+
Heroes

3 vile myths too many food companies are shoving down our throats. Gross.

You've probably seen ads from food corporations like this before. But do you have any idea what they're really trying to sell you on?

True
Only Organic - New MacDonald - Q2 2015
<span class="redactor-invisible-space"></span><span class="redactor-invisible-space"></span><span class="redactor-invisible-space"></span>

A growing number of food corporations are spending big bucks to pump out messaging that suggests they're worried about the health of our planet and that we need their help and the help of chemicals to produce the food to sustain it.

Myth #1: We need technology like genetic engineering and pesticides to grow more food.


While using technology to help grow and engineer food sounds like a good idea, the reality is much much worse.

"Getting on board means farmers stop practices that keep soil healthy and go for single crops. Livestock that used to be raised on the farm get crammed into polluting factories. To keep this unnatural system going, these farmers now buy expensive inputs all from ever-fewer corporations demanding ever-rising prices. ... Pests become resistant, so you've got to use more chemicals. Livestock becomes sicker, so you've got to use more drugs. Soil loses its natural fertility, so you've got to use more chemical fertilizer.
***
And the future we're all talking about feeding? The industrial farm requires more fossil fuels, water, and mined minerals. All stuff that will only get more expensive as it runs out. So down the line, the chemical path not only can't only work for farmers, it won't be a choice at all. Corporate agriculture doesn't reliably grow more food in the future or even today."



Myth #2 : Food corporations are working hand in hand with farmers.


"Over the last 50 years millions of farmers have had to sign corporate contracts that dictate their every move or have lost their farms all together."

Many of these corporations want you to believe they're working with farmers to help them sustain healthy family businesses. In reality, farmers and their families are being bullied to buy into corporate-controlled chemical agriculture. Because these corporations have lots of money and government backing on their side, most farmers don't have a choice. They can either play ball, or their farm will fail.

Myth #3: We need to double food production in order to feed the planet by 2050.

Some mega-corporations would like you to believe that without their help and reliance on chemical engineering, our planet is doomed. But that's not actually the truth.

"The sustainable farm is better for farmers and the environment, but can it really feed the world? Study after study is saying yes. Sustainable farms produce as well and, in drought years, even better. This is important news for small farmers, who already grow 70% of the world's food. To increase production, they don't have to follow the chemical path."

It's time we wise up and stop letting these shady corporations scare us into thinking it's their way or no way at all. The truth is, we can feed and sustain our planet without using harmful chemicals or stiffing small farmers and their families.

via Tod Perry

An artist's recreation of Jackie's napkin note.

A woman named Jackie pulled a move straight out of a romantic comedy recently, and it has the internet rallying around her potential love interest. Jackie met a guy at a bar and liked him so much that she gave him her phone number. Well, 80% of her number, that is.

The world heard about it on January 17 when Twitter user Henpecked Hal and shared a picture of the napkin with her partial phone number written on it. "My 22-year-old cousin met his dream girl at a bar and it's going pretty well,” Hal wrote in the tweet.

Keep ReadingShow less
Science

Sustainably good news: Recycling is getting better and this family is showing us how

What if instead of focusing on what isn’t working, we looked at these stories as an invitation to do better?

Via Ridwell

Ryan Metzger and son Owen

There is no shortage of dire news about the state of modern recycling. Most recently, this NPR article shared the jaw-dropping statistic that about 5% of all plastics produced get recycled, meaning the rest of it ends up in landfills. While the underlying concerns here are sound, I worry that the public narrative around recycling has gotten so pessimistic that it will make people give up on it entirely instead of seeing the opportunities to improve it. What if instead of focusing on what isn’t working, we looked at these news stories as an invitation to do better?

Keep ReadingShow less
Family

A letter to the woman who told me to stay in my daughter's life after seeing my skin.

'I'm not a shiny unicorn. There are plenty of black men like me who love fatherhood.'

Doyin Richards

Dad and daughters take a walk through Disneyland.

True
Fathers Everywhere

This article originally appeared on 06.15.16


To a stranger I met at a coffee shop a few years ago who introduced me to what my life as a parent would be like:

My "welcome to black fatherhood moment" happened five years ago, and I remember it like it happened yesterday.

I doubt you'll remember it, though — so let me refresh your memory.

Keep ReadingShow less

Indie pop band Sub-Radio created a perfect introvert parody of Whitney Houston's hit song.

There are two kinds of people in this world—those who Google "nightlife" when they're exploring travel destinations and those with no desire to venture anywhere after 10:00 p.m.

Nothing against those folks who enjoy spending after-bedtime hours in crowded nightclubs, but "nightlife" just sounds like torture to me. Even during my somewhat wild college days, whenever I'd go out dancing late at night with my friends, the little voice in my head would say, "You know you'd rather be curled up on your couch in your jammies right now." And it was right. I would have.

While some introverts may genuinely look forward to a night on the town, I'd venture to guess most of us don't. By the end of the day, our social batteries are usually pretty tapped out, so a quiet evening with a movie or a book is almost always preferable to one that involves trying to make conversation over blaring music and strobe lights.

Keep ReadingShow less
Pop Culture

Magician changes his act so a visually impaired man can experience it for the first time

“I really want you to experience the magic right now. So let’s try something.”

@magickevinli/TikTok

“There’s always a way to experience magic.”

Pro magician Kevin Li has dazzled audiences, celebrities and even heavy hitters in the industry like Penn and Teller with his impressive sleight of hand displays.

However, Li would tell you that one of his “most memorable” performances wasn’t for a sold out crowd, but for a single person who might normally miss out on his gifts.

A video posted to Li's TikTok shows Li offering up a magic trick to a man who is vision impaired. At first, the man politely declined, saying, “I’m blind, so the magic won’t work for me."

Without missing a beat, Li replied, “I really want you to experience the magic right now. So let’s try something.”

Keep ReadingShow less
Identity

Alabama community loves deaf Waffle House cook who taught his co-workers to use sign language

Manager Michael Clements has "never seen" an employee like Pookie White.

via Google

The Waffle House in Hope Hull, Alabama.

Even though companies with workplaces that make accommodations for disabled workers are happier and more profitable, there is still a huge discrepancy in workforce participation between deaf people and those who can hear. According to Deaf People and Employment in the United States, 53% of deaf people are in the workforce as compared to 75.8% of those who can hear.

One of the biggest hurdles to deaf people entering the workforce is discriminatory hiring practices, intentional or not.

“There are often layers of discriminatory hiring practices that make [workplace participation] statistics still hold true today,” the study says. “Such practices can range from the discriminatory language on the job ad itself, to the application & hiring process, and can even impact the promotion of deaf employees.”

Keep ReadingShow less