Category : Dieting/Food/Nutrition

A very hard winter for many: Some C of E bishops respond to the Chancellor’s Autumn statement

“Ahead of today’s statement one of our key concerns was to see benefits keep pace with inflation. So we welcome the Chancellor’s commitment in this regard but continue to call for the end to the two-child limit on Universal Credit, which hits some of the poorest families hardest.

“This is going to be a very hard winter for many. Our churches, in communities across the country, are already reporting alarming rises in demand for foodbanks and other services which have become a lifeline.

“It is heartbreaking to hear of people who just a year ago were donating to foodbanks but are now using them themselves.

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Posted in * Economics, Politics, Church of England (CoE), CoE Bishops, Dieting/Food/Nutrition, Economy, England / UK, Ethics / Moral Theology, Personal Finance & Investing, Politics in General, Poverty, Religion & Culture

(Bloomberg) Record-low water levels are causing major shipping jams just as the US needs to export this year’s harvest.

The Mississippi River — the immense, quiet highway that courses down the middle of America, moving critical food, wood, coal and steel supplies to global markets — is shrinking from drought, forcing traffic to a crawl at the worst possible time.

With water levels at record lows, barges have run aground, causing traffic jams as boats wait for the US Army Corps of Engineers to dredge a path through the shallows. The problem has been building for months. Summer brought meager rain to much of the Plains and Midwest. Now it’s harvest time, when farmers bring in their grains and other crops, send them to market, and lay down fertilizer before the winter snows. The shriveled Mississippi has forced them to seek alternatives, all of them more expensive, like moving soybeans by rail to the Gulf Coast or shipping everything through distant West Coast ports. That will inevitably increase pressure on global food prices at a time when Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has already sent them soaring.

The river is “low, been low and not getting filled anytime soon – so a bad situation getting worse,” said Jeremy Jack, who just harvested his crops on 11,500 acres of land in the Mississippi Delta. “We don’t have any soybean storage. Beans are in places where they shouldn’t be and losing quality.”

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Posted in Dieting/Food/Nutrition, Ecology, Economy, Energy, Natural Resources

(Church Times) Charities may have to stop helping hungry and homeless, as they are struggling themselves, Theos reports

FOODBANKS and charities have replaced social security and Universal Credit as the last line of defence in the cost-of-living crisis, but the faith and voluntary sectors are themselves in a precarious state, says an 89-page report from the religion-and- society think tank Theos, published on Monday.

In a foreword to the report, A Torn Safety Net: How the cost of living crisis threatens its own last line of defence, the former Prime Minister Gordon Brown and the former Archbishop of Canterbury Lord Williams write that compassion is not running out, but that money is, to the extent that some who have donated to foodbanks are now themselves relying on them.

They warn: “The shocking reality is that this winter, we are likely to see charities being forced to stop feeding the hungry so they can help the starving, cut back on support to the poorly housed so they can focus on the fast rising numbers of homeless, and give up on helping the down-at-heel because their priority has to be the destitute.”

The report was written by Hannah Rich and informed by a series of 48 interviews, conducted between January and August this year, in Cornwall, Glasgow, Wolverhampton, and the London Borough of Newham. It speaks of a real danger that churches and other faith groups will close “because they cannot afford to keep the lights on or find enough volunteers to sustain their social action”.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, Charities/Non-Profit Organizations, Dieting/Food/Nutrition, England / UK, Poverty

(Independent) Religious leaders back our campaign to urgently extend free school meals

Religious leaders have backed The Independent‘s call for free school meals to be extended to more children living in poverty and urged the government to make it one of its priorities this winter.

Paul Butler, the Bishop of Durham, said: “It is heartbreaking to think of children living in poverty facing this winter without free school meals and the impact this will have on their health, wellbeing and educational outcomes.”

Our Feed the Future campaign, in partnership with the Food Foundation and a coalition of charities, calls on the government for free school meals to be extended to all children living in families that rely on universal credit.

