Monday, February 1, 2010

Now That My Country Is

No Longer Number One
A Closer Look At My Country

The U.S. is far behind
other nations when it comes to providing broadband access for its citizens. Figures from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) show a sharp decline in U.S. broadband access rank among its 30 member nations. In 2001, the U.S. ranked 4th, but by the end of 2008 had fallen to 15th place.

Not so long ago, both job and school applications were neatly typed or written in pen, folded, slipped into an envelope, addressed, stamped and sent off in the mail. No more. Most universities and employers now require an email address just to start the application process. In some cases, Americans who do not have Internet access lose the opportunity for further education and a job.

Full Story, HERE.


Eating all your vegetables
was a lot better for you in the '50s. Store-bought veggies weren't as pretty back then, but according to USDA data, they were packed with a lot more nutrients than their modern counterparts. The likely reason for the nutritional drop is that hybrid crops are often bred for size and color, not nutrients.

Broccoli in 1950
, when I was a kid, had 27% more iron, 60% more calcium, and 52% more vitamin A, than broccoli in 1999.

I imagine it is even less nutritious now with all the advances in genetic modification that have been implemented in the past 20 years.

Read the full report, HERE.

What About Seeds?

The majority of the commercial and household seeds sold today are F1 hybrids, crosses of different varieties created by seed companies. Big commercial growers use hybrids because they grow like weeds and are easily harvested and processed by machine. But unlike heirlooms, hybrids can't reliably replicate themselves. The seeds of a hybrid sweet orange tomato, for example, might grow into a bitter red tomato. Only the seed companies can make more F1 hybrid seed—whose exact origins are usually trade secrets—so farmers have to buy more every year, instead of simply storing and planting their favorites for years, decades, or generations.

The shift to hybrids has come at the expense of agricultural diversity. A century ago, there were 15,000 kinds of apples in America; now there are 1,500. Among the varieties that have disappeared for good are 96 percent of corn, 95 percent of cabbages, and 81 percent of tomatoes.

Read about heirloom seeds, HERE.

Top 10 Healthiest Countries

Universal Health Care

The Healthiest Countries
Have Universal Health Care.

The insurance companies own the Republican and Democrat politicians who vote against health care for Americans. People who protest health care are misinformed or simply ignorant. It is important to look at more than one set of facts. When I was looking up the top 10 healthy countries, I noticed that the #1 healthiest country in the world, (Japan), was left off the Forbes list!

The healthiest people
I know, grew up eating fresh food from markets, local farms and their own backyards. They always had access to some form of health care. They had a good education, including at least 2 years of college. They had, or have, a satisfying occupation with planning for the future. They read. They watch TV sometimes. They have a natural sense of well being. They believe that politics, sex, and religion are personal matters. They appreciate natural wonders and enjoy melodic, musical harmonies. They rarely eat fast food or drink soda pop. They live long and meaningful lives.

The good thing
about living here in America, is the freedom to make intelligent, informed choices.

I love this place.

Today's Relatively Appropriate Song;
All American Boy - Bobby Bare

Life is good

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