Morning Links

Tuesday, July 26th, 2011

Digg it |  reddit |  del.icio.us |  Fark

61 Responses to “Morning Links”

  1. #1 |  William | 

    I’m not a professional journalist but thanks to Radley I know know an inappropriate use of an anonymous source when I see it:

    Slate vaccination article quoting the WaPo:

    “People need to put this into some perspective,” said the official, speaking on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the issue. “The vaccination campaign was part of the hunt for the world’s top terrorist, and nothing else. If the United States hadn’t shown this kind of creativity, people would be scratching their heads asking why it hadn’t used all tools at its disposal to find bin Laden.”

    Did anyone else catch it?

  2. #2 |  Big A | 

    #45 Highway- I think you nailed it with ‘inertia to change’. It’s not that people like what they’re eating so much, or have already weighed the benefits of convenience against cost or health. It’s more that they haven’t considered how much difference little changes can make. Furthermore, this message that people can be too poor to eat healthily is heard and understood by poor people. I wonder how many of them believe it without having nosed around in the produce section in a few years. Or whether someone trying an arugula salad would be looked down upon for eating “out of class”. Finally, trying new things is a luxury that I think many poor people don’t realize is often not expensive. Eating new things or even going to new places can usually be done more cheaply than expected (i.e. waiting for something to go on sale, free museum days etc). Maybe people who’s finances are already stretched just aren’t used to having luxuries.

  3. #3 |  Big A | 

    #47 Dave- I’m waiting for when poor people are forced to drive vehicles with low gas mileage because they can’t afford anything better.

  4. #4 |  BSK | 

    Big A-

    I think, in the end, education is likely to be the most impactful approach. However, we have seen how well the government (federal in particular) has done when it comes to reaching the poor masses about healthy choices…

  5. #5 |  JOR | 

    I’m not sympathetic to the right at all, particularly not the sort of people to whine about “cultural Marxism”, feminism, or the Imminent Jihad, but the right-wing asshats are adjusting to the actual facts of the case a little bit better than the gliberal dipshits who wanted Loughner to be a Teabagger so badly they kept pretending he was until it was no longer possible.

  6. #6 |  Michael Chaney | 

    Spot on, Dave.

    As for the cooking discussion, I will add that cooking might take time, but my wife and I make up for it by cooking at least 2 or 3 meals worth of food at one time, and then reheating leftovers. If it takes 30 minutes to cook 3 meals, that’s only 10 minutes per meal. I don’t care where you live, the overhead of going to a restaurant is going to be that much.

  7. #7 |  Highway | 

    Michael Chaney, that’s a good solution for you, and it’s a good thing for people to consider. But many people would not be happy eating the same thing 3 days in a row, and wastage of leftovers is a significant waste of money for people. So if someone has that intention, but will not follow through on it, they’re not saving anything by making enough for multiple meals, they’re coming out behind the curve.

    So it’s a good thing to suggest, as well as things like “If you’re grilling chicken, grill twice as much as you need, eat the grilled chicken one day, and make chicken salad or something else with some of the leftovers” enough to change what you’re eating. This works very well with proteins, which are probably the more annoying things to cook for people. But I think it has to be accompanied with being honest and realistic about the effort required.

  8. #8 |  Big A | 

    #54 BSK- You’re certainly right. But how to get the word out? Seems like for anything you can think of that you want done- there’s someone who is trained or experienced enough to do it really, really well. What people provide the service of educating lots of people at once?

  9. #9 |  BSK | 

    Big A-

    That is the million dollar question. Part of the issue is not only figuring out how to educate people, but first figuring out how to inform people that they need to be education (GOD that sounds presumptuous and patronizing, ugh!). What I mean is that many people think they know what is healthy and what isn’t. They all took health class and learned the food pyramid, didn’t they? They ordered a diet coke with their Big Mac, no? They look for the Trix boxes that scream “NOW WITH WHOLE GRAIN!” Now, these people aren’t stupid; they’ve simply been inundated with bad information, much of it coming from (drumroll please!) THE GOVERNMENT! But it is very hard to have someone unlearn something, especially when they’ve believed it to be true for most of their lives.

    Obviously, there are others who probably know they eat an unhealthy diet but simply don’t care or have bought into the propaganda that they can’t really do much better for themselves (too expensive; too hard; not tasty) or underestimate the short- and long-term effects of their food choices. Those people might be easier to teach but are also far more likely to suffer from inertia.

    This situation isn’t unique to food… how many people still smoke? Use dangerous drugs? Drink too much? Drive too fast? Practice unsafe sex? Do generally stupid and dangerous things? Some of these practices have had wars waged against them! Yet they persist. Because, in the end, people are going to follow what motivates them. For some, that is the enjoyment of a home-cooked, tasty meal. For others, it is the feelings that come from a healthy lifestyle. More still will seek quick, easy, tasty foods. And if any of us truly new the secret to motivating people to do the “right” thing, they’d be billionaires by now.

  10. #10 |  Leon Wolfeson | 

    People are overlooking something in the cooking argument – fuel costs. The microwave is an amazingly cheap way to prepare meals compared to the hob. And oven? Ouch.

    I spend, combined costs, under £3 a day on food. It’s not easy, even in the UK. But, for example, I can get 1kg bags of organic frozen vegetables for £1…

  11. #11 |  Rob S | 

    Headline of the Day also hosts the Twit of the Day. Check this dribble: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/science/8653962/Scientists-warn-of-Planet-of-the-Apes-scenario.html#comment-266491730 /facepalm