April 24, 2014

Organic Food vs. Conventional Food: a goverment conspiracy?

Why Is Organic Food More Expensive?

Most people assume that organic food cost less to produce. Why wouldn’t they be? Isn’t organic food grown on organic farms that are free from chemicals and pesticides? How expensive could it possibly be to cultivate a farm using the most basic elements that earth supplies – soil, rain and sun? It would be nice if growing organic food was truly this simple. However, it’s a lot more complex than this. The agricultural businesses are heavily subsidized through our tax dollars, whereas organic farms do not receive any government help.  This is the reason that conventional foods are far cheaper to buy. Our tax dollars underwrite a substantial part of the financial burden that conventional agriculture incurs.

This ludicrous situation was birthed out of an honorable intent by the American government to help ease the severe food shortage of the Great Depression in the 1930’s. In a desperate attempt to prevent further wide-spread starvation and famine, President Roosevelt introduced the subsidies to help sustain the farm industry.  Albeit the subsidies, were predetermined as a temporary solution, the allocation of them persisted far beyond the Depression, developing into the multi-million dollar political platform that it currently is.

Organic food is also more expensive by virtue of agrichemicals that are created to make conventional farming methods cheaper to practice. The agrichemicals agricultural industry was developed with one purpose in mind – to make mass production of food cheaper and quicker. There was never any forethought on nutrition, health or the environment in the design of agrichemicals.

So, has the government conspired against organic food?

I’ll let you answer that question for yourself. Despite the fact that agribusinesses receive government subsidies, there is another vitally reason that hikes up the cost of organic foods – supply and demand. You, as a consumer, tell the government what you are willing to pay for food and what quality of food you want on account of your purchases. Since the demand for conventional food far outweighs the demand for organic food, the government will continue to subsidize traditional agribusinesses thus maintaining the high costs of organic food.

While the demand for conventional food is higher than that of organic food, the issuing of government subsidies to the conventional agricultural industry is an archaic policy that should be defunct. Or at the very least these subsidies should be open to organic farmers as well. Subsidies that are issued to agribusiness are creating an excessive food surplus that is simply disposed of each year. Over 100 billion pounds of food is wasted in America each year and this is largely in part to food production that can’t possibly be eaten. Hunger should not be an issue in America because there is far more food produced in our country than can be consumed. The disturbing fact is that a very small percentage of this surplus actually goes to food banks and organizations that help the needy.

Government subsidies would be better served by helping small local farmers, organic farms, community supported agricultural programs, food co-ops, etc so America can eat healthier and have better quality foods.

Ana Gazawi

Ana Gazawi

Single mom of two boys trying to live a greenier, crunchier life. Lover of life and all things that bring good people, great conversation, and lasting memories together.

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Sweet Tea Tuesday: Straight trippin’, Boo

Saturday morning, the leading man and I set out on a road trip to the California coast, sans children. This is the first time we’ve been away from the child/ren since 1997. (We were still a party of three until 1999.)This does not include them ditching us for slumber parties and the like.

There’s been much talk of weddings lately, and very little about making unions work, whatever the method of conjoining. This trip, although a business trip on the surface, was a study on why we’ve worked for 22 years and why we’ll work for many, many more.

Joseph and I talked for hours (Please give my darling husband a huge round of applause, this was quite the feat for him.) about everything from Katy Perry on Sesame Street to theories on the methodology of U.S. Border Patrol. These lengthy exchanges of thoughts and theory are an integral means for keeping communication open and healthy. Even in discussing and debating the most seemingly superfluous topics, we strengthen our ability to take on and tackle things that bring weaker unions to peril.

We mingled. We don’t get out much, er…okay we don’t leave home much, by choice. We’re fairly introverted, but something about getting out, even for a short spell recharges us. Admittedly, there’s something pretty flattering about watching women flirt with my husband, or with me for that matter. Nobody, and I don’t care what you say-wants someone that nobody else wants. So, in short, it feels pretty damn good to still “hook up” after 22 years.