Mr Butler, who is lead bishop for the Church of England in the House of Lords on welfare issues, added: “The Independent has shone a light on the heroic efforts of schools to step in and support their pupils and struggling families through initiatives such as school food banks but it really should not be down to them to fill this gap. I have long held that all children in families in receipt of universal credit should receive free school meals and I urge the government to give this priority in their spending plans.”

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Posted in Children, Church of England (CoE), CoE Bishops, Dieting/Food/Nutrition, Education, England / UK, Islam, Religion & Culture

(The Big Issue) Child poverty in the UK: the definitions, causes and consequences in the cost of living crisis

Child poverty in the UK is reaching worrying levels. Paltry wages, low benefit payments and a cost of living crisis mean the UK’s poorest families are getting poorer.

Analysis from the Resolution Foundation has projected that a further 500,000 children will fall into poverty by April 2023.

Children’s charities, schools and food aid organisations are working tirelessly to plug the gaps created by the welfare system. Food banks are now being set up in schools so children have enough to eat.

Children are perhaps the most vulnerable group in any society, and often first to feel the effects of rising poverty across society. Here are the basics on what child poverty is, what causes it and the impact it has.

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, Children, Dieting/Food/Nutrition, England / UK, Poverty

(Bloomberg) US Rail-Strike Threat puts Further Strains on Weakening Economy

A looming US railway strike has already halted shipments of a critical fertilizer ingredient at a time when American farmers need it the most.

Rail officials are no longer shipping ammonia, an important component of about three quarters of all fertilizer, because it would be dangerous if the hazardous material was stranded during a potential rail strike, according to the Association of American Railroads. Ammonia is used in explosives as well as being an essential nutrient for plants.

While the average consumer rarely thinks about fertilizer, it can make or break crop production. Global food prices have touched records in recent months as inflation ripples through economies and hunger levels rise. The cost of growing food in the US is set to rise by the most ever in 2022.

Any rail disruptions would come at a time of peak demand. After the latest crop is harvested, North American farmers will need to apply fertilizer to replenish nutrients in the soil that are lost during the growing season. The chemicals are already scarce because plants have shut down in Europe due to the energy crisis there, and the war in Ukraine is hampering shipments.

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Posted in * Economics, Politics, Dieting/Food/Nutrition, Economy, Travel

(CT) Ron Sider RIP, An Evangelical Who Pushed for Social Action

Ronald J. Sider, organizer of the evangelical left and author of ‘Rich Christians in an Age of Hunger,’ died on Wednesday at 82. His son told followers that Sider had suffered from a sudden cardiac arrest.

For nearly 50 years, Sider called evangelicals to care about the poor and see poverty as a moral issue. He argued for an expanded understanding of sin to include social structures that perpetuate inequality and injustice, and urged Christians to see how their salvation should compel them to care for their neighbors.

“Salvation is a lot more than just a new right relationship with God through forgiveness of sins. It’s a new, transformed lifestyle that you can see visible in the body of believers,” he said. “Sin is a biblical category. Given a careful reading of the world and the Bible and our giving patterns, how can we come to any other conclusion than to say that we are flatly disobeying what the God of the Bible says about the way he wants his people to care for the poor?”

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Posted in America/U.S.A., Anthropology, Books, Death / Burial / Funerals, Dieting/Food/Nutrition, Ethics / Moral Theology, Evangelicals, Poverty, Religion & Culture, Theology

(C of E) Championing Just-Ice in Cheshire

Just-Ice is an innovative social enterprise that combines a love of ice-cream with a desire to provide sympathetic employment to survivors of modern slavery.

Situated in the heart of Poynton, a leafy suburb in Cheshire, Just-Ice is helping to raise awareness of modern slavery amongst Poynton’s school children, church, and wider community as well as employing several survivors of modern slavery. It is a brilliant example of a group of Christians taking action and could be mirrored in other communities across the country.

Jo Rodman, the founder of Just-Ice Poynton, was considering a vocation in ordained ministry when she heard about a Christian couple in Derby who had turned their passion for ice cream into a thriving social enterprise. She was excited about starting a similar café in Poynton and was encouraged by the Director of Vocations at Chester Diocese to pursue the idea as part of a Distinctive Deacon role. Distinctive Deacons have a strong call to an outward-looking and community-minded ministry. They often have a particular concern for issues of poverty and justice.

