Nau mai haere mai, welcome to this week’s newsletter.

As the cost of living climbs, advocates have begun to call on the government to cut GST from essential foods. But, as Lincoln University’s Alan Renwick warns, cheap food comes with a health and environmental cost.

Demand for cheap food ignores the value of what we are eating, places pressure on natural environments and leads to massive amounts of waste.

Instead of looking to cut GST as a way to reduce food poverty, Renwick argues, the government should be using the tax income from GST to introduce targeted support.

There’s more to read here and on our homepage, including this fascinating look into New Zealand’s climate history and the possibility something called the “Zealandia Switch” might be happening again, with dire consequences for our alpine glaciers.

Until next week, take care and mā te wā.

Debrin Foxcroft

New Zealand Deputy Section Editor

Cheaper food comes with other costs – why cutting GST isn’t the answer

Alan Renwick, Lincoln University, New Zealand

Ending GST on some foods is being touted as a way to reduce food poverty. But cheap food comes with a high environmental and health cost. Is there a way to value food but reduce hardship?

When war imitates art: rediscovering Red Dawn, the 1984 movie inspiring Ukrainian fighters

Alfio Leotta, Te Herenga Waka — Victoria University of Wellington

Substitute Russia for the Soviet Union and it’s clear why the cult Cold War action movie Red Dawn has found a new fan base nearly 40 years on.

The Zealandia Switch drove rapid global ice retreat 18,000 years ago. Has it switched to a new level?

Andrew Lorrey, National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research; Aaron Putnam, University of Maine; David Barrell, GNS Science; George Denton, University of Maine; Joellen Russell, University of Arizona

Rocks deposited by vanishing glaciers in the Southern Alps thousands of years ago hold climate clues about the past, painting a bleak picture about the long-term survival of alpine ice in New Zealand.

Fewer than 1% of New Zealand men take paid parental leave – would offering them more to stay at home help?

Claire Breen, University of Waikato

Current parental leave schemes reinforce old gender stereotypes and the pay gap between women and men. Overseas experience shows better targeted leave for new fathers helps everyone.

Why does my cat wake me up so early, and what can I do about it?

Susan Hazel, University of Adelaide; Julia Henning, University of Adelaide

Although cats are evolved for night-time activity, during domestication they have adapted to human lifestyles. There’s plenty you can do to try and get your cat to stop waking you in the wee hours.

From our foreign editions

Do mushrooms really use language to talk to each other? A fungi expert investigates

Katie Field, University of Sheffield

New research has found what may be language in electrical impulses transmitted between mushrooms.

12 best ways to get cars out of cities – ranked by new research

Kimberly Nicholas, Lund University

A new study finds congestion charging and creating car-free streets and separated bike lanes have been most effective at reducing car use in European cities.

How the image of a besieged and victimized Russia came to be so ingrained in the country’s psyche

Gregory Carleton, Tufts University

As Western sanctions seek to isolate Russia, they also perversely reinforce the country’s mythic view of itself as a special place that outsiders want to destroy.

Do poison pills work? A finance expert explains the anti-takeover tool that Twitter hopes will keep Elon Musk at bay

Tuugi Chuluun, Loyola University Maryland

Twitter adopted a so-called poison pill to make it much harder for Musk to take over the company.

Africa has ambitious goals for 2063: plans for outer space hold the key to success

Etim Offiong, Obafemi Awolowo University

Africa’s outer space programme can help the continent meet its other flagship goals.

Bosnia-Herzegovina could be the next site of Russian-fuelled conflict

James Horncastle, Simon Fraser University; Jack Adam MacLennan, Park University

Russia’s future influence on global affairs may not be limited to Ukraine — it may run through Bosnia-Herzegovina. To understand why, we need to think about how past conflicts shape today’s politics.

Plant-based patties, lab-grown meat and insects: how the protein industry is innovating to meet demand

Katherine Wynn, CSIRO; Michelle Colgrave, CSIRO

A new ‘protein roadmap’ produced by CSIRO reveals foods set to fill fridges by 2030 as health, environmental and ethical concerns push consumers away from meat.

#SetTheAgenda: What The Conversation’s readers want politicians to address this federal election

Misha Ketchell, The Conversation

At The Conversation we’re committed to politics coverage that goes beyond sound bites, photo ops and the gaffe of the day. That why we asked you, our readers, to help us #SetTheAgenda.