Category Archives: Uncategorized

Chair Game

Kiersten Marek:

Good idea!

Originally posted on Just!Us!:

Chair Game(HIIP p.190)

Goal: To demonstrate the widening economic gap in our society.

Have 10 youth each sit in a chair. Each chair represents one tenth of the US population. Ask how they would feel if the wealth was distributed evenly with each of them.

Explain that the that is not how the wealth is actually distributed. To demonstrate wealth distribution in 1976, ask 1 person to occupy five chairs and the remaining nine to share the other 5 chairs.

Then, demonstrate distribution for wealth today: one person has seven chairs, one person has two chairs, two people share one chair, and the remaining six people sit on the floor.

income inequality pie chart

Debrief:

  • Ask everyone how they feel about this distribution?
  • How does this play out in our society?

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Beans and More at the Pawtuxet Village Farmer’s Market this Week

News from the Market:

This Saturday marks the much-anticipated return of Long Entry Farm. Mike and Allison write:

“We’ll be there with Michael & Samuel, of course, along with peppers, eggplant, squash/zucchini, pickling cucumbers, greens, jams & bread. We also have a very large batch of very large zucchini – perfect for stuffing, frying, pickling, belting a neighbor, or making zucchini bread.”

A very large welcome back to them!

LeFavorite Bakery returns from vacation. We hope they are well rested and ready to fire up the ovens. Thank you to Jessica from Little Falls Cafe for filling the pastry void in the face of daunting obstacles.

Bob Fratantuono will be bringing blueberries again this week, and all our farmers will have a bounty of beans. Blue Skys Farm will be bringing Gold of Bacau Roma Pole Beans. “A description from a seed seller:
This is a rare and wonderful bean. Gold of Bacau is a Romano-type bean that grows 6-10″ long. The flat, greenish-yellow pods are very tender, cooking quickly. They have a sweet and somewhat starchy flavor.

Bean ‘Gold of Bacau’ is best used fresh or frozen, not canned. The dried beans make delicious soups or baked beans.

Gold of Bacau beans originally came from Bacau, Romania. The tall vines require a trellis. Very productive. Latin name: Phaseolus vulgaris.

Blue Skys will also have purple kohlrabi and purple ruffle basil, great accent colors with all the yellow and green produce.

Check out the meat, fish, cheese, eggs, nuts, peanut butter, jellies, honey, nime chow, coffee, oil and vinegars our market offers as well as the foods featured above.

Finally, a study being published this week in the British Journal of Nutrition reports that “a comprehensive review of earlier studies found substantially higher levels of antioxidants and lower levels of pesticides in organic fruits, vegetables and grains compared with conventionally grown produce.” (New York Times, July 12, 2014). Read the article and decide for yourself. Please note that most of our farmers grow chemical-free.

See you at the market.

Book Sale and E-Waste Collection at Pawtuxet Village Farmers Market

From the Farmer’s Market:

June 21st has the most daylight of the year, and you’ll need every hour of it at the Pawtuxet Village Farmers Market.

As we return from our Gaspee Day exile to our home at Rhodes-on-the-Pawtuxet, we’ll be hosting an e-waste collection by Goodwill Industries. They will be set up in the upper parking lot, and will gladly help you unload your vehicle. Computer components, electronics, small appliances and “anything with a plug” will be accepted.

It’s also the annual Green Used Book Sale; donated books, CDs and DVDs will be for sale starting at 9 AM (no early birds, please!).
HARDCOVER, $2 each or three for $5
PAPERBACK, $1 each or three for $2
CHILDREN’S, three for $1 or ten for $3
Last half hour (11:30-12), fill a bag for $5
Funds raised from the book sale will enable us to bring Cranston public school children for some farm visits.

