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Fermented food may be good for your gut, but does it taste good?

Anything that has undergone a form of chemical breakdown by bacteria, yeast or other microbes — from blue cheese to sourdough bread — is fermented.

To ferment, a food needs to be put in an airless environment (a sealed jar filled with liquid, for example) in which microbes are encouraged to feed off its natural sugars. The result is an acid that both kills off harmful bacteria and transforms the original food. Put cabbage in brine and the result is soft, tart sauerkraut. Ferment soy beans, as they do at Flat Three, and the result tastes a bit like a raisin.

Booth, who dedicated a chapter of his book, The Meaning of Rice, to the mould koji, calls the Japanese the kings of fermented foods. Miso soup is my go-to hangover cure, he says. I am totally convinced of the benefits of naturally fermented foods and I do think it is one of the reasons why the traditional Japanese diet is so good for you.
trend  food  restaurant  uk  asia  japanese  korean  innovation  health  body  microbe  fermentation 
november 2017 by aries1988
High-pressure parenting
the habits of the British upper classes in much of the 20th century: the business of child-rearing was largely outsourced to nannies and boarding schools.

As the West industrialised and grew richer and medicine and sanitation improved, death rates fell. Maturing economies had less need of child labour, and more need of the labour of adult women – work which took them out of the home and reduced their ability to care for large broods. What’s more, as both survival rates and the returns on education rose, the imperative when having children shifted from quantity to quality. Investing more in children’s socialisation and education served the interests of both parents and offspring.

The right specialisation, it seemed, was for skilled parents to work outside the home, where they could earn lots of money, and then use some of that lucre to hire child-care professionals to rear the little ones.

Instead of increasingly outsourcing child-rearing, parents are devoting more of the scarce time left outside working hours to their children. Over the last two decades, time spent by parents on child-rearing has jumped.
Mothers without university degrees now spend about 16 hours per week on child care, while those with degrees spend nearly 22 hours per week. For fathers the figures are seven and ten, respectively. This pattern is repeated across the rich world.

High-income parents are instead spending less time on other personal activities, including sleep.

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Getting ready for university was a big deal. But there was no urgency to get into the best school possible, whatever the cost. Rather, school was a practical step on the path toward a sturdy, dependable career. You went to university to learn, first and foremost: to pick up the skills needed to find a trade. And while it might be nice to go to an elite institution, state schools provided great value for money.

I didn’t have one, other than pride, and I wasn’t proud enough at the time to go to the trouble of applying to Ivy League schools. I wasn’t certain what I wanted to do when I grew up, and it seemed to me that to justify going someplace fancy one needed to want to do something that really required one to go to that someplace, whatever that something might be. My parents are accountants. I knew I didn’t want to do that, but not much else. I was good at maths, so I thought I would be an engineer. The state school nearby was strong in engineering, cheap and willing to offer me a scholarship. Job done.

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the more wrenching and decisive those years immediately before matriculation seemed to become, the earlier and the more aggressively parents and children prepared their case for the admissions officers.

By the age of 17, children were expected to have lived a full and complete life, developed their whole selves and undergone one or more personal epiphanies.

The marathon ends with a sprint: a burst of intense preparation for placement tests and demanding university applications and interviews, at the end of which, if all goes right, the young ones are launched into the nurturing confines of a top university, which themselves are a waiting room for an adult life of consequence, a distinguished dotage and an obituary the envy of all the other strivers.

activities outside the realm of scholarship: the enriching spheres of athletics, personal interests and community service. The marathon ends with a sprint: a burst of intense preparation for placement tests and demanding university applications and interviews, at the end of which, if all goes right, the young ones are launched into the nurturing confines of a top university, which themselves are a waiting room for an adult life of consequence, a distinguished dotage and an obituary the envy of all the other strivers.

We can lament the problems with the system, but when the other parents bring out the flashcards, we feel bound to as well.

Efforts to pick apart the value added by the universities themselves find that there is some, but that elite schools are not, as a rule, the ones that do the best job improving students’ earning potential.

Parents are investing massive amounts of time preparing their children to win a race that cannot be won.

Like her father, she is disorganised and struggles to find the motivation to do tasks that don’t interest her. (My three-year-old son, on the other hand, is a determined perfectionist, like his mother.) I want to help teach them how to follow their passions, and how to strive for the things they want, rather than for empty markers of success. But I am discovering that I don’t know how to channel their personalities and interests towards a good, happy, fulfilled life any more than I knew what to do with myself, scared in that freshman dorm room. But I am discovering that I don’t know how to channel their personalities and interests towards a good, happy, fulfilled life any more than I knew what to do with myself, scared in that freshman dorm room.
university  history  trend  story  kid  moi  youth  future  success  education  parenting  children  comparison  today  usa 
march 2017 by aries1988

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