The popularity of cable cooking shows and the wide availability of once-exclusive kitchen tools have resulted in gourmet food—complete with trappings of fat and sugar—being consistently within arm’s reach. In the not-too-distant past, food preparation was exceedingly difficult, risking serious health consequences like smoke inhalation, food poisoning and botulism. “But now our kitchens, like our girths, have grown substantially, in terms of size and of function. They’ve become part of expansive entertainment complexes in our homes.”
What’s the Big Idea?
The danger of today’s kitchens is that they have expanded to incorporate modes of relaxation and entertainment which, in conjunction with how much (unhealthy) food is readily available, have become too much of a good thing. “Retail marketers have long known that when tempting food is within close range of our eyes or nose, we tend to eat more of it. In our new kitchens, it’s just too darn easy to get to addictive snacks and calorie-rich drinks. … An extra handful or two of easily accessible daily snacks can make the difference between maintaining [your] weight and adding a few pounds each year.”
Combining tactics from the fields of physics, computational biology, virology and immunology, scientists at MIT and Harvard have found a new path forward for the potential development of an HIV vaccine.