Budget Deal, Andrew Cuomo, World Series: Your Thursday Evening Briefing

https://www.nytimes.com/2021/10/28/briefing/budget-deal-andrew-cuomo-world-series.html

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Good evening. Here’s the latest at the end of Thursday.

1. President Biden unveiled his framework for a $1.85 trillion economic and environmental bill. Now he has to persuade his party to back it.

By late afternoon, the president’s appeal appeared to have failed to break the logjam among Democrats. Crucial details of the legislation remained in flux, and progressives were resisting pressure to quickly throw their support behind a separate $1 trillion bipartisan infrastructure package that has already passed the Senate.

The largest key provision commits $555 billion to climate programs. Some $400 billion is devoted to universal prekindergarten and reducing child care costs. Some Democratic priorities like paid family leave, free community college and lower prescription drugs for seniors were dropped.

The package includes nearly $2 trillion in tax increases on corporations and the rich, but proposals to slow dynastic wealth were tossed. Here’s what’s in the bill.

The new framework comes days before Biden is set to attend a global climate summit in Glasgow, where he hopes to point to the deal as evidence of America’s commitment to tackling climate change.

2. A complaint for forcible touching has been filed against former Gov. Andrew Cuomo, according to a spokesman for New York State’s court system.

The complaint, signed by an investigator from the Albany County Sheriff’s Office, said Cuomo “forcibly” placed “his hand under the blouse shirt of the victim” and touched the victim’s left breast “for the purposes of degrading and gratifying his sexual desires, all contrary to the provisions of the statute.”

The complaint, which was signed on Oct. 25, said the incident took place on the afternoon of Dec. 7, 2020, on the second floor of the governor’s Executive Mansion in Albany. There was some confusion today surrounding the complaint, which was reportedly filed erroneously.

Cuomo has repeatedly denied the accusations that eventually led to his resignation in August.


3. The leaders of some of the most powerful energy companies in the world faced questioning on climate change during a House hearing.

House Democrats grilled executives of Exxon Mobil, Chevron, BP and Shell over allegations that they spread disinformation about the role played by fossil fuels in global warming in order to slow action on climate change. Representative Carolyn Maloney pressed the companies to acknowledge their “central role in this crisis” and to commit “to meaningful and immediate action.”

The executives denied the allegations, promoting their support for a transition to clean energy, including the Paris accord.

In other climate news, China’s new pledge changes little, in what may be a bad omen for the global climate summit next week. The country is also rushing to burn more coal to address an energy shortage.


4. Goodbye Facebook, hello Meta (kind of).

Facebook is changing its corporate name to Meta in a nod to its push into the “metaverse,” a unification of online, virtual and augmented worlds. The change comes with a new logo designed like an infinity-shaped symbol. Facebook, Instagram and other apps will remain, but under the Meta umbrella.

The move punctuates how Mark Zuckerberg, the chief executive, plans to refocus his company on what he sees as the next digital frontier. The change may also help distance the company from its many controversies, including how it spreads hate speech and misinformation.

5. How common are Covid breakthrough cases, really?

Federal data shows notable differences in breakthrough death rates by age and slight differences in both case and death rates by vaccine brand, trends that experts say are important to consider as Americans weigh whether to get a booster shot. While the data indicates that immunity against the infection may be slowly waning for vaccinated people, vaccines continue to be very protective.

Separately, China is the only country still chasing full eradication of the coronavirus, staking its political legitimacy on controlling it better than other countries are.

7. There’s a new crop of employees determining the norms and styles of the workplace.

People in their 20s rolling their eyes at the habits of their elders is a longstanding trend, but many employers say there’s a new boldness in the way Gen Z dictates taste. The generational frictions are now particularly apparent in companies run by and catering to a largely millennial demographic.

“They celebrate human emotion, instead of having an outdated framework of what corporate should be,” one 42-year-old manager said.

The coronavirus pandemic has spawned a new kind of worker who wants an office out of, but close to, the home. Here’s why co-working spaces are betting on the suburbs.


