Food for Thought

I am currently stuck at the car shop, having been towed here this morning. Over my shoulder, the TV is blaring day time game show, Price is Right in between ads for term life policies, diabetes mail order drugs, hemorrhoid medication, and Ex Lax. Clearly, I am the wrong demographic. But I remember why I quit watching TV. My brain cells are starving. I need some Food for Thought like right now. Oh my, the soaps are starting …

But, I Thought You Said “Eat Local?”
While President Bush may have told the nation that eating local was the way to go for the food crisis (despite that whole ethanol, lack of vegetable farm thing), he doesn’t seem to be helping us follow his innovative strategy. According to the American Farmland Trust, Bush is proposing cuts to the 2009 farm bill programs that would have supported local food, conservation and other agriculture programs. These programs were among the few bright spots that kept the new farm bill from being a total loss of reform. Hmm. Kinda hard to eat local if there isn’t any local food. By the way, what happened to that green tie?

Sticker Shock
Rainforest Action Network has organized a protest against products containing palm oil. On August 13, more than 2,000 concerned citizens across the nation will visit local supermarkets. The activists will be seeking out products containing palm oil and applying a sticker, “Warning! Product May Contain Rainforest Destruction,” on these products. The protest is targeting U.S. agribusinesses ADM, Bunge and Cargill for establishing soy and palm oil operations in many of the planet’s most threatened tropical rainforests.

Palm oil plantations have expanded at a rate of 2.5 million acres per year into the tropical forests of Indonesia, Malaysia and Papua New Guinea. The pristine forests are clear-cut and burned to accommodate the expansion, contributing heavily to global climate change, species extinction, and the displacement of Indigenous and local communities.

Fat and Happy Meal
According to a study by the Center for Science in the Public Interest, 93 percent of 1,474 kids’ menu choices from 13 top restaurant chains exceed the recommended number of calories for kids aged four to eight. Virtually ALL menu choices at KFC, Taco Bell, Sonic, Jack in the Box, and Chick-fil-A exceeded the recommended 430 calories per meal. Some of these meal options exceeded 1000 calories.

California One-Ups the FDA
As of July 25, artificial trans-fats are now banned from restaurants in the state of California. While no such mandate appears to be forthcoming from the FDA despite clear health hazards, it’s a good sign to see states taking action. Kudos to the Governator for signing the bill. Now, how about that Hummer and the whole global warming thing …

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