News you can use, from sushi to booze

-Asian chefs and kitchen workers are on strike in Israel. The Israeli government, which initially brought the chefs in as part of a move to replace Palestinian workers during the first Intifada, has decided it no longer wants them. Instead, they plan to train Israelis to cook Asian food instead. Two wrongs make a bad meal.

-In happier and more local news, the latest fruit of gentrification in Fishtown has arrived in the form of the Memphis Taproom. It’s a new bar that promises to serve tasty local food and, according to the Philadelphia City Paper, “a sizable American craft selection in addition to Belgian, German and English brews.” And for this transplanted Pittsburgher, it gets even better: “It would be pretty much a sin not to have really good pierogies and really nice kielbasa,” says co-owner Brendan Hartranft. All this, and it’s right down the street? I can’t wait until this place opens, in April. Oh, and they’ve promised to keep prices down. Sweet. [where: 19125]

-It’s the most wonderful time of the year… the Philly Craft Beer Festival is coming up!

-A Columbia University study finds that body image is a better predictor of health than obesity. Furthermore, the results seem to suggest that discrimination and body-based oppression and the stress associated with them have a bigger impact on fat people’s health than the weight itself:

“Our data suggest that some of the obesity epidemic may be partially attributable to social constructs that surround ideal body types,” said Peter Muennig, MD, MPH, Mailman School of Public Health assistant professor of Health Policy and Management. “Younger persons, Whites, and women are disproportionately affected by negative body image concerns, and these groups unduly suffer from BMI-associated morbidity and mortality.”

…There is evidence that discrimination against heavy people is pervasive, occurring in social settings, the workplace, and the home. These processes are likely internalized, leading to a negative body image that also may serve as a source of chronic stress.

“The data add support to our hypothesis that the psychological stress that accompanies a negative body image explains some of the morbidity commonly associated with being obese. Our finding that the desire to lose weight was a much stronger predictor of unhealthy days than was BMI further suggests that perceived difference plays a greater role in generating disease,” said Dr. Muennig.

Interesting findings indeed. And if you’re trying to feel a little more sane about what you eat and how you feel about your body, check out this post about intuitive eating over at Shapely Prose.

-Good article on the Bush administration’s linguistic sleight-of-hand when it comes to food safety, from’s regular feature Politics of the Plate.

-Finally, I’m told that shellfish are particularly sweet and lovely this time of year. Mario Batali’s recipe for crab tortelloni with scallions and poppy seeds might have to be our fancy, splurge-y meal for the week. There’s nothing like good crabmeat treated well. I used to turn down homemade crab cakes during my picky-eater childhood; I could kick myself for doing that now!

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2 Responses to “News you can use, from sushi to booze”

  1. najeeb Says:

    Nice blog. “Omnivore’s dilemma” would be of interest to you, if you haven’t read already!

  2. therealpotato Says:

    Welcome, Najeeb, and thanks! I actually reviewed Omnivore’s Dilemma– check out the “Food Politics and Book Reviews” section for more.

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