Paul Nervy Notes
“Jokes, poems, stories, and a lot of philosophy, psychology, and sociology.”

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Arts, gastronomy.  ---  .See also: Health, food.  ---  12/30/1992

Arts, gastronomy.  ---  .This section is about gastronomy.  Topics include: ( ) Art and food.  ( ) Technology and food.  ( ) Ecology and food.  ( ) Health and food.  ( ) Ingredients.  ( ) Problems with food.  ( ) Psychology of food.  ( ) World cuisines.  ---  1/24/2006

Arts, gastronomy.  ---  (1) My favorite foods and why.  Pure taste standards.  Overall physical and psychological standards.  (2) My least favorite foods and why.  Pure taste standards.  Overall physical and psychological standards.  ---  12/30/1992

Arts, gastronomy.  ---  Adventurous and curious eaters who try new things.  Versus.  Boring eaters who eat the same thing all the time.  ---  1/15/2005

Arts, gastronomy.  ---  Aesthetics of food stuffs, dishes, cuisines.  ---  12/30/1992

Arts, gastronomy.  ---  Arguments in favor of food as pleasure.  (1) Food as art.  (food aestheticism).  (2) Food as entertainment.  (food hedonism).  (3) One argument  in favor of food as pleasure argues that life is full of stress and pain.  Against the stress and pain of life we have only a few small pleasures.  One of these small pleasures is food.  (4) The first goal of food should be health.  But an important secondary goal of food is that it tastes good.  Three meals a day is too much time to spend with food that doesn't taste good, doesn't look good, and doesn't smell good.  Enjoyable food just might be the only small pleasure that keeps a person from depression, insanity and suicide.  More generally, if you repress small pleasures or deny yourself small pleasures there is nothing between you and despair.  ---  1/1/2000

Arts, gastronomy.  ---  Audrey invented the sauerkraut and sardine sandwich.  On a roll sliced in half, add mustard, sauerkraut and sardines.  Delicious.  ---  3/5/2006

Arts, gastronomy.  ---  Caffeine addiction is a problem.  It may be that in fifty years people will look at caffeine and coffee companies the same way that people today look at cigarettes and cigarette companies.  Caffeine may not cause cancer, but it can, when over consumed, in the long run, strain the parasympathetic system of some people.  ---  10/15/2004

Arts, gastronomy.  ---  Caffeine.  How much less work would have been done without caffeine (coffee, tea, cola) in my life and in the history of the world?  Both creative work and drone work.  ---  7/25/2000

Arts, gastronomy.  ---  Cool foods: cranberry anything, apricot anything, coconut anything.  ---  10/30/1993

Arts, gastronomy.  ---  Courses of a meal.  Single course meals (ex. one pot stews) vs. multi course meals (ex. soup, salad, appetizer, entree, desert, desert, desert).  ---  6/7/2004

Arts, gastronomy.  ---  Critique of gastronomy: "Can you only think about your stomach?!"  ---  5/13/2007

Arts, gastronomy.  ---  Cuisines by country or region: due to ingredients and tradition.  Regional cuisuines: French, Chinese, Japanese, Indian, American colonial.  Folk cuisine vs. mass cuisine vs. haute cuisine.  Why do some cultures eat one food and not another?  Accessibility?  ---  12/30/1992

Arts, gastronomy.  ---  Each element should be perfectly prepared and maintain its own distinct taste and texture.  ---  12/30/1992

Arts, gastronomy.  ---  Eating for health vs. aesthetic pleasure.  Art food (enjoyment) vs. nutrition food (health).  ---  12/30/1992

Arts, gastronomy.  ---  Eating for health.  (1) Eating for personal health.  Reduce salt, sugar, fat, caffeine.  (2) Eating environmental health.  Eating organic foods.  Eating vegetarian.  ---  11/1/2003

Arts, gastronomy.  ---  Ecological food.  The current US food industry is entrenched in a non-ecological, "profit first" food mentality.  The current US food industry should be more ecological.  A variety of sticks and carrots (incentives and penalties) should be used to get food producers and food consumers to be more ecological and to promote social justice.  ---  10/12/2005

Arts, gastronomy.  ---  Ecology and food.  Food should be organic.  ---  3/29/2002

Arts, gastronomy.  ---  Ethics, politics and food.  Food is a political issue.  Food is an ethical issue.  Everything is an ethical issue.  Everything is a political issue.  Eat in a way that is ecologically sustainable and promotes social justice.  Promote fair trade food.  Eat organic whole foods.  Be a vegetarian.  ---  12/2/2005