8. The World Series is tied at a game apiece as it heads to Atlanta.

The championship has not been to town since 1999, and the atmosphere should be electric, our baseball columnist writes — not least because Atlanta fans perceive the Houston Astros, and Major League Baseball, as villains. Games 3 and 4 are on Friday and Saturday.

9. How did elephants and walruses get their tusks? It’s a long story.

Researchers dated the first emergence of tusks 255 million years ago to a family of mammal relatives known as dicynodonts — tusked, turtle-beaked herbivores ranging in stature from gopher-size to six-ton behemoths. A new study determined that two key adaptations allowed teeth to evolve into tusks: Ligament-like attachments supporting teeth appeared, and, like modern mammals, the dicynodonts didn’t continuously replace their teeth.

Today, New York City is experiencing a surprising return of native wildlife. One naturalist called it “the greenest big city on Earth.”


10. And finally, dressing up your bagels and schmear.

By one count, New York had more than 1,500 Jewish delis in the 1930s. With changing demographics, diet trends and rising rents, that number has dwindled into the 10s. But as extinction approached, a new species emerged: the designer deli.

As part of our special section on design, we look at the décor of the new sandwich shops. Our writers also look at a Parisian apartment in a classic district with a highly personal makeover, explore how the Memphis design movement made a comeback and offer advice for decorating, cleaning and warming your home.

Have a cozy night.


David Poller compiled photos for this briefing.

Your Evening Briefing is posted at 6 p.m. Eastern.

Want to catch up on past briefings? You can browse them here.

What did you like? What do you want to see here? Let us know at briefing@nytimes.com.

Here are today’s Mini Crossword and Spelling Bee. If you’re in the mood to play more, find all our games here.

Suns Paul says plant-based diet fueling push for NBA Finals return – Reuters

https://www.reuters.com/lifestyle/sports/suns-paul-says-plant-based-diet-fueling-push-nba-finals-return-2021-10-28/

Oct 27, 2021; Phoenix, Arizona, USA; Phoenix Suns guard Chris Paul reacts against the Sacramento Kings in the second half at Footprint Center. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports/File Photo

LOS ANGELES, Oct 28 (Reuters) – When Suns point guard Chris Paul first heard about plant-based diets upon arriving in Los Angeles a decade ago the native of barbeque-loving North Carolina was anything but tempted.

“I was like, nah, I’m cool off this,” a smiling Paul told Reuters in an interview. “I’m from the south, and we eat every piece of the pig you can find.”

But when the 36-year-old perennial All-Star finally took the leap he was astonished by the impact it had on his health.

“It has been life-changing,” said Paul, who joins U.S. women’s soccer team striker Alex Morgan, Chicago Bears quarterback Justin Fields and Formula One champion Lewis Hamilton in going vegan.

Reduced inflammation has cut down on his recovery time between games during the grueling NBA season, which Paul hopes will end with the Suns back in the Finals after coming two wins short of a championship in July.

“Playing as many games as I play throughout the course of a season, everything is about recovery. How fast can my body recover?

“And being plant-based, the recovery changed just like that,” he said, snapping his fingers.

Other health issues, like his chronically clogged sinuses, also improved once he made the switch.

“The more I dive into it, the more my body has changed. I’m grateful,” he said.

SHARED EXPERIENCE

Paul felt compelled to share his experience with those in his orbit and counts his brother, a business manager, and team mate Jay Crowder among those who have followed his lead in ditching meat and dairy.

Now Paul, one of the all-time great floor generals and an influential voice on issues of racial inequality, has bigger ambitions. He plans to introduce plant-based foods to communities that have never really had the option.

“If you live in a neighborhood and on the corner all you have is soda and fast food restaurants, then that’s what’s affordable and that’s what’s accessible,” he said.

To change that, Paul has invested in plant-based shake company Koia to put their drinks in vending machines on the campuses of historically Black colleges and universities (HBCU).

“First and foremost, they have to be introduced,” said Paul, who wore HBCU apparel during the NBA Bubble and who is perusing a communications degree at Winston-Salem State University, an HBCU.

“To go on to these college campuses and to try to educate kids is a great place to start.”

The younger someone is exposed to plant-based options, the better, he said.

“I didn’t learn any of this until I was 33, 34. But better late than never,” he said.

