I consider the Slow Food movement to be one of the most important movements for true quality of life (at least as far as first-world problems go), and with the sort of always-on environment that typical white-collar workers experience in today's post-Twitter mobile world, I think tech can just as readily destroy people's lives as fast food does. This makes me sad because I've been instinctively drawn to tech for my entire life and I don't want to believe that we need to somehow forcibly detach from tech to lead balanced and sane lives. There is a way for tech to be enriching without stress or compulsion inducing. I'm totally behind The Slow Web and look forward to my own contributions in years to come.
It's amusing that it has to be a "movement", because prior to a few decades ago everyone was part of the "slow food movement".
Food policy an America is a perfect example of where capitalism fails to take into account externalities, in this case the externality is health and wellbeing which has always been recognized as of paramount importance, but nevertheless remains difficult to quantify in economic terms due to the inherent complexities involved. Unless we stop and think critically about it, we are doomed to sacrifice our health to a huge money-making apparatus in exchange for a bit of well-engineered flavor.
The status quo which most of of us have known for our entire lives is what necessitates a movement. Perhaps I'm taking your comment in the wrong spirit, but I think it's something that needs to be taken seriously by everyone living in industrialized countries.
At present industrial countries spend between 9-11% of their annual income on foodstuffs and less than 5% of their time gathering said foodstuffs - the lowest in time/money expenditure for food in the history of the world.
If we die slightly earlier due to a possible rise in cardiovascular disease then it was a small price to pay for saving years in productive time.
Also, fast food firms are an easy target but when pressed for an answer, the team at Freakonomics made a pretty good case that a McDonalds hamburger is possibly the greatest foodstuff when balanced between cost, speed, safety and bountifulness of nutrients.
The real problem with convenience food is not the nutritional content (which is perfectly adequate and superior to most diets across a historical timeline)is the unsustainable agricultural and water scarcity burden it places on the planet.
Simply put, we are in the nutritional dark ages right now. You exemplify my point perfectly by looking at the issue through an economic lens, and ignoring the difficult to pin down issues like the explosion of obesity and diabetes. Now you claim that I have no idea what I'm talking about, and I claim the same about you, but mark my words in 100 years people will look back on the diet of today with the same horror that they look back on bloodletting as medical practice.
Mark your words?
You talk about being in the nutritional dark ages then mention eating fresh animal meat
No evidence exists anywhere that human beings should consume meat. Our digestive tracts are 4X longer than any other animal that consumes meat (which leads to rotting flesh in our body (not ideal)) and in repeated tests the sight and smell of fresh meat fails to incite child salivary glands but fresh fruit and vegetables does.
Unlike actual carnivorous animals which are equipped with the teeth, claws and digestive means to eat meat. Young offspring naturally hunt other prey and salivate at the prospect of flesh/organs.
To paraphrase yourself - mark my words, we will look back on the human consumption of meat with the same horror that considered bloodletting as a medical practice.
Disclaimer - I eat meat despite the huge risks to my wellbeing.
Test - Leave a toddler in a playpen with a rabbit; trust me he won't attempt to fucking eat it. He has not been social conditioned to see the consumption of meat as normal.
Leave an omnivorous or carnivorous animal in a locked environment with the same rabbit. You will need a new rabbit.
You said "nutrients from fresh animal meat" in the same post where you expressed disdain for fast food.
Yet you clearly express no disdain for a food source that is on whole, extremely damaging to the human body.
I suggest you educate yourself about nutrition in it's entirety before you step on your anti-fast-food pulpit.
Now maybe he just trolled me masterfully, in which case, well played; but if he really believes any of his own bullshit I feel sorry for the dimwit and everyone who has to deal with him.
Given your technical position you are clearly not a moron, but in regards to non-technical matters you sound like a child. Seriously, just shut the fuck up and stop embarrassing yourself.
You know you are losing an argument about nutrition when you resort to UNIX commands as an insult.
Another poster also pointed out to you that the context of my comments was directly in response to your posting.
Next time, post better or post more accurately. Don't whine.
(It is disappointing that the comments between you and dasil have not been downvoted)
I count one (now possibly two). The rest are all valid intellectual points.
Imagine that: people eat until their arteries clog, literally stopping the flow of blood so they die.
Oh but the branded, and yes, overpriced food-product was oh so satisfactory for the senses, the sugar, the fat, the flavoring, all carefully designed to overwhelm instincts and to create little addictions.
On the other hand, heart diseases are an area where things got significantly worse for no good reason.
We can be safe from common infections (thanks to hygiene) and also not all suffer from heart diseases (by not eating junk), there's no trade-off here.
