From the past: When a crop becomes King- Michael Pollan [Article]

via Om Malik: In this article from 2002, Pollan traces the history of corn, & how it’s taken over the entire food supply without anyone noticing. It’s progressively grown worse – see the policies that most Western governments have regarding this crop: commercial interests are more important than human interests.

 Even farm-raised salmon are being bred to tolerate corn—not a food their evolution has prepared them for. Why feed fish corn? Because it’s the cheapest thing you can feed any animal, thanks to federal subsidies.

Kalpavriksha: The story of the coconut tree [Video]

From the Perennial Plate, learn about food’s origins, and also about how people eat and endeavor in cultures around the world. Chef Daniel Klein & cameraperson Mirra Fine travel around the world to tell these stories. This video’s about the coconut in Sri Lanka (as also most of the south western coast of South India)
Link to The Perennial Plate

Food security: What’s on your plate? [Interview]

Peter Menzel, co-author of Man Eating Bugs, describes some insect-based cuisine and the western aversion to creepy-crawly snacks, in an interview with Ira Flatow. According to a report from the UN FAO (Food and Agricultural Organisation),  insects offer a huge potential for improving the world’s food security.

Turns you off? Honey-bees play an important part in the food eco-system, and honey-bees are dying by the zillions due (even if partly) to pesticides. A few organisations are patenting, nature’s bounty, & trying to controlling seed supply, suing farmers out of existence in the name of a level-playing field (is that ironic or what?)while also selling the pesticides that cause incredible harm,  Food, for most city people, is what you get at supermarkets – not many care how or where it is grown. And if you don’t yet know this, for example:

…three big companies now control more than half of the global seed market – a position that has sent prices soaring. The average cost of planting an acre of soybeans had risen 325% between 1995 and 2011.


The psychology of hating food (and how we learn to love it) – article

Joseph Castro explains why kids who hate certain foods grow up into adults can’t seem to get enough of them. Quoting from research, he says:

“Up until the age of 2 you will eat anything, But then you become neophobic — that is, you don’t like new food. So if you hadn’t already been exposed to a certain flavor by the time you hit your terrible twos — whether through amniotic fluid, breast milk or solid food — chances are you won’t like it.

At this point, most parents make a big mistake. They think, ‘Oh my child doesn’t like this,’ but it’s actually anything new that they don’t like . So parents typically stop trying to feed their child that food and the kid ends up apparently hating it for years to come. They don’t know that if they just keep giving it to their child, they’ll eventually like it.

Not just a human problem [Article]

On the following morning they were very cross and dismal; they held their aching heads with both hands, and wore a most pitiable expression: when beer or wine was offered them, they turned away with disgust, but relished the juice of lemons.

You could be forgiven for thinking this was a description of yourself with a group of friends, but those words were written by Charles Darwin in The Descent of Man, his observations about a group of monkeys who he saw waking up after a hard night of drinking. NPR’s Robert Krulwich shines light on a few more examples of  the problem that seems to affect not just humans: “We just can’t control our appetites”.