She wanted to eat better on tour and found out that taste is partly a mind game.

Rapper-singer-storyteller Dessa has a way with words:

I'm a fan, so I was excited to to run across the below video, where she uses her words to share some really practical, helpful information.


The video chronicles the journey she and her band took to eat sustainably even while they were on tour.

Lots of us might think of travel as a time off from "responsible" behavior. But hey, if you live over half your life on the road, figuring out how to eat right by your body and your values even while traveling gets a heck of a lot more important.



Turns out, what Dessa learned about eating on the road is useful for us homebodies, too.

Dessa was inspired by the book "The Omnivore's Dilemma" and visited author Michael Pollan to get his advice for about how to eat for a better world. (Pollan is the go-to guy for any questions about being an eater-of-food in the contemporary U.S. food system. His "Farmer in Chief" article is a great intro to his ideas about what's wrong with our food system and how to make it better).

In a nutshell, this is what she learned:

1. People in cities grow food and lots of it. And not only is food being grown in diverse communities all over the country, it's helping revitalize city neighborhoods. Many urban food producers are committed to making their food accessible to everyone who eats — in other words, to offering fresh, affordable food.

2. You can support this good work by buying local; then choose organic if it's available. Buying local at places like farmer's markets and food co-ops keeps your money in the 'hood, supporting people in your community instead of a large company elsewhere. And you have a chance to meet the people producing your food. And that's good because...

Here's the mind-blower:

3. Knowing how your food was produced will change how it tastes.

Wait, what? How can knowing about a food change how it tastes?

The psychology of taste is pretty fascinating.

It's a "dance of chemicals on the tongue," like Pollan says, and taste is also what we're thinking about and how we're feeling (as well as what society is telling us to like). Research has turned up all kinds of crazy things, like the more you spend on a meal, the better it tastes; drinks change taste according to what color they are; the weight and color of cutlery changes the taste of food; and a dish with a fancy label tastes better than the same stuff with a plain name.

If you know the people making your food are committed to helping neighbors and to treating their animals and environment well, doesn't it make sense that your meal will taste really lovely?

Bon appétit!

And while you're chewing on how to make things taste better in your life, here's a little Dessa for you.

True

This year more than ever, many families are anticipating an empty dinner table. Shawn Kaplan lived this experience when his father passed away, leaving his mother who struggled to provide food for her two children. Shawn is now a dedicated volunteer and donor with Second Harvest Food Bank in Middle Tennessee and encourages everyone to give back this holiday season with Amazon.

Watch the full story:

Over one million people in Tennessee are at risk of hunger every day. And since the outbreak of COVID-19, Second Harvest has seen a 50% increase in need for their services. That's why Amazon is Delivering Smiles and giving back this holiday season by fulfilling hundreds of AmazonSmile Charity Lists, donating essential pantry and food items to help organizations like Second Harvest to feed those hit the hardest this year.

Visit AmazonSmile Charity Lists to donate directly to a local food bank or charity in your community, or simply shop smile.amazon.com and Amazon will donate a portion of the purchase price of eligible products to your selected charity.

File:Pornhub-logo.svg - Wikimedia Commons

A 2015 survey conducted by the National Union of Students found that 60% of respondents turned to porn to fill in the gaps in sex education. While 40% of those people said they learned a little, 75% of respondents said they felt porn created unrealistic expectations when it comes to sex. Some of the unrealistic expectations from porn can be dangerous. A study found that 88% of porn contained violence, and another study found that those who consumed porn were more likely to become sexually aggressive.

But now the thing that breaks those unrealistic expectations… might also be porn? Pornhub has launched a sex education section.

The adult website's first series is simply titled, "Pornhub Sex Ed" and contains 11 videos and is accessible through the Pornhub Sexual Wellness Center. The section also contains articles, some showing real anatomy and examples in order to bust myths people may have picked up on other portions of the website.

Keep Reading Show less
True

A lot of people here are like family to me," Michelle says about Bread for the City — a community nonprofit located in Washington DC that provides local residents with food, clothing, health care, social advocacy, and legal services. And since the pandemic began, the need to support organizations like Bread for the City is greater than ever, which is why Amazon is Delivering Smiles to local charities across the country this holiday season.

Watch the full story:

Amazon is giving back by fulfilling hundreds of AmazonSmile Charity Lists, and donating essential pantry and food items to help organizations like Bread for the City provide to those disproportionately impacted this year.

Visit AmazonSmile Charity Lists to donate directly to a local charity in your community, or simply shop smile.amazon.com and Amazon will donate a portion of the purchase price of eligible products to your charity of choice.
Anne Owens and Luke Redito / Wikimedia Commons
True

When Madeline Swegle was a little girl growing up in Burke, VA, she loved watching the Blue Angels zip through the sky. Her family went to see the display every time it was in town, and it was her parents' encouragement to pursue her dreams that led her to the U.S. Naval Academy in 2017.

Before beginning the intense three-year training required to become a tactical air (TACAIR) pilot, Swegle had never been in an aircraft before; piloting was simply something she was interested in. It turns out she's got a gift for it—and not only is she skilled, she finds the "exhilaration to be unmatched."

"I'm excited to have this opportunity to work harder and fly high performance jet aircraft in the fleet," Swegle said in a statement released by the Navy. "It would've been nice to see someone who looked like me in this role; I never intended to be the first. I hope it's encouraging to other people."

As Swegle's story shows, representation and equality matter. And the responsibility to advance equality for all people - especially Black Americans facing racism - falls on individuals, organizations, businesses, and governmental leadership. This clear need for equality is why P&G established the Take On Race Fund to fight for justice, advance economic opportunity, enable greater access to education and health care, and make our communities more equitable. The funds raised go directly into organizations like NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund, YWCA Stand Against Racism and the United Negro College Fund, helping to level the playing field.

Keep Reading Show less

While many of us have understandably let the challenges of 2020 get under our skin and bring us down, a young man from Florida was securing his place in the Guinness Book of World Records. Chris Nikic became the first person with Down syndrome to complete a full triathlon.

For the majority of people, a 2.4 mile swim, a 112 mile bike ride or a 26.2 mile run would be difficult on its own. The Ironman competition requires participants to complete them all in one grueling race. In a statement, Special Olympics Florida President and CEO Sherry Wheelock called Chris "an inspiration to all of us." She continued, "We are incredibly proud of Chris and the work he has put in to achieve this monumental goal. He's become a hero to athletes, fans, and people across Florida and around the world."

Nikic's journey to become an Ironman started off as a challenge far less lofty. He and his father, Nik, created the "1 percent better challenge." The idea was to keep Chris motivated during the pandemic and beyond. According to The Washington Post, the idea was for Chris to improve his workouts by one percent each day because he "doesn't like pain" but loves "food, videos games and my couch." The plan was to keep building strength and stamina while keeping his eye on the grand prize of completing a triathlon. Nik told the Panama City News Herald, "I was concerned because after high school and after graduation a lot of kids with Down syndrome become isolated and just start living a life of isolation. I said, 'Look, let's go find him something to get him back into the world and get him involved,' so we started looking around and we were fortunate that at the same time Special Olympics Florida started this triathlon program, and I thought, 'What a great way to get him started, get him in shape and get him to make some friends.'"


Keep Reading Show less