resume manufacturing of Similac formulas at its plant in Sturgis.

The company also said that it increased production at other U.S.-based manufacturing plants and one in Ireland, and that it would supply the United States with more than eight million pounds of formula in August, an increase from the year before. But it noted it would take six weeks for the Similac product from the Sturgis plant to start to hit store shelves.

But some industry experts say it will take time for Abbott to gain back the market share it once had. “To be frank, there is a lot of consumer mistrust around Similac right now,” said Mr. Dittmeier of the W.I.C. program.

That could be a boon for Reckitt Benckiser, which has been running its formula manufacturing plants at full tilt all summer, hoping to hold on to the market share it has gained at Abbott’s expense. Its market share has climbed to nearly 60 percent from 35 percent before the recall, said Robert Cleveland, who oversees the Mead Johnson nutrition business at Reckitt.

“We remain committed to making as much formula as we can,” Mr. Cleveland said. “We continue to maximize our domestic manufacturing, running overtime and going 24/7.” He added that the company had received approval to bring in formula from its plants in Singapore and specialty formula from its facilities in Mexico.

Still, in late August, when Lori Sharp, a first-time mother in Port Hueneme, Calif., realized she was down to one container of Reckitt’s Enfamil Sensitive infant formula for her 3-month-old daughter, the formula was out of stock on Walmart.com.

Panicking, she scoured more websites and widened her geographic search. She eventually discovered a container of formula at a Target 40 minutes away in Moorpark, Calif. “I went into the store and they actually had four more, but their shelves were so bare,” Ms. Sharp said. “I bought all of them.”

In Georgia, some of the most acute shortages are in rural areas. Jennifer Kelly, who is the family services manager at the early Head Start program in Swainsboro, which is between Macon and Savannah, said trying to find formula earlier this summer had become a “daily chore.”

The 14 babies she watches drink seven different kinds of formula. She and her staff were often driving to Walmart, Walgreens or a local grocery chain or scouring Amazon for some of the more obscure brands.

“It’s not like it was a few months ago when the shelves were bare,” Ms. Kelly said. “I am hoping we are on the other side of this dilemma.”

When the formula shortage was at a crisis point in May, Ms. Robinson of Bucks County, Pa., created a Facebook group that connected parents around the country. The group, called Formula Hunters, does not exchange money to keep out profiteers who have been hoarding formula and seeking to resell it at a markup.

The group operates on the notion that a parent who buys a hard-to-find formula brand and sends it to another parent in the group will eventually be repaid when others do the same for them.

Formula Hunters now has 1,500 members, who are still actively helping each other locate formula. “This has been going on for so many months,” Ms. Robinson said. “The frustration has been high.”

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Why Does Swiss Cheese Have Holes In It?

Swiss cheese used to be turned down by cheesemakers, but now those holes you see have become a distinct feature in the cheese.

Cheese is always “grate.

I mean, when you have cheese, it’s the sign you’re having a “gouda” day and you could “disa-brie” … I mean, disagree.

But everything is always “cheddar” — excuse me — better, with cheese.

Okay, okay, a little cheesey, I know.

When it comes to Swiss cheese, it feels like something is missing.

Why does it have holes?

First off, the cheese experts actually call those holes “eyes.”

And they’re caused by carbon dioxide bubbles that form in the cheese.

Time to put on our scientist cap and put Swiss cheese under the microscope.

Bacterial culture called “propionibacterium”— or “props” for short, are behind the eyes.

This bacteria is in hay, grass and soil and ends up in milk from cows.

That milk makes its way to a cheese factory where it’s standardized, pasteurized, and brined.

After that, the cheese sits in a warm room which helps the props form those carbon dioxide bubbles.

Those bubbles are left alone while the cheese ferments, resulting in its eyes.

The holes used to be seen as a deformity, and cheesemakers tried to get rid of them.

But today, they’re a distinct part of Swiss cheese.

In fact, the cheese industry even pays the government to rate its cheese.

