It was a bounty crop of good reading in the online edition of the New York Times. There were at least six articles I bookmarked, to read later. The article on precocious science and Natalie Portman caught my eye, because one quote about Portman I thought applied equally to food blogging.

If anything, stories like Ms. Portman’s show that great success, like DNA, is constructed of a few basic building blocks: tenacity, focus, and the old Woody Allen line about just showing up.

There was an article about coconut oil’s improving reputation. Well, among the diabetic community, its reputation has never gone away, and our kinda folks have been patiently waiting for all you normal eaters to see the light. Bittman, continuing a theme ever since he moved from the Minimalist to  the Opinioniator blog, discussed ways to improve farm subsidies. A comment by GrassFarmer is eminently quotable.

I am a dairy farmer and I hate subsidies. They allow the biggest farmers in our township to rent all the land and plant corn & beans, thousands of acres. Then they concentrate cows, thousands, and get more US taxpayer dollars to build manure pits ($100,000) and digestors ($500,000) while employing illegal immigrants. Meanwhile, my grazing based dairy which matches cows (about 100) to an appropriate number of acres…..keeps the land cloaked in green grass to keep soil out of streams and manure out of wells. There aint no subsidy for my pastures and yet I am profitable even with the table tilted so far to the corn-bean-dairies I’ve got virtigo. And my milk and beef is proven more nutrient dense and balanced in omega-3:omega 6. In Wisconsin we’ve dropped from 50,000 smaller dairy farms (small business anyone?) down to under 10,000 large mechanized farms in a couple of decades. Get rid of subsidies all together and my kind of small modern farm could flourish and feed the world healthy food while employing 100,000 more people!

Researchers are looking into the art and science of self-compassion. Those that are easier on themselves lead healthier lives. Further, they seem more at home with their diets and therefore, eat better. If you’re having issues with tendons, a number of traditional remedies have been shown to fail, and finally, an article on the benefits of exercise as you age.

Wow. Not the normal haul from a daily newspaper.