Organics, vegans, the environment, and lots of other stuff.

This will probably be interesting to a fairly wide readership, but perhaps not everyone would be able to implement something similar.  In talking in the car drives yesterday, the whole idea of NOT buying organic came up in the car.  Anna was kind enough to pass along this article that gives quite a few specifics about what products you should not fork over extra cash on for that special ‘o’ sticker.  Basically it focuses on individual health vs. cost.

I knew it wasn’t the whole story – in particular, I remembered reading about seafood and fish that were farm-raised in a way that had less environmental impact.  So I set out to find it.  I didn’t succeed in getting an overall list of what should be purchased to less negatively impact the enviroment, but I did find this.  I also managed to locate a number of articles about why organic produce bad or harmful to the environment.  Mostly this has to do with shipping and CO2 expenditures to move product across the globe, but this can be easily avoided by buying local if you’re careful.

There is also the whole vegetarian policy of less impact being caused by eating items lower on the food chain.  Usually, it costs less resource-wise to sustain yourself on rice and millet than on the comparative amount of cow that eats rice and millet.   Still, this lifestyle can be pretty difficult from a personal health standpoint.  In addition, not eating meat doesn’t necessarily mean you have less environmental impact.  Eating fruits and veggies that have been farmed in a typically industrial way, or even that are grown organically in Malasia and then sent here for your consumption, is probably more environmentally harmful than that free-range chicken.  Of course, strawberries locally grown using sustainable methods probably have less impact than both (mmm!  strawberries).

Most interesting was this study, which covers a range of information I found elsewhere, but is by far the most comprehensive and also gives some tips for greener eating.  Enjoy!

Ten Things Never To Do.

A friend of mine recently sent me an email with the top ten things never to do in China (for dummies).  Most of them seemed true, but a little obvious.  Being humble in polite company, bringing gifts as a guest, not embarrassing others in public, and an expectation of at least one polite refusal all seem a little obvious.  What kind of person goes to a different country and says ‘Sure, I’d love to gobble down all of your delicious sesame cakes?’  Still, there was some valuable advice about drinking rules, if only the most general ones.

In my own personal circumstances at the moment (i.e, bruised and sore after my first experience learning to snowboard yesterday, with at least one co-worker out due to severe mountainous injury), I wondered if there were more general not-to-do rules that we could all follow in life, regardless of country, personality, or other classifications.  Below is my list of 10, with explanations.

10) Try to fly.  This one may come about as a result of drug use, but just trust me – you can’t do it.

9) Argue with your mother.  You may win the argument, but you’ll regret it for years to come.  If you don’t have a mother, there may be another female figure that fills that role for you, and I would guess the rule here should be the same.

8)  Show off your lack of food manners on a first date.  Your soulmate/true love may see the real ‘you’ beyond your wide-open maw, but not even they will enjoy it.  Hence, a first date might not be a good time for juicy finger food, new utensils you can’t use successfully, or anything that can be described as “finger-lickin’ good”.  Of course, different people have different skill levels of manners, so you may be able to get away with more than other here.  Personally, I don’t know how I ever fooled Mike into thinking I had an acceptable dinner table manner.

7) Punch someone in the face who could beat you in a fist fight.  The most obvious exception to thsi rule would be punching someone out with one blow, but if you could do that, you’d probably be the one winning the fist fight anyway.  If you are caught in a circumstance that really gets your goat, just breath in and out and walk away.  The next morning you can take aggressive legal action instead.

6) Lack a hairdryer (unless you are bald or shaven-headed).  I recently discovered this one myself when my body refused to stay healthy and I was told that the consistent freezing and re-thawing of my hair in cold weather did NOT increase its natural shine.  Who woulda thunk?  A similar corollary would be pissing off or insulting your hairdresser.  I leave you to imagine the possibilities.

5) Drink and skydive.  I know, you were nervous beforehand.  But on your way down, you’ll realize that whole ‘bottom out of your stomach’ phrase is not mere words – it will all become disturbingly real.
4) Fall asleep on railroad tracks.  Not only does this court death (especially if you are deaf and immune to vibration), but it also is highly uncomfortable.  I can guarantee you’ll wake up stiff and sore as freshly sanded pine.  Plus, that track is dirty.  You don’t know where it’s been.

3) Leave the house/store/laundromat without your child.  Not only is it an embarrassing nuisance to have to go back for the little buggers, but it traumtizes them for life.  And then you’re paying money you don’t have for expensive therapy.  Although, you can always threaten afterwards to leave them if they’re doing something you dislike.  But then you have to carry out the threat.  I wonder how long you can leave your kid someplace before child services gets called?

2) Die.  To me, this one is the most obvious, but sometimes the most difficult to realistically prevent.   To be a winner at the game of life, you still need to be alive, but it seems often that circumstances have more control than the individual.  Of course, quality of life can also play a role, but in my personal experience thus far there’s no reason I’d want to give up the game.

1) Faceplant on a mountain.   Some may say that broken bones are worse.  Other declare that one more time landing on their backsides will do them in (see #2).  Still others imply that there are more sensitive parts of the anatomy at risk to rocky protrusions.  Still, I know from experience that the face plant is the worst.  Not only does it hurt, you also look beaten and defeated for weeks.  Regardless, the mountain visibly bests you.  ther places you can at least hide your impact shame.