Summary of “Lessons From a ‘Local Food’ Scam Artist”

My instructions were to claim that all the produce was local, although nothing was or could be local: It was early June in northwestern New Jersey’s Kittatinny Mountains, and the produce had been shipped from warmer parts of the world to the distributor who’d sold it to my boss.
“The tomatoes aren’t from around here, but they did arrive this morning. Local tomatoes won’t be ripe until July.” “The corn’s not local, but it was fresh-picked this morning. Local corn won’t be available until July.”.
I said, “The stand down the road is lying. Local Silver Queen won’t ripen till August.”
He had hired me – an Asian-American who didn’t look the part of the rustic local – and a bunch of other kids for the summer.
One New Yorker opined, “I’ve been summering here since I was a kid, but people like you keep coming here and buying up the local businesses.” They wanted to know where I came from, originally, and how selling them melons fulfilled my American Dreams.
It started when an old man in dungarees and a baseball cap parked his pickup truck and asked me, “How local are these local red peppers of yours?”.
I sized up the way he was sizing me up and said, “They’re local to Mexico.”
The New York locavores taught me that “Local” didn’t mean a quasi-mystical authenticity, or, for that matter, only a special kind of deliciousness, but also a relationship with the people who’ve produced the food, in a sustainable, equitable, regional network of labor and land stewardship.

The orginal article.

Summary of “5 Surefire Ways to Make Friends While Traveling”

Saying yes to every opportunity is one way to meet new people and experience adventures you never imagined.
If you’re like me, one of the scariest things is making friends and connecting with locals.
I’ve gone sailing in Greece with people I met in a café after asking them to share their favorite local haunts and admitting I was traveling alone.
Not only will you likely make a few friends, but you’ll also get to know the city you flew halfway around the world to explore.
Take Your Time One of the best ways to make friends with locals is simply to slow down.
Say Yes to Every Opportunity It may seem obvious, but when I moved to Wanaka and went in search of new friends, my personal philosophy was to say yes to everything, whether it was an adventure in the mountains or simply hanging out by the lake.
Five years later, I’ve yet to get back on a mountain bike due to sheer trauma, but I now count some of the strangers I met on that ride as my best friends.
Let me tell you, while asking questions is a great way to start a conversation, I find myself engaging more with the travelers who treat me like a human instead of a walking guidebook.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Guatemala is the Land of Unknown Ancient Food Traditions”

Due to centuries of isolation in the volcano-strewn highlands-not to mention a brutal civil war from 1960 to 1996, plus gang-driven crime waves that have discouraged tourism until very recently-many members of the 23 distinct Maya groups in rural Guatemala still speak their own pre-Columbian languages and wear the same outfits that their great-great-great-great-grandparents did.
There are plenty of ancient concoctions far tastier than puchon-ik, as I learn in San Juan where Cotuc offers to connect me with a Maya villager employed in one of the textile workshops near the dock.
The Mayas created one of the great ancient civilizations-stretching across southeastern Mexico and northern Central America-with advanced mathematical, architectural, astronomical, and hieroglyphic systems, so it’s no surprise they knew how to eat.
Wealthy Guatemalans in Antigua and the capital of Guatemala City, two hours to the east, often celebrate weddings and birthdays with suban-ik; invariably the elaborate meal is prepared by their cook, who is likely to be a Maya woman.
“Ritual has always been so important to the Mayas,” says Carlos, “And you still see a strong ceremonial aspect in so many ancient dishes.” Kak-ik, for example, is not just a turkey soup but also a key fixture in christening a new home; the blood of the slaughtered turkey is spread around the floor of the house before the bird makes it to the stove.
Throughout Guatemala there’s also a deep reverence for chocolate, which the Mayas consumed in liquid form before the Spanish arrived.
The most essential food of all for the ancient Mayas, of course, was maize-not just a crop but a vital force and, according to legend, the stuff the first humans were made from.
The ancient Mayas didn’t eat beef or pork-both were introduced by the Spanish colonizers-but I overlook that detail as I down spoonfuls of this addictively unctuous dish, which combines the tahini-like creaminess of ground sesame and pumpkin seeds, the sweet tang of stewed tomatoes, and just the right overdose of black pepper.

