What ever happened to home ec?

Are you or someone in your household baking or cooking more in the pandemic?  Does it bring comfort and sustenance or change your day and outlook? Have you become obsesses with sourdough bread?

Today in The Conversation Canada, Mary-Leah de Zwart of the University of British Columbia wonders if today’s pandemic bakers are re-creating the homes of their mothers or grandmothers. She notes that home economics has always meant more than passing on technical skills and it’s time to move past gendered stereotypes that devalue its insights.

And if you're also growing your own food during the pandemic, Paul Manning of Dalhousie University offers some great advice for new gardeners on how to deal with pests. We also explain how food banks are struggling to during the pandemic -- and why they don't address the real reason many Canadians can't afford food.

Also today:


Susannah Schmidt

Education + Arts Editor

Coronavirus News

Are people reconnecting with the traditional household activities of their mothers and grandmothers under quarantine? The preparation of sourdough begins with a mix of flour, water and natural yeast. (Shutterstock)

Before DIY sourdough starters became popular, there was home economics

Mary-Leah de Zwart, University of British Columbia

Home economics isn't dead: We need it now more than ever. Founded by a pioneering chemist, it's about the insight that a change in one part of a system affects all the other parts.

Are raccoons ravaging your radishes? Container gardens might be a good option for saving your plants. (AP Photo/dpa, Patrick Pleul)

Growing your own food during the coronavirus pandemic? Plan for pests!

Paul Manning, Dalhousie University

Pests can cause sudden and significant damage to homegrown food, but a little planning and intervention can help you cut your losses.

Human-made sounds are giving way to more natural sounds as the COVID-19 pandemic pushes people indoors. (Shutterstock)

How COVID-19 shutdowns are allowing us to hear more of nature

Richard leBrasseur, Dalhousie University

With people staying in, the world around them is becoming more quiet. In one Canadian city, natural sounds are being heard more often.

Boxes wait to be filled with provisions at The Daily Bread Food Bank warehouse in Toronto. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young

More than food banks are needed to feed the hungry during the coronavirus pandemic

Elaine Power, Queen's University, Ontario; Jennifer Black, University of British Columbia; Jennifer Brady, Mount Saint Vincent University

The ability of food banks to meet the needs of food insecure Canadians has plummeted just when it is needed most. But food banks have never been able to address the reason people are going hungry.

The ongoing coronavirus crisis appears to be speeding up the deglobalization process. (Piqsels)

How coronavirus is changing the rules on foreign investment in essential areas

Anastasia Ufimtseva, Simon Fraser University; Daniel Shapiro, Simon Fraser University; Jing Li, Simon Fraser University

The coronavirus is accelerating the deglobalization process. Here's why that's happening and what it means for the post-pandemic future.

Non-Coronavirus News

The good news: your child can use their fingers and you can too. (Shutterstock)

4 things we’ve learned about math success that might surprise parents

Tina Rapke, York University, Canada; Cristina De Simone, York University, Canada

Your cheat sheet for best practices in teaching math at home. Keep it positive and mask your shock when your child tells you there are many ways to multiply numbers.

An ultrasound of a heart indicating possible pathology of heart aortic valve. (Shutterstock)

The minerals deposited in heart valves differ between men and women

Marta Cerruti, McGill University; Ophélie Gougras, McGill University

Implanted artificial heart valves need to be replaced because of mineral deposits. Recent research has discovered that the composition of these deposits differs between men and women.

Newsrooms need to take advantage of what AI can offer and come up with new a business model. (Shutterstock)

How artificial intelligence can save journalism

Patrick White, Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM)

Journalism is not keeping pace with the evolution of new technologies. Newsrooms need to take advantage of what AI can offer and come up with a new business model.

La Conversation Canada

Les bioéthiciens jouent un rôle indispensable dans la crise actuelle : ils doivent diminuer le fardeau des cliniciens lors des prises de décisions souvent difficiles et inédites. shutterstock

Covid-19 : comment la bioéthique peut aider à faire face à des choix déchirants

Sihem Neila Abtroun, Université de Montréal; Bryn Williams-Jones, Université de Montréal

Les bioéthiciens sont des experts en éthique appliquée qui ont peuvent appuyer la prise de décisions difficiles dans le réseau de la santé.