FERN’s Friday Feed: Japan’s eternal dance with water


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

What can Japan’s deeply humid history teach us about climate change?

infinite time

“All societies are locked in a dialectical relationship with water over time. It falls from the sky, comes from the sea, flows over the land: floods, droughts, storms are expressions of the Earth’s climate. People react, find solutions to protect themselves,” writes Giulio Boccaletti. “What propels this story through the centuries is that the solutions of any era are transformed – or rendered obsolete – by the changing expectations of those who follow, in an endless human dance with water. traces of this dance are etched into the landscape and the institutions of society: the memory of what past generations have done shapes what current generations can do.The question, in a time of unprecedented climate change, is how if that past has anything to contribute to the struggle we face.

Stereotypes about Native people and alcohol mask a bigger problem

New Mexico in depth

“Night and day the people of Gallup struggle with alcohol,” writes Ted Alcorn. “Around McKinley County, the alcohol death rate is more than three times the state and 10 times the national rate. Because Native Americans make up 80% of the county’s residents — and Gallup’s bars and liquor stores draw customers from the neighboring Navajo Nation and Zuni Pueblo, where possession and consumption of alcohol is prohibited — l his place is emblematic of a popular myth: that of New Mexico. the alcohol crisis primarily affects natives… Even if the death rate for natives were in line with that of Anglo and Hispanic residents, the state would still have an alcohol-related death crisis on its hands. The lingering question is what to do about it.

The McTorta Moment

To taste

“At this late stage of farm-to-table, it’s common to see farm names listed next to menu items… But lately I’ve noticed menu items finding additional inspiration somewhere never seen on Chef’s table: McDonald’s dollar menu,” writes Aliza Abarbanel. “While there’s clearly more care taken with ingredients than the processed foods and high-fructose corn syrup of drive-thru, these menu items aren’t just homemade versions of fast-food favorites. , or worse, a high-fructose joke. Instead, some chefs are combining their McDonald’s nostalgia with flavors from their heritage for a new meditation on the meaning of comfort food.

Black Americans are reclaiming the history of fried chicken

Life & Thyme

“[F]Fried chicken is a crucial part of black American eating habits…Although it is often initially recognized by its place in the canon of America’s best foods, it is also representative of the economic growth of black people in the United States,” writes Kayla Stewart. “‘If you look at the historical roots of entrepreneurship for people of African descent, from when they became slaves, [fried chicken] was one of the few things you could multiply and sell,” says Frederick Douglass Opie, professor of history and food at Babson College. Opie, who says the economic benefits of fried chicken date back to American slavery, says selling fried chicken was a form of freedom.

The king of grilled meat ponders his next act


“His new book, Green light …does not contain any recipe for meat, which is a staple of Argentine cuisine. “I think there’s a huge shift coming, and it’s going to be faster than we think,” he says, hinting at a change from a resource-hungry carnivorous lifestyle. [Francis] Mallmann’s avoidance of meat may come as a surprise to longtime fans, but what’s often overlooked in his cooking is how good his vegetables can be,” writes Tom Vanderbilt. “He’s a master of the humble potato…and I’ve had many other non-meat stars on La Isla: grilled eggplant, buttery roasted squash, tender onions throbbing with flavor. He didn’t overlook the fruit: a dessert, a banana roasted until charred, was opened to reveal a mild, slightly smoky sweetness inside; with a little dulce de leche added, it was a revelation. His favorite dish might surprise you: basmati rice with red cabbage. “After 45 years of working in restaurants, my soul needs it,” he says.


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