In Michael Pollan's latest book, "Cooked," he's hoping he can convince readers to slow down and cook dinner tonight -- instead of microwaving a pre-made meal.
"I really think that we've been sold a bill of goods with the argument that [cooking] is drudgery and we lack the time and we lack the skills," he says. "It's one of the most democratic of pleasures available to all of us."
As cooking shows become more popular, we're paradoxically seeing a decrease in home cooking.
Since 1977, it's fallen by half. Pollan says that has "disastrous effects, both for our agriculture and for our health" and that shift has in part been a result of marketing efforts that have been "designed to get us out of the kitchen" in favor of pre-prepared meals that bring in more dollars for food companies.
"All the money in the food industry is in processing," he says. "It's very hard to make money selling simple ingredients."
There are other economic reasons fewer people are cooking: In an age when time is money, cooking takes a lot of time. Pollan says it's not so much about time as it is about putting value on a home cooked meal.
"We find time for the things we value."
He points to the two hours a day we spend outside of working surfing the web.
"We don't value cooking," he says. "We've fallen into this mode where we let the corporations do the cooking for us. The problem is, they don't do it very well."
Though prepared foods can be cheap and fast, the process to make them involves cheap materials and a ton of additives.
"This is a great case where the efficiency of capitalism is actually undermining the health of people."
AUDIO EXTRA: Michael Pollan on how the popularity of cooking shows doesn’t necessarily mean we’re cooking more, what he calls the "cooking paradox."
Are you cooking more or less? Comment below or tweet us @MarketplaceAPM.
Would you eat a double cheeseburger if you knew it took two hours of walking to burn it off? Participants in a new study said, hmm, maybe not. The researchers say that exercise-based labels could do a better job than calorie counts at steering people to healthful choices.
Footage from privately owned surveillance cameras along the Boston Marathon route gave the FBI early clues about the bombing suspects. But the proliferation of cameras in America's big cities raises some tricky questions about the balance between security and privacy.
The college said it was breaking with more than a century of tradition to protect its long-term viability. Cooper Union will begin to charge its undergraduate students half of the going rate in the fall of 2014.
Shakespeare may not seem a suitable subject for a business show, but think again. A group of literary researchers at Aberystwyth University in Wales, say that Shakespeare was a businessman to his fingertips, strongly motivated by money and not as lofty or magnanimous in his financial dealings as you’d expect.
“This was a man who lent money and pursued people through the courts when they did not repay on time,” says Jayne Archer, a lecturer in medieval and Renaissance literature at Aberystwith. “He also took out loans from other individuals and did not repay them.”
Clearly the Bard did not obey Polonius’ injunction in "Hamlet": “Neither a lender nor a borrower be.”
And he wasn’t always full of “the milk of human kindness” either. Jayne Archer and her colleagues say that the so-called Swan of Avon engaged in some unscrupulous commodity dealing, stockpiling grain at a time of near famine in England.
“He buys an illegal quantity of grain and of barley to sell at a later date at inflated prices, probably in the late winter, early spring when people are at their most desperate for food," says Jayne.
Grain hoarder, money lender and -- the historical record shows -- a tax evader, too. This doesn’t fit with the popular image of Shakespeare as a wise and generous chronicler of the human heart.
Indeed, these revelations make the playwright sound both ruthless and sleazy.
But Jayne Archer’s co-researcher, Prof. Richard Marggraf Turley, says we should not judge Shakespeare too harshly. We should bear in mind that he was struggling to survive and prosper in a dog-eat-dog environment. He was driven by a powerful desire to rescue and protect his family’s fortunes after his father’s business failed. And we should dismiss the romantic notion about what motivates a towering talent like Shakespeare.
“This is the idea that great artists -- geniuses -- are solely driven to write for art’s sake. That is not a view of Shakespeare that his contemporaries would have recognized,” says Marggraf Turley.
Writing plays, running a theatre, buying land, and dealing in grain...Shakespeare was -- first and foremost -- in it for the money.
Apples, oranges and ... squirrel? A new interactive map pinpoints more than a half-million locations around the world open to foraging for typical and not-so-typical free foods.
Every year, consumers buy more stuff online, and that means big business for the companies that ship all those packages.
One of the world’s largest carriers, FedEx, is launching a new service that lets people customize when and where they get their deliveries.
