Brittany Pavon Suriel Right, they were forced to pay into it as adults and have the right to get some back? Well, anyone in their 20s or 30s will be have paid plenty by retirement age and we probably wont see a dime. How do you feel about that? What a messed up system.
Brittany Pavon Suriel Let's not forget Eric Stonestreet who is straight and plays one of the funniest, most amazing gay characters on tv on Modern Family. And I'm pretty sure that Eric McCormack from Will & Grace is straight too. Actors are actors. Good ones can play all kinds of roles -- gay or straight. Oh wait, and how could I forget the movie the Birdcage? Genius, just genius. I haven't read the 50 Shades of Grey books but I would be perfectly happy seeing a movie with Matt Bomer or any of those other guys (but especially Ryan Gosling). Bring on the eye candy!
Brittany Pavon Suriel I agree with you. BUT I think she should have kept her sex life (or lack thereof) to herself. If she didn't want people to talk about it, she shouldn't have made it public. I mean, a 30-year old virgin? Of course people are going to talk about that! She's a beautiful, successful athlete. Then again, even if she had kept her virginity private the media probably would have gone after her for something else. There's just not winning when you're in the public eye.
Brittany Pavon Suriel True. But as a viewer (and an American viewer at that), I want to hear from the gold medal winner after an event regardless of whether or not they are American. I watched a women's track & field event last week and a Jamaican woman won gold. The camera barely even showed her after! They talked to an American athlete instead. I wanted to hear what she had to say about her accomplishment, especially since she's held the title for 3 straight Olympics.
Brittany Pavon Suriel Other than referring to someone as unattractive and masculine, what kinds of sexist comments have you heard? I'm curious. Frankly, I think the coverage overall is flawed. NBC's coverage has heavily focused on American athletes and particularly attractive ones too.
Brittany Pavon Suriel I think the lack of helmets is a huge cause for concern. It's a shame that the program is going to be so heavily concentrated in particular areas of Manhattan. Imagine the city on a Saturday or Sunday when those bikes would be in heavy use but within a small area. Yikes! Talk about congestion and chaos. I'd really like to see a more spread out program. As someone who lives and works above 59th Street, this isn't really a program that would even be convenient for me anyways.
Brittany Pavon Suriel You're absolutely right! It's not all about access to healthy foods, culture plays a huge role. People have to want to choose the healthier option. It's not just marketing that affects people it is also that "more bang for your buck" mentality which you mention later in your article. Education about choosing healthy foods should start at a young age. School lunch reform is crucial but that education needs to start at home. I first found out about pizza and french fries counting as vegetables in school lunches from Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution. It's disgusting.
Brittany Pavon Suriel People shouldn't have to pay in order to protest, but I can't help but think about how much protests like Occupy Wall Street cost. For a long-term demonstration, it's not fair to taxpayers to have to cover the costs for police over-time and extra park clean-up and maintenance. I agree with those who have suggested enforced fines for vandals and "trouble makers". In protests we've seen this year, manydemonstrators are peaceful and do not cause trouble but for those who do, they should be held accountable.
Brittany Pavon Suriel I work in uptown Manhattan and we have actually seen a number of food trucks at lunch time in the last few weeks which was unheard of around here. The new wave is perhaps because so many are getting kicked out of their old spots downtown. Limiting trucks in one area can benefit residents and workers in other areas who want a chance at trying what they have to offer. But so many trucks flock to areas that are already known to be successful which creates crowding. No matter what regulations the city decides to impose, what is happening now is just not working. Trucks are getting ticketed left and right and some are being forced to move from spots even during lunch which isn't good for business.
Brittany Pavon Suriel Certainly. Restricting the menus of food trucks (as Seattle has done) limits the food options they can provide to customers. Part of what is so great about food trucks is their variety. Many of them expose communities to food they probably would have never had access to otherwise. Also, limiting where the trucks can park -- whether 50 feet or 200 feet -- would severely restrict the number of possible locations in any city. It would especially limit serving areas with large numbers of hungry lunch-goers such as midtown Manhattan. I think restricting the number of trucks within a given area would be more effective than banning trucks from an entire area entirely.
