I set out to write down some thoughts about taking care of our minds with healthy information as we do our bodies with healthy food, but the writing got a little too long winded and philosophical that I decided to share the recipe first. This way you can skip my pedantic musing on something you might not have come here to read.
The fresh peas and snap peas are in season and you should definitely enjoy them now if you haven’t already!
Fresh Peas, Snap Peas with Prosciutto
1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1.5 oz. prosciutto, roughly chopped
1 shallot, minced
2 cloves garlic, minsed
1 cup fresh green peas
1 heaping cup snap peas
1/4 cup chicken broth
1. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add prosciutto, onions and garlic; cook until onions are soft and prosciutto begins to crisp, 5 – 6 minutes.
2. Add peas and stir to coat, 1 minute. Add chicken broth and cook for another minute. Add snap peas and toss until the broth is reduced significantly. Serve hot.
The recipe makes 2 servings as main dish or 4 as side dish.
Adapted from: saveur.com
Food For Thought
In Tolstoy’s A Calendar of Wisdom: Daily Thoughts to Nourish the Soul, Written and Selected from the World’s Sacred Texts, the thought on January 1st is that of his own: “The difference between real material poison and intellectual poison is that most material poison is disgusting to the taste, but intellectual poison, which takes the form of cheap newspapers or bad books, can unfortunately sometimes be attractive.” Though published in 1904, his lament sounded prescient considering the volume of intellectual poison available on the internet today that many of us don’t understand.
The modern human animal spends upwards of 11 hours out of every 24 in a state of constant consumption. Not eating, but gorging on information ceaselessly spewed from the screens and speakers we hold dear.
The sheer amount of information available to us — 800,000 petabytes (a million gigabytes per petabyte) in the storage universe and 3.6 zettabytes (a million petabytes per zettabyte) consumed by American homes per day, expected to increase 44-fold by 2020 — is mind-boggling.
In Clay Johnson’s book Information Diet: A Case for Conscious Consumption, he compares the overabundance of information to that of food. Just as we have grown morbidly obese on sugar, fat, and flour—so, too, have we become gluttons for texts, instant messages, emails, RSS feeds, downloads, videos, status updates, and tweets.
Johnson writes: “It’s a matter of health and survival. Information and power are inherently related. Our ability to process and communicate information is as much an evolutionary advantage as our opposable thumbs.” But he cautions that we’re wired to love certain kinds of information, most notably affirmation, so we seek out information that confirms, rather than challenges, our existing beliefs, “Just as food companies learned that if they want to sell a lot of cheap calories, they should pack them with salt, fat, and sugar — the stuff that people crave — media companies learned that affirmation sells a lot better than information. Who wants to hear the truth when they can hear that they’re right?”
I think about my girls when I ponder this question. How do they sift out the significant and the true from the poisonous and false in the wild wild internet? As parents, how do we compete with the incessant bombardment of information/disinformation/misinformation spewing from the internet, and to tell them what they don’t like to hear?