Lessons from Medieval England: The Relationship Between the Sick Room and the Kitchen

Let food be thy medicine, and let thy medicine be food. ~Hippocrates Food and medicine, always intertwined in the human  imagination. Because – obviously – the earliest English settlers brought their food habits and medicinal beliefs with them to what is now the United States, I relish books that provide background to the English way … More Lessons from Medieval England: The Relationship Between the Sick Room and the Kitchen

Real Mayonnaise, Real Food? Or Just Sanctimonious Snobbery?

It’s not REAL mayonnaise. You know the one I mean. Mayonnaise – made with egg yolks, an acidic liquid, a dash of mustard, salt, and oil, usually olive – feels as smooth and soft as a silk pillow, sliding like thickened cream across the tongue. There’re no startled taste buds in the presence of too much … More Real Mayonnaise, Real Food? Or Just Sanctimonious Snobbery?

Starvation and Hunger, Humankind’s Constant Companions: A Pre-Thanksgiving Meditation

Now hunger and [Erysichthon’s] belly’s deep abyss exhausted his ancestral wealth, but still hunger was unexhausted and the flame of greed blazed unappeased . . . When his wicked frenzy had consumed all sustenance and for the dire disease provision failed, the ill-starred wretch began to gnaw himself, and dwindled bite by bite as his … More Starvation and Hunger, Humankind’s Constant Companions: A Pre-Thanksgiving Meditation

Celiac Disease — an Illness of Civilization?

Celiac disease now afflicts four times as many people as it did fifty years ago, according to an article in the July 2009 issue of Gastroenterology.** In patients with celiac disease, the presence of a protein called gluten from wheat, barley or rye triggers an immune system attack, damaging the villi in the small intestine. … More Celiac Disease — an Illness of Civilization?

Cooking and Eating: Some Harsh Truths

Food thoughts for munching … thanks to Ellen Henrietta Swallow Richards, the originator of home economics, or domestic science. Nutritional psychologist Marc David states that Most nutritional assertions that originate from authoritative sources [like the home economics/domestic science movement that began in the late nineteenth century] have a brief shelf life. Our nutritional information is … More Cooking and Eating: Some Harsh Truths