Science of cooking, eating and health

This enterprise started with writing about new and modern cooking techniques that could work in a home kitchen. Precision cooking (sous-vide) is an example — cooking in a waterbath held at a constant temperature (with a variation < 1ᵒC). An application might be eggs cooked in their shells at a temperature selected between 60 and 65ᵒC, with different results according to preference. The concept has been referred to as the 6XᵒC egg, where X is a variable between 0 and 5. Hence 6XC — an homage to this new precision. The enterprise has become more eclectic with time.

The battle of Minorca, and making mayo with a stick blender

Minorca is a small island well-placed in the western Mediterranean that has one of the world’s most impressive natural harbours. Together, these features gave it a strategic importance that saw it fought over for control by many peoples in its history. …

They only look nutritious

Fruits are glorious and compelling — colourful, aromatic, crunchy or juicy and, not only do they look ‘healthy’ they are promoted as such by all relevant authorities. So, you may be surprised to know that fruit is not particularly nutritious, and that there are no nutrients to be found in…

Is there science to support this?

‘Drink at least 8 glasses of water a day’ — it seems you will be healthier if you’re waterlogged. However, the science has never existed for this slogan, and still doesn’t. Furthermore, how much water a person may ‘need’ depends on age, gender, environment, physical activity, health and a host…

Their history and weak science

Eat less saturated fat. This slogan, along with others like it, has been pressed on us by nutritional authorities over the past 50 years or so. At a population level we largely listened and modified our behaviour. Meanwhile, obesity and other ‘diseases of civilisation’ steadily increased. Objectively, the message has…

Is lower better?

Health authorities urge us to reduce our salt intake and mostly we have accepted that we should. However, the science behind this recommendation has been shaky (sorry) from the start. Even the authorities are unsure how dangerous it is. In the US, the American Heart Association (AHA) sets the recommended…

Omega-3 and supplements

The multi-billion dollar supplement industry might have peaked (in the UK at least). It has been a formidably effective industry, selling the promise of better health to the worried healthy.

One supplement is holding out though — fish oil. Coming from a natural source (presumably fish) and with a beneficial…

What is the precision?

Wine labeling, regulated by legislation, ensures that the consumer is provided with facts about alcohol percentage and the number of ‘standard drinks’. Or does it? What do those numbers mean?

Numbers have a habit of looking scientific, especially if they have a decimal point. So, a red wine label stating…

In the West, at least

I mean, of course, in the West. Insects are eaten widely elsewhere — around 2 billion people from ~80% of countries eat from 1,900 varieties. For example, autochthonous Australians eat a range of insects and larvae, as well as the famous witchetty (witjuti) grub (almond-like raw, chicken-like roasted). …

6XC

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