What FoodAnthro is Reading Now, September 26, 2016

Here’s a rundown of some interesting stories we’ve been reading recently! We also like to call it How to Make Reading Articles on the Internet Seem Less Like Procrastination. If you have articles to tell us about, send your links and brief descriptions to dberiss@gmail.com or hunterjo@gmail.com.

Before you start reading, would you like to grab some organic gatorade?  It’s good for you!

A socially conscious cerebral cortex may be drawn to organically farmed sugar over inorganically farmed sugar, but a pancreas makes no such distinction.

Ok, so maybe don’t grab the organic gatorade. When it comes to sugar conspiracies, it seems there’s plenty of material to draw from. This article from the NYTimes summarizes a recent article in JAMA Internal Medicine, which uncovered that scientists were paid to shift blame for heart disease from sugar to saturated fat.

While we’re talking about conspiracies and lies, Hampton Creek has been struggling with controversy over its vegan mayo. It purportedly paid its employees to go out and buy mayo from the shelves to make it seem like the product was doing better than it really was.

This story spoke of the challenges of preserving food in a world where people move far from their birthplace:

This sudden mobility exposes us to more of the world, but in less depth, and breaks the chain of linear trans-generational traditions that once held people, food, and place together.

Here is a possible reading for students, and an opportunity to learn about food provisions in scarcity, with you-will-kill-me-beans, food drips, sensory pleasure:

The dominant humanitarian logic that seems to demand tasteless subjects reflects the broader narrative of loss surrounding notions of modern food supply in sub-Saharan Africa (Freidberg 2003). But at Buduburam, Liberians did not simply reject or assimilate to the tastes of aid. Rather, taste was a fundamental component in the humanitarian struggle.

Challenging some of my prejudices about cash crops, in Kenya, these farmers describe the transition from growing sugarcane to growing coffee beans:

“For years, I used to grow sugarcane on my four acres but had nothing to show for it. The crop would do well, then we would take it to Muhoroni factory but the payments would not come.”

 And lastly, here’s a story out of Harare, where the food, local production and poorly paid policemen are intertwined:

Women sadza entrepreneurs like Angelina are often widowed and have no license to trade. City health permits and food registration requirements can run into hundreds of dollars, way beyond the means of these women. The women resort to cooking without the necessary paperwork.

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