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Stories by Layla Eplett

In Syria, Considering the Unintended Impact of Emergency Food Aid

Food shortages may have been a contributing factor and a deliberate tactic in Syria’s multi-faceted and complex ongoing conflict. A paper recently published in International Affairs  examines the emergency food relief response and suggests it may be contradictory in nature--having far reaching political implications despite claims of neutrality and worsening the conditions it intends to alleviate...

February 15, 2016 — Layla Eplett

Organically Speaking: The Marketing Language of Organic Food

Foods themselves might be  a mouthful but the accompanying language used to describe foods can say a mouthful. Guy Cook, an applied linguist and Professor of Language in Education at King’s College, explains, “We are influenced by what is said about food offered to us, as much as by the food itself.” Part of his research has explored the influence of language in the marketing of organic food...

January 19, 2016 — Layla Eplett

Talkin' "Turkey": The Linguistic Link Between the Bird and the Country

Awkward conversations can be as much of an annual Thanksgiving tradition as food, family, friends, and football. For those wanting to avoid subjects too political or too personal, consider chatting about what the deal is with a country and a bird having the exact same name.  Safer than some subjects, this Turkey/turkey topic is still subject to dispute, as there are differing explanations for the name...

November 25, 2015 — Layla Eplett

In Kenya, Improving Food Security and HIV Outcomes through Farming

There is an inextricable link between HIV and food insecurity, with each heightening and reinforcing the other. A new pilot trial published in AIDS  addresses this relationship with an agricultural intervention that increased food security and also improved HIV outcomes...

November 11, 2015 — Layla Eplett

A Maddening Tea Party

To celebrate the 150th anniversary of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, a look at etiquette violations at the Mad Tea Party.

October 29, 2015 — Layla Eplett

Rite to Die: Sallekhanā and End of Life

There are many aspects involved in preparing for the end of life. For Jains, it may include Sallekhanā , a voluntary and gradual reduction of food (and eventually water) until the individual fasts to death...

September 29, 2015 — Layla Eplett

For Ebola, Traditional Healers and a More Inclusive Approach

To prevent Ebola, some recommended a combination of raw onions and coffee consumed for three consecutive days. Others suggested that mixtures including herbs, tree bark, condensed milk, Nescafe, hot chocolate, and sugar were effective for prevention and treatment of the virus...

September 8, 2015 — Layla Eplett

Quinine and Empire

When Winston Churchill attributed it with saving “more Englishmen’s lives, and minds, than all the doctors in the Empire,” he wasn’t referring to a military tactic or peace treaty...

August 20, 2015 — Layla Eplett

Fin (the End): Putting a Stop to the Consumption of Shark Fin Soup

The Confederate flag. Donald Trump’s rants during campaign season. Shark fin soup. Not all traditions should be continued. Shark fin soup originated during the Sung Dynasty (960-1279), but it wasn’t until the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) that the dish became popular amongst the aristocracy...

July 8, 2015 — Layla Eplett

Political Climates: Drought and Conflict in Syria

Beginning in 2007, Syria and the greater Fertile Crescent experienced the worst three year drought ever recorded in the region. Recent research published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences suggests the drought may have contributed to the ongoing conflict in Syria...

March 24, 2015 — Layla Eplett
The World On A Plate: A Look At Diets Around The Globe

The World On A Plate: A Look At Diets Around The Globe

From culture to religion, social status to political leanings, a lot can be learned from what's on a plate. In What I Eat: Around The World In 80 Diets, photographer Peter Menzel and his wife, writer Faith D'Aluisio, take a fascinating look at diets of people around the world...

February 17, 2015 — Layla Eplett
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