Two excellent articles

Two excellent articles on food and allergy-related subjects from Orion Magazine:

A Place-Based Malady
How we help create our allergic landscape
by Gregg Mitman
Published in the
May/June 2007 issue of Orion magazine
The scream of chainsaws gnawing through full-grown oak trees abruptly announced summer’s arrival in 1987 in the leafy enclave of Lake Forest on the Lake Michigan shore north of Chicago. Most residents of the exclusive historic neighborhood treasured the trees that shaded their mansions, but Laurence Tureaud wasn’t like most residents. Tureaud, known to Americans as Mr. T, star of the 1980s hit TV show The A-Team and Rocky’s nemesis in Rocky III, had moved to his seven-acre estate the previous fall, when the hundreds of oaks and other native plantings lay dormant. That spring, as the trees came into bloom, the six-foot-tall, 220-pound, well-muscled actor suffered terribly. Pity the fool, or in this case the tree, that tangled with Mr. T. Saying that allergies to tree pollen provoked him, the man who wore gold chains to remind him of his slave ancestors took action. With a chainsaw in hand and the help of hired workers, Mr. T cleared the property of more than seventy trees, many of which had been planted in the early twentieth century under the direction of famed landscape architect Jens Jensen.


and:

The Tortilla Cycle
by Rebecca Allen
Published in the
May/June 2007 issue of Orion magazine
Rosa can, and does, make tortillas in the dark. The ancient generator needs a new belt and a prayer and can’t always be counted on to power the light bulbs of Unión Victoria, the Guatemalan village where I live with Rosa and her two young daughters. Rosa’s husband works in Florida. In his absence Rosa carries on, feeding her pigs, hauling firewood, planting crops, and making three meals a day. In the midst of all this, she insisted on teaching me to make tortillas.

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