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Open Thread: Trailing badly, Trump suggests that his followers shoot Hillary if she wins

With Trump’s position in the polls continuing its downward slide, The Donald winkingly suggested to his “second amendment people” at a rally today that they could, you know, assassinate her if (when?) he loses the race.

This is probably not news to anyone reading this, but if you haven’t watched the video itself yet, it’s even creepier than a mere transcript. He and his apologists have tried to spin this one away but there is no credible way to “explain” this as anything other than a call for the literal assassination of a political rival. 

We need to do everything possible to keep this man from being elected. Do we also need to prepare for what might happen if (when?) he loses? How exactly, I’m not sure. Obviously the solution to Trump supporters with guns is not Hillary supporters with guns.

Discuss. No MRAs/Trump apologists/calls for revolution, etc.

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Catalpa
Catalpa
4 years ago

Humans have been messing with the genetics of crops and domesticated animals literally for thousands of years. They just did it by selective breeding for the majority of that time period. Direct genetic modification is not significantly different from that, it’s just more efficient.

The business practices of the vast majority of GMO-producers are absolutely awful, I won’t argue with you there, but there’s nothing inherently wrong with GMOs themselves. Supporting your local growers of food is great if you can afford it, but a huge section of the population cannot, or have no access to local produce. GMOs are what allow for many people to eat.

Handsome "These Pretzels Suck" Jack (formerly Pandapool)

@dlouwe

Doesn’t every food lose their antioxidants over time is they have any, considering antioxidants is what preserves the cells? I mean, oxidation, food-wise, is just spoilage, I think? So, like, apples just aren’t 100% good for long-term storage like other food because they make them spoil faster out of storage, maybe? If that what the study means? They still last longer in long-term storage.

And, like, do antioxidants actually do anything? I’m pretty sure that’s just a buzzword for the people who think blueberries cure depression and homeopathic medicine and probiotic yogurt.

leftwingfox
leftwingfox
4 years ago

@Handsome Jack: They do, but they’re over-hyped like every other Miracle Food. They can potentially reduce the chances of developing cancer by a known mechanism, but they can’t guarantee you’ll never get cancer. Good to have in your diet, not the miracle alt-med sites and blueberry farmers want people to believe.

dlouwe
dlouwe
4 years ago

@Handsome Jack

Honestly IDK. I didn’t bother looking into the study much, because I didn’t really think it a big deal either way. Like, a thrown-away rotten apple has 100% less nutrition than an apple that was cold stored for a year, so big whoop if it lost some antioxidant properties. I was mostly bringing it up for the sake of full disclosure.

GardenGallivant
GardenGallivant
4 years ago

Antioxidants prevent redox reactions. Rust is an example of a redox reaction in the open atmosphere when metal reacts with oxygen. Oxygen is highly reactive as is iron.
Redox reactions means there is a movement of electrons from one molecule to another, from high energy to a lower energy state. Enzymes can facilitate molecular reactions in life processes but free oxygen can react in undesirable ways. Oxygen is blocked from random reactions by antioxidents in living organisms.

Inside cells O2 can react with molecules other than those the organism needs O2 to react with. Thus random redox reactions can cause free radicals to form or in the case of plants O2 can bind the reaction site in rubisco the enzyme that binds CO2 in photosynthesis slowing carbon fixation in high temperatures. The presence of oxygen is both necessary for aerobic life and potentially damaging with uncontrolled redox reactions.

For example vitamin C, selenium and the common carotenoid or anthocycanin pigments, found in plants, act as antioxidents. These molecules make it possible for cells to carry out their processes in the presence of oxygen on its way to the mitochondria. We need O2 to complete the process in a series of stepwise redox reactions to transfer the stored energy from glucose breakdown to ATP and NADH (energy transport molecules).

The oxidation causes fruit to brown once exposed to air but not to spoil. Spoilage is bacterial or fungal organisms consuming the fruit.

Nick G
Nick G
4 years ago

As for feeding the world, there’s always Golden rice, rice engineered to generate vitamin A precursors in its husk to help deal with vitamin A deficiencies in many poorer communities. One of the original developers literally gives it away for free to subsistence farmers, and no royalties are charged if you’re making less than $10,000 growing the rice. – Jenora Feuer

“Golden rice” (there’s a neat marketing name for you!) is still at the development stage. Not a single grain is being grown for food. There are very simple ways of combating vitamin A deficiency without it, notably food suplementation.

