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Notion of the World

Another Good Reason why to eat Local Produced Food

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Good intentions sometimes lead to more harm, than what alternative choices would have done. When a food trend or sometimes fad makes its introduction in Northern European countries it’s mostly for company profit, but sometimes because someone thought about other people’s health and well-being.

Quinoa, a grain grown mostly in the fields of Peru, was introduced in Europe, a lot of vegans, vegetarians and other good-health-seeking-disciples were excited. For some it was a totally new grain to substitute couscous, rice or other similar types of grain, fantastic!

Well, the other side of importation is exportation, which in the case of for e.g. quinoa, asparagus and soya beans have meant that the people who normally buy these locally grown vegetables and grain types, are having trouble meeting the increasing prices of the products they have bought and consumed in everyday life for centuries. In other words; because of the increasingly demand of soya, quinoa etc. from e.g. European countries has resulted in higher prices in all countries around the world.

Fair trade organisations have tried to comply with some of the problems that are involved in the high demand for ‘exotic’ or let’s say foreign goods. Some organizations ensure that a product with their logo marked on the packaging pays a fair amount of the revenue made from selling the product to the farmers. However the problem in question is not so much the farmers who produce the products. It’s more about the people who depend on cheap grain and other crops that usually make out the basis of every meal in poorer families in countries like Peru.

How do we, as consumers, comply with this problematic situation we put other people into? The point is really to buy as much locally as you can. This implies that the food we feed our children and stuff into our own mouths is locally grown, haven’t been travelling several thousands of miles around the globe nor has the produce been harvested or processed by underpaid underfed workers. That is, if you know your local farmer, which would make pretty good sense as a thing to do. However the importation of goods from foreign countries is very much a balance, because the farmers in e.g. Peru could benefit from exporting their produce to Europe. It’s just our job, as consumers, to know whether the purchase at hand inflicts on the people who made it or not, and whether the people who normally depend on the product aren’t forced into starvation because of increasing prices.

 

Photo by net_efekt

Photo source: flickr

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Splitting up Mexican Families in the US

American-born Mexicans, whose parents travelled the rough and also illegal way into Texas or any other Southern State in the United States of America, are now suffering the troubles of dealing with integration in Mexico.

Due to the ongoing deportations of illegal immigrants, in this case Mexicans, families have been split up. Some of the illegal immigrants have been in the country for decades, and therefor have had children. These children, who only know American school systems and speak better English than Spanish, are facing the difficulties of having to integrate in a foreign school.

When born in the United States of America it is a right to obtain citizenship. The dilemma is when parents, born in Mexico and illegally immigrated into the US, are deported and they either leave their children behind, so they can stay in the American classrooms, or bring them along to new surroundings in Mexico. Usually the children tag along with their parents into Mexico. Approximately 300.000 children moved from the US to Mexico between 2005 and 2010. The Mexican school system is not capable of integrating all these English-speaking children, so it is very likely how the educational level would drop because of things like cultural differences. Sociologists say that the children will find themselves caught in the middle of the two countries in relation to where to belong, language etc.

The conflict is however how the children are going to cope with a different school system as well as the US’s handling of the possibility of the homecoming of thousands of adults who were born in the US, educated in Mexico and wants to go back to the place they were born. It is after all their right.

Photo by longislandwins

Photo source: flickr

Students Fighting for Their Rights in Malaysia

The Malaysian coalition government Barisan Nasional (BN) is struggling with the nation’s somewhat 40-year-old law, prohibiting students to participate in political parties. Some weeks ago the government tried to comply with the student’s wishes concerning their rights to join in political parties and similar organizations.

The law enacted in 1971 explicitly says that students are prohibited from expressing sympathy, support or opposition to any political party. Malaysia achieved independence from the British Empire in 1957.

Incidents have been documented where Universities have fined and expelled students for having performed political activities. Most students don’t seem to be interested in politics because of risk of getting expelled.

The students aren’t satisfied with the government’s attempt to loosen the grip on the students. By this new amendment it will still be illegal for students who hold political posts to perform political activities on campus. The Universities will also be able to prevent students from joining “unsuitable” organizations. Statistics show that students getting fined or similarly punished are those who obtain the same beliefs as the governmental opposition.

Photo by inseltoffy

Photo source: flickr

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