Peter Kaminsky and Marion Nestle on The Art of Healthy Eating

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Food writer Peter Kaminsky and nutrition and public policy expert Marion Nestle talk about how to have healthy eating habits without sacrificing the fun and pleasure in food. In Culinary Intelligence: The Art of Eating Healthy (and Really Well) Kaminsky tells how he lost 35 pounds and kept them off and he shows how to think before eating, choose good ingredients, understand how flavor works, and make the effort to cook. Marion Nestle’s latest book is Why Calories Count: From Science to Politics (California Studies in Food and Culture).


Peter Kaminsky and Marion Nestle

Comments [17]

Henry from Manhattan

When people are conscious of what they are eating -- farm fresh versus conventional -- they say that farm fresh tastes better.

But in controlled blind tasting tests where people really don’t know, and certain cues are removed, people really can’t taste enough of a meaningful difference.

Here’s two links on eggs, and these aren’t isolated experiments, this is a very common outcome that most objective food scientists are aware of.

The Food Lab: Do 'Better' Eggs Really Taste Better?
Serious Eats - August 27, 2010

Backyard eggs vs. store-bought: They taste the same
Washington Post - June 2, 2010

Also Penn & Teller’s Bulls#@t! had as a nice piece demonstrating the same concepts.
(Video with some profanity)

The usual response to this is that, “Well, people just don’t know any better,” or their tastes buds aren’t trained, but I bring this up to counter Kaminsky’s claims that he can round up anyone in a side by side taste test and clearly wind up proving that farm fresh tastes better. Sorry, that’s just not likely, not if you do the tests right.

Even when theses sorts of tests do end up favoring farm fresh, the margin of taste preference just isn’t that large and it’s more a matter of arbitrary preference than tastes “better” or “worse.”

May. 23 2012 05:05 PM
PHILIOR from Brooklyn

Dear Ms. Nestle,

With all due respect I would like to explain why I find mistaken your proposition to preclude people from bad habits by making bad things unavailable.
Yes, it will show an immediate effect and make you and many other people think it's the way to go. However, in the long run, many other bad things will happen precisely because an adult human being should not rely on outside protecting force when the ultimate responsibility lays on the individual not on the government, crusaders, or angels. It’s like hiding matches from a child without ever showing him what it is and how it should be handled.
Such mentality of ignoring or denying the negative outcome of prohibition, most spectacularly manifested in the war on drugs will finally destroy our society and country, exactly because the government’s attempt to preclude people from bad habits by making drugs unavailable.
Despite the fact that the number of victims fallen in this war climbs to a hundred of thousands (this is just the number of killed excluding the number of broken lives, millions of years of human life wasted in prison, billions of our dollars wasted on the war directly and lost in taxes, the deterioration of our culture, education, social environment, and our mentality)* people with damaged mentality keep supporting prohibitionist actions, because we are no longer capable of making vital decisions for ourselves and rather rely on our increasingly paternalistic government.
I quit smoking after I read a WHO report on its measures fighting smoking in Africa. The very thought that some strangers in Geneva care about someone’s health more than I do about mine struck me into quitting.
I made my own decision on a background of available cigarettes and heavily smoking people around.
Keep hiding matches from grownups and you’ll get a huge fire.

May. 23 2012 02:16 PM
Neil from Vero Beach, FL

As for the comments about "Only eletists eating like foodies", I equate eating the pricier organic and otherwise healthier food as an alternative to paying that money to a doctor/loosing wages down the line to deal with health problems that arise from eating cheaper and unhealthier food despite potentially saving in the moment. I'd rather pay for my own higher quality of life than feel like garbage and pay doctors.

May. 23 2012 01:59 PM
Laura from Long Island

Great show. Just wanted to say a few things. Whole milk is better for you in a way than skim because there is less sugar in it. I never knew that and just found out. There is a restaurant called Seasons 52 that I went to on L.I. recently that was so great because all the food was under 475 calories and all very tasty. Best of all - they had little taster desserts that were like 250 calories. Sometimes all you need is a few tastes of a dessert to feel satisfied.