We missed the children. I called. He texted, probably because it was more discrete than my incessant calling. Laughs. Although we were frolicking about this strange city, and melding nicely with the other frolickers, we were still grounded in this thing we started. There’s often the misconception among single folks that married people miss the lives we once had, this simply isn’t true. Balance in everything is key.

We had fun doing absolutely nothing. Whether walking down the street people watching, or sitting in the car each other watching, a smile, at times even a burst of laughter was just within reach. The energy was palpable, the space between the next word and the last was filled with the beautiful silence that people in love share.

That energy is still palpable, as is the joint pain from sitting in the car for hours, then dancing-of course, with added alcohol-induced flexibility, and back in the car for hours. And, totally worth it, every second, every acetaminophen- if nothing more than to slow it all down long enough to realize that all these years later, you’re still straight trippin’ over your “Boo”.

This week, make it a priority to seize a moment, light a spark, ignite a flame.

See our road trip at a glance on my personal blog: Tea & Honey Bread.

T. Allen-Mercado

T. Allen-Mercado

T.Allen-Mercado is a mixed media artist, award-winning essayist, student of anthropology, blogger, wife and, mother of two.

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Five stars for all of us

by Catherine Anderson

Five Stars for UsMy son Sam, is a super energetic kid, who has a physical intelligence that surpasses 99.9% of the population. No, I am not exaggerating. He rode a two-wheeler, without training wheels at age two, and can hit a fast pitch baseball from a pitching machine going forty-five miles per hour. His hand eye coordination is extreme. His need to master all things physical is like a hunger he can never quite quench. Sitting quietly sorting blocks into colors and sizes, or waiting patiently in line for all of your friends to go to the bathroom is not an opportunity to master the parallel bars on the playground.

I prepped his teacher for this. I told her that Sam will be standing on the podium proudly showing his gold medal in some sport (he’ll have to pick which one) in fifteen or so years. He may well be receiving the Pulitzer too, but I wanted her to know that his physical intelligence is going to set him apart early. For him recess is not just an outlet, it is like a textbook for his body. I asked her to imagine a child who learned to read at one being told he had to be outside for six hours a day with no opportunity to crack a book. Then for twenty minutes twice a day you allowed that child to read. What would happen to them? She nodded with kind consideration, and reassured me that her husband had been the same way as a kid, and he was a tremendous resource for tips in working with energetic boys. She was only hired to be Sam’s teacher twenty-four hours before the start of the school year, so I had reason to be concerned that dealing with a physical prodigy like Sam might not be in her coveted teacher tool bag just yet.

Sam loves people, and people love Sam. He is a natural leader, and kids gravitate towards him. All kids. The quiet ones, and the outgoing ones. The athletic ones, and the uncoördinated ones. Kids like to do what the leader does. This is hard for a teacher, when your class appointed leader is doing arm farts, or jumping jacks when the expectation is to walk quietly through the halls, using only your little bird feet. She used it to her advantage though, appealing to Sam to channel his leadership gifts to help the class see how important it is to listen well like him!

It worked. We had the day with the sticker on his shirt for being a “super leader”. He came running out to me on the playground jubilant about that little smiley face sticker! Then days went by without any stickers.

My friends prepared me that the lack of communication about how your child was doing in school, was the hardest part of transition for them to kindergarten. As a teacher I didn’t want to become that parent.  But as a mom, I didn’t want my son to become the kid getting the message that  he was not doing well in school, even though I knew he was working his petunia off to do everything the teacher wanted. After all, he told me she was great, and had a beautiful smile.

When I checked in with her four days after the first sticker, I learned that he was indeed having a very hard week. Lots of reminders, and not lots of listening. As my heart sank, I reminded myself that this is all new to all of us; Sam, his teacher and me. My job was suddenly not only to support him, and remind myself how fantastic he is doing, but to remind her that transitions take time for Sam, and that he will master the expectations of school, like he can master a fast ball coming at him at break neck speed.  I asked her to tell me what was the most important thing we needed to help him focus on. And what words did she use to the class, so I could use them at home? I kept the conversation with her clear too.

