Monday, February 20, 2012

on my mind monday 2.20.12

newspaper | photo:  mconnors
It's never the same two weeks in a row.  My snapshot of what I find interesting.  Information and news about health, nutrition and/or holistic living.  Here's what's on my mind.

Walmart 'Great For You' Healthy Labels - While I think we need to have appropriate labeling for food I'm not so sure who is the best organization to create it.  As proven by the Smart Choice label fiasco manufacturers are certainly not a good choice.  But are retailers any better?  Considering that they have a vested interest in selling product and that their shelf space and advertising efforts can be bought, I'm not so sure this is a winning scenario for the consumer.

What's In Your Food: Weight Watcher's Blueberry Muffins - the usual suspects of bad food, artificial ingredients, chemical additives, and far too much sugar.  Read the label, not just the front of the box.  Unfortunately many people assume that the front of the box tells the whole story when it comes to health and nutrition information.  Not true, that's the marketorial space that producers use to try to convince you that you want to buy their product.

Bright Farms - this is an organization that is bringing hydroponic greenhouse farms to grocery stores.  I think this could potentially be a great idea.  One issue is getting grocery stores to consider buying in to the concept of truly local sourcing.  Another is the strategy of growing what/enough for consumer preferences.  But it could potentially be a fabulous idea, especially in urban areas.

Wow!  The Discover High School Farm.  This is another twist on the education/food concept.  This effort is really spreading in a variety of wonderful and creative ways across the country.  Starting with Alice Waters' Edible Schoolyard to the Real School Gardens and more, kids are learning about their food, where it comes from, and making great choices because it's easily available.  Now we have this high school connecting their kids to food in a meaningful and productive way.

Raw Milk Debates - As I've written about here and here,  raw milk is in the news.  There are many people who prefer raw milk.  And both the Raw Milk Institute and the Weston A. Price Foundations Campaign for Real Milk support those consumers who want raw milk and those farmers who want to provide it.  Here is a great blog post by someone who drinks raw milk.  This issue seems to be getting more and more attention in the news and in legislative issues.  On a personal level, in case you are wondering, yes, there is a raw milk dairy about 45 minutes from my house.  Yes I do occasionally drink raw milk, but only when it is convenient for me to go that way and get it.  I'll also share that my husband and teen daughter are not willing to drink it, so I don't force them.  But I find it to be delicious and if it were more easily available I would consume more of it.

Arsenic found in infant formula - I am once again very upset to find such serious problems in the food supply.  The arsenic is found in rice which is a very efficient at uptaking it from the soil.  Apparently even if the field is now organic (a process which takes three years to achieve) if there is significant arsenic in the soil it will still find it's way into the rice.  Where did the arsenic come from?  It's being used as a pesticide.  We need to stop dumping toxins on our food and to stop poisoning our soil.


Sam said...

It is not just the arsenic in the soil but in the run off from neigboring fields and home owners who chose to poison their lawns with fertilizers. So, can you reccomend a non-lethal method of removing grubs from my lawn? Or where to look for such a process?

Mira Dessy said...

I don't really know, other than digging them up, what the best method is.

And, as you point out, the object is also to convince the neighbors to do the same. Which can be difficult.