September 20, 2019

Weekend reads: A food critic's review of Olive Garden

Daily Briefing

    Ben Palmer's reads

    Got milk? Nutrition advocacy group, Healthy Eating Research, on Wednesday issued a recommendation that children ages five and under should primarily drink only water and milk and should not be given any drinks with sugar or other sweeteners, including chocolate milk, caffeinated drinks, or artificially sweetened beverages. According to the panel of scientists, plant-based beverages, such as almond, rice, or oat milk, should also be avoided, and children under five should drink less than a cup of 100% juice each day. Instead of drinking juice, the panel said, children are better off eating fruit. Richard Besser, president and CEO of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, which funds Healthy Eating Research, said juice is a "source of calories that nutritionally aren't terrific."

    Doggy paddling. Giving a dog swimming lessons may "sound like obsessive dog person overkill," but it's important for keeping dogs safe near water, Jen Miller writes for the New York Times. According to Jerry Klein, chief veterinary officer of the American Kennel Club, not all dogs are naturally good at swimming. For instance, dogs with short legs can have trouble paddling, and dogs with short snouts can have a difficult time breathing. And even when dogs know how to swim, they may panic or exhaust themselves trying to escape a pool without an easy exit. To meet this demand, companies such as Opportunity Barks, a dog behavior and training school in Philadelphia, offer swimming lessons for dogs to help get them comfortable in the water.

    Danielle Poindexter's reads

    Why you should call, not text. Over the last five years, texting has become the most popular form of communication for Americans under age 50, but because it requires so much back and forth, it has become a "roiling conversation that never really begins or ends," Amanda Mull writes for the Atlantic. While many of millennials are seen by many as "allergic" to calls, Mull, a millennial, has come to accept that "phone calls are good, actually." Unlike texting, phone calls force you to accept that "other people might need your attention" right then and there, Mull writes. According to Guhan Subramanian, the director of the Harvard Program on Negotiation, spoken conversation allows people to accomplish more in a shorter amount of time. For instance, making plans over text or email can take days, but making plans over the phone may require only one conversation. And if you're feeling anxious about picking up the phone, "it's actually far easier to explain being unable to answer a call" than a text that can be read at any time, Mull writes.

    A food critic finally reviewed Olive Garden. Here's what she had to say. After 23 years as a food critic, Polly Campbell finally reviewed the "polarizing" Italian chain restaurant, Olive Garden.  "There are two kinds of people in the world: People who love Olive Garden and people who love to make fun of people who love Olive Garden," Campbell writes. After eating the food, Campbell learned that she's "not one of that first kind of people." While some of the food was decent, Campbell said that Olive Garden has "no concession to healthy eating" or local sourcing. But Campbell also felt that she "can't really bring [herself] to be part of that other group" that mocks Olive Garden fans, she writes. In the end, Campbell decided that we shouldn't let our opinions of Olive Garden "divide us" and should instead try to "find some common ground" over their "good tiramisu" and "endless soft…breadsticks," she writes.

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