Olive oil may well be good for you assuming you aren't increasing your caloric intake above what you should be eating. Some of the healthiest people on earth have a large olive oil intake (of course there are other things going on, so may be healthy is probably the way to look at it).
WNYC's Leonard Lopate interviews Doug Rauch (former president of Trader Joe's) about his Daily Table idea - a clever plan to deal with hunger and malnutrition in America. (about 18 minutes)
A related link is the NDRC report on food date labels (pdf) .. labels which are not linked to the Federal government and have nothing to do with food safety. They do serve the purpose of getting us to throw out a large amount of otherwise good food.
And then came the interstate. We can only speculate as to the quality of the food at Sanders’ old place, but Hines’ recommendation was spot-on in terms of location. Driving south from Lexington on U.S. 25, you’d pass right by the restaurant just a few miles before reaching the turn for the Cumberland Falls Highway that would take you away from commerce and toward natural beauty. Then I-75 was built, and between Corbin and Lexington, it runs parallel to—but distinctly west of—the old U.S. 25. The new grade-separated road provided a much faster route for through-travelers. Sanders’ business closed in 1955.
Fortunately for Sanders, he’d already founded a new business much more successful than the original service station. In 1952, he sold a franchise license for his “Kentucky Fried Chicken” to Peter Harman of Salt Lake City. After the original restaurant failed, this became his livelihood: traveling the country and licensing the KFC product. As recounted by Josh Ozersky in his book Colonel Sanders and the American Dream,restaurant owners “could serve a dish called Colonel Sanders’ Kentucky Fried Chicken in exchange for a nickel for each chicken they sold, and they had to buy the equipment and special recipe (a pressure cooker and the seasoned flour) from Colonel Sanders himself.” The seasoning is what’s famous today, but the pressure cooker is what’s important.
An interesting experiment - it would be interesting to see if this holds up as popcorn and other foods are extremely high profit items in theathers.
Advertising uses repetition to increase consumers’ preference for brands. Initially, novel brands gain in popularity due to repetition, which increases the likelihood that consumers later buy the brands. Particularly for novel brands, excessive exposure and repetition is necessary to establish the brand name in the first place. Remember your initial irritation upon encountering the names YAHOO, GOOGLE and WIKIPEDIA for the first time; now they are imprinted in your brain.
Basic psychological research has already shown that the psychological mechanism behind this repetition effect is the easiness with which we perceive information. Repeatedly perceived information is easier to process for the brain, which saves capacity, and thus feels positive.
Concerning brand names, recent research by Sascha Topolinski and Fritz Strack has shown that this feeling of easiness and ensuing repetition effects actually stem from the mouth. Each time we encounter a person’s or product name, the lips and the tongue automatically simulate the pronunciation of that name. This happens covertly, that is, without our awareness and without actual mouth movements. During inner speech, the brain attempts to utter the novel name. When names are presented repeatedly, this articulation simulation is trained and thus runs more easily for repeated compared to novel names. Crucially, if this inner speech is disturbed, for instance during chewing gum or whispering another word, the articulation of words cannot be trained and the repetition effect vanishes. People who are chewing something are immune to word repetition, they do not prefer familiar words over novel ones.
This reminds me of a famous Jamie Oliver piece where he showed kids what goes into these things. The kids are repulsed by each ingredient and European kids are repulsed by the final results. American kids love them.
I'll admit to being a bit torn on this. At one level it is disgusting but on another it turns out that making meat is extremely inefficient so it makes sense to use as much of it as possible. In the study it is dressed up with a lot of unhealthy ingredients - sugar, fat and salt - to make it attractive to kids. Perhaps a meat byproduct burger could be made that was healthier.
Greg notes that if these companies made veggie nuggets they'd probably add any number of byproducts too. Undoubtedly so.
There is an interesting question of what kids will eat. Certainly most of us like added fat, sugar and salt ... but how much of this is trained? An exceptionally tall friend has people asking her height a dozen times every day. There is a short list of questions and comments and one that comes from young mothers is "what did you eat as a kid?".... It turns out she sometimes outcompeted the family dog for his food as a toddler, so she can honestly answer "dog food"...
Some dog foods are probably healthier than chicken nuggets.
round = sweeter.. it would be interesting if this holds up under a closer look.
watching from the sidelines with a wry smile is the sensory scientist Charles Spence. He has studied this stuff ad infinitum and has found that we do indeed associate roundness with sweetness. "People make consistent matches between shape properties," he says.
As far as chocolate goes, people will match the sweeter taste of milk chocolate with rounder shapes, while matching the more bitter taste of dark chocolate with shapes that are more angular. "The generalisation that has now been documented across a range of food and beverage products," he continues, "is that sweet is round while bitter is angular." This is usually tested using something akin to Spence's scale. Participants taste the food and mark the scale according to how they think it reflects the taste. The image below carries the results of a chocolate tasting overseen by Spence.
A paper from a partnership between the Harvard Food Law and Policy Clinc and the National Resources Defense Council (pdf)
from the exeutive summary
This policy brief examines the historical impetus for
placing dates on food—namely a desire to indicate products’
freshness—and the ways in which the system has failed to
meet this goal, while creating a range of ancillary problems.
Relevant federal laws and authorities are described along
with a review of the legislative history on this topic, and a
comparison of state laws related to food date labeling is
provided. The paper then describes why and how date labels contribute to the waste of edible food in the United States
and explains specifically how:
° The lack of binding federal standards, and the resultant state and local variability in date labeling rules, has led to
a proliferation of diverse and inconsistent date labeling
practices in the food industry. Such inconsistency exists
on multiple levels, including whether manufacturers
affix a date label in the first place, how they choose which
label phrase to apply, varying meanings for the same
phrase, and the wide range of methods by which the date
on a product is determined. The result is that consumers
cannot rely on the dates on food to consistently have the
° This convoluted system is not achieving what date
labeling was historically designed to do—provide
indicators of freshness. Rather, it creates confusion and
leads many consumers to believe, mistakenly, that date
labels are signals of a food’s microbial safety, which
unduly downplays the importance of more pertinent
food safety indicators.
° This confusion also leads to considerable amounts of
avoidable food waste as the mistaken belief that past-
date foods are categorically unsuitable for consumption
causes consumers to discard food prematurely.
° Inconsistent date labeling policies and practices harm
the interests of manufacturers and retailers by creating
increased compliance burdens and food waste at the
° Date labeling practices hinder food recovery and
redistribution efforts by making the handling of past-
date foods administratively and legally complex.
After analyzing these five core problems with the
contemporary date labeling regime, this report will introduce
recommendations on how to begin to remedy the food waste
and food safety issues related to date labeling, by creating a system in which date labels more clearly communicate
information. Recommendations are broken into two
sections: the first section proposes key changes to the date
labeling system across the United States, and the second
section identifies relevant stakeholders and describes actions
that each should take to address the issue.