Archive for the tag - culture

There Might Be Bugs In Your Yogurt.

Dactylopius-Coccus-Image-by-University-of-Turin-ItalyFood rumors run rampant on the internet – but, every now and then, some hold a few kernels of truth. As is the case with the rumor that some yogurts contain small, crushed insects.

Say what?

It’s true. The tiny, dried insects are used as pink food coloring in some yogurts, milkshakes and other food products.

In 2012, Starbucks received a lot of heat for using the insects are coloring in their Strawberries and Creme Frappuccino mix. According to Starbucks, the switch to the insects was a move away from artificial ingredients. However, the assertion did little to pacify the chain’s vegetarian customers – or the public at large.

If you’re concerned about the insect-derived food coloring, you’ll have to check the ingredients listing. Of course, you won’t see ‘insects’ or ‘bug bits’ on the list. Instead, you’ll see the ingredient labeled as cochineal, carmine or carminic acid.

It’s worth noting that the ingredient is considered safe by the FDA. Also, keep in mind that the visceral reaction or “ewww!” factor that many of us experience when it comes to eating insects is really a product of our culture. In much of the world, insects are widely consumed for their nutritional properties and flavors.

So there may be bugs in your yogurt. But is that necessarily a bad thing?

Trade a Year of Your Life for the Perfect Body?

Would you trade a year of your life for the "perfect" body? Turns out, you don't have to.

According to a survey of British women aged 18 to 65:

Almost one in three would be willing to die younger [by at least one year] in exchange for the ‘ideal’ figure of the likes of model Kelly Brook or actress Scarlett Johansson. The finding is all the more shocking because almost all of those polled were in the normal weight range – or even underweight.

The study didn’t include men – or gay men, in particular. I suspect the numbers might be similar, as gay culture is very body-conscious and many gay men feel tremendous pressure to look a certain way.

If you would trade a year of your life for the perfect body, then I have two pieces of good news.

First, in this moment, you already have the perfect body. It may not look like the models whose muscles we so eagerly worship (see above picture), but your body – right now – is exactly as it needs to be. You can change the way your body will look and feel tomorrow, in a month or in a year – but you can’t change your body now; it is exactly as it must be in this very moment. Instead of resisting the way you look today, embrace and accept it. And then use your new-found energy to work toward creating a healthier tomorrow.

Second, while many people might trade in a year of their life for a healthier and stronger physique, the exact opposite is the reality. When you live a more active lifestyle, it has a significant impact on longevity and the prevention of debilitating disease. Work out and you’ll live longer – it’s really that simple. It’s why I like to remind my clients that they don’t have time not to work out.

You need not trade in a year of your life for the perfect body. Turns out, your body is already perfect. And making it stronger and healthier will cause you to live even longer. Looks like you can have your cake and eat it, too. So to speak.