+
More

So you'd like your beef to come from safer pastures? Check out this new tracking system.

If you eat meat, this could be a method to insist on implementing in the U.S.

South Korea is doing this traceability thing with their farm-to-table movement.

Note: I'm going to set aside the debate about whether people should eat meat (it's a whole 'nother article, let's be real) and talk about best practices in bringing safe cuts of meat to consumers.


Truce?

Because what South Korea is doing is pretty rad.

The Korean Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs has been tracking cattle from birth to the supermarket since 2004 in an effort to assure consumers that food is safe to eat. It's described as a tightly engineered collection of data for agricultural products from production to the grocery store — requiring a lot of coordination between farms, distributors, and middle men.

The program is voluntary unless the brand wants certain designations like GAP ("good agricultural practice"). In order to achieve that coveted label, they are required to register for the traceability program.

The program started when citizens became incredibly skittish about mad-cow disease.

Mad-cow disease is pretty rare, but it scared the bejesus out of people when it made headlines. Since then, other microorganisms like E. coli and superbugs have raised concerns about beef, too.

South Korea's government was thinking about how to protect people:

"The idea was to remove problematic meat before it reached the market. ... In this case what they wanted was to be more pro-active to sell meat that is free of bacteria and bad microorganisms."
— Professor Rajiv Kishore, University at Buffalo School of Management

They're tracing information about the cow, including whether it was ever ill, whether it was given antibiotics, and what farm and group of cows it came from.

All the consumer has to do to find out this information is scan a code on the package.

Scan and bam! You know your beef's credit history and mother's maiden name. Image by Paul Wilkinson/Flickr.

Now that people have had several years to get acquainted with this, what's up?

Researchers with the University at Buffalo's School of Management surveyed 245 shoppers at a Korean consumer food convention about the food tracing program.

One of the researchers, Rajiv Kishore, tells Upworthy that nearly 70% of the respondents agreed or strongly agreed that they intended to buy products supported by the beef traceability system in the near future. Responses of consumers who were motivated to purchase the higher-priced, traceable beef over the non-traced, cheaper alternatives also showed that they didn't care to actually track down the information via the QR code. Simply knowing the data was there and was being (reliably) documented was good enough for them.

"It's my bulgogi, I'll QR if I want to." Image by Tragrpx/public domain.

Why?

Because they really, really trust their government's oversight of the program. Unlike some countries (*cough cough*), they feel their government is given enough control and power to enforce the data collection to keep farms and distributors compliant. So when citizens see a label on a food package that's certified by their government, they presume it really means something and isn't just "greenwashing" — in other words, cattle farmers can't just pay a lot for a fancy label that makes people feel good.

Can this work in America?

"Rhymes with Schmitizens Zunited?" Image by Sutha Kamal/Flickr.

There are lots of challenges to re-creating this practice in the United States. Kishore acknowledges that since there is no traceability program of this caliber in America, the only way to come close would be to survey consumers about how they would feel about such a program in the abstract.

Certainly, beyond that, America would have a lot to contend with in terms of competing interests. If popular demand called for such a high-caliber tracking system, it would require passing legislation. As seen with GMO-labeling efforts, that hasn't been a straightforward, people-powered process.

But there is a lot of talk in America about free-market principles, too. Kishore touches on this:

"In today's world, the fact is that consumers are willing to pay a premium price. These products are more expensive than the regular non-certified, and people are willing to pay that higher price; it creates a market incentive."

South Korea's model gives us a lot to think about.

South Korea has been doing this for around 11 years (and remember, it's voluntary — not imposed on cattle farmers). Whether America ends up implementing this or not, this is a practice to watch globally. It may make its way here if the market demands it.

And hey, maybe having a surefire way to track down foods that could need a recall and pulling them from shelves before customers purchase them isn't a bad idea anyway.

Anyone who's ever had a bout of food poisoning, can I get a "hallelujuah"?

Images provided by Pacifico

Making waves in the best way

True

At last, summer is here. And for many people, that means it's time for heading to the beach and maybe even catching some waves. Surfing is a quintessential summertime activity for those who live in coastal communities—it’s not only really fun and challenging, it’s also a great way to celebrate Mother Nature’s beauty. Even after a wipeout, the cool water mixed with warm sunshine offers a certain kind of euphoria. Or, you know, just hanging back on the sand is plenty fun too. Simply being outdoors near the ocean is its own reward.

pacifico quiksilver beach cleanupLet’s protect the places where outdoor adventure happensAll photos provided by Pacifico

However, it's well known that our beautiful beaches are suffering the consequences of overcrowding, pollution and littering. What was once a way of playing in nature is now slowly destroying it. And of course, this affects beachgoers everywhere. The sad truth is—without taking action to preserve all the natural joys the earth provides, we will eventually lose them.

