Best Top 20 Doctor Tales Blogs for 2017

Doctor Tales is celebrating 15 months of blogging in December! Happily, Dr. Patti Mason and I have posted a blog each week for over a year. We started DTB to share tips and survival strategies for graduate students. And yes, survival is the key word. DTB offers a solid toolkit of ideas to foster your academic and career success. In that spirit, here’s a list of our top 20 favorite Doctor Tales blogs for 2017. In 2018, we’ll continue to give you more ideas for your toolkit. Stop by anytime and join our email list. Thank you!!  PS: Can you guess our favorite blog? Happy Holidays and Good Tidings in 2018!

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Shoku-iku: How Food Policy Works in Japan

Shoku-iku is the Japanese word  for “eating education” or food education. Since 2005, the Basic Law of Shoku-iku has been Japan’s national food policy. It serves as a “blueprint for conscious eating.” Starting in kindergarten, students learn to connect health, nutrition, food, and the environment. More than 4,000 diet and nutrition teachers teach in public schools. The result: 3.7% of Japan’s adult population is obese (around 2.8M people out of the total adult population of 86M). This is striking because 38.2% of the US adult population is obese (around 73M people in the total adult population of 219M). We’re talking obese, not overweight. How is Japan reducing obesity in adults, while obesity continues to rise in the US? What can we learn from Shoku-iku?

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Food Swamps: A New Urban Reality

This week, I learned about a new trend in food policy. A study by the Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity identified the presence of another source for obesity in adult populations: food swamps. Unlike food deserts (communities with limited access to healthy and affordable food), food swamps reveal the imbalance between excess fast food restaurants over healthy food choices. These neighborhoods have more drive-up restaurants and easy access to unhealthy foods compared to grocery stores and farmer’s markets. Food swamps are a better predictor of obesity rates than food deserts. And they are another tool to find ways to reverse the tide of obesity in adults.

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Why Scholars Need a Clue About Good Writing: Part II

Writing is hard work. Any form of writing is a process and if you want to be a good writer, it takes practice. But many academics pontificate when they speak and write. Writing is a powerful communication tool to clearly express ideas. Bad writing is when people have to read your sentence more than once, for example: “Shop prices did not stabilise until 1877, after inflation had begun to be defeated by laws that had been passed by the government in the autumn of 1875.” Bad writing sounds off for a reason.  Why do scholars write poorly? Can we cut the blather and get to the point? How can you help people understand your ideas? Continue reading “Why Scholars Need a Clue About Good Writing: Part II”

How to Feed More People: Think Small and Local

The world is not getting smaller. Around 350,000 babies are born each day, and by 2050, the world’s population can reach over 9 billion people. Today we rely on “green revolution” technologies to grow more food –  these technologies (pesticides, genetic modified plants, fertilizers) are used to grow high yield crops (corn, soybeans, wheat) or monocrops. But the green revolution is also a process with huge environmental costs. And the human costs include more diet-related diseases, malnutrition (hunger and obesity) and wasted food. How can we reverse the harm from industrial or conventional agriculture? What are solutions to grow food differently?

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“What Can You Be with a PhD”

A doctorate degree can take you anywhere. You can work in many areas including social enterprise businesses, start-ups, non-profits, academia or industries you never thought about for a career. You can be a researcher, scholar-practitioner, academic, scientist, consultant, or social entrepreneur. A yearly event called “What Can You Be with a PhD” (WCUB) Career Symposium at New York University can help you explore your career options. And according to the blog, it’s the “largest career  symposium” in the country. The event was organized by the NYU School of Medicine Postdoctoral Affairs Office.

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Willie Nelson and Urban-Rural Ag

Poverty is a worldwide problem. Urban and rural communities in every country struggle to survive. Poverty means food insecurity or economic and social conditions where people have little or uncertain access to enough food. Food insecurity hits people in urban, rural, and peri-urban areas (communities located around cities). While it’s easy to think that food insecurity is just an urban problem, clearly it is not. Hunger is not in a vacuum. Even if food is abundant, many people don’t have enough food on a regular basis. How can we feed more people? What are the connections between urban-rural agriculture?

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