Sharon Astyk's Blog, page 3
October 17, 2013
In my last post, more than four months ago (oy, that’s bad!), we had just acquired four new children, 11, 3, 3, and 16 months, and were settling in and getting adjusted. And then I didn’t blog all summer. Or for most of the first month of autumn. A few people wondered whether I was eaten by a Yeti or had gone entirely feral. Neither is true (that I know of – I’d probably have noticed the Yeti thing.) It just turned out that going to nine kids, four of them 3 and under, several with major disa...
June 3, 2013
So it has been an embarassingly long time since I last wrote anything for this blog. Long enough that I owe you all an apology. It started out simply enough – I did something I’ve done a million times, picked up a full water bucket for our cow. Not sure what I did differently, but I did something nasty to my elbow – my right elbow. I’ve had carpal tunnel syndrome for years from too much time writing books, and as long as I’m careful about not overdoing it, I can write, but this made it a lot...
May 6, 2013
In 2008, before the revolution, the Egyptian Government set a portion of its Army to baking bread for hungry citizens, precisely to forestall revolution. Now, after revolution, it isn’t clear who will provide the breadfor its hungry and angry populace:
Around a quarter of the population lives below the poverty line, with another 20 percent hovering just aboveit. And while there are no statistics for the period 2012/2013, indications are that malnutrition rates of around 30 percent are also on...
Fast food sales now outnumber sit-down restaurant food sales in the home of gastronomy:
More than half of all French restaurant sales now take place, sacrilegiously, at fast food chains, according to a new survey by food consultancy firm Gira Conseil.
This is the first time fast food sales have surpassed sit-down restaurant sales in France —you know, the the country that gave us cafes, bistros and the Michelin star. It also makes France the world’s second-biggest consumer of fast food,NPRreport...
From the Guardian:
New research suggests that the Arctic summer sea ice loss is linked to extreme weather. Rutgers University climate scientistJennifer Francispoints to the phenomenon of “Arctic amplification”, where:
“The loss of Arctic summer sea ice and the rapid warming of the Far North are altering the jet stream over North America, Europe, and Russia. Scientists are now just beginning to understand how these profound shifts may be increasing the likelihood of more persistent and extreme w...
April 26, 2013
You get tiny, unexpected tastes of the world perfected in a lot of places, if you watch. I got it last week at my son Eli’s bar mitzvah (which I’ll write more about shortly). Naomi Shahib Nye got it in the place most of us feel as far from the world we want as possible – at her flight gate, waiting after a delay had been announced:
And I noticed my new best friend—by now we were holding hands—
Had a potted plant poking out of her bag, some medicinal thing,
With green furry leaves. Such an old co...
April 24, 2013
There’s a great interview with Chris Nelder on why oil triumphalism is mistaken, and what that means for a whole host of things, including oil prices:
P: Now what about prices? We’ve seen oil prices soar from around $40 per barrel in 2004 to $140 per barrel in 2008. And nowadays, prices in the $100 range are pretty much normal.
CN:Oneof the implications of peak oil is that as production starts to falter, we need much higher prices in order to sustain production. And that’s exactly what’s happen...
I’m working slowly on laid hedges around portions of our property, and did a little more this winter. One of these days I’l have old fashioned hedges that are truly livestock tight and wildlife friendly.
Rod Dreher has an interesting post (building on a NYTimes article) about the glories of the art of confiture and why the obsessive creation of food-as-art is worth doing:
When I went to Paris a year ago with my niece Hannah, I brought back someconfitureby Christine Ferber. She makes some of the most prized jellies and jams in all of France. They’re expensive; those little jars you see above, which I brought back from that trip, cost about $9 or $10 each at the exchange rate back then. But oh,...
April 22, 2013
From the Japan Times:
Former Irish President Mary Robinson’s foundation for climate justice is hosting a major conference in Dublin this week. Research presented there said that rising incomes and growth in the global population, expected to create 2 billion more mouths to feed by 2050, will drive food prices higher by 40 to 50 percent.
“We must prepare today for higher temperatures in all sectors,” said Gerald Nelson, a senior economist with the Washington-based International Food Policy Resea...