#5SmartReads - May 16, 2022
Hitha on e-waste, how the baby formula shortage happened, and Claire Williams
What’s Behind America’s Shocking Baby-Formula Shortage? (The Atlantic)
There are three causes for the baby formula shortage in the United States - bacteria (Abbott recalled several of its formulas back in February due to bacterial contamination in their Michigan plant), the pandemic (which affected supply chains everywhere, not just with baby formula), and trade.
Trade is an especially important factor, as it speaks to how regressive the FDA has been on products like baby formula (they’ve required the addition of fortified iron and other nutrients that European regulatory agencies don’t require). Between this restrictive label and the nature of formula economics (WIC - also known as the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children within the Department of Agriculture), is the largest purchaser of infant formula in this country, with Abbott, Mead Johnson, and Gerber earning those contracts.
I really hope this crisis is resolved quickly, with the immediate reopening of Abbott’s plant after a successful inspection, a labeling review of American infant formula and a much-needed change, and WIC awarding contracts to new manufacturers.
With Claire Williams gone, what next for women in Formula One? (ESPN)
spoiler alerts if you’re not up to date on Drive To Survive (and if you don’t care about F1, you will care about this)
Williams Racing reminds me of the Philadelphia Eagles in more ways than one.
For instance, they’ve been the consistent underdogs in F1 in the first few seasons of Drive To Survive. They will break your heart, over and over again. And they are one of the few teams with women in senior leadership - all qualities shared by the Philadelphia Eagles.
Claire Williams - the former deputy principal of Williams Racing - was one of the most senior women in F1, and one of the few women on the show that wasn’t a WAG (wife or girlfriend of), until Williams Racing was sold to Dorilton Capital and she stepped down from leading the team.
The state of women - on the track and off - is pretty dismal for the sport, but it mirrors all other professional sports as well. I do hope to see Claire back in the pit or back in the sport in some capacity, and more women on the pit, behind the scenes, and on the track in time.
Mine e-waste, not the Earth, say scientists (BBC)
What happens to our electronics when we no longer use them?
They join the estimated 57 million tons of electronic waste in the world. And The Royal Society of Chemistry is banging on the drum to focus on mining this waste, and not the planet.
Many of our devices require precious metals in order to work. These materials are not infinite, and electronic recycling is not as readily available as composting or plastic/glass/metal recycling, nor is it all that transparent.
Granted, we have some more immediate shortages that deserve our attention right now. But I hope we do start building and scaling the infrastructure for electronic recycling ALONG with addressing the baby formula and automotive chip shortages.
Avril Lavigne Never Let Go Of Pop-Punk (Bustle)
“When some people are like, ‘It’s back, I’m like, ‘It’s always been there for me, baby!’”
SAY IT AGAIN, AVRIL. It was never a phase - pop punk is a lifestyle, and it’s the one I’m proud that lives in my music selections.
And you better believe those playlists have plenty of Avril Lavigne, whose music has been the balm to my angsty soul for over two decades and will continue to be for as long as she’s creating music.
Here’s to more music from THE pop punk princess, and to wearing baseball caps backwards with baggy jeans and never quite growing up. That’s what I’m here for.
What the current spike in Covid-19 cases could say about the coronavirus’ future (STAT)
What’s next for us and COVID?
We won’t really know, both now and in the present, with our testing infrastructure reduced to a shell of itself (but more wastewater survellience, than goodness).
This piece does the best job of explaining the state of the pandemic with what little data we do have, along with what’s next.