Michael's blog

Fast food booted

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When I saw on Twitter that fast food outlets at big US bases in Afghanistan would be closed, I thought for a moment that it might be a military statement in favor of healthy eating.

Alas, Burger King, Orange Julius, Dairy Queen, and others are being escorted off base because "they take up valuable resources like water, power, flight and convoy space and that cutting back on non-essentials is key to running an efficient military operation," Reuters reported.

Big bets on future-tech energy

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Grist looks at a septet of recipients of 7-figure Department of Energy funding, from a Steven Chu-devised program patterned on DARPA, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency.

Ideas include liquid batteries, in which three substances that won't mix — in the manner of oil and water — conduct electrical charges; and using synthetic carbonic anhydrase to separate CO2 from coal-plant effluent before it leaves the stack. Carbonic anhydrase is the enzyme the human body uses to filter CO2.

Comment on the DSM V

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I've visited this subject before, but not only is it important, and not only is the deadline approaching, but this post has a slightly different target. In the past, I've written about binge-eating disorder, which has been proposed as an addition to the next edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual, the manual of the American Psychiatric Association. To now, anorexia, bulimia, and "not otherwise specified" have been the only eating disorders in the DSM.

Soda tax and jobs

Can I just say it's exciting to disagree with someone of a different stripe for a change? The someone in question is George Miranda, president of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters Joint Council 16, which represents 120,000 workers in greater New York. I assume, totally without facts, that he and I might be on the same side of many issues. But not today.

Ignorance, arrogance, and bluster

I will eventually get tired of skewering the skippies over at the "Center for Consumer Freedom," but not just yet. They are the "independent" nonprofit whose funding comes from restaurants and food-products companies.

Their website says they are also funded by thousands of individual consumers, but I don't believe it. I shouldn't say that, not only because it's impolitic, and not only because I have no proof, but because they'll seize on a comment like that, rather than straightforwardly address the very substantive ways in which I contend that they twist facts and truth. My disbelief lies in common sense: Thousands of Americans are donating their money to the people-should-be-able-to-eat-whatever-they-want movement? It that principle in jeopardy? Meanwhile, let's consider the restaurants and food-products people. Does anyone doubt that they would spend their money to advocate for food freedom? They don't need principle to motivate them; their entire future is based on ensuring that nothing ever impedes their sales.

I could go on with all the background bullshit, but let's take a look at their piece of yesterday, March 31, headlined "Waving the white flag on personal responsibility?" which is full of their usual half-baked inanities.

But I want to start with a shout out to my poor addled brothers: I, too, believe in personal responsibility. Even when I was 365 pounds, mired in food addiction, I was completely responsible for what I put in my mouth. Completely.

Follow up to yesterday

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My good friend and good reader, Ron, whom I wish would leave comments, rather than replying by e-mail, questioned one of yesterday's posts:

Your recent post about fat addiction would seem to be saying, in essence, that we don't need another scientific study making a link between food and addictive behavior. I couldn't help but note the irony caused by your previous post, which shows we are still trying to convince psychiatrists of that very fact.

Heard the one about fat being addictive?

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No, it's not a joke. But judging from the multiple routes I've heard about Dr. Paul Kenny's study that suggest that high-fat, high-calorie foods affect the brain in much the same way as cocaine and heroin, l-o-t-s of people have heard about it.

The report I keep seeing — forwarded from San Francisco and Israel, in addition to seeing it in my own surfing — is by health.com, picked up by CNN health.

Speak for the cause of food addiction

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My issue, as much as any, is legitimacy for food addiction, based on my personal experience recovering from it. For so many people, that is the place to start, and perhaps even to end: address the physical, emotional, and spiritual deficits that are getting in the way of peace, happiness, and health.

Oh, the whiplash

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Yes, readers, you have a right to be confused. The name on the blog is "Sustainably," but pretty much everything I write these days is on food, food policy, obesity, and addiction. As I've written before, there are parallels, but even so, what happened to the sustainability stuff?

And then comes a post like this one, after at least a couple of dozen "off-topic" posts! But I'm just going to live with the dissonance for now, and figure out what to do later. So, anyway...


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