Paul, who has previously invested in plant-based meat substitute company Beyond Meat, hopes to be part of a broader systemic shift in how people think about food.

“More people are going to start to see the benefits.”

Reporting by Rory Carroll in Los Angeles; Editing by Ken Ferris

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

You might already be following the Mediterranean diet with these easy food swaps

https://www.cnn.com/2021/10/23/health/mediterranean-easy-diet-swaps-wellness/index.html

“And it’s not an all-or-nothing set of rules,” Dudash said. “It doesn’t have to be all day; it doesn’t have to be every week.”

It’s not even a diet in the weight loss sense of the word. It’s a way of life for people in the countries surrounding the Mediterranean Sea.

In addition to incorporating foods and ingredients that are local to the region, the diet takes a broader, lifestyle-based approach that also emphasizes mindfully enjoying meals with family and friends and getting up and moving throughout the day. Walking and talking with a buddy instead of running nowhere on a treadmill? That’s the Mediterranean way.

The bulk of the Mediterranean diet focuses on plant-based ingredients, including fruits and vegetables, nuts, seeds, beans and grains, with seafood as the main animal-based protein source.

“While meat and dairy can be part of the Mediterranean diet, it’s heavily built on plants,” Dudash said, who first experienced this way of eating by cooking alongside her Lebanese grandmother and great-grandmother as a child.

As an adult, her travels throughout the Mediterranean, to countries like Italy, France, Croatia and Monaco, expanded her palate and solidified her love for the Mediterranean lifestyle.

The whole and less-processed ingredients recommended in the Mediterranean diet naturally lend themselves to a more low-carb way of eating. By incorporating these in larger quantities than starchy foods like white bread and rice, red meat, and sugar-added foods, you can start shifting your eating habits.

Dietitian nutritionist and cookbook author Michelle Dudash recommends a Mediterranean diet focused on plant-based ingredients.Dietitian nutritionist and cookbook author Michelle Dudash recommends a Mediterranean diet focused on plant-based ingredients.

If you’re trying to reduce your carbohydrate intake, introduce more plants, fiber and good fat into your diet. Or simply eat fewer processed foods, it’s simpler than you might think to make your life more Mediterranean.

Here are Dudash’s top recommendations for ingredient swaps and everyday cooking habits you can incorporate into your routine using common pantry ingredients, along with recipes to try from Dudash’s new book.

Use extra-virgin olive oil on everything

If there is one switch to make your meals more Mediterranean, it’s to make extra-virgin olive oil your go-to cooking oil. “Use it liberally! I can’t tell you how many times I’ve walked into friends’ houses, and they have a little bottle of olive oil they only use on salads,” Dudash said.

Extra-virgin olive oil is low in saturated fat — the kind that can lead to high cholesterol — and high in monounsaturated fat — the kind that can help lower cholesterol. Polyphenols give extra-virgin olive oil its signature green-gold color and can help fight a host of diseases.

Olive oil labeled “pure” or “light” doesn’t have the same benefits as the extra-virgin kind. “That is not a healthier choice, and the name has nothing to do with calories. You’re getting the processed leftovers,” Dudash said.

She recommends that you reach for extra-virgin olive oil anywhere you’d use butter or canola oil in a recipe, not just as a finishing oil or salad dressing. In Mediterranean cooking, she noted, “Olive oil is the staple fat used in cooking and at the table, from sautéing seafood to drizzling over salads and cooked vegetables — even stirring into cake batter!”

Hummus isn’t just for snacks

Hummus has a lot going for it. The savory spread is made from fiber-rich ingredients like chickpeas and tahini. And it’s kid-friendly and pairs well with other vegetables. But Dudash thinks you need to think beyond snack time when considering hummus. “You’re dipping your carrots in it, but are you using it to its full potential? Probably not.”

Anywhere you’d typically turn to mayo, try hummus or tahini in its place. Dudash folds hummus into her tuna salad and uses tahini in Caesar dressing to give it a lush and creamy texture. She even uses hummus as a base for a Greek-inspired seven-layer dip that’s a refreshing change of pace from the usual refried bean-and-guac option.

