It's "Juan Cambeiro," not "Juan Cambiero."
The thing I've noticed most about the profusion of plant-based fake meats is the almost total lack of information about their nutritional content. We get the usual % of several RDAs mandated by US law, and that's all. The generous people who've decided to sell me this stuff - taking up space in the meat section of my local grocery store - have not troubled to inform me whether any of these concoctions contain complete protein, or any of the nutrients vegans have trouble getting in adequate quantities.
Being cynical, I presume that if the information was *good*, and would tend to encourage me to buy their products, they'd be trumpeting it to the housetops. Of course I spend far less time consuming advertisements than normal people, so I may have missed one way they could try to inform prospective buyers. But why is there nothing useful on the packaging itself? I'm going to presume that a diet heavy in fake meat will be nutrient deficient in some way, unless and until I hear otherwise - from sources I consider reliable, at that.
Of course an unintelligently chosen diet lacking meat, substituting vegetable protein sources has the same risks. But handling this is easy - I can either follow a traditional low or no meat diet (with all of its traditional components), or I can consult available references written for the not-especially-educated consumer.
The other thing I notice is that they just about all contain rape seed (canola) oil. While I'm failing to find a reference to cite, I believe that intolerance of canola oil is more frequent than intolerance of just about any commonly consumed oil, particularly among asthmatics. Whether or not I'm right in my memories about the incidence numbers, intolerance of canola oil is definitely a thing. I live with a woman for whom canola oil is an exceedingly reliable emetic - if she consumes it, she barfs. And no, she does NOT have to know that the canola oil is present.
I saw no hint of either of these questions in a fast skim of the relevant article. In fact, it signaled its superficiality by asking whether or not these fake meats "were good for you", based on simple equations like "processed=bad" and "real meat=bad". Neither of those are true, as absolutes.
It did redeem itself somewhat by talking about the difficulties of doing diet comparisons. But at the same time it omitted the obvious - good for who? bad for who? in what quantities and proportions? Most people can probably eat a beyond beef burger with no ill effects. (Unless they respond badly even small quantities of canola oil). I suspect that someone who tries to live on little more than beyond beef burgers would probably get just as sick as someone who tried to live on little more than McDonald's hamburgers. Maybe a bit more, maybe a bit less - the producers haven't deigned to tell me enough to even start to predict that.
I'd like to see an article that gives me useful, actionable information. Meanwhile, no sale. When I want to eat vegetable based protein, I can choose among a large number of sources that won't taste *almost* like meat, and will have a better understood nutrient profile.
Since you mentioned it, any cultivation novel recommendations?
>I’m not in this one - my unsuitability to have food-related opinions is second only to @eigenrobot’s - but some of my friends are.
Why are you unsuitable to have food-related opinions?
Not sure I'd appreciate being introduced as a writer by the epithet "my ex", no matter its informational accuracy. Maybe this person agreed beforhand though and doesn't mind.
I didn't read "Beyond Staple Grains" as a "Why good thing bad" article at all? Just seemed like a "How good thing can be improved upon further".
I exhibit a trauma response whenever I see the words eigenrobot and food juxtaposed
The colors used on graphs are almost identical when there's no functional need for it, and the pie chart has actual color gradients (a specific color matching a specific meaning is the entire point! a gradient destroys that simple 1-to-1 correspondence!), and the pie chart has an awkward composition in general.
They really suffer from wild graphic designers running amok.
I recommend using Ctrl-H instead of Ctrl-F, which includes "replace", which includes "replace all".
Well, perhaps not in web pages, but in Microsoft documents.
It looks like the hyperlink that is supposed to point to the Eukaryote Writes blog instead points (again) to the "What I Won't Eat" article.
The cultivated meat article was a little less detailed than I was hoping, but still an interesting read. I think at the end of it, I'm perhaps slightly more optimistic in the long-term odds, but my thoughts on the short to medium term (5-10, maybe even 20 years) hasn't shifted much.