The orginal article.

Summary of “How to be a better tourist”

Maybe it’s worth examining why you want to travel in the first place.
To do your part, maybe it’s worth examining why you want to travel in the first place.
“The question is, do you want to go to a place – or show people you’ve been to the place?” says Eduardo Santander, executive director of the European Travel Commission.
Santander at the European Travel Commission agrees that blindly going through the motions without any research leads to a predictable trip: “You go to different places, but the experience is always the same: it’s an airport, which has the same shops, some trains, some of the monuments are different.” Plus, it makes the most famous sites more congested.
“If you’re going to Prague, instead of spending two days, spend a week – and don’t go to the tourist places. Go all around it,” Becker says.
The question is, do you want to go to a place – or show people you’ve been to the place? – Eduardo Santander.
“Rather than go on a big cruise in places like Venice, Barcelona, Dubrovnik, try going with smaller cruise ships. You may be going to these less-travelled places because smaller ships can go to smaller ports,” she suggests.
Over-tourism isn’t just flooding a place with more people than it can handle.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Red State/Blue City Isn’t the Whole Story”

Increasingly, these electoral divisions are spilling over into open warfare as meddling states attempt to preempt or circumscribe the ability of their cities to reflect the views of their own residents.
A 2017 report from the National League of Cities lists preemption laws targeting local minimum wage ordinances in 24 states, prohibiting municipal broadband services in 17 states, and limiting local regulation of ride-sharing in 37 states.
Advocates of local control and the progressive resistance are rightly bringing attention to state-local preemption, but that focus gives only a partial picture of the complex structural relationship between states, their localities, and their citizens.
This is just one way out-of-touch state interests can preempt local know-how and disserve quality of life.
Some red states have progressive governance starting points; for example, laws enabling their cities to annex suburbs and grow a robust fiscal base.
At the same time, many blue states have rules that keep cities and suburban municipalities small and weak-“Little boxes with limited horizons,” in the memorable words of David Rusk.
This is particularly true in cities that are also state capitals, as Hartford is, dense with buildings and institutions that are exempt from tax.
Denmark also created a negotiated budget-making process between state government and municipalities.

The orginal article.

Summary of “What Would it Take for an American Guy to Become Danish?”

Small talk, like smiling at strangers, is one of the Americanisms I’ll need to shed if I’m going to succeed in my quest to become Danish.
Albris, an even-tempered anthropologist who teaches Danish culture classes at the University of Copenhagen, says Danes don’t have the same switches for casual conversation.
Later that afternoon, I get some real-life lessons in the Law of Jante while indulging in a peak Danish fantasy: baking lowercase-D danishes, with Danish people, at prolific restaurateur Claus Meyer’s cooking school.
I’ve been warned the class would be in Danish but, American privilege, assumed there would be some occasional English-translation sidebars.
“We’re not on the Great Danish Bake Off.” Unlike anything else named after New York, our team moves at a mellow pace.
Browse the kaleidoscopic wall of offbeat local beers at Mikkeller, grab rosemary Danish hot dogs at Pølse Kompagniet, and pick up local fruit like currants from the produce stands.
The Local Gem: On a quiet alley in the city’s Meatpacking District, Spisehuset serves a nightly tasting menu of modernized Danish comfort food that incorporates the season’s best produce.
Klaus may just be the most Danish Dane I’ve met so far.

The orginal article.

