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Tuesday, February 19, 2008

● The Story of STUFF! with Annie Leonard

We have bought into a system...
● ● ● The Story of STUFF! ● ● ● with Annie Leonard

● ● ● The Story of STUFF! ● ● ● with Annie Leonard
From extraction through sale, use and disposal, all the stuff in our lives affects communities at home and abroad, yet most of this is hidden from view. The Story of Stuff is a 20-minute, fast-paced, fact-filled look at the underside of production and consumption patterns. The Story of Stuff exposes connections between environmental and social issues, and calls us to create a more sustainable and just world.

We have bought into a system, in which buying stuff is our ultimate purpose. We have to change this system. ...first through awareness... then ultimately, to sustainability. Buying less of what we don't need is always important, but the ultimate goal is sustainability. And this goal, we must demand. ...renewable energy, sustainability of products and production - [ Production without Destruction. ]

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● Wal-Mart & Nike: Child Labor

Wal-Mart and Nike are leading the
way to lowering standards around the world.
Charles Kernaghan interviewed by Harold Channer

Conversations with Harold Hudson Channer
MNN (Manhattan Neighborhood Network) NYC
Charles Kernaghan, Director of the National Labor Committee, an independent, non-profit human rights organization focused on the protection of worker rights (primarily in Central America, the Caribbean, China and other developing countries).
Charles Kernaghan - Air Date: 02-27-02
Kernaghan has led numerous fact-finding missions to Central America and the Caribbean to investigate working conditions in the free trade zones.

National Labor Committee is now
Institute for Global Labour and Human Rights
Tel:  (412) 562-2406 
Fax: (412) 562-2411

He does not support boycotts (because workers in the developing world need their jobs) but argues for putting pressure on companies to respect the laws that are already in place. If the existing laws are observed; violations will have consequences, workers will have rights, they will be able to organize, and the levels of working conditions and wages will be raised.

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Thursday, February 14, 2008


● ● ● ...

● In Defense of Food: An Eater’s Manifesto.
....-Michael Pollan
The Omnivore’s Dilemma. Author Michael Pollan advises, “Don’t Buy Any Food You’ve Ever Seen Advertised.”

Michael Pollan, one of the nation’s leading thinkers and writers on food. The author of several books about food, including The Botany of Desire, The Omnivore’s Dilemma, and In Defense of Food: An Eater’s Manifesto, warns of the processed food industry’s co-option of “sustainability” and its vast spending on marketing, Pollan advises to be wary of any food that’s advertised.

"The CDC, Centers for Disease Control, estimates that of the $2 trillion we’re spending on healthcare in this country, $1.5 trillion is for the treatment of preventable chronic disease. Now, that’s not all food, because you have smoking in there, too, and alcoholism. But the bulk of it is food." -Michael Pollan

"The most salient point is simply, [we] are not going to be able to tackle either the healthcare crisis or climate change unless [we] look at our food system. In the case of climate change, food is responsible for about a third of greenhouse gases, the way we’re growing food, the way we’re processing it and the way we’re eating. And the healthcare crisis... ...we are not going to be able to reform healthcare, which depends on getting the cost of healthcare down, without addressing... ...the catastrophe of the American diet. So we need to address it. It’s really the shadow issue over these other two issues." -Michael Pollan

omni·vore |ˈämnəˌvôr|
an animal or person that eats food (or foodstuff)
of both plant and animal origin.

ORIGIN late 19th cent.: from French, from Latin omnivorus ‘omnivorous.’
. . .

food·stuff |foōd·stəf|
A substance with some foodlike qualities that can be used or prepared for use as food, but generally lacks the health benefits of real food.
. . .
On Democracy Now February 13, 2008
In Defense of Food: An Eater’s Manifesto by Author, Journalist Michael Pollan on Nutrition, Food Science and the
American Diet.

Acclaimed author and journalist Michael Pollan argues that what most Americans are
consuming today is not food but “edible food-like substances.” His previous book, The Omnivore’s Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals, was named one of the ten best books of 2006 by the New York Times and the Washington Post. His latest book, just published, is called In Defense of Food: An Eater’s Manifesto.
Real Video Stream
More Info...
Michael Pollan, Professor of science and environmental journalism at UC Berkeley. Real Video Stream
. . .

You say potātō,
I say genetically modified foodstuff.
I agree with Michael Pollan, in that what most Americans are consuming today is not food but “edible food-like substances.” I've often said that we shouldn't even have to have the term "health food", since food by definition should already be healthy. Unfortunately, the categorizes have been reversed, where pancakes, potatochips, and cheeseburgers are considered to be real food, while carrots and celery are considered to be rabbit food, hence not real food.

I also agree that thinking about food in terms of Nutrition defined by "the experts" can be misleading. Although, I think if we redefine nutrition to mean whole organic foods (usually plants) then it does serve a purpose. Most people that I've talked to don't really care that much about nutrition, maybe for the reasons discussed by Michael Pollan. Maybe people intuitively know there's a problem with nutritional science, so they ignore the whole idea of whether or not, what they're consuming is "good or bad" for them. Or, they just don't care because culture and tradition trump nutrition almost every time. Every time, that is, until they merge, which they increasingly are. But right now "nutrition" is the dysfunctional way, in which we make these health decisions about our eating habits, if we make these decisions at all.

My opinion varies from Michael Pollan a little on a small point, where he claims that people are eating or shopping in an effort to advance their health. This is true to a degree, but from my experience, people still eat according to how and where they were raised. It's just that, culture has been taken over by capital. It is the influence of big business on culture and nutritional science that is the problem. Michael Pollan recognizes this point. The difference in my opinion from his is simply that he sees this as a turning away from culture and pleasure, where I see it as a cultural shift, and manufactured wants replacing genuine pleasure.

Most people still do eat according to their culture, but the dominant cultures in the U.S. are increasingly influenced and determined by unregulated market forces. Yet, another example of what deregulated markets should not determine. Maybe the health of our bodies is in direct proportion to the health of our economic system. With regulations that only protect capital and not consumers, seeds that don't reproduce, and genetic modification, now not even our fruits and vegetables are safe. Fortunately, there's a growing resistance to this trend and the only question is whether or not we will be informed and act in time.

Also see:
Campaign against Genetically Modified Organisms
Monsanto: Planting Local Seeds, Sprouting Global Effects

✿ > ☠

foodstuff ...


...or genetically modified edible food-like substance.

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