The next day, Sam came out barreling out of the class (which open onto the play ground–talk about good design!) with two stickers and boasting that he was given computer time for eleven minutes! How did you earn that I asked? I listened to the teacher the first time, and got five stars next to my name. See mom, he added, I can do anything! In his take home folder for the week was a little slip of paper, with five hand written stars, next to a little image of a computer. I smiled and waved to his teacher at the door. We were all wearing stickers and stars this afternoon. It will be a great year, and a great school career for Sam, as long as this kind of collaboration and communication keeps the focus on Sam’s success.

Guest Authors

Guest Authors

We love publishing diverse articles from diverse men and women. If you have something to say and would like your voice heard on We of Hue, please head here to submit and article or here to inquire about joining our team of talented regular authors.

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No Wedding No Womb

Maybe you are old enough to remember Grease 2. Hopefully you remember the Fallout Shelter scene in which Louis tries to convince Sharon to sleep with him. He sings to her, urging to “…do it for your country” and promising that “your mother will approve.” His musical attempt fails as she realizes that he is setting her up.

I often think what would happen if Grease 2 was remade today. I imagine Tyler Perry rewriting the movie and turning Sharon into a “Baby Momma” who is being tempted to have unprotected sex with the man who will inevitably become “Baby Daddy” number three.

It’s not too far-fetched of an idea. It’s impossible to believe that it is when staring at a glaring statistic such as 70% of children born in the Black community are born out-of-wedlock. The status is glorified in movies, in videos, and by newspapers and other media outlets. We have to admit that having children out of wedlock has become so synonymous with Black women, that it is assumed we all wear the title of Baby Momma  even when we don’t. Remember the  FOX- First Lady Michelle Obama drama during the campaign?

But how do we change this? What do we need to do as a community, a culture, to ensure that our children do not repeat the damaging behaviors of their elders? How do we protect our children when we are so lax in protecting ourselves?

These are tough questions, I suppose. Single-parenthood is not new nor is it isolated to the Black community. The stigma, however, is gone and what we have gained is a legacy of negative statistics that have plagued the Black Community more than racism ever could.

The fact is that we have been fostering a culture of “love ‘em and leave ‘em.” We encourage our young Black boys to play the field and to explore. We tell our young girls that they are responsible for their own sexual actions as well as those of their male counterparts. Butfinding someone to blame is not important.

What matters most are the children. What matters most is that children need two parents to guide, love, and provide. They deserve to feel love from those who created them. They deserve to have a chance. If we want to escape this cycle of poverty and anger, we have to stop the cycle of acting without thought.

This is OUR problem.

Check out the No Wedding Now Womb Movement. It only takes a spark …

Kristina Daniele

Kristina Daniele

Kristina, Founder and Oz of We of Hue is one of many doing it across hues-homeschooling, wifing, mothering, and business building. She is a web designer and social media consultant with a love of building communities on line. She looks forward to intelligent conversation that is eye-opening and statement-making.

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Screaming children will NOT be tolerated

I like to consider myself a cool mom… and despite the innate uncoolness of that previous sentence, I really do.  I married fairly young at 24 years old and had my first child at 26.  So now, at 29, with one foot in my twenties and most of my girlfriends still doing their “Samantha Jones” thing, I like to think that I am still aware of the world outside of my married-with-kids universe.  However, an article I recently read on MSNBC has finally forced me to choose sides.

According to the article, the owner of a restaurant in Carolina Beach, North Carolina is raising controversy after posting a sign saying “Screaming Children Will NOT Be Tolerated”.  The restaurant’s owner claims that since the sign has been up, the restaurant has seen a noticeable increase in business.  Naturally, the article has sparked a great deal of controversy with debates heating up all over the internet.  One article on Shine, notes that movement spreads far beyond North Carolina borders.  A restaurant in Brooklyn, New York recently banned babies after 5.p.m.   As further evidence of the growing anti-kids sentiment, the article points to a group on facebook titled, “Ban Kids From Restaurants!” where it seems extremely bitter individuals lament about how the behavior of children has yet again ruined their peaceful meals.  The group has over two-thousand members.

