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Category Archives: reblog

I am a Food Porn Offender

I just happened to stumble on to this article this morning and realized immediately…I am a food porn offender. In fact, so is my husband. For those of you who live in Ontario, you know that if you visit an LCBO (our liquor commission) that every quarter they release a magazine called “Food & Drink”. It is a fantastic little publication that pairs the liquor they have with fantastic recipes. Ones that make you drool uncontrollably and your eyes roll back into your head. We sat on our bed last night and leafed through the latest edition. I have to say, I love their fall pubs, they make me feel all cozy inside! However, after reading this article, I’m not sure that I should look at these magazines ever again…ever. It talks about the ghrelin production that occurs just from looking at these pictures. They are made to stimulate that part of our brain that used to keep us alive as humans thousands of years ago. All that shiny, fatty, dessert goodness. That gorgeous glaze for meats. We are wired to think, “YUM!”

Brussel Sprouts

Try as I might, these are the sexiest sprouts I could find.

I’ve heard people joke about porn being the major use for the Internet, but I never thought it would include food porn! They have some suggestions about how to control the problem, including cooking at home. That way you can control what you are putting into your food and the portion size. That’s great, but I’m sure my Food & Drink isn’t the best thing to be selecting recipes from. I don’t often pick up my heart healthy cook book and have to wipe down the pages from all the drool falling onto them. Maybe they need to take sexier food photos…hm. All these cues, driving your dopamine levels up. You start imagining the taste in your mouth, that savory sensation. My mouth is watering just writing about it. The article suggests that really great pictures taken of healthy foods may be able to do the same thing but I’m not convinced. See the brussel sprout shot? Not super sexy.

I sort of have issue with the idea that I should take my inspiration from food porn and cook at home in order to avoid added calories and over-consumption. Have they ever actually observed someone cooking tasty desserts? I, personally,  end up snacking on ingredients while I do so. Licking the spoon is a baking tradition! This is why I’ve avoided baking altogether recently. I mean, why put my will power under even greater strain. Maybe after I’m done cooking and to the serving part I eat more mindfully, but the during is so hard to resist.

How about you, are you a food porn offender? What techniques do you feel would work best for you?

“The Food Porn Problem”

By Theresa O’Rourke

“It’s your classic money shot, the camera tight to reveal every detail of steamy cinnamon buns drizzled just so. Jam-glazed pork falling off the bone. A slice of buttery-crusted apple pie letting it all hang out. Sweet or savory, slow baked or flash fried, it’s food porn–and experts say it’s whetting our appetites in ways we never imagined. “Like the sexual kind, food porn allows us to lust after taboo things,” says psychologist Susan Albers, Psy.D., author of Eating Mindfully. “And now it’s on our terms: We can search for exactly what turns us on, enlarge the images, and linger for as long as we want.”

Just a few short years ago, food sites were predominantly recipe-driven. Now, a growing number shamelessly flaunt the fact that few people visit for the articles. FoodPornDaily.com (tagline: Click, drool, repeat.) stripped away recipes altogether in favour of luscious panned-in shots. Food images are also the fastest-growing category on the hugely popular inspiration-board site Pinterest, where they generate 50 percent more re-pins than fashion and style photos. If you don’t find anything that turns you on there, you can log on to Flickr’s Food Porn Group. Boasting nearly 600,000 images, it’s one of the most active categories on the photo-sharing site. (Search: Food photography)

Problem is, that Flickr group isn’t the only thing that’s growing. Photos seem harmless, but they provoke a real emotional and physical hunger response that can be tough to control, says neuroscientist Laura Martin, Ph.D., an assistant professor at the University of Kansas Medical Center who studies how we respond to food. And straight out of the insult-meet-injury department: Those who are overweight appear to be more sensitive to the effect of viewing irresistible food. Does that mean you can never ogle your cake without eating it too? Not necessarily. There are savvy ways to curb your appetite–online and in real life.

Eating with Our Eyes
The best food porn plays on the fact that the more indulgent a photo appears, the more likely it will trigger our instinct to eat. “Food porn relies on a phenomenon called supernormal stimuli, which exaggerates qualities we’re already hardwired to love,” says Deirdre Barrett, Ph.D., an evolutionary psychologist at Harvard Medical School’s Behavioral Medicine Program and author of Waistland: The Revolutionary Science Behind Our Weight and Fitness Crisis. Usually, that translates to visual cues that a food is high in calories–things like pooling oils and the sheen of sugar–which were coveted assets back in hunter-gatherer days, when calories (particularly the gooey, fatty ones) were harder to come by, says Barrett. That might explain why, according to a recent study from 360i, a marketing firm that studies online trends, pictures of desserts are the most likely to be shared online. Cheesy, oozy comfort foods also get favourited more frequently on sites like Food Gawker.”

