What's Good?

Happy National Donut Day (and other food and fitness news)

We're heading out today for a ten-day trip north, recreating some of the hikes that Kin and Isaiah did during their "drone recovery" summer. This will be our second year doing this trek (it's been three years since Isaiah's death). Last year, it was incredibly powerful to see the devastation that recent forest fires had brought to some of these places. The Earth was unrecognizable, ravaged. But then again, the Earth heals, albeit slowly and in its own way; it'll never be quite the same as it was before. Grief remains written on the land, even when there is regrowth and blossoming.

(As I type this I realize: I think I'll have Internet access next week — goodness I hope so as I'm planning to officially launch Second Breakfast on the 11th. Regardless, I'm not sure how "tuned in" to the news I'll be. So next week's "What's Good?" newsletter might just be a series of photos from our hikes and from the fast food breakfasts I’ll be eating “for research.” Hell, we'll just plan for that, ok?)

Today is also National Donut Day, and I'll run my regular Friday loop with the Lake Merritt Donut Runners before Kin and I (and Poppy, of course) hit the road. Remember: you never need a holiday or special day of the week to justify eating a donut. But today is as good a day as any, particularly since many donut shops are offering free donuts. I'm planning on getting a red velvet donut at my local donut joint. I haven't had one before, but considering California has just banned Red Dye 3, I gotta get all the red velvet cake while I can, eh?

TBH, I prefer a cruller, but I wouldn’t say no to a glazed raised donut. (Image credits: Fahim Mohammed)...

Elsewhere in food news: The James Beard Foundation seems like a hot mess. The cost of food is up — the solution, according to some shops: lock up the expensive food items like cheese and steak. "Climate Change Is Threatening Ketchup. AI Could Help Save It." Of course it could. In other “this would be better with ketchup but, alas, global warming” news, "In a blind taste test the animal-like protein was preferred over 100% beef burger." Then again, "New Study Is Extremely Embarrassing for Lab-Grown Meat" — apparently lab-grown meat is worse for the environment than animals? If we’re revising our meat habits, perhaps it’s time to take a look at this longstanding problem: "Why Hot Dogs Are Sold in 10-Packs But Hot Dog Buns Are Sold in 8-Packs."

The news from the wellness-tech industry: The Verge takes "A trip to Dyson’s dirt-filled, germ-obsessed world." "The US Plasma Industry Has Blood on Its Hands." The Atlantic looks at the recent surge in pediatric overdoses of melatonin. Evergreen: "How Do You Find Good Evidence for Wellness Claims?" asks Christy Harrison.

News about the technology of / business of / science of sports and fitness: Lululemon is expanding its investment (and research) in women athletes with the Further ultramarathon. After running those 100000 miles, know that, according to Time, "Exercise May Help You Better Tolerate Pain." I wrote a review of Christine Yu's new book Up to Speed.  Bloomberg looks at "Adidas After Yeezy." (Adidas is my running shoe of choice, I confess, but damn if I don't mutter "ugh, Yeezy" every time I lace up my shoes.) Trust The Wall Street Journal to come up with the weirdest goddamn angle on running: "A Foot Race Involving a Husband, a Wife…and a Horse?" The Guardian on "The strange survival of Guinness World Records." Anne Helen Petersen challenges "The Optimization Sinkhole" — she's talking Wirecutter product reviews and house decorating social media content and such, but I couldn't help but think about the ways in which athletes — hello, fellow runners! — fall into this trap too. Anjali Prasertong has more thoughts on optimization culture and nutrition. Speaking of stories that make you wince, I'm so very wary of the whole "mindfulness" and "grit" narratives embraced by sports, but I have pre-ordered Sally Jenkins's upcoming book (which I'll review here). An excerpt: "How Michael Phelps learned to make the right calls." "In Harlem, senior swimmers embrace their ‘fountain of youth’." "96-year-old runner breaks W95+ world record at Ottawa 5K" — more stories like these please, and fewer about how fast Mark Zuckerberg can run 3.11 miles or knock people on their ass in judo, thanks.

Yours in struggle,