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Posted in Church of England, Dieting/Food/Nutrition, Law & Legal Issues, Poverty, Religion & Culture, Sexuality, Violence

(BBC) Russia and Ukraine Deal signed to allow grain exports to resume by sea

Ukraine and Russia have signed “mirror” deals which will allow Kyiv to resume exports of grain through the Black Sea.

The agreement will allow millions of tonnes of grain, currently trapped in Ukraine by the war, to be exported.

The world shortage of Ukrainian grain since Russia’s 24 February invasion has left millions at risk of hunger.

However, Kyiv refused to sign a direct deal with Moscow, and warned “provocations” would be met with “an immediate military response”.

Both sides attended the signing ceremony in Istanbul but did not sit at the same table. Russia’s Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu signed Moscow’s deal first, followed by Ukrainian Infrastructure Minister Oleksandr Kubrakov signing Kyiv’s identical agreement.

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Posted in * Economics, Politics, Dieting/Food/Nutrition, Economy, Foreign Relations, Globalization, Politics in General, Russia, Ukraine

(NPR) A self-serve grocery store helps feed a small Minnesota town

When Alex and Caileen Ostenson moved from the Twin Cities to Evansville, Minn., five years ago to be closer to family, the local grocery store had recently closed after more than seven decades in business.

The nearest town with a supermarket is 20 miles away.

So in early 2020, the couple started brainstorming ideas that would allow them to operate a store in the town of 600 about two hours northwest of Minneapolis.

“We had just been hearing a lot from people, ‘It would be nice if we had a grocery store back in town. That’s something we really miss,’ ” recalled Caileen. “That is a staple. It’s a cornerstone part of a community.”

So, with help from local donations, the couple remodeled a main street storefront into a self-serve grocery store.

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Posted in * Economics, Politics, America/U.S.A., Dieting/Food/Nutrition, Economy, Rural/Town Life

(BBC) Portsmouth councillors spend own money on free breakfasts for children

Children will have access to free breakfasts during the summer holidays through a new initiative.

Portsmouth City councillors George and Brian Madgwick are personally donating £4,000 to fund the scheme.

The breakfasts will be held at St Michael and All Angels Church in Paulsgrove every weekend through the summer holidays.

George Madgwick said they hoped it would “ease the pressure” of the current cost of living crisis.

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Posted in Children, Dieting/Food/Nutrition, Parish Ministry, Religion & Culture, Stewardship

(I E) A new plant-based material can replace plastic food packaging for keeps

Interestingly, they observed a decline in the populations of these pathogens after the introduction of APFs. The researchers further deposited the antimicrobial fibers on avocados. They noticed that the APF coating prevented the growth of pathogens on the fruit and protected the same from spoilage and damage. Thus increasing the shelf life of avocados by about 50 percent.

Whereas plastic packets often release harmful chemicals into our food and take more than 400 years to biodegrade, the APF coating is a naturally derived biodegradable and non-toxic biopolymer that does not impact the quality of the edible it covers (a previous study also highlights that humans can digest pullulan). Moreover, according to the researchers, it can be easily washed off from a food item using water and takes only three days to completely decompose in the soil.

Excited with these results, Demokritou wrote, “What we have come up with is a scalable technology, which enables us to turn biopolymers, which can be derived as part of a circular economy from food waste, into smart fibers that can wrap food directly. This is part of the new generation, ‘smart’ and ‘green’ food packaging.”

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Posted in * Economics, Politics, Dieting/Food/Nutrition, Ecology, Economy, Science & Technology

(W Post) U.S. intelligence document shows Russian naval blockade of Ukraine

Newly declassified U.S. intelligence shows that a Russian naval blockade has halted maritime trade at Ukrainian ports, in what world leaders call a deliberate attack on the global food supply chain that has raised fears of political instability and shortages unless grain and other essential agricultural products are allowed to flow freely from Ukraine.