May. 23 2012 01:55 PM
Ariadne from NYC

Regarding reforming husbandry practices with factory farms: the terms "organic," "cage-free," and "free-range" are not well defined legally or well regulated. Also, birds outside the lab are not covered under the US Animal Welfare Act, so there are no welfare protections for poultry.

May. 23 2012 01:52 PM
Julia from UWS

Sure, "superior" flavors do come from better ingredients and better sourced foods. However, they really are more expensive. I think Leonard's point about classicim, elitism was quickly avoided by his guests. But, the issue pervades socio-economic and the political/racial strata.

May. 23 2012 01:51 PM
nina from new york

people's matabolisms are all totally different. I'm a 5' woman and figured out when a teenager that for whatever reason, I put on weight instantly if I eat pasta or grains - am not talking about overeating them, rather in quantities that dieticians generally recommend.

Bottom line is people need to observe what works or doesn't for them individually

May. 23 2012 01:51 PM
jgarbuz from Queens

While the so-called "Atkins Diet" has been mis-characterized and often demonized, I've lived by this so-called diet for nearly a decade and half, and have no complaints. While it concentrates on restricting the intake of carbohydrates to under 60 grams a day, if one wants to lose weight and maintain that lost weight status, his "diet" also emphasizes nutrition, vitamins, exercise, drinking lots of water, and much else. That's why he wrote many books and had a lot do say about nutrition in general, most of which is slowly but surely becoming accepted even as the pundits "pooh pooh" the name of Atkins. That's because have been so WRONG over the past decades as the obesity epidemic of the last 20 years has proved. They cannot stand to bring up the name of Atkins without being contemptuous. It's all the disciples of "low fat" who got us into this mess in the first place.

May. 23 2012 01:50 PM
jennifer from nyc

These people are a snooze. And this is just common sense. Hardly worth the segment. I'd rather listen to Michael Polan

May. 23 2012 01:44 PM
thatgirl from manhattan

lenny, lenny--you should know better that "whole wheat" bread has nothing "whole" in it. all these "whole grain" claims by packaged, processed foods are a lot of b.s. the FDA, in all its brilliance, does nothing to bring light to this false claim.

May. 23 2012 01:41 PM

A regimen that the *individual designs* based on her own weaknesses is a lot more sustainable than a regimen designed by a book or program.
For example, my weakness is snacking between meals. So my regimen has to be sticking to particular times of day to eat.
My aunt's weakness is sweets. So she has a smart-phone app that helps her keep track of calories during the day.
Both these approaches work for us, because they are determined by our own tastes and routines.

May. 23 2012 01:35 PM
Andy from montclair nj

Look at what the food DOES have, not what it doesn't have. Look for protein and fiber compared to calories. Get your bang (nutrition) for the buck (calories).

May. 23 2012 01:34 PM
Rick from NYC

could HIGH FRUCTOSE CORN SYRUP be behind the RECENT obesity epidemic?

May. 23 2012 01:34 PM
sher from Lower Manhattan

Leonard -
You know we have loved the History of World in 100 Objects and we are going to have SERIOUS Withdrawal Symptoms when it is over soon! I hope you and your team are considering what ELSE to offer in replacement that will lead us to be compelled to tune in and follow with fascination? We'll need something! Thanks!

May. 23 2012 01:26 PM

Leonard, this is the second time I've heard you declare, "Dieting doesn't work." Maybe you could clarify how you define "dieting." Clearly if a person cuts his intake of calories relative to what he burns off, he is going to lose weight. The hard parts are: 1) Knowing how MUCH to cut, and 2) Having the sustained self-control/motivation to stick to the regimen.
It's simple, and it works. BUT it is hard for many people to actually do.

May. 23 2012 01:09 PM

Ellen -
1) smaller portions
2) more walking, less riding
3) longer school recesses, more physical activity in schools and after-school
4) less frequent consumption of snack foods, fewer fast food outlets, lower consumption of sodas

May. 23 2012 10:51 AM
ellen from nyc

Please ask your guests this…
Why is it that in the 1950s, most people were thinner than now, yet we had no food labels, and people ate high fat foods at every meal— bacon, meat and butter. full fat ice cream, etc. Plus nobody jogged or went to health clubs.

May. 23 2012 02:06 AM

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