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‘Pacific Standard,’ September/October 2016

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Pacific Standard, September/October 2016. (Photo: Sam Kaplan; Styling: Victoria Granof)


The Biography of a Plant-Based Burger
One man’s mission to make meat obsolete.
By Rowan Jacobsen

Sidebar: The Beef With Beef
In recent years, a number of studies have revealed the massive impact of the livestock industry, and a growing list of scientists and activists have called for a movement away from beef. Here are their main concerns.

Sidebar: A Brief History of Fake Meat

Photo Essay: Fed Up
Aerial views of feedlots illuminate their toxic impact on the land.
Photographs by Mishka Henner

Spoiler Alert
Millions of containers, thousands of ships, hundreds of scientists, 30 laws, 15 federal agencies, and we still can’t prevent the next foodborne illness outbreak.
By Kathryn Miles

Sidebar: Even the People Inside the System Agree: It’s a Real Headache
This is a rough representation of how food oversight should work, but with so many different agencies involved, the process can seem pretty convoluted.

Irrigation Nation
How an esoteric piece of farm equipment created America’s breadbasket—and threatens to destroy it.
By Ted Genoways


Letter From the Editor: Our Fragile Food System
By Nicholas Jackson

Seven Things You Would Have Learned If You Read

The Conversation

Since We Last Spoke: Ivy League Insurgents
By Elena Gooray

Since We Last Spoke: Bailing Out Granny
By Michael R. Fitzgerald

Since We Last Spoke: Cracking Down on Crazy
By Kate Wheeling

The Small Stuff: There’s a Name for That: Persistent Injustice Effect
By Peter C. Baker

The Small Stuff: Quick Study: Add Steps, Reduce Snacking
By Tom Jacobs

The Small Stuff: Research Gone Wild: Courage in a Bottle
By Elena Gooray

The Small Stuff: Overheard

The Small Stuff: Quick Study: The Camera Lies—Even When Cops Wear It
By Tom Jacobs

Know It All: The New American Inequality
For American families, income inequality affects nearly everything else, from academic achievement to long-term health. Here’s how the problems work together—and how we can solve them.
By Vanessa Hua

Subculture: Tulpamancers
Nycto, 31, artist, and his tulpa Siouxsie, 2 1/2, Columbus, Ohio
As Told to Kate Wheeling


This story first appeared in the September/October 2016 issue of Pacific Standard.

In the Picture: Cold Deck
Boyle County, Kentucky


Weligama, Sri Lanka
Photo by Steve McCurry

The Lone Pine
By Joshua Hunt

Communist Wi-Fi
By Rick Paulas

Kokkrebellur, India
Photo by Shubhodeep Roy

Pripyat, Ukraine
Photo by Gerd Ludwig

Billionaire Bureaucrat
By Steve Friess


Fighting Back Against Parkinson’s
Individuals struggling with the mysterious, debilitating disease are finding relief in an unlikely place: the boxing gym, where patients battling uncontrollable tremors are transformed into fighters.
By Tovin Lapan

Sidebar: There’s an App for That
While much of Parkinson’s research is focused on discovering what causes the degenerative disease and finding a cure, new technologies promise to improve quality of life and patient monitoring.
By Tovin Lapan

Sidebar: From Prosecutor to Pugilist
Rock Steady Boxing, which now has dozens of chapters in four countries, got its start in an apartment building’s small exercise room after a rising legal star was diagnosed with early-onset Parkinson’s disease.
By Tovin Lapan

The Loss of Language
Thousands of the world’s languages are on the verge of extinction. A small non-profit in one of the most linguistically diverse cities on Earth is documenting them before they disappear.
By Max Leighton

Sidebar: Wisconsin’s Grand Child Support Experiment
Here’s what happened when one state let welfare recipients keep their child support payments.
By Dwyer Gunn


Culture Features: War of Words
From novels to comic books, writing fiction is helping veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan process the unspeakable—though sometimes the horrors that re-surface are almost too much to bear.
By Alexander Huls

Guest Programmer: Molly Crabapple
As Told to Katie Kilkenny

Scenes: Hip-Hop and the Liberation of Women in Kabul
The Taliban may no longer control the airwaves, but young women in Afghanistan still face torture and death for performing music. Meet the women who are pushing back—by rapping, singing, even playing the cello.
By William Hochberg

Pacific Standard Picks: The Birth of a Nation
By Alissa Wilkinson

Shelf Help: Exiled in America: Life on the Margins in a Residential Motel
By Peter C. Baker

Book Review: Printed Pistols and Racial Panic
When Cody Wilson pioneered 3-D printing for guns, he claimed the technology represented a victory for liberty. In Wilson’s new book, it seems “liberty” can also mean “racial purity.”
By Peter C. Baker

Shelf Help: Our Most Troubling Madness: Case Studies in Schizophrenia Across Cultures
By Peter C. Baker

One Last Thing: Sriracha
By Francie Diep