Save Old MacDonalds Farm

Teamwork is a necessity in life. Who doesn’t want a little helping hand here and there? It can increase your chance of succession and take a little weight off your shoulders. When it comes to farming, teamwork has and always will be something that is needed to be successful. Especially these days where farming is becoming more difficult due to how poorly we care for our environment.

In the book The Unsettling of America by Wendell Berry, he discusses how there are two types of personalities that are within a person or persons: an exploiter and a nurturer. He describes an exploiter as more of a serious, businessman personality where they are in charge of making deals to earn profit and money. He describes a nurturer as the exact opposite. When I think of a nurturer I think of a motherly figure, which is the type of personality Berry gives them. He states that they are caring for not only themselves, but their family, friends, and environment.

When you think of a farmer and all the work that is required for him to become successful, you would assume both of these personalities should be present. If he can’t make deals where he will earn profit, then he won’t make enough money to live off of. If he doesn’t care for his crops, animals, and the care that are needed for both, then he’s not going to be able to sell them. Farmers can’t only rely on themselves to produce successful crops. They need the help of us citizens to keep the Earth and it’s soil in good condition so he can continue to successfully do his job. So far we have been bad teammates because we pollute our Earth and hurt it. Berry discusses how plants rely on chemical fertilizers because the pollution has caused the fields to become less retentive to water (Berry 1977). Our soil is so compacted now that we have to use bigger tractors which compacts the soil even more (Berry 1977). If we don’t do something to reduce the pollution on Earth, then farmers are eventually not going to be able to do their job and it could possibly put an end to farming altogether. So guys, be good teammates and reduce, reuse, recycle ūüôā

 

 

Berry, Wendell (1997). The Unsettling of America

Children of the Corn

When you hear the saying “Children of the Corn” you probably think of an old 1984 scary movie of serial killer children, but after reading Omnivore’s Dilemma by Michael Pollan I believe it would be an appropriate nickname for the people on Earth. Pollan explains how everything we eat is basically corn, even though really it’s not, if that makes sense. To explain more clearly: any meat we consume, such¬†as cows or pigs, were once a living¬†animal. Chances are those animals included corn in their daily diet. So since we eat organisms that eat corn, we are eating corn as well. We are also drinking corn in our soda with the high-fructose corn syrup that is inside it.

Even nonfood items include corn in their ingredients. Toothpaste, trash bags, cleansers, batteries, and many more other things you probably would never guess are made up of corn (Pollan). Pollan also states that more than a quarter of the forty-five thousand items in the average American supermarket contains corn. So when you really think about it, there is no way around not consuming corn on a daily basis.

Pollan asks the question: “Why should it matter that we have become a race of corn eaters such as the world has never seen? Is this necessarily a bad thing?” And my answer to that question would be no, not necessarily. Although, if you consume too much processed corn it could be because in that case the food is usually not as healthy. I think this is the problem with America and our obesity issue because we consume too many products with processed corn, such as a soda or chicken nuggets, and not enough of the natural corn non-processed corn. Corn is a vegetable that comes from the ground, therefore it is very healthy for you and should be consumed on a daily basis. America’s problem is we prefer to eat the products with process corn instead.

I don’t believe being known as the race of corn eaters is a bad thing though because we obviously need the corn to make our products the way they are. It hasn’t popped out of the ground since the first colonial establishment for no reason, so why not put it to use as much as we possibly can?

 

 

 

Pollan, Michael (2006). The Omnivore’s Dilemma, 18-19.

Is Red Bull REALLY an Energy Drink?

As it is said in advertisements, Red Bull gives you wings. Of course¬†that is metaphorically speaking, in reality it’s just¬†suppose to give you a lot of energy. According to studies done by Heidemann and Urquhart, Red Bull is suppose to improve performance whether it’s playing a sport or studying for an exam. Their studies also claim that Red Bull improves concentration and reaction speed, as well as¬†stimulates the metabolism.

Red Bull has many ingredients, but is made up more of carbonated water, sucrose, glucose, sodium citrate, taurine, glucuronolactone, and caffeine. Sucrose, glucose, glucuronolactone, and sodium citrate are all sources of energy while taurine is an amino acid and caffeine is a stimulant. All of these are factors in providing the¬†energy and focus to whomever drinks Red Bull. In fact, sucrose and glucose (which are two of the top main ingredients) are converted into ATP which is the primary “energy” molecule in the body (Heidemann & Urquhart). Glucuronolactone is a normal human metabolic byproduct that is formed from glucose allowing it to also provide the consumer with his/her energy (Heidemann & Urquhart).¬†Caffeine on the other hand, is not a source of energy. Instead, it is a stimulant that is said to improve memory and reasoning responses on tests, as well as improving endurance running and cycling in athletes (Heidemann & Urquhart). Therefore, caffeine is what helps provide the focus that comes into play while studying and the extra endurance boost when playing a sporting event. Taurine is another one of Red Bulls ingredients that is¬†not an energy source. It is an amino acid that is said to improve reaction time, concentration, and memory. So obviously, like caffeine, it helps the improve the concentration of the consumer.

Although Red Bull doesn’t really “give you wings”, it still does its job well in providing the energy and concentration that it claims to have. All of it’s ingredients aren’t energy sources but there are enough of them to give you the boost you need before a ball game or big exam. In my opinion, Red Bull is the way to go before either.

 

 

Heidemann & Urquhart. (2005). A Can of Bull? Do Energy Drinks Really Provide a Source of Energy?

How Risky is Eating Fries?

When you think about it, what American doesn’t love a good batch of fries to go with their cheeseburger and coke? A better question may be how healthy is it for us Americans to love fries as much as we do? According to recent research, fries and other foods that have been cooked at very high temperatures have an organic chemical called acrylamide that naturally occurs in them. You may think that since it’s a naturally occurring chemical it is harmless, but scientists think differently. It is believed that acrylamide is a chemical that can cause cancer. They have ran tests to determine this but are unsure as to whether it effects a person through their diet.

So if you were to ask me if the risk of acrylamide in fries would effect my intake of them, my answer would most likely be no. I don’t eat fries on a daily basis anyway, but every once in a while I will¬†have them will a meal. And what is the harm of a little acrylamide in my system? Scientists have yet to discover whether or not for sure eating fries will give me cancer. But when you really consider it, almost everything around you can give you cancer. Too much exposure to the sun, air pollution, and cell phone radiation are other things that are said to cause cancer. And I don’t disagree that it COULD, but being exposed to it some will less likely mean it will happen. You can’t really escape the sun, and none of us want to get rid of our cell phones just because there is a risk that it can cause cancer.

My point is that yes, there may be a possibility that eating fries can cause you to have cancer in the future, but I honestly believe you are more at risk of getting diabetes from eating too much of them than anything else. I don’t think it’s as big of a health risk as some scientists seem to think just because they still have not found many results from their research that it is. When they can prove that I could have as much of a risk of getting cancer by eating fries as I would from smoking a cigarette, THEN I will do away with fries for good.