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Why BMI Is a Big Fat Scam

It's dumb and it might be dangerous.
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April 5, 2017

Top Food News

The Depressing Truth About Hipster Food Towns

In recent years, the US government has spent millions to try to end food deserts. But as urban neighborhoods gentrify, a new kind of disparity has emerged. (Mother Jones)

BMI is BS. Body mass index (BMI) is still one of the most commonly used measures of health. There's just one problem: A higher BMI doesn't necessarily mean you're less healthy. (Mother Jones)

And it might be dangerous. Relying on BMI to determine health risks is trouble. Some ethnicities have higher percentages of cardiometabolic problems even at a normal weight, says a new study—so they could get missed. (Annals of Internal Medicine)

Pesticide companies, rejoice! Trump's antitrust pick will likely look favorably on the Bayer-Monsanto and Dow-DuPont megamergers. (Mother Jones)

Fearful and hungry. Immigrants are skipping meals because they're afraid of being deported. (Mother Jones)

Broccoli hack. Can a new training convince even the pickiest kids to try dozens of new foods? (Quartz)


One Great Tidbit

You can now get scrumptious little Bite baby onesies. Just sayin'.

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This Week in Podcasts

The new cookbook Victuals reveals the brilliance of Appalachian food. Author Ronni Lundy joins us on Bite to talk about the recent hipsterization of Appalachia and what a typical dinner table might feature at the height of summer.

Hear it on Mother Jones' Bite, episode 27:
"The Bizarre, True-Crime Story of New England's Seafood King"  

The raw truth about cannibalism. It's more natural than you'd think, according to zoologist Bill Schutt—but maybe save this show for after your next meal. (Good Food)

Exclusive to Newsletter Subscribers

Uncovering the plot to kill lettuce:

On our latest episode of Bite, Ronni Lundy and Tom Philpott talk through an irresistible dish called "killed lettuce"—fresh salad greens wilted with warm bacon grease. While Lundy's cookbook Victuals, like the region's small farms, teems with fresh produce, the hog and its various products emerge as the hero: a reminder of the noble beast's central place in so many resourceful food traditions across the globe. Here's the recipe.

Killed Lettuce

serves 4


8 cups torn crisp salad greens (in bite-size pieces)
2 whole green onions, finely chopped
4 bacon slices
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
salt and freshly ground pepper


Rinse and thoroughly dry the greens, then toss them with the green onions in a large bowl.

Fry the bacon in a skillet over medium heat until very crisp, and remove from it the skillet to drain. Remove the skillet from the heat. Immediately pour the vinegar over the lettuce and toss, then pour the warm bacon grease over that, tossing again. Add salt and pepper to taste. Crumble the bacon over the greens and serve immediately.

These basic proportions can be used in many variations: Top the recipe with a soft-cooked egg, which becomes part of the dressing, or warm beans. The defining part of the dish is that the greens are not cooked, but are tossed with vinegar and hot bacon grease to wilt them.

That's all, folks! We'll be back next Wednesday with more.
Maddie and Kiera


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