15 Things You Need To Know Today (May 11)
1. Global warming is threatening our coffee supply.
According to new research, if temperatures continue to rise at the rate they're expected to, it could make 80 percent of Arabica-growing land in Brazil and Central America unfit for farming by 2050. This will also affect coffee costs and quality worldwide and may force production to be moved to other continents. Even Starbucks is scared. (MIT)
2. One in five plants are at risk of going extinct.
A first-of-its-kind report shows that human activities like farming and logging are ruining natural habitats at an alarming rate. (Reuters)
3. The Philippines has just elected its first transgender woman to political office.
Geraldine Roman has just been elected to serve a three-year term in the country's house of representatives. In an interview with AFP, she was quoted as saying, "I grew up here. People know me. [Gender] only becomes an issue when you try to keep it a secret. It's nothing bad. I never hurt anyone in the process. I'm so happy, so why should I be ashamed?" (BuzzFeed)
4. What does science really say about circumcision?
Those in favor of circumcision point to studies showing the health benefits, even though they are small in countries where HIV isn't rampant. Meanwhile, opponents point to potential complications, although those are rare. In other words, the evidence doesn't make the choice any easier for parents. And because of moral and religious factors, the decision still remains a very personal one. (NY Times)
5. Meghan Trainor had her video for "Me Too" taken down after seeing the Photoshopped version.
The vocally body-positive singer was slimmed down without her approval and won't let the video be released again until the faux pas has been remedied. The star told Andy Cohen on Watch What Happens, "I was so upset because I thought the fans were doing it online when they were screenshotting it; I was like, what’s going on? Then I saw my video. I was like, oh my god. It’s my own video. And I called the gods of Vevo and I said, ‘Take that down now.’” (Jezebel)
6. There might not be scientific evidence behind regulations around marijuana and driving.
The findings from AAA, the country's largest automobile club, say there's no way "to set a blood-test threshold for THC, the chemical in marijuana that makes people high, that can reliably determine impairment." (Business Insider)
7. Amazon joins the fray of meal-kit delivery services.
8. Doctors are being trained to better manage their feelings.
A growing number of hospitals are now offering their doctors resilience training and teaching them coping skills, in the hopes of reducing burnout from dealing with death and sickness on a daily basis. (WSJ)
9. Five Pacific islands have literally disappeared thanks to climate change.
The discovery shows just how much erosion and rising seas are affecting this region of the world. (The Guardian)
10. Pesticides may increase the risk of ALS.
A new study suggests a link between pesticides and ALS, or Lou Gehrig's disease. While the research doesn't prove cause, it found that three particular toxins were higher in patients diagnosed with the fatal neurological disease. (HealthDay)
11. The FDA thinks it's time to redefine the word "healthy."
Finally. The FDA's current guidelines for what's considered "healthy" haven't been updated since the '90s—and a lot of research has occurred since then. Under the current regulations, cereal high in sugar is considered "healthier" than avocados and nuts because they're higher in fat. The agency said that, in light of evolving nutrition research and other forthcoming food-labeling rules, “we believe now is an opportune time to re-evaluate regulations concerning nutrient content claims, generally, including the term ‘healthy.’" (mindbodygreen)
12. New York just hosted an epic festival in celebration of food waste.
Chefs, environmentalists, and food activists joined together in Union Square yesterday to fashion a feast out of ingredients that would have otherwise been thrown away. Juice pulp burgers, toast with whipped cream butter, and whey cocktails all graced the menu. The event, hosted by environmental organization Feeding 5000, is heading to Washington, D.C., next. (Fast CoExist)
13. Steph Curry just became the first unanimous NBA Most Valuable Player.
The Golden State Warriors guard—who also happens to be a big proponent of clean eating and float tanks—swept all 131 first-place votes, winning the award for a second straight season. (ESPN)
14. Gut microbes might influence brain inflammation.
New research suggests a link between bacteria in your gut, influenced by what you eat, and brain inflammation, including in neurodegenerative diseases like multiple sclerosis. (Harvard Gazette)
15. Urban farms are pretty cool, but can they sustainably feed local populations?
A review conducted by The Center for a Livable Future questioned whether urban farming initiatives were useful in terms of feeding people in need. While community farms were associated with providing better access to fresh produce and bringing neighborhoods together, to actually meet real hunger needs in large cities, there would need to be significantly more farms and production. (Civil Eats)