more evidence on the food industry's contribution to obesity rates

A recent study in Nature highlights the dangers of trans fats, found in processed and fast foods:

The fatter fat: Fast-food ingredient may pump up your paunch by Helen Pearson

The study suggests that not only are trans fats worse for your health than other fatty acids, but can lead to greater weight gain and pre-diabetic conditions -- even at the same amount of calories. Of course, it's no surprise that processed foods are bad for you, but this research further implicates the entire US food industry in the rising rates of obesity and type II diabetes. Between trans fats and corn syrup, it seems clear that much of what passes for food in most American supermarkets needs to be reexamined -- and rejected in favor of fresh produce, whole grains, and other minimally processed ingredients.


seasonal fruit -- hurry to the farmer's market!

happily, summer fruits are finally starting to come into season. after a few long months of little but citrus and some aging apples on the shelf, fresh strawberries, cherries, plums and nectarines have emerged at my local markets. last month's strawberry crop assured me a weekly pint of sweet, robustly flavored berries for under $3, and delicate, honey-flavored melons.

over the last two weekends, the cherries have been perfect, round and plump with a nice full flavor, especially the mottled yellow and red Rainiers. the organic ones don't hold up long in the fridge, though, so they need to be eaten quickly! i also found hardy, sweet pluots (plum/apricot blends) and ripe nectarines.

late spring greens have also been a treat -- fresh sorrel makes a wonderfully bright tasting and slightly sour soup, and young collards steam easily and take well to be lightly sauteed afterward. i find serving hearty greens with just a warm bean salad (white beans or cranberry beans and a little olive oil) and some good bread makes a light but satisfying meal.