Grade-A Swiss cheese has eyes that are between three-eights of an inch and thirteen-sixteenths of an inch in diameter.

And with more than 300 million pounds of Swiss cheese produced annually in the U.S. — that’s a lot of eyes.

Source: newsy.com

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Dairy Farmers in the Netherlands Are Up in Arms Over Emission Cuts

WOUDENBERG, Netherlands — The dairy farmers of the Netherlands have had enough.

They have set fire to hay and manure along highways, dumped trash on roads to create traffic jams, and blockaded food distribution centers with their tractors, leading to empty shelves in supermarkets. Across the country, upside down flags wave from farmhouses in protest.

The anger of the farmers is directed at the government, which has announced plans for a national 50 percent reduction of nitrogen emissions by 2030, in line with European Union requirements to preserve protected nature reserves, that they believe unfairly targets them. Factories and cars also emit large amounts of nitrogen and have not been targeted, they say, although the government said that cuts associated with both polluters would be addressed in the future.

Agriculture is responsible for the largest share of nitrogen emissions in the Netherlands, much of it from the waste produced by the estimated 1.6 million cows that provide the milk used to make the country’s famed cheeses, like Gouda and Edam.

wrote in a letter to the Dutch minister of agriculture this month that “the transition to a sustainable agricultural and food system is urgent and necessary.” The letter also said that consumers in the Netherlands needed to do their part to make sure emissions targets were reached.

“Consumers also have to take responsibility,” it said. “Dutch people will have to consume more vegetables and fewer (-70%) animal proteins.”

All of this comes as wrenching change in the Netherlands, where dairy farms have long been as much of the national identity as the country’s windmills and canals. It is also a major producer and exporter of milk and milk products. Last year it sent €8.2 billion worth of dairy products abroad and produced a total of 13.8 billion kilos of milk, according to ZuivelNL, a Dairy organization.

to a survey by a Dutch research firm.

Prime Minister Mark Rutte, who this month became the country’s longest-serving prime minister and has grappled with what is known in the Netherlands as “the nitrogen crisis,” has condemned the protests, calling them “unacceptable.”

said recently on Twitter.

in July.

former President Donald J. Trump said at a rally last month.

For now, a government-appointed mediator is engaged in negotiations between the farmers and the government. The mediator has said there is a “crisis of confidence” between the two sides.

“We’re not going without a fight,” said Mr. Apeldoorn, the dairy farmer. “That’s how most farmers feel right now.”

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Dorli Rainey, Symbol Of Occupy Movement, Dies At 95

By Associated Press
August 20, 2022

In November 2011, in the early days of the Occupy Wall Street movement, Rainey, then 84, joined protesters in blocking downtown intersections.

Dorli Rainey, a self-described “old lady in combat boots” who became a symbol of the Occupy protest movement when she was photographed after being pepper-sprayed by Seattle police, has died. She was 95.

The longtime political activist died on Aug. 12, the Seattle Times reported. Her daughter, Gabriele Rainey, told the newspaper her mom was “so active because she loved this country, and she wanted to make sure that the country was good to its people.”

Rainey was a fixture in the local progressive movement for decades, demonstrating for racial justice, affordable housing and public transit, and against war, nuclear weapons and big banks.

In November 2011, in the early days of the Occupy Wall Street movement, Rainey, then 84, joined protesters in blocking downtown intersections. She was hit when Seattle police used pepper spray to clear the crowd.

Fellow protesters poured milk over her face to ease the sting, and a seattlepi.com photographer, Joshua Trujillo, captured a stunning image of her staring defiantly into the camera, her eyes red and milk dripping off her face.

The photo became a worldwide symbol for the protest movement. She was profiled by The Washington Post, The Atlantic, The Associated Press and The Guardian.

“It’s a gruesome picture,” she told the AP. “I’m really not that bad looking.”

Then-Mayor Mike McGinn apologized and ordered a review of the incident. Rainey was back out protesting a couple of days later.

“Dorli is legendary, and deservedly so, for her activism,” McGinn said Friday. “She was just omnipresent and a conscience and a voice for change, and I deeply, deeply, deeply respected her.”