Russia’s navy now effectively controls all traffic in the northern third of the Black Sea, making it unsafe for commercial shipping, according to a U.S. government document obtained by The Washington Post.

The document, based on recently declassified intelligence, analyzed the density of Russian naval activity along portions of Ukraine’s southern coast and the Crimean Peninsula, which Russia occupied and annexed in 2014. The blockade that ensued following Russia’s invasion in February halted civil maritime traffic, “entrapping Ukrainian agricultural exports and jeopardizing global food supplies,” according to a U.S. official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to describe the intelligence.

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Posted in Dieting/Food/Nutrition, Economy, Foreign Relations, Globalization, Military / Armed Forces, Politics in General, Russia, Ukraine

(Economist) A world grain shortage puts tens of millions at risk

At the beginning of 2022 the world-spanning system which makes this possible was already in a ropey state. The number of people with access to food so poor that their lives or livelihoods were at immediate risk had risen from 108m to 193m over the past five years, according to the un’s World Food Programme (wfp). A lot of that near-doubling of “acute food insecurity” was due to the covid-19 pandemic, which reduced incomes and disrupted both farm work and supply chains; a good bit more was down to rising prices of energy and shipping as the effects of the pandemic wore off. Things were made worse by swine flu in China and a series of bad harvests in exporting countries, some of which were due to La Niña conditions that began in the middle of 2020. La Niña is a recurrent pattern of currents and wind patterns in and over the equatorial Pacific which has worldwide effects, just as its also-troublesome counterpart El Niño does.

Global grain stocks were, admittedly, quite high. But they were mostly in the hands of well-off importing nations, not those of exporters keen to sell them or poor importers likely to need them. “If we do not address the situation immediately,” David Beasley, who runs the wfp, told the Munich Security Conference in February, “over the next nine months we will see famine, we will see destabilisation of nations and we will see mass migration.”

Just six days after he spoke those words Russia rammed a rifle barrel into the already creaking machinery. In 2021 Russia and Ukraine were the world’s first and fifth biggest exporters of wheat, shipping 39m tonnes and 17m tonnes respectively—28% of the world market. They also grow a lot of grain used to feed animals, such as maize and barley, and are the number one (Ukraine) and number two (Russia) producers of sunflower seeds, which means they have 11.5% of the vegetable-oil market. All told, they provide almost an eighth of the calories traded worldwide.

Ukrainian food exports were promptly throttled by the war; Russian ones were dented by the indirect effects of sanctions. Grain prices shot up. Having fallen back a little as the shock wore off, they are now on the rise again. On May 16th, the first day of trading after India imposed its restrictions, wheat prices in Chicago, the global benchmark, rose by 6%; on May 18th they were 39% higher than they were when Russia launched its invasion.

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Posted in Dieting/Food/Nutrition, Globalization

(Economist Cover story) The coming food catastrophe

Mr Putin must not use food as a weapon. Shortages are not the inevitable outcome of war. World leaders should see hunger as a global problem urgently requiring a global solution.

Russia and Ukraine supply 28% of globally traded wheat, 29% of the barley, 15% of the maize and 75% of the sunflower oil. Russia and Ukraine contribute about half the cereals imported by Lebanon and Tunisia; for Libya and Egypt the figure is two-thirds. Ukraine’s food exports provide the calories to feed 400m people. The war is disrupting these supplies because Ukraine has mined its waters to deter an assault, and Russia is blockading the port of Odessa.

Even before the invasion the World Food Programme had warned that 2022 would be a terrible year. China, the largest wheat producer, has said that, after rains delayed planting last year, this crop may be its worst-ever. Now, in addition to the extreme temperatures in India, the world’s second-largest producer, a lack of rain threatens to sap yields in other breadbaskets, from America’s wheat belt to the Beauce region of France. The Horn of Africa is being ravaged by its worst drought in four decades. Welcome to the era of climate change.

