Welcome to FERN’s Friday Feed (#FFF), the place we share the tales from this week that made us cease and suppose.
Farmworkers face smoke, warmth — and attainable labor abuses
FERN and KQED’s WorldAffairs
“As California suffers through its worst wildfire season in modern history, agricultural workers are still going to work, risking heat, smoke, and Covid-19 to pick grapes and harvest strawberries,” writes Teresa Cotsirilos, [a]ctivists … fear that 2020’s historic mixture of disasters can be fueling labor abuses.”
Nespresso modified espresso, however has its second handed?
“Nespresso triumphed by selling itself as a sophisticated component of an elite, globalised lifestyle,” writes Ed Cumming. “Wherever you were in the world, you could be a Nespresso person, just as you could wear Nike trainers or use American Express. Now, as that lifestyle looks increasingly bankrupt, it is learning to be just another coffee company. Nespresso helped change the coffee world, but it seems as if the world has moved on.”
How Trump hollowed out the meals system’s ‘brain trust’
When the Trump administration compelled the Financial Analysis Service, the analysis arm of USDA, to relocate from D.C. to Kansas Metropolis final yr, it resulted in mass resignations that price the company “decades of expertise on a wide range of subjects, from climate change to antibiotic resistance, from rural economies to organic farming, leaving numerous projects in limbo and severely bottlenecking new research,” writes Jessica Fu.
Historical past ignores the 1943 famine, but it surely echoes on in Bengali delicacies
The Bengal Famine of 1943, one of many best tragedies to strike the Indian subcontinent, killed an estimated 2-Three million folks. “Although the foods of the famine remain absent from accounts of the region’s … cuisine,” writes Sharanya Deepak, the famine continues to affect Bengali foodways — from a “mindset of scarcity” to the persistence of issues like “googli,” small freshwater snails, “kochu shaak,” the fibrous leaves of the taro plant, and “muri, which was eaten as a replacement for rice” and nonetheless “scents every train ride through the region’s lush landscapes.”
One other novel virus, this one suspected in mussel die-offs
The New York Occasions
“Federal estimates suggest more than 70 percent of North America’s freshwater mussels have been driven to endangerment or extinction,” writes Marion Renault, largely by man-made hazards equivalent to air pollution. However “the sudden die-offs have remained thoroughly unexplained … After years of searching for a potential explanation for the mysterious and massive die-offs that have suddenly killed thousands of mussels in streams from Washington to Virginia,” a staff of biologists has “finally identified a potential ‘mussel-bola’ culprit.”