It’s Meatless Monday. Maybe avoid the salmon.


This is Bloomberg Opinion Today, a vicious bevy of opinions from Bloomberg Opinion. Register here.

• Your annual reminder that the fishing industry is surprisingly scary.

• A monoculture theory based on maize.

• New York beats Texas in carbon-free energy, but not for long.

• Japan is no longer a brand in China.

Salmon seeking salvation

Imagine you’re a tiny baby salmon swimming around, minding your own business and you’re suddenly attacked by a vicious swarm of sea lice, who clamp their jaws on your face until you finally die and you land on a pile of salmon droppings that is 32 inches tall.

This is the fate of around 15% of the world’s farmed Atlantic salmon population, which suffers a mortality rate far higher than that of grazing chickens and cows.

Demand for pink fish has skyrocketed over the past decade, and it’s now a $20 billion global industry, ‘Salmon Wars’ co-authors Catherine Collins and Douglas Frantz recently said. to Amanda Little. 90% of the farmed Atlantic salmon that Americans eat is imported, half of which comes from Chile, a country that:

• Uses a cargo of chemicals and pesticides

• Is flooded with parasites and pathogens

• Has extreme environmental waste

“These farms are petri dishes for pathogens, viruses and parasites,” says Douglas. This toxic mix of factors amounts to a resounding public health siren for pregnant women, infants, and anyone with a cancer in their family history.

Next time you go to the grocery store, don’t trust any salmon, especially if the label simply says it’s “sustainably farmed”, because the current practice of salmon farming is inherently unsustainable. . Chemical-free land facilities could help clean up the industry, but the transition to true sustainability will be costly. Read it all.

Bonus Water Reading: This man has spent the last two decades learning how to redesign an entire creek so you don’t have to. —Francis Wilkinson

The global monoculture market

On Sunday, my mom called me to tell me about her discovery of the corn song, which is always a good indicator that a TikTok trend is on its deathbed (sorry, mom!). Schmoyoho’s insanely catchy tune now has over 53 million views, and CornTok has spread to every crevice of the internet, from Blake Shelton’s Instagram to NASA Earth’s Twitter. A trend as viral as this shows society’s innate desire to speak the same meme language every day, whether through American Girl Dolls or Grim Reapers. It’s a monoculture, in a way.

One of the greatest examples of monoculture today is HBO’s latest fire-breathing venture, “House of the Dragon,” which amassed 20 million viewers in less than a week. The ‘Game of Thrones’ prequel has piqued Stephen Carter’s curiosity about the evolution of the word “monoculture” – and how it went from dictionary devil to digital darling. Historically, monoculture was something people laughed at – a pre-packaged meal designed for the masses. But today, it’s something not to hate, but to celebrate – a collective desire for digital dwellers to cling to and relish in a tacky piece of culture.

The origin of the word goes back to corn itself. “The original use of monoculture was in agriculture, to describe damage to the soil caused by overreliance on a single crop,” Stephen explains. That condemnation has, of course, come back to bite us in 2022: American farmers have found it impossible to meet demand for corn the harvest at precisely the same time that the world’s most popular website is consuming corn the song with a hunger in the beyond all reason. “Maize’s wild ancestors thrive in completely waterlogged soils that would kill many other crops,” says David Fickling in today’s edition of Elements. Unfortunately, a persistent drought has gripped 39% of the country.

The United States is stuck in an endless loop of electricity that depends on things burning. New York is coming out of its high carbon sooner than other states like Texas, but that may not be the case for long, writes Justin Fox. Widely open states with enough land for wind farms will have a much easier time getting a zero-emissions grid compared to metropolises full of skyscrapers.

Chinese consumers thought Japanese brands like Muji were ultra stylish. Today, companies are struggling with an increasingly isolated China, writes Gearoid Reidy. Japan, once a tourist paradise, is largely ignored by the Chinese:

Bloomberg’s editorial board writes that 1.8 million monkeypox vaccines will be just a band-aid on the government’s failure to mitigate the burgeoning public health emergency, which has now affected more than 17 000 patients infected with the virus nationwide.

Elon Musk’s best defense against Twitter may not be about bots. —Matt Levine

The math of college tuition might surprise you. — Matthew Yglesias

Germany looked at the American pronoun revolution and said “hold my beer”. —Andreas Kluth

From Nike to Gap, billionaire brands have a strange fascination with dumpster diving. —Ben Schott

Canceling student loans will widen the gap between those with college degrees and those without. — Ramesh Ponnuru

The Republicans’ lack of an effective counter-argument could cost them the November election. —Jonathan Bernstein

The omicron booster is a real enigma for scientists, who say “there is a mouse study but no one has seen it”. —Faye Flam

French President Emmanuel Macron has finished coating things. — Maria Tadeo

Jerome Powell also did sugar-coated things. —Bill Dudley

‘The Black Swan’ author Nassim Nicholas Taleb says universities, not taxpayers, should pay for student debt relief.

The heat wave in China is the most severe ever recorded in the world. Aquatic drones help alleviate the dry spell. (h/t Alistair Lowe)

Y Combinator names its next president: venture capitalist (and Bloomberg Opinion friend) Garry Tan. (h/t Mike Nice)

Quitting smoking quietly is basically normal work.

Would you say “yes” to a can of Mtn Dew?

The resurgence of the study of smell.

Notes: Please send soda and comments to Jessica Karl at [email protected]

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This column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the Editorial Board or of Bloomberg LP and its owners.

Jessica Karl is social media editor for Bloomberg Opinion.

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