All this will have a grievous effect on the poor. Households in emerging economies spend 25% of their budgets on food—and in sub-Saharan Africa as much as 40%. In Egypt bread provides 30% of all calories. In many importing countries, governments cannot afford subsidies to increase the help to the poor, especially if they also import energy—another market in turmoil.

The crisis threatens to get worse.

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Posted in * Economics, Politics, Dieting/Food/Nutrition, Economy, Foreign Relations, Globalization, Military / Armed Forces, Politics in General, Russia, Ukraine

(Guardian) Social supermarkets offer choice and self-esteem to hard-up workers

In the crypt of a 283-year-old London church, you would not normally expect to see displays of fresh fruit, vegetables, meat and fish next to shelves of tinned food, toilet rolls and nappies, and customers with baskets doing their weekly shop.

But from September, that will be the scene at the City of London’s first social supermarket, which is to open in the vaults of Christ Church Spitalfields, a Nicholas Hawksmoor-designed church close to the financial district. It will replace a food bank set up during the pandemic that has been used by 20 to 70 families a week during the past year.

Small social supermarkets have been springing up across the UK in recent years, some of them having started out as food banks. (At a social supermarket users pay for their groceries, but get a large discount.) They cater for low-income families – in the case of Christ Church these are referred by the local primary school – and pay a membership fee and/or a weekly fee for their shop.

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Posted in Church of England (CoE), Dieting/Food/Nutrition, England / UK, Parish Ministry, Poverty, Religion & Culture

(BBC) East Africa drought: ‘The suffering here has no equal’

Families have become desperate for food and water. Millions of children are malnourished. Livestock, which pastoralist families rely on for food and livelihoods, have died.

The drought stretches far beyond this small Kenyan village and the UN’s World Food Programme says up to 20 million people in East Africa are at risk of severe hunger.

Ethiopia is battling the worst drought in almost half a century and in Somalia 40% of the population are at risk of starvation.

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Posted in Africa, Climate Change, Weather, Dieting/Food/Nutrition, Ecology, Energy, Natural Resources, Poverty

(WSJ) Food Banks Are Serving More People Again as Inflation Squeezes Budgets

Food banks are straining to meet growing demand caused by rising food prices, which are pinching budgets for households and the organizations themselves.

Forgotten Harvest, which serves the metro Detroit area, said demand increased 25% to 45% since December in different areas it serves. In March alone, demand rose 30% compared with the previous month.

Christopher Ivey, a spokesman for the food rescue, says metro Detroit is at the front of the bell curve, experiencing economic ripples before they hit other parts of the U.S.

“The need is growing quickly, as gas prices are continuing to rise,” he said. “As you know, there are shortages in the grocery store and the costs of the commodity goods are going up and up and up,” he said, adding that the organization is challenged by the increased demand but is still able to fulfill the needs of the public.

With inflation at a four-decade high, American households are feeling the pinch of higher prices across a range of products and services. The price of food at grocery stores in March was 10% higher than a year earlier, while food prices at restaurants were 6.9% higher than in March 2021, according to the Labor Department’s most recent consumer-price index.

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Posted in * Economics, Politics, Dieting/Food/Nutrition, Economy, Personal Finance, Poverty

(Church Times) Africans starve while the world watches Ukraine

Humanitarian organisations have warned that the huge response to the war in Ukraine is overshadowing other crises around the world that are in need of urgent attention.

Charities and NGOs have begun urging governments and individuals not to forget the millions who are suffering in other countries.

The United Nations has warned that the situation in Somalia, where 4.5 million people are at risk of starvation owing to the worst drought in a decade, is deteriorating rapidly. The focus of the international community on Ukraine was sucking all the oxygen out of the room, Adam Abdelmoula, the UN humanitarian coordinator for Somalia, said last week.

The UN has said that $1.46 billion (£1.1 billion) is required to meet the immediate needs of Somalis. Only three per cent of that has been secured.

“The outlook was already grim prior to the outbreak of the Ukraine crisis,” Mr Abdelmoula said. “We have been overshadowed by the crisis in Tigray, Yemen, Afghanistan — and now Ukraine seems to suck all the oxygen that is in the room. . .

