Food safety in China

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http://www.theworld.org/2012/11/food-safety-eating-china/

“But every so often – too often, for a growing chorus of Chinese voices – a fiendishly creative bad actor finds a way to make a quick buck by passing off one thing as another. Pork is made to taste like beef, due to a carcinogenic chemical brushed on it. Watermelons explode, after being injected with a chemical to make them grow faster and bigger. Rotten fruit is pickled and treated with chemicals to make it look fresh on supermarket shelves. And, of course, the most infamous case — in 2008, milk and infant formula were doctored with the chemical melamine, which looks in tests like protein. That allowed middlemen to water down milk and still pass the protein tests. It also made at least 300,000 people ill, and killed at least six infants.

“I think the government does know food safety issues are important, but they’re giving other things a higher priority, like fast economic growth and creating jobs,” he says. “But this can’t continue. People are losing trust in the government.”

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In my home country, Vietnam, the same situation happens. Food in Vietnam as well as other countries is much more expensive than in the U.S. I feel lucky to be able to eat food here even though I still worry about pesticides in veggies and growth hormone and drugs in industrial poultry/ cattle. I am trying to be a pescetarian.

Image source: http://www.in.gov/isdh/21060.htm

Emergency preparedness

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When Raoul Silva by Javier Bardem appeared on the abandoned island in the 007 movie “Skyfall”, he told James Bond “Whenever I look at this island, it reminds me of what are essentials and what are not, what to take, what not to take…” It makes me think about essential things in my life and emergency preparedness. It also reminds me of emergency backpack that Peter Lawrence, a minimalist, mentioned in this video. I realize I do not have one and I am not prepared for any kind of disaster.

So I find these websites:

http://www.fema.gov/medialibrary/media_records/7046

http://www.ready.gov/build-a-kit

You will find tons of information on how to prepare for disaster such as how to build your emergency kit, where to store and maintain your kit or even how to get involved in your community.

One thing I find important is the charger for cell phone. You may not have electricity for days, so if you have a smart phone, you should have an extra battery or store your regular flipped/ slide/ Flinstone phone in your emergency backpack which has longer battery life (but remember to charge the battery regularly) or you can get a solar charger.

survivalkit

P.S. The abandoned island in movie “Skyfall” does exist in real life. Its name is Hashima located in Japan. Japanese people do not want to talk about it and the island itself looks really creepy. You can read more here:

http://www.pri.org/stories/arts-entertainment/movies/bond-movie-skyfall-s-deserted-island-a-real-place-in-japan-12196.html

New student loan plan

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A new plan to help with student loan debts: payments cap at 10% of income and forgiveness in 25 yrs. Critics are afraid that students may borrow more than the necessary amount but in fact, they have already borrowed than what they should!

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