I’m on the road, gathering fresh stories and trying to do the nomadic worker thing. To be perfectly honest, though, the wifi is too patchy to be scrambling around looking for witty images. Here, then, are just some words.
If you make things cheaper, for example with a subsidy or a tax break, you make people do more of them. So the news that US is considering offering subsidies to people who want to buy a new fishing boat is bad news. For the fish, obviously, but more subtly for the fisherfolk and piscivores. Fishing success depends on the power of your gear. A subsidy might persuade you to buy a bigger boat than you could otherwise afford. That will catch more fish, which will tempt your colleagues to scrap their old boats and get a new, government-supported boat sooner than they might have otherwise. Overall, the pressure on fish stocks increases to the point where the stocks probably collapse, the boat-owners cannot repay even subsidised loans, the government loses out on the subsidies, and we can no longer afford to eat fish. An extreme scenario, I agree, but that’s why an economist at Duke University argues that Federal subsidies for US commercial fisheries should be rejected. The full article is behind a paywall, but here’s a snippet:
“For an administration that rails against socialism, it’s bizarre that it would place more faith in big government to price vessel loans than in the private banking industry.”
For true coeliacs, seems like a restaurant is a bad place to lead a gluten free life.
OK, this gets a bit meta, but my favourite nutritionist has some comments on recent, widely-cited nutritional advice proffered by people perhaps less expert than she. Jess Fanzo on “on the complications of understanding what is a healthy diet”.
When a Big Ag conglomerate buys an iconic niche meat company, who has to change? Is this a David and Goliath story? I’m not entirely sure. Obviously it is also a man bites dog story, because it wouldn’t be worth writing if the food giant just swallowed the plucky niche company, ethics and all. Maybe its about the lion lying down with the lamb.
People seem to be agreed that if you close the Mexican border with the USA, you deprive the USA of avocados. What is less certain (to me) is whether the avocado is a tribal signifier. Do those who support closing the border care a fig for avocados?
Beets – or beetroot – are probably not a tribal signifier, but they do arouse polarised feelings. You know where I stand, and I linked to the straight dope on all sorts of wonderful beety science just three issues ago. So I’m not too sure what to make of a beet that doesn’t taste beety. Truly, what’s the point? If people don’t like them, they don’t have to eat them. Still, the article is about so much more than that, which is why I’m linking to it.
Some things are even more mysterious, unless you are in on the secret. If you are, would you mind telling me what this – White and Gold and cheese-chopped all over – is all about.
I really do welcome comments, criticism and suggestions; send them over.
All the best,