This issue of Asterisk seems like an interesting read, especially since it's centered around food-related topics. I'm particularly curious about the article on the downsides of the Green Revolution and how policymakers are trying to mitigate them. It's always important to consider the unintended consequences of technological advancements, especially when it comes to our food systems. I'm also intrigued by the article on cultivated meat and whether it will be able to compete with traditional meat on price. It's exciting to think about the potential for animal-cruelty-free meat, but it's also important to consider the economic viability of this technology. Overall, I'm looking forward to reading this issue of Asterisk and learning more about these important topics.
Maybe the Asterisk-webmasters are reading here (i didn't reach anyone by email):
Your webserver blocks HTTP-clients with amd64 in the User-Agent header (which is quite annoying, since my browsers User-Agent contains this):
` ` `
$ curl -H 'User-Agent: amd64' -I https://asteriskmag.com
date: Wed, 08 Mar 2023 19:34:15 GMT
strict-transport-security: max-age=31536000; includeSubDomains; preload
alt-svc: h3=":443"; ma=2592000, h3-29=":443"; ma=2592000, h3-Q050=":443"; ma=2592000, h3-Q046=":443"; ma=2592000, h3-Q043=":443"; ma=2592000, quic=":443"; ma=2592000; v="43,46"
$ curl -H 'User-Agent: something-else' -I https://asteriskmag.com
content-type: text/html; charset=UTF-8
date: Wed, 08 Mar 2023 19:34:34 GMT
That oral rehydration therapy article gave me the same sort of swelling of humanist pride as child mortality graphs do. Behold the glory and splendour of humanity!
That nuclear winter/volcano interview freaked me out a little bit. 15 to 20 percent chance per century of VEI-7 event, which the interviewee claims would cause a 5-20 percent crop loss? That's much higher than I would have thought. We are not adequately prepared for something like that, and it's totally outside of our control, unlike nuclear winter. That would fuck the globe up in a hurry.
The carnivore diet is nutrition misinformation?
Does that mean in three years time the department of energy will endose it and the NYT will write sympathetic articles about it without referencing their previous hostility towards it?
It seems like there is no way to comment on the Asterisk articles, so I will just put my thoughts here instead.
Zvi observed  that the headlines of media are generally particularly unreliable. Unfortunately, this also seems to be the case here. The article "Salt, Sugar, Water, Zinc" mentions zinc only in the headline. More worrisome, "Feeding the World Without Sunlight" talks about handling the impact of _reduced_ sunlight (and thus lower temperatures), not trying to growing food plants in artificial light for eight billions.
With regard to the NIH alcohol study, I can't help but think that asking the booze industry for funding in the first place was a terrible idea. Some industries can be somewhat trusted to prove the safety of their own products because if their products are blatantly unsafe (e.g. Thalodomide) they will get sued and make a loss. I don't imagine anyone will manage to sue Heineken if it turns out that a study they founded misrepresented the costs and benefits of alcohol.
Call me cynical, but I don't expect that big booze would fund open-ended, objective studies on the effects of alcohol just out of a sense of moral responsibility. If they are forking over big bucks to fund some study, it is likely because they estimate the average payoff to be positive. I don't think that they have any private knowledge about the effects of alcohol to predict the outcome of the study. I can see some ways in which they might profit on average:
* By design, any such study will exclude the population most at risk, because it would be terrible unethical to go to a person with a history of substance abuse and tell them they should drink a few beers a week.
* "We found a small but significant benefit of moderate drinking for a certain population" will inevitably become: "Doctors say: booze good" because nuances will get lost.
* One of "Doctors say: booze bad/good" is old news. I can guess which outcome would generally get more reported on.
If humans were perfect Bayesians, any information would (on average) improve our predictions. Alas, humans are generally not. While treating arguments as soldiers is terrible, one should be aware that any nice, clean, neutral scientific finding can find itself badly distorted squeezed into some tank on the battle lines of public opinion a few weeks later. There are myriads of things to research, and there is something to be said for not doing a study on the positive character traits of Adolf Hitler (perhaps he was nice to his dogs or whatever) if one can already imagine the Modern Fascism Magazine headline "Hitler: not as bad as everyone says".
Also, the first plot in that article links alcohol to tuberculosis?! Is this more a statistical finding (like a correlation between alcohol and low income or alcohol and unwanted pregnancies) or is there some organic mechanism of action proposed (weakening of the immune system, perhaps)?