It’s not exactly an original idea... FedEx’s biggest rival, UPS, rolled out its “My Choice” service more than a year and a half ago, and it’s approaching three million users. Customers can pay a $5 fee to reroute packages, or $40 a year for premium perks like a two-hour delivery window. Now FedEx is launching a similar service called Delivery Manager.
The companies charge similar fees for the same options. But, spokeswoman Carla Boyd says, there’s no subscription cost for the Fedex service.
“We do not lock users of service into premium price membership to access the options they want,” she explains. Boyd says FedEx is responding to market research on the growth of online sales, which increased 28 percent last year over the year before, according to the National Retail Federation.
“E-commerce sales are what’s driving the increase in retail sales across the industry,” says Vicki Cantrell, executive director of the federation's digital division Shop.org.
The big parcel carriers are looking for ways to respond.
“UPS is clearly ahead,” says shipping industry consultant Satish Jindel. He says he thinks the name "UPS My Choice" is more consumer friendly than "FedEx Delivery Manager."
“It’s amazing that FedEx is such a marketing-oriented company, that they would have came up with a very boring and technical name for a service that’s meant for a consumer, not a transportation manager,” he says.
Jindel says both companies face the same challenge: as more retailers offer free shipping, consumers might not want to pay for shipping perks.
The phrase “Boston Strong” became part of the vernacular last week, after the attack on the Boston Marathon.
It was printed on posters. It was on “The Green Monster” – the left field wall at Fenway Park. It also appeared on t-shirts. Now, a Massachusetts resident and an apparel company that’s based there argue they should be able to register “Boston Strong” as a trademark.
Dale Cendali, a partner at Kirkland & Ellis and an adjunct professor at Harvard Law School, says a trademark can be virtually anything.
“The NBC chimes, a particular color green, or even the sound of a Harley Davidson engine,” she says. “All those kinds of things could be trademarked.”
Cendali says that, to register a trademark, you have to show that it’s being used for commercial purposes – that phrase, that sound, that object has to identify the company that’s behind it. Then, there’s the issue of “fair use.” Cendali says she finds it “very hard to believe” that people could be prevented from using a phrase like “Boston Strong.”
“We see this all the time,” Jennifer Taylor says. She is a partner at Morrison & Foerster. “And it happens for celebratory events, and it also happens in times of tragedy, like this.”
In the late ’80s, Pat Riley won the right to license the phrase “three-peat.” On Sept. 11, Todd Beamer, a passenger on United Flight 93, said, “Let’s roll.” That’s a phrase the Todd M. Beamer Foundation now has rights to.
Born Into It is one of the parties trying to register “Boston Strong.” In a statement, the company claims it has no intention of policing the trademark. It wants to make sure others don’t profit from it.
Boston University Law Professor Stacey Dogan says that makes it unlikely Born Into It’s application will be successful.
“Someone who says, I want to register this mark so that other people can’t claim rights to it, but I am going to allow others to use it freely, is basically conceding that the term has no trademark significance,” she says.
As the government grapples with what could go on t-shirts, Nike has had to grapple with what is already on some.
The apparel maker pulled a shirt it designed for Yankees fans months ago. It read, “Boston Massacre,” alluding to an attack by British soldiers in 1770, and a couple of series with the Sox.
That’s a phrase that means something different to many people today.
Correction: An earlier version of this story misspelled the name of the firm Morrison & Foerster. The text has been corrected.
The suspects in the marathon bombings are also suspected of killing a MIT police officer and carjacking an SUV. The driver of that vehicle says they told him he wouldn't be hurt. He did not believe that.
A new analysis of census data shows that net household worth between 2009 and 2011 was up significantly for the top 7 percent.
Silicon Valley is known as the cradle of innovation, right? And you could make the case that Apple, Google and Facebook -- all in Silicon Valley -- are some of the sexiest companies in business right now.
But here’s the thing, when you drive around Silicon Valley its pretty boring -- just freeways and office parks.
Apple, Google and Facebook are aiming to change that. The tech companies are breaking ground on new corporate headquarters that promise to be architectural landmarks.
Apple is building a gigantic, circular building made out of glass with room for 12,000 people.
“Some people have described it as the mothership that has landed. A place for some kind of harmonic convergence. Or as an iPod click wheel,” said Brian Schermer, a professor of architecture at the University of Wisconsin.
