Link Buffet: Palate cleanser

I tell you what. I’ve never been more tired of thinking about and talking about and hearing about food in my life–and I say that as someone who has taken a yearslong hiatus from this food blog due to dissertation fatigue. Right now, food philosophy is more than hypothetical: suddenly the mechanisms of supply and delivery which are typically invisible to the average consumer are painfully visible, and every decision we make regarding what and how to eat is an ethical dilemma. (It always was, of course, but now we can’t not see it.)

So have a little art and a little fun with this roundup. Then, if you have the stomach for it, some links to more serious recent issues in food.

Have some exceedingly beautiful toast.

The Japanese artist ipnot embroiders playful, interactive textile art often featuring food:

LitHub: Let us now praise the onion

Have you heard of Taco Bell Quarterly, the literary magazine that publishes writing inspired by Taco Bell? Well, now you have. (There’s a very relatable-to-me moment in this Vox interview where the interviewer asks the TBQ editor about snackwave–I too think about snackwave often! I haven’t seen another cohesive attempt to explain the phenomenon.)

Mental Floss: Lord Byron’s obsession with dieting

Kind of reminds me of this:

Okay. Ready?

Let’s ease into it with an Atlantic piece about how periods of crisis tend to motivate innovation in cooking, from the apsic of the 1950s to the present-day interest in sourdough and dalgona coffee.

The Gourd Project grows gourds into molds, then dries and cures the gourds so that they become reusable cups and flasks. They still must be discarded after a few uses, but the receptacle is compostable. I love projects like this one, which blend art and environmentalism to push the boundaries of what we consider possible. Obviously the slow-growing gourds won’t immediately replace plastic use in most households, but the project reminds us that we ate and drank without plastic in the past, and we can (and should) find ways to do so again.

.  Image from Colossal, which also covers this fascinating project.

Food and Farming During the COVID-19 Crisis

Mother Jones: How is your state protecting grocery workers? 

In general, The Corner has got you covered on COVID-related food news. The pandemic situation is changing very rapidly, and many of the links I initially flagged for inclusion already seem out of date–articles mourning what we thought would be a short-term closure of restaurants (while many restaurants, at least in my neighborhood, are drumming up new ways to package and deliver food); how-tos for grocery shopping (while best practices are still evolving, particularly with some regions still sheltering in place while others are ill-advisedly trying to reopen business). Many articles ponder whether we’ll ever be able to go back to normal.

And the answer is nope, because we were already in an ongoing and accelerating emergency, which is climate change. I’ve been taking online courses in climate change so that I understand more of the science behind it, but it can be hard to wrap one’s mind around changes in patterns that take place over geological time and at a global scale, so here are a few smaller-scale examples. Podcast, but with an accompanying article which is my jam because podcasts aren’t my jam: How Climate Change is Killing Coffee. Relatedly, at Quartz: German scientists are simulating future climate change to save wine.

Until next time.

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