Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Some reading to get you through the week...

Hey there. I've been swamped, but I wanted to pass along some interesting articles that I've come across in the past week or so. Happy reading!

In Defense of Michael Pollan and a Civil, More Nuanced Food Debate: This issue completely slipped by me until I saw this article, but apparently the corporate food industry and their farmers are launching campaigns against the sustainable food movement. In many ways, this is probably deliberate, in others, it may just be a result of a major misunderstanding. This article lays out the case for the latter and what can be done to make the system more equitable for everyone involved - including the corporate guys.

The Farmworker Legacy In Your Fridge: One of the most frightening things when you start digging into America's food policy is not necessarily the pesticides used or the CAFOs or our over-processed diet, but the poor conditions some farmhands live and work in. This article lays out - better than any I've yet seen - the basics of this issue and what still needs to be done.

Big Food's 'Smart Choices' Label Raises Eyebrow at FDA: The 'Smart Choices' program was created by the corporate food industry (e.g. Conagra, Kraft, and Tyson's Food) and includes choices like fruitloops, lunchables, and mayonnaise. It seems to me that this is a clever way to take advantage of the public's newfound interest in healthy eating without making any substantial changes to existing products. Most of these products appear to have made the cut based on the number of calories or grams of fat - not the amount of sugar or sodium in them, and obviously without consideration for how processed the foods are or how the ingredients were produced.

Diet Coke Can Kill You: Melodramatic? Probably, but it's an interesting article that tracks with some other freaky stuff I've heard about artificial sweeteners.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

My backyard...

The bummer about apartments is not having a yard... fortunately, I can't really complain.

Hello, National Cathedral - you beautiful thing, you. Just across the street and full of beautiful gardens, a sequestered labyrinth of old brick buildings, and wide lawns - what more could you ask for?

It's so easy to forget that all this is hidden behind the cathedral's towering facade that I have to admit that I don't make it over there quite as often as I'd like. But it's a great place to read a book or take a stroll and it was truly a breath of fresh air this weekend.

To the last lingering days of summer...

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Caught by the wind...

I feel as if the earth is pulling me outside as DC's hot summer turns into a cool and beautiful fall. I always find the change of seasons to be an inspiring time and this poem wonderfully voices my sense of quiet elation as autumn presents a new beginning.


By Richard Wilbur

Treetops are not so high
Nor I so low
That I don't instinctively know
How it would be to fly

Through gaps that the wind makes, when
The leaves arouse
And there is a lifting of boughs
That settle and lift again.

Whatever my kind may be,
It is not absurd
To confuse myself with a bird
For the space of a reverie:

My species never flew,
But I somehow know
It is something that long ago
I almost adapted to.