Tag: 爱上海AF

first_imgFor a couple of hours last Wednesday, a strange, smoky scent took over the Winthrop Junior Common Room. But it wasn’t a fire in the making — just a case of plump eggplants being slow-grilled one by one, an old standby of Greek home cooks.“We like strong, pungent flavors, and we like that charcoal smokiness in food,” said Diane Kochilas, an authority on Greek cuisine and author of more than 20 cookbooks, as she flipped an eggplant on a gas burner.Kochilas advised her audience on how to check for doneness: When the densest part of the eggplant, near the stem, is soft, the entire thing will be cooked through. After letting the eggplant cool, she cut it down the middle, then scraped out its flesh.“I’m a Greek mother,” she explained later, “which means I want to feed everyone the Mediterranean diet.”Thanks to recent medical findings, she’s hardly alone in that cause. In addition to her demonstration, Kochilas also sat down for a conversation in Eliot House with Frank Sacks, a Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH) expert on nutrition, Wednesday afternoon and gave a lunchtime talk at Dudley Café on Friday.The events were designed to capitalize on growing interest in the Mediterranean diet, an eating pattern high in fruits, vegetables, beans, and fish, and healthy fats from olive oil and nuts — and a beloved way of life in Kochilas’ ancestral Greece. The findings of a recent University of Barcelona study published in February in the New England Journal of Medicine were unusually conclusive in showing the diet’s health benefits over the low-fat diet that doctors typically recommend for patients at risk of heart attack and stroke.But as Kochilas and other lovers of eggplant, tahini, and a drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil are all too aware, the diet is still a mystery to many Americans.Kochilas’ visit was sponsored by the Food Literacy Project at Harvard University Dining Services (HUDS), which has been working with her since last summer to bring authentic Greek foods to Harvard’s dining halls, said Crista Martin, HUDS director for marketing and communications.“Our menu is already very rich in fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins,” Martin said. “But sometimes it’s fun to bring a different view on that. Diane’s recipes certainly embody many of the teachings of the School of Public Health, but she also brings authenticity.”Kochilas advised her audience on how to check for doneness: When the densest part of the eggplant, near the stem, is soft, the entire thing will be cooked through.The recent Mediterranean diet study is hardly the first piece of nutritional research to make its way onto a Harvard menu. HUDS frequently works with HPSH researchers and doctors to improve the healthfulness of its offerings, Martin said. For example, Sacks recently did training with dining staff members to see how much salt they truly needed to add to their recipes to enhance flavor. The lessons from that exercise, along with HUDS’s decision to swap its regular salt for a diamond crystal salt, have led to a reduction in sodium in some HUDS offerings.The Mediterranean diet study, however, has drawn more attention than any nutrition research in recent memory, said Sacks, professor of cardiovascular disease prevention at HSPH and a professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School, in his conversation with Kochilas and a small group of students.“The timing was certainly right. People are interested,” he said. “And also, the science of that study was very good. It showed reduced heart disease, reduced strokes, and reduced heart attacks in fairly unhealthy people.”Though most of their audience was a few decades shy of worrying about heart disease, Sacks stressed that the diet’s benefits extend beyond prevention.“Older people really can get a benefit in 30 days of cutting salt out plus eating a diet like this,” he said. “You can reverse 30 years of aging in your blood vessels.”While Americans have been bombarded with news of the Mediterranean cuisine’s healthfulness, Kochilas said, they don’t always know about the diet’s “indulgence factor.”“It’s not a monastic cuisine,” Kochilas said. “It’s a cuisine that’s meant to be shared. It’s hearty, it’s user-friendly, and it’s convivial. And it’s simple food,” all factors she demonstrated later that night in her cooking class when she poured olive oil into a food processor — not from a measuring spoon, but straight from the jug.Still, there are potential pitfalls to the diet’s success. Products increasingly are being marketed to consumers with Mediterranean buzzwords when they may be anything but authentic, Kochilas said. On a recent trip to the supermarket with her son, she noticed a processed cereal advertising that it was made with Greek yogurt.“They had somehow found a way to completely bastardize this very traditional product, and turn it into something far away from what is actually beneficial,” she said.Most Greek yogurt sold in America wouldn’t be recognizable to a Greek, Kochilas said. Traditional Greek yogurt is thickened by straining out the whey to leave protein solids, but most American manufacturers achieve that thickness by adding coagulants to the milk they use to make their yogurt. As a result, many American-made versions contain less protein and more sugar than true Greek yogurt.Then there was the question of olive oil, which recent studies have shown provides more health benefits when it is unrefined. How can you tell the difference, a student asked, when most olive oils in American supermarkets aren’t labeled?“You can feel it in your mouth,” Sacks said. “The more aroma and taste you have, the more unrefined it’s likely going to be.”The events drew curious students and staff. Marissa Grenon, a Kirkland House junior who has done research and community work in nutrition while at Harvard, first developed an interest in cooking when she was diagnosed with celiac disease, a condition that prohibits her from eating gluten, at 14. Though she comes from an Irish family of “one-pot cooks,” she said, she “fell in love” with the nutritional benefits, the lower reliance on wheat, and the flavors of the Mediterranean diet.While not everyone shares her intense interest in the subject, she thinks that the diet has the potential to catch on in a way that other diets touted by the medical community have not.“I think when you can label something with a place that evokes beauty and history and give it that evocative power, that people will pay more attention,” Grenon said. “Things like ‘low-carb’ or ‘low-fat’ provoke this immediate sense of deprivation, whereas the Mediterranean diet makes you think, ‘Cool, I’m taking a culinary journey for lunch.’ ”last_img read more

