Two Stories, One Paper

Two items in this morning's Wall Street Journal caught my attention today. The first was a teaser on one of the section front pages which said "The Case for Bacon" and the second article was a larger story titled "Meat on the Side." The first article was about how a new study says we should eat more protein at breakfast. The second article was about how more and more chefs are taking meat off the menu as a main course and instead serving it as an accompaniment.

What I found interesting about the bacon article was that the research done at the University of Missouri found that eating protein boosts dopamine levels.

Well, hello! That's not news, at least not to anybody who has read anything on the whole foods, plant-based way of eating. I guess what was news was that the researchers saw that as a benefit of eating more meat. My take on that is that if boosting our dopamine levels is a good thing then maybe we all ought to light up a joint in the morning or take a sniff of cocaine.

The other thing they said about eating more protein in the morning is that it will reduce food cravings. Of course, eating a big piece of chocolate cake with ice cream on top of it will do that too. Do that and you'll boost your dopamine levels and reduce your cravings, at least for a couple of hours.

I guess, in the end, I was not convinced that eating more protein in the morning was necessary, at least for me. With my oatmeal, walnuts, berries and almond milk, I stay satisfied throughout the morning without any cravings. And I've found life to be much more satisfying since I stopped jacking up my dopamine levels. So, I'll continue to pass on the meat. Or if I do feel the need for protein, I'll opt for beans and rice or scrambled tofu in the morning instead. They satisfy me while leaving my dopamine alone.

The second article was more encouraging. That article pointed out that more and more people are wanting to eat less and less meat. And there are a variety of reasons for that. Health is one of course, but the environment is another big reason. Chefs are responding to this, not by taking away meat dishes, but rather by adding more plant-based options to the menu. That could include in many cases, plant-based options that do still have some meat as an accompaniment, such as a bean stew with some mussels added for flavor.

The pictorial sidebar shows how one restaurant took one dish that had been 8 ounces of meat and 1/3 cup of polenta and converted that dish to 1 cup of polenta and 1/2 ounce of meat. This is a start in the right direction. And guess what? The picture of the larger polenta and the less meat actually looks much tastier.

It was interesting to find the two articles in one newspaper on the same day. I thought so anyway.