Trade Wars

FERN’s Friday Feed: California nightmare

Cattle gather around what is left of a pond on a ranch in Snelling, California. Credit: Getty Images / Justin Sullivan / Staff.

welcome to FERN’s Friday stream (#FFF), where we share this week’s stories that got us thinking.


California agriculture to the limit

The New Yorker

“Across the state,” he said, “many farmers were pricing their crops in the market against the rising cost of water. To honor their contracts, some had overplanted, and now they found it more profitable to kill certain crops than to harvest. Others had already reduced and planted less, ”writes Anna Wiener. “Farmers were strangling production, razing fields and eliminating surpluses. While these adjustments seemed crude, if not unfathomable, they responded to complex and interwoven issues: immigration policies, trade wars, housing shortages, agribusiness monopolies, mismanagement of resources, climate change, globalization, disruption of supply chains, acceleration of financialization.


Revolt of the delivery men

New York magazine and The edge

“Cesar, Sergio and three other family members, all of whom work in delivering food, stood guard every night for almost a month. They… heard about the attacks through the Facebook page they co-founded called El Diario de los Deliveryboys en la Gran Manzana, or “The Deliveryboys in the Big Apple Daily”. They started it in part to chronicle the bicycle thefts that plague workers on the bridge and elsewhere in town, ”writes Josh Dzieza. “For Cesar and many other delivery people, the thefts started something. Some have started to protest and lobby, teaming up with nonprofits and city officials to come up with legislation. Caesar and the Deliverymen took another route, forming a civil guard.


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Desert chefs who cook with the sun

BBC

“Ogalde belongs to a generation of cooks who opened solar restaurants in remote areas of Chile’s Atacama Desert, which begins just north of Villaseca, ends at the Peruvian border and is known as the driest place of the planet, “writes Mark Johanson. . “The Atacama has the highest solar radiation on the planet – 30% higher, on average, than the Mojave Desert in the southwestern United States – but few people have harnessed this energy with so much imagination than these home chefs, who were inspired by an experience that took place in Villaseca in 1989.


The emotional toll of “dirty work”

The New Republic

From slaughterhouse workers to prison guards, American society is full of jobs that most of us would rather not think about, let alone do. In his new book, Eyal Press describes this type of work as dirty work, “In that the people who do this work do everyone’s dirty work for them.” Dirty workers lead actions with an ‘unwritten mandate’ from a company – which wants the work done, sees it as necessary, but prefers the whole process not to be considered, ”writes Jo Livingstone. “[B]but it impacts workers in the form of guilt and shame. Doing such stigmatized or morally compromised work has very specific psychological effects, he argues, which in America are compounded by the fact that most of these jobs are taken not out of choice but out of economic necessity.


Turkey’s “culinary subversion” Pittsburgh Devonshire

Belt charger

“Blandi’s dish is a culinary subversion,” writes Ed Simon. “Just as John Coltrane deconstructed the vanilla melody of ‘My Favorite Things’ and made it into a masterpiece of baroque jazz, or Mel Brooks appropriated the western in the brilliance of the Borscht belt of Flaming saddles, Blandi zhuzh also removed the blandness from the turkey sandwich with bechamel and smoked paprika grilled at 350 degrees. More than comfort, what Devonshire is all about is how someone can come to the United States, see what’s on offer and improve it.