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Posted in Africa, Dieting/Food/Nutrition, Globalization, Poverty, Ukraine

(WSJ) A Quarter of Africans Face Food-Security Crisis Partly Due to Ukraine War, Red Cross Says

A quarter of Africa’s population is facing a food-security crisis driven by severe drought, raging wars and a rise in world food prices caused by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the International Committee of the Red Cross warned Tuesday.

Some 346 million people, from Mauritania in the west to the Horn of Africa in the east, are affected by food insecurity, Dominik Stillhart, the agency’s global operations director, told reporters in Nairobi.

“What we don’t want to see is the response that comes too late, and that is why it is so important to draw attention to the situation now,” Mr. Stillhart said.

Russia and Ukraine were major grain suppliers before the war, and the conflict is causing pain across the developing world, spurring price shocks, constraining imports of basic commodities and causing food shortages, with poorer nations in Africa especially affected.

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Posted in Africa, Dieting/Food/Nutrition, Globalization, Military / Armed Forces, Poverty, Russia, Ukraine

(Telegraph) Ambrose Evans-Pritchard–Putin’s energy shock is broadening into a world food crisis, so brace for rationing

Record food commodity prices are an ordeal by fire for some 45 poorer countries that rely heavily on food imports: the Maghreb, the non-oil Middle East, swaths of Africa, Bangladesh, or Afghanistan. The World Food Programme warned of “catastrophic” scarcity for several hundred million people last November. The picture is worse today.

“Everything is going up vertically. The whole production chain for food is under pressure from every side,” said Abdolreza Abbassian, the ex-head of agro-markets at the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organisation.

“I have never seen anything like it in 30 years and I fear that prices are going to go much higher in the 2022-2023 season. The situation is just awful and at some point people are going to realise what may be coming. We’re all going to have to tighten our belts, and the mood could get very nasty even in OECD countries like Britain,” he said.

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Posted in Dieting/Food/Nutrition, Globalization, Military / Armed Forces, Poverty, Russia, Ukraine

(BBC) Stanwick man uses 72-year-old toaster every day

A man who uses his 72-year-old toaster every day said he was embracing the spirit of the wartime generation.

Jimmy James, from Stanwick, in Northamptonshire, said the toaster was manufactured in December 1949 and given to his parents as a wedding present.

The 69-year-old said it only needed repairing once every six or seven years.

Mr James said: “I was brought up by the wartime generation and encouraged to repair things and not throw them away.”

He inherited the Morphy Richards pop-up toaster after his father’s death in 1993.

The machine generally needs repairing “once every six or seven years”, he said.

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Posted in Dieting/Food/Nutrition, England / UK, History, Marriage & Family

(Local Paper front page) Staff shortages persist at South Carolina restaurants as COVID19 surges. Some owners see a path forward

Ask most local restaurateurs, and they’ll tell you that staff shortages have been hampering Charleston restaurants for the past five to 10 years.

The COVID-19 pandemic turned the problem into a crisis, and the omicron variant reminded restaurateurs how ongoing staffing struggles, coupled with positive cases, impact daily operations.

In Charleston, King Street’s Monza Pizza Bar has been closed since Nov. 6 “due to acute staffing shortages.” Smallish places like The Pass, a 647-square-foot sandwich shop, have changed operations to limit guest interactions. In Beaufort, a sign from the city’s hospitality association cautions patrons that local small businesses are extremely short staffed.

In the first week of January in the Charleston area, Chasing Sage, Jackrabbit Filly, Berkeley’s, Wild Olive, Estadio and Home Team BBQ, among others, closed for at least one day due to COVID-19 concerns or to give overworked employees extra time to decompress.

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Posted in * South Carolina, Corporations/Corporate Life, Dieting/Food/Nutrition, Economy, Labor/Labor Unions/Labor Market

(Nikkei Asia) China hoards over half the world’s grain, pushing up global prices

Less than 20% of the world’s population has managed to stockpile more than half of the globe’s maize and other grains, leading to steep price increases across the planet and dropping more countries into famine.

