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FERN’s Friday Feed: Is this the price of convenience?
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FERN’s Friday Feed: Is this the price of convenience?

Welcoming to Friday Feed – FERNs (#FFFHere are the stories that made us stop and reflect on this week’s events.

The lonely, frustrating world of Instacart shoppers

Mother Jones

I will never forget the Costco day I was there with two other customers. I knew the tip total was $30, but I didn’t know who had tipped whom. The smaller customer asked me if I could add 15 cases of water while I was there. It changed the entire experience. I had to shift carts, and it was very heavy. They were the first to see that I was going into an apartment. My stomach sank. It was freezing outside. It took me forever for them to be found. They lived on the 3rd floor. I have never seen them face to face. Later that day, I discovered that they had given me $1 tip. It felt like a slap on the face.

Low-carbon beef? What?

Wired UK

Matt Reynolds reports that in November, the US Department of Agriculture approved an agreement that will allow beef producers to sell their meat as low-carbon. But [a]Matthew Hayek, an environmental scientist from New York University, said that low-carbon steak is more likely to have caused many times more greenhouse gas emissions than other foods that a consumer might choose as an alternative. He says that the purpose of a label’s purpose is to communicate information to consumers. A low-carbon label means that it has less carbon than other products they could buy right then. This is most often false for beef.

Campbell Soup, accidental seed-saver

Modern Farmer

Campbell Soup introduced the Rutgers tomato in 1934. It was a modified variety it had developed for processing. By the 1950s, the Rutgers tomato was estimated to have sold over 1.3 billion units. Jeff Quattrone reports that Rutgers tomatoes were planted by 72 percent of American commercial growers. Soon after, tomato farming practices changed. The popularity of the Rutgers thin-skinned tomato fell as farmers sought out more robust tomatoes that would last longer. A team of researchers began work on the Jersey Tomato Project in 2010 to revive the Rutgers variety that was thought to have been lost to history. They discovered that Campbells still had seed stocks from the original Rutgers variety, which they stored in a vault.

Synthetic palm oil faces questions about sustainability, scaling up

Yale Environment 360

Deforestation and biodiversity loss in tropics are primarily driven by palm oil production. These problems, along with other problems like exploitative labor practices, have driven interest for more sustainable options for many years. James Dineen writes. A number of startups now produce synthetic palm oil. These companies join other synthetic biology firms that share the same goal of solving environmental problems, but also face similar challenges in scaling up production. This shows that their approach is actually more sustainable than the problem it’s trying to solve.

How a mythical soup was planted in the English psyche

Atlas Obscura

Brown Windsor soups are well-known far beyond the hijinks. The Goon Show. Cookbooks The Daily Mail Modern British CookbookThe thick meat soup is often described as a Victorian favorite dish. Some recipe authors even go so far as to name it Queen Victoria’s favorite. The dish is so well-known in Victorian-era gastronomy that many recipes are available for it. The Unofficial Harry Potter Cookbook The Unofficial Downton Abbey Cookbook. In a 1994 episode, characters eat brown Windsor soup. Agatha Christies PoirotJust like they did in the 2021 television version of Around the World in Eight Days. Glyn Hughes, author, of Everybody in England was raised believing in brown Windsor soup The Lost Foods of England. There was one problem. It was a hilarious lie.

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