Gaspillage alimentaire: Peut mieux faire

Gaspillage : 41,2 tonnes de nourriture jetées chaque seconde dans le monde

En France, ce sont 10 millions de tonnes de nourriture qui sont jetées chaque année, d’une valeur de 16 milliards d’euros.

Par MARIANNE BOYEREUGÉNIE DUMAS

En moyenne, chaque Français jette l’équivalent d’un repas à la poubelle toutes les semaines. Ce chiffre illustre l’importance, tant symbolique que concrète, du gaspillage permanent. A l’occasion de la Journée nationale de lutte contre le gaspillage alimentaire, lundi 16 octobre, Les Décodeurs font le point en chiffres sur l’ampleur du phénomène.

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Source: http://www.lemonde.fr/les-decodeurs/article/2017/10/16/gaspillage-41-2-tonnes-de-nourriture-jetees-chaque-seconde-dans-le-monde_5201728_4355770.html

Les Français mangent mal

Les Français mangent mal et se sédentarisent

Selon une vaste étude de l’Anses, les assiettes contiennent toujours plus de produits transformés et de compléments alimentaires, trop de sel et pas assez de fibres.

LE MONDE |  • Mis à jour le  | Par Audrey Garric

Dis-moi ce que tu manges et je te dirai quelle est ta santé. L’Agence nationale de sécurité sanitaire de l’alimentation (Anses) vient de publier, mercredi 12 juillet, sa troisième étude sur les habitudes alimentaires des Français. Réalisée tous les sept ans, elle constitue la photographie la plus complète du contenu de nos assiettes. En analysant à la fois les apports nutritionnels bénéfiques et les expositions à des substances néfastes, l’établissement public cherche à mieux prévenir les maladies et à améliorer la santé des Français.

« Le rôle de l’alimentation dans l’augmentation ou la prévention de certaines maladies comme le cancer, l’obésité ou les maladies cardiovasculaires est aujourd’hui scientifiquement établi », rappelle l’agence, qui a réalisé ce rapport intitulé INCA 3 (étude individuelle nationale des consommations alimentaires) sous l’égide des ministères de la santé et de l’agriculture.

Entre 2014 et 2015, elle a recueilli les habitudes alimentaires de 5 800 personnes représentatives de la population (près de 3 100 adultes et 2 700 enfants), à raison d’un, deux ou trois jours chacune, soit 13 600 journées de consommations et 320 000 aliments analysés. Ses résultats ont été interprétés par un groupe d’experts (nutritionnistes, épidémiologistes, toxicologues, microbiologistes).

Sorte de petite souris dans nos cuisines, le rapport détaille d’abord notre alimentation quotidienne. Les adultes consomment en moyenne 2,9 kg d’aliments chaque jour, soit environ 2 200 kcal, dont 50 % de boissons. Les femmes privilégient généralement les yaourts et fromages blancs, les compotes, la volaille, les soupes et les boissons chaudes, tandis que les hommes optent plus facilement pour les produits céréaliers raffinés, les viandes et charcuteries, les pommes de terre, les fromages, les crèmes dessert et les boissons alcoolisées. Il en résulte que les hommes mangent plus et que leur apport énergétique est supérieur de 38 % à celui des femmes.

assiette_fr Trop de sel, pas assez de fibres

L’Anses ne tire pas de conclusion quant aux consommations de sucres et de graisses, mais avait déjà indiqué lors d’une précédente étude que leur consommation en forte quantité est néfaste pour la santé. Elle se penche en revanche sur le sel et les fibres. Les apports en chlorure de sodium sont estimés à 9 grammes par jour (g/j) chez les hommes et à 7 g/j chez les femmes, soit davantage que l’objectif nutritionnel de santé publique fixé par le Programme national nutrition santé (8 g/j pour les hommes et 6,5 g/j pour les femmes). En cause : les pains, les sandwichs, pizzas et pâtisseries salées, les condiments et sauces, les soupes et les charcuteries.

A l’opposé, les apports en fibres, contenues dans les fruits et légumes, les légumineuses et les produits céréaliers, atteignent à peine 20 g/j chez les adultes, bien en deçà des recommandations de l’Anses (30 g/j). L’agence appelle les professionnels à « amplifier l’effort de réduction des teneurs en sel des aliments » et à « augmenter [celles] en fibres ».

Progression des compléments alimentaires

Cette assiette à la note plutôt salée accueille de plus en plus d’aliments transformés, problématiques sur le plan de la santé. Des sandwichs et des pizzas, mais aussi des jus de fruits et de légumes, des pâtisseries, des compotes ou encore des glaces. La majorité sont des produits industriels, marquant une « complexification de l’alimentation ».

