The Random

Everything is Toxic!

toxicI’ve had this post in draft for a few months now. It’s time to put it out in the world.

TOXIC!

A few years ago I started down a journey of learning about and getting attached to where our food actually comes from. I called it “The Year Of Food,” and wrote a series of blog posts on Random Thoughts about the things I learned along the way. We have some work to do along these lines, as a country.

I became loosely attached to the “New Food Movement” a few years ago and advocated for GMO labeling. I haven’t changed my mind on a label. I believe in disclosure and truth in labeling. What I have changed my mind on is the “New Food Movement.”

I can’t sit by and watch while meme after meme shows up in my newsfeed about how toxic everything is. What I’ve found is some of the people who represent this movement believe that Western (i.e., evidence-based) medicine is trying to kill us. I am the daughter of a Western-based medical practitioner. I have been taught in scientific method, logical fallacies and the psychology of bias. I can’t abide what I’m seeing and associate myself with it any more. Reason has to prevail at some point.

For example:

Girl Scout cookies are poisonous. Wheat is toxic. Seed oils. BEER. School lunches, breakfast cereal, cream soups, milk, your perfume, sunscreen….you get the idea. Don’t get started on vaccines.

My kids go to a school where ~30% of the children are on free or reduced lunch. The meals those children get at school are sometimes the only ones they get for the day. The school community holds a food drive every year for the families who are food insecure in our area. I will sometimes bring in easy, quick breakfasts for the school counselor to have on-hand in case a child is late to school and the cafeteria is already closed. These families don’t have the option to choose the “non-toxic” cream soup. They’re hungry, and they’re trying to survive. They don’t ask “is this ORGANIC?” They say thank you.

If you like Thin Mints, then help a Girl Scout out and buy a box. If you don’t have Celiac, eat bread if you want. If you like Coors Light, DRINK IT. (I won’t, but you carry on with your bad self.) You are lucky to have the choice. Many among us don’t. Screaming at them that their food is poison doesn’t help them, it creates shame. No one should be ashamed for doing the best they can with what they have.

There is an emerging eating disorder called “orthorexia.” It is defined as an obsession with the purity and quality of food. A sure sign we’ve gone too far.

The never-ending stream of fear memes around food has finally worn me down. As I said, I’ve been an advocate in the past for GMO labeling, and I still am. A label offers choice. However, extremism with avoiding any food or medicine that *might* have science in it is a serious problem that hinders health for all.

Asking questions of the industries producing our food is appropriate. I’m not advocating a head-in-the-sand approach to food. I am all for looking at the way we do things and questioning – is this good for humans? Is it good for the earth? Is there an alternative? What are the unintended consequences of these decisions when it comes to food production? Questioning science in an effort to further dialogue is good, and good scientists question themselves. That’s how discoveries are made, and how we move forward. However, it’s important to keep in mind that questions like these and the ensuing arguments are immaterial to a person who needs something to eat.

We have a long way to go in this country when it comes to food equality, education and quality, but fear mongering won’t help. I’m taking a stand. A two-tiered food system – those who can eat “well” and those who can’t – is wrong.

Read Watch Listen Download

read watch listen download

Volume Two! I decided to take the high road and not advise you on what to ignore. I trust you’re able to figure it out on your own (*ahem*Kardashian*AHEM*)

So, without further ado:

Read Watch Listen Download No. 2

READ

Praise Won’t Make Your Kid A Narcissist, But THIS Will – Several articles have been published lately discussing the results of a study investigating the development of narcissism in children. Having studied psychology in college, I remember quite clearly the course I took on personality theory. While there are many theories as to what circumstances create a narcissist, one thing should be made clear: praise alone doesn’t. Overly favorable comparison does. “You’re smarter than everyone in the whole school. The rest of the kids are just average.” <– Ta da! Narcissist. (This is what I geek out to. Humans. They’re really interesting.)

Essential Oils Don’t Cure Ebola – Seriously friends, stop it. Essential oils have a definite place in wellness and healing. I’ve used them for twenty-plus years. However, this article talks about the gigantic overstatements being made by multi-level marketing essential oils companies and their representatives. Beyond the daily leveraging of personal relationships on social media to increase sales these companies seem to encourage among the reps, (read: spammy, a turn-off) recommending an essential oil combination as a personal lubricant,(yes, really) a cure for pink eye, or for use as a laxative is dangerous. A government agency of some kind will come along to stop this, and I’ll be happy when they do. And now…bring on the spam.

Executions, Beatings, and Forced Marriage: Life As a Boko Haram Captive – These people are insane. Who is giving them weapons? Women and girls are the keys to lifting the world out of poverty and war and ruin. This group, along with ISIS, are dragging the world down with them. This is a two-part series. The second in the series: How I Escaped Marrying A Boko Haram Fighter. Wow.

WATCH

Outlander – Yeah yeah yeah, I know. However…one thing I find myself really noticing about this series is the equality of story with respect to the male and female lead characters. It’s a rare thing to find movies and television shows where the sexuality of the male lead is every bit as front and center as the female’s; his thoughts and feelings are evident, and his development doesn’t rely on old tropes. The character of Claire isn’t simply a plot device for the man’s pleasure. Together, the characters of Claire and Jamie are the plot, and she is the narrator, so the story is told from her perspective. Strong acting, too. Having read the first book in the series, I’m actually enjoying the show more. It’s unusual when show trumps book.

LISTEN

My Type, by Saint Motel – Channeling my inner 80’s child. Take a listen:

 

DOWNLOAD

Dark Sky – Yet another weather app, I know. What’s cool about this one, though, is the hyper-local features. It will tell you with decent accuracy how soon rain is coming, where the nearest rain/weather is in relation to your present location, etc. I live in rain-ville. It’s nice to know. Plus it’s pretty. I’m a sucker for a pretty app.

There you are, friends. Helping you ignore the stupid crap on the internet since 2015. You’re welcome.

Read Watch Listen Ignore: No. 1

read watch listen

I think humans are bombarded with images and information all day every day. So much so, it’s really tough to filter what’s worth reading, and what you can safely ignore without any negative repercussions. I’m here to help.

Read Watch Listen Ignore: No. 1

Read:

Would You Call 911 On Another Parent? – This whole “kids can never ever be alone and OMG think of the children yadda yadda yadda”…..overboard. Gone too far. Chill out.

I Was Arrested For Harassment, and That Was the Good Part – One day, one word can alter your trajectory forever, whether you are the harasser or being harassed. This post is particularly timely in light of the recent Curt Schilling story.

Girls Who Steal – Most of us have been around these women. It’s not just your favorite lipstick that suddenly disappears. It’s the backhanded compliment intended to steal your joy, your accomplishments, and your sense of self. “Jellyfishing.”

Watch:

Netflix is streaming this great four-part series called “The Men Who Built America” about Vanderbilt, Rockefeller, Carnegie, Morgan and Ford. We’ve actually watched it as a family and it’s garnered some really great discussions about capitalism, economy, innovation, greed, unions, and how industrialization changed life in America. We’re a little nerdy like that. The kids are in 2nd and 7th grade, and there have been very few scenes that needed explaining for either of them.

The brains behind Crash Course have launched Crash Course Kids on YouTube. It debuted with “Gotta Eat!” Quick, easily digested (yes, pun totally and completely intended) science lessons. I believe the scope will eventually include other topics as well. A long way from Minecraft pop music parodies. Thank God.

Listen:

Banks, Beggin’ For Thread:

Ignore:

Kim Kardashian’s blonde hair. Don’t give a shit. Neither should you. And because her image has likely clogged the crap out of your feeds for the last 24 hours, I won’t link to it.

You’re welcome.