Extra-virgin olive oil can be used for sautéing as well as drizzling over salads, cooked vegetables and this hummus dip, Dudash said.Extra-virgin olive oil can be used for sautéing as well as drizzling over salads, cooked vegetables and this hummus dip, Dudash said.

Dudash also notes that “hummus in Middle Eastern countries isn’t served cold out of the fridge, it’s served warmed.” With this in mind, she stirs hummus into sauces and one-pan sautés to add moisture and flavor, as well as to sneak in some additional protein. She especially loves adding it to browned ground turkey for lettuce wraps.

Swap in nuts and seeds for bread

A simple way to get more plant-based protein and fiber into your meals is to replace breadcrumb fillings and toppings with nuts or seeds. “It’s an awesome way to add more plant protein to crusts, breadings or salads, and give them more texture and depth of flavor,” Dudash said.

She mixes chopped nuts with ground turkey as a stuffed pepper filling and hides almond flour in her Mediterranean meatloaf. Instead of panko, she dips cod fillets into crushed pistachios and bakes them to get a toasted crunch. Try Dudash’s recipe from from “The Low-Carb Mediterranean Cookbook” yourself.

It's easy to add plant-based protein and fiber into meals by replacing breadcrumb toppings with nuts, as in this cod dish.It's easy to add plant-based protein and fiber into meals by replacing breadcrumb toppings with nuts, as in this cod dish.

If you’re allergic to tree nuts or want to mix things up further, Dudash suggests using quinoa. “Most people are used to seeing it in salads or a pilaf,” she said, but this high-protein seed can replace breadcrumbs or oats in favorite recipes for meatballs, burgers and more.

You can use leftover cooked quinoa or dry quinoa as a binder. Soak dry quinoa for about 15 minutes, then drain well before mixing in.

Canned goods aren’t a cop-out

There are two types of canned ingredients Dudash always keeps in her pantry: beans and tomatoes.

Though multicooker appliances like the Instant Pot have made it easier to prepare dried beans, nothing is quicker than opening a can — and there is no shame in turning to that time-saver. “They’re one of the best inventions ever,” she said.

The best Dutch ovens in 2021 (CNN Underscored)The best Dutch ovens in 2021 (CNN Underscored)
Maximize the nutritional potential in canned beans and minimize salt intake by buying the low-sodium option whenever possible, and draining and rinsing the beans before using them in recipes.
One exception: The liquid from chickpeas, known as aquafaba, can be used as a vegan replacement for eggs. If you’re interested in baking with aquafaba, strain and save the drained chickpea liquid, then rinse the beans.

Even when fresh tomatoes are in season, it always pays to have a few cans of tomatoes, whether diced, crushed or whole, at the ready. “Canned tomatoes are essential for Mediterranean cooking and all sorts of other cuisines,” Dudash said. They are a reliable meal-building staple for soups and stews, sauces and casseroles.

Canned tomatoes also can be more powerful cancer fighters than raw. All tomatoes are high in lycopene, an antioxidant that gives them their red color and has been shown to reduce cancer risk. “When you cook or can tomatoes, the lycopene content actually increases,” Dudash said.
For more tips, sign up for Eat, But Better, CNN’s eight-part guide to eating Mediterranean-style and see how easy it can be.

Casey Barber is a food writer, illustrator and photographer; the author of “Pierogi Love: New Takes on an Old-World Comfort Food” and “Classic Snacks Made from Scratch: 70 Homemade Versions of Your Favorite Brand-Name Treats”; and editor of the website Good. Food. Stories

White wears age as badge of honour in pursuit of fifth Games – Reuters

https://www.reuters.com/lifestyle/sports/white-wears-age-badge-honour-pursuit-fifth-games-2021-10-19/

Medals Ceremony – Snowboarding – Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympics – Men’s Halfpipe – Medals Plaza – Pyeongchang, South Korea – February 14, 2018 – Gold medallist Shaun White of the U.S. on the podium. REUTERS/Eric Gaillard/File Photo

Oct 19 (Reuters) – In a sport where youth can trump experience, three-time Olympic gold medal-winning snowboarder Shaun White wears his age as a “badge of honour” as he vies to compete at a fifth Olympics.

