Summary of “Why You Should Have Two Careers”

By committing to two careers, you will produce benefits for both.
In my case, I have four vocations: I’m a corporate strategist at a Fortune 500 company, US Navy Reserve officer, author of several books, and record producer.
My corporate job paycheck subsidizes my record producing career.
With no track record as a producer, nobody was going to pay me to produce his or her music, and it wasn’t money that motivated me to become a producer in the first place – it was my passion for jazz and classical music.
My day job not only afforded me the capital to make albums, but it taught me the skills to succeed as a producer.
A good producer should be someone who knows how to create a vision, recruit personnel, establish a timeline, raise money, and deliver products.
After producing over a dozen albums and winning a few Grammys, record labels and musicians have started to reach out to see if they can hire me as a producer.
While I was in Cuba making an album, one of my clients observed about the dancing musicians, “I’ve never been around people who have so much fun at work.” That my clients have a phenomenal experience only helps me drive revenue at work, so my corporate and recording careers are mutually beneficial.

The orginal article.

Summary of “The Murky Ethics of the Ugly-Produce Business”

Depending on who you ask, ugly produce is either the salvation or destruction of America’s food system.
“The food system is a hot mess but using ugly produce is one thing it’s actually really good at,” she says in the thread. In her estimation, my carrot nuggets are proof of concept: Odd produce might not go to Whole Foods, but much of it still does go to stores that serve working-class people, or gets sent to processors who turn it into salsa or apple juice.
In an interview with The New Republic, Imperfect Produce, the start-up that serves Terra Organics’ former community, conceded that it occasionally works with industrial-scale producers like Dole to source food, which critics say can make these start-ups an ally of exactly the food system that creates waste and hunger in the first place.
“People have been struggling for a couple decades now to bring their food system under local control,” says Eric Holt-Giménez, the executive director of the food-justice organization Food First.
Misfits gives them access to a network they can use not just to sell more produce, but also to reach consumers who might not otherwise have access to their food.
According to a 2009 report by the United States Department of Agriculture, more than 20 million Americans live in food deserts, which means they lack meaningful access to affordable, high-quality, fresh foods; the disparity disproportionately affects black and Latino populations.
Phat Beets, which did not respond to a request for comment, wants the company and those like it to provide in-person payment and pickup options to serve people without access to banking services, coordinate free deliveries to food-justice organizations and food banks, and limit grower partnerships to those who comply with farm-worker labor standards.
Normalizing the consumption of less-than-pristine produce can help alleviate the shame that some people feel when they need to get food from the bank, Bowdler says.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Did we mishear Neil Armstrong’s famous first words on the Moon?”

On July 20, 1969, an estimated 650 million people watched in suspense as Neil Armstrong descended a ladder towards the surface of the Moon.
As he took his first steps, he uttered words that would be written into history books for generations to come: “That’s one small step for man. One giant leap for mankind.”
We hear sounds, which we separate into speech and non-speech information, combine the speech sounds into words, and determine the meanings of these words.
Unlike writing, speech doesn’t have spaces between words.
So we wanted to see if listeners sometimes miss little words like “a” in contexts like Armstrong’s phrase.
We were able to manipulate whether or not people heard these short words just by altering the rate of speech.
Fifty years ago, humanity was changed when Neil Armstrong took those first steps on the Moon.
He probably didn’t realize that his famous first words could also help us better understand how humans communicate.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Yes, you need to wash your produce. Here’s how.”

First, it’s best to wash produce right before you use it, because dampness encourages bacteria growth and therefore spoilage, food research scientist Amanda Deering of Purdue University told The Washington Post.
The Food and Drug Administration recommends washing produce under cold running water – go ahead and wash your hands before and after you do the food, too.
Water is sufficient, so don’t use soap or bleach or even commercially made produce washes.
The Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition at the University of Maine tested three commercial wash treatments and found that distilled water was just as effective or more effective at removing microbes and pesticides.
Mushrooms: The conventional wisdom is that simply wiping mushrooms clean with a damp cloth or paper towel, or even a pastry brush, is preferable to rinsing them in water.
The good folks at Cook’s Illustrated, who test these kinds of things, found that a pound of white mushrooms only absorbed 1 tablespoon of water after being submerged in water for 1 minute.
Especially if you plan to roast gill-heavy mushrooms and need to ensure the water is driven off, you should stick with wiping them clean.
Sturdier strawberries can stand up to being rinsed in a colander under running water, but Better Homes & Gardens suggests that more delicate berries be set in a colander and then dipped in a bowl of water.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Inside the Race to Build the Burger of the Future”

