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Books: Food, Inc.

March 31, 2010 | Advertising,Books,Economics,Education,Ethics,Family,Food,Health,Journalism,MSM,Politics,PR,Research,Safety,School,U.S. government

I just finished reading Food, Inc.: How Industrial Food is Making us Sicker, Fatter and Poorer — And What You Can Do About it, edited by Karl Weber and compiled as a companion piece to the movie, which I also just watched. I actually watched the movie (by Robert Kenner) first, not realizing that was the correct order of things.

I’ve read Eric Schlosser’s Fast Food Nation, watched King Corn: You Are What You Eat, a documentary by Ian Cheney and Curt Ellis, and read quite a bit on food, the food industry in the United States and food safety (or lack of it). Food, Inc., gathers much of the information out there and puts it all in one place.

In any case, if you eat, you might be interested in this book and film. The film was done first. The book contains information from people who weren’t in the film. Schlosser says the film and the book are not just about food. They’re also about threats to the First Amendment and the corrupting influence of centralized power.

Contributors include (listed in order they appear in the book)

I think the information provided by this book and film is very important, though not half as fun as reading Barbara Kingsolver’s take on food issues in her book, Animal, Vegetable, Miracle, which I’m reading now. In fact, her book was written before Food, Inc., and I wondered, hey, did they read Kingsolver? Because if they didn’t, they should. But sure enough. She was listed in the “to learn more” section at the end of the book.

Posted by Becky @ 6:00 am | 3 Comments  

What … no tasers?

October 3, 2007 | Journalism,Media,Race,Safety,School


A 25-year-old security guard at a high school in California forced a 16-year-old girl face down on a table, broke her wrist and then had her arrested. He then got hold of the 14-year-old boy who recorded the incident on his cell phone and had him arrested. Then he broke the wrist of another 16-year-old girl and had her arrested. The first girl’s mother was arrested, charged with assault and suspended from her job without pay. The security guard, whose name has not been released, was suspended with pay.

This is almost completely a “new media” story. It’s been covered by only four news outlets: 1) BET, 2) a local FOX station, 3) a local NBC station and 4) the LA Daily News, here and here.

Bloggers, however, have picked it up and run with it:

What’s Going On? My apologies to Marvin Gaye, but maybe his line, “Simply because our hair is long,” should instead say, “Simply because our hair is nappy.” (The white security guard apparently called the black girl “nappy head.”)

Hat tip: ThinkGirl.net

Posted by Becky @ 10:53 am | 1 Comment  

Lucky ducks survive country’s top ‘mean streets’

September 23, 2007 | Death,Family,Safety,Traffic


I was on my way to pick up my son from preschool on Thursday when traffic came to a complete stop. I looked around, wondering if there had been an accident or if a car stalled. Nothing. Was an ambulance or fire truck coming? Nope. Then I saw it. Lunch-hour traffic had stopped for a duck and a duckling crossing the six-lane highway.

Isn’t that sweet?

This is the city …

  • that topped the list of the Mean Streets 2004 report published by the Surface Transportation Policy Partnership, which said that 3.69 per 100,000 people died in pedestrian accidents here.
  • where children holding hands across the street are killed and put in the hospital by hit-and-run drivers.
  • where students are killed using the crosswalk on the way to school. Or getting off the school bus. Or trying to get to a bus stop.
  • where mothers pushing baby strollers are killed. And killed. (Imagine the aneurysm, heart attack and stroke I had when I learned a visiting relative had been pushing my then-18-month-old son along the highway.)
  • where a pedestrian is hit by not one, not two but five cars.
  • that has almost as many of these


and these


and these


as it does stoplights. It has so many “drive safely” signs and memorials, in fact, that county commissioners approved a policy to standardize them because there are so many and people can’t agree on whether or for how long they should be posted.

This is the city where the woman who killed my dog right in front of my house still screeches around the corner practically on two wheels (with an organ-donation bumper sticker on her car, no less — so many organ-laden pedestrians, so little time?) ignoring this


and this


and must be confused about the big 2 and 5 on that other sign, thinking it means minimum speed limit.

Stop for babies, children, students and mothers? Eh. Not so much.

But ducks? Yeah. We’ll stop for ducks.

Posted by Becky @ 4:11 pm | 1 Comment  


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