Gadget: Do-Anything Cooking Appliance

Thermomix TM6

Back before there were Instant Pots, cooking robots and smart ovens, there was the Thermomix.

And today, the original all-in-one kitchen appliance got a little (or maybe a lot) smarter with the launch of the TM6, the sixth generation of the cooking appliance popular with everyone from the world’s top chefs to working moms and dads just trying to put something tasty on the table.

The new appliance, which will cost $1,499 in the U.S. when available later this year, is available for purchase today in Vorwerk’s native Germany as well as Austria, and will be rolling out to other European countries over the next few months.

Watch video at You Tube (1:31 minutes) . . . . .

Is Daily Low-Dose Aspirin Really Worth It for Seniors?

Dennis Thompson wrote . . . . . . . . .

There’s disappointing news for seniors: A new trial shows that taking daily low-dose aspirin doesn’t prolong healthy, independent living in otherwise healthy people aged 70 and older.

Aspirin has long been recommended for middle-aged folks with a history of heart disease, to prevent future heart attacks or strokes.

Researchers had hoped that aspirin’s specific effects might help folks ease gracefully into their old age.

“The thinking was the double action of blood thinning and anti-inflammation might decrease the risk of dementia and disability,” explained senior researcher Dr. Anne Murray, director of the Berman Center for Outcomes and Clinical Research at Hennepin Healthcare in Minneapolis.

But a major new clinical trial has concluded that daily aspirin does not prolong disability-free survival in the elderly.

In fact, aspirin could put their health at risk by increasing the risk of bleeding in the brain and the gastrointestinal tract, researchers found.

“We were so hoping that such an inexpensive and accessible medication might be effective in prolonging healthy independent life,” Murray said.

Daily aspirin is recommended for people between 50 and 59 if they are at increased risk of heart disease, according to the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force, a guideline-setting expert panel.

For people ages 60-69 “who have a 10 percent or greater 10-year [heart disease] risk,” the decision to start low-dose daily aspirin “should be an individual one,” the USPSTF said.

However, there’s not been enough medical evidence to say whether aspirin would help elderly folks, the USPSTF says.

“It’s the first of its kind to address this question,” said Dr. Basil Eldadah, chief of the Geriatrics Branch of the U.S. National Institute on Aging. “It’s an important issue because so many older people in the United States take aspirin, and there’s not clear evidence up until now whether that’s indicated.”

To answer the question, researchers recruited just over 19,000 people in Australia and the United States with an average age of 74, and assigned half to take daily aspirin and the other half to receive a placebo.

People were recruited between 2010 and 2014, and had to be free of dementia, physical disability or any medical condition that would require aspirin use. They were followed for an average of close to five years.

Treatment with 100 milligrams of aspirin per day did not affect the chances a person would live longer free from dementia or disability, researchers found.

In fact, the group taking aspirin had a slightly increased risk of death — 5.9 percent died compared with 5.2 percent taking a placebo. However, the higher death rate was due to more cancer deaths in the aspirin group, which could have been due to chance, the researchers said.

More troubling was the fact that people taking daily aspirin suffered clinically significant bleeding.

Hemorrhagic stroke, bleeding in the brain, gastrointestinal bleeding, or bleeding at other sites that required transfusion or hospitalization occurred in 3.8 percent of people on aspirin versus 2.7 percent of people on placebo.

“There’s definitely an increased bleeding risk, and it’s not benign,” said Dr. Vincent Bufalino, a cardiologist and spokesman for the American Heart Association. “The intracranial bleeding risk is obviously a terrible complication.”

The clinical trial’s results suggest that “if seniors don’t have a valid medical need for taking aspirin, you are unlikely to benefit from it and there are some risks,” concluded lead researcher John McNeil, head of epidemiology and preventive health at Monash University in Melbourne, Australia.

However, all of the experts agreed that if you’re now taking aspirin under a doctor’s direction you shouldn’t stop until you discuss it with them, regardless of your age.

“Many people are taking aspirin for important medical reasons,” McNeil said. “It would be unwise to stop without speaking to their doctor about it.”

The clinical trial was published online as three papers in the New England Journal of Medicine.

Source: HealthDay

Lamb and Beetroot Curry


l kg boneless lamb from the leg, cut into 5-cm pieces
1 tbsp vegetable oil
1 heaped tbsp panch phoran (see note below)
8 cardamom pods, lightly crushed with a pestle and mortar
1 tsp ground coriander
2 tsp mild chili powder
1 tsp palm sugar
1 tsp tamarind paste
400 g (about 4 medium) raw beetroot, peeled and grated
400 ml water
salt and pepper


  1. Preheat the oven to 140°C.
  2. Brown the lamb in two batches in a large frying pan over a medium-high heat, using half the oil for each batch. Make sure the pieces are browned on all sides. Transfer to a large flameproof casserole dish.
  3. Lightly crush the panch phoran and cardamom pods with a pestle and mortar.
  4. Add the spices to the lamb along with the ground coriander and chili powder, then place the casserole over a medium-high heat and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes.
  5. Add the palm sugar, tamarind paste, grated beetroot and water and bring to the boil. Cover with a lid and transfer to the oven. Cook for 2-1/2 to 3 hours, checking occasionally and adding a little more water if needed. Taste and adjust the seasoning before serving.

