Saturday November 16, 2019

Amid terrible economic crisis, Venezuela is also running short of Beer

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Beer, Wikimedia
  • Venezuela is home to the largest oil reserves in the world
  • The government is causing the country to self implode
  • Shortages have led people to turn to rioting and looting

Meat, milk, bread and beer; staple items on a diet plan. These items are now hardly available to the citizens of Venezuela. Empresas Polar is upon tough times. It was founded in 1941 and has been the food giant in the socialist country. Factories now work at half speed with thousands of employees having been laid off since April.

Even though Venezuela is home to the largest oil reserves in the world, the prices of petroleum are down and government policies are making matters worse.

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The country’s food production has also plummeted leading to food shortages. These shortages have led people to turn to rioting and looting. The disheartening part of this situation is that the government refuses to change its ways.

crisis in Venezuela. Image source: Wikipedia
crisis in Venezuela. Image source: Wikipedia

In fact, the government has turned to place blame on the largest private company in Venezuela, Empresas Polar. President Nicolás Maduro has gone so far to label the chief executive of the company as,  “a thief and a traitor.” The president also claims that Polar is purposefully refraining from full food production in attempts to ruin the Venezuelan economy. These claims come with no evidence that any of it is true, and has left the Lorenzo Mendoza with a saddened heart.

Lorenzo Mendoza, the chief executive of Empresas Polar, has been appalled at the attacks on him and his private company. He is frustrated because he has seen other governments such as those in, Nicaragua, Bolivia and Ecuador embrace the private companies within their country.

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There is a barley shortage. The government controls foreign currency and refuses to import the barley that Polar needs. Venezuela is unable to grow its own barley in its tropical climate. That creates frustration among the workers; demanding the materials they need to be able to work. So many hard emotions are being felt everyday and many of the Venezuelans may just want to sit down and have a beer in attempts to relax. Unfortunately for them, Polar is responsible for 80 percent of the countries beer. Vendors now have to ration off the remaining beer cases they have, and they limit the amount that each customer can purchase.

The government is causing the country to self implode. Without the approval from the government to import goods into the country, the largest food distributor has no means to put anything on their shelves to sell. It is hard for a company to convince the government to go out and purchase foreign goods when the government hardly has any money to sustain its own Maduro regime.

The Venezuelan economy is crumbling. The government has decided to pit the blame on the largest food distributor in the country. With shortages in meat, milk, bread, and beer things do not look as though they will get better under the socialist rule.

-by Abigail Andrea. She is an intern at NewsGram. Twitter @abby_kono

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Study Reveals, Genetics Can Affect The Way in Which One Tastes Food

The study is scheduled to be presented at the American Heart Association's Scientific Sessions 2019

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Genetics
Genetics affect the way you taste, and taste is an important factor in food choice. Pixabay

Genetics make certain compounds taste bitter, which may make it harder for some people to add heart-healthy vegetables to their diet, according to a new study.

“Your genetics affect the way you taste, and taste is an important factor in food choice,” said study author Jennifer L. Smith from University of Kentucky.

According to the researchers, everyone inherits two copies of a taste gene called “TAS2R38”. People who inherit two copies of the variant called AVI aren’t sensitive to bitter tastes from certain chemicals.

Those with one copy of AVI and another called PAV perceive bitter tastes of these chemicals, however, individuals with two copies of PAV, often called ‘super-tasters,’ find the same foods exceptionally bitter.

“We’re talking a ruin-your-day level of bitter when they tasted the test compound. These people are likely to find broccoli, brussels sprouts and cabbage unpleasantly bitter; and they may also react negatively to dark chocolate, coffee and sometimes beer,” Smith said.

For the study, researchers analysed food-frequency questionnaires from 175 people (average age 52, more than 70 per cent female) and found that people with the PAV form of the gene were more than two and a half times as likely to rank in the bottom half of participants on the number of vegetables eaten.

Bitter-tasting status did not influence how much salt, fat or sugar the participants ate.

Genetics
Genetics make certain compounds taste bitter, which may make it harder for some people to add heart-healthy vegetables to their diet, according to a new study. Pixabay

“We thought they might take in more sugar and salt as flavour enhancers to offset the bitter taste of other foods, but that wasn’t the case,” Smith said.

“Down the road we hope we can use genetic information to figure out which vegetables people may be better able to accept and to find out which spices appeal to supertasters so we can make it easier for them to eat more vegetables,” Smith added.

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The study is scheduled to be presented at the American Heart Association’s Scientific Sessions 2019 — November 16-18 in Philadelphia. (IANS)