How much thought do you put into what you eat?


Before you immediately skim by this link because you refuse to read another rant written by a Vegetarian or Vegan- I am a content omnivore who is just feeling reflective today. Truth be told, I have begun to question much of what I thought I knew about food from a class that I started taking at UML called the Politics of Food. Funny enough, that is exactly what the class is supposed to do.

Last night I received an email from the professor for the class. She was sharing this link:

For those who did not immediately click the link, I’ll just tell you about it. The link connects you to a NY Times opinion story about how the McDonald’s Corporation is forcing its pork suppliers to phase out the use of gestation crates. Already I can start to tell that you could possibly be thinking, ” Who cares? How does this affect me?”

Answer: “Well I suppose some people care, while others may not. Unless you work a farm that raises pigs, this probably won’t affect you firsthand in the slightest.”

Being that I have begun to become a “label reader” at my friendly neighborhood market basket, I have started to become a person who does care. I saw what a gestation crate looks like and I am pretty disappointed in what I know about food. Take a second to google image “Gestation crate for pigs.”

So good job McDonald’s, right?

Today? Yes. They did a delightful job today. My larger concern has become what they will do tomorrow. It never really hit me until I read this article just how much power the McDonald’s corporation has in the global food market, but their decisions count for something. They are the third largest employer int he WORLD. Food suppliers, producers, competitors, really everyone pays attention when they make any sort of change in how they produce their successful products. Those who seek success watch to see what the successful organizations are doing and and industry is changed.

What I believe this major change has proved is what the average person can really do when he/she stands with a  lot of other average people. Consider the average population in the ever popular pyramid example. The base of the pyramid reflects the average people. Depending on the strength and size of the base, the pyramid stands a certain height tall. The average people control how high the tip of that pyramid (Executives at corporations like McDonald’s) extends.

Perhaps we, as average consumers, have much more power than we think.

Perhaps your brain is a bit tired from reading about this food for thought. If you had made it this far in the blog, reward yourself and watch this video:



So my friend today was showing extreme signs of anger. Actually she is currently sitting next to me right now, so I hope she doesn’t read this…. that would just be bad news bears you know? So I found a couple articles that talk about anger and what it does to your body.

The feeling of anger may differ from person to person; women, for example, are more likely to describe anger slowly building through the body rate, while men describe it as a fire or a flood raging within them. Of course, it varies by what’s acceptable in the culture as well: Some Asian cultures may experience anger in a milder way and for a shorter time than Caucasian Americas. Either way, it’s much like the fight-or-flight response; your body is gearing up for a fight to survive a wrong that’s been perpetrated against you. Chemicals like adrenaline and noradrenaline surge through the body.

In the brain, the amygdala, the part of the brain that deals with emotion, is going crazy. It wants to do something, and the time between a trigger event and a response from the amygdala can be a quarter of a second. But at the same time, blood flow is increasing to the frontal lobe, specifically the part of the brain that’s over the left eye. This area controls reasoning and is likely what’s keeping you from hurling a vase across the room. These areas generally balance each other out quickly; according to some research, the neurological response to anger lasts less than two seconds. This is why you get a lot of advice about counting to 10 when angry.

Anger can be caused by both external and internal events. You could be angry with a specific person (such as a colleague or supervisor) or event (a traffic jam, a cancelled flight). Worrying or brooding about your personal problems could cause anger. Memories of traumatic or enraging events can also trigger angry feelings. The instinctive, natural way to express anger is to respond aggressively. Anger is a natural, adaptive response to threats; it inspires powerful, often aggressive, feelings and behaviours, which allow us to fight and to defend ourselves when we are attacked. A certain amount of anger, therefore, is necessary for our survival. On the other hand, we can’t physically lash out at every person or object that irritates or annoys us; laws, social norms and common sense place limits on how far our anger can take us. 

Strategies to keep anger at bay: 

Relaxation: Simple relaxation tools, such as deep breathing and relaxing imagery, can help calm down angry feelings. There are books and courses that can teach you relaxation techniques, and once you learn the techniques, you can call upon them in any situation. If you are involved in a relationship where both partners are hot-tempered, it might be a good idea for both of you to learn these techniques.

Cognitive Restructuring: Simply put, this means changing the way you think. Angry people tend to curse, swear, or speak in highly colorful terms that reflect their inner thoughts. When you’re angry, your thinking can get very exaggerated and overly dramatic. Try replacing these thoughts with more rational ones. For instance, instead of telling yourself, “oh, it’s awful, it’s terrible, everything’s ruined‚ tell yourself, “it’s frustrating, and it’s understandable that I’m upset about it, but it’s not the end of the world and getting angry is not going to fix it anyhow.

 Problem Solving: Sometimes our anger and frustration are caused by very real and inescapable problems in our lives. Not all anger is misplaced, and often it’s a healthy, natural response to these difficulties. There is also a cultural belief that every problem has a solution, and it adds to our frustration to find out that this isn’t always the case. The best attitude to bring to such a situation, then, is not to focus on finding the solution, but rather on how you handle and face the problem. 

Better Communication: Angry people tend to jump to – and act on – conclusions, and some of those conclusions can be very inaccurate. The first thing to do if you’re in a heated discussion is slow down and think through your responses. Don’t say the first thing that comes into your head, but slow down and think carefully about what you want to say. At the same time, listen carefully to what the other person is saying and take your time before answering. 

Remember, you can’t eliminate anger – and it wouldn’t be a good idea if you could. In spite of all your efforts, things will happen that will anger you; and sometimes it will be justifiable anger. Life will be filled with frustration, pain, loss, and the unpredictable actions of others. You can’t change that; but you can change the way you let such events affect you. 

Controlling your angry responses can keep them from making you even unhappy in the long run. 
People who fly into a rage always make a bad landing.


~James (Not angry.. but his friend sure is)

End of the World?!

It’s finally here: 2012. People have been dreading this year since the beginning of time basically. The Mayans have predicted that the world will come to an end in 2012 on December 21st. So it is true? What’s the facts? Honestly, no one what is actually gonna happen but it’s fun to look into what people are saying and what might happen.

Here’s what people are saying:
A New Age interpretation of this transition is that this date marks the start of time in which Earth and its inhabitants may undergo a positive physical or spiritual transformation, and that 2012 may mark the beginning of a new era.Others suggest that the 2012 date marks the end of the world or a similar catastrophe. Scenarios suggested for the end of the world include the arrival of the next solar maximum, or Earth’s collision with a black hole or passing asteroid or a planet called “Nibriu”.

Astronomers argue that the galactic equator is an entirely arbitrary line and can never be exactly drawn, because it is impossible to determine the Milky Way’s boundaries. There is also no evidence that the classic Mayans attached any importance to the Milky Way. There is no symbol in their writing system to represent it and no astronomical or chronological table tied to it.

Who believes in it?
A lot of people do believe that some big catastrophe will occur in December 2012, but not the end of the world. Even if it is the end of this type world as we know it, it means a new world is beginning that we can experience. I personally agree with this because in order for the whole world to be completely destroyed over night something outrageous can happen such as the Sun burning out which is going to happen for another 5,00 years.

What do you think?! Let me know!

Have an fantastic weekend!