Melissa's blog

What's on the menu lately

I'm finally updating this page, which I hadn't updated in almost a year. Not that much has changed except I have less meat since I haven't had time to source for meatshare lately. Fewer vegetables because it's still the dead of winter and I only go to the farmer's market in the winter sporatically. Another change is that there is a ton of fermented and canned stuff, to the point where I have almost no room for normal stuff. 

Here are a few of the things I've made lately

The Real Costs of Cooking

“You should spend less time on food and more time on your career”

A boss actually said this to me once. I was the bad employee who took a full hour for lunch. And didn’t just slurp a bowl of microwaved glop while reading tech listservs like some of my co-workers. I also left at the end of the working day to join friends at dinner or to go home and cook a meal rather than reading documentation until the sun went down. 

Paleodrama: Why I stopped posting on my blog highlighting pseudoscience and bigotry in the paleo community

I occasionally get comments here with the insinuation that I stopped posting on paleodrama because I "lost" or realized "boys will be boys." I didn't stop posting, though I rarely post there now. For the uninitiated, paleodrama was created to highlight incidents of sexism and other bigotry in the "paleo" community, as well as the most obvious examples of pseudoscience.

Ancient Wheat for Irritable Bowel Syndrome

It's great to see so many interesting papers exploring the role of wheat in various common digestive issues. The last interesting paper I wrote about explored the role of FODMAPs in wheat in causing digestive problems sometimes called "gluten sensitivity." A new paperEffect of Triticum turgidum subsp.

Chicagoist Pieces

I did a stint as a guest writer at Chicagoist and wrote a couple of pieces. Most might be kind of boring if you don't live in Chicago, but there are a couple that are of more general interest. 

2014 Upgrade

It's here. After over a year of procrastinating I finally hit the trigger. Along the way I finally figured out one of the main reasons I procrastinate: perfectionism. I figure if I can't do something perfectly, it's not even worth doing. If I had kept to that path, I wouldn't be writing this. I forced myself to stop while I was working and think about whether or not it was really worth it to do what I was doing. To ask whether it's really truly completely necessary. Much of the time it wasn't. I let good enough be good enough. And I can always add things to the site later.

Holiday Cooking: Matsutake pecans, bacon cornbread stuffing

I had to improvise a Thanksgiving meal today because plans with family members fell through. Unfortunately none of the convenient grocery stores were open, so I had to use things I already had. Luckily I've been cooking a lot lately and I had a decent amount of stuff to work with. Except I had almost no vegetables and no thawed or easily thawable meat except bacon. But our meal, while slightly odd, ended up being pretty tasty.

Is "Gluten sensitivity" really a type of carbohydrate intolerance?

What’s the deal with gluten sensitivity? Gluten sensitivity as a proposed disease showed up in the scientific literature in the past few years. The key here is proposed, because there was evidence it might exist, but it remained in a scientific grey area because there was not a known mechanism behind it.

But enough people had already decided or wanted to decide gluten was bad that they took the proposed disease and ran with it, producing and selling a large volume of scientifically dubious diet books featuring “gluten sensitivity”.

The Worst Part of Scotland Was Leaving It

 
 My travels started when I made an off-hand comment to a friend in the UK about WWOOFing in Scotland
 
“I really want to WWOOF in Scotland for some reason.”
 
For the uninitiated, WWOOF stands for “World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms” and it’s a loosely organized international directory of farms that accept volunteer labor, usually in exchange for some degree of room and board. 
 

Just Kale Me: How your Kale habit is slowly destroying your health and the world

Note: if you do not plan to read the whole post, please skip to the last section

Kale is one of those vegetables that everyone thinks is so healthy. From kale chips to kale salad, kale has become an extremely trendy vegetable. But people have embraced kale without thinking enough about the chemicals it contains and its effects on the Earth. What you don't know could kale you.