Xingjian’s view that we (in the visible world) have stupidly replaced religion with ideology, and ethics with political correctness. My immediate thoughts are: Isn’t religion ideologically grounded? And, it is possible that these very strong statements only take into consideration the positive sides to religion and ethics and fail to acknowledge the subjective nature of ethics and also the atrocities that have been and continue to be carried out in the name of religion. Spirituality and religion as I understand them are oceans apart, but maybe they too are subjective phenomena.

Goa Xingjian relayed his thoughts on the influence of politics on literature, which for him is the same as party politics. He believes its influence and impact  has created a big dilemma for literature. He believes that literature that serves politics loses something. I understand what he means. On the other hand different forms of artistic expression have historically been used to express political views, whether it be through painting, photography, literature, music, sculpture or other forms, and so it should. Should art not be a channel for different forms of expression, not just spiritual or simply the pursuit of pleasure,the creation beauty or simply self-indulgence?

In short, I really enjoyed listening to Gao Xingjian’s thoughts and ideas. I empathized with much of what was read out, and was also provoked by other parts. Listening to inspiring and thought-provoking speakers is one of the most enjoyable aspects of this stage in my career path, and it doesn’t go amiss in my private life either.

Here are some links you may find interesting:

And about the food … well I guess it is Chinese tomorrow night! I often cook my version of Chinese food, which I and others quite enjoy, but I actually do not have a Chinese cookbook surprisingly enough. I need to get one. So for now you will have to make do with one of my, let's say, Chinese inspired dishes!

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Michael Pollan’s 64 Food Rules

Sorry for the silence, but January is a total immersion PhD month!

Until February, I shall leave you with Michael Pollen's 64 food rules from his little book "Food Rules". I am happy that someone else came up with a list of suggestions that are really at the heart of eating a well balanced, healthy diet … and amusing too – I love numbers 2, 19 and 20!

Read more about his work at www.michaelpollan.com

1. Eat food
2. Don’t eat anything your great‐grandmother wouldn’t recognize as food
3. Avoid food products containing ingredients that no ordinary human would keep in the pantry
4. Avoid food products that contain high‐fructose corn syrup
5. Avoid food products that have some form of sugar (or sweetener listed among) the top three ingredients
6. Avoid food products that have more than 5 ingredients
7. Avoid food products containing ingredients that a third‐grader cannot pronounce
8. Avoid food products that make health claims
9. Avoid food products with the wordoid “lite” or the terms “low fat” or “nonfat” in their names
10. Avoid foods that are pretending to be something they are not
11. Avoid foods you see advertised on television
12. Shop the peripheries of the supermarket and stay out of the middle
13. Eat only foods that will eventually rot
14. Eat foods made from ingredients that you can picture in their raw state or growing in nature
15. Get out of the supermarket whenever you can
16. Buy your snacks at the farmers market
17. Eat only foods that have been cooked by humans
18. Don’t ingest foods made in places where everyone is required to wear a surgical cap
19. If it came from a plant, eat it; if it was made in a plant, don’t.
20. It’s not food if it arrived through the window of your car
21. It’s not food if it’s called by the same name in every language (Think Big Mac, Cheetos or Pringles)
22. Eat mostly plants, especially leaves
23. Treat meat as a flavoring or special occasion food
24. Eating what stands on one leg [mushrooms and plant foods] is better than eating what stands on two legs [fowl], which is better than eating what stands on four legs [cows, pigs and other mammals].
25. Eat your colors
26. Drink the spinach water
27. Eat animals that have themselves eaten well
28. If you have space, buy a freezer
29. Eat like an omnivore
30. Eat well‐grown food from healthy soil
31. Eat wild foods when you can
32. Don’t overlook the oily little fishes
33. Eat some foods that have been predigested by bacterial or fungi
34. Sweeten and salt your food yourself
35. Eat sweet foods as you find them in nature
36. Don’t eat breakfast cereals that change the color of the milk
37. The whiter the bread, the sooner you’ll be dead
38. Favor the kinds of oils and grains that have traditionally been stone‐ground
39. Eat all the junk food you want as long as you cook it yourself
40. Be the kind of person who takes supplements – then skip the supplements
41. Eat more lie the French. Or the Japanese. Or the Italians. Or the Greeks.
42. Regard nontraditional foods with skepticism
43. Have a glass of wine with dinner
44. Pay more, eat less
45. Eat less
46. Stop eating before you’re full
47. Eat when you are hungry, not when you are bored
48. Consult your gut
49. Eat slowly
50. The banquet is in the first bite
51. Spend as much time enjoying the meal as it took to prepare it
52. Buy smaller plates and glasses
53. Serve a proper portion and don’t go back for seconds
54. Breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince, dinner like pauper
55. Eat meals
56. Limit your snacks to unprocessed plant foods
57. Don’t get your fuel from the same place your car does
58. Do all your eating at a table
59. Try not to eat alone
60. Treat treats as treats
61. Leave something on your plate
62. Plant a vegetable garden if you have space, a window box if you don’t
63. Cook
64. Break the rules once in a while
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Welcome to Global Food and Thought!

I have started this blog not to air my personal views about different global issues but rather to inspire thought and critical thinking, share information, articles, comments and … recipes! I could not stand the idea of an entirely academic, political blog and I have been wanting to do something with food for a long time, so I decided to combine the two! I shall endeavor to blog once a week. I hope you enjoy the concept. You can read more about me here.

… by the way, the photograph is of a delicious vegetarian lunch prepared for us (a group of researchers from Nordic universities) while visiting a small NGO in a village in Kanataka in the south of India.

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