December 30, 2008

Is it all it's cracked up to be?

I have a love/hate relationship with the whole notion of eating local. I like the idea. I think there are many benefits, some of which can include getting to know the farmer, less transportation of the food, and fresher food. But, I love things that cannot and do not grow here. I will never get an avocado grown in Oregon. If I did it would have to be grown in such an artificial environment that it would defeat the purpose of not being from California or Mexico. So, eat local or eat those things I like that aren't local or do a bit of both. I do a bit of both. Such a wide variety of tasty foods are grown in Oregon/Washington that I can usually, without trying too hard, find something in season that is relatively local (there's a lot of debate about what is local...that's not the point today).

A few things I eat just naturally seem to be local. Honey is one of them. It's readily available and I like to buy in bulk. Doesn't hurt that my in-laws gave us a gallon jar of honey. We're starting in on year two with that big boy. The fact that we don't eat large quantities plays a role as well. Today, I read an article that reminded me of another reason I like eating local. Adulteration. This can happen anywhere but it seems that more and more, food from other countries - finger pointing at China - are not all they seem. This article from the Seattle PI shows the great lengths that exporters in China have gone to export honey that is tainted with animal antibiotics (super bug anyone). Does it make sense that Singapore is now a major exporter of honey to the US and they don't have any bees?

So, while I am not a fanatic about eating local, I would like to encourage you to think about where your food is produced. Is it all it's cracked up to be? If not, you might want to consider making some changes...for your health! And read that article above. We all need to start paying attention to where our food comes from...and no, the right answer is not McDonalds!

December 23, 2008

What the hell?

The other day, I happened to be looking at BBC news headlines and stumbled on this article "Getting high on HIV drugs in S Africa." Seriously, what the hell?

People are grinding anti-retroviral drugs (the ones that keep you from progressing to AIDS when you are HIV positive) into powder and smoking them. And this is not typically the patients. Kids are doing this too. It all comes down to the money. Patients and even healthcare staff are selling the pills for money according to the author. Why are people smoking these pills? Oh wait, "Smoking the pills has a hallucinogenic and relaxing effect."

So let's get this straight. We have a country where people actually believe AIDS isn't real; we have a disease with no known cure; and we have people who are compromising their health and the ability of the drugs to work because of the potential for resistance (as in, the drugs will no longer work when someone who is truely HIV positive needs them). Sorry, climate change and peak oil don't mean a damn thing if humanity isn't on Earth!

Love Letters to My Sons..