Weekend Linkages: A Weird World

Levi Walter Yaggy’s Geographical Maps and Charts

Photographs of the Los Angeles Alligator Farm (ca. 1907)

The Navajo farmer taking a traditional approach to making baby food

Historic San Francisco tiki bar the Tonga Room is a rite of passage. But is it really worth visiting?

‘They’re in the air, drinking water, dust, food …’ How to reduce your exposure to microplastics

Doppler Radar Telegram Critter Cam for Under $10!

Too Good to Go?

Too Good to Go screenshots.

While I’ve attempted to curb my internet addiction by removing Instagram from my phone, one app continues its siren call: Too Good to Go.

Launched in 2020 Too Good to Go offers restaurants and grocery stores a way to sell meals and ingredients that have gone unsold or are near their expiration date. The app let’s you specify the distance you’re willing to travel to pick up your food. When you see something appealing you reserve and pre-pay. When you show up at the store you display a code on your phone and they hand you a bag of food. You don’t get to choose, so the bag is a surprise which adds to the addictiveness of this app. In our hipster neighborhood Too Good to Go’s offerings center around cafes, so you mostly get pastries and bread but you can also find vegan groceries and Armenian flat breads.

Until recently, we would eagerly await the daily time (4:20p.m.–haha) that the illustrious bakery Tartine would release their delicious breads and pastries at a steep discount for pickup the next day. Sadly they seem to no longer participate which is probably good thing considering my burgeoning pandemic gut.

Too Good to Go operates in the U.S., Europe and Australia. When we were in London last year I was tempted to use the service but Kelly found the idea of eating food that sat around the Paddington train station all day less than appetizing.

Quality varies depending on the restaurant or grocery store. The food from chain places I’ve found to be stale, pre-packaged and of low quality. But we’ve also had some excellent bagels, breads and pizza from some of the better participating restaurants in our neighborhood at amazingly low prices, generally somewhere between $4 and $6.

I do question if we have another tech company monetizing something that would otherwise have gone to, say, a food bank, a gleaning service like Food Forward or to employees. A worker at one of the bakeries assured me that this food would have ended up in the dumpster so, perhaps, Too Good to Go is at least a neutral service. Salvaging the food waste stream is a neighborhood organizing project waiting to happen that would be nice to take away form the tech people. That said, I don’t see my Too Good to Go addiction ending anytime soon.

If you’ve tried this app leave a comment with where you live and what you’ve found.

Back From Nowhere

To my dear Root Simple friends: I’m back. Our webmaster and book designer Roman Jaster took on the arduous process of switching our hosting service and has restored the ability to subscribe to posts via email. Thank you Roman!

While I recover my muse, have a listen to this excellent summary of William Morris’ life via the Jacobin Podcast. The more I become familiar with Morris’ art and politics the more I think he speaks to our time, of the need to recover an optimism about the future and the right we all have to meaningful work.