Saturday, February 12, 2011

Food (3): Bizarre Effects of a Bizarre System

New World Notes News
Vol. 4, No. 7 -- February 12, 2011

This week in New World Notes, radio program #154, February 15, 2011

Food (3): Bizarre Effects
of a Bizarre System

The reigning Heavyweight champ. This simple $5 meal
provides more than a day's nutrition in each of the four basic
food groups:
fat, cholesterol, salt, and sugar.

In brief

This time we focus on the U.S.--specifically, on three oddball effects of our even odder agribusiness structure and federal farm policies. The effects are

  • rampant obesity (and related health problems) among poor people
  • New England fishing villages that don't do any fishing
  • the dumbest consumer product since the Pet Rock: bottled water. (Here we present the entirety of Annie Leonard's video documentary, The Story of Bottled Water.)

Includes a tongue-in-cheek nutritional comparison of Burger King's Rodeo Cheeseburger vs. the Big Mac. (Capsule summary: Keep the pickle slice.) Plus the story of the organic carrot from Hell.

This is the third in an occasional series of programs on food, agriculture, and agribusiness.

Bottom: New England fishing village (artist's rendering).
Most graphics: Click to enlarge.

Notes, credits, & links

Thanks again to Robin Upton & Unwelcome Guests--this time for turning up the Annie Leonard video.

This week's music: Robert Earl Keen, Farm-Fresh Onions

New World Notes
is produced under the auspices (Latin for "counter") of WWUH-FM, a community service of that beacon of light in darkest Connecticut, the University of Hartford.

You can listen to any installment of New World Notes online or else download it (as an mp3 audio file) for later listening. The show is archived at both and (from #90 onwards) The Internet Archive. Either link should get you a reverse-chrono listing of available installments. Or browse the show's Web site: Each installment has a page, and each page has links to the recorded audio.

Series overview: Political and social commentary in a variety of genres. Exploring the gap between what we want ... and what they're trying to make us settle for.

Top: Still from The Story of Bottled Water. To the right, Annie Leonard; to the left, from a real ad campaign. Subsequent tests showed that Cleveland's tap water was both purer and better-tasting than "Fiji" bottled water.
Bottom: Does the label of your bottled water depict a mountaintop?
Think of this mountain instead.

Coming soon (Tuesday air debut date shown)

  • February 22 -- Who are the REAL Gangsters? Fearturing John "Itchy Finger" Perkins and a nice essay on the Mafia by Mike "the Red" Parenti.
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