New York City’s schools just adopted Meatless Mondays, while fast-growing companies like Beyond Meat and Impossible Foods are selling plant-based burgers and other products that taste, look and even feel remarkably similar to conventional meat; starting Monday, Burger King is going to start selling beef-free Impossible Whoppers.
The meat lobby is also increasingly nervous about “Fake meat,” its term of art for cell-based meat startups that are not even selling to the public yet, but are already producing meat in laboratories that’s molecularly identical to the stuff in supermarkets without raising or killing animals.
Any serious political discussion over the future of meat has been drowned out by the cow-farting furor, as Republicans like Ted Cruz, Scott Walker, and even Trump critic Meghan McCain have mocked vegan fascists who would, in the words of Senator John Barrasso of Wyoming, force Americans to “Say goodbye to dairy, to beef, to family farms, to ranches.” It’s a wildly exaggerated attack-and nobody actually believes we should eat burgers for breakfast, lunch and dinner-but it packs a punch in a meat-loving country.
If meat producers can set aside their skepticism about the Green New Deal, and Green New Deal supporters can set aside their skepticism about meat, there’s potential for a compromise that would provide more lucrative opportunities for meat producers to go green.
Beyond Meat’s strategy relies more on the meat aisle of supermarkets like Whole Foods and Kroger’s; it’s now in 38,000 locations in 20 countries, touting itself as “a better way to feed the planet.” A University of Michigan study found that the company’s burgers-made with peas, potato starch, beets and other vegetarian ingredients that mimic the chewiness, juiciness and tastiness of ground beef-produce 90 percent fewer greenhouse gases per pound than conventional meat.
CEO Ethan Brown says that if the average American replaced one animal-based burger with a Beyond Burger every week, the emissions impact would be equivalent to taking 12 million cars off the road. Brown is a vegan, and he believes our big brains that developed with the help of meat are now telling us there must be a way to enjoy meat without increasing our risk of heart disease, treating sentient animals like disposable raw materials, and imperiling the planet.
“We’ve only been at this for 10 years. The human race has been eating meat throughout time,” Brown says.
Some industry leaders are coming around to the view that their best hope of averting burdensome regulations and taxes on meat in the future would be to ramp up their sustainability now.

The orginal article.

Summary of “How the world got hooked on palm oil”

Palm Oil Investigations, which dubs itself “The palm oil watchdog”, lists more than 200 common ingredients in food and home and personal care products containing palm oil, only about 10% of which include the telltale word “Palm”.
How did palm oil insinuate itself into every corner of our lives? No single innovation caused palm oil consumption to soar.
With palm oil, “The reality is that the western part of world is of palm oil consumption, and the rest of the world doesn’t give a shit”, said Neil Blomquist, managing director of Colorado-based Natural Habitats, which produces palm oil in Ecuador and Sierra Leone to the highest level of sustainability certification.
In the end, there was only one choice: oil from the oil palm tree – either palm oil or palm kernel oil.
Malaysia’s minister of primary industries, Teresa Kok, told the European Palm Oil Conference in Madrid in October: “Palm oil is synonymous with poverty eradication.” Malaysia began its programme to boost palm exports as a means of poverty reduction in 1961, four years after independence from Britain.
In October, at the European Palm Oil Association meeting in Madrid, government officials from the two countries trumpeted the successes in poverty reduction they had achieved thanks to palm oil.
A single palm oil mill – there are hundreds in Malaysia alone – can buy fruit from a multitude of suppliers, and with all its formulations and derivatives, palm oil has one of the most complicated supply chains of any ingredient.
Replacing palm with other oils will only accelerate deforestation, since none of its competitors boast anywhere near its yield per unit of land: palm accounts for 6.6% of cultivated land for oils and fats, while delivering 38.7% of the output, according to the European Palm Oil Alliance, an industry group.

The orginal article.

Summary of “”They’re more attractive than real boyfriends.” Inside the weird world of Chinese romance video games”

“The men in the game are more attractive than real boyfriends,” says one fan, who asked not to be named.
Considering how many TV shows, movies and novels feature romance as an integral part of their story, it’s strange how romantic games are still relatively uncommon.
Lovingly crafted though they were, this doesn’t contradict the opinion that video games are not a medium well-suited to romance and that the genre is better explored through more passive mediums.
“There’s a wonderful new generation of players and developers alike who want something deeper, something more, something that’s more meaningful than ‘pew pew’ and ‘vroom vroom'”, says Heidi McDonald, an American game designer and author of Digital Love: Romance and Sexuality in Games.
Many games present simple, mechanistic approaches to their romance.
In many ways, video games offer the ultimate wish fulfilment.
“There’s this police officer, he’s always there when you need him, whenever you have a dangerous situation. This doesn’t happen in real life, you can’t rely on a guy like this. He will not always be there when you need him. That’s a female fantasy”, says Yan.In China and the West, games are finally grappling with the complex themes of love and romance.
Advertisement – Inside the strange world of China’s romantic video games.

