Eat This Newsletter 086 I've got your complexity right here

  1. Closing the yield gap – the difference between what the best farmers achieve and the rest – has a long history in the annals of how to grow more food. Ethiopia tried it, with a Wheat Initiative that gave farmers subsidised inputs and a guaranteed market. Yields did improve, by 14%, among a group of lead farmers, but the government had expected them to double. Blame those pesky farmers, for not adopting the entire package of improvements wholeheartedly.
  2. As for wheat, so too for fish. Intensification of fish farming in Bangladesh is bad news for some environmental impacts but has no effect on global warming or land use, although it may improve fresh-water consumption. Yields go up, but the overall consequences remain in the balance.
  3. Meanwhile, in the first world: “It was from Starbucks. It was just a latte, with some vanilla flavoring and soy milk. And I spent $6.15 on it.” Drink up, and prepare to dive deep into The Rich History Of Your Overpriced Latte.
  4. Don’t ever accuse me of being unbalanced. I mean, on the one hand, we have yet another deep dive, this time into the burning issue of whether Millennials killed mayonnaise. On the other, what could be more millennial than good ol’ Hampton Creek Foods changing it’s name to Just so that it can continue to push its eggless Just Mayo and its even stranger eggless Just Eggs. Makes me long for the days of a nut cutlet.
  5. Is my enemy’s enemy my friend? I can’t say for sure, at least, not in the case of this particular rant: Vegans, Ranchers and Regenerators Unite: Why Fake Meat and Eliminating Livestock Are Really Bad Idea (sic). I’m definitely there in principle, not so sure about some of the appeals to authority.
  6. Another tiny glimpse into the complex relationships that make up a food system. Marion Nestle on The trade war with China and feeding America’s poor. It’s an ill wind …
  7. And if you’re feeling utterly befuddled by the simple question of what to eat, take heart. You are not alone.
  8. How about noodles?
  9. Are agricultural researchers working on the right crops to enable food and nutrition security under future climates? proves yet again that a question in a title or headline can always best be answered “No!”. This time with data …

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