July 2011


I was talking to some Indians about their regional differences in cuisine, and expressed some interest in south indian food since I hadn’t eaten it. They replied that I probably wouldn’t like it since “south indian” food by its nature is vegetarian, even though many south indians themselves are not. I tried looking up an explanation for why that would be and found a pakistani forum where it was claimed that 84 percent of south indian households are non-vegetarian, whereas as the lowest rates of non-vegetarianism are in the north at 53 per cent (east was 94 and west was 58, with an overall percentage of nearly 71). So if south indians are unusually likely to NOT be vegetarians, it makes it very curious that their archetypical cuisine is vegetarian. Indian restaurants I’ve seen here also seem to reverse the reported representation of fish vs mutton vs chicken, although it could be that I’ve just ignored the seafood since I’m into turf than surf.

UPDATE: Agnostic sometimes talks about vegetarians really being unhealthy sugar-stuffers, and so I figured I’d check out the GSS to see the correlation between NOMEAT and INTRWGHT. Unfortunately, those are for disjoint sets of years. I then decided to try googling, and the first few results were complaints on some forum about an inability to find data! Fortunately I found this.

Tyler Cowen linked to an interview with Banerjee & Duflo a couple days ago, but I passed over it at the time, and only now that I’m going through my RSS feed have I decided to check it out. I just wanted to highlight a quote from part 1: “My interest in this question [what leads people to become entrepreneurs] came particularly from Scott Shane’s book The Illusions of Entrepreneurship where he points out that the best predictor of a person starting a business is whether they have a drug record. People with a drug record can’t get jobs so they start a business.”
If the name Scott Shane is familiar, it might be because I’ve linked this before.
UPDATE: Scott Shane replied that Tim Ogden got his claim wrong.

On a completely unrelated note, there has been discussion here on experiments in menu labeling and another study just came out, although if you try to go to the source only the abstract is in front of the paywall.

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