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Posted in China, Dieting/Food/Nutrition, Economy, Ethics / Moral Theology, Foreign Relations, Globalization, Politics in General

(ES) Soup kitchen hopes to ‘give humanity’ to homeless people with Christmas meal

A soup kitchen charity hopes to “give humanity” back to homeless people by eating and talking alongside those they have prepared a three-course Christmas meal for.

Streetlytes prepared and served a traditional festive dinner – complete with Christmas presents and a festive film screening – to more than 60 people on Monday evening at St Stephen’s Church in Shepherd’s Bush, west London.

Rudi Richardson founded the charity, which provides free hot meals and basic necessities like clothing and advice, in 2007 after an encounter while he was living on the streets.

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Posted in Church of England (CoE), Dieting/Food/Nutrition, Parish Ministry, Poverty

(New Yorker) Creating a Better Leaf–Could tinkering with photosynthesis prevent a global food crisis?

The more that was discovered about the intricacies of photosynthesis, the more was revealed about its inefficiency. The comparison is often made to photovoltaic cells. Those on the market today convert about twenty per cent of the sunlight that strikes them into electricity, and, in labs, researchers have achieved rates of almost fifty per cent. Plants convert only about one per cent of the sunlight that hits them into growth. In the case of crop plants, on average only about half of one per cent of the light is converted into energy that people can use. The contrast isn’t really fair to biology, since plants construct themselves, whereas P.V. cells have to be manufactured with energy from another source. Plants also store their own energy, while P.V. cells require separate batteries for that. Still, researchers who have tried to make apples-to-apples (or silicon-to-carbon) calculations have concluded that plants come out the losers.

[Stephen] Long went on to get a Ph.D., and then took a teaching job at the University of Essex, on England’s east coast. He became convinced that photosynthesis’s inefficiency presented an opportunity. If the process could be streamlined, plants that had spent millennia just chugging along could become champions. For agriculture, the implications were profound. Potentially, new crop varieties could be created that could produce more with less.

“All of our food, directly or indirectly, comes from the process of photosynthesis,” Long told me. “And we know that even our very best crops are only achieving a fraction of photosynthesis’s theoretical efficiency. So, if we can work out how to improve photosynthesis, we can boost yields. We won’t have to go on destroying yet more land for crops—we can try to produce more on the land we’re already using.”

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Posted in Dieting/Food/Nutrition, Ecology, Globalization, Science & Technology

A Thankgiving Menu from 1899

Posted in America/U.S.A., Dieting/Food/Nutrition, History

(AP) Thousands of military families struggle with food insecurity

It’s a hidden crisis that has existed for years inside one of the most well-funded institutions on the planet and has only worsened during the coronavirus pandemic. As many as 160,000 active-duty military members are having trouble feeding their families.

That estimate by Feeding America, which coordinates the work of more than 200 food banks around the country, underscores how long-term food insecurity has extended into every aspect of American life, including the military.

The exact scope of the problem is a topic of debate, due to a lack of formal study. But activists say it has existed for years and primarily affects junior-level enlisted service members — ranks E1 to E4 in military parlance — with children.

“It’s a shocking truth that’s known to many food banks across the United States,” said Vince Hall, Feeding America’s government relations officer. “This should be the cause of deep embarrassment.”

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, America/U.S.A., Dieting/Food/Nutrition, Marriage & Family, Personal Finance & Investing

(NBC) Brad Paisley and Kimberly Williams-Paisley’s mission to feed Nashville

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Posted in Charities/Non-Profit Organizations, Dieting/Food/Nutrition, Poverty

(Bloomberg) Steaks Could Soon Become Champagne-Like Luxury

The boss of Europe’s top meat processor said beef will become a luxury like champagne because of the climate impact of producing it.

“Beef is not going to be super climate friendly,” Danish Crown Chief Executive Officer Jais Valeur said in an interview with Danish newspaper Berlingske. “It will be a luxury product that we eat when we want to treat ourselves.”

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Posted in Dieting/Food/Nutrition, Ecology