Assorted Links

  • This article in The Conservation by Fabrice Etile attempts to sort out the various explanations for the rise on obesity.  The conclusion: "Despite initial academic evidence then, the main drivers of the global rise in obesity levels remain, to a large extent, a black box."
  • A fantastic piece by Øystein Heggdal that skewers a report by the International Panel of Experts on Sustainable Food System.  Key points include spurious yield comparisons across countries, a "clever sleight of hand" in using the Rodale Institute's comparison of organic and conventional crop yields, and undue focus on pesticides and fertilizers as contributors to climate change.
  • In the New York Times, Stephanie Strom reports on some interesting innovations to increase the shelf life of fruits and veggies
  • Over at Marginal Revolution, Alex Tabarrock is optimistic about the future of cultured meat and meat replacements.  He conjectures: "Animal rights will be the big social revolution of the 21st century."  (He linked to this interesting paper which I'd never before read entitled, "Sparks and Prairie Fires: A Theory of Unanticipated Political Revolution").
  • Guy Bentley expresses skepticism over the Harvard study's claim that a 1 cent per ounce tax on sugary drinks would prevent 100,000 cases of obesity and 3,683 deaths