CATTI成绩查询入口 CATTI考试公告栏 CATTI考试报名入口
公众号:高斋翻译学堂 公众号:高斋外刊双语精读
文章来源:高斋翻译学堂 发布时间:2019-03-11 16:06 作者:高斋翻译学堂 点击:


Relax, You Don’t Need to ‘Eat Clean’


We talk about food in the negative: What we shouldn’t eat, what we’ll regret later, what’s evil, dangerously tempting, unhealthy.


The effects are more insidious than any overindulgent amount of “bad food” can ever be. By fretting about food, we turn occasions for comfort and joy into sources of fear and anxiety. And when we avoid certain foods, we usually compensate by consuming too much of others.


All of this happens under the guise of science. But a closer look at the research behind our food fears shows that many of our most demonized foods are actually fine for us. Taken to extremes, of course, dietary choices can be harmful — but that logic cuts both ways.


Consider salt. It’s true that, if people with high blood pressure consume a lot of salt, it can lead to cardiovascular events like heart attacks. It’s also true that salt is overused in processed foods. But the average American consumes just over three grams of sodium per day, which is actually in the sweet spot for health.


Eating too little salt may be just as dangerous as eating too much. This is especially true for the majority of people who don’t have high blood pressure. Regardless, experts continue to push for lower recommendations.


Many of the doctors and nutritionists who recommend avoiding certain foods fail to properly explain the magnitude of their risks. In some studies, processed red meat in large amounts is associated with an increased relative risk of developing cancer. The absolute risk, however, is often quite small. If I ate an extra serving of bacon a day, every day, my lifetime risk of colon cancer would go up less than one-half of 1 percent. Even then, it’s debatable.


Nevertheless, we’ve become more and more susceptible to arguments that we must avoid certain foods completely. When one panic-du-jour wanes, we find another focus for our fears. We demonized fats. Then cholesterol. Then meat.


For some people in recent years, gluten has become the enemy, even though wheat accounts for about 20 percent of the calories consumed worldwide, more than pretty much any other food. Fewer than 1 percent of people in the United States have a wheat allergy, and fewer than 1 percent have celiac disease, an autoimmune disorder that requires sufferers to abstain from gluten. Gluten sensitivity (the catchall disorder that leads many Americans to abstain from gluten) is not well defined, and most people who self-diagnose don’t meet the criteria.


Nonetheless, at least one in five Americans regularly chooses gluten-free foods, according to a 2015 poll. Sales of products with gluten-free labels rose to $23 billion worldwide in 2014, up from $11.5 billion worldwide in 2010.


Gluten-free diets can lead to deficiencies in nutrients such as vitamin B, folate and iron. Compared with regular bagels, gluten-free ones can have a quarter more calories, two and a half times the fat, half the fiber and twice the sugar. They also cost more.


The hullabaloo over gluten echoes the panic over MSG that began roughly half a century ago, and which has yet to fully subside. MSG, or monosodium glutamate, is nothing more than a single sodium atom added to glutamic acid — an amino acid that is a key part of the mechanism by which our cells create energy. Without it, all oxygen-dependent life as we know it would die.


A 1968 letter in The New England Journal of Medicine started the frenzy; the writer reported feeling numbness, weakness and palpitations after eating at a Chinese restaurant. A few limited studies followed, along with a spate of news articles. Before long, nutrition experts and consumer advocates such as Ralph Nader were calling for MSG to be banned. The Food and Drug Administration never had to step in; food companies saw the writing on the wall, and dropped MSG voluntarily.

1968年,《新英格兰医学杂志》(The New England Journal of Medicine)上发表的一封来信揭开了疯狂的序幕;作者声称在中餐馆吃饭后感到麻木、虚弱和阵阵心悸。接下来是一些有局限性的研究,以及一连串的新闻报道。不久后,若干营养专家,以及拉尔夫·纳德(Ralph Nader)等消费者维权人士开始呼吁禁止味精。根本用不着食品与药物管理局(The Food and Drug Administration)介入,食品公司看到大张旗鼓的宣传就自愿放弃了味精。

Many people still wrongly believe that MSG is poison. We certainly don’t need MSG in our diet, but we also don’t need to waste effort avoiding it. Our aversion to it shows how susceptible we are to misinterpreting scientific research and how slow we are to update our thinking when better research becomes available. There’s no evidence that people suffer disproportionately from the afflictions — now ranging from headaches to asthma — that MSG-averse cultures commonly associate with this ingredient. In studies all over the world, the case against MSG just doesn’t hold up.


Too often, we fail to think critically about scientific evidence. Genetically modified organisms are perhaps the best example of this.


G.M.O.s are, in theory, one of our best bets for feeding the planet’s growing population. When a 2015 Pew poll asked Americans whether they thought it was generally safe or unsafe to eat modified foods, almost 60 percent said it was unsafe. The same poll asked scientists from the American Association for the Advancement of Science the same question. Only 11 percent of them thought G.M.O.s were unsafe.

从理论上而言,要想为地球不断增长的人口提供食物,转基因生物是最好的办法之一。2015年的一项皮尤中心(Pew)民意调查询问美国人,他们认为吃转基因食品总的来说是安全的还是不安全的,几乎60%的人表示这是不安全的。同一项民意调查向美国科学促进会(American Association for the Advancement of Science)的科学家询问了同样的问题。只有11%的人认为转基因食品是不安全的。

Most Americans, at least according to this poll, don’t seem to care what scientists think. In fact, Americans disagree with scientists on this issue more than just about any other, including a host of contentious topics such as vaccines, evolution and even global warming.


If people want to avoid foods, even if there’s no reason to, is that really a problem?


The answer is: yes. Because it makes food scary. And being afraid of food with no real reason is unscientific — part of the dangerous trend of anti-intellectualism that we confront in many places today.


Food should be a cause for pleasure, not panic. For most people, it’s entirely possible to eat more healthfully without living in terror or struggling to avoid certain foods altogether. If there’s one thing you should cut from your diet, it’s fear.


01电话 | 19909236459