In the evening, come enjoy the fireflies in the meadow near Fay Field. Meet at 8:45 PM at the lower Rhodes on the Pawtuxet parking lot. A half-hour walk to see the firefly mating ritual. Bug repellent, long sleeves and long pants recommended. Please do not bring jars, nets, dogs or noisy electronics.
Chris Mezak of gC Farms says: “I will have some squash for this weekend. I’m not sure how much but I will bring some. I’m hoping with this week’s heat will help them along. I will also have more broccoli.’
Sounds good to me!
And all our other vendors will be there as well: Presto Strange O coffee truck, Pak Express, PV Farmstand, LeFavorite Bakery, Blue Skys Farm, Bernie B’s Honey, The Local Catch, the Market Table, Beltane Farm, Baffoni Poultry, Wedgewood Flowers and Rocky Ledge Farm. The Market Table carries products from the Virginia and Spanish Peanut Co, Rhody Fresh, Terry’s Tasty Treasures and the Olive Tap.

See you at the market.

Prison labor’s new frontier: Artisanal foods

Kiersten Marek:

Prison labor is now making goat cheese for Whole Foods.

Originally posted on Fortune:

Some years back, a small Colorado goat-cheese maker called Haystack Mountain faced its version of a classic growth challenge: National demand was growing for its chèvres and other cheeses, and the company was struggling to find enough local goat farmers to produce milk. The solution came from a surprising source: Colorado Corrections Industries (CCI). Today six inmates milk 1,000 goats twice a day on a prison-run farm. After non-inmate employees cultivate the cheese at a company facility, it’s sold in Whole Foods [fortune-stock symbol="WFM"] outlets, among other stores.

Prison labor has gone artisanal. Sure, plenty of inmates still churn out government office furniture and the like, and incarcerated workers have occasionally been used by large companies since the late 1970s. Nationwide 63,032 inmates produce more than $2 billion worth of products a year, most of them sold to government entities.

But in recent years a new wave has begun, driven…

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Gluten Freedom — An Essential Guide to Gluten Issues, with Recipes!

glufreeDuring the writing of my own book on cooking to nourish your archetypes, I read Gluten Freedom by Dr. Alessio Fasano, MD, Founder and Director of the Center for Celiac Research at Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School. Given that many of my own recipes feature gluten-free alternatives, I was eager to read an expert’s version of the history of gluten-related illnesses and to learn more about the current state of treatment. Dr. Fasano’s book did not disappoint. The book contains a comprehensive review of the spectrum of gluten-related disorders, and also includes chapters on discussing leaky gut (you’ll get introduced to zonulin) as well as gluten’s influence on brain chemistry. Gluten Freedom also discusses new treatments and therapies, including enzyme therapy, a “celiac pill” treatment, and the possible development of a therapeutic vaccine. The book also talks about methods for prevention including delaying gluten introduction until one year of age, which is now being studied.

Taking the subject to a richer level of detail and creativity, Gluten Freedom also offers several recipes to remove gluten from the menu including all-time favorites like chocolate chip cookies and gluten-free scones. There is a charming chapter called “Dinner with Dr. Fasano” where we learn about the region, Campania, where Dr. Fasano spent his childhood. He then offers what sounds like a heavenly five-course meal of gluten-free specialties including Capri Salad featuring Mozzarella di bufala di Campania — the soft mozzarella cheese from the Dr.’s home region.

I like how this book provides comprehensive information on gluten issues including an appendix of apps for mobile phones as well as an extensive list for recommended reading. There are also some excellent practical features like a “Wheat Alert” table of menu items that contain wheat, and a stage-by-stage life guide for how to avoid gluten from cradle to grave.

After finishing the book, I was still left with a question, which I posed to the authors: “Is there any value in a low-gluten diet even if you don’t have gluten sensitivity? Does it help to diversify the grains we eat? If gluten calories are substituted with more fruits and vegetables, would that be better for overall health?”

Pam Cureton, one of the contributing writers for the book and a registered dietitian at the Center for Celiac Research and Treatment, responded:

“No, there is no advantage to following a low-gluten diet for those who tolerate gluten. There is, however, an advantage to eating more whole, natural foods and reducing the amount of processed foods to reduce unwanted levels of sodium, sugar, fats and extra calories. For people who tolerate gluten, these are the problem ingredients, not the wheat, rye or barley. Including these as whole grains along with other ancient grains, amaranth, millet, sorghum and others, would benefit everyone.”

I’m glad my own oatmeal-chocolate chip cookie recipe contains sorghum! Thanks, Pam! And thanks to Dr. Fasano and all the contributors to Gluten Freedom — helping us navigate this difficult health and dietary issue.

