Friday, July 05, 2024

Friday quick hits: Rural top-flick picks; dairy funds; heat can kill; racial voting division; bread debate; hop on a new train

Eita Okuno, Anna Sawai, and Hiromoto Ida in 'Shōgun.' (FX /IMDb image via The Daily Yonder)

On steamy days when the pool is too crowded and you can't handle any more of Mother Nature's energy-sucking heat, it might be time to chill indoors and take in a rural flick. From the "Mad Max Saga" to wrestling's fierce Von Erich family drama to the stunning "craftsmanship and costuming" in "Shōgun," Adam B. Giorgi of The Daily Yonder has some fine movie picks that will make relaxing in the AC much more fun.

In states with the highest number of drug overdose deaths, patients in treatment for mental illness often live with an opioid use disorder that mental health clinics are unable to treat, a study showed. "Despite high rates of opioid use disorder among people with mental health disorders, only a third of community outpatient mental health treatment facilities in 20 high-burden states offered medications for OUD," reports Shannon Firth of MedPage Today. "Among the 450 community outpatient mental health treatment facilities surveyed, weighted estimates showed that 34% offered medications for OUD, reported study co-author Jonathan Cantor, PhD. JAMA Network Open published the study in June.
Jersey Scoops capitalized on the USDA's new small
dairy initiative. (Jersey Scoops photo)

What's better than locally made ice cream or homestead cheeses? More of both. At least that's what the Department of Agriculture seems to think. The USDA is funding a new initiative that "aims to transform and diversify the dairy industry, one small producer at a time," reports Naoki Nitta of Civil Eats. "At 'Jersey Scoops' in Loleta, a small, unincorporated community in Northern California’s Humboldt County, the ice cream is as fresh as it gets. From pasture to parlor, its organic, butterfat-rich milk travels less than 10 miles, produced by a herd of Jerseys pasture-raised on the misty coast. . . . But Jersey Scoops didn’t get here on their own; they leveraged a $60,000 grant from the Pacific Coast Coalition’s Dairy Business Innovation Initiative to secure both the space and equipment." Learn about how local cheese ventures are leveraging this funding here.

As global temperatures continue to spike, awareness of heat-related illnesses is especially vital for outdoor workers and their employers. Heat can make workers sick, but it can also be deadly, reports Seth Borenstein of The Associated Press. "With much of the United States, Mexico, India and the Middle East suffering through blistering heat waves. . . several doctors, physiologists and other experts explained what happens to the human body in such heat." To find out how heat kills, click here.
Handmade bread is much different than mass produced
loaves. (Bluegrass Baking Company photo)

Bread is considered a U.S. family staple for affordable nutrition, but the processing that creates a uniform and stay-fresh loaf has landed "packaged bread in the middle of a fraught debate over 'ultra-processed food,'" reports Jesse Newman for The Wall Street Journal. "Less-processed foods tend to be more expensive and quicker to spoil. . . . For bakers like Jim Betts, owner of Bluegrass Baking Company in Lexington, Ky., most packaged bread is a far cry from the food that has been sustaining humanity for at least 10,000 years." To read why homemade bread is so dramatically different and more pricey than store-bought loaves, click here.

The U.S. rural-urban voter divide primarily exists among whites, a new study published in Politics, Groups, and Identities found. Kate Blackwood for reports, "When it comes to politics, Black and Latino residents of rural America differ far less, if at all, from their urban counterparts than do non-Hispanic white residents, the researchers report." One of the study's authors, Suzanne Mettler, told Blackwood, "Rural and urban Americans began moving apart politically in the late 1990s, and the division has widened and deepened since then. . .We wanted to know whether all Americans, regardless of race and ethnicity, are swept up in this growing cleavage.

A Borealis Amtrak train rounds the corner
surrounded by Midwestern fall colors. (Amtrak photo)
Midwestern states have been busy working to add more train services to their transportation portfolios. The new Amtrak Borealis service between Chicago and St. Paul opened last month after 12 years of planning, reports Daniel C. Volk of Route Fifty. "The new service was also a breakthrough. It is the first new passenger route launched in Minnesota since 1975, and the first in Wisconsin in more than two decades. . . . Officials in both states — like dozens of others across the country — are now planning for even more new passenger routes, because of incentives in President Joe Biden’s 2021 infrastructure law." Borealis trains include wide reclining seats, ample legroom, free Wi-Fi and views of the Mississippi River between St. Paul and La Crosse, Wisc., in daylight in both directions across Wisconsin.

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