Note: Panch phoran is a Bengali spice mix made up of cumin, fenugreek, mustard, fennel and black onion seeds. I bought it once because I loved the name, but if you don’t have it in your cupboard, just use any spices from this list that you do have.

Makes 4 servings.

Source: Sophie’s Family Kitchen

Seven Moral Rules Found All Around the World

Anthropologists at the University of Oxford have discovered what they believe to be seven universal moral rules.

The rules: help you family, help your group, return favors, be brave, defer to superiors, divide resources fairly, and respect others’ property, were found in a survey of 60 cultures from all around the world.

Previous studies have looked at some of these rules in some places — but none has looked at all of them in a large representative sample of societies. The present study, published in volume 60, no. 1 issue of Current Anthropology, by Oliver Scott Curry, Daniel Austin Mullins, and Harvey Whitehouse, is the largest and most comprehensive cross-cultural survey of morals ever conducted.

The team from Oxford’s Institute of Cognitive & Evolutionary Anthropology (part of the School of Anthropology & Museum Ethnography) analyzed ethnographic accounts of ethics from 60 societies, comprising over 600,000 words from over 600 sources.

Dr Oliver Scott Curry, lead author and senior researcher at the Institute for Cognitive and Evolutionary Anthropology, said: “The debate between moral universalists and moral relativists has raged for centuries, but now we have some answers. People everywhere face a similar set of social problems and use a similar set of moral rules to solve them. As predicted, these seven moral rules appear to be universal across cultures. Everyone everywhere shares a common moral code. All agree that cooperating, promoting the common good, is the right thing to do.”

The study tested the theory that morality evolved to promote cooperation, and that — because there are many types of cooperation — there are many types of morality. According to this theory of ‘morality as cooperation’, kin selection explains why we feel a special duty of care for our families, and why we abhor incest. Mutualism explains why we form groups and coalitions (there is strength and safety in numbers), and hence why we value unity, solidarity, and loyalty. Social exchange explains why we trust others, reciprocate favors, feel guilt and gratitude, make amends, and forgive. And conflict resolution explains why we engage in costly displays of prowess such as bravery and generosity, why we defer to our superiors, why we divide disputed resources fairly, and why we recognize prior possession.

The research found, first, that these seven cooperative behaviors were always considered morally good. Second, examples of most of these morals were found in most societies. Crucially, there were no counter-examples — no societies in which any of these behaviors were considered morally bad. And third, these morals were observed with equal frequency across continents; they were not the exclusive preserve of ‘the West’ or any other region.

Among the Amhara of Ethiopia, “flouting kinship obligation is regarded as a shameful deviation, indicating an evil character.” In Korea, there exists an “egalitarian community ethic [of] mutual assistance and cooperation among neighbors [and] strong in-group solidarity.” “Reciprocity is observed in every stage of Garo life [and] has a very high place in the Garo social structure of values.” Among the Maasai, “Those who cling to warrior virtues are still highly respected,” and “the uncompromising ideal of supreme warriorhood [involves] ascetic commitment to self-sacrifice…in the heat of battle, as a supreme display of courageous loyalty.” The Bemba exhibit “a deep sense of respect for elders’ authority.” The Kapauku “idea of justice” is called “uta-uta, half-half… [the meaning of which] comes very close to what we call equity.” And among the Tarahumara, “respect for the property of others is the keystone of all interpersonal relations.”

The study also detected ‘variation on a theme’ — although all societies seemed to agree on the seven basic moral rules, they varied in how they prioritized or ranked them. The team has now developed a new moral values questionnaire to gather data on modern moral values, and is investigating whether cross-cultural variation in moral values reflects variation in the value of cooperation under different social conditions.

According to co-author Professor Harvey Whitehouse, anthropologists are uniquely placed to answer long-standing questions about moral universals and moral relativism. “Our study was based on historical descriptions of cultures from around the world; this data was collected prior to, and independently of, the development of the theories that we were testing. Future work will be able to test more fine-grained predictions of the theory by gathering new data, even more systematically, out in the field.”

“We hope that this research helps to promote mutual understanding between people of different cultures; an appreciation of what we have in common, and how and why we differ,” added Curry.

Source: University of Oxford

Video: The Power of Nutrition – How Food Determines Our Health

Learn about the power of nutrition and how certain diets have the potential to prevent and even cure diseases (subtitles in English, German, Spanish, Hebrew, Russian, Chinese, and French).

The Physicians Association for Nutrition (PAN) is a international medical organization that aims to raise awareness among health professionals, the general public, and policymakers about the role of whole food, plant-based nutrition in promoting good health and preventing and treating disease.

Watch video at You Tube (3:32 minutes) . . . . .

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Read more at PAN . . . . .