Rainey was born in Austria in 1926. She was a Red Cross nurse and then worked in Europe as a technical translator for the U.S. Army for 10 years. She married Max Rainey, a civil engineer who got a job with Boeing, and they moved to the Seattle area in 1956.

She worked as a court-appointed special advocate, representing children who have experienced abuse or neglect, and as a real-estate agent. She served on the Issaquah School Board and ran for King County Council a half-century ago, and she made a brief run for Seattle mayor in 2009.

She had three children, Gabriele, of Asheville, North Carolina; Michael, of Boston; and Andrea, who died in 2014. She was also preceded in death by her husband, Max.

Additional reporting by The Associated Press.

Source: newsy.com

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How Pharmacy Work Stopped Being So Great

If any group of workers might have expected their pay to rise last year, it would arguably have been pharmacists. With many drugstores dispensing coronavirus tests and vaccines while filling hundreds of prescriptions each day, working as a pharmacist became a sleep-deprived, lunch-skipping frenzy — one in which ornery customers did not hesitate to vent their frustrations over the inevitable backups and bottlenecks.

“I was stressed all day long about giving immunizations,” said Amanda Poole, who left her job as a pharmacist at a CVS in Tuscaloosa, Ala., in June. “I’d look at patients and say to them, ‘I’d love to fill your prescriptions today, but there’s no way I can.’”

Yet pay for pharmacists, who typically spend six or seven years after high school working toward their professional degree, fell nearly 5 percent last year after adjusting for inflation. Dr. Poole said her pay, about $65 per hour, did not increase in more than four years — first at an independent pharmacy, then at CVS.

data collected by a team of economists at the University of California, Berkeley.

The gap is part of a long-term trend made worse by a slowdown in pay gains for middle- and upper-middle-income workers in the 2000s. “If you’re going to a hedge fund or investment bank or a tech company, you’ve done enormously well,” said Lawrence Katz, a labor economist at Harvard. Typical college graduates, he said, “have not done that great.”

The stagnation appears to have moved up the income ladder in the last few years, even touching those in the top 10 percent.

In some cases, the explanation may be a temporary factor, like inflation. But pharmacists illustrate how slow wage growth can point to a longer-term shift that renders once sought-after jobs less rewarding financially and emotionally.

wages in the profession surged as the country faced a pharmacist shortage driven by an aging population and a rise in chronic conditions.

typically take two or three years of college-level prerequisites before earning a four-year professional degree.)

But by the 2010s, the market for pharmacists was cooling thanks to some of the same factors that have weighed on other middle-class professions. Large chains such as Walgreens and CVS were buying up competitors and adjacent businesses like health insurers.

Consolidation among benefit managers gave them more leverage over pharmacies to drive prices lower. (CVS merged with a large benefits manager in 2007.)

Big drugstore chains often responded by trying to rein in labor costs, according to William Doucette, a professor of pharmacy practice at the University of Iowa. Several pharmacists who worked at Walgreens and CVS said the formulas their companies used to allocate labor resulted in low levels of staffing that were extremely difficult to increase.

According to documents provided by a former CVS pharmacist, managers are motivated by bonuses to stay within these aggressive targets. CVS said it made staffing decisions to ensure “the safe and accurate filling of prescriptions.”

The day that Dr. Poole began seriously reconsidering her CVS job in Tuscaloosa came in May 2021 when, nearly eight months pregnant, she fainted at work.

The loss of consciousness was nothing serious in itself — she and the baby were unharmed, and an adjustment to her blood-pressure medication solved the problem. Much more alarming to her was what the episode said about working conditions: Despite the additional responsibilities of the pandemic, like coronavirus vaccines and catering to Covid-19 patients, there was no co-worker around to notice that she had hit the deck.

contract signed in March by a union of Chicago-area Walgreens pharmacists reflected a similar approach. It provided maximum base pay of $64.50 per hour, the same as the previous contract, but lowered the starting wage from $58 per hour to $49.55 per hour by September. (Like many retail pharmacists, the union members also receive bonuses.)

