Short Takes: News From All Over

King Arthur’s Goat-Herder
By Andy Griffin, Edible San Francisco
It seems that every country enjoys the culinary delights of goat but America. Even in the age of boutique multiculturalism, goat meat still hasn’t hit the grill. Andy Griffin asks why and finds part of his answer in our language. ‘We eat beef, not cow… pork, not pig.’ Without a euphemistic label for goat, it’s tough to overcome Americans’ squeamishness. Other reasons are rooted in American cuisine’s British heritage, which associated eating goat with peasants, and the cowboy tradition that turned beef into a symbol of ‘freedom.’ Although immigrants are stoking demand for goat, alas few American goats are actually bred for the job. — Eric Kelsey

Beat a Woman? Play On; Beat a Dog? You’re Gone
By Sandra Kobrin, Womens eNews
As Michael Vick is skewered by the media, National Football League, and animal-rights groups for dog-fighting, Sandra Kobrin looks at the deeply disturbing reality that professional sports players often get off light when it comes to domestic abuse. Across professional sports leagues, there’s no shortage of examples in which domestic abuse charges are dealt with by the leagues by issuing small fines or rare suspensions. Unfortunately, writes Kobrin, these cases don’t evoke the same outrage that Vick’s atrocious abuse of animals has. — Julie Dolan

The Sultans of Spuds
By Matt Jenkins, High Country News
While narcs keep tabs on drug runners in the American Southwest, a different cartel a thousand miles north is finessing markets and strong-arming farmers, only this cartel’s closely guarded business is potatoes. Matt Jenkins profiles the efforts of the United Potato Growers of America, which formed in 2004, to discipline the unruly potato market by restructuring corporate contracts and using satellite imagery to make sure that farmers uphold their end of fair-market deals. — Eric Kelsey

We Make the Path by Walking
By Clifton Ross, Race, Poverty, and the Environment
In Bolivia, the rise of green cooperatives may curb the loss of indigenous traditions and environmental degradation caused by mining practices. The La Paz café Mama Naturaleza, for example, is using ancient, sustainable farming techniques such as ‘insecticides from tobacco and llama manure.’ Some critics worry, though, that these coops are suffering from the paternalism of government largesse, which could hinder the internally self-sufficient, or ‘endogenous,’ development that Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez is popularizing in Latin America. — Anna Cynar

For Whom the Hell Tolls
By Calvin Godfrey, MiamiNew Times
As Wagner’s Ride of the Valkyries blasted from his open car window Calvin Godfrey pulled up to a tollboth and smashed a stack of porcelain plates with a hammer. The operator inside didn’t flinch. Nor did a slew of other tollbooth operators whose stoic demeanor Godfrey tried to rattle along Miami’s Venetian Causeway. Some of the tactics detailed in his amusing recount include traveling with a live chicken in his car or with a rotting fish head on his windshield or covering his face in shaving cream. — Chris Gehrke

IsraelMuseumLaunches Site for Works Stolen in WWII
By Etgar Lefkovits, the Jerusalem Post
Over 60 years ago, Nazis raided homes, synagogues, galleries, and museums and systematically stole countless works of art. Judaica, paintings, drawings, and prints have since been reclaimed and much of the artwork has been collected in Jerusalem’s Israel Museum. After a push from the Company for Location and Restitution of Holocaust Victims’ Assets, the museum has made the art and information about it more accessible to the public through an online gallery. The art displayed either has no note of prior ownership or belonged to an institution that was destroyed during the war. — Cara Binder

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