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This Week in Food and Travel: Bartenders talk about dealing with addiction and anxiety
Chris Cardone from USA competing at the semi-final of the Diageo World Class Bartender of the Year competition in Mexico City in 2017. Rob Lawson/AP

Bartenders are surrounded by alcohol on a near-regular basis — and the constant presence can have an impact on mental health. “Bartending sober is, in a word, hard,” Joanna Carpenter, the bar director at Town Stages in New York, said in an email. “You are spending most of your time surrounded by booze and the people consuming it. Everybody experiences a different level of struggle, but for me, one of the toughest things has been the sense of expectation from customers or my peers when I told them I don’t drink liquor.” Mic spoke to bartenders about the tribulations of navigating their roles in bars — and why self-care and self-control are must-haves in this industry.

In other news, James Beard Award-winning TV personality Andrew Zimmern spoke about immigration and the hospitality world at a recent panel and discussed how consumers are helping to protect immigrants who comprise more than 20% of food service employees.

Also this week, we look into some potentially scary reports, about microplastics in poop and traces of a pesticide in breakfast food marketed to kids.

7 bartenders on what it’s like to be sober in the booze industry

A bartender’s job is to make drinks — so how does the work change if you’re a sober bartender?
A bartender’s job is to make drinks — so how does the work change if you’re a sober bartender? Max Ksenofontov/Shutterstock

We talked to drinks professionals about mental health, sobriety and working behind the bar when you don’t drink.

Andrew Zimmern: When government fails immigrants, the restaurant industry has to protect them

Andrew Zimmern speaks on a panel about immigration and the hospitality industry at New York City’s Wine and Food Festival.
Andrew Zimmern speaks on a panel about immigration and the hospitality industry at New York City’s Wine and Food Festival. Getty Images for NYCWFF

Zimmern said the hospitality industry is particularly special because it “disproportionately [affords immigrants] a success story and a path to that American dream.”

A poop study finds plastic in our bodies — and doctors are concerned

Plastic has been found in salt and beer and now, scientists have found, it’s in our poop.
Plastic has been found in salt and beer and now, scientists have found, it’s in our poop. Chris Stowers/Getty Images

“This is the first study of its kind and confirms what we have long suspected, that plastics ultimately reach the human gut.”

A new report finds traces of Monsanto-linked pesticide in kids’ breakfast foods

General Mills Honey Nut Cheerios cereal was among the products that had a higher level of a pesticide in it, according to a new report from the Environmental Working Group.
General Mills Honey Nut Cheerios cereal was among the products that had a higher level of a pesticide in it, according to a new report from the Environmental Working Group. Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Products with trace amounts of a pesticide deemed unsafe by the Environmental Working Group include Chocolate Cheerios and Quaker Chewy peanut butter chocolate chip granola bars.