Daniela Ginta, The Mindful Writer

Freelance Writer and Photographer, Author of the Mindfulness Blog

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Weekly column: Food studies versus common sense and reality

Originally published as a column on CFJC Today Kamloops and Armchair Mayor News on Monday, October 7, 2019.

You can safely file it under ‘Another day, another food study.’ Followed by… now what?

Case in point: the recent meat-centered study coming from Dalhousie and McMaster Universities, which concluded that the health benefits associated with reducing or eliminating red and processed meats are minimal, and the risks we thought existed are also quite small, hence the recommendation to eat meat without restrictions, if that’s how you feel like it.

So what’s wrong with that, some will say. The study eased the guilt and worry about red and processed meats. It’s good to not have guilt or fear as a side dish, right? Granted, the researchers admitted they had not taken into consideration any animals welfare and environmental issues, and they considered people’s attachment to their meat-based diet as one of the factors to base their recommendations on.

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Weekly Column: The complex price of hoaxes

Originally published as a column on CFJC Today Kamloops and Armchair Mayor News on Tuesday, September 24, 2019.

When I returned home from walking the dog that morning my youngest was still at home. Enthusiastic grade 8 student that he is, skipping was out of the question. He had walked to school as usual and was told to go back home by the vice principal. There was a police car in the alley, my son said, blocking access to the school entrance.

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Weekly Column: B.C.’s wolves are still being killed but will that save the caribou?

Originally published as a column on CFJC Today Kamloops and Armchair Mayor News on September 16, 2019.

I will save you the suspense. The answer is not likely, according to many wildlife researchers who have studied the issue from all sides because of what’s at stake, which is the balance of entire ecosystems. The conclusion, though not generally accepted because it depends who you ask, is that you cannot cull (kill, in plain language) a species to protect another, they say.

The wolf cull that has been going on in British Columbia for five years will now be followed by an even more intensive one, according to a leaked memo from the Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development. More than 80 percent of the wolves in certain parts of the province where the caribou herds are in steep decline are to be ousted, which will hopefully see the caribou surviving and thriving.

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What would Dr. Seuss say…

One facet…

Two days ago, I read a thought-provoking article about the strategy (or one of them) that Dr. Seuss used to create his work. He was challenged (it was a $50 bet in fact) to write a kids’ book using only 50 words that a grade 1 student would understand and handle with ease. Green Eggs and Ham was born and if you haven’t read it yet, please do today because that it will make your day, and beyond. It has rhyme, reason (obviously) and quirkiness galore.

When the boys were little, we collected and read as much Dr. Seuss as we could. Quirky and funny and rolling off the tongue is the recipe for what children like in a book and parents can read many, many times over without wanting to tear their hair out of sheer boredom. Not with Dr. Seuss’s books. A healthy side-effect: They incited the boys to want to read by themselves. Just to have that silly rumble of words come out of their mouths instead of mine.

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Homeschooling’s over: Here are the lessons I’ve learned

Full disclosure: I am still (stuck) in transition. It’s been almost five years of homeschooling and now it’s all in past tense. I miss the boys, their pitter patter around the house and the whole bouquet of adventures collectively known as learning at home. Rainy days make it a bit more evident. Maybe it’s the strong smell of wet sagebrush. Or the Saskatoon leaves turning.  

Yes, it is fall, and the house is silent. A different reality for me, and a much bigger space that I find myself in. It’s not an empty nest, really, but a half-day empty nest. For the last two years it’s been Sasha and I; and the dog, of course. And lots of music; early morning guitar and afternoon piano.

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Weekly column: Let’s help our young ones quit it once and for all

Originally published as a column on CFJC Today Kamloops and Armchair Mayor News on Monday, September 2, 2019.

It is an interesting case of ‘better than smoking’ that has been adopted by many. Vaping, they said, does not present the same risks as cigarettes do. That many e-cigarette brands are developed, and owned, by tobacco giants…well, that’s a tell-tale like no other.

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Weekly column: Climate change is everybody’s problem

Originally published as a column on CFJC Today Kamloops and Armchair Mayor News on Monday August 26, 2019.

The fact that there are still people who still debate whether the environmental (and social) phenomena collectively known as climate change is caused by human activity is, to put it mildly, a head scratcher. One can argue that we are each entitled to an opinion and if some choose to lean towards denial, well, not much to do about it.

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