Welcome to FERN’s Friday Feed (#FFF), where we share the stories from this week that made us stop and think.
FERN and Eating Well
The “[e]arth’s oceans act as vast sponges, swallowing up around 90 percent of our atmosphere’s excess heat from global warming and up to 35 percent of the greenhouse gases attributed to humans—carbon dioxide we emit when we drive to work, fly off on vacation, run our dryers and perform life’s other mundane, energy-intensive tasks,” writes Ben Goldfarb. “The ocean’s absorptive powers are fortunate for us landlubbers, but problematic for the animals that actually live in the briny deep.”
“Given the popularity and ubiquity of sushi today, it’s hard to imagine a time when we weren’t eating raw fish, but such was the case in 1970s North America,” writes Isabella Kulkarni. It was in that context that classically-trained sushi chef Hidekazu Tojo, who immigrated to Vancouver, British Columbia, in 1971, invented the California roll. “Tojo doesn’t remember the exact day or circumstance that led to the roll. He does, however, remember many customers complaining about eating seaweed. So one day, he replaced the raw fish with avocado and boiled local crab … Then, he hid the nori behind a veil of rice by rolling the sushi inside out. Finally, to really make the roll sing, he added a little mayonnaise.”
“In Lithuania, to get lost while picking mushrooms is a common enough occurrence to have its own word: nugrybauti,” writes Joel Mowdy. “You achieve a state of nugrybauti when the thrill of having spotted choice edibles slides into uneasiness, brought on by the feeling that the forest has changed around you. Your sense of direction scampers off, and you trudge around aimlessly over moss, under branches, and around the skirts of spruces, lost—until, much later, you are back on a familiar path, though not where you thought you’d be.”
“The facts are clear and unarguable. Most of the nation’s smaller urban and rural counties are not growing and will not grow,” writes David Swenson. “It is important to develop policies that assure access to necessary public services, connect rural residents to modern technologies for the sake of participating meaningfully in modern society and safeguard that which is good and appealing about these less populated places.”
Dave Levitan explores what might happen if a group of billionaires took the future of the planet into their own hands with self-funded technological solutions. “[I]t doesn’t seem so outlandish to think that, as has happened more and more in recent years, we might outsource our world-saving imaginative tasks to the obscenely rich,” he writes. “The emergence of the private space flight industry could be seen as a sort of marker between the old and the new, a time when governments took on the biggest projects versus one when maybe those governments don’t quite have it in them anymore. Could geoengineering be next?”