The American was 19 when he picked up his first gold at the 2006 Turin Games and cemented his legacy as the most successful snowboarder of all time when he triumphed in dramatic fashion at the 2018 Pyeongchang Olympics.

Now 35 years old and hoping to compete in the 2022 Beijing Games, White said he was adapting to his status as the elder statesman of his sport.

“I’ve been the youngest competitor as long as I can remember but I wear it now as somewhat of a badge of honour in a sense,” White told reporters at the USOPC media summit.

“To be on top of a sport that’s ever-changing and for this amount of time, it’s been a challenge.”

Staying on top has been as much a mental challenge as a physical one, he said, after settling for fourth place at the 2014 Sochi Games and having to once again harness his passion for competing.

White clinched gold in 2018 on his final run in the halfpipe final, earning a 97.75 for a spectacular display.

“In Sochi, I’d lost something; I’d lost this edge that I had,” said White. “It was (a) really emotional and sort of heavy journey to find that again.”

The 13-time Winter X Games champion had once hoped to compete in the debut Olympic skateboarding competition at the Tokyo Games but dropped his bid in early 2020, deciding he was not ready to walk away from snowboarding and immediately “switching gears” back to winter sports.

The path has not always been easy.

He withdrew from the Winter X Games in Aspen, Colorado, earlier this year with a knee injury and said it took him longer to recover from the usual bumps and bruises that come with the high-flying sport.

“I will admit, you know, it is getting harder – just the day in and day out (and) the grind of doing these tricks,” said White.

“I took a really bad crash a couple of days ago and I remember I would just kind of like bounce back up and feel great but I’m like, ‘Ooo might need a couple more days rest before I get back out there’.”

However, the Californian said he would not rule out another Olympic bid, after updating virtually every element of his routine from how he practices and spends his time on the hill to how he approaches his diet and sleep.

“I always say it might be (the last) just because it is how it feels,” said White. “Time kind of keeps moving on and I’m thinking, ‘Gosh, I feel pretty good, I’m motivated, I’m excited’ and then boom, I’m at the next Olympics.

“So I wouldn’t count the next one out.”

Places on the U.S. snowboard halfpipe Olympic team will be allocated based on rankings and performances in qualifying events, according to U.S. Ski & Snowboard.

Reporting by Amy Tennery in New York; Editing by Ken Ferris

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

The Possibilities and Limits of Individual Climate Action

https://gizmodo.com/the-possibilities-and-limits-of-individual-climate-acti-1847887339

Commuter cyclists make their way through Kennington against a blurred background on Aug. 3, 2016 in London, England.

Commuter cyclists make their way through Kennington on Aug. 3, 2016 in London, England.
Photo: Dan Kitwood (Getty Images)

Here at Earther, I spend a lot of my time writing about the entities that are the most responsible for the climate crisis, like energy giants and other polluting companies. I know that these companies and their friends in government have spent decades promoting the false idea that we are all responsible for global warming.

And yet, I never leave the lights on when I leave the house. When I drive my car, I feel the occasional twinge of guilt. I was vegan for years, largely because of the horrendous greenhouse gas pollution from the meat industry.

I know that individual climate-focused choices aren’t harmful, but I sometimes wonder if they have any real utility. Sami Grover, an environmental writer at Treehugger, has spent a lot of time thinking that question through. In his new book, We Are All Climate Hypocrites Now, he attempts to answer it.

To do so, Grover interviewed climate activists, journalists, scientists, and scholars. He examined his own attempts to green his life and how access and oppression limit the individual actions people can take to reduce their carbon footprints. Individual action can indeed be useful as long as it’s seen as a means to create change, not an end in itself.

Earther chatted with Grover about his new book. This interview has been lightly edited and condensed for clarity.


Dharna Noor, Earther: You write that the book started as a plan to debunk the importance of individual action. Did that pan out?

Sami Grover: I started the book to some degree because of my frustration with what I’ve been doing for 10-plus years, which is writing about what you can call “green living” at a time when that whole sort of eco-modernist, we’re-gonna-shop-our-way-out-of-this approach was very common. While a lot of what I was writing about was politics or activism, I did also find myself writing articles on all these little micro-interventions. It got very frustrating that that was the center of the conversation.

