If not the market then what?

June 23, 2009

Europe “should not leave the food industry in general, and the milk sector in particular, just to the law of market forces, which is the least social, ecological and economic law,”  . . . 

That’s the  French Agriculture Minister Michel Barnier urging his EU colleagues to listen to protesting farmers in Luxembourg.

He was responding to EU Agriculture Commissioner Mariann Fischer Boel.

 She had no magic wand to address their grievances, she said.

She implicitly criticised countries such as France and Germany for continuing to question the decision to lift quotas.

“It’s dangerous and irresponsible to foster unrealistic hopes on what we can do,” she said.

Quite.

If it’s not left to the market it’s up to governments and what can they do?

Government means the taxpayers who are also the consumers who’d pay more if quotos were lowered or producers subsidised.

Goverments have a role in welfare but any interference by them in the marekt will merely prolong the pain and delay the recovery.


Tuesday’s answers

June 23, 2009

Monday’s questions were:

1. What’s the gestation period of a sheep?

2. Who said: I married beneath me, all women do?

3. Who wrote Motherhood, the Second Oldest Profession?

4. What did tamarillos used to be called and where did they originate?

5. Where is this statue (bonus point if you can name the dog and his master).

dairy 10001

Paul Tremewan gets the electronic bunch of flowers (perhaps the sweetpeas in the post above?) – for the second week in a row, but this week he’s lost half a point – he said Erma Bomberg when it’s Erma Bombeck, but he does get the bonus for the whole answer on Greyfriars Bobby and another one for being specific on the location.

Kismet gets 2 1/2 – right about tree tomatoes but not Chile-with a bonus for amusing me.

PDM get 1 and two halfs – tree tomatoes again but not Peru and Greyfriars Bobby but not Glasgow.

I’m open to debate on tamarillos – my source said Andean regions of Bolivia and Argentina but they may be found in other parts of the Andes.

The answers follow the break.

 

Read the rest of this entry »


Oh, sweet peas

June 23, 2009

The sweet peas which normally bloom bountifully from mid-summer were slow to start this year, but they’ve also been slow to finish.

However, I think these will be the last until next year.

snowish 006


Pregorexia developing problem

June 23, 2009

“You really shouldn’t comment on a woman’s body when they’re pregnant . . . ”

This comment from Maggie Baumann a counsellor who learned from experience the dangers of pregorexia – anorexia during pregnancy.

As models, film stars and other media lovelies get even scrawnier the pressure on women to be unrealistically and unhealthily underweight has grown.

That is bad enough for the mental and physical health of women at the best of times, the dangers are more than doubled during pregnancy when too much exercise and too little food not only endangers the mother, it harms the developing baby.

A post on pregorexia last year is one of the most read on this blog. It was prompted by this story in The Press . It said pregorexia was real and caused by exposure to images of unrealistically underweight celebrities and figure-hugging maternity clothes.

Canterbury District Health Board psychiatrist Sue Luty, who specialises in eating disorders and perinatal mental health, said women limiting their calorie intake during pregnancy or overexercising was becoming “a huge issue”.

Women’s views of pregnancy were being distorted by images of celebrities who “miraculously” got back into shape soon after giving birth, she said.

This was unrealistic as the stars usually had personal trainers and many were too thin before their pregnancy, Luty said.

“It’s not normal for women to be skinny throughout pregnancy but they are seeing pictures in the media that say something completely the opposite.”

Luty said pregnant women were more fashion conscious than before and slinky, form-fitting maternity wear which showed off expectant figures was commonplace.

This put more pressure on pregnant women to stay thin, she said.

“A normal pregnancy shape is chunkier and bumpier but women don’t like that look in tight maternity clothes.”

Maternity clothes available when I was pregnant did their best to disguise the growing baby and I’ve admired the modern fashion for literally being upfront about the bumps but I hadn’t thought about the pressure this put on women to show without growing.

Too much of what passes for women’s fashion in clothes and bodies is misogynistic at the best of times. When unrealistic and unhealthy images become something to aspire to in pregnancy it’s time for a campaign to show that real women have real bodies with curves. A little bit of fat is not only healthier it’s also more attractive than the plastic stick figures the misogynists would have us become.

It could start with people refraining from commenting on other people’s body shapes, whether or not they’re pregnant.


Would you like sex with that?

June 23, 2009

The answer from a Dunedin man who heard sexually explicit lyrics in piped music while shopping with his 10 year old daughter in Farmers didn’t.

An overreaction?

I don’t think so and, to their credit nor did the store. Farmers responded to the man’s complaint, agreeing the lyrics weren’t acceptable and said their music policy would be reviewed.

Piped music tends to wash over me, unless it’s too loud in which case I do my best to get away from it. But such is the power of music, tunes and lyrics can sneak into your head even when you’re not listening.

People playing music in public spaces need to take a precautionary approach to this and ensure we can shop without the risk of hearing things best listened to in private.

Although, perhaps that’s not easy with modern music. While station surfing in the car I’m unpleasantly surprised by how often I come across lyrics on the radio that I wouldn’t want young children listening to and wouldn’t choose to listen to myself.

Perhaps it’s time to bring back The Seekers 🙂


June 23 in history

June 23, 2009

On June 23:

1314 The first war of Scottish independence, the War of Bannockburn started.

1894 The International Olympic Committee  was founded in Paris.

 

1894 Alfred Kinsey  USA entomologist and sexologist was born.

1958 The Dutch Reformed Church accepted women ministers.

1973 World Court condemned French nuclear tests in the Pacific..


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