And like Apple’s most iconic products, the building will be a wonder of technology and design. It’ll generate its own electricity, with more than 700,000-square feet of solar panels. The center of the circle, which is a about a mile across, will be filled with Apple orchards and trails.
And the building itself will be sheathed in gigantic 40-foot-high panels of curved glass -- something that’s never been tried before.
“I tend to think of the building as a philosophy and approach to the creation of objects and that’s seamless, timeless beautiful,” Schermer said.
The late Steve Jobs, with his usual modesty, presented plans for Apple’s new headquarters to the Cupertino City Council in 2011.
“I think we do have a shot of building the best office building in the world. I really do think architecture students will come here to see this,” Jobs said.
The new Apple headquarters will sit on the hallowed ground of Hewlett-Packard's former headquarters -- the company that started it all. But it couldn’t be a bigger break from Silicon Valley’s architectural tradition.
For all the glamour associated with tech these days, the architecture in Silicon Valley can be summed up in two words: office parks, said Louise Mozingo is a professor at UC Berkeley and the author of "Pastoral Capitalism: A History of Suburban Corporate Landscapes."
“They’re kinda like the building and landscape version of khakis and polo shirts,” she said.
Not very sexy, but adaptable.
“Your company booms, you move outward. Your company shrinks, new innovators come in and take over,” Mozingo said.
With its new headquarters, Apple is changing that paradigm.
“This kind of move on the part of a corporation represents a company that’s matured and has an interest in being sort of seen as an institution,” Mozingo said.
"Bay View" (aka a whimsical office park for Google)
About 10 miles north in Mountain View, Google is putting forward a different vision with its new headquarters called “Bay View.” If Apple is about an eco-system, where the iPod, iPhone, iPad feed into each other in an endless circle, Google’s business is unpredictable.
“Our business is constantly changing,” said Anthony Ravitz, who works on Google’s real estate and workplace services team.
While Google makes most of its money off search, it’s also into smartphones, driverless cars, electronic wallets -- and it’s set to release Google Glass, a wearable computer that sits on your face like glasses.
“In 50 years, what will our business look like and how can we evolve the space over time?” Ravitz said.
The answer is “Bay View,” which is made up of about a dozen buildings that look very much like… an “office park.” The “J”-shaped buildings fit together around a series of outdoor courtyards and the campus sits right on the southern shores of the San Francisco Bay. Google is restoring the wetlands around it and creating a natural habitat for its own workers. There will be paths along the water for jogging and bike riding and places for Googlers to practice yoga or ride scooters on the rooftop gardens.
“We definitely want this campus to be a reflection of our culture and whimsy is a part of that,” Ravitz said.
Google believes innovation can’t be planned, but it can be fostered by creating spaces where employees can run into each other and share ideas. And the San Francisco Bay is rarely out of view.
“There’s a lot of data out there showing that access to views impacts us physiologically,” Ravitz said.
Louise Mozingo, the UC Berkeley professor, says that Google’s new headquarters is iconic in its own way. It’s not about the building but the idea that you can actually create spaces that lead to innovation.
“Each one of these reflect a very different kind of corporate persona,” she said.
Mozingo says Apple and Google could cement Silicon Valley’s reputation as ground zero for technological and architectural innovation.
We’ll know in a few years if the tour buses start rolling by.
It quickly became clear that the "news" was not true. There had been no explosions at the White House and President Obama was fine. But a message on the wire service's Twitter account rattled investors.
On Monday, FBI investigators said they had not found any trace of ricin in a search of Paul Kevin Curtis' home. Prosecutors and defense attorneys have scheduled a news conference this evening.
Local TV news anchorman A.J. Clemente this week became the latest ex-employee to announce his departure on Twitter. He had a very bad first day at KFYR in North Dakota. He swore (and not just a little) on the air, unaware his microphone was live.
Clemente’s sad, but unsurprising, tweets summed it up: “That couldn’t have gone any worse!” and, “Unfortunately KFYRTV has decided to let me go. Thank you to them and everyone in ND for the opportunity and everyone for the support.”
Earlier this month, Matthew Keys tweeted that he’d gotten the boot as deputy social media editor at Reuters after being indicted for allegedly giving hackers access to the Los Angeles Times.
Just got off the phone. Reuters has fired me, effective today. Our union will be filing a grievance. More soon.— Matthew Keys (@TheMatthewKeys) April 22, 2013
And it turns out that if you search “I just got fired,” you’ll get an endless scroll of tweets. Some of which are gold.
