Archive for the ‘Health’ Category

More Cake

I mean, it’s been a few months since I took it upon myself to compose a blog post but it seems appropriate that there be a sense of continuity in these posts, and following the previous post of March 25, I provide this link. The cows on this Wisconsin farm are fed cake and cookies as part of a “well balanced diet”… I’m just confused about how a well balanced diet for a cow is anything more than grass. Yikes. I’m also confused about how cake and cookies are a necessary part of a well balanced diet for anyone. An indulgence perhaps, for us non-ruminants, but certainly not an ideal part of a nutritionally sound diet. Absurdity.

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From Grass to Cheese is the name of a new documentary about family farming. I learned about this film by clicking on a picture of a cow eating grass… The picture really sums it up. Cows eat grass. They make milk. We take milk and with minimal effort turn it into a variety of products that benefit us, nutritionally and otherwise. But alas, there is no grass to your cheese, unless you have really searched far and beyond your local Safeway. From Corn to Cheese would be more accurate, but considerably less compelling…and far less nutritious. Cheese and butter made from the milk of pasture grazing cows is nutrient dense and very much worth the cost. The taste is better too; more cheese-like and more butter-like. Try some.

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This blog is being completely infiltrated by my school assignments. Thats my disclaimer. We are also embarking upon Sexual Assault Awareness Month, which I have written about before. Thats my other disclaimer.

Two Ways a Woman Can Get Hurt is an essay written by Jean Kilbourne. It documents a recent history of sexism and blatant oppression and objectification of women in the media; in advertising, specifically. For instance, an ad for shaving gel depicts a picture of a nice looking man on the left with the word “heartbreak” under his photo and a razor on the right with the phrase, “soap and water shave”. The enlarged and catchy text is where the essay derives its title, “Two Ways A Woman Can Get Hurt”. The article suggests that a man = inevitable pain for women, comparative of a bad shaving job which also inevitably inflicts physical injury. The implications of this advertisement are huge and multifaceted…the fact that so many of these sexist dominated ads are for products that invariably subject women to male superiority and preference is telling in and of itself. Alcohol is strongly implicated in (although not responsible for) many assault cases with female victims and male batterers, and is marketed by heavy sexism. Shaving products? Really? While women have historically made valiant attempts to rid themselves of bodily hair, one might question, why? Why the effort? The cost? At this point in time, I believe it is safe to say, there is a standard of beauty and it includes hairless women. One must not offend the men that hold women to that standard.

I find the aforementioned image illuminating. We live in a society that is heavy with heterosexual priviledge and gender entitlements. Of course advertising reflects that. I also don’t think that any of us can expect corporate media to advocate peace in the way of freedom from the oppression of society and domestic violence and sexual assault and whatever it looks like to specific people who might not include themselves as victims under these labels.

And…if you live in Homer or thereabouts, you should definitely attend Stand Up For Peace which is one step towards cultivating awareness of the problems to which we seek solutions.

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Oh My!

If you were hoping to be offended today, please click on this link. Peruse all of these shocking images…and then scroll down to focus on number seven. It’s possibly less alarming than most of the other advertisements, however what I find most disturbing is the fact that it was banned. I mean, smoking kills, right? I think the fact that smoking is harmful has been established and not as a simple, painless process either, but rather as a long and drawn out ordeal. Not at all glamorous. Why then is the analogy of pain or even death too distressing for viewers? Arguably, the fish hook through the lip has nothing to do with smoking, however, I think it’s a little bit clever. Get unhooked? Kinda clever, anyway. So, does the problem lie within the possibility that the ad is just a bit too powerful? Maybe it will convince a few too many people? Who exactly benefits from this ad being banned? Thats what I am wondering…

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Health Care

Everyone likes to pontificate about health care; making presumptions, proclaiming uninformed statements and drawing illogical conclusions. I’m here to do the same…somewhat. Admittedly, I do have opinions and they may not be the most researched and educated but I have them and I’ll share them but I’ll recognize that there are possibilities that I have not considered, but mostly, I just have some questions.

Why is health care so expensive in the first place? I realize that to some extent, this is due to the massive amounts of malpractice insurance providers carry, which seems tricky to me. It also seems as though health care providers typically make quite a bit of money, which is fair I suppose, given that they assume a large amount of responsibility for the health of individuals. I think that historically, doctors and midwives and herbalists worked under more of a bartering system such as, I’ll attend the birth of your child and you will give me a winter’s worth of potatoes…or so I imagine. I don’t think that the potatoes totaled out to equal much wealth either, but that possibly the doctor or midwife or herbalist had an extremely devoted interest in their community and the babies being born and people falling ill were neighbors, relatives and friends. So money, along with the fear of lawsuit was negligible.

I feel like people utilize health care a lot more than they should. I mean, if you break your arm, what are you going to do? Probably you should go to the doctor. Doctors are known for having great skills at setting broken bones and assisting a complete recovery. And when you and your child and your dog have a sore throat and runny nose, you should all stay home, eat onions and garlic and drink tea. I don’t understand the compulsion to constantly have a doctor assess every situation. A person asked me once of Judah, “how much did the doctor say she weighs?” And I just could not believe it. I put the baby on the scale and determined how much she weighed…and yes, that is an innocent question into which I am projecting much, but it indicates to me how we look only towards a doctor for an evaluation of our well being and give them all of the responsibility for our health instead of proactively taking care of ourselves.

Blah blah blah…I have taken this opportunity to rant about why I dislike going to the doctor.

Moving back towards the topic of accessible health care: for me, the question at this point really comes down to individual people. I think universal health care is in theory nice, but in practice can end up not ideal for anyone. What is the ideal solution to the situation in which a person becomes ill or has a tragic accident and neither has insurance nor can afford medical costs? And what about illegal immigrants who are afraid to take their dreadfully ill child to the doctor not only because they don’t have insurance or money, but will they be deported? While some may feel strongly that they should or should not be in the US to begin with, would not everyone agree that a sick child needs medical care? Should you have to be in a position where you might lose your home and every asset if you encounter health problems that incur astronomical medical bills?

I’m just wondering. What is the ideal solution?

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Judah and I have been experimenting with sourdough lately. We have made some great bread, mostly whole wheat with some other grains added in for intrigue… I’m really learning alot about the amazing properties of sourdough and how useful an addition it is to one’s diet. We generally only eat sourdough bread (and pancakes!) but Zach is usually responsible for all of the bread making however, since he has been off becoming a fire fighter we have had no one to bake our bread, so Judah and I stepped up to the task. This website has been a helpful resource. In light of Judah’s recent dental crisis, it is especially important to us to ensure that she is not only consuming a healthy diet, but also a proper balance of various foods that enable her body to process the nutrients it is taking in. When improperly prepared, bread and grains can really limit the body’s ability to absorb nutrients. Hence, sourdough! Also soaking or sprouting grains is an ideal means of preparation. It’s interesting information and so far, the baking of the sourdough has been fun! As you can see.

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Today I am thankful for:

Babies who take long naps simultaneously (Judah has a little friend over for the day)
Snow on the ground
A warm and comfortable (although presently messy) home
Good health
John Steinbeck

There’s much more…but today specifically, these are the things that are making me feel very happy.

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