Food for the mind and the body [Project 365/6: Feb.1, 2012]

Food for thought: The ways of wo/men of medicine

Two news items from the world of medicine that illustrate the tenuousness of diagnoses, and the difficult choices that ordinary people have to make when confronted by a science they little understand and, hence, take the mediators – the medical fraternity – on trust.

“The number of operations women undergo definitely depends on where you’re treated, and even to a greater level on which surgeon you see,” Dr. McCahill said. “We put the math behind it and said, this is a lot of second operations that maybe don’t make a difference.”

via Repeat Breast Cancer Surgery Guidelines Found Unclear – NYTimes.com

“People with social disabilities are not necessarily autistic, and giving them diagnoses on the autism spectrum often does a real disservice…Nevertheless, children and adults with significant interpersonal deficits are being lumped together with children and adults with language acquisition problems. Currently, with the loosening of the diagnosis of Asperger, children and adults who are shy and timid, who have quirky interests like train schedules and baseball statistics, and who have trouble relating to their peers — but who have no language-acquisition problems — are placed on the autism spectrum,” says Dr. Paul Steinberg, psychiatrist, in an opinion piece in the New York Times.

via Asperger’s History of Over-Diagnosis – NYTimes.com

Food for the palate: Simply spinach

Take 2 big bunches of spinach. Cut the greens into small bits. Heat a teaspoon oil in a pan, splutter 1 teaspoon mustard, 2 teaspoons split bengal gram, 3 red chillis, a pinch asafoetida. Add the greens, 1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder, a small pinch of salt, close and cook till tender. Add a teaspoon of grated fresh coconut, stir, and eat hot or cooled, as a side dish with rice or roti.

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