Weekend News Wrap–Science, Food, and State Fair Menu Munchies

*** Science has been amazing, powerful, controversial, and sometimes frightening. As surgeon, researcher, and writer Atul Gawande said, “It has allowed us to nearly double our lifespan during the past century, to increase our global abundance, and to deepen our understanding of the nature of the universe. Yet scientific knowledge is not necessarily trusted.”
So, what should young scientists do in the face of growing concern and attacks? In his commencement address at the California Institute of Technology, Gawande put it this way:

“Today, you become part of the scientific community, arguably the most powerful collective enterprise in human history. In doing so, you also inherit a role in explaining it and helping it reclaim territory of trust at a time when that territory has been shrinking.”

*** This study reveals the full extent of globalization in our food supply. More than two-thirds of the crops that underpin national diets originally came from somewhere else. Really? Thai chilies come originally  from Central America, while Italian tomatoes come from the Andes?

*** Winfield–with Fair Oaks Farms–just opened an Agro tourism exhibit between Indianapolis and Chicago.  It is designed to educate the nonfarm public about where their food comes from. Agriculture Secretary Vilsack spoke at the event and emphasized the need to attract young people to jobs in agriculture and food production.

*** The Iowa State Fair announced its food menu, and it appears to be the seventh level of hell for health foodies. Bacon gets top billing, with Jalapeno Double Bacon Corn Dogs, Bacon Cheddar Brat Sandwiches, and the Ultimate Bacon Brisket Grilled Cheese on offer.
(map from npr.org and bottom pic from ameseatsflavor.com) 

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