Let’s take a closer look at the self-congratulatory statement by the gourmet recipe website Epicurious, “ The Planet on the Plate: Why Epicurious Left Beef Behind | Epicurious “ regarding banning beef from their website.

But first, some level setting:

  • Epicurious still hosts thousands of beef recipes on their website. That’s right, they may be banning beef now but REST assured there are still over 2K recipes or articles that feature or mention beef on their website
  • This isn’t about a vegan/vegetarian or “plant-based” agenda. …

Way back in 2011 I was listening to a radio program that proclaimed that “Food is Medicine” and in response I wrote a blog that included this:

Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

“As a dietitian I think food is very important and there are certainly better and worse choices you can make with your food and meals. But it’s not JUST food that will maintain your health. What about exercise and activity, your genes, whether you smoke or use drugs? How you handle stress? What about that 50 year old woman who called me baffled as to why she got cancer even though “I’ve always…

Why Social Media is Like A Thrift Store

One of my favorite things to do on weekends is to peruse flea markets, garage sales, consignment shops and thrift stores. Over the years I’ve managed to find some great things…artwork, books, jewelry, clothing, furniture, and pottery.

Sometimes my husband will ask me, “Is there something in particular you’re looking for?” and the answer is always, “No, but I’ll know when I see it.”.

Thrift stores and consignment shops often have that particular smell of old books, mixed with a faint whiff of cigarette smoke and damp that I find very familiar and even comforting. It reminds me of being…

(aka #McRiddleRoadTrip)

(Note: Below is an account of our experience and how we handled traveling during the pandemic. I wholeheartedly believe that everyone has to determine their own risk and take precautions to protect themselves and their loved ones, especially those that are high risk. I fully endorse the wearing of a mask, physical distancing and handwashing.)

Our original plan was to go to New Zealand in November of 2020. We would celebrate my husband’s 60th birthday and spend 2 weeks touring the country. In December of 2019 we began pouring over itineraries suggested by our travel agent and looking at the…

About 25 years ago, when I was in my early 30’s and living in Washington DC’ I was out one night in Dupont Circle with some friends at a bar. Young men and women, all in college or medical school, grad school, or newly graduated. We were flirting, drinking, bragging about big ideas, boring classes and future plans.

One of the people around the bar was a young, thin, black man who was attending George Washington University. He was bright, funny, articulate and well-dressed. Later in the evening I saw him look at his watch and motion to the bartender…

Here are some thoughts (and sources) on COVID19 —
1. Compassion — When people use the word “only” in a sentence when talking about deaths due to COVID19 it indicates a serious lack of compassion.

See: “Compassion in the Time of Covid” https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(20)31202-2/fulltextCompassion extends beyond empathy. It does not motivate our action because we too may be harmed. Compassion motivates action because the phenomena we observe are unjust, not worthy of the world we would like to live in.”
2. Testing — More testing will most likely mean the number of cases of COVID19 will increase. Conversely, if people…

Words matter…whether it’s the adjectives that you use to describe a person, a mouthwatering description of a dish on a menu, or even how you characterize a business or the size of a farm. Words can be used to evoke and stir emotions and sometimes reveal a bias.

In another life I was a Speech Communications major. I often think about word choice through that lense.

Let’s look at a few examples:

  • if you saw “spider of the sea” on the menu would you order it? It certainly doesn't sounds as appealing as “Fresh Maine Lobster”
  • are animals “slaughtered” or…

The COVID19 crisis seems to have brought to the surface or emphasized qualities that many of us have.

Painting this in broad strokes; I’ll describe them as the Helper, the Hibernator and the Hater. In crisis situations we are all gripped by fear and uncertainty; but how we manifest this or deal with this in our lives and by our actions …that’s what’s important to our friends, family and community:

  1. The Helper is the person who reacts to crisis with a desire to help those less fortunate and looks for those opportunities. Helpers may donate time, money or food to…

affordable, economical, bargain, inexpensive, reasonably priced, low-priced, money saving, good value ….

Don’t all of those words or phrases seem like better ways to describe food rather than referring to it as “cheap food or “cheap meals”?

I’ll admit that this may be my own bias. When I think of the word “cheap”, I think of something that is of lesser quality. It seems to also imply a value judgement, as in being lesser value. A cheap product is one that’s not made as well, or worth less — not worthless — but perhaps just not worth (as) much.

But does what we say reflect what we search for?


“Eat your spinach — it’ll make your muscles grow.”

“If you swallow your gum you’ll end up with a huge ball in your stomach.”

When I was growing up my parents would make these pronouncements …so I ate my spinach, like Popeye, and I tried not to swallow my chewing gum.

I understand why they said these things. To get me to eat vegetables and to keep me from choking. Simple maxims to protect me. The means justified the end.

‘A good outcome justifies or excuses any wrongs committed to attain it.’ (attributed to Machiavelli’s “The Prince”)


So if…

Leah McGrath

Dietitian, agvocate, science communicator

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