food regulations

A friend on facebook posted a link to this article: Michigan Officials Destroy $5,000.00 worth of Good Organic Food from Family Farm. Besides leaving me wondering whether the inclusion of the “.00” was meant to make the amount appear larger to the quick casual reader, the headline makes me think about a time when I was a teenager, and a bunch of 4-H beef was seized from a butcher’s shop because his license was as a mobile butcher and he had butchered it all on his property instead of the other farmers. There was a big outcry over that because Continue reading

Intelligent Design: money and PR instead of science

The book Only a Theory: Evolution and the Battle for American’s Soul by Kenneth R. Miller mentions this organization – Discovery Institute – which has a 4 million a year budget to promote their “Intelligent Design” nonsense. In 1998, as they were trying to get funding, a document known as the Wedge Document was written. It included their goals including a five year goal for “one hundred scientific, academic, and technical articles by our fellows.” This hasn’t panned out for them. They can’t write scientific papers because they have no real science. One of their senior fellows admitted in 2004 Continue reading

parenthood & choices, in my own life and in news stories

For four days I haven’t had the energy to read anything harder than a novel or write anything at all. I was very physically active during that time, walking more than normal helping my kids rebuild their fort, and getting started on the garden. Emotionally the hard part was helping my children deal with their anger at the neighbouring children who had knocked their fort down, particularly when I was angry myself. I was angry not so much at the knocking down of the fort, but at one neighbouring child’s insistence on denying his involvement even when we had evidence he had been Continue reading

Caesarean Awareness Month

Apparently April is not only National Poetry Month, but also Caesarean Awareness Month and blog posts (like this one) are popping up all over talking about why people believe in “non-intervention.” One thing I’ve noticed is that some of these posts refer to the idea that the World Health Organization (WHO) recommends a 15% c-section rate. The problem is, the World Health Organization doesn’t actually have any reason for that rate. The introduction to this article in the WHO medical journal states: There is no consensus on the “optimal” rate of caesarean delivery at the population level. Although values between Continue reading

Responding when a long time assumption about aspartame is challenged

Oh, what questions arise from opening a science textbook! I didn’t realize a biology textbook would lead me again to wondering about the challenges of being open to new information and the doubt that comes with living in a world where we recognize too much research is done with corporate funding and too little paid for by governments. I borrowed a book Beginnings of Life by Ricki Lewis from the library thinking my nine year old might find it interesting. He didn’t pick it up from the pile during the first week so today I thought I’d read the first Continue reading

Dinosaurs, Genesis & the Gospel

An image of a school test has been making the rounds on the internet and snopes has confirmed that it is not faked. The other day I saw on a homeschooler’s facebook page an advertisement for a discount code to get a free copy of the video (code “dino” though I can’t promise whether it works or not still) that the students watched prior to writing this test. I downloaded it and it is every bit as crazy as I feared. The video is predominantly footage of a presentation done in front of a half-filled auditorium of young children, with additional animated material. Continue reading

vaccines and the selling of fear, distrust and a sense of superiority

I read an article today about a family in New Zealand where a young boy came down with tetanus. His father is speaking out about their decision not to vaccinate, admitting that it was the wrong decision and hoping to spare others the pain they have had to suffer. The following stuck out to me: He’s not stupid. If anything, he was just a little bit too smart for his own good. The Williams are the one in 10 parents who opt out when it comes to vaccination, not out of ignorance, but because they think they know everything. Williams Continue reading