Stories for a Yonder Memorial Day:
The New York Times had a grand story about salt. There are all kinds of reports about the ill health effects of consuming too much salt. Trouble is, without salt, much of the (gross) processed food we all eat would be inedible. When Cheez Its were made without salt, reporter Michael Moss writes, “The Cheez It fell apart in surprising ways. The golden yellow hue faded. The crackers became sticky when chewed, and the mash packed onto the teeth. The taste was not merely bland but medicinal.” Corn Flakes without salt tasted “metallic. Eggo waffles taste like “straw.”
The Washington Post reports that China is pinning its food security on the very western potato. “Potatoes have so much potential here,” said Xie Kaiyun, a leading potato scientist at the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences, a government think tank. “Rice, wheat, corn we’ve gone about as far as we can go with them. But not the potato.”
Finally, the Burlington Free Press talks about the “grim future” of the family farm. The problem in Vermont is the collapse of the dairy industry. The Vermont Agency of Agriculture has a worst case scenario that has 200 of the state’s farms (20 percent of Vermont’s total) closing down this year, primarily because of the collapse in dairy prices. Good photos of a Vermont farm here.