Mapping the Seven Deadly Sins in America

At a time when I’m feeling less than positive about my community and American society, I also notice a LOT of anecdotal information on sin:

1) Pope Francis is encouraging his flock to be more pious in a major church document.
2) Michael Soule, a rigorous scientist and the ‘father’ of conservation biology, is writing a book about sin. He is sincerely distressed at the new thinking in ecology represented by Peter Karieva (TNCs Chief Scientist) and efforts like the Natural Capital Project.
3) This clever (but not very deep) mapping of the seven deadly sins in America.

The Maps

I can’t help but notice that the Mid-Atantic East Coast (DC area) seems to have a corner on the deadly sin market.

Chick-fil-A

There are, apparently, a number of ways to make breaded chicken sandwiches healthier. To this end, Chick-fil-A has been quietly switching out ingredients over the past decade. According to Nation’s Restaurant News it eliminated heart-disease-promoting trans fats in 2006, removed high-fructose corn syrup from its bagels and golden wheat bread, and gradually reduced sodium in some products. Now the 1,700-store chain is working to remove preservatives from its breads and oil.

What’s unusual about the efforts is that Chick-fil-A has largely refrained from publicizing them until now, hoping to avoid ire about any perceived change in flavor. Fast-food companies have had to balance customer loyalty to well-known menu items with growing pressure to offer healthier options. “We didn’t necessarily want the customer to know we’ve tweaked their favorite product,” Jodie Worrell, the chain’s senior nutrition consultant, told NRN.

The Bloomberg News Article

The Most Important Economic Stories of 2013 – in 43 Graphs

Maybe it’s just me, but the last few years are getting tough to tell apart. Imagine a quiz question:

Name that year where we threw obstacles in the recovery’s way, but kept growing slowly; where Europe avoided both a disaster and a solution to its mess; and where China kept growing over 7 percent, but didn’t rebalance its economy like it said it wants.

You’d be right to guess 2013. You’d also be right to guess 2012, 2011, or 2010.

So, to remind ourselves what did change in the last 12 months, we asked our favorite economists, journalists, and think-tankers for their favorite charts of the year. The stock market went on a tear, the labor market didn’t, and Wall Street and Main Street came to terms with a New Normal. Without further ado, here are 37,000 words worth of charts to tell the most important stories of 2013.

The Atlantic Report

This is wonderous economic analysis!