Unfortunately, some of the tests of growing this in the Philippines got destroyed by activists. It’s one thing to say that things should be safely tested, but it’s another thing to then prevent any of the tests from possibly happening.

One field was trashed. Quite wrong, of course – and undoubtedly a huge own goal, since it’s hard to come across a pro-GMO article that does not excoriate the saboteurs, often calling them and anyone else who is sceptical about GMOs murderers.

There’s plenty of unscientific crap in the material of anti-GMO campaigners, certainly – see for example Virgin Mary’s ridiculous error of confusing Roundup (main ingredient glyphosate) with Agent Orange (main ingredients phenoxyl herbicides). Virgin Mary, do you really think Agent Orange would be on sale for use on people’s gardens, or that anyone would buy it if it were?

This is an area where the production of ignorant andor dishonest bullshit on both sides is truly impressive.

Alan Robertshaw
Alan Robertshaw
4 years ago

“Annoying but edible” describes a lot of people.

In respect of David’s rules though I’ll avoid setting out my plans for a recipe based revolution.

EJ (The Other One) - on Holiday

Due to having done some data analysis work for a supermarket company, I actually know something about produce in supermarkets, so I’ll chime in if I may. Apologies if this is a little long.

1. Most supermarket food wastage in the UK is low, around 4%-10%. The real waste occurs at the agricultural and processing stages. About 40% of food that’s grown doesn’t meet standards that allow it to be shipped to supermarkets. Much of the time that’s simply because it looks aesthetically wrong so people won’t buy it.

If you can find a way to persuade people to buy food that’s fine but looks weird (green or brown carrots, for example) then supermarkets and food processing companies would love to hear from you. Waste affects their profit margin, after all.

2. Another ~40% of food purchased is wasted once it gets home. This is sometimes because people shouldn’t shop when they’re hungry, but also because people buy fresh food to feel virtuous and then don’t actually get around to eating it later.

This problem is harder to fight because a solution will not make a company’s profits higher. In my opinion, better consumer education is the way forward but that’s an easy platitude to express and I don’t have an in-depth answer.

3. The shelf life of an apple in a shop is measured in days. Once it starts to discolour and deform it’s still edible but people won’t buy it, so it gets thrown out. Apples sitting on the shelf for years isn’t something I’ve ever heard of.

(Frozen food, on the other hand, genuinely lasts for years. The shelf life of a frozen chicken is five years. That roast chicken you had for Christmas may well have sat on the shelf next to the one you had last Christmas. This weirds me out even though I know intellectually that there’s nothing wrong with it.)

4. You didn’t mention it, but this is the most important factor of all when talking about supermarket food waste:

Food wastage in stores is mostly because of the fact that customers prefer buying products from full shelves. If they want a bag of potatoes and there’s only one bag left, they’ll look at it as if everyone else passed that bag over, and sometimes will not buy it at all because of the lurking suspicion that there’s something wrong with it. If this keeps happening then they might shop elsewhere.

Even for non-perishable foods, people simply do not like shopping at a shop which is mostly empty of products every evening. It’s a well-studied fact of the industry which is incredibly aggravating to everyone in it, from the accountants to the people who have to stock the shelves. Supermarkets compete with one another to keep their shelves full, rather than allowing them to look all jagged and half-empty.

There is a lot of data-analytics being done in the retail industry nowadays, to try to work out ways around this. Emptier shelves are more profitable for the supermarkets, after all, because produce on the shelves is money that’s not earning any return. If they could find a way to lower shelf fills without hurting sales, they’d do it in a heartbeat. It would also heavily decrease food waste.

In my opinion the solution is better food education, by which I mean preventing mis-education, by which I mean tighter controls over how food is depicted in media, by which I mean tighter controls over how food is advertised.

TL;DR:
Food waste is a real issue, I agree; but its root cause (to my understanding) is that people buy with their eyes and not their minds.

Virgin Mary
Virgin Mary
4 years ago

@ej

Really interesting stuff, thank you. 🙂

Orion
Orion
4 years ago

I’ve never heard anyone suggest that consumers throw out 40% of the good they buy. I think I’ve heard numbers like that thrown around as an estimate of the total food wasted at every step, including harvesting, processing, shipping, retail, and end purchaser.

EJ (The Other One) - on Holiday

@Orion:
That’s for fresh produce. (Sorry, I should have clarified it more explicitly.) I don’t know the numbers for packaged foods.

