Wednesday 25th July 2012

by sophie

During lunch break I came upon this article by one of favorite chefs Mark Bittman, which is actually a follow up to his original article, Got Milk? You Don’t Need It. Basically, Bittman talks about how we don’t really need to drink milk or eat dairy, which can actually cause many health problems in adults, but it’s become a staple due to aggressive marketing, the Big Dairy Industry, the Government, etc. etc.

Note that I said Mark Bittman was one of my favorite chefs and not writers, because unlike his remarkably simple, clear and delicious recipes, I feel that he could execute his words with a bit more tact. Bittman is known for being a pioneer in food activism, and I am in fact a big supporter with many (if not all) of the causes he champions, which are really integral to making Americans more aware of their detrimental consumptions. I’m definitely of his no-milk stance, as I’ve never really enjoyed drinking milk either, and have found it to cause me stomach upset. (Now, ice cream, that’s a different story. Total addict!)

But it’s really hard for me to stomach (ha ha) any writing that uses personal anectodes to prove a potentially scientific point, which dairy intolerance most certainly is. Writing something as such will only lead to dozens (in this case, literally thousands!) of comments from psuedo-experts, quack doctors, crotchety old men/women who grew up with the slogan 3-a-day, etc. I’m not about to go all stubborn scientist on you, but look, as someone who studies Computer Science in an Engineering school maybe (just maybe) I’m a little bit of a hard-science snob with a capital S.

All in all, though, I’m not really too miffed, since I do like Bittman’s food, and I definitely think this blind American reverence of dairy as some kind of wholesome food of the gods can’t be so hot. And hey, if the goal was reverse-psychology, it’s definitely done it’s trick: nothing like a good dose of pseudo-science to get me all riled up and spreading the word. Such a potentially strong statement definitely deserves some thorough research.

Random nerd rant of the day:
What’s the deal with HTML and whitespace? It always bothers me to no end that the assignment operator (=) is stuck right next to the variable, like <div id=”value”>. (Why not div id = “value”?).  I’m no expert of HTML style & syntax but it seems to be the norm. (And, for good measure, a little comic that’s semi-related).

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