And yet, as I dug in, what I realized is that even among folks who were very adamant that this is about systems and politics and whatever, most people I spoke to were doing something in their personal lives too, and vice versa. I didn’t speak to anyone who was going down the hardcore green vegan dumpster diving route who didn’t also believe that we absolutely need system-level interventions. So I think it ended up in a lot more nuanced place than I was expecting.

Earther: Right. And you write throughout the book about how you yourself have implemented individual climate-focused actions. You drive an electric car. You brewed biodiesel at home. Can you talk about why it is that you’ve made these changes in your own life?

Grover: A lot of it is because it’s interesting and fun! Except the biodiesel thing. That was a briefly lived experiment, and that that was less fun. But I think there’s a lot of joy to be had and sort of exploring a lot of those avenues.

There’s also something you learn about where the systems are going to stop you. Climate scientist Peter Kalmus talks about this a lot in the book. When you go hardcore down this route, you will find the places where it’s really not possible to make better choices. So there’s sort of an illustration angle to it.

But the other part that I’m increasingly thinking about is that there are problems with how we measure those actions. We measure in terms of the effect on our carbon footprints, individually. So the question becomes what’s the biggest thing I can do for my carbon footprint? And then, what’s the second biggest thing, what’s the third, the fourth? You end up in this rabbit hole, crawling around on your hands and knees and trying to caulk the baseboards to insulate your house and taking two-minute showers and all of this stuff. At some point, there’s a diminishing return on investment. What I’ve been getting to increasingly is that we should think about these actions less as efforts to reduce our own carbon footprints and more as acts of mass mobilization.

So for instance, we can think more in terms of boycotts rather than behavior change. That allows you a lens to focus your efforts as to where it’s actually going to make a difference. It also gives you an opportunity to cut yourself and others some slack, because those boycotts are only going to work if you can build up a mass movement. So it’s less about, “well, I flew twice last year, and it ruined my carbon footprint,” and more about, “where are the opportunities to hit the aviation industry and the fossil fuels that power it where it hurts?”

Earther: It reminds me of something from your conversation with energy analyst Ketan Joshi in the book. You write that, “behavior change only matters when it can become a catalyst for societal level of change.” What’s the difference between a bunch of individual people making changes and an actual movement?

Grover: I think the answer is partially just in targeting those actions. For instance, you can look at efforts not to fly. I know a bunch of people who try not to fly, as much as they can. Take Flight Free in the UK. They’re focused on academia, and what they’re trying to do is take individual commitments, and then turn that into institutional commitments, and then turn that into organizational commitments.

It’s about looking outwards more. It’s less about what action you take, and more about thinking about what units of measurement to use, because that changes how you go about what you’re doing.

Earther: You focus quite a bit in the book about the fossil fuel industry’s efforts to encourage all of us to look inward when thinking about how to take on the climate crisis. You write that it’s really important for us to be careful that our individual actions and our lens of individualism do not “inadvertently provide corporate polluters with an assist” in that mission. How do we avoid playing into their hands?

Grover: There’s this tension where people who are going down the green living route feel like they’re being dismissed by the folks who are saying it’s the systems that are the problem, and the folks who are saying it’s the system just feel judged by the people who are going down the green living route.

We need to get to the space where we say, “yes, there is a version of the argument that we ought to take personal responsibility, that absolutely helps the fossil fuel industry,” because it puts all the responsibility on us. But two things can be true at once. Just because the fossil fuel industry wants me to focus only on my diet and my car choice and whether I bike to work doesn’t mean that I shouldn’t make conscious choices in that area. It just means I shouldn’t stop there. And also, it shouldn’t allow me to distract from the bigger question of holding polluters to account.

Simply starting from a place where it’s less about, “it’s all our fault,” and more about, “where are my opportunities to make things better,” is helpful. Because then, we can act but we still know who the real villains are. And it also empowers us to say, “hey, I don’t have to completely give up fossil fuels in my personal life in order to make a difference.”

