How Can We Get Out Of Food Ruts?

Apr 9 2012 @ 10:39am

by Patrick Appel

Tyler Cowen's advice:

After a certain age, most people have a very set supermarket routine that keeps them from trying new foods. For one month, try an ethnic or new supermarket. Even the simple act of learning a new store layout will force you to change your habits and consider alternative products–which can actually end up helping you save money.

Dalibor Rohac reviews Cowen's new book, An Economist Gets Lunch:

The book’s key piece of practical advice is that our lives can be much improved by a stronger focus on ethnic food. America’s — and arguably also Britain’s — comparative advantage does not lie in fine produce or meat, or in their terroirs. Rather, it lies in the diverse stock of immigrant human capital. As a rule of thumb, it is a mistake to seek cuisines that are ‘fresh-ingredients intensive’ (Japanese, Italian or French). Instead, you’ll do better to focus on food requiring a lot of labour and savoir faire, and ingredients and spices that travel well. In the States, that means Sichuan, Pakistani or Korean food.

Over at his own blog, Cowen offers a tip from Peter Kaminsky's new book that explains why "you get most of the value of a dessert from the first bite or two":

If I had to reduce Culinary Intelligence to one guiding principle, it would be maximizing Flavor per Calorie (FPC): the notion that if ingredients are chosen on the basis of optimum flavor, and prepared with the goal of intensifying that flavor, then you can be satisfied while eating less.