Familiar strangers: A talk with co-author of “Mango and Peppercorns” about growing up Vietnamese-American, mothers, and food

“Last year during the pandemic, my mom and I exchanged stories about life in quarantine. I expressed how it was difficult living alone and not being able to speak to a human face-to-face. My mom had a different outlook. When Saigon fell, her family didn’t leave the house for a couple weeks while they waited for the chaos to settle. Quarantine reminded my mom of those times. In her eyes, the pandemic was easy. She no longer had to commute to work, had a roof over her head, and meals to eat at home.”

Source: The Counter
Published: Jun 14, 2021
Length: 13 minutes (3,346 words)

How Corporations Buy—and Sell—Food Made with Prison Labor

“The notion of work as punishment has enabled prison administrators to compel incarcerated people to work on farms and in dairies for low or no pay and without basic labor protections, sometimes in service of secretive billionaires they’ll never meet.”

Source: The Counter
Published: May 18, 2021
Length: 15 minutes (3,810 words)

Regenerative agriculture needs a reckoning

“Why avoiding uncomfortable conversations about equity, race, and access threatens to spoil a nascent movement’s environmental promise.”

Source: The Counter
Published: May 3, 2021
Length: 57 minutes (14,251 words)

‘It’s a national tragedy’: What a devastating Covid-19 outbreak at a California slaughterhouse reveals about the federal government’s failed pandemic response

“In the face of an unprecedented public health crisis, the federal agency responsible for workplace safety has essentially allowed meatpackers to regulate themselves—leading to chaos, confusion, and fear in facilities across the country.”

Source: The Counter
Published: Nov 24, 2020
Length: 22 minutes (5,691 words)

No Cold Beer, No Flowers, and No One to Park the Car: A Shadow Economy Hits the Skids As Restaurant Suppliers Lose Their Jobs

Eight million Americans are employed in restaurant-adjacent industries. How are they coping during the pandemic? Anya Schultz interviews a group of business owners and workers around the U.S., including a florist, grease recycler, valet parker, and knife shop owner.

Source: The Counter
Published: Sep 28, 2020
Length: 25 minutes (6,298 words)

Flimsy plastic knives, a single microwave, and empty popcorn bags: How 50 inmates inside a Michigan prison prepared a feast to celebrate the life of George Floyd

Michael “Thompson came up with a way to mark Floyd’s death inside: a special meal that he’d share with the inmates in a “celebration” honoring Floyd’s life…After they returned their cells, each man sat in silence for 8 minutes and 46 seconds. And then they began to eat.”

Source: The Counter
Published: Aug 6, 2020
Length: 13 minutes (3,397 words)