Friday, August 27, 2010

On My Mind Today

Eggs...I'm allergic to eggs but I can eat things that have small amounts of eggs in them. Since I haven't really eaten an egg in its plain state in years, I'm not sure why the salmonella egg recall is bothering me so much. I think it is bringing home the whole factory farming situation in the U.S. and cementing my decision to buy more local and organic meats and produce when I can - supporting local and family farms is just good economics, in addition to being better for me and tasting better. Don't get me wrong - I like buying my meat wrapped in plastic at the grocery store. I'm not planning on raising, naming and butchering my own dinner, thank you very much. Nor will I be raising chickens for eggs, although today, I spotted two chickens wandering near the road about three blocks from my house.

I hope they figure out the situation and fix it quickly. I heard that in the 1990s, during the Clinton administration, there was another huge salmonella recall and the FDA talked about vaccinating the hens so that they would not produce eggs with salmonella. This would have added about .01 to the price of each egg, so Congress nixed the idea. I'm not sure that is the best answer, but it is certainly one answer. I know many folks are as concerned about vaccines as they are about food-borne illnesses.

Hurricane Katrina hit five years ago. When I was getting ready for work today, the CBS Early Show was interviewing folks about their own experiences, mostly in New Orleans and about their recovery in the years since. They highlighted a band called, "Roots of Music" that is comprised of children who experienced Katrina.  The band provides the kids with a safe space, an outlet and a circle of support. The report said that the members of the band were improving their grades, were feeling less traumatized and more hopeful. That was pretty powerful. There was a story about a man who lost both his mother and his three-year-old grandchild who stayed in New Orleans. There was a photographer who took some amazing photographs of this man and his family. Very moving and shocking to see how devastated many parts of New Orleans, Mississippi and some other places are. There is still a need for help and support and planning for the folks who live there. Just thinking about those people and hoping that there is more light than darkness in their lives now. Wondering how best to help out with the efforts from so far away.

The 47th anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s "I Have a Dream" speech and the March On Washington is tomorrow. I can't listen to the speech without getting chills and teary-eyed. I can't even imagine the courage and faith it took to make the march and to stand up, every day, against such hatred and prejudice. Regardless of the rumors that later surfaced about Dr. King's personal life, I believe he was one of the greatest human beings to live in the twentieth century. I am in awe of his dedication and the dedication of those who surrounded him and supported him. Although the times we are in now are drastically different, there is a similarity of tone. People are afraid, suffering and the divides in the nation are growing ever-wider. Regardless of your political beliefs, there is no way to deny that we are in our own tumultuous time.

There is more stuff on my mind, but nothing I can really articulate right now. Art, books. Time, cleaning, health, stuff...I guess since it is Friday, I'm going to give myself a break and call it good. Weird blogging week, but I think it is all good.

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