Ohlmann
Ohlmann
4 years ago

Thanks for the numbers.

A good portion of my vegetables are from a shop who sell vegetables who did not pass the beauty test of the supermarkets. Dunno how much thoses kind of shop buy, but it’s likely very very niche.

opposablethumbs
opposablethumbs
4 years ago

I would love to see the big supermarkets roll out “wonky” shelves with a price differential (I think this is something that’s being looked at and trialled/launched? As well as the relatively niche shops that actually make this their main thing, like Ohlmann just mentioned).

EJ (The Other One), I bet you and others know more about this – I know shoppers tend to reject the funny-looking produce, but don’t we also have a significant subset who tend to cherry-pick “bargains”? So flagging up the lower price for the wonky produce could make people feel clever instead of shopping!failures for picking it.

What do you reckon, is it feasible – and is it profitable enough for the big chains to bother – and would it make any significant difference to wastage?

EJ (The Other One) - on Holiday

@opposablethumbs:
Tesco is doing exactly what you suggest, under the name “perfectly imperfect.” It’ll be really interesting to see what happens with it.

As for bargain hunting, it’s definitely a factor with packaged food and nonfood shopping but I don’t know how much of a factor it is with fresh produce. I’ll ask around and get back to you on that.

Selling imperfect produce would help to reduce wastage (especially agriculture wastage, which is the big one) but the question will be how imperfect stuff can get before people will buy it. Ultimately, it becomes a cultural question. We all see carefully photoshopped pictures of what a carrot should look like, and it may be difficult for people to trust that something which doesn’t look like that is still safe to give to their children.

The other big improvement we could make would be a smarter distribution system, so we could send the good-looking tomatoes straight to Sainsbury’s and the bad-looking (but edible) tomatoes to Heinz to be made into soup before it gets to Sainsbury’s.

opposablethumbs
opposablethumbs
4 years ago

Ah, I don’t have a Tesco to hand (and the nearest one’s only small, so wouldn’t have this I expect). Yes, very interesting to see how it goes – I hope it proves profitable for them and the idea catches on with the others! After all, they all tend to have a reduced-price last-day-before-expiry-date shelf now, and people do go for that …

But you’re probably right that smarter distribution would make more of a difference – much more, I suppose, in terms of orders of magnitude more volume. But I had assumed this was already done, to some extent, with “ugly” produce going for processing. It’s not, then, or not in any meaningful amount?

(((VioletBeauregarde))): Prominent Misanderer of the Gynocracy
(((VioletBeauregarde))): Prominent Misanderer of the Gynocracy
4 years ago

Here’s a Trumpkin Bingo

Feel free to suggest more squares…this is in its infancy

(((VioletBeauregarde))): Prominent Misanderer of the Gynocracy
(((VioletBeauregarde))): Prominent Misanderer of the Gynocracy
4 years ago

Added a few words I can’t believe I almost forgot “cuck”…that has to be one of my favorite alt-right neoreactionary buzzwords.

Virgin Mary
Virgin Mary
4 years ago

People throw out lots of food because of the misunderstanding of ‘sell by’ and ‘use by’ dates. Even then, food isn’t going to turn into poison one day after the use by date. Best before dates are a bit of a rule of thumb, take a look at it, smell it, taste it, and if it seems good to go it will be fine. You could cut any spoiled bits off and make sure you cook it well. Depends how you store it as well, you just have to be sensible. Seafood, pork and poultry are dangerous, so be careful with them. Some stuff like jams, mayonnaise, peanut butter and chutneys can literally last for years. Tinned food, tens of years. The fad for BOGOF is another reason folk throw food away, instead of just buying one of the product and leaving the other on the shelf they feel obligated to take two, because it’s ‘free’ one they’ll probably never eat. This is why the supermarkets do BOGOF instead of selling one for half price.

Robert
Robert
4 years ago

One of the big factors regarding food in the USA that doesn’t get as much attention (AFAIK) is that fresh foods, if available, take time and effort to prepare compared with convenience foods. If a family of four has two working adults and two young children, the adults have a limited window to prepare meals from raw fresh foods.

This really hit home for me when I retired eight years ago. Suddenly I could start preparing dinner hours before dinnertime, instead of hurtling home at the speed of bus.

Humorous note – Saturday I went out to get some groceries, and my fifteen year old son asked me to get him a snack. I got plantain chips; he read the label (zero trans fats, gluten free, no sodium) and wailed ‘you’re trying to KILL me!’