But there is hope. Two popular brands that both have roots in surf culture have teamed up to help make trips to the beach a more sustainable pastime. The best part? You don’t have to know how to hang ten in order to participate.

Pacifico®, a pilsner-style lager originally brought to the U.S. by surfers, and Quiksilver, an iconic apparel company loved by both surfers and beach goers alike, have created a brand-new range of clothing and accessories with sustainability in mind.

Take a look below. These threads are great for all kinds of fun in the sun, without compromising the environment.

pacifico quicksilver beach cleanupsReady to make some waves

The collection launches on July 5 and includes tees and woven shirts, boardshorts, hats, flip-flops and a special beach towel and tote bag. The unique collaboration features the vibrant, colorful designs that are the hallmark of Quiksilver combined with Pacifico elements, created to make a positive impact.

Each item has been thoughtfully curated to minimize an environmental footprint and protect the outdoors. The hats, for example, are made from NetPlus® by Bureo®, a raw material created from South American recycled fishing nets. Additionally, the board shorts are made from recycled plastic bottles, and tees are made with 100% organic cotton. Pretty rad stuff, to put it in surfer lingo.

The prices on these pieces are equally rad, ranging from $28 flip-flops to $60 boardshorts.

In keeping with the sustainable ethos and protecting the places we play, Pacifico and Quiksilver will celebrate the products’ launch by hosting two beach cleanups. The first is on July 5 at Sunset Point in Malibu, California, from 4-5:30pm, and the second is on July 9th at Deerfield Beach in Florida from 8:30 – 10:30am.

pacifico quicksilver clothing lineCleaning up and looking good while doing it

Theses beach cleanups are open to anyone over the age of 21 who’s ready to have some fun while taking care of nature’s playground.

Those who can’t make it to the beach (bummer, dude) don’t have to miss out on all the fun. The new collection will be available on July 5th at www.quiksilver.com/mens-collab-pacifico. And even if you don’t surf, never plan to surf, have no desire to even be near a surfboard, rest assured, the apparel is still cool. Plus sustainable choices are always good fashion.

Our planet provides us with an endless supply of beauty and adventure. But without more mindful actions from humanity, its natural wonders will eventually diminish. Fortunately Pacifico and Quiksilver are making it easier than ever for people to enjoy the great outdoors without jeopardizing it. That’s a wave worth riding.

Paul Rudd in 2016.

Passing around your yearbook to have it signed by friends, teachers and classmates is a fun rite of passage for kids in junior high and high school. But, according to KDVR, for Brody Ridder, a bullied sixth grader at The Academy of Charter Schools in Westminster, Colorado, it was just another day of putting up with rejection.

Poor Brody was only able to get four signatures in his yearbook, two from what appeared to be teachers and one from himself that said, “Hope you make some more friends."

Brody’s mom, Cassandra Ridder has been devastated by the bullying her son has faced over the past two years. "There [are] kids that have pushed him and called him names," she told The Washington Post. It has to be terrible to have your child be bullied and there is nothing you can do.

She posted about the incident on Facebook.

“My poor son. Doesn’t seem like it’s getting any better. 2 teachers and a total of 2 students wrote in his yearbook,” she posted on Facebook. “Despite Brody asking all kinds of kids to sign it. So Brody took it upon himself to write to himself. My heart is shattered. Teach your kids kindness.”

Keep ReadingShow less

Pilot writes note to tooth fairy.

At some point, all kids lose their teeth and usually that comes with a few coins or dollars under your pillow. But 6-year-old Lena's tooth fell out at 35,000 feet, which prompted the sweetest gesture from the pilot. Good Morning America shared the story, and it's so cute, we had to share as well.

Keep ReadingShow less

This article originally appeared on 09.06.17


Being married is like being half of a two-headed monster. It's impossible to avoid regular disagreements when you're bound to another person for the rest of your life. Even the perfect marriage (if there was such a thing) would have its daily frustrations. Funnily enough, most fights aren't caused by big decisions but the simple, day-to-day questions, such as "What do you want for dinner?"; "Are we free Friday night?"; and "What movie do you want to see?"

Here are some hilarious tweets that just about every married couple will understand.

Keep ReadingShow less