Arts, gastronomy.  ---  Food as a way to bring back memories.  Food as an aid to psychotherapy.  ---  6/30/1998

Arts, gastronomy.  ---  Food as art.  Taste: texture, temperature, taste.  Odor.  Looks: color, shape, etc.  ---  12/30/1992

Arts, gastronomy.  ---  Food attitudes.  (1) Do you relieve stress with food?  (2) Food as sustenance vs. food as entertainment.  (3) Do you eat a healthy diet?  ---  4/21/1999

Arts, gastronomy.  ---  Food is primarily about status.  (1)(A) Some people cannot bear to be seen in public eating poor food with poor people in a poor environment.  It is too much of a blow to their sense of social self.  (B) They also cannot bear to see themselves eating poor food, with poor people, in a poor environment.  Its too much of a blow to their (inflated) sense of personal self.  (2) Let alone the poor aspect of it, these people cannot even bear the common, ordinary or average.  They cannot bear to eat average food, with average people in average environments, because it is too much of blow to both their sense of social self and their sense of personal self.  (3) For these people, food is primarily about status and secondarily about issues like taste, convenience, personal health or ecological friendliness.  For these people, the desire to see themselves, and be seen by others, as rich, powerful, important and famous overrides the issues of health, safety, laziness, etc., and this testifies to the narcotic nature not of food but of status.  ---  9/28/2000

Arts, gastronomy.  ---  Food.  Most important ideas.  (1) Food should be ecological and organic.  Food should be healthy for the earth.  Food should be healthy for the individual.  (2) Variety and good taste keep food interesting, fun and appetizing.  So one does not become bored by repetition, or lose appetite from poor taste.  This keeps one eating healthy.  (3) Food should be a means to solve problems, not an end in itself.  ---  3/30/1998

Arts, gastronomy.  ---  Foods physical functions vs. psychological functions.  Over eaters, anorexia and bulimia.  ---  12/30/1992

Arts, gastronomy.  ---  Healthy and tasty.  As little time, money, and effort as possible.  Try as many as possible.  ---  12/30/1992

Arts, gastronomy.  ---  High quality ingredients: fresh and tasty.  Expertly prepared.  Balance of amounts.  Agreement with or complement other ingredients.  ---  12/30/1992

Arts, gastronomy.  ---  How much can you say with the food art?  ---  12/30/1992

Arts, gastronomy.  ---  How much time do you spend on food per day?  How much time per day do you spend thinking about food, shopping for food, preparing food and eating food?  These days, if you spend more than two hours total per day on food then I think you are over doing it.  ---  11/12/2004

Arts, gastronomy.  ---  How much time do you spend on food?  (1) How often do you think about food?  (2)(A) Preparation.  To cook vs. microwave vs. restaurant.  (B) Eating.  The long meal vs. eating on the run.  ---  4/21/1999

Arts, gastronomy.  ---  I am against coffee cup lids.  Half the enjoyment of coffee is the aroma.  Would you put a lid on a glass of wine?  Certainly not.  Take off that lid.  ---  11/2/2001

Arts, gastronomy.  ---  Ideal.  Solutions for food.  (1) Eat whole foods.  (2) Eat organic foods.  (3) Eat fair trade foods.  (4) Eat vegetarian.  (5) Eat local produce.  ---  12/14/2005

Arts, gastronomy.  ---  In the morning I enjoy a "trifecta", which is a coffee, a tea, and a cola, one after the other.  Its not just about caffeine.  There are lots of other good things in there too.  ---  11/15/2001

Arts, gastronomy.  ---  Ingredients: type, quality, freshness, amount, how prepared.  ---  12/30/1992

Arts, gastronomy.  ---  It does not make sense to eat food that tastes good if that food is not healthy to eat, or is unhealthy to the environment, or exploits workers, or exploits animals.  ---  12/2/2005

Arts, gastronomy.  ---  Its a fine line between being a gourmet and being a pig.  ---  9/18/2005

Arts, gastronomy.  ---  Kids and food.  (1) Why do kids like different food than adults?  Why did you dislike certain foods as a kid and then like the same food as an adult?  Why did you like certain foods as a kid and then dislike the same food as an adult?  (2) Why are kids finicky eaters?  ---  10/17/2005