Link to Gluten Freedom on Amazon

Rhode Island Supreme Court Rejects Equality of School Funding: Sorry, Kids!

Kiersten Marek:

Wow, this story did not make the local newspapers, or if it did, I missed it. This is where we need legal advocacy to “amend and strengthen the state constitution’s education clause.” What kind of a legal advocacy organization would handle something like this?

Originally posted on Diane Ravitch's blog:

Almost sixty years to the day of the U.S. Supreme court’s historic Brown decision, the Rhode Island Supreme Court rejected a lawsuit against the stste’s inequitable funding system. The court said it was “deeply concerned” and acknowledged that the funding disparities hurt poor urban children most, but passed the buck. “Not our problem,” the court said.

Here is a summary from the Education Law Center.

RI SUPREME COURT IS “DEEPLY CONCERNED” BUT DENIES RELIEF TO SCHOOL CHILDREN

May 15, 2014

On May 3, 2014, the Rhode Island Supreme Court dismissed the fair school funding case, Woonsocket v. State. The Court concluded that conditions in the plaintiffs’ schools “make a strong case” against the current funding system. Nonetheless, the justices denied plaintiffs the chance to present their evidence in a trial on the merits of the case.

The Court wrote, “We emphasize that we are deeply concerned by the conditions of…

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Update after Knee Surgery

Kiersten Marek:

Update from Diane Ravitch…more precautions should have been taken to prevent clots from traveling. However, progress is being made toward recovery and let’s hope for a full one.

Originally posted on Diane Ravitch's blog:

I haven’t been able to write before now. The pain after surgery was so bad that I was kept on various drugs to keep me sedated. I spent two days in the recovery room, then moved to a regular room. But my health remained fragile, On Sunday, the surgeon sent me for a CT scan, where I learned I had a blood clot in one of my lungs. My greatest fear about surgery was triggering a clot, which could go to my brain or lung or heart . There were many conversations among the various specialists about whether I should get a filter inserted in my blood vessels to prevents clots from traveling. The consensus was no, so didn’t. The consensus was wrong.

Well, I am still here but it is not easy, I can’t get out of bed without help. I can’t walk. The pain in my knee remains…

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NYC THE PLAYGROUND OF THE RICH & FAMOUS – INCOME INEQUALITY

Kiersten Marek:

Tough time to live in New York City!

Originally posted on bonjukianpatten:

BROOKLYN is now too expensive for people to live unless you live in section 8 apartment or are rich you are out of luck in any borough but the Bronx or Staten Island – who wants to live there! Yuk!

NYC is untouchable and no one is hiring and it’s been almost 5 months now. Not a peep.

We moved in 2006 and never looked back but we miss the old NYC – this one just sucks.

=================================================================>

NYC Is Even More Unaffordable Than You Think, In 6 Charts

Posted: 04/25/2014 11:42 am EDT Updated: 04/25/2014 2:59 pm EDT
 We knew it was bad, but not this bad.

Rents in New York City have skyrocketed over the past decade while New Yorkers’ incomes have fallen, creating a dearth of affordable housing for the people that need it most. That’s the takeaway from a disheartening report released by city Comptroller Scott…

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Justice for Lena

Originally posted on Bluestockings Magazine :

Trigger Warning: This article and Lena’s testimony include graphic depictions of sexual assault, violence and trauma.
Photo by Cynthia Fong

Photo by Cynthia Fong

Earlier today, Brown University student, Lena Sclove, returned to campus to discuss the University’s unacceptable response to her sexual assault that occurred during the fall semester of 2013.

Lena was accompanied by her parents, Marcie and Richard Sclove, and the President of Road to Recovery, Inc., Robert M. Hoatson, Ph.D., who oversees a non-profit charity based in New Jersey that assists victims of sexual violence and their families. Friends, Brown students, and community members all gathered outside the Van Wickle Gates to hear her story.

On August 2, 2013, Lena was strangled twice and raped by a former friend, who is also a Brown University student. During the assault, she said “no” over seven times – she never once said “yes”. She had no doubt of the seriousness of the crime that…

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California: Record Numbers of 50 to 64 Year