I would wager not many.
Humans have to die from something at some point. If you have compelling evidence that fast food reduces your life feel free to post it.
A number of journals have begun to dispute that obesity even causes the conditions we currently associate with it.
My point is not that people were doing better then. My point is we could do better given what we know and what we have.
The simple fact that we are debating nutrition on such a basic level ("is something loosely defined as fast food bad?"), shows how fucked we are in that regard.
(Similarly, nutritional concepts, whatever their merits and benefits, that come with a name, be it "atkins" or "paleo", also resemble a pre-scientific worldview based on superstition and vague knowledge. Think "We're building this bridge according to the teachings of Prof. Dr.-Ing. Whatshisname.")
If you remove X cause of deaths in human beings then it will result in a rise of Y cause of death in human beings.
As stated earlier; humans beings must die. If not from infection or injury then from lifestyle factors.
The fact that we have lived to an age whereby lifestyle not predators, infection, war, crime or malnutrition will kill us should be celebrated.
So have a damn burger. You are probably at greater risk from going skiing (no one is proposing limits or awareness about the inherent dangers of skiing). Last time I checked I was not subject to daily discussions about the economic cost of injured skiers.
Have you ever been involved in the process of growing food? A workday on the farm is substantially longer than any office job, the only way to talk to people is to scream because they're at least thirty meters away from you most of the time. At the end of it you're drained and people who have been doing it all their lives get to live the last years of their lives with terrible back pains and having to rely on the young folks for, um, growing food, because it turns out doing manual labour for twelve hours a day isn't so easy when you're eighty. There's anything but quality time in that.
Edit: It also turns out that, with foodstuffs having to be so cheap, this kind of work was also very badly paid, which meant that except for people who owned huge amounts of land (and generally didn't work all, or more commonly any of it), people who had to do this were, if not dirt poor, in any case poor enough not to be able to afford too much. It's the fact that we lost all this chance to have "quality time" that allows us to heartily debate such matters through silicon stuff that shoves charge carriers through really thin glass tubes.
If we all had our little gardens the food landscape of America would change wildly. Japan's got tiny little gardens tucked into every corner. It's a different model of production.
This is in the context where, as ZenPro stated above:
> industrial countries spend between 9-11% of their annual income on foodstuffs and less than 5% of their time gathering said foodstuffs - the lowest in time/money expenditure for food in the history of the world.
Things would change radically if you had to feed off it entirely most days. Having a small garden is great, both as a hobby and through the healthy food you get from it, but glorifying the times when you spent "quality time" working your ass off in the field is a bit far fetched...
Preparing food was a major source of such "quality time" as peeling, flaying, cooking and serving food for a large family. Quality time, indeed.
Have you tried to buy nutritious food on food assistance? Better hope a church or food pantry (if you car-less wastes of space have one nearby) can help make up the difference, or just go back to eating those big macs and fries because you're just too stupid to eat healthy (only costs 11% you numskulls, get off your lazy asses!)
The main takeaway (and it's a worthy one) is to respect your users and their time. Your app may be the most important thing in the world to you, but that doesn't mean that everyone using it wants to be instantly notified of every little event within it. Unless your app is responsible for mission-critical or time-sensitive stuff (messaging, etc), chances are your users don't need more than a weekly (or maybe daily) summary - and if they'd like to be notified via push, then make it an option that's off by default.
> daily things that improve your life in small but beneficial ways, like flossing, meditating, or tracking your weight
Ok for meditating, maybe. But flossing? Tracking weight? I'd say obsession with hygiene and fitness is very detrimental to one's quality of life. I'd find hundreds more relevant ways to improve one's life in small steps: Eating good unprocessed food, Having an aimless walk once a week, Gardening, Reading books written more than 50 years ago, Listening to the music you like, etc.
I don't know what to do with this remark. Maybe our Amercanized civilisation has an exagerated focus on body hygiene. Something that once saved lives (doctors and nurses washing hands often) became an obsession the makes many people miserable (brushing teeth trice a day, removing any form of pubic pilosity, flossing, weight-watching).
Also: Tracking weight is far from "obsession". If you need to lose (or gain) weight, tracking is one of the simplest and most effective things you can start doing. You can't improve what you aren't measuring!
If so just put away the phone and put some of that extra money towards making others lives better; there are lots of people that need it, that don't have the income or influence to solve those problems on their own. Have some perspective in how you spend your money!
BUT the presentation of the homepage felt too slow. Revealing a few words at a time quickly lost its appeal.
My rule would be that it's large chain (or copy thereof), "system catering" ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/System_catering ) and the aforementioned pay before you eat rule.