I think the example in the book about the slavery abolitionist movement and sugar boycotts is a really useful one because I’m pretty sure folks that took part in those sugar boycotts were not able to give up all goods grown by enslaved people; weren’t able to free themselves from the system of slavery entirely. Instead, they were able to find one place where they could make some economic impacts, but more importantly, to galvanize a movement.

We can acknowledge that we have places of power in almost every part of our lives where we can shift the system into a better place, that’s more receptive to systemic change. And maybe we can help do that through our shopping habits, or by changing how we move about. But we can’t let that be the central part of the conversation around climate change. They can’t be the end goal.

Building community and bridges through Black food culture

https://blog.google/web-creators/building-community-and-bridges-through-black-food-culture/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+blogspot%2FMKuf+%28The+Keyword+%7C+Official+Google+Blog%29

Eden Hagos grew up in Windsor, Ontario, Canada in a family of East African food entrepreneurs. Her parents ran a restaurant, among other food businesses, and her grandmother sold injera (a sour fermented flatbread). When she moved to Toronto to attend university, Eden “wanted to fit in,” leaving her East African diet and traditions — such as using injera, instead of utensils, to scoop fragrantly spiced dishes — behind.

However, when Eden experienced racism from restaurant staff while dining out for her 26th birthday, her worldview changed forever. “Being denied respect because of my skin color made me ask myself why I had never considered celebrating special occasions at an African or Caribbean restaurant,” Eden recalls. “Why didn’t I cook my cultural foods? I knew then that I wanted to change the way I looked at food.”

Eden traveled the world, attending food festivals and interviewing chefs about Black food and culture. She discovered a gap in the food industry and set out to build a digital community around Black cuisine. In 2015, she launched the BLACK FOODIE website and social media accounts, bringing together chefs, restaurateurs, and other experts and influencers to celebrate what it means to be Black in the kitchen.

The BLACK FOODIE community on Instagram and Facebook began to grow. As the content got cooking, Eden realized her audience was expanding as well. Two years after she started the community, the BLACK FOODIE team blossomed into a group of three with the addition of Elle Asiedu, Chief Brand Architect, and Kema Joseph, who supports the brand’s PR strategy. The team developed BLACK FOODIE into a cross-channel brand with its website at the center — sharing recipes, stories, restaurant recommendations and food travel guides.

Should You Get a Microbiome Test?

https://www.nytimes.com/2021/10/13/well/live/microbiome-test.html

Despite how much scientists have learned in recent years, there remains a lot that we still don’t know about the thousands of different microbial species that can inhabit the gut.

“The known unknowns of the microbiome are staggering: Approximately 20 percent of bacterial gene sequences have not been identified,” and the function of 40 percent of the estimated 10 million total of bacterial genes remains unknown, Dr. Loughman and a colleague wrote in a recent review paper published in The Lancet Gastroenterology & Hepatology.

Studies have shown that there is no one-size-fits-all diet that has consistent effects on such factors as metabolic health or weight loss for everyone, and the microbiome is part of the reason for this. As a result, some companies are combining microbiome analyses with other data to give people customized diet recommendations.

One large international study of personalized nutrition, called Predict, has followed 1,100 people in the United States and Britain, including hundreds of identical and nonidentical twins. It found that people can have dramatically different metabolic responses to the same foods and that unique factors, such as a person’s genetics, sleep, stress and exercise levels, and the diversity and types of microbes in their guts, all influence how they metabolize food.

This research formed the basis of a company called Zoe, which provides personalized food recommendations. To do that, the company analyzes its customers’ gut microbiomes and collects a wealth of other health data from them. Zoe has its customers wear continuous glucose monitors, and it takes blood samples from them to see how different meals affect the levels of fat and glucose in their circulations. Prices for the company’s programs start at $354, paid in six monthly installments of $59.

In 2015, a group of researchers at the Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel published a study involving 800 participants that also showed that people had wildly different glucose responses, an indicator of diabetes risk, to the same foods. The researchers developed an algorithm using data from the participants’ glucose responses, gut microbiomes, family histories and lifestyles, which allowed them to predict how a person’s glucose levels would respond to different foods. The research gave rise to a company called DayTwo, which provides personalized nutrition advice to people with diabetes to help them manage their condition.

