Melissa's blog

Gluten-free is so popular because our health care system is a mess

Increasingly I see a lot of articles deriding the “gluten free” fad. I wonder if people writing them have actually talked to people who are gluten-free despite not being diagnosed with celiac disease. I’ve talked to many of them. And almost always, behind their gluten-free diet is a story of the failure of our medical system.

On The Problems Of Comping In Food Writing

It’s funny because when I blogged about health and diet I was often accused of being a shill for meat or dairy or whatever. I wasn’t, but now writing about restaurants I actually am now in a minefield and worry I might become a shill if I’m not careful. That’s because of something few people are willing to talk about, which is comps: free meals or other food products paid for by PR companies, restaurants or other food and drink producers.

Notes on that cooking study

Yesterday I filed a short article for NPR's The Salt about a study showing a conclusion that might surprise many people interested in food and health. The data showed that cooking more was related to poor performance in some health markers like high blood pressure.

A Review Of The Lumo Lift Posture Monitor

 

One of my friends spotted the little metal square on my shoulder recently and asked “is that a Lumo? I returned mine.” Turns out it didn’t do what he had hoped it would, which was to provide constant feedback on his posture and correct it in every situation. It is not smart enough to do that.

As Food Science Fiction, Interstellar Fails

The night after I saw Interstellar I had a dream about it. It was about the food in Christopher Nolan’s outer space epic. Specifically the corn. I couldn’t stop thinking about it.

Fixing The Broken Pitching Process

I wrote yesterday about how most writing outlets are mired in the status quo. But how do we get out of that? One way would be to level the playing field to allow new writers to more easily get their work seen. That would require reforming the pitching process.

Why Don't You Become A Full Time Writer?: Comparing sexism and career paths in tech and writing

Earlier this week another writer took to twitter to criticize an article by one of my staff because a header picture didn’t contain the subjects of the article and was unlabeled. Then he called us amateurs.

This confused me, because like me and the author of the article, this particular writer has a second profession. Then he said it was a matter of whether you are paid or not.

The American Dormitory/Cafeteria System Is Unhealthy And Wasteful

It's been five years since I graduated college. Since then I've worked in higher ed for most of my career. Occasionally I visit the student residence websites just to see if things have changed. Mostly because I work so close to the student residences that if they did have good food in the cafeteria it would be convenient.

To Skinner Box Myself In: Task List Gamification

A month ago I was playing a video game and realized what I was doing was incredibly repetitive. I've been playing Pokemon on and off since 1998, when the first game was released in America. Since then some game mechanics of this role-playing game (RPG) have changed a lot, but overall there is a ton of what RPG-players call "grinding." Repetitive actions engaged in because you need to access something in the game.