5 Things to Know Today: February 23, 2017
Liz Biscevic—5 Things to Know Today
News today includes a new social enterprise called Good Spread that’s helping people affected by the famine in South Sudan. Speaking of famine, scientists are trying out new vegetables that can be grown in any weather condition. Also, farms are going solar as electricity prices skyrocket.
1. Motherboard: Farms are going solar as electricity prices become too expensive to maintain.
For many large farms, switching to solar energy has helped supplement water pumping, charging electrical fences, and powering automatic milking lines. In particular, dairy farms battered by the falling price of milk, and farms in hot, drought-stricken locations are looking for ways to cut costs and renewables may be one answer. The biggest incentive for farms to switch to solar is avoiding fees from electricity spikes, which often happen during power-intensive farming processes.
2. Triple Pundit: A new social enterprise is taking on famine in South Sudan with a new brand of peanut butter.
The per-capita income in South Sudan is less than $800 a year and the new country is suffering from one of the world’s worst humanitarian crises as nearly 5 million people are affected by famine while another 100,000 people are at a risk for starvation. Good Spread is peanut butter, the shelf-stable protein-packed base of RUTF (ready-to-use-therapeutic-food), which can help treat people affected by severe hunger. For every Good Spread purchased, a portion of the proceeds help to purchase and distribute a similar product called Mana—peanut butter mixed with powdered milk and vitamins—to South Sudan’s impoverished communities.
3. Phys: Scientists are developing a fast-growing broccoli that you can grow all year.
This new crop can go from seed to harvest in eight to 10 weeks, allowing growers to produce this broccoli year-round, regardless of weather conditions. As climate change causes increasing fluctuations in temperature and weather, being able to grow food independent of predictable weather patterns will be crucial. The new broccoli may prove popular in urban farms, reduce its carbon footprint of food production and supply.
4. LA Times: L.A. is trading in high-pay jobs for low-paying positions.
A report by the LA County Economic Development Corp found that L.A. county has lost 89,000 manufacturing jobs and 35,000 finance and engineering jobs since 2007. These jobs generally pay over $70,000 per year on average. Meanwhile, LA added 92,000 jobs in food service and 42,000 support service jobs—which average under $20,000 in income per year.
5. MarketWatch: Our grandparents learned personal finance in school, so why don’t our kids?
In our grandparents’ day, learning about our country’s financial system was included as part of their math curriculum. For example, in seventh-grade, they learned that people should buy insurance so that they and their families are safe in case the breadwinner dies. They also learned how to compare the cost of benefits and premiums for ordinary such policies. But shifting expectations, namely that many students would go to college before entering the workforce, had the unintended consequence of de-emphasizing financial literacy, a skill that few pick up in post-secondary education.