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  • The Know Daily - Monday 13 May 2024

The Know Daily - Monday 13 May 2024

🫘 The boom in synthetic coffee, a landmark report on maternity care + more wild swimming spots for summer.

Read in 5m 24s Listening to Charli XCX 

📝 A landmark report calling for an overhaul of UK maternity care 

🫘 The boom in synthetic coffee 

🏊‍♀️ More wild swimming spots for summer

Tate Britain has acquired its first painting by the “pioneering” English artist Louise Jopling, whose work has been “overlooked for a century”, reported The Guardian. Jopling’s Through the Looking-Glass - a self-portrait she made while pregnant with her son in 1875 - will be shown as part of a new exhibition exploring women artists in British history. 

📝 Recommendations on maternity care

A landmark parliamentary inquiry has called for an overhaul of maternity and postnatal care in the UK.

What did the inquiry find?
Led by a cross-party group of MPs, the Birth Trauma Inquiry was set up to discover why some women have difficult experiences in childbirth. The inquiry heard evidence from more than 1,300 women, finding that good care for pregnant women “is the expectation rather than the rule” with women “treated as an inconvenience”. 

What does it recommend? 
The inquiry’s report - set to be presented to ministers later today - makes 12 recommendations in total, including the appointment of a new maternity commissioner who would report directly to the prime minister. It also calls for mothers’ health records to be digitised, and for mothers to be given “universal access” to specialist maternal mental health services across the UK. 

How have ministers responded?
The government and the NHS have committed to producing a comprehensive strategy for maternity services following the report, said The Times. In a statement, health secretary Victoria Atkins said the government was “determined to improve the quality and consistency of care”. 

She said that the rollout of new physical and mental health services for mothers and pregnant women across England would be completed by the end of the year, adding that an extra £35m had been made available in the Spring Budget to boost maternity safety “with more midwives and better training”.


A new art installation opened in New York City last week: a ‘portal’ that allows residents to communicate in real time with people in what European city?

A) London
B) Dublin
C) Amsterdam

Scroll to the very bottom for the answer.

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🫘 Spill the beans

As climate change impacts on global coffee production, a growing number of companies are coming up with synthetic alternatives.

What’s the story?
Coffee is seriously big business, with roughly two billion cups drunk each day worldwide. But with around half of the land best suited to growing coffee beans predicted to become unsuitable by 2050 due to climate change, companies are scrambling to find alternatives.

Enter synthetic coffee. As the Wall Street Journal reports, companies are making the brew either with lab-grown cells taken from coffee plants, or from “upcycled” food waste ingredients such as date pits. Either way, it’s coffee without the coffee beans.

Is it popular?
Synthetic coffee isn’t yet mainstream, but it certainly hopes to be. The beanless startup Atomo opened a new large-scale roastery last month, as it looks to expand its offering across the US. Using date pits, chicory root and grape skin to “replicate the molecular structure of traditional coffee”, Atomo tastes “fine, if a bit mild”, according to the WSJ’s Christopher Mims.

What’s the bigger picture?
As The Guardian pointed out, the synthetic food boom doesn’t stop with coffee: there is also a “huge amount of research” being thrown at synthetic dairy and meat. Last year, lab-grown meat products were approved for sale for the first time in the US - and in February, London’s Fortnum & Mason tested lab-grown beef mince in its famous scotch egg.

🏊‍♀️ Summer dip: A record number of wild swimming spots in England are being designated as bathing waters, meaning they’ll benefit from regular water quality monitoring. 

📈 Economy update: The UK has come out of a “short and shallow recession” following stronger than expected growth at the beginning of the year.

🇧🇷 Brazil floods: The government announced $2.34bn in emergency spending amid severe storms and floods in the south of the country. 

🪩 Eurovision 2024: Switzerland’s Nemo took home the trophy with their catchy song The Code, at “the most politically charged Eurovision song contest in memory”.

📺 On the box: It was a big night for British telly on Sunday, with Top Boy and Happy Valley emerging as big winners at this year’s BAFTAs.

Come for: A seriously engaging read that builds on traditional financial advice by considering the emotional and psychological aspects of money. Think, how to handle comparison culture, or what we’ve learned about work from our parents. 

Stay for: Plenty of relatable anecdotes and practical tips for improving financial wellbeing (Ellie has loads of great stuff over on her Instagram, too). What’s more, we’re giving away three copies! 🌟 

Do you want to be entered into the giveaway to win a copy of Money Talks?

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Trivia answer: B) Dublin and New York are now connected by a live-stream ‘portal’. It looks fun!

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