Gratitude makes the journey better and so does kindness

Category: Environment Page 2 of 18

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.

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.

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.

Weekly column: Good food grows close to home

Originally published on CFJC Today Kamloops and Armchair Mayor News on Monday August 1, 2019.

Have you read the one about the fake honey? There is lots of it in Canada, almost 23 percent of the tested samples proved to be sticky mix of corn syrup and sugar derived from various sources such as rice, beets and others, instead of pure honey. It would be helpful to have names for all the brands selling fake honey but that has yet to surface if at all.

For anyone who does not believe in getting rich via lies and deceit it’s frustrating to think we are at the mercy of food crookery. Come to think of it, one wonders what the consequences are for those who engage in such activities, given that our justice system is so lenient, but I’ll leave that for another column.

Weekly Column: We have it so good here

Originally published as a column on CFJC Today Kamloops and Armchair Mayor News on Tuesday August 6, 2019.

There’s no other way to put it. Being away from Kamloops for a few days makes it ring true, yet again. It happens mostly when I am stuck in slow traffic as I approach the Mainland. Once you leave Hope behind… I know, the pun that so many cannot resist, but it is a bit like magic. Just not the kind that leaves you mesmerized, but the kind that makes you wonder how on Earth can the same thing happen again and again on the way to the coast.

Weekly column: Yes, we can do without (most) single-use plastics

Originally published as a column on CFJC Today Kamloops and Armchair Mayor News on Monday June 10th, 2019.

I cannot tell you how many times I wished that Styrofoam food containers would disappear. Call it a pet peeve but it goes beyond that. They leach harmful (albeit slow-acting and invisible) endocrine disruptors in the food stored in them, they are non-recyclable and indestructible, and one too many can be seen lying around parks or washing on river shores once the humans that emptied them have long left the scene.

Weekly column: Sometimes we need a break from it all

Originally published as a column on CFJC Today Kamloops and Armchair Mayor News on May 27, 2019.

No matter how many times I see it, I never get tired of it: The emerald sheen of the surrounding hills this time of the year, the play of cloud shadows and sunshine which makes the grasslands look as if you’re gliding over in a boat and looking down at the sun-kissed grassy bottom of a shallow creek. It’s magical, there is no other way to put it. 

I am nursing a recently injured knee so I am cautious while hiking but there is too much beauty to miss if I hold back. After a few days of taking it easy, I venture up the trails again in my favourite park of all.

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