Arts, gastronomy.  ---  Meat is murder, so stop eating meat.  ---  10/19/2005

Arts, gastronomy.  ---  Most important idea.  Gastronomy is more entertainment than art.  It pleases but does not enlighten.  ---  12/30/1992

Arts, gastronomy.  ---  Most people want to eat out.  That is, most people want to be pleasantly surprised with food gifts from wait-servants.  It is not just laziness and boredom that makes people want to eat out.  There is a strange social component to eating out that may be a vestige from when we lived in tribes.  ---  11/15/2001

Arts, gastronomy.  ---  One view of food, the cookbook view, focuses on recipes with specific names, precise lists of ingredients and detailed directions for preparation.  Another view of food sees cooking as a grand experiment.  Throw those ingredients together see what happens.  Use more or less of an ingredient.  Change the cooking time and temperature.  Substitute ingredients.  Try new foods.  Creativity, diversity and progress are the bywords.  Stodgy, rigid, conservatives, to their detriment, have a problem with that view of food.  ---  9/18/2005

Arts, gastronomy.  ---  Organic foods.  (1) Green markets are cool.  Green markets provide local, fresh, organic foods.  (2) Organic food stores are cool.  (3) Organic foods in supermarkets is cool.  ---  1/19/2004

Arts, gastronomy.  ---  Oysters are an aphrodisiac, not by taste or chemistry, but rather by sight.  Just looking at them, all wet slippery and jiggly, can bring sex to mind.  ---  3/30/1998

Arts, gastronomy.  ---  People in over-developed countries are obese.  People in under-developed countries are starving.  Where is the balance?  ---  10/17/2005

Arts, gastronomy.  ---  People who eat meat are starting to remind me of Hannibal the Cannibal.  Natural, organic, plant-derived food is the way to go.  ---  11/23/2004

Arts, gastronomy.  ---  Principles.  Dining should be a total experience.  Room, people, conversation, centerpiece.  ---  12/30/1992

Arts, gastronomy.  ---  Problems with food.  (1) Eating for pleasure can produce overweight people.  (2) Eating out of pain (boredom, loneliness, sadness, anxiety, anger) can produce overweight people.  ---  6/2/2004

Arts, gastronomy.  ---  Problems with food.  (1) Eating too much food.  (2) Eating junk food.  ---  6/2/2004

Arts, gastronomy.  ---  Problems with food.  (1) Junk food containing too much sugar, salt and fat.  (2) Artificial ingredients: Artificial flavors, artificial colors.  (3) Processing that removes nutrients from foods.  (4) Packaging that uses excessive materials.  (5) Overfishing of the seas.  (6) Chemicals that get into plants and animals and then humans.  Pesticides, antibiotics, hormones, etc.  (7) Violation of animal rights.  (8) Corporate ownership of the land, the food production facilities, and the food distribution channels.  Loss of small farms.  (9) Genetically modified foods.  (10) Shipping food far distances.  (11) Obesity.  (12) Exploitation of farm laborers.  ---  12/14/2005

Arts, gastronomy.  ---  Problems.  (1) Some people are obsessed with food.  (2) Some people are addicted to food.  (3) People use thinking about food to avoid thinking about everything else in life.  (4) Some people use thinking about food in the same way some people use thinking about money and power, that is, as an obsession with survival at any cost.  ---  10/17/2005

Arts, gastronomy.  ---  Psycho-active foods.  Coffee.  Tea.  Chocolate.  At what point does a food become a drug?  ---  4/21/1999

Arts, gastronomy.  ---  Psychology of food.  (1) Eating and the positive emotions.  Eating to celebrate.  Eating solely for the pleasure of the taste of food.  Eating for enjoyment.  Eating for fun.  (2) Eating and the negative emotions.  Eating to alleviate emotional stress.  Eating to alleviate anxiety.  Eating to alleviate anger.  Eating to alleviate  depression.    (3) All of the above is not optimal.  One should eat for health.  One should eat to keep one's mind and body healthy.  (see also: Health, food).  ---  1/12/2004

Arts, gastronomy.  ---  Psychology of food.  Many people over emphasize the emotional connection to food.  If a person eats for celebration when they are happy, or eats to get happy, or eats for pleasure, then they may also end up eating to avoid negative emotions like sadness, anxiety, anger, and generally eating to avoid pain.  Also, when one eats for entertainment it can also lead to problems like over-eating and the unhealthy eating of junk foods.  (2) Many people over emphasize the importance of food.  They place too much importance on food.  If a person places too much importance on food then they may think only about food and may neglect other areas of their life.  ---  1/22/2004