To continue reading this article, go to the original posting at http://fitbie.ca.msn.com/eat-right/food-porn-problem

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5 Reasons why pesticides are bad for you

This is a great article I found explaining why pesticides are bad for us. Yes, we all like to eat things that are pretty but I think I’d choose healthy over pretty any day. Not only do pesticides have a negative impact on the health of humans, but they have a negative impact on wildlife and the environment as a whole. Read on to learn more, but be prepared to be shocked and/or appalled.

Reblogged from http://www.green-blog.org/2010/05/19/5-reasons-why-pesticides-are-bad/

 

5 Reasons Why Pesticides are Bad

Photo by  Kevin Lallier.

Photo by Kevin Lallier.

At this point, most people are at least somewhat aware that pesticides cause a great deal of environmental harm. Less well known are the effects pesticides have on individual and public health. Here, I give you 5 compelling reasons to avoid pesticides.

A quick note: This list is a little data-heavy.  To start, it will help to read through the bold lines first, and then go back to see the data behind each claim.

1. Acute exposure can kill you.

“Late in the afternoon of April 1, 1990, a three-year-old girl playing in front of her trailer home in California’s San Joaquin Valley suddenly lost control of her body and began foaming at the mouth. By the time the girl arrived at the local emergency room, she was near death. She recovered eventually. A report filed with the California Department of Pesticide Regulation concluded the child had been poisoned by aldicarb, a highly toxic insecticide that works the same way on people as it does on bugs — like nerve gas. ‘Somebody had parked a tractor with pesticide material on it right in front of the play area,’ said Michael O’Malley, the author of the report and a physician at the University of California, Davis.”
– Matt Crenson, Associated Press, December 9, 1997

Some common symptoms of over-exposure include burning, stinging, or itchy eyes, nose, throat and skin; nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, wheezing, coughing, headache. These symptoms can range from mild irritation to death. These symptoms are often misdiagnosed and not attributed to pesticide poisoning. [Peel Public Health]

 

2. Chronic exposure to pesticides can lead to neurological damage, including Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease.

Several studies have shown a link between pesticide exposure and the onset of Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, as well as other neurological conditions such as epilepsy. The main path of exposure is airborne: breathing pesticides. Recently, UCLA researchers looked at Central Valley residents diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease, and found that “years of exposure to the combination of these two pesticides [the herbicide paraquat and fungicide maneb] increased the risk of Parkinson’s by 75 percent. Further, for people 60 years old or younger diagnosed with Parkinson’s, earlier exposure had increased their risk for the disease by as much as four- to six-fold.” [ScienceDaily]

Dr. Patrick Carr of the University of North Dakota finds that low doses of pesticide exposure induces physical changes in the brain, shown in a PET scan. These changes correlate to “a loss of neurons in particular regions of the brain.” Other regions not experiencing a loss instead express different amounts of neurotransmitter chemicals, altering the delicate chemical balance in the brain. [MPRNews]

3. Chronic exposure to pesticides increases the chance of developing endocrine and reproductive disorders. Here are two pesticides to use as case studies:

DDT:
Young women exposed to DDT (in the 1950s) have a greater chance of developing breast cancer later in life. From the Pesticide Action Network – UK:

One recent study found higher levels of miscarriages among women exposed to DDT, and reproductive disorders associated with DDT are well documented in animal studies[6,7]. Another recent study found developmental delays among babies and toddlers exposed in the womb[8]. Other studies have linked DDT to reduced breastmilk production, premature delivery and reduced infant birthweights[9,10]. DDT is classified by US and international authorities as a probable human carcinogen[11].

DDT is now banned in the US, but is being revived for use as an anti-malaria agent in developing nations. I mention DDT because it shows you the egregious effects of using pesticides that have been poorly studied. Additionally, DDT is still present in our air.

Atrazine:
Atrazine has been one of the top two selling pesticides in the US, also commonly found in household pesticide sprays. Many studies on frogs and rodents have shown that atrazine causes developmental disorders and delays and compromises healthy immune function. Most significantly, atrazine causes male frogs and rodents to feminize and produce ovaries and eggs. Animal studies have predictive value in humans, as hormone functions are very similar among all animals. Tyrone Hayes, professor of Integrative Biology at UC Berkeley (whose course I took, he is absolutely amazing, by the way), has done extensive work on this subject and is a prime example of science activism. His website, atrazinelovers.com informs the public about all deleterious effects of atrazine and is backed up with extensive research data. His site states,

similar to atrazine’s induction of prostate cancer and mammary cancer in laboratory rodents, men exposed to atrazine in a Syngenta production facility in Louisiana developed prostate cancer at 8.4 times the rate of unexposed factory workers [9, 10] and women whose well water was contaminated with atrazine were more likely to develop breast cancer when compared to women who lived in the same area, but who do not drink well water [11].

 

…to read the rest of this post, please visit the initial site located at http://www.green-blog.org/2010/05/19/5-reasons-why-pesticides-are-bad/

I haven’t put the whole article up because this particular blogger does not have anywhere to click ‘reblog’ on their site, leading me to believe that they would not approve of their entire article being reblogged by me. The information was just so well presented, I couldn’t help but share!