Now, the empathetic side of me understands that there is a certain degree of unspoken etiquette I must practice as a parent.  No. I won’t be taking my children to a 9pm six-course meal at a wine bar.  Moreover, I have even been known to leave a restaurant early if I think my three year old has a tantrum brewing.

However, what strikes me the most about the ensuing debate is the bizarrely heightened degree of passion from the “movements” supporters.  I was stunned at how easily words like “brat” and “bastard” were thrown around.  I made the mistake of visiting the facebook page and was disgusted at how easily the sites creator referred to one such disruptive child as a “little sh#tbag” and a “wailing little insect” among other things. 

Reading these comments brought back memories of last year’s controversy over the stranger who slapped the crying two year old little girl in Wal-Mart.  Remember that? Apparently, the child’s mother wasn’t handling the situation – which seems to be another complaint of these individuals.  Bad parents.  You know… because the children of good parent’s never have tantrums. 

I am being ridiculously sarcastic.

Legal arguments aside, what is it about children that makes these self righteous, grossly misinformed individuals so intolerant? Why is it so socially acceptable to engage in anti-child rhetoric?  Why are children who act out and the parents who raise them last on the list to receive a little dose of empathy? What about the group of drunk and belligerent twenty-somethings whose loud and profane antics at their table interrupted my family on our night out? Or teenage girls whose cell phones went off again and again throughout my meal? Or that family at the table beside mine speaking loudly in another language? Or that blind man whose walking cane hit the side of my chair on the way to his table? Or that guy who can’t stop sneezing? Or hey, how about that ugly couple facing me from across the room?

No matter how much courtesy we all exercise, there is a certain amount of discomfort one must expect in public.  Unpredictability.  Diversity. Strangeness.  If you want to eat a meal strictly on your own terms, stay home.  Until then, my money is just as green as yours.  So if I am at a restaurant at the table across from yours and my kid starts to cry uncontrollably because his chicken nugget fell on the floor and for some reason this means you can no longer enjoy your meal.  My advice? Take a bite of your Caesar Salad, quit whining, be a grown up, and suck it up.  At least my kid has an excuse. What’s yours?

Tiara Faith McCray

Tiara Faith McCray

Tiara is native of New York City and reluctant resident of the DC Metro Area. She is a writer in her heart but a lawyer by profession. She is a wife and also a mom to two boys. She is a self proclaimed and self loving oddball. She is determined to find both spirituality and happiness and like any true totalitarian matriarch, impose both on her family. She is wise enough to know that this may not happen simultaneously.

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Extreme ways to save you big bucks.

How eager are you to save money?

Sell your car. Take the bus train, walk or ride a bike; this is easier if you live in the city. Doing so will eliminate loan or lease payments, gas, registration, insurance, maintenance and repair costs. Jeff Yeager, author of “The Cheapskate Next Door,” estimates that the savings is probably close to $10,000 a year. That’s a lot of loot.

Take in a boarder. I know, sharing your personal space is hard to stomach…but it will help cut down your monthly payment and towards monthly utility bills (even if you do it for a short while). *Be sure to draft rental terms.

Downsize. This is tough right now, especially if you are a homeowner. If you rent, however, downsize by a bedroom. This will slash your rent and spending (less room to stash purchases).

Cut up credit cards. Use cash only. This will force you to think twice. This is the first thing I do when I need to slow down on my spending. When I know it’s coming right out my account, I’m much pickier about my purchases.

Go generic. Store brand is cheaper.

Cut Coupons. So many ways to save with the help of savvy bloggers who scout out the best deals, coupons, bogo’s and share with the masses. Three of my favorites sites are: frugalgirls.com, smartshoppersunite.com and southernsaver.com. It’s almost a game to me now.

Told you these would be extreme. Just imagine if you adopt them for 6 months how much money you could save or a debt you could pay off. if you know of another extreme ways to save major bucks, please share. If you’d like me to research another topic related to saving, please ask. Happy saving!

Pascha Dudley

Pascha Dudley

Pascha Dudley is a wife, mom, contract paralegal and freelance editor. She writes The Posh Blog, www.theposhblog.com and is a Social Influencer for an online retail forum. She resides in Suwanee, GA with her family.

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