Mark Bittman: The Food Industry’s Solution to Obesity – NYTimes

Mark Bittman

You can buy food from farmers — directly, through markets, any way you can find — and I hope you do. But unless you’re radically different from most of us, much of what you eat comes from corporations that process, market, deliver and sell “food,” a majority of which is processed beyond recognition.

The problem is that real food isn’t real profitable. “It’s hard to market fruit and vegetables without adding value,” says Marion Nestle, a professor of nutrition, food studies and public health at New York University. “If you turn a potato into a potato chip you not only make more money — you create a product with a long shelf life.” Potatoes into chips and frozen fries; wheat into soft, “enriched” bread; soybeans into oil and meat; corn into meat and a staggering variety of junk.

You can possibly blame them for stupidity: Even a mindless parasite knows that if it kills its host the party’s over, and by pushing products that promote “illth” — the opposite of health — big food is unwittingly destroying its own market. Diet-related Type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease disable and kill people, and undoubtedly we’ll be hearing more about nonalcoholic steatohepatitis, or NASH, an increasingly prevalent fatty liver disease that’s brought on by diet and may lead to liver failure. Continue reading Mark Bittman: The Food Industry’s Solution to Obesity – NYTimes

18 Things White People Should Know/Do Before Discussing Racism

By Tiffanie Drayton & Joshua McCarther

Discussions about racism should be all-inclusive and open to people of all skin colors. However, to put it simply, sometimes White people lack the experience or education that can provide a rudimentary foundation from which a productive conversation can be built. This is not necessarily the fault of the individual, but pervasive myths and misinformation have dominated mainstream racial discourse and often times, the important issues are never highlighted. For that reason, The Frisky has decided to publish this handy list that has some basic rules and information to better prepare anyone for a worthwhile discussion about racism.

1. It is uncomfortable to talk about racism. It is more uncomfortable to live it.

2. “Colorblindness” is a cop-out. The statements “but I don’t see color” or “I never care about color” do not help to build a case against systemic racism. Try being the only White person in an environment. You will notice color then. Continue reading 18 Things White People Should Know/Do Before Discussing Racism

Anne Marie Slaughter: Don’t Fight in #Iraq and Ignore #Syria – NYTimes

By Anne-Marie Slaughter

WASHINGTON — FOR the last two years, many people in the foreign policy community, myself included, have argued repeatedly for the use of force in — to no avail. We have been pilloried as warmongers and targeted, by none other than President Obama, as people who do not understand that force is not the solution to every question. A wiser course, he argued at West Point, is to use force only in defense of America’s vital interests.

Suddenly, however, in the space of a week, the administration has begun considering the use of force in , including drones, against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, or ISIS, which has been occupying city after city and moving ever closer to Baghdad.

The sudden turn of events leaves people like me scratching our heads. Why is the threat of ISIS in Iraq a sufficiently vital interest, but not the rise of ISIS in Syria — and a hideous civil war that has dismembered Syria itself and destabilized Lebanon, Jordan and now Iraq?

I suspect White House officials would advance three reasons.

First, they would say, the fighters in Iraq include members of Al Qaeda. But that ignores recent history. Experts have predicted for over a year that unless we acted in Syria, ISIS would establish an Islamic state in eastern Syria and western Iraq, exactly what we are watching. So why not take them on directly in Syria, where their demise would strengthen the moderate opposition?

Continue reading Anne Marie Slaughter: Don’t Fight in #Iraq and Ignore #Syria – NYTimes

New Painless Treatment For Cavities

King’s College London – King’s spin-out will put tooth decay in a ‘time warp’

Dentists could soon be giving your teeth a mild ‘time warp’ to encourage them to self-repair, thanks to a new device being developed by dental researchers. Reminova Ltd, a new spin-out company from King’s College London, aims to take the pain out of tooth decay treatment by electrically reversing the process to help teeth ‘remineralise’. Continue reading New Painless Treatment For Cavities