Brittany Pavon Suriel Wow, thanks for educating me on this topic! I had no idea how harmful cruises are to the environment. I had never really thought about it, never been on a cruise myself. I just want to add the huge amounts of food cruises waste. You hear about the mountains of food offered and that tourists just eat 24/7 when on these ships. Imagine how much food is produced then thrown away. Sounds like cruises are wasteful in every sense of the word!
Brittany Pavon Suriel No problem! I didn't explain what Cooking Matters is. According to their website, they have different centers all over the country. They are mostly on the East and West coasts but also in major cities like Detroit, Chicago, and St. Louis. http://cookingmatters.org/where-we-work/where-we-are/ Some of the local greenmarkets in NYC do cooking demonstrations, e.g. a Chelsea resident does free cooking demonstrations at that market but I don't think she actually has any affiliation with the market. She just wants to educate people in her own community by showing them what they can do with the fresh ingredients.
Brittany Pavon Suriel Which is why programs like Cooking Matters are so important because they teach adults and kids about healthy foods but show them how to put it all together through workshops and cooking demonstrations.
Brittany Pavon Suriel The issue is much much bigger than farmer's markets or mobile produce trucks. Culture is a huge factor in the way Americans eat. The food industry is so backwards that junk and processed foods are favored over healthy foods. I'm always relieved when I travel and see that soda is more expensive than water, as it should be! In the States, people buy soda over water because it is cheaper. Price drives consumers but now more and more people are willing to spend a little more on something better for them in the long-term. But yes, it is about much more than price because people have to choose to eat well but unhealthy foods have become so ingrained in American culture that I wouldn't even know how to begin to solve the problems. Increase access? End government subsidies on corn? Raise public awareness? Take your pick!
Brittany Pavon Suriel I agree. There are many great local farms which struggle to claim 'organic' and some don't even want to be classified as such as the meaning of the word has changed dramatically. Some farms like Holton Farms (Vermont) and Polyface Farms (Virginia) have revolutionized the way many people think about food, including the organic food industry which many refer to as "Big Organic". Holton Farms (which is only partly organic) has made fresh foods accessible to city dwellers and low-income youth in NYC. The owner of Polyface Farm, Joel Salatin, takes a local approach and does not ship or distribute his food beyond the Shenandoah Valley. He is quite vocal of his opinions of the USDA and "Big Organic" and let's just say he's not a fan. This issue is much bigger than labels, but consumers should be more aware of how marketing gets them to buy certain products whether they are good for them or not.
Brittany Pavon Suriel After that time, they are allowed in the yard but killed 2 weeks later. Therefore, the grazing period is very limited. And this has to do with the time pressure on the part of the industry. The point being that their narratives are a bit of "stretch" but that is a way in which they can appeal to consumers and it has worked quite well.
Brittany Pavon Suriel Whole Foods and other organic companies are certainly a step in the right direction. They are more socially responsible businesses, but they are still businesses. My point is that they use marketing in the form of narratives in order to get you to buy the product even if the image they create is not totally accurate. Part of the problem is that there are no clear regulations for terms like ‘free-range’ which stipulates access to pasture but does not indicate how much access, i.e. time or amount of space. Michael Pollan describes his visit to an organic farm where chickens live lives that are not that different from industrial chickens. Chicken houses have a door leading to a small yard but it remains shut for the first 5-6 weeks of a chicken's life for fear they will "catch something" since they are not given antibiotics.
Brittany Pavon Suriel There are farmer's markets in low-income neighborhoods in NYC. Not many, but they exist. I work in Washington Heights, and there is a sizeable market at 175th between Broadway & Wadsworth which local residents go to weekly. There are also new greenmarkets opening up in July in: Kingsbridge Heights, Poe Park, Brownsville, Corona, Elmhurst, and Jackson Heights. http://www.grownyc.org/ourmarkets. There is a long way to go in serving the community, particularly in the outer boroughs, but there are markets other than the one at Union Square. The mentality that eating healthy is too expensive or that there are no farmer's markets in low-income neighborhoods is part of what prevents consumers from accessing fresh foods. The opportunities are out there, people just need to go out and get them. I'm writing an article about this now. Danielle, perhaps we can debate on this?
Brittany Pavon Suriel Fresh and local foods are becoming more and more accessible to consumers in large cities like New York. I believe consumers should explore their options whether it is through a CSA, farmer's market, or grocery store. Consumers need to make more conscious food choices and figure out what works for their budget and lifestyle.