How Labeling Could Lead To World Hunger

How Labeling Could Lead To World Hunger

Don't let marketing fool you.
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Do you know what the labels swarming all over food products today mean? Terms like "organic," "natural," "gluten free," "non-GMO" and "hormone free" are smacked on product after product. It's hard to cut through all the terms and know what they all mean. It's understandable that the consumer doesn't know what is in every product they eat when a new term is thrown out every day with just a slightly different production method than the last one. Let's get one thing clear: it's not because farmers are trying to hide their methods. It's because marketers are trying to get you to think their new product is healthier than anything else on the shelf.

America is becoming crazily health conscious. With national obesity on the rise, consumers are trying to stay trim and still enjoy all the foods they want to. It's the job of marketers to get you to believe their product fits that bill. The problem is, terms like "organic" don't mean healthier. It means they were raised with a method that didn't use pesticides or herbicides, but was still genetically modified, just without using GMOs. While some will debate this is healthier for the environment, all scientists can agree it is no more nutritious.

Cost of production goes up significantly for products with these labels. Depending on which one, different production methods aren't allowed. For example, organic foods can't use GMOs, which make more yields per acre. When supply goes down, prices go up. That's basic economics. "Antibiotic free" foods use different remedies as opposed to antibiotics that are more expensive and less effective. Once again, supply goes down and price goes up. These labels make the consumer more trusting in the product, though, so we continue to produce them.

Now let's be real. The agriculture industry is not perfect. Antibiotic resistance is real. Weed resistance is real. However, there are better methods to combat rather than cutting them out completely. These rising costs come from simple labeling techniques. There's already 795 million starving people in this world because they can't afford food. What happens when fear of the unknown makes food prices steadily climb? The rich will stay full, and the poor will go hungry. Someone on a welfare check can't afford to pay $8 for organic pepper at Whole Foods (Yes, I've seen it).

Europe's fear of GMOs and modern farming practices has already halted golden rice production, causing thousands in to die of Vitamin A Deficiency. There is no reason for nutrition deficiency to cause thousands to starve anymore. We have the technology in America to feed the world. Do your research on labels and what is in your food, so when it comes time to vote on things like GMO labeling laws, we can make a difference in our nation and the world by bringing down food prices.

Cover Image Credit: https://thumbs.dreamstime.com/z/organic-food-labels-labels-cardboard-texture-vintage-34628431.jpg

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10 Things I Threw Out AFTER Freshman Year Of College

Guess half the stuff on your packing list doesn't really matter
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I spent the entire summer before my freshman year of college so WORRIED.

I also spent most of my money that summer on miscellaneous dorm stuff. I packed the car when the time finally came to move in, and spent the drive up excited and confused about what the heck was actually going on.

Freshman year came and went, and as I get ready to go back to school in just a few short weeks (!!), I'm starting to realize there's just a whole bunch of crap I just don't need.

After freshman year, I threw out:

1. Half my wardrobe.

I don't really know what I was thinking of owning 13 sweaters and 25 T-shirts in the first place. I wear the same five T-shirts until I magically find a new one that I probably got for free, and I put on jeans maybe four times. One pair is enough.

2. Half my makeup.

Following in the theme of #1, if I put on makeup, it's the same eyeliner-mascara combination as always. Sometimes I spice it up and add lipstick or eyeshadow.

3. My vacuum.

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One, I basically never did it. Two, if I REALLY needed to vacuum, dorms rent out cleaning supplies.

4. Most of my photos from high school.

I didn't throw them ALL away, but most of them won't be making a return to college. Things change, people change, your friends change. And that's okay.

5. Excess school supplies.

Binders are heavy and I am lazy. I surprisingly didn't lose that many pens, so I don't need the fifty pack anymore. I could probably do without the crayons.

6. Cups/Plates/Bowls/Silverware.

Again, I am lazy. I cannot be bothered to wash dishes that often. I'll stick to water bottles and maybe one coffee cup. Paper plates/bowls can always be bought, and plastic silverware can always be stolen from different places on campus.

7. Books.

I love to read, but I really don't understand why I thought I'd have the time to actually do it. I think I read one book all year, and that's just a maybe.

8. A sewing kit.

I don't even know how to sew.

9. Excessive decorations.

It's nice to make your space feel a little more cozy, but not every inch of the wall needs to be covered.

10. Throw pillows.

At night, these cute little pillows just got tossed to the floor, and they'd sit there for days if I didn't make my bed.

Cover Image Credit: Tumblr

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'Oh, You're A Vegan?'

When I tell people I'm vegan, people give me that exasperated look.

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When I first decided to try and become vegan, I got a lot of mixed results. Some people were extremely for it, while other people looked at me like I had gone off the deep end. After a while and even now, I like to play a game of guessing what reaction I will get from people when I tell them about my dietary habits. Unlike a lot of other people who decided to go vegan for the ethical reasons, I kind of fell into it based on me realizing that half the stuff I was putting into my body was making me want to curl up in a ball and only come out for dollars on Wednesday nights at Taylor's. Through the last year and a half, I have learned a lot, from tips and tricks to making food taste good, to some added benefits of being on a plant free lifestyle. So for all the haters, vegan enthusiasts and people looking into making the leap, enjoy!

1. Trust me, its not all just vegetables.....there's other stuff too.

One of the biggest mistakes or misconceptions about being vegan is that all we eat are plants or vegetables. I will be the first to assure you that that piece of information is not true. There are tons of things we can eat if you are creative. Learning what you like and what you can eat will all come with practice. You might have to experiment a little before you find your groove, but it will happen. I would also put money on the fact that you might find yourself having that moment halfway through a bowl of Cornbread Cafes vegan Mac and cheese. Just saying.

2. No allergies in Eugene, too good to be true!

One of the best things that I noticed about becoming vegan didn't become obvious until a few months later. For anyone who has lived in Eugene, OR through the springtime, you know what I am referring too. Allergies are monstrously bad here as we are in the middle of a basin and many people have to shut in themselves to not like, die. I was always one of those people, but last spring and this one so far as well I have noticed a crazy change. While I still get itchy eyes and sneeze occasionally, I no longer want to live in my bed where the pollen can't reach me! The vegan diet has been proven to reduce the levels of allergy issues that people have faced so basically if you're driving people crazy with your sneezing, maybe cut out the glass of milk in the morning.

3. Happy skin, happy day! 

Another benefit to being vegan is clear skin. A lot of people who are vegan tend to have clear skin that is acne free. That is not always the case, but there is 1 key reason why shiny skin comes from veganism. Dairy and meat products are not the skins best friend according to dermatologists. Both are chock full of hormones that aren't good for our bodies. Dermatologist William Danby even calls cow's milk "nature's perfect food for the creation of acne." So you might want to kiss that ice cream goodbye.

4.  There are lots of Vegan options, you just have to look!

Like I said above, there is a gross misconception that the only things Vegans eat are vegetables. There are so many different things that are incredibly good and don't have any animal products in them. Also, vegan restaurants are popping up all over the place now so you will able to eat out in peace and rest easy knowing your environmental footprint will be smaller. Some of my personal Eugene favorites are Cornbread Cafe, Morning Glory, the Veg and surprisingly Tacovore. Their tofu tacos are to die for! If you're more of a homebody though there are a lot of different well-known brands such as Ben and Jerrys and Carls Junior that are coming out with vegan alternatives!

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