CVS and Walgreens said they had made hiring pharmacists a priority during the pandemic — CVS said it employed nearly 6 percent more pharmacists today than it did in early 2020; Walgreens declined to provide a figure. CVS said its compensation was “very competitive” for pharmacists, and Walgreens cited “ongoing phased wage increases”; both chains have offered signing bonuses to recruit pharmacists. The Chicago union said Walgreens had recently offered to raise pay for about one-quarter of its lowest-paid members.

To explain the wage stagnation of upper-middle-class workers during the pandemic, some economists have suggested that affluent workers are willing to accept lower wage growth for the ability to work from home. Dr. Katz, of Harvard, said the wages of many affluent workers might simply be slower to adjust to inflation than the wages of lower-paid workers.

But Marshall Steinbaum, an economist at the University of Utah, said the fact that upper-middle-class workers were not able to claim a larger share of last year’s exceptionally high corporate profits “speaks to the disempowerment of workers at all levels of status.”

change in state regulations would allow pharmacy technicians to administer shots. “They expected the techs to transition into that role,” Dr. Knolhoff said.

Overall, the industry added more than 20,000 technicians — an increase of about 5 percent — from 2020 to 2021. In that time, prescription volume increased roughly the same percentage, according to data from Barclays.

The effective replacement of higher-paid workers with lower-paid workers has also occurred in other sectors, such as higher education. But at drugstores, where pharmacists must sign off on every prescription, this shift has left little margin for error.

In August 2020, Dr. Wommack, the Walgreens pharmacist in Missouri, got Covid. A colleague covered her first two days out but couldn’t cover the third, at which point the store simply closed because there was no backup plan.

Several pharmacists said they were especially concerned that understaffing had put patients at risk, given the potentially deadly consequences of mix-ups. “It was so mentally taxing,” said Dr. Poole, the Tuscaloosa pharmacist. “Every day, I was like: I hope I don’t kill anyone.”

Asked about safety and staffing, CVS and Walgreens said they had made changes, like automating routine tasks, to help pharmacists focus on the most important aspects of their jobs.

Many pharmacists contacted for this article quit rather than face this persistent dread, often taking lower-paying positions.

Still, none had regrets about the decision to leave. “I was 4,000 pounds lighter the moment I sent my resignation email in,” said Dr. Wommack, who left the company in May 2021 and now works at a small community hospital.

As for the medication she had taken for depression and anxiety while at Walgreens, she said, “Shortly after I stopped working there, I stopped taking those pills.”

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UN: U.S. Buying Big Ukraine Grain Shipment For Hungry Regions

The shipment is one of several the U.N. agency that fights hunger is pursuing.

The United States is stepping up to buy about 150,000 metric tons of grain from Ukraine in the next few weeks for an upcoming shipment of food aid from ports no longer blockaded by war, the World Food Program chief has told The Associated Press.

The final destinations for the grain are not confirmed and discussions continue, David Beasley said. But the planned shipment, one of several the U.N. agency that fights hunger is pursuing, is more than six times the amount of grain that the first WFP-arranged ship from Ukraine is now carrying toward people in the Horn of Africa at risk of starvation.

Beasley spoke Friday from northern Kenya, which is deep in a drought that is withering the Horn of Africa region. He sat under a thorn tree among local women who told the AP that the last time it rained was in 2019.

Their bone-dry communities face yet another failed rainy season within weeks that could tip parts of the region, especially neighboring Somalia, into famine. Already, thousands of people have died. The World Food Program says 22 million people are hungry.

“I think there’s a high probability we’ll have a declaration of famine” in the coming weeks, Beasley said.

He called the situation facing the Horn of Africa a “perfect storm on top of a perfect storm, a tsunami on top of a tsunami” as the drought-prone region struggles to cope amid high food and fuel prices driven partly by the war in Ukraine.

