#foodreads is our weekly digest of food and cooking ephemera from around the internet.
“Breaking bread” not just symbolic
Does sitting down and “breaking bread” with one another really increase our overall sense of comity in a quantifiable way—and do you actually need to be eating the same food as one another? Science says yes: in an experiment, pairs of volunteers were asked to negotiate with one another over a tough subject while eating either candy or salty snacks. It turned out that “when the volunteers ate the same kinds of food, they reached agreement much more quickly than when one person ate the candy and the other person ate the salty food.” More here.
Trump and food workers
Last Monday representatives of “105 food and agriculture organizations, representing more than 10 million people across the food system” sent a letter to senators asking that they vote against the confirmation of fast-food CEO Andy Puzder as secretary of labor. Critics cited his opposition to higher wages, and his company’s lengthy record of discrimination lawsuits and workers’-rights violations, including wage theft, as reasons Puzder is unfit for the job.
Here come camel burgers
Efforts are a-hoof in Minneapolis to increase the popularity of camel meat; particularly among the area’s large Somali population, for whom the nutritious meat is a traditional food. The meat is shipped to the Twin Cities from, of all places, Australia, where camels were introduced by the British in the 1800s and where they’ve gone feral and are a detriment to the environment; the Aussie government is attempting to cull populations and sell the meat. That story and more in the Food and Environment Reporting Network’s “The Long, Slow Trek to Get Americans to Eat Camel Meat.”
Books Against the Ban
In response to Donald Trump’s immigrant and refugee travel ban, San Francisco’s Omnivore Books arranged a window display featuring cookbooks focused on the cuisines of the seven Muslim-majority countries whose citizens are largely barred from entering the country: Syria, Iraq, Yemen, Libya, Iran, Somalia, and Sudan. Talking to Grub Street, Omnivore manager explained why she liked the books, which include Flavours of Aleppo: Celebrating Syrian Cuisine, Tastes of Africa, and The Iraqi Family Cookbook. They’re all available for sale on Omnivore’s website.
CNN digs into the phenomenon of “postprandial somnolence”—that is, food coma, which occurs when blood leaves the brain and the muscles, and heads toward the stomach and intestines, to aid in the digestion of a meal. A couple logical outcomes follow: bigger meals might make you drowsier, while liquid meals—soup!—are less heavy-lifting for your system. But this is just scratching the surface, and the network also investigates factors such as protein levels in food and everybody’s food-coma scapegoat, tryptophan, which is often tied to post-Thanksgiving-dinner sleepiness.
Stop (crunch!), what’s that sound?
I am eating some corn chips right now and hoping that nobody sitting near me in the office suffers from misophonia, a “genuine brain abnormality” involving hatred of certain sounds, including crunching and chewing. The condition rises above being simply a matter of getting annoyed by certain stimuli; using brain imaging, researchers in Britain found that the frontal lobes of people with misophonia are different than those without it.