Trump Tower: It tells you a lot, without speaking

I am in the middle of two weeks of jury duty, or, at least, standing by for jury duty. Yesterday I wasn’t required (white, old and looks like he might be rude to the judge about the number of incarcerations in the US, maybe?). In any event, I had half the morning off, so, feeling …

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Robot care commodifies old age

Across the developed world, the combination of slow economic growth and an ageing population is creating a market for cheap, hi-tech solutions to elderly care. There’s the RoboCoach: an android that is being used in Singapore to give exercise classes to senior citizens, using motion sensors to detect whether they are doing it right. Then …

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Organic food – what we know so far (The last posting of four about food)

Modern, high-intensity farming is charged with causing food to lose some of its goodness.  Could organic food offer an alternative? This is a controversial question. Antioxidant levels are higher in organically grown plants, according to a meta-analysis of existing studies published last year. However, in 2012 researchers at Stanford University in California found no strong …

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How have modern farming methods affected the nutrients in common foods? (Third posting of four)

Beef Beef from cattle reared outdoors on grass is less fatty and contains more omega-3 fatty acids than cattle reared indoors and fed mainly grain. However, consumers preferred the taste of latter, according to a 2014 study. Pasta Today’s pasta might be less nutritious thanks to modern, fast-growing wheat varieties introduced in the 1960s. Levels …

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Is modern food processing and storage bad for us? (second posting of four)

Fruit and vegetables in supermarkets might look shiny and fresh, but often they were picked several days earlier. Some nutrients, particularly vitamin C and folic acid, begin to oxidise as soon as picking happens, but manufacturers use chilling and packaging techniques to minimise the resulting losses. “Lots of these reactions are driven by enzymes, and …

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