Saturday, March 19, 2011

Linkism

Quinoa: surprisingly interesting:
… demand for quinoa (pronounced KEE-no-ah) is soaring in rich countries, as American and European consumers discover the “lost crop” of the Incas. The surge has helped raise farmers’ incomes here in one of the hemisphere’s poorest countries. But there has been a notable trade-off: Fewer Bolivians can now afford it, hastening their embrace of cheaper, processed foods and raising fears of malnutrition in a country that has long struggled with it.

The shift offers a glimpse into the consequences of rising global food prices and changing eating habits in both prosperous and developing nations. While quinoa prices have almost tripled over the past five years, Bolivia’s consumption of the staple fell 34 percent over the same period, according to the country’s agricultural ministry.

The company that managed the Fukushima nuclear power plant apparently faked safety reports for decades. Also, the Japanese tragedy will test the world’s supply chain.

New York’s rethinking its harbor.

U.S.-Brazil meeting focuses on trade.

The charm of the police auto auction.

A proposal: Netflix should focus on reviving cult hits.

The first public parks: cemeteries.

The complex origin of food safety recommendations:
The United States…lacks a broadly recognized culture of making or eating raw milk cheeses. Not coincidentally, health officials have imposed inconsistent regulations on such cheeses. Raw milk cheese aged less than 60 days cannot be imported into the United States and cannot legally cross U.S. state lines. Yet in 24 of the 50 states, it is perfectly legal to make, sell, and consume raw milk cheeses within the state. In most of Canada raw milk cheese is banned, but in the province of Quebec it is legal.

How can these discrepancies among and even within countries persist? It comes down to politics. In areas without a substantial local population demanding unpasteurized milk cheeses—a few gourmets, foodies, and chefs don’t count for much politically—no backlash has ensued. So the seemingly conservative rule holds, banning anything that seems remotely suspicious.

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