Sunday, September 30, 2007
Check out a commentary on the issue here.
Saturday, September 22, 2007
“You know. Juggle your high-powered positions as bloggers, raise your new baby, work full time, and keep your home clean and spider-free all at the same time?”
“Well,” we answer, “It’s a real challenge doing all these things at once. But sometimes you just have to make trade-offs.”
“Really? Like what?”
“Well, for example, something that a lot of folks don't know is that our house is not spider-free.”
Friday, September 21, 2007
Tuesday, September 18, 2007
An editorial from today's New York Times on piggies and the noble large-scale farmers who take care of them:
One of the persistent problems of industrial agriculture is the inappropriate use of antibiotics. It’s one thing to give antibiotics to individual animals, case by case, the way we treat humans. But it’s a common practice in the confinement hog industry to give antibiotics to the whole herd, to enhance growth and to fight off the risk of disease, which is increased by keeping so many animals in such close quarters. This is an ideal way to create organisms resistant to the drugs. That poses a risk to us all.
A recent study by the University of Illinois makes the risk even more apparent. Studying the groundwater around two confinement hog farms, scientists have identified the presence of several transferable genes that confer antibiotic resistance, specifically to tetracycline. There is the very real chance that in such a rich bacterial soup these genes might move from organism to organism, carrying the ability to resist tetracycline with them. And because the resistant genes were found in groundwater, they are already at large in the environment.
There are two interdependent solutions to this problem, and hog producers should embrace them both. The first solution — the least likely to be acceptable in the hog industry — is to ban the wholesale, herdwide use of antibiotics. The second solution is to continue to tighten the regulations and the monitoring of manure containment systems. The trouble, of course, is that there is no such thing as perfect containment.
The consumer has the choice to buy pork that doesn’t come from factory farms. The justification for that kind of farming has always been efficiency, and yet, as so often happens in agriculture, the argument breaks down once you look at all the side effects. The trouble with factory farms is that they are raising more than pigs. They are raising drug-resistant bugs as well.Now if only we could raise our own bacon.
Saturday, September 08, 2007
Today's New York Times has an article on our favorite Buffalo fast food chain (after Mighty Taco), Tim Horton's, which hopes to expand its presence in the United States:
"A survey this summer by a group promoting Canadian historical literacy found that 40 percent of Canadians under 34 consider Tim Hortons’ miniature doughnuts, the Timbits, a national symbol.
"Tim’s, as it is affectionately known, sells 78 percent of the nonsupermarket coffee and baked goods sold in Canada."For the Canadian company, the chief attraction [of New England, for example] is that the purchase [of Bess Eaton] provided a way into the market around Boston, an epicenter of doughnut consumption. Nearby Quincy, Mass., is the birthplace of Dunkin’ Donuts. [But] Dunkin’ Brands [continues to provide] stiffer competition than expected.
"Dunkin’ Donuts would not comment on a competitor’s plans, but in a statement said that it was starting an expansion of its own: aiming to triple the number of stores in the United States to 15,000 by 2010.
"Mr. House [Tim Horton's CEO] is still determined to prove that Tim Hortons can succeed where so many Canadian companies have failed. 'It took us 43 years here,” he said. “We’ve only been at the U.S. seriously for a few years.'"Mmm. Timbits.
Friday, September 07, 2007
My dad's talking chicken, sitting next to the telephone.
Another chicken, with prized French cookware.
More chickens. These are ceramic, purchased in El Salvador by Amagomundi staff.
The chicken in the bathroom. One of our favorite chicken installations.
The hat museum, with yoga mats. We believe there is yet another hat museum in the basement.
My mom's yoga ball, which resides in my brother's closet.
My dad's coin tins. We think there are more in his bureau.
My dad's home defense system, near coin tins, next to the bed.
My mom's Converse, with green toucan socks.