10 episodes

We’re fascinated by everyday objects and what they can tell us about the global economy. Join us every week as reporters from our global newsroom dig into the most fascinating facets of an object: where it came from, how it got to us, and what it can tell us about the forces that are changing the way we live and work.

Quartz Obsession Quartz

    • Business
    • 5.0 • 30 Ratings

We’re fascinated by everyday objects and what they can tell us about the global economy. Join us every week as reporters from our global newsroom dig into the most fascinating facets of an object: where it came from, how it got to us, and what it can tell us about the forces that are changing the way we live and work.

    Japanese whisky: One steep sip

    Japanese whisky: One steep sip

    After spending decades in relative obscurity, Japanese whisky is finally getting global appreciation for its masterful flavors. Global demand is high, with prices to match. There’s just one problem: There’s no technical definition of Japanese whisky, or formal system to regulate it. Does it matter if not all Japanese whisky is strictly from Japan?
    Sponsored by American Express
    Episode art: Photograph by Eric Helgas, styling by Alex Citrin-Safadi
    Please take our survey to help us improve the Quartz Obsession

    • 25 min
    Rare earths: Scarcity at your fingertips

    Rare earths: Scarcity at your fingertips

    A group of 17 elements make up a little-known group called rare earth metals. They are notoriously tricky to extract, which is unfortunate since they’re key components in smartphones, batteries, motors, and wind turbines, and essential to a clean-energy future. China has a near monopoly on the mining and processing of rare earth metals, but as demand for them rises, other countries are looking to get into the game.
    Please take our survey to help us improve the Quartz Obsession
    Sponsored by American Express
    Photograph by Eric Helgas, styling by Alex Citrin-Safadi

    • 22 min
    Kudzu: We've made a big mistake

    Kudzu: We've made a big mistake

    Kudzu, an ornamental vine from Japan, first appeared on US soil in 1876. More than a century later, the plant has proliferated so uncontrollably that it threatens to choke out native plants in the American South. As the world looks for creative solutions to confront climate change, are we fated to keep repeating our same mistakes?
    Please take our survey to help us improve the Quartz Obsession
    Sponsored by American Express
    Image credits: Photograph by Eric Helgas, styling by Alex Citrin-Safadi

    • 24 min
    Oat milk: Don't call it creamy

    Oat milk: Don't call it creamy

    If you’re concerned about sustainability and wellness, chances are you’re a consumer of oat milk, the latest star in the alternative milk scene. But does oat milk have appeal around the world? And who will lose out as big dairy muscles into the alt milk space?
    Please take our survey to help us improve the Quartz Obsession
    Sponsored by American Express
    Episode art: Photograph by Eric Helgas, styling by Alex Citrin-Safadi

    • 27 min
    Business class: Luxury in the sky

    Business class: Luxury in the sky

    Bigger seat, more legroom, even silk pajamas: Flying business class comes with major perks for travelers. It’s also crucial to the entire airline business model. But given the seats’ outsized carbon footprint, how ethical is it to keep flying business class?
    Please take our survey to help us improve the Quartz Obsession
    Sponsored by American Express
    Episode art credit: Photograph by Eric Helgas, styling by Alex Citrin-Safadi

    • 25 min
    Afrobeats: A global sound

    Afrobeats: A global sound

    The beat-heavy, electronic music from Nigeria has been gaining a global fan base and is a point of pride across Africa. It’s also finally helping local artists make real money. But is Afrobeats establishing a path to global domination that other genres can follow, or is an entire continent being reduced to one country’s signature sound?
    Please take our survey to help us improve the Quartz Obsession
    Sponsored by American Express
    Photograph by Eric Helgas, styling by Alex Citrin-Safadi

    • 27 min

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