What I have been reading (on-line) lately…
Let’s start with my nearest and dearest,
brownfemipower on Domestic Violence in the Movies. As usual, her insights blew me away. A snippet,
Women have the right to complete stories–They have the right to not be fragmented into the old and the new–they have the right to have the fragments of their lives joined back together into a healthy whole that will continue to grow. They have the right to be loved by those in their past, those with them now, those who they may some day get to know.
They deserve to heal and grow wrapped in the arms of a loving, supportive and also healing community. They deserve to celebrate their healing through dancing and singing and collective laughter and clapping.
Film can be incredibly depressing and problematic on many levels. But there’s a reason I love it anyway. Film allows us the space to imagine things we never thought possible. It has the ability to act as a conduit for a greater message.
And sometimes–sometimes, we are lucky to hear the ’something’ that needs to be heard just as it is being spoken: maybe, sometimes, the answer is not a new song, but an old song sung by all of us together on our own terms in our own way.
At the MidEast Connect, about Brahm Ahmadi on the accessibility of healthy eating. Ahmadi is the founder and Executive Director of People’s Grocery, which works in West Oakland, developing a socially just, self-sustaining and sustainable food system in the inner city. They believe that eating healthy should be for everyone, regardless of income. Truly revolutionary, as far as I am concerned. Eating healthy was also a subject of discussion over at bfp’s- see comments on A small post. (which is of course, nothing like a small post!!! and highly recommended reading in and of itself). I have a post brewing about eating healthy, social justice, the impossibility of eating healthy (aka organic or the like) while poor, the environment, the corporatization of our food supply, organic or not, etc. One of these days all my disparate thoughts will cohere into something that makes sense. maybe.
In that vein, Richard Heinberg‘s Museletter, on oil and our food system. (h/t Groovy Green). Among other things, he discusses the link between rising – ballooning – costs of food and the so-called biofuel,
One factor influencing food prices arises from the increasing incentives for farmers worldwide to grow biofuel crops rather than food crops. Ethanol and biodiesel can be produced from a variety of crops including maize, soy, rapeseed, sunflower, cassava, sugar cane, palm, and jatropha. As the price of oil rises, many farmers are finding that they can produce more income from their efforts by growing these crops and selling them to a biofuels plant, than by growing food crops either for their local community or for export.
Already nearly 20 percent of the US maize crop is devoted to making ethanol, and that proportion is expected to rise to one quarter, based solely on existing projects-in-development and government mandates. Last year US farmers grew 14 million tons of maize for vehicles. This took millions of hectares of land out of food production and nearly doubled the price of corn. Both Congress and the White House favor expanding ethanol production even further – to replace 20 percent of gasoline demand by 2017 – in an effort to promote energy security by reducing reliance on oil imports. Other nations including Britain are mandating increased biofuel production or imports as a way of reducing carbon emissions, though most analyses show that the actual net reduction in CO2 will be minor or nonexistent.14
The US is responsible for 70 percent of world maize exports, and countries such as Mexico, Japan, and Egypt that depend on American corn farmers use maize both as food for people and feed for animals. The ballooning of the US ethanol industry is therefore impacting food availability in other nations both directly and indirectly, raising the price for tortillas in Mexico and disrupting the livestock and poultry industries in Europe and Africa.
Casaubon’s Book had an interesting response to the above article in Strategizing on the Transition to Organic Agriculture. I particularly liked,
“Top down strategies must be concurrent with and redundant to bottom up strategies” What does this mean? Well, I don’t happen to trust my government to act in my interests. So while I support top down strategies, I believe that the top down strategies we advocate should be built upon bottom up strategies, created by the people.
Phantom Scribbler on transforming Hanukah celebrations within her family in Oh Hanukkah. She sucks you right in from the beginning,
When I was growing up, each year had a predictable shape and weight, a center of gravity, a point to which it seemed to bend towards irresistibly: Hanukkah.
At Anti-Racist Parent, Deesha Philyaw introduces herself, on why she likes to talk about race. Here’s a bit,
Race is everything, and nothing. Nothing because race is a mere social construct (more or less, depending on which molecular biologists and geneticists you talk to); everything because we live in a world where children’s picture books with titles like Grandpa, Is Everything Black Bad? are necessary.
I like to talk about race because to talk about race is to talk about justice…and to talk about justice is to talk about what is right and fair for humanity…so to talk about race is to talk about what it means to be human, and how we should treat each other, on micro and macro levels, as human beings. How then, can truly progressive people not talk about race?
Finally, for your virtual eating pleasure, I give you Ilva at Lucullian Delights’ Rice Apple. Divine? I think so. I am going to make some with the left-over apples we have from our apple picking extravagance.