Using the company’s app, customers can see if a meal they’re thinking of having is likely to spike their glucose levels, and they are guided toward food choices that might be better for them, said Eran Segal, a computer scientist at the Weizmann Institute and a co-founder of DayTwo. “We’ll almost never tell you that you can’t eat something,” said Dr. Segal. “But we’re going to tell you that we may change the quantity a bit or change the food combinations.”

Viewpoint: Why Ethiopias Tigray region is starving, but no famine declared

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-58921744

The Ethiopian representative to the UN, Taye Atske Selassie, then made a series of allegations that UN staff were TPLF sympathisers and, in a step almost without precedent, Mr Guterres took to the floor a second time to challenge him to provide evidence, saying that he had personally spoken twice with Mr Abiy on the topic, without the prime minister providing details to back up the allegations.

Luxury brand Coach will stop destroying unwanted goods following TikTok outrage

https://www.cnn.com/style/article/coach-bags-destroyed-tiktok/index.html

Written by Megan C. Hills, CNN

Luxury brand Coach announced that it will no longer destroy damaged or “unsaleable” goods returned to its stores, after a viral TikTok video claimed the label intentionally “slashed” unwanted items for tax purposes.

Without directly referencing the allegations, the American brand wrote on Instagram Tuesday that it had “ceased” destroying in-store returns and would look to “responsibly repurpose, recycle and reuse excess or damaged products.”
The move follows claims made by TikTok user Anna Sacks, who filmed herself unboxing Coach products that appeared to be rendered unusable. In the minute-long video, Sacks, who goes by the username @thetrashwalker, said it was Coach’s policy to “order an employee to deliberately slash (unwanted merchandise) so no one can use it.”

Holding up slashed bags, shoes with cut straps and a jacket with large rips, Sacks alleged in the video that the practice was part of a “tax loophole” that sees the brand write off products “as if they were accidentally destroyed.” Neither Coach nor its parent company, Tapestry, responded to CNN’s requests for comment.

The video, which was first posted to TikTok on Saturday, has been liked over 560,000 times at the time of writing. Social media backlash intensified on Tuesday when Diet Prada, an influential fashion watchdog, posted the allegations to Instagram alongside videos appearing to show the Coach items being recovered from a dumpster.
The luxury brand has said it will no longer destroy unsalable or damaged products returned to its stores.

The luxury brand has said it will no longer destroy unsalable or damaged products returned to its stores. Credit: Budrul Chukrut/SOPA Images/LightRocket/Getty Images

Industry practices

The label is by no means the only luxury company thought to intentionally destroy unwanted inventory. The practice is usually aimed at preventing excess stock being sold at cheaper prices and damaging brands’ exclusivity.

In 2018, Burberry announced that it would stop burning unsold goods after it was found to have destroyed clothes and perfume worth over $36 million the previous year. A variety of fashion houses, watchmakers and apparel firms have faced similar accusations in recent years.

But critics of Coach’s alleged policy drew attention to the brand’s (Re)Loved program, a repair service and resale platform marketed as “a less wasteful way of doing things.” In the video, Sacks said she intended to send the damaged items to the repair service to see if the label would fix them for her.

Coach’s Instagram statement said the brand was “committed to sustainability” and “dedicated to maximizing such products reuse in our Coach (Re)Loved and other circularity programs.”

Tapestry, which also owns brands including Kate Spade and Monique Lhuillier, said in its 2020 Corporate Responsibility Report that it had repaired 28,258 Coach items — amounting to 85% of those sent to the brand that year — and was “continuing to develop scalable solutions” for the remaining 15%.

Speaking to CNN via WhatsApp, Sacks welcomed Coach’s response as “a start.”

“I want to emphasize again that Coach is the brand who was publicly caught this time, but this remains a widespread practice in the fashion industry,” she said. “My fear is that other brands, instead of getting serious about right sizing production, will continue overproducing and destroying only now being extra careful to hide evidence.

“This might include using compactors, locking dumpsters, and forcing employees to sign punitive (non-disclosure agreements). It will be a shame, and to the detriment of our planet, if this is the lesson that the fashion industry takes away from this Coach incident. That’s my biggest fear with exposing the destruction.”