Monday, February 15, 2010

Blog Updates

Hello visitor, I have not updated this blog in quite some time and suspect that I won't be updating it anytime soon. I am however continuing to share items of interest via Twitter.

If you like what you find here consider following me @johncecil.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Chris Jordan: Picturing excess

Nothing makes an issue clearer than an image. Chris Jordan's images make the issues crystal clear.

read more | digg story

Monday, October 6, 2008

XDRTB, we can stop this!

XDRTB = extremely drug-resistant tuberculosis. Like lots of current global problems if we work together we can stop this!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Wow, American's Love Corn!

Well I just watched King Corn a 2007 documentary by two college buddies who decide to trace their family roots back to Iowa and plant an acre of corn. In the process they examine the past thirty years of corn production and the shift in agriculture policy in the U.S. They dive into where their acre of corn may end up and how it is likely to be used.

It's really an amazing, enlightening and easy to watch film that helps reveal some of the root causes of our societal problems including obesity, diabetes, generally human health, land use, economics, and, even though not explicitly mentioned, links to climate change.

A few interesting stats mentioned in the movie include:
  • Iowa alone produces enough corn to feed the U.S.
  • The corn produced in Iowa and other Midwestern states is largely used for cattle feed, or as food additives/ingredients and is not really edible or directly consumable by humans
  • The average American family spends about 17% of their income on food as compared to thirty years ago when it took about twice as much to feed a family
  • Corn has such a low value per bushel that if it were not for government subsidies it would not be profitable to produce.
I found the movie fascinating and enlightening and am even more dismayed than before that we continue to perpetuate flawed agriculture policy that has devastating effects on the American people and our economy.

We need major overhauls in the U.S. of our agricultural, transportation, energy, health care, and educational systems. I can't help but wonder whether we as citizens of the United States are up for this challenge. The first measure will be the upcoming presidential election and the extent to which we all stand up and demand a change.

Thursday, July 31, 2008

A thought from John James Audubon...

"A true conservationist is a man who knows that the world is not given by his fathers, but borrowed from his children."

Oysters, delicious and sustainable!

Image borrowed from Chris Seufert

Sparked by an entry on Green Options, I'm motivated to share this posting on Eat. Drink. Better. about Oysters. Oysters are one of the great gifts of nature. Hemingway summed it up well.

Ernest Hemingway in “A Moveable Feast“ wrote:

As I ate the oysters with their strong taste of the sea and their faint metallic taste that the cold white wine washed away, leaving only the sea taste and the succulent texture, and as I drank their cold liquid from each shell and washed it down with the crisp taste of the wine, I lost the empty feeling and began to feel happy, and to make plans.