Arts, gastronomy.  ---  Psychology of food.  Memory and food.  Food is fifty percent about smell and fifty percent about taste.  Smell is a sense with strong connections to memory and emotion.  Thus, food has strong connections to memory and emotion.  People search out foods that they have not eaten in a long time in order to take a trip down memory lane.  People search out foods that they have not eaten in a long time in order to feel emotions they have not felt in a long time.  Food can trigger memories and emotions from long ago.  Even if the food was not particularly good tasting.  Memory of food and past food habits stand in contrast to eating new foods and adventurous eating.  ---  5/30/2005

Arts, gastronomy.  ---  Quality ingredients (fresh).  Proper proportions.  Proper preparation.  ---  12/30/1992

Arts, gastronomy.  ---  Quick, easy, tasty, natural, healthy recipes.  ---  12/30/1992

Arts, gastronomy.  ---  Raw.  The big question is, cooked or raw?  ---  3/13/2005

Arts, gastronomy.  ---  Related areas:  Psychology and food.  Sociology and food.  Economics and food.  Politics and food.  Environment and food.  Science and food.  Technology and food.  Health and food.  Art and food.  ---  5/30/2005

Arts, gastronomy.  ---  Science: developing new hybrids.  Green revolution: pest and disease resistant, more productive.  ---  12/30/1992

Arts, gastronomy.  ---  Sex, love and food.  PART ONE.  Sex and food.  (1) In prehistoric times, food was traded for sex.  (2) Dinner as foreplay.  Dinner as prelude to sex.  (3) Food as symbolic of sex.  Peaches.  Melons.  Bananas.  Bun in the oven.  (4) Food used as a sex surrogate.  People who eat to release their sexual frustrations.  PART TWO.  Love and food.  (1) People who use cooking as an expression of love.  (2) People who use eating as a surrogate for love.  (3) People who confuse love and food.  (4) Chocolate and love, the neurochemistry of each.  ---  10/17/2005

Arts, gastronomy.  ---  Sociology and gastronomy.  People eat at expensive restaurants in a quest for social status.  ---  1/1/2006

Arts, gastronomy.  ---  Some people mistakenly treat the artistic and entertainment aspects of food as if the enjoyment of food is the most important aspect of food.  The art, entertainment and enjoyment of food is not the most important aspect of food.  The ethics of food is the most important aspect of food.  One should address the problems of food.  Genetically modified foods.  Corporate agriculture.  Junk food.  Obesity.  Foods that are unhealthy to humans.  Foods that are unhealthy for the environment.  ---  12/2/2005

Arts, gastronomy.  ---  Taste, smell, texture, looks.  ---  12/30/1992

Arts, gastronomy.  ---  Tastes: spicy, sweet, bland, sour, bitter.  ---  12/30/1992

Arts, gastronomy.  ---  Tastes.  Why do some individuals eat one food and not another?  Childhood trauma, childhood habits.  Fear of experimentation, fear of change, dogmatism.  ---  12/30/1992

Arts, gastronomy.  ---  Techniques.  (1) Get ripe ingredients.  Not overripe.  Not under ripe.  (2) Get fresh ingredients.  Not sitting on a shelf.  (3) Get flavorful ingredients.  Ex. organic.  (4) Don't over cook.  Don't under cook.  ---  3/13/2005

Arts, gastronomy.  ---  Technology: tools, techniques (methods), materials (see ingredients).  ---  12/30/1992

Arts, gastronomy.  ---  Textures: crunchy, chewy, juicy, smooth, creamy, moist.  ---  12/30/1992

Arts, gastronomy.  ---  The "Grow your own and cook your own." school.  ---  4/21/1999

Arts, gastronomy.  ---  The big question is why is food so important to some people?  PART ONE.  Some people invest a great deal of time, thought and effort in food, and they appear to derive a great deal of joy and pleasure from food.  I place little emphasis on food, preferring portability, instant preparation, and no need for utensils.  Am I food repressed?  Or perhaps they are displacing their psychological needs onto food, using food as an emotional surrogate.  Some people seem to be obsessed about the factors of survival, such as food, clothing and shelter, and money, sex and power.     PART TWO.  Reasons why anyone may pursue anything (using food as an example).  (1) No other thoughts occur to them.  (2) They think food is as important as anything else.  (3) They think only food is fun.  (4) Obsession/addiction: Food is like a drug.  ---  4/8/2001

