Here we are sixteen months later and the EPA has finally begun to acknowledge what research has shown for years: that neonic pesticides pose serious risks to bees, birds, other wildlife — and even human health. But, rather than taking sweeping measures to crack down on neonics, the EPA is pushing to continue allowing widespread neonic use all over the country, including on food crops.
Bees in particular, are necessary for successful food crops and their numbers have been reduced by over 90% in large part by the neonic products listed in the above referenced post. During the current corona virus pandemic many are worried about our food supply chain. We need to be more aware and concerned about how the lack of pollinators and neonic use will affect our agriculture in the future.
What Can We Do?
- We can plant flowers for the pollinators
- We can refrain from the use of insecticides
- We can contact the EPA and complain about their lack meaningful action
- We can call our US Representatives and Senators’ offices and express our concern about the EPA’s inaction
What is the one thing that you don’t eat that you really wish you could and why?
I really wish I could eat shrimp. Unfortunately I am allergic to crustaceans (shrimp, lobster and crab) as I learned in the 1980s while in Charleston, South Carolina. After eating shrimp all week I went into anaphylactic shock. It was a frightening experience!
If I was sentenced to die and offered a last meal before the lethal injection, I would request shrimp, fried and lots of it!
“Once, during Prohibition, I was forced to live for days on nothing but food and water.” W.C. Fields
Diagram from Pixabay
Before returning to the dark side, I was a vegetarian for ten years. From June 1993 to June 2003 I ate no kind of meat. It was harder in those days, especially when eating out, but I managed to explain to many servers that indeed fish and chicken were meat. It seemed they understood better if I explained that I ate nothing with a face. During those years I ate a lot of beans, rice, and pasta. I don’t know if I was healthier, but my conscience was certainly clearer.
Recently I ran across a list I made during that time. It is a list of ten reasons that I did not eat animals and I share it with you now.
- Animals have parents
- Animals love us
- Meat smells bad before it is cooked
- People who are allergic to animal hair have symptoms when eating sausage, think about it
- Animals experience violence, pain, and fear when they are slaughtered
- Animals have identity and personality; ever name your potatoes? talk to your peas?
- Meat is the only main dish with a gastrointestinal tract
- It’s like roadkill, just prepared differently
- I don’t care for blood and tissue in my mouth
- It isn’t necessary
I realize this list is partly disgusting, but so is eating meat when you give it serious thought. I also realize I am a hypocrite, because I do eat some meat now on occasion. I really do consider going “whole hog” vegetarian again and may in time.
“I think people should eat vegetarian food for 20 days and then see the glow on their faces.” Sangram Singh
Photos by Pixabay
Traveling to Russia in 1994 was no doubt very different than today. At that point, Russia had just become more open to travelers due to “perestroika” but was not yet well prepared for those travelers. Before leaving home certain shots and immunizations were recommended. While at the Health Department meeting these requirements I received a handout warning against eating raw fruits and vegetables or anything, including using ice, that might have come into contact with unpurified water. There was a warning to use bottled water for toothbrushing and to not open the mouth while showering!
The trip from Louisville to St. Petersburg, Russia took almost nineteen (19) hours with about fifteen (15) actually in the air. Along the way, we landed in Germany and then in Poland, which did not allow passengers to deplane. Officers came on board and checked our passports and visas and then would not allow the pilot to take off for two unexplained hours.
When looking down at Russia prior to landing in St. Petersburg it was hard to comprehend the country’s size, nearly twice as large as the US and containing eleven (11) time zones. Local time was eight hours ahead of EST, which made phone calls home complicated, so I only called once to say I had arrived safely. It is just as well because phone calls to the US were difficult to make, unreliable and very expensive.
The population of Russia at this time was 149.5 which was actually about 5.6 million more than the current population. Education was free and the literacy rate was 99% at that time.
Before the trip, I read a document prepared by Brigham Young University which provided insight into properly interacting with the Russian people. It was entitled “Culturgram ’94 Russia (Russian Federation)” In it, I learned many things that made me better prepared, but also a bit apprehensive. Here are a few customs that I tried hard to remember while visiting.
- If you ask “How are you” be prepared for a detailed answer. It is not the casual greeting that we use, but a serious question.
- One should eat with the fork in the left hand and the knife in the right. Hands are kept above the table at all times. Leaving food on one’s plate is rude.
- Pointing the index finger is impolite, as is talking with one’s hands in the pockets or with arms folded.
Some other information of interest was that flowers are given in uneven numbers except at funerals! Russians prefer social interaction prior to business discussions and when a bottle of vodka is opened it is expected that it will be emptied by those present. Not surprising is that alcoholism is a serious problem.
Part 2 of 6
Theme graphic in title and photo by Pixabay