All of this brings up the question: Is tweeting your termination really a good idea?
On one hand, it might make you feel better.
“In the moment of being fired, people immediately go to the emotional place of wanting to know they’re okay,” says Dr. Brandon Smith, aka “The Workplace Therapist” and professor at Emory University’s Goizueta Business School.
“That’s why Twitter and Facebook are so tempting,” he says. “People are looking for a bunch of likes and to hear, ‘It’s okay this happened to me last week,’ or, ‘You’re great, you’ll get through this.’ They’re looking for the encouragement, that emotional bump.”
Six months later, though, it could make you feel a lot not better.
“You’re publishing something in perpetuity, and people lose sight of that,” Smith says.
Sara Grant, who teaches at Baruch College and New York University, says the problem with “our over-sharing culture is that it is easy to be disrespectful to others. In this case, the risk is saying something against the previous employer.”
Any announcement that badmouths a former employer won’t go over well with potential new employers. Saying you don’t know why you were just fired doesn’t make you look good either. Nor, really, does getting fired at all.
“I would absolutely encourage people not to post anything on Facebook or Twitter that might hurt them later,” says Emory’s Smith.
But he adds that tweeting your firing can be acceptable if done graciously, as in, “Today I was let go. I want to thank the people of X company and I really want to wish them the best of luck. I’m looking for new opportunities.”
If you were unfairly fired, can’t you use social media to mount a defense?
“Not in 120 characters,” Smith says. “Twitter’s really not a good forum for richness of dialogue. Announcing you’ve been let go, anything controversial -- Twitter’s not the right forum for that.”
If you must spill the beans, tweet a link to a full statement or press release, like former Groupon CEO Andrew Mason did. And Smith says always have someone review a controversial post.
Twitter and Facebook are forever, after all.
This is how to tweet you were fired:
That couldn't have gone any worse!— A.J. Clemente (@ClementeAJ) April 21, 2013
Unfortunately KFYRTV has decided to let me go. Thank you to them and everyone in ND for the opportunity and everyone for the support.— A.J. Clemente (@ClementeAJ) April 22, 2013
Rookie mistake. I'm a free agent.Cant help but laugh at myself and stay positive.Wish i didnt trip over my "Freaking Shoes" out of the gate.— A.J. Clemente (@ClementeAJ) April 22, 2013 February 28, 2013
This is probably not how to tweet you were fired:
I just got fired from the library.. Guess they didn't like how I put all the women's rights and feminists books in the fiction section.— Because I'm a Guy (@CauseWereGuys) February 22, 2013
I just got Fired lets get high as hell— Sean O'Connor (@SeanOConnor732) April 20, 2013
I just got fired, who's hiring?— Zachary Jordan (@Yo_Duude) April 17, 2013
Because @kmichelle wanted to cause a scene last night, I just got fired. I hope you’re happy.— Assanté Porter (@heyassante) April 19, 2013
I just got fired because I got sick at work today. They're unprofessional and I like sweet&sassy better haha too bad for them!— Caterina Troiani (@ICONiCat) April 20, 2013
Following the GOP's losses in the 2012 elections, there has been a lot of hand-wringing about what the party should do next. David Brooks, Laura Ingraham, Mickey Edwards and Ralph Reed take on the Republicans' future in the latest Intelligence Squared U.S. debate.
A poll released days before the opening of George W. Bush's presidential library in Dallas is serving as fodder for some sequestered GOP nostalgia about his two terms in the White House.
The settlement agreement between the Department of Justice and Anheuser-Busch InBev will allow the mammoth beer company to complete its purchase of Grupo Modelo, a Mexico-based brewer that produces Corona, Pacifico, and other beers.
An Israeli military official says Syria employed the weapons in a series of recent incidents. The U.S., meanwhile, has said little on the subject and has not made similar accusations against Syria.
The influential red-state Democrat from Montana who helped craft Obamacare but bucked his party last week in voting against expanded background checks for gun sales will retire in 2014, according to published reports. He becomes the sixth Senate Democrat to announce a pending retirement.
FIFA's efforts to rehabilitate its tarnished public image were dealt twin setbacks Monday, as the Twitter account of the international soccer federation was hacked and used to send a message joking about corruption. And a member of its reform committee quit, saying their work was pointless.