Arts, gastronomy.  ---  The change over time in how people eat.  (1) A hundred years ago, the meal was a series of dishes or courses.  This gradually diminished from nine courses to seven to five to three.  (2) Next was the concept of a meal as an "all on one plate", a set of pieces on one plate, for example, meat, grain and vegetable all on one plate.  Children are especially concerned that one food not touch another.  Also, specific dishes were served at specific times of day, and thus some foods were typically consumed at breakfast, other foods were typically consumed at lunch, and other foods were considered dinner food.  (3) Then the concept of a meal as an "all in one pot", for example, chili, stew, goulash.  (4) Finally, the concept of a meal as a multitude of ingredients put into a blender.  That is the stage we are at today.  Smoothies containing a mix of fruit, wheat grass, milk, protein powder, bee pollen, etc.  Smoothies can be consumed at any time of day, so there is less of a distinction between breakfast, lunch and dinner foods.  (5) In the future people might run an intravenous drip all day instead of eating.  Or take a pill to gain nutrients.  Or have a patch that releases nutrients.  ---  9/18/2005

Arts, gastronomy.  ---  The current US food industry is dominated by a few large corporations that promote the following: Fast food restaurants.  TV dinners.  Junk food.  Snack foods.  Too much sugar, fat and salt.  Heavily processed.  Artificial ingredients.  None of it is healthy.  All of it is big money.  All of it is heavily advertised in television commercials.  ---  10/17/2005

Arts, gastronomy.  ---  The incredible variety of mid-day cuisines:  The five dollar lunch.  The ten dollar lunch.  The twenty dollar lunch.  ---  6/4/2001

Arts, gastronomy.  ---  The most important issue in gastronomy is famine.  How to prevent famine?  Amartya Sen is a development economist who argues that most famines are human-caused by political dictatorships that prevent food from reaching the masses of people.  The famine in China during the 1960's is an example of famine caused by dictatorship.  However, there are also other causes of famine.  Economic poverty causes famine when people are unable to buy food.  Natural disasters like drought or flood also cause famines.  Lack of transportation infrastructure can delay food distribution which can cause a famine.  (2) Saying that the most important issue in gastronomy is famine is like saying that the most important issue in architecture is homelessness, or like saying that the most important issue in literature is literacy.  It may sound odd, and yet that is what I am saying.  ---  5/14/2007

Arts, gastronomy.  ---  Total effect of a meal = total of each dish = total tastes and total textures, plus environment.  ---  12/30/1992

Arts, gastronomy.  ---  Two factors.  (1) Healthy food vs. unhealthy food.  (2) Yummy food vs. not yummy food.  ---  4/21/1999

Arts, gastronomy.  ---  Vegetarianism.  See: Science, ecology.>Vegatarianism.  ---  12/15/2004

Arts, gastronomy.  ---  We used to go to supermarkets.  Now we go to Whole Foods and Trader Joe's.  Its a paradigm shift in the food industry.  (1) What's the upside?  Healthy, organic food.  International foods.  High quality foods.  Low prices.  (2) What's the downside?  Supermarkets are unionized, so that supermarket workers get a living wage.  However, Trader Joe's and Wholefoods are not unionized, so employees at Trader Joe's and Wholefoods do not get a living wage.  A living wage is a wage that let you pay your rent.  Its tough to pay the rent when you work at Trader Joe's or Wholefoods.  ---  10/26/2006

Arts, gastronomy.  ---  What eat, how eat, and why eat it?  ---  12/30/1992

Arts, gastronomy.  ---  Who says some foods are breakfast foods and some foods are dinner foods?  These are meaningless, arbitrary, social conventions.  ---  2/28/2004

Arts, gastronomy.  ---  Why is gastronomy important?  How important is it, and why?  ---  12/30/1992

Arts, gastronomy.  ---  World cuisines are cool.  Food shops that specialize in multi-ethnic foods are cool.  Ethnic foods in supermarkets is cool.  Ingredients for cuisines like Carribean, Mexican, Spanish, Chinese, Japanese, African, Indian, etc.  The global raw materials of gastronomy are available everywhere.  The ingredients from around the world are available around the world.  However, the transport via air, ship and truck can have a negative environmental impact.  ---  1/19/2004

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Paul Nervy Notes. Copyright 1988-2007 by Paul Nervy.