Wednesday, March 28, 2012

The Good, the Bad, and the Curious (Links for the Week)

Here's what I've read that's made me happy, sad, and thoughtful this week. How about you?

The Good

1) "Why Are We Feeding Our Kids So Much Junk?"- Okay, so the bulk of Charity Curley Mathews' piece examining the amount of junk food kids are getting at home is definitely not something I would put in "The Good" category, as it doesn't make me smile. But she ends so optimistically with a look at how important eating healthy is to her family's sense of community:
I've said this a few times and will probably drone on until the end of time with it (for which I apologize now and in advance and...), but eating healthy, delicious food together is just as important to me as any piano lesson or soccer practice will ever be. Maybe more so.
I've read a lot of articles about raising kids with healthy food habits that suggest making your child responsible for meal planning and preparation one night a week. I'm excited to bring my daughter into these conversations (one, you know, she's old enough not to just smear spaghetti noodles in her hair as "meal prep.")

2) "7 Apps to Help You Eat Better"- Sticking with the food theme, I'm loving EcoSalon's suggestions for apps that help you eat better. I'm particularly excited about Locavore, an app that tells you what's in season in your area and maps out places to buy it!

The Bad

1) "Anti-Gay Marriage Group Looked to Divide Gays, Latinos and Blacks" Though I can't say I'm shocked, I can still say I'm sad to learn that the National Organization for Marriage (NOM), a major force behind California's Prop 8, has made plans to intentionally cause conflict between African Americans, Latinos, and gay people as a way to "protect marriage." In other words, they're intuitionally promoting hostility and hatred to protect a bond that's supposed to be about love and companionship.

2) Jennifer Lawrence "too big" to play Katniss in the Hunger Games- That's what some critics are saying, anyway. And they quote a concern over authenticity for the post-apocalyptic world suffering from food shortages. Somehow her muscular co-star isn't held up to the same standard.

3)  Feministing has a post examining how looking at pictures of friends on Facebook contributes to some users' poor body image.

The Curious

1) Offbeat Mama has a post about how to find "offbeat" mom friends. Making friends as an adult can be hard, and it can be especially hard to find other mom friends if you're the first out of your group to have kids or if your parenting philosophy differs dramatically from your other parenting friends.

2) "A Better Choice: Deer" Jackson Landers says that deer meat is a more ethical choice than soy burgers because hundreds of animals are killed to create a soy burger. He takes a look at the idea that vegetarian diets don't harm animals and explains that--in many cases--this isn't true:
Consider the typical blood footprint of that mainstay of a vegetarian diet, the soy burger. The meal itself contains no meat. But the production of soy and tofu on an industrial scale requires quite a lot of killing. Crop depredation by deer and other animals is a huge problem for most soy growers. The majority of states will issue depredation permits to farmers who are suffering crop damage, and as a result, deer are shot in high numbers in the name of protecting soy and corn crops. Some states require that the deer shot under these permits be left to rot, and forbid any meat from being taken from the animals. Crows, starlings, blackbirds and other birds are shot, trapped and poisoned by the millions every year in North America for the sole purpose of protecting crops. Millions of mice, voles and ground squirrels are trapped, poisoned or otherwise killed for the same purpose.
I'm not a vegetarian, but I do care about ethical practices. I know I have a lot of vegetarian friends. What do you think about Landers argument?

3) "Some Thoughts on Boudoir Photo Shoots"- Blog From Two to One author explains her decision to not participate in boudoir photo shoots as part of her wedding picture package and her explanation touches on a lot of the issues surrounding sexuality and feminism (like in the can burlesque be feminist debate):
It is my personal, informed choice to not do boudoir photographs for my husband.  As a Christian and a feminist, I believe that the net value of boudoir sessions becoming mainstream is negative.  While there may be some positive aspects, namely women feeling empowered and sexy in their own skin,  I consider them overall to contribute to the sexual objectification of women.  For instance, many of these sessions provide professional hair and makeup services to achieve an erotic persona.  The smoldering temptress?  Add some dark eyeliner and red lips. Full-frontal pose.  Click.  Fresh and innocent?  Light blush and natural shading.  Shy look over shoulder.  Click.  Victoria's Secret model?  Push up bra, big hair, and pouty pink lips.  Arch back on bed or kneel legs apart.  Click.


  1. Thanks for the shout out! It harkens back to the pole dancing class trend that started a few years ago. Can something typically exploitative and limiting to sexuality (especially women's) actually be redeemed? Again, it's a gray area that warrants more investigation and thoughtfulness.

    1. Definitely, and--like you touch on in your post--that gray area leaves a lot of room for legitimate and logical personal choices that vary widely. It's tough, though, because we tend to see other people's decisions as judgment on our own, and that's when things get really complicated.