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Category Archives: Food and Nutrition

The Great Climate Migration Has Begun

The New York Times Magazine: “…For most of human history, people have lived within a surprisingly narrow range of temperatures, in the places where the climate supported abundant food production. But as the planet warms, that band is suddenly shifting north. According to a pathbreaking recent study in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the planet could see a greater temperature increase in the next 50 years than it did in the last 6,000 years combined. By 2070, the kind of extremely hot zones, like in the Sahara, that now cover less than 1 percent of the earth’s land surface could cover nearly a fifth of the land, potentially placing one of every three people alive outside the climate niche where humans have thrived for thousands of years. Many will dig in, suffering through heat, hunger and political chaos, but others will be forced to move on. A 2017 study in Science Advances found that by 2100, temperatures could rise to the point that just going outside for a few hours in some places, including parts of India and Eastern China, “will result in death even for the fittest of humans.”

People are already beginning to flee. In Southeast Asia, where increasingly unpredictable monsoon rainfall and drought have made farming more difficult, the World Bank points to more than eight million people who have moved toward the Middle East, Europe and North America. In the African Sahel, millions of rural people have been streaming toward the coasts and the cities amid drought and widespread crop failures. Should the flight away from hot climates reach the scale that current research suggests is likely, it will amount to a vast remapping of the world’s populations…”

Americans’ Views of Government: Low Trust, but Some Positive Performance Ratings

“For years, public trust in the federal government has hovered at near-record lows. That remains the case today, as the United States struggles with a pandemic and economic recession. Just 20% of U.S. adults say they trust the government in Washington to “do the right thing” just about always or most of the time. Yet… Continue Reading

Listen Up! What You Eat Can Protect Your Hearing

Consumer Reports –  There is a connection between your diet and your ears: “About 44 million American adults have hearing loss, and that number is expected to almost double to 73 million by 2060. It’s no surprise that minimizing exposure to high-decibel noise protects your ears. But recent and accumulating research indicates that following a healthy… Continue Reading

On site dining and drinking increases risk of COVID

Fisher KA, Tenforde MW, Feldstein LR, et al. Community and Close Contact Exposures Associated with COVID-19 Among Symptomatic Adults ≥18 Years in 11 Outpatient Health Care Facilities — United States, July 2020. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep 2020;69:1258–1264. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.15585/mmwr.mm6936a5external icon – “Findings from a case-control investigation of symptomatic outpatients from 11 U.S. health care… Continue Reading

The State of the American Restaurant, City by City

New York City, San Francisco, Honolulu are still down over 80% from a year ago in terms of “seated diners.” Then there is the “LN-shaped” recovery in Pittsburgh. By Wolf Richter for WOLF STREET – “Six months into the Pandemic, restaurants that haven’t given up yet are still in survival mode. In many places, dining outside has been… Continue Reading

Why stores need to pay more attention to the air we breathe

CNN – “During the coronavirus pandemic, supermarkets and retail stores have added a variety of safety features. Workers have been required to mask up and, more recently, most customers too. But most have yet to tackle what could be another important safety measure — changes to the systems that keep the stores hot and cold,… Continue Reading

In These Neighborhoods, the Jobless Rate May Top 30 Percent

The New York Times: “The economic damage from the coronavirus is most visible in areas like Midtown Manhattan, where lunch spots have closed, businesses have gone dark and once-crowded sidewalks have emptied. But some of the worst economic pain lies in other neighborhoods, in the places where workers who’ve endured the broadest job losses live.… Continue Reading

Coronavirus Brings American Decline Out in the Open

Bloomberg Opinion – Noah Smith: Without fixes for infrastructure, education, health care and government, the U.S. will resemble a developing nation in a few decades. “The U.S.’s decline started with little things that people got used to. Americans drove past empty construction sites and didn’t even think about why the workers weren’t working, then wondered… Continue Reading

How the Pandemic Defeated America

The Atlantic – A virus has brought the world’s most powerful country to its knees. “…Despite ample warning, the U.S. squandered every possible opportunity to control the coronavirus. And despite its considerable advantages—immense resources, biomedical might, scientific expertise—it floundered. While countries as different as South Korea, Thailand, Iceland, Slovakia, and Australia acted decisively to bend… Continue Reading

KFF Health Tracking Poll – July 2020

Coronavirus: Reopening, Schools, And The Government Response – Key Findings – July 27, 2020: Amid a surging coronavirus pandemic and record numbers of new cases in many states, the latest KFF Health Tracking Poll finds most U.S. adults feel the worst effects of the pandemic are yet to come, and seven in ten (including four… Continue Reading