The scrambled new politics of the minimum wage
The minimum wage fight is no longer simply a matter of labor and its Democratic allies vs. business groupings and their Republican allies. There now exist three camps: those who support a full $15 minimum wage, those opposed to raising the wage at all and those open to raising the minimum to something slightly under $15. Opponents of the minimum wage point to Amazon, which upped its starting wage to $15 an hour and is actively lobbying Congress in support of the Raise the Wage Act, as one reason to reprieve smaller businesses from suffering further financial hardship after a rough 2020. NBC News reports.
Indigenous tribes are reviving traditional hemp economies
Though Native American tribes were reluctant to get into hemp and cannabis under the Trump administration, the (now largely white-dominated) industry has the potential to benefit tribes economically as we transition into what those in the space refer to as the New Green Economy. They have fertile land and many of their economies are already buoyed by agriculture. Tribal sovereignty also provides these governments leeway with regard to the development of cannabis policies, which is key in today's constantly shifting world of cannabis regulation. Head to Civil Eats to learn more.
Report finds 931M tons of food sold to consumers gets wasted
A new report from the United Nations found that 17% (approximately 931 tons) of food sold at consumer-facing levels was thrown out in 2019. One big difference from prior analyses? The Index 2021 suggests that consumer-level food waste is “more than twice the previous FAO estimate” and that it is found “to be broadly similar across country income groups." Get the details at The Spoon.
The world's top countries for food security
Global food security was already diminishing as a result of intensive farming and climate change, but COVID-19 really kicked things up a notch last year. According to the 2020 Global Food Security Index, the top five countries with the highest rates of food security are (in ascending order) the Czech Republic, Austria, Netherlands, Ireland and Finland. See the data at World Economic Forum.
Real meat that vegetarians can eat
Josh Tetrick, chief executive of Eat Just, expects there will be a new term invented for those vegetarians and vegans who choose to dine on cell-cultivated meat now that the company's lab-grown chicken is available for sale. While the target market is flexitarians hoping to cut down on their emissions, many ethical vegans say they would choose to indulge in the lab-grown flesh (if the nutrient solution is also vegetarian, which it isn't right now) once it's widely available. On the other hand, some animal advocates worry that cultured meat will end up reinforcing the idea that humans both need and deserve meat. The Wall Street Journal has the scoop.