Category Archives: Odds and Ends

Piece in The New Yorker about paleo diets

I recently decided that, even though I’m not interested in happenings in New York City, The New Yorker has enough good writing to give a subscription a try. So far I’ve been enjoying getting it.

The current issue of has a piece by Elizabeth Kolbert called How The Paleolithic Life Got So Trendy about spending a week on a paleo diet. Broadly speaking, a paleo diet limits the eater to the kinds of foods humans ate before the invention of agriculture. She summarizes the thinking behind such diets, quotes leading proponents, etc.

She ends with an incredibly important point: Continue reading

Blog post on Mac’s List

A while back I wrote a piece for Emerging Local Government Leaders about my job hunt. Someone from Mac’s List liked it and asked me to adapt it for their blog. Mac’s List is the top site for posting nonprofit job openings in Portland and has a great blog with useful tips about job hunting and professional development. I was happy to have the opportunity to write for them.

Here it is:

It’s The Nature of the Job Search, Not You

Please share with anyone you think might enjoy it or find it helpful.

My local food week

As I’ve mentioned before, part of my initial interest in food politics was inspired by wide-ranging books like Fast Food Nation and The Omnivore’s Dilemma, but my research had to stay tightly focused. I also had to focus on writing the dissertation and made the choice not to get too involved in a community I knew I’d be leaving.

So I’ve been enjoying being able to get involved in various small projects related to local food.

Monday we were assigned a bed in the community garden and I planted the plants we’d purchased the previous day (The Overworked Resident was, naturally, working). It was hot, but it was rewarding to do something with concrete results.

Continue reading

Working for the Farmers’ Market

When this post goes live I’ll be hard at work helping set up for the first South Waterfront Farmers Market of the season. I’m happy to be employed one day a week, both for the routine and the way it will add some structure to my week.

I’m also looking forward to meeting new people and learning about our local food system. Some of the early books that got be excited about food politics–Cod, The Omnivore’s Dilemma, Sweetness and Power–took a broad view of the topic. For my dissertation I needed to pick a few pieces of Brazil’s Zero Hunger and really try to zoom in on them. So it ended up being a lot about a bunch of different aspects of giving people money so they can buy food. My interviews and reading dealt with a lot of the other stuff, too–popular restaurants, agricultural development programs, etc.–but that was tangental and didn’t end up in the actual dissertation.

It will also be nice to hang out outside on a beautiful day, listen to live music, and sample some good food.

The American Political Science Association (APSA) now has a Class and Inequality Section

I recently received the following email, which I’m happy to pass along (with the permission of the section organizers):

Thank you for signing our petition to create an organized section on “Class and Inequality” in the American Political Science Association. Earlier this week, the APSA approved our request! Starting in 2015, the Class and Inequality Section will begin hosting panels at the APSA’s Annual Meetings.

We’re truly grateful for your support. And now that the section has been approved, we hope you’ll continue to be involved in its activities by joining the section, submitting paper and panel proposals for future conferences, or even helping to organize the section. We’ll be holding a preliminary organizational meeting at this year’s conference in Washington (we’ll email soon with the date, time, and agenda), and after that we’ll let everyone know about the section’s plans for the coming year.

Thank you again for being a part of this important effort. Our discipline has a lot to contribute to debates about the issues of economic and social class inequality. We’re very grateful that our flagship professional association will now have an organized section devoted to these important topics, and we hope you’ll continue to be a part of this exciting new chapter for the APSA!

Nick Carnes
Meredith Sadin
Chris Faricy


Update (6/2/14): You can sign up for the section’s email list here.

Be sure to catch Bittman’s piece on organics and GMOs

When this post goes up I’ll be on my way to Chapel Hill, NC for my doctoral hooding ceremony. But I need to keep to my schedule! What I have for you is this: Mark Bittman’s latest NYT op-ed Leave ‘Organic’ Out of It is the best thing I’ve written about food politics in quite a while. If you’re into those issues and (it seems to me that darn near everyone is, but that’s surely in part because I live in Portlandia and before that lived in Chapel Hill, Carrboro, and Brasília…) it’s well worth reading the entire thing.

Definition of idealist, cynic, and realist

The book Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity by David Allen has forever changed how I think about tasks, projects, inboxes, calendars, etc. Allen puts various quotations in the margins of the book. I was recently remembering this one:

An idealist believes that the short run doesn’t count. A cynic believes the long run doesn’t matter. A realist believes that what is left done or undone in the short run determines the long run. –Sidney J. Harris

(Quoted on p. 253)