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kpreid comments on Experiential Pica - Less Wrong

81 Post author: Alicorn 16 August 2009 09:23PM

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Comment author: kpreid 18 August 2009 12:35:57AM 3 points [-]

Neither the fancy restaurant nor the fast food restaurant is optimizing for nutrition.

However, the fast food restaurant is optimizing for cost, while maintaining acceptable taste. The fancy restaurant, though, is probably serving food that is in some way traditional (else it would be Weird, not Fancy; there are exceptions of course); that is, there is a long history of people eating it. I have heard (no sources, sorry) that any particular traditional cuisine tends to be reasonably healthful [compared to what? I forget], presumably because people have been successful living off it.

So given that, the fancy restaurant is likely to serve more nutritious food.

(I think the weakest link in this is whether the average fancy restaurant does, in fact, serve traditional-in-that-sense food, and whether the presumable skew towards the particularly appealing, rather than typical, food of that cuisine opposes this effect.)

Comment author: ChrisHibbert 18 August 2009 01:32:30AM 2 points [-]

California cuisine in particular can get expensive, and one of its hallmarks is the inventiveness of the chef in combining fresh ingredients into a new dish. So you're probably right that expensive French or expensive Italian is mostly traditional food, but there are other cuisines that aren't like that.

Comment author: kpreid 18 August 2009 02:30:34AM 0 points [-]

That's the type of exception I had in mind. Of course, “fresh” says something about the nature of the food too. (Unless you mean "novel" as opposed to "recently alive".)

Comment author: ChrisHibbert 18 August 2009 04:30:44PM 2 points [-]

The "fresh" in California cuisine is about "recently alive", though "novel" is often part of the experience as well.