The future of chocolate? Farmers are key

This is what chocolate looks like before it’s ground and made into bars. This is cacao, dried and cracked open to reveal the dark richness inside. We saw these particular beans at a Maya farmer’s home in Belize, just before the holidays. There, we witnessed the enormous labor involved in growing, harvesting and preparing cacao. […]


African fishermen take mosquito nets to the water

Development work is complicated. Ask anyone with experience in it. Take, for example, this New York Times story about African fishers taking their bed nets to the waterways. These nets, distributed by the millions in efforts to prevent malaria, were intended to keep families safe from nighttime mosquito bites. But villagers, driven by hunger, have […]

Typhoid, then and now

I love think pieces. As it happens, pure coincidence, last week I chose to listen to a Radiolab episode on the origins of disease just as I was taking an oral typhoid vaccination booster—a week-long, 4-pill regimen. The episode, Patient Zero (updated segment) starts with the fascinating story of Typhoid Mary, a carrier of this […]

Human rights abuses in New Mexico’s dairies – In These Times

In this must-read investigation, Joseph Sorrentino documents the dangerous conditions that workers—often undocumented—face in New Mexico’s Big Dairy industry. We often hear of undercover investigations that show animal abuse in large-scale operations; not often enough do we see stories on the workers, who risk life and limb for minimal pay, no breaks, no overtime and […]

Tips for reducing holiday food waste – Food Tank

We’re grateful this Thanksgiving week for all that we have. But a lot of what we have we waste. Between Thanksgiving and New Year’s, Food Tank reports, Americans will waste 5 million tons of food. Here, the group offers several tips toward waste-free holidays.