ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
This article describes an implant that can shut off hunger signals.  It has some positive potential, but also a lot of serious risks that I don't think people are considering.

* It's ideal for treating nonsense hunger.  That is, hunger which does not impose a concrete penalty for ignoring it.  Emotional eating and social eating both fall into this category.  \o/

* It's very bad for situations where the appetite signals hunger, and without eating, penalties such as headache, stomachache, and irritability ensue.  Those need a different solution.

* It doesn't have a user-controllable off switch.  That means you can't, for example, allow yourself to eat a full healthy meal and then use the device to quell urges for snacking.  It seems to get stuck in nibble mode.

* Drastically reducing food intake without improving the quality  of food would greatly increase dietary illnesses.  Most American food is high in calories but pretty low in actual nutrients. Cut the food and people who already aren't getting quite enough vitamins will suddenly be getting up to 40% less.  No, you can't simply replace those will pills, because bioavailability is much lower with pills than with actual food.

Do you think doctors will care about these factors?  I don't.  I think they'll use the same bullying tactics they already do with other things, and once this device becomes available, it'll be "Get this implant and stop being such a pig, or you don't get any health care."  Which will predictably make people's health worse, because many people already avoid health care because they don't wish to be abused about their weight, and that undermines health. But not as much as letting people hurt you, so for many folks it's a valid trade, even if it's less good than what they should  have with good care.  This is regrettable because the device sounds ideal for treating a subset of overeating which is pretty common.
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
Here's an article about human stupidity: the shrinking number of crops grown in agriculture.  This is so obviously a bad idea that advice against it goes all the way back to "don't put all your eggs in one basket."  The more diverse an ecosystem, the healthier it is; the less diverse, the less healthy.  That's because pests and pathogens spread rapidly in dense populations, and worst of all in monocultures.  Furthermore, when lots of people plant the exact same cultivars across whole regions, anything that hits one can wipe out a huge portion of the produce.  When I was little we had a corn smut in Illinois, and lost about a third of the crop, because every field with the susceptible cultivar turned black and died.  I said, "That was stupid.  We should stop doing that so this doesn't happen again."  Decades later, the narrowing is even worse in some regards.

On the bright side, we haven't lost all diversity yet, and there are still influential levers within the reach of most people.  You can grow heirloom varieties, or buy them whenever you find them.  Creating a demand for wider diversity will encourage producers to sell it.  Just buying brown eggs helps, because it means stocking something like Rhode Island reds in addition to white leghorns.  Two is better than one.  If you can get pastured eggs from a mixed flock, so much the better.
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
Bokashi composting is an anaerobic process that can reduce food scraps -- including meat and dairy as well as vegetables -- into highly acidic "pre-compost." Normally this is dug into a garden, but it shouldn't come into direct contact with plant roots immediately. This made me think of two other applications.

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ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
This is what I made for supper tonight. I got the idea from Core Life, which offers fresh raw herbs including basil and ginger.

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ysabetwordsmith: Shaeth is drunk (one god)
This poem came out of the February 5, 2019 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired by prompts from [personal profile] bairnsidhe, [personal profile] gingicat, [personal profile] torc87, and [livejournal.com profile] rix_scaedu. It also fills the "reminding someone to do something important" square in my 9-5-18 card for the 1000 Words or Less fest. This poem has been sponsored by [personal profile] ng_moonmoth. It belongs to the series One God's Story of Mid-Life Crisis.

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ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
I made this for supper on Monday night.

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ysabetwordsmith: Damask smiling over their shoulder (polychrome)
Thanks to an audience poll, you can now read the start of "So Many Notes and Colors and Flavors."  Shiv and Heron are comfort-baking again, and things don't go totally smooth.
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
I made this tonight as my January new recipe. It occurred to me that I could use the George Foreman grill to cook fruits or vegetables, not just meats. :D Success!

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ysabetwordsmith: (Cheap Cookin)
Warm up with wassail or hot chocolate.  Some folks may prefer mulled wine.  If you get chilled, use warming spices or foods -- not alcohol -- to combat the cold.
ysabetwordsmith: Damask smiling over their shoulder (polychrome)
This poem is spillover from the November 6, 2018 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired by a prompt from [personal profile] technoshaman. It also fills the "playing in the mud" square in my 11-5-18 card for the Family Ties Bingo fest. This poem has been sponsored by a pool with [personal profile] ng_moonmoth, [personal profile] fuzzyred, and [personal profile] mama_kestrel. It belongs to the Iron Horses thread of the Polychrome Heroics series.

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ysabetwordsmith: Damask smiling over their shoulder (polychrome)
This poem was written outside the regular prompt calls. It was inspired by the "autumn" square in my 9-30-18 card for the Fall Bingo Fest. It has been sponsored by [personal profile] janetmiles. This poem belongs to the Shiv thread of the Polychrome Heroics series.

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ysabetwordsmith: Damask smiling over their shoulder (polychrome)
This poem is spillover from the November 6, 2018 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired by prompts from [personal profile] alexseanchai and[personal profile] bairnsidhe. It also fills the "No Such Thing as 'Just' Friends" square in my 11-5-18 card for the Family Ties Bingo fest. This poem has been sponsored by [personal profile] fuzzyred. It belongs to the Polychrome Heroics series.

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ysabetwordsmith: Damask smiling over their shoulder (polychrome)
This is spillover from the November 6, 2018 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired by a prompt from [personal profile] technoshaman. It also fills the "good nutrition" square in my 2-28-18 card for the Slice of Life Bingo fest. This demifiction is the bonus material for the December 4, 2018 Poetry Fishbowl reaching its $300 goal. It belongs the series Polychrome Heroics, and is mentioned in the poem "When Circumstances Are at Their Worst" (not yet published).

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