The Big Money Is Going VeganNew York Times, May 18, 2021
Alternative dairy company Oatly’s successful IPO exemplifies the changes in consumer preferences that are reshaping the food business. The stunning rise of the producer of dairy substitutes shows that it’s no longer enough for food to taste good and be healthyit needs to be good for the planet as well. Can the established big food players move as fast as start-ups? The jury is out, but there is no doubt that big money (and celebrity money) is heavily invested in the latter.

Burnout: Modern Affliction or Human Condition?New Yorker, May 17, 2021
This is a brilliant overview of the history and rise of burnout. It’s a “baggy” concept, a metaphor disguised as a diagnosis: “To be burned out is to be used up, like a battery so depleted that it can’t be recharged. The defining symptoms of ‘burnout syndrome’: exhaustion, cynicism, and loss of efficacy.” Its rise is stunning: Around the world, three out of five workers say they’re burned out (three in four in the US). Why is it so widespread? “Work, for many people, has come to feel like a battlefield, and daily life, including politics and life online, like yet more slaughter.”

Long Working Hours Killing 745,000 People a Year, Study FindsBBC, May 18, 2021
Related to the above. According to the largest study of its kind, working long hours is estimated to account for about a third of all work-related diseases, making it the largest occupational disease burden. The research shows there are two ways longer working hours lead to poor health outcomes: (1) through direct physiological responses to stress, and (2) because longer hours meant workers were more likely to adopt health-harming behaviors such as tobacco and alcohol use, less sleep and exercise, and an unhealthy diet. No surprise here, but science-based evidence.

The Brain-Changing Magic of New ExperiencesGQ, May 27, 2021
After a year of mind-numbing sameness at home, this article explains the psychological reasons why novelty—from visiting new places to socializing—makes us happier, healthier people. Looks at the fascinating research, from how greater exploration, new places, and “roaming entropy” leads to significantly greater happiness to how new experiences make time pass more slowly and make life feel longer.

A Striking Stat: Organic Food Sales Surge
Sales of organic packaged foods grew 13% in 2020, the highest growth rate among all health and wellness categories. Big organic food growth rates were seen not only in developed regions such as North America (16%) and Western Europe (9%) but also in developing regions such as Asia Pacific (12%) and Latin America (8%).

Source: Euromonitor, “Health, Sustainability and New Priorities Drive Organic Food Sales,” April 2021

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