Friday, July 30, 2010
Good Calories, Bad Calories
I started reading Gary Taubes's Good Calories, Bad Calories recently. I will only get to read this in pieces, and may not finish it for a few months, but I have been pleasantly surprised (and in more than one sense, even relieved) to have found it to be much better than I expected.
My regard for the general state of knowledge in the science of nutrition has been, to put it, in G-rated terms, extremely low, and I have not made a habit of hiding that contempt in the past. Astonishingly, the first third of the book shows that the field (or at least much of what passes as its conventional wisdom) has been even more of a mess than I suspected. Furthermore, what you don't know about this can hurt you.
In addition, this book provides a good case history of how government interference in science can cause mistaken theories to become medical orthodoxy, and provides a look at some aspects of how science is done, which is to say, more messily in some respects than many people realize.
I recommend the book, because, even without finishing it, I have realized value from it. That said, I must stress that I have not finished it, and want to be clear that this recommendation is not a comment, good or bad, on the positive arguments Taubes takes up later. I may discuss these if I find myself strongly agreeing with or strongly disagreeing with him once I am finished with the book.
I will say that even if I do find myself strongly disagreeing with some aspect of Taubes's positive argument, that this is the best work about nutrition that I have ever encountered.
I thank Monica Hughes and Diana Hsieh for bringing this book to my attention.
Old Idiom, Whole New Meaning
Reader Dismuke tips me off to an amusing story about a letter arriving by post seventy-three years after it was sent.
The likeliest explanation (though not the only one): The letter made it to Stockton's main post office, which then was in the Federal Building, 401 N. San Joaquin St.Unsurprisingly, both the sender and the recipient were already dead.
It fell into a crack, and there, a mere two blocks south of its destination, it stayed for seven decades.
"Back then, all the letters were handled manually," Ruiz said. "If you can imagine a floor full of cases similar to what Ben Franklin used to work with, pigeonholes, that's how mail was sorted back then."
The post office moved out of the Federal Building in 2008. The building has undergone remodeling. Perhaps the letter popped out and someone dropped it in a mailbox, Ruiz theorized.
Hudson's Baked Tilapia
We enjoyed this simple recipe for baked tilapia and a sauce last week. As usual, I rewrote it as follows:
Preparation Time is 30 minutes.I love fish, and the fact that we live a block away from the grocer means that we can enjoy it more often than we used to.
tilapia, 4 4oz. filets
pepper to taste
Tony Chachere's, 1 tbsp
mayonnaise, 1/4 cup
sour cream, 1/2 cup
garlic powder, 1/8 tsp
lemon juice, 1 tsp
dill, 2 tbsp
1. In parallel with the next two steps, preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Place tinfoil on a baking sheet and lightly grease.
2. Thinly slice lemon.
3. Season the tilapia fillets with pepper and Tony Crachere's on both sides. Arrange the seasoned fillets in a single layer in the baking dish. Place a layer of lemon slices over the fish fillets.
4. In parallel with the next step, bake uncovered for 15 to 20 minutes in the preheated oven, or until fish flakes easily with a fork.
5. Prepare the sauce by combining and mixing the mayonnaise, sour cream, garlic powder, lemon juice, and dill.
6. Serve tilapia with sauce.
Weyerbacher Simcoe Double IPA
Some weeks ago, my wife and I visited with some of her coworkers in the South End, where I noticed a large (for my general area in Boston) beer and wine emporium. I made a mental note of it and visited yesterday on my daily walk. I was rewarded by finding a beer I had once, something like five years ago, at a brewing club meeting back in Houston.
Double Simcoe IPA, 9.0% abv, is our incredible reward for Hopheads seeking the intense hop flavor in a Double IPA, without the harshness. It is brewed untilizing only the Simcoe hop variety. This hybrid hop, developed and trademarked by Select Botanicals Group, LLC in the year 2000, was created for its high alpha acid content, maximum aromatic oils, and low cohumulone(harshness) levels so that brewers can really put a lot of 'em in a beer and not create an overly harsh taste.All I'd remembered was the name "Simcoe" and the fact that the hop taste was quite distinctive. It'll be nice to be able to crack one of those open once in a while.
Double Simcoe IPA is a full-flavored ale with hints of pineapple and citrus upfront, a good malt backbone in the middle, and a clean finish that doesn't linger too long. Check it out, and you'll soon see why everyone's talking about it. Double Simcoe is available year-round.
Named 2006 "PA Beer of the Year" by Beer Author Lew Bryson, at www.LewBryson.com.