first_imgThe drought that has gripped Georgia since May 1998 is expected to continue and will likely worsen during the spring and summer.Early winter rains gave hope that Georgia’s long drought would recede. However, an extremely dry late December through late February has caused drought conditions to intensify statewide.As of February 20, all locations in Georgia are reporting rainfall deficits for the year. Athens is 3.49 inches below normal, Atlanta 3.78, Augusta 3.78, Columbus 5.46, Macon 4.95, Savannah 3.93 and Tifton 6.18.These deficits are on top of the 10 to 15 inches below normal values for 2000. Since May 1998, much of the state is more than 30 inches below normal.Soil Moisture LowSoil moisture models from the National Climate Prediction Center (CPC) indicate that soil moisture is very low across the entire state. It’s extremely low in the piedmont and the northeast mountain counties.Streams are at record or near-record low flows for late February. Without substantial rainfall, streamflow conditions won’t improve. Groundwater levels also remain at record or near-record low levels for February.The Georgia Forestry Commission reports that in January 2001 there were 1,297 wildfires, which is 102 percent above normal. These fires affected 4,743 acres, 134 percent above normal.Prospects Not GoodProspects for widespread, long-term drought relief are not good. Conditions will probably worsen during the spring and summer. CPC’s drought outlook for Georgia is for the drought to continue at least through May.Based on past climate, March is Georgia’s last best chance for relief. With the extremely low deep-soil moisture and groundwater levels, March is too short for major recharge. However, normal rainfall in March will help topsoil moisture and reservoir levels.In March, soil moisture normally increases with bountiful spring rains and minimal soil moisture loss from evaporation and plant water use.Spring Rains Badly NeededBy April, soil moisture loss is normally balanced by rainfall. Starting in May, the soil moisture loss from evaporation and plant water use is usually greater than the rainfall. Thus by May, with normal weather, the state’s soils will begin to become dryer.If the soils are dry on April 1, with normal weather, drought conditions will continue and worsen through the spring and summer.The March-through-May climate outlook from CPC is for an increased likelihood of below-normal rainfall statewide except in the extreme northern mountain counties.Across the extreme north, the outlook is for equal chances of below-normal, near-normal, and above-normal rainfall. CPC’s temperature outlook for March through May is for equal chances of below-normal, near-normal, and above-normal temperatures.Hotter-than-normal SummerThe June-through-August climate outlook from CPC is for an increased likelihood of above-normal temperatures statewide. Above-normal temperatures will increase soil moisture loss through increased evaporation and increased plant water use. CPC’s rainfall outlook is for equal chances of below-normal, near-normal and above-normal rainfall across the entire state.Even with normal rainfall during the summer, Georgia’s soils become drier. With the soils already dry, normal weather will just compound the problem. All of this indicates that the drought will continue and likely worsen through the summer. U.S. Drought Monitorlast_img read more

first_imgThe European Insurance and Occupational Pensions Authority (EIOPA) may not be able to publish its proposals for a holistic balance sheet (HBS) before 2015, according to chairman Gabriel Bernardino.Speaking at the EIOPA conference in Frankfurt, the chairman also said there was an obligation for second and third pillar pensions to draw up a key investor document (KID) for their clients.“We are all waiting for the proposal on a revised IORP Directive, which will be a fundamental step going forward,” Bernadino noted.But he added of proposals for the HBS, included in the Directive’s first pillar and later postponed by internal markets commissioner Michel Barnier: “There had been a clear word from the commission welcoming further work on the pillar I elements and that is our work programme for next year.” According to the EIOPA chairman the number of options for the HBS “will be narrowed down” from the current number of proposals.However, he said that this would be counteracted by a fleshing out of the proposals, such as which discount rate to apply to long-term investments, questions on how to value sponsor support, but also how national regulators would respond to an HBS approach.“For example will a supervisor immediately push for additional funding – that is not how we intended it,” Bernadino pointed out.He expects a proposal to be delivered late next year or “possibly in 2015”. On the question of further information and transparency requirements for pension providers, Bernadino reiterated EIOPA’s position set out in its advice to the commission on the IORP that “we want key investor documents (KID) for pensions, specifically for DC pensions within the second pillar” and “for personal pensions of course we need to have it”.This afternoon the European Parliament is voting on the PRIPs Directive on information requirements for investment products, which German pension association aba has warned could also end up covering second pillar pensions.Bernadino said whether further information disclosure requirements for pensions were introduced “in one or the other piece of legislation is not my concern”.The chairman said: “We need to have progress in this area, we need KID which in both pillars deliver better, not more information.”last_img read more

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