Summary of “‘It would destroy it’: new international airport for Machu Picchu sparks outrage”

Now, in a move that has drawn a mixture of horror and outrage from archaeologists, historians and locals, work has begun on clearing ground for a multibillion-dollar international airport, intended to jet tourists much closer to Machu Picchu.
“This is a built landscape; there are terraces and routes which were designed by the Incas,” says Natalia Majluf, a Peruvian art historian at Cambridge University who has organised a petition against the new airport.
“Putting an airport here would destroy it.”
The new airport, which construction companies from South Korea and Canada are queueing up to bid on, would allow direct flights from major cities across Latin America and the US. Critics say planes would pass low over nearby Ollantaytambo and its 134 sq mile archeological park, causing potentially incalculable damages to the Inca ruins.
The petition asks the Peruvian president, Martín Vizcarra, to reconsider or relocate the airport from Chinchero.
The mayor, Luis Cusicuna, says local leaders have been pushing for a second larger airport in Cusco since the 1970s.
The location of the new airport will do a “Lot of damage to one of the key tourism offerings of Cusco, which is its scenic beauty”.
At the same time the airport project is seeing new houses and hotels being thrown up hurriedly in Chinchero in the expectation of a tourism windfall.

The orginal article.

Summary of “The Airbnb Invasion of Barcelona”

The growth of Airbnb and the rise of such budget airlines as Ryanair have coincided with Barcelona’s increasing popularity.
There are almost twenty thousand active Airbnb listings in Barcelona.
Nearly half the Airbnb properties in Barcelona are entire houses or apartments.
The Barcelona Airbnb I stayed in, in the Eixample, an elegant fin-de-siècle district, was typical: stylishly but minimally equipped, with ikea furnishings and a Nespresso machine in the kitchen.
Its owner has five other properties in the city listed on Airbnb.
In some respects, the growth of Airbnb in Barcelona is not so much a local issue as an example of a global trend in urban gentrification.
One significant concern was the effect of Airbnb tourism on Barcelona’s housing market: all those rental apartments had to come from somewhere, and the housing stock for locals was being depleted.
Patrick Robinson, the company’s director of public policy for Europe, Africa, and the Middle East, told me that Airbnb is not the cause of over-tourism in Barcelona; indeed, by disseminating tourists more widely, the service has helped take the pressure off the city’s central core.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Foodie Localism Loves Farming in Theory, But Not in Practice”

A few years ago, as the co-owner of a direct-market vegetable farm, my life revolved around harvests and freeze dates, farmers’ market sales and enrolment numbers for our Community Supported Agriculture programme.
The economic realities for farmers still sit uncomfortably alongside the practice of many farmers’ markets.
A fellow farmer and I began composing an op-ed under the working title ‘No More Fucking Farmers’ Markets’.
The USDA’s aforementioned Trends in US Local and Regional Food Systems: A Report to Congress confirms this: ‘While the growth in farmers’ markets signals increased consumer interest, for some local food farmers, marketing food in multiple locations can increase marketing and transportation costs, reducing overall net farm income.
During the years in which farmers’ markets took off, the US lost 4.3 per cent of its farms, continuing a downward trend that began in the 1950s.
Net farm income is projected to go down, as are farm asset values.
While local food has emerged as an alternative to industrial food, many people have simply transferred their expectations from the grocery store to the farmers’ market.
Obvious options include expanding Individual Development Accounts for beginning farmers and adding farmers to the Public Service Loan Forgiveness programme through the Young Farmer Success Act.

The orginal article.

Summary of “How Netflix Expanded to 190 Countries in 7 Years”

The majority of Prime subscribers are in the U.S., and Netflix has managed to make inroads into even those markets where Prime arrived first.
From the experience and learning it gained in that process, Netflix developed the capabilities to expand into a diverse set of markets within a few years – the second phase of the process.
The third phase, during which a much-accelerated pace of entry brought Netflix to 190 countries, used everything it had learned from the first two phases.
Netflix has worked with, and responded to, the new markets it’s entered.
While Netflix believes that “Great storytelling transcends borders,” in the words of Ted Sarandos, Netflix’s chief content officer, the company has responded to customer preferences for local content: Currently it’s producing original content in 17 different markets.
Netflix potentially reaps the benefits of investing in local content all around the world.
Despite its very rapid internationalization, Netflix implemented in all markets the same customer-centric model of operations that had been key to its success in the United States.
Netflix has demonstrated that developing country-specific knowledge is critical for success in local markets.

The orginal article.