National / International News
An analyst says GM might have benefited from the safety recalls that brought customers back to its dealerships. Many automakers saw strong gains compared to last year.
If you were a foodie at the dawn of the twentieth century - though, no one would call you a foodie - you probably would have paid attention to what Horace Fletcher had to say.
Fletcher was a wealthy businessman. But he was neither a scientist nor a chef. Still, he pioneered 'Fletcherizing,' or chewing each bite 32 times. It was soon accepted as a key to good health. "Nature will castigate those who don't masticate!" he warned.
The concept seems ridiculous today. But each food fad is a reflection of its time.
Now, we have kale: glamorous but respected; sexy but not in a cookie-cutter way. The Cate Blanchett of vegetables. Like any starlet that has hit the big time, kale is everywhere. It bumps romaine out of Caesar salads. It curls across pizzas and alongside locally raised pork chops. It's the muse for part-cookbook, part-love letter, 50 Shades of Kale.
Why kale? Why now?
To its credit, kale has a vibrant history. It emerged in ancient Egypt, Greece and Rome. By the Middle Ages, it became so popular in England and Scotland, 'kale' became another word for "dinner." During World War II, Britain urged home gardeners to grow kale for its "Dig for Victory" campaign. Today it offers those who cook it a badge of honor. Rightly or wrongly, it signals a cook’s commitment to farm to table values, like buying local and, of course, eating your vegetables.
Yet, with every fad comes the inevitable backlash. The first haters are beginning to attack not kale’s pretensions of grandeur but its health credentials. Apparently, all those raw kale salads are a waste. To get the nutrients, you need to cook the stuff.
Yet, with every fad comes the inevitable backlash. The first people to hate on kale claimed it wasn't as healthy as everyone said. Then, they said .... 'only really snooty people eat it.'
Unlike France, Italy and China, the U.S. goes through food fads faster than a box of $4 cupcakes at an office party. So those critiques matter. And before kale was the "it" vegetable, sun-dried tomatoes, arugula, portobello mushrooms and celery root each wore the heavy crown.
Still, the backlash has yet to change people's minds about kale. There's a petition on Change.org to make the first Wednesday of October National Kale Day. Folk artist Bo Muller-Moore is locked in a trademark battle with Chick-fil-A to allow him to keep selling T-shirts that read "Eat More Kale."
If the ubiquitous raw kale salad can't live up to its nutritious and culinary promise, perhaps the solution is to mix and match culinary fads.
Put that arugula, mushrooms, and sun-dried tomatoes back into those bowls.
Anyone ready to Fletcherize?
Across New England, a chain of Market Basket grocery stores saw protests this week. Protests in support, not against, former company President Arthur T. Demoulas.
Market Basket's board pushed him out in a massive family feud, and now the chain is losing MILLIONS of dollar as thousands of employees AND customers, have hit the streets.
We asked WGBH reporter Rupa Shenoy to get the bottom of this story.
The word sanctions gets tossed around a lot. The U.S. has sanctions on Iran, Russia, and even Cuba dating back to the Cold War. It's the go-to way to isolate and starve a bad actor, using money.
This week, the U.S. and the E.U. tightened the screws on Russia with even more sanctions.
So how do these things work, anyway?
To find out we met up with economist Sheryl King, director at Roubini Global Economics, outside the United Nations to explain their global impact.
Get prepped for your own brunch:
Talks broke down between Argentina and some of its bondholders, triggering its second default in the past 13 years.
Tim Ferholz, reporter for Quartz, explains the situation and Argentina's past:
The whole reason for Argentina’s 2001 default was the string of currency crises in Asia and South America in the 1990s, with the IMF and other international financial leaders having bungled their responses to a series of problems in developing economies. Between the specter of contagion, local corruption, and an unwise attempt to peg Argentina’s currency to the dollar, foreign investment poured out of Argentina, and the economy slumped. Social unrest rose, and amid a volatile mix of political chaos, bank runs and high unemployment, Argentina defaulted on $100 billion of debt, going from a poster child for the Washington consensus to its biggest victim.
The Pentagon has recommended cutting troop strength to 450,000, but a bipartisan report says that given the global threats, the reduction is too big.