Apr. 20th, 2017

rebeccmeister: (cricket)
I'm only about halfway through this book at the moment, but it's one of those things I wish I'd read back while working on my Ph.D. If only I'd been surrounded by other people who studied insect nutrition at the time, heh. Oh well.

Regardless - one of the best parts of reading this book about insect diets is that it provides a lot of insights into the whole realm of "food science." For instance, the chapter I just finished was all about the various factors that affect diet stability (heat, light, moisture) and nutrient accessibility (diet matrix).

I can't stop thinking about this one table that illustrates how dramatically different forms of food-processing can affect nutrient accessibility. The table compares regular soy flour to roasted soy, using data from the amazing USDA database on nutrient contents of all sorts of different foods.

It's kind of like this NYT blog comparing whole-grain hot cereal to dry, prepackaged cereal, except I never buy or eat prepackaged cereal because it's all way too "pre-digested" (and overpriced) for my tastes.

I'm particularly curious about steel-cut oats versus rolled oats. From what I understand, all types of rolled oats, including "old fashioned" ones, are steam-processed. So I expect that the carbohydrates are more readily available in rolled oats than steel-cut. But I could be wrong. I'm also wondering what it would be like to mix up a slow-cook grain blend for a breakfast cereal - something that could be put into the fuzzy logic rice cooker overnight.

What other grains would you mix in with steel-cut oats?
rebeccmeister: (Default)
Yesterday I played hooky from the last hour of work to go and catch a showing of the film Demain ("tomorrow," in French). My boss/postdoc advisor* had recommended it as an empowering and uplifting look at how people in different communities across the globe** are coping with climate change. She says it encouraged a lot of social change in France when it was released there.

This review summarizes it fairly well, except for one thing. A lot of the people interviewed throughout the film make firm declarative statements about a range of topics, from sustainable agriculture to economics, and I'm left wondering how well-substantiated those statements are.

Their statements covered some topics I'm more familiar with, having to do with sustainable agriculture, but also subjects I know next to nothing about, like economics and how currencies are created. So it seems like a more extensive critique would be useful, as certain claims made me raise my eyebrows.

I would still recommend the film, if you can find a showing and go see it. As one of the interviewees notes, we humans are really good at imagining doomsday and destruction scenarios, but we aren't quite as creative about imagining positive outcomes for the future. Seeing some examples can empower us to forge ahead with positive changes within our communities, and such changes are critical for the planet's future.



*"boss-doc advisor"? haha, yes.
** I want to point out that it's heavily Euro-centric, but I can appreciate the constraints involved.

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