What’s really happening when we roast a 17-pound turkey and pop open a can of cranberry sauce? We feast because something significant happens when people gather together and eat with a purpose.

Read More

Fake news, superficiality, ideology. It was all there in nineteenth-century Britain’s news media, too.

Scientists and gourmands alike are re-creating medieval and ancient foods. Roman fish relish, anyone?

Fragrant. Sweet. Tangy. Certain food words actually trigger cognitive simulations of eating.

The real reason you feel sleepy after Thanksgiving dinner.


JSTOR Daily editors select stories that bridge the gap between news and scholarship. This week’s picks cover climate change’s immediate effects, fighting Zika with DNA, and the crucial Wyoming vote.


About eslkevin

I am a peace educator who has taken time to teach and work in countries such as the USA, Germany, Japan, Nicaragua, Mexico, the UAE, Kuwait, Oman over the past 4 decades.
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  1. eslkevin says:

    Dear Kevin,

    Many of us at NPP have been thinking since the election about how divided our country is – and as for so many others, those divisions extend to our own friends and families, and in some cases to our Thanksgiving tables.

    As a federal budget organization, our role is and will continue to be providing facts and analyses that help people understand our nation’s priorities. But numbers aren’t all we need to understand. Just as important are our values and priorities. And as we know now more than ever, sometimes these diverge wildly.

    We’ve been thinking about how to talk about our priorities and how – or whether it’s even possible –to bridge those divides.

    This past Friday, we held a community meeting to discuss the election results. We were grateful to have the participation and facilitation by a longtime NPP friend and former board member, Rev. Dr. Andrea Ayvazian, the Senior Pastor at the Haydenville Congregational Church in Haydenville, Massachusetts.

    An audience member asked the question so many of us have been thinking about: how do I talk to my friends and family who voted the other way?

    Assuming this is someone you care about, this may be very difficult.

    Share this image on Facebook or Twitter.

    Rev. Ayvazian’s suggestion was simple, in three steps:

    If divisive subjects come up, first, you acknowledge the other person’s perspective: “Many people agree with you.”
    Then, speak your truth: “I don’t agree. Here’s why—”.
    Then, you “bracket” the conversation and agree to disagree: “We aren’t likely to convince each other. Let’s talk for 5 minutes and then agree to end it there.”

    If we are going to bridge what divides us, it won’t happen in a single conversation, but we can start by acknowledging what pulls us apart without letting it end the conversation forever. This takes fortitude but leaves the door open to a dialogue that can influence hearts and minds and may lead to shared understanding.

    If you’re up for a more in-depth conversation, there is a series of questions designed to enhance mutual understanding from The New York Times’ Run-Up podcast here.

    Good luck out there.

  2. eslkevin says:

    Kevin –
    This is a simple message: THANK YOU!
    Thank you for defending the Amazon with us. Thank you for standing up for indigenous rights and helping so many to see that we can’t protect the Amazon without advancing the rights and territories of indigenous peoples. Each year we’re able to expand our work with indigenous allies to protect millions of acres of pristine Amazon rainforest – thanks to you.
    Over the past twenty years you have made Amazon Watch what we are today. Millions of you have taken action, and you have donated millions of dollars to our work. Even more importantly, millions of you have connected to each other and to our allies in defense of rights, territories and justice.
    We all owe an extreme debt of gratitude to our indigenous brothers and sisters on the front lines. From Standing Rock to the Peruvian Amazon, communities are facing down oil companies at this very moment. For generations, they have defended their sacred natural areas against the many forces that threaten Mother Earth. They will never stop, and neither will we, because future generations and our collective future are counting on us.
    We know that the coming year will bring new challenges and even new opportunities. We will face them together. We will not give up and we will not go back!
    Thank you for standing with us at this critical time! Let’s continue to stand together for a brighter future!
    With deep gratitude and hope,

    The staff and board of Amazon Watch

  3. eslkevin says:

    Dear Kevin,
    This week, people around the United States will gather together to share a meal and give thanks with their friends and family. In the midst of our year-end hustle and bustle, many of us welcome the Thanksgiving holiday as a time to pause, recharge, and spend time with the people we love most.
    But this, of course, is no ordinary year. For many of us, especially those of us in vulnerable communities, it’s a time of great uncertainty, anxiety, and even fear.
    Here at the Story of Stuff Project, we’d normally be suggesting ways for you and your loved ones to avoid the frenzy of Black Friday, our country’s high holy day of consumerism. But in times like these, we believe we’re called to do more — to open our hearts and gather as a Community in a way we never have before.
    As we gather with our families tomorrow, we’ll be thinking about the hundreds of dedicated, brave water protectors camped at Standing Rock, North Dakota — the largest Native convergence in over a century. Just this past Monday, as authorities try to make way for the proposed Dakota Access pipeline, these peaceful protestors were met with tear gas, rubber bullets, and water hoses — in freezing temperatures, and on tribal lands that our government previously guaranteed would be protected. Nearly 20 protesters were taken to the hospital. What a disgraceful way to treat the native peoples of our country.
    This Thanksgiving, as we offer words of thanks for all we’ve been blessed with, we also acknowledge the many people who are not at the table with us. People like the those gathered at Standing Rock, who continue the fight for their right to clean water.
    If you’d like to join us in setting a larger table this Thanksgiving, here is a Mi’Kmaq prayer that serves as a simple yet powerful acknowledgement of our shared humanity:
    “Creator, open our hearts to peace and healing between all people.
    Creator, open our hearts to provide and protect for all children of the earth.
    Creator, open our hearts to peace and healing between all people.
    Creator, open our hearts to respect for the earth, and all the gifts of the earth.
    Creator, open our hearts to end exclusion, violence, and fear among all.
    Thank you for the gifts of this day and every day.”
    Many of us will be surrounded by loved ones and a warm meal this Thursday. Let’s not take that for granted — on Thanksgiving, or any other day. We at The Story of Stuff Project will continue to stand in solidarity with the vulnerable communities of our country, like the Standing Rock Sioux, who are fighting for a more sustainable, healthy and just planet.
    In the coming days, we’ll be sharing more ways you can Stand with Standing Rock. But for today, we wish you and your family a warm and meaningful holiday.
    Natalie and Shana, on behalf of the whole team at The Story of Stuff Project

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