The keenly awaited first aid ship from Ukraine is carrying 23,000 metric tons of grain, enough to feed 1.5 million people on full rations for a month, Beasley said. It is expected to dock in Djibouti on Aug. 26 or 27, and the wheat is supposed to be shipped overland to northern Ethiopia, where millions of people in the Tigray, Afar and Amhara regions have faced not only drought but deadly conflict.

Ukraine was the source of half the grain that WFP bought last year to feed 130 million hungry people. Russia and Ukraine signed agreements with the U.N. and the Turkish government last month to enable exports of Ukrainian grain for the first time since Russia’s invasion in February.

But the slow reopening of Ukraine’s ports and the cautious movement of cargo ships across the mined Black Sea won’t solve the global food security crisis, Beasley said. He warned that richer countries must do much more to keep grain and other assistance flowing to the hungriest parts of the world, and he named names.

“With oil profits being so high right now — record-breaking profits, billions of dollars every week — … the Gulf states need to help, need to step up and do it now,” Beasley said. “It’s inexcusable not to. Particularly since these are their neighbors, these are their brothers, their family.”

He asserted the World Food Program could save “millions of lives” with just one day of Gulf countries’ oil profits.

China needs to help as well, Beasley said.

“China’s the second-largest economy in the world, and we get diddly-squat from China,” or very little, he added.

Despite grain leaving Ukraine and hopes rising of global markets beginning to stabilize, the world’s most vulnerable people face a long, difficult recovery, the WFP chief said.

“Even if this drought ends, we’re talking about a global food crisis at least for another 12 months,” Beasley said. “But in terms of the poorest of the poor, it’s gonna take several years to come out of this.”

Some of the world’s poorest people without enough food are in northern Kenya, where animal carcasses are slowly stripped to the bone beneath an ungenerous sky. Millions of livestock, the source of families’ wealth and nutrition, have died in the drought. Many water pumps have gone dry. More and more thousands of children are malnourished.

“Don’t forget us,” resident Hasan Mohamud told Beasley. “Even the camels have disappeared. Even the donkeys have succumbed.”

With so many in need, aid that does arrive can disappear like a raindrop in the sand. Local women who qualified for WFP cash handouts described taking the 6,500 shillings (about $54) and sharing it among their neighbors — in one case, 10 households.

“The most interesting thing we hear is people saying, ‘We’re not the only ones,'” WFP program officer Felix Okech told the AP. “‘We’re the ones who have been selected (for handouts), but there are many more like us.’ So that is very humbling to hear.”

In a small crowd that had gathered to listen to stories of children too weak to stand and milk gone dry, one woman at the edge of the woven plastic mat spoke up. Sahara Abdilleh, 50, said she makes perhaps 1,000 shillings ($8.30) a week from gathering firewood, scouring a landscape that gives less and less back every day. Like Beasley, she was thinking globally.

“Is there any country, like Afghanistan or Ukraine, that is worse off than us?” she asked.

Additional reporting by the Associated Press.

Source: newsy.com

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How Social Media Has Fueled The ‘Clean Eating’ Movement

Clean eating can mean different things for different people, but the influence of social media on diet trends is ever-changing, from gluten to dairy.

Social media has a big influence on food trends and what humans eat. 

A study funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture found that social media actually helps young adults choose healthier foods. One survey of over 1,200 young people ages 14 to 24 found that more than half were familiar with the term “clean eating” from social media, other online sources or their peers.

The hashtag #EatClean has more than 61 million posts on Instagram. But, how exactly did this trend become so popular, and what does it mean to “eat clean?”

The meaning of the term “eat clean” can vary by person. Generally, it means eating foods that are as close to their natural state as possible by avoiding processed foods and added preservatives.

Diets have been a trend for several decades. Counting calories dates back to the 1910s and Weight Watchers emerged in the 60s. The Atkins diet and other low-carb diets became popular in the 90s and early 2000s.