En parallèle, le nombre de consommateurs de compléments alimentaires (vitamines, minéraux, plantes) a fortement augmenté, passant de 12 % à 19 % chez les enfants et de 20 % à 29 % chez les adultes entre 2006-2007 et 2014-2015. « Ces produits ne sont normalement pas nécessaires dans le cadre d’une alimentation équilibrée et peuvent même se révéler risqués. Il faut être prudents, surtout lorsqu’ils sont vendus sur Internet », prévient Jean-Luc Volatier, adjoint au directeur de l’évaluation des risques de l’Anses et conseiller scientifique pour l’étude INCA 3.

Nouvelles pratiques à risques

L’Anses relève d’autres comportements qui posent de « nouveaux enjeux en termes de sécurité sanitaire » : des dépassements plus fréquents des dates limites de consommation, des températures trop élevées dans les réfrigérateurs (supérieures à 6 °C), une augmentation de la consommation de denrées autoproduites (chasse, pêche, cueillette et eau de puits privés) et de protéines animales crues, qui peuvent être contaminées par des bactéries, des virus ou des parasites.

Les œufs, viandes, poissons et mollusques non cuits sont aujourd’hui engloutis par 80 % des Français. La mode des sushis et des tartares s’est traduite par un doublement du taux de consommateurs de poissons crus (de 15 % à 31 % depuis le rapport INCA 2, publié en 2009) et une hausse de celui de viande de bœuf crue (de 24 % à 30 %).

Une sédentarité « alarmante »

Ces nouvelles habitudes alimentaires s’inscrivent dans un contexte peu propice au maintien en bonne santé : celui d’une activité physique insuffisante et d’une sédentarité qui progresse de manière « alarmante ». 80 % des adultes sont considérés comme sédentaires, et 71 % des adolescents de 15 à 17 ans. Car depuis sept ans, le temps moyen passé quotidiennement devant un écran pour les loisirs a explosé : il a augmenté de 20 minutes chez les enfants, passant de 2 h 45 à 3 h 05, et de 1 h 20 chez les adultes, pour atteindre 4 h 50.

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« La sédentarité est un problème préoccupant : elle joue un rôle dans l’apparition de certaines pathologies comme le diabète, l’obésité et les maladies cardiovasculaires, même dans le cas d’individus qui pratiquent trente minutes d’activité physique par jour, comme nous le conseillons », assure Jean-Luc Volatier. Et de préconiser : « Il faut bouger souvent, se levermonter des escaliers. » L’Anses recommande de définir un repère spécifique sur la sédentarité en complément de celui existant sur l’activité physique.

Conséquence de ces deux ingrédients qui se marient mal : 13 % des enfants et des adolescents et 34 % des adultes étaient en surpoids en 2014-2015, et respectivement 4 % et 17 % étaient obèses. « Le seul élément encourageant, c’est que l’obésité s’est stabilisée pour la première fois depuis dix ans chez l’adulte et l’enfant, marquant même un infléchissement chez ce dernier », indique le professeur Serge Hercberg, président du Programme national nutrition santé, en citant les premiers résultats de l’étude Esteban – une autre enquête sur l’état de santé des Français menée par l’agence nationale Santé publique France.

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Inégalités sociales

L’analyse du poids des Français et de leur alimentation met au jour de fortes disparités de sexe, d’âge ou de région. Les adultes de 65 à 79 ans consomment par exemple plus d’aliments faits maison, les hommes de denrées animales crues, et les habitants des grandes agglomérations de poissons, confiseries et jus de fruits.

Mais ce sont surtout les inégalités sociales qui s’avèrent les plus criantes. Les Français ayant un niveau d’étude supérieur ou égal à bac + 4 consomment davantage de fruits et deux fois moins de sodas que ceux qui se sont arrêtés au primaire ou au collège. Ils pratiquent plus d’activité physique et sont moins souvent obèses. « Cette étude confirme que la nutrition est un grand marqueur social, juge Serge Hercberg. Ces inégalités ont tendance à s’accroître : les populations défavorisées améliorent leur état nutritionnel mais beaucoup moins vite et moins nettement que celles favorisées. »

De manière générale, « les Français ne mangent pas assez bien pour être en bonne santé », assène le spécialiste de la nutrition. « Beaucoup reste à faire pour atteindre une alimentation de bonne qualité nutritionnelle et surtout accessible à tous, avance-t-il. Il ne suffit pas de responsabiliser les individus, il faut également augmenter la qualité nutritionnelle des produits et leur transparence. » Cela passe par une politique de santé publique « bien plus ambitieuse qu’aujourd’hui », basée sur des taxes et des subventions, l’interdiction de la publicité sur les aliments trop riches en gras, en sel et en sucre, ou la mise en place d’un logo nutritionnel. Une façon de rappeler que notre santé ne réside pas seulement dans notre assiette.
Source:  http://www.lemonde.fr/planete/article/2017/07/12/les-francais-mangent-mal-et-se-sedentarisent_5159458_3244.html#b4P9IvCsCLsqBkPL.99

Habla a la macchina

It’s new, it’s fresh, and apparently it works (as well as Google Translate). So why do you still want to learn a foreign language?