The orginal article.

Summary of “‘Ugly Produce’ Subscription Boxes Have Ignited a Food War”

Depending on who you ask, ugly produce is either the salvation or destruction of America’s food system.
Last week on Twitter, the crop scientist Sarah Taber wrote a long thread arguing that ugly produce isn’t the problem or solution.
“The food system is a hot mess but using ugly produce is one thing it’s actually really good at,” she says in the thread. In her estimation, my carrot nuggets are proof of concept: Odd produce might not go to Whole Foods, but much of it still does go to stores that serve working-class people, or gets sent to processors who turn it into salsa or apple juice.
The vast majority of American produce does indeed make it to a packinghouse for processing and distribution, but farmers point out that efficiency varies wildly depending on what kind of producer you are.
According to David Earle, the business manager for the farm collective Tuscarora Organic Growers Cooperative, in Pennsylvania, around 20 percent of the produce from his organization’s small growers doesn’t meet stringent grocery-store or restaurant standards.
Tuscarora has started distributing its excess produce through the ugly-produce-box company Misfits Market, and Earle says it’s been a boon to the business.
In an interview with The New Republic, Imperfect Produce, the start-up that serves Terra Organics’ former community, conceded that it works with industrial-scale producers like Dole to source food, which critics say can make these start-ups an ally of exactly the food system that creates waste and hunger in the first place.
If affluent consumers can feel as if they’re making ethical purchases while enjoying the savings and convenience of wonky vegetables delivered from commercial producers, they might be less likely to buy from local producers and cooperatives.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Can Vertical Farming Disrupt the Agriculture Industry?”

Food futurists and industry leaders say these high-tech vertical farming operations are the future of agriculture – able to operate anywhere, virtually invincible against pests, pathogens, and poor weather, and producing local, fresh, high-quality, lower-carbon food year-round.
Because of the high cost to launch, operate, and scale up a vertical farming operation, the industry is highly leveraged, with each new farm requiring tens of millions of dollars in investor capital before it can grow a single plant.
While vertical farming ranked fairly high in terms of produce quality and safety, the tech-heavy production method was rated less “Natural” than both field farming and greenhouse and ranked last in participants’ willingness to purchase it.
As vertical farming companies like Plenty go city by city attempting to dominate local markets, it may be that small farmers get hurt the most.
“We work with many hardworking local farmers who supply Seattle with high-quality, delicious, and nutritious food while caring deeply for our land. These farmers use sustainable farming practices, nurse the soil, create beautiful open green space and provide wildlife habitat,” says Gidlund, who adds that she does not speak for all area farmers on the issue of vertical farming.
Actual Data Is Coming Peer-reviewed research into the business of vertical farming has been sparse, partly because the industry is so new.
A three-year, $2.4 million research grant, which is funded by the National Science Foundation and kicked off in January, will compare the vertical farming industry to field agriculture in a slew of categories, including energy, carbon, and water footprints, profitability, workforce development, and scalability.
Vertical farming leaders counter that they use significantly less water than field farms, are more space-efficient, and do not produce emissions from trucking produce across the country.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Why the utopian vision of William Morris is now within reach”

William Morris is best-known today as a Victorian designer who has never gone out of fashion.
One of the most relevant aspects of Morris’s work today is the framework for a commons-based world of cooperation that he sketched in his utopian novel News from Nowhere, which has striking applications for the age of the internet.
In News from Nowhere, Morris imagined a world in which human happiness and economic activity coincided.
The means of production are democratically controlled, and people find pleasure in sharing their interests, goals and resources.
A new commons-based mode of production, enabled by information and communication technology, what we now call digitisation, redefines how we produce, consume and distribute.
Already a decade ago, Benkler argued in The Wealth of Networks that a new mode of production was emerging that would shape how we produce and consume information.
Commons-based peer production is fundamentally different from the dominant modes of production under industrial capitalism.
Just as digitisation – and specifically social media – can work both for emancipation and supervision, for revolution and its suppression, it also allows for the creation of a new mode of production and new types of social relations outside the market-state nexus.

The orginal article.