Our modern idea of clean eating can be traced back to popular books like “The Eat-Clean Diet” in 2007 and “Clean,” which came out in 2009. These books promoted more than a diet but a lifestyle — the idea that eating these foods was a more holistic way of living. Over the last decade, more people started cutting a lot of things out of their diets.

Sondra Kronberg is a licensed clinical nutritionist, certified eating disorder specialist and founder of Eating Disorder Treatment Collaborative. She’s seen a lot of diet trends evolve over the years, and she’s seen the impact social media has on diet trends today.

“There’s enormous pressure to eat right, to look right, to fit in to this culture — never used to be like that,” Kronberg said. “I mean, there was a cluster of people who thought eating was so important and what you eat. But now everything — the chemicals, where it comes from, the pollution — I mean, there’s a lot of value on what food you eat.”

Between 2009 and 2014, the number of Americans who stopped eating gluten, even though they didn’t have celiac disease, more than tripled. The lead researcher on that study thinks one reason for this is because being gluten-free became trendy for health-conscious people. There were also more people stepping away from dairy and substituting regular milk for almond or oat milk. Sales for those other regular milk alternatives grew by more than 60% between 2012 and 2018.

During the pandemic, there was a surge in plant-based diets. In 2021, the plant-based food market value rose to an all-time high of more than $7 billion, growing by more than 50% in three years.

Experts say part of this could have been because of COVID-19. Some people may have wanted to eat healthier to improve their immune response. Harvard researchers found that plant-based diets could decrease the risk of getting a severe case of the virus. 

On social media, more influencers promoting their plant-based lifestyles have emerged. People like Tabitha Brown blew up on TikTok during the pandemic with her tasty-looking, vegan-inspired foods. She now has more than 4 million followers on Instagram and Tik Tok and has a cookbook coming out.

There are also celebrities like Gwyneth Paltrow, actor and founder of wellness brand “Goop,” who are known for talking about and promoting clean and vegan eating. Brooklyn Nets player Kyrie Irving claims his plant-based diet has made him a better player.

It’s an easy option for celebrities and influencers, and it’s likely these trends will show up on the plates of higher-income people. That’s because healthy foods are expensive. Consumer Reports says organic foods cost about 40% more than non-organic foods.

In the past several years, natural and organic foods have made the jump from special health food stores to more traditional grocery stores, but that only does so much for “food deserts” — neighborhoods that lack access to grocery stores to begin with.

Some nutritionists warn that the idea of clean eating can create or worsen stigmas attached to certain foods that aren’t especially bad for you, like anything that’s not clean eating can become “dirty.” But, some nutritionists say that’s not necessarily true because healthy eating is subjective, and you should figure out what works for you with the help of a licensed professional, rather than turning to social media for advice. “Trainers working out in the gym are giving out nutritional advice, and the guy who makes the smoothie is giving out nutritional advice,” Kronberg said. “Everybody thinks they know something from their own experience, and I will give them credit for having their own experience. But that is your own experience.”

Although 71% of young adults surveyed defined clean eating as healthy, it has the potential to become dangerous. When people are on strict diets, they can develop an eating disorder called orthorexia. It can cause people start avoiding certain events and eating with friends out of fear that they won’t be able to find the right food.

“So if somebody is older, they’re eating, they’re dieting, and they’re trying to manipulate their body and size, the weight, in a stillman’s way, let’s say,” Kronberg said. “They and the younger generation are eating all clean and pure and healthy and the salmon from Alaska, so based on what’s going on in the culture that becomes part of the eating disorder. You can eat as whole and as fresh and as raw as possible, but sometimes you have to be able to eat something that’s not.”

One study found that among young adults, the higher use of Instagram is associated with developing Orthorexia, so while social media has the power to introduce people to healthier eating options, it can also do the exact opposite.

As more people continue to change their diets because of social media’s influence, the question is how to move beyond the current trends.

“I think it’s going to take a while,” Kronberg said. “But I do think — just like other movements that are occurring now where people are saying we don’t all have to be the same, and in fact we’re not all the same — we all need to come to our own inner way of taking care of ourselves.”

Source: newsy.com

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