Google is taking on Apple’s $160 wireless AirPods headphones with a direct competitor: Google Pixel Buds.

Google introduced the headphones during an event on Wednesday morning in California, alongside new entries in the Google Home smart-speaker line, a new Chromebook laptop, and the next generation of the company’s Pixel phone.

The $160 Pixel Buds headphones aren’t entirely wireless, as you can see above — a cable connects each side of the headphone set, unlike Apple’s completely wireless AirPods. In most other ways, though, they’re nearly identical to what Apple’s offering.

In a demo on stage during Google’s event, one Google employee spoke to another — except one was speaking Swedish while the other was responding in English. The headphones were able to translate what the other person was saying in real time, similar to the “babel fish” concept in “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.”

You can use this translation feature for 40 languages. You don’t need a new Pixel for it — you just need an Android phone with Google Assistant, meaning most new Android phones, as well as last year’s Pixel (and the new Pixel 2, of course).

And if you want them to use them solely as wireless headphones, you can — they’re Bluetooth headphones, so they’ll work with anything that uses Bluetooth connectivity.

Source: http://www.sfgate.com/technology/businessinsider/article/Google-s-taking-on-Apple-s-AirPods-with-160-12253403.php

Write, Don’t Type

Neuroscientist and Cal State East Bay Assistant Professor Pradeep Ramanathandoesn’t just teach his students about the brain. He teaches them about how to use their brains to learn more effectively.

“It may seem like a simple question to ask ‘What part of the brain is involved with learning?’” Ramanathan says. “But the reality is that complex functions such as learning are not localized to individual areas, so it’s pretty much the entire brain. The brain as a whole is a vast network of more than a hundred billion neurons, and likely over a hundred trillion synapses. It is the single most powerful computing device [in the world.]”

And that means proper care of the brain is critical for attention and memory — two areas Ramanathan says are very important for student learning performance.

Want to know how you can use your brain’s natural functions and some research-driven techniques to improve your chances of success next quarter? Read on. But first, there are a few obvious health habits that Ramanathan says create the foundation for learning — and if you’ve heard them before, you can probably thank your mother and father for always knowing best.

AVOID ALL-NIGHTERS.

Ramanathan says a lot of students — many because they have to work full time while earning their degrees — are chronically sleep deprived. It turns out, not only will you struggle to concentrate the next day, but you probably won’t retain as much of what it was you were trying to learn.

“Many students are overextended so … they withdraw from their sleep budget [to study], and that has consequences to learning — one being that your attention is lacking, but another is that sleep is critical for consolidating our memories, so [losing sleep] is a double whammy,” Ramanathan explains. “What a person studies in the few hours before sleep is especially well consolidated by sleep. So, if a student studies for several hours in the evening, and then gets a good night’s sleep, they will consolidate all of that learning very well. But, if they just keep studying until late and end up sleep deprived, all of that extra time spent studying is pretty much going down the tubes.”

SKIP THE JUNK FOOD.

What you eat and drink has direct consequences (good and bad) on your ability to learn. Caffeine can be helpful not only because it allows an otherwise foggy student to focus, but also, Ramanathan says, because research shows it appears to improve long-term memory. So feel free to enjoy a cup of joe, but don’t drink it at night to stay awake and stay away from sugary coffee beverages — the caffeine jolt isn’t worth the cost of consuming lots of sugar and the inevitable crash that follows. One recent study explored long-term impacts of the Western diet on human cognition and the brain, and showed that while sugar in the form of glucose is fuel for the brain, excessive consumption of sugar (especially high fructose corn syrup) can lead to brain insulin resistance and impaired learning, memory and other cognitive functions.

Students who drink alcohol may also suffer a loss of brain cells and experience adverse effects to their memory — both in the short term (don’t party before a big test) and later in life. Even mild social drinking impairs memory and learning performance.

GET A MOVE ON.

