1. The French's "pleasure factor" leads to an increased sense of well-being.
Americans dialogue food around it's moral and nutritional value: is it good, bad, is it healthy? The problem is that this creates emotions around food: guilt being high among them. This in itself isn't "bad" but these emotions can cause a negative spiral of dietary restriction and indulgence, which can lead to long term health issues. The French, along with other European families, look at food (and essentially everything else) through the lens of pleasure. Will it bring them joy? As it turns out, this is helpful for creating habits that stick. Pass the croissants, please. (Quartz)
2. The world's oldest living "yoga celebrity" is now 98.
Täo Porchon-Lynch has been doing yoga since she was a little girl (eight to be exact) and has kept her practice going for more than 90 years. Not only does she still teach yoga classes five times per week, but she's also a competitive ballroom dancer. In a world that's saturated with media-friendly images of svelte young bodies, we're excited and relieved to see a different point of view. (NYT)
3. The restaurant of the future is looking pretty robotic.
This summer, an aptly named "bratwurst bot" in Germany took orders and prepared food for 200 diners. The tech scene in America is making similar strides towards a totally automated dining experience: MIT students have developed a bot that specializes in mixing and serving ingredients for complex meals like winter veggie mac and cheese and chicken-bacon sweet potato hash. (Eater)
4. This farming technology could help ease hunger in urban areas.
Food banks are often hard-pressed to find fresh produce to serve, since many of them are smack dab in the middle of cities. The Mississauga Food Bank outside Toronto has solved this problem by opening an aquaponics farm onsite. Think of this as a giant, plant-filled fish tank that uses fish waste to fertilize plants that can later be served. (TreeHugger)
5. Is fresh produce inherently better than frozen? Well, it depends.
On the whole, nutrients from fruits and veggies are much heartier than we give them credit for. Research shows no significant difference between the nutritional value of fresh and frozen produce, but the quality of each can vary greatly. A few factors that can influence nutrient content in frozen produce include how well they are frozen (keep them in the back of the freezer), when in the plant's life they were frozen, and how long they've been frozen. Fresh produce can have even less nutrients than frozen, especially if it's been on the shelf for too long. (NYT)
6. Yet another study shows that being an outsider is detrimental to health.
Rhesus monkeys who are lower in social status than their peers exhibit a level of stress that affects their immune systems. Researchers think in humans that this, in part, explains why people with "deprived backgrounds" experience higher levels of disease. The good news is that stress caused by social status is reversible, at least in the monkeys. Research showed that the detrimental health effects of monkeys with lower social status were reversed when they moved up the social ladder. On that note, scheduling a date with our tribe! (New Scientist)