In addition to food, Ramanathan says those who exercise more often have better cognitive skills. And that doesn’t necessarily mean running on a treadmill every day. According to a study done at the University of British Columbia, walking 30 to 60 minutes a day beyond what you’d normally do on campus improves brain function and can increase alertness in the classroom and help retain information.

And now, five recommendations from the professor for things you can do to maximize your learning potential this fall.

1.    SIT UP FRONT

Research findings have been somewhat mixed about the effects of classroom seat location on student learning. Traditionally, and as supported by studies such as this one from the University of Colorado at Boulder, educators believe that sitting at the front of class may be of benefit because it allows a student to hear better, see better and there are fewer peers in a student’s line of vision to be distracted by. An exception? Ramanathan says a student who is self conscious about being called on in the front row, to the point of becoming distracted by nerves, should consider sitting a few rows back.

2. WRITE, DON’T TYPE

Ramanathan says most students these days can type almost as quickly as he lectures. But he warns students against relying on laptops, explaining that many students devolve into transcriptionists, which robs the student of a key factor in learning — the use of metacognition, or “thinking about your thinking.”

“Handwriting places a much bigger responsibility on you to stay intentionally engaged, which means you’ll retain more.”

“When you [write by hand] …  you’re forced to do something important that requires metacognition,” Ramanathan says. “Since you can’t keep up with the professor verbatim, you end up having to summarize in your notes. So, you have to ask yourself a lot of metacognitive questions in real time about how well you are learning and understanding what is being said. You tend to ask yourself, ‘Am I understanding what the professor is saying, what is the gist, what are the main points or key takeaways that I need to remember?’ and then you have to put that into your own words. All of this engages a huge network of brain areas and significantly improves learning. Handwriting places a much bigger responsibility on you to stay intentionally engaged, which means you’ll retain more. When you type, it tends to be more ‘in-one-ear-out-the-other.’”

In addition, the professor cautions that laptops and other internet-enabled devices mean students are vulnerable to distractors such as texts, social media apps, email and other online elements with pop-ups that are designed to grab attention — and can break focus.

3. TEACH SOMEBODY ELSE

As the saying goes, if you can teach something, then you really know it. Ramanathan says one of the most effective study strategies a student can use is to try and teach the material to someone else. You can do this alone or in a group — have each person take turns presenting a specific portion of the information.

But the technique isn’t limited to the availability of study partners.

“You don’t need an audience, you can even do it silently to an imaginary audience,” he says. “Just make sure you’re getting deep enough into the information, putting it in your own words and talking about it without looking at the supporting materials.”

4. STOP MULTITASKING

So, what to do if you’re an overworked, stressed-out, beer-drinking, multitasking student who doesn’t exercise?

Ramanathan says in recent years there’s been a cultural shift toward celebrating the skill of multitasking, but that it actually has negative consequences on learning.

“Focused attention is absolutely critical to learning. Multitasking is the opposite of focused attention — it involves either divided attention or alternating attention. We all multitask a little bit and the human brain is certainly capable of it, but there are two aspects that make it detrimental to learning,” he says. “One, when you’re in class and are distracted and multitasking, you’re watering down that focused attention that you’re supposed to be allocating toward learning. In addition, there’s a cost you incur when switching your attention back and forth because each time you have to ramp up your understanding again and there’s time and energy wasted in that process. All of this results in poorer comprehension and reduced memory for the material.”

Bonus point: The professor also reports that individuals who demonstrate the ability to control their attention have been found to have higher IQs and are more successful performing cognitive tasks, according to a study published in Cognitive Psychology. But, he cautions that the jury is still out as to whether cultivating improved attention and working memory can increase your IQ, though he personally believes future research will bear that result.

5. CONSIDER MEDITATION

So, what to do if you’re an overworked, stressed-out, beer-drinking, multitasking student who doesn’t exercise beyond walking from the parking lot to class and never goes anywhere without a laptop and mocha frappuccino with extra caramel and whip?

Lucky for you, Ramanathan says the brain is always developing and is actually “plastic” in nature, which means with time and concerted effort, it can be trained to improve focus and retain more information. The best way to do that? Use the tips above and consider meditation.

“In mindfulness meditation, when you’re meditating and your mind wanders, you bring it back to your breath,” Ramanathan says. “Since your mind keeps wandering, you’ll have to do this repeatedly, and this cultivates focused attention. It can also help calm the nervous system, keeping the brain more alert and better able to process information, all of which enhances your learning skills. Additionally, studies such as this one suggest that meditation can increase cortical thickness in areas of the brain associated with attention and higher level cognitive processing.”

Source: https://www.ebtoday.com/stories/write-don-t-type

The Benefits of Talking to Yourself

By KRISTIN WONG

A stranger approached me at a grocery store. “Do you need help finding something?” he asked. At first, I wasn’t sure what he meant. Then the realization kicked in: I was talking out loud, to myself, in public. It was a habit I’d grown so comfortable with that I didn’t even realize I was doing it.

The fairly common habit of talking aloud to yourself is what psychologists call external self-talk. And although self-talk is sometimes looked at as just an eccentric quirk, research has found that it can influence behavior and cognition.

“Language provides us with this tool to gain distance from our own experiences when we’re reflecting on our lives. And that’s really why it’s useful,” said Ethan Kross, a professor of psychology at the University of Michigan.

When we talk to ourselves we’re trying to see things more objectively, Mr. Kross said, so it matters how you talk to yourself. The two types of self-talk you’re likely most familiar with are instructional self-talk, like talking yourself through a task, and motivational self-talk, like telling yourself, “I can do this.” It might be corny, but motivating yourself out loud can work.

One study published in Procedia — Social and Behavioral Sciences researched the effects of both motivational and instructional self-talk on subjects playing basketball. It found that players passed the basketball faster when they motivated themselves through the task out loud.

Even how you refer to yourself when talking to yourself can make a difference. Mr. Kross and his colleagues studied the impact of internal self-talk — talking to yourself in your head — to see how it can affect attitudes and feelings. They found that when their subjects talked about themselves in the second or third person — for example, “You can do this” or “Jane can do this” instead of “I can do this” — not only did they feel less anxiety while performing, but their peers also rated their performances better. Mr. Kross said this was because of self-distancing: focusing on the self from the distanced perspective of a third person, even though that person is you.

“In terms of why psychological distance helps, the example I like to give is to think about a time with a friend or loved one ruminating about a problem,” Mr. Kross said. “As an outsider, it’s relatively easy for you to advise them through that problem. One of the key reasons why we’re so able to advise others on a problem is because we’re not sucked into those problems. We can think more clearly because we have distance from the experience.”

So if you’re frazzled and need a motivational pep talk, you might consider giving it in the second or third person, which can help you look at the situation from a logical, objective perspective rather than an emotional, biased one.

Beyond motivational self-talk, talking to yourself out loud in an instructional way can speed up cognitive abilities in relation to problem-solving and task performance.

So, for example, when you’re searching for that item you just can’t find at the grocery store, talking to yourself out loud may help you find it faster. This is because of the feedback hypothesis.

“The idea is, if you hear a word, does that help you see something?” said Gary Lupyan, a researcher and psychology professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

According to the feedback hypothesis, the name of an item and its label make you think of what that item looks like. “This helps you distinguish it from other items with different names,” Mr. Lupyan said.

Mr. Lupyan wanted to test the feedback hypothesis with self-talk. In a series of experiments, he and his team asked subjects to search for different objects in different situations. In one experiment, subjects were asked to search for a picture of a specific item, like a banana, among 20 pictures of random items.

“We had some of the subjects say the name of the object out loud to themselves,” he said. “The idea was, does saying the name actually help you activate its visual features?”

Mr. Lupyan and his colleagues found that when subjects said the word “banana” before searching for a picture of one, they found the picture faster and more accurately. Saying the word out loud, the study found, made the subjects more aware of its physical traits, which then made the banana stand out among other objects.

It’s worth noting, however, that this type of self-talk isn’t as effective if you don’t know what the item looks like. In other words, if you’re searching for a papaya and you have no idea what a papaya looks like, asking yourself, “Where are the papayas?” probably won’t do much for you.

“The finding was that saying a name out loud helps, but only with objects they have familiarity with,” Mr. Lupyan said. Without that familiarity, talking to yourself out loud can slow you down, he added.

Instructive self-talk can be useful beyond finding your lost car keys or picking out a friend in a crowd. The aforementioned basketball study also found that players passed and shot the basketball more accurately when they instructed themselves through the task out loud, suggesting that talking to yourself about what you’re doing can keep you focused. The study concluded that motivational self-talk worked best on tasks based on speed, strength and power, while instructional self-talk worked best with tasks that involved focus, strategy and technique. In the real world, this might translate to parallel parking, following a recipe or putting together an Ikea side table.

“My bet is that self-talk works best on problems where you’re trying to stay on task and there are possible distractions,” Mr. Lupyan said. “For tasks with a multistep sequence, talking to yourself out loud can help you keep out distractions and remind yourself where you are.”

Source: https://www.nytimes.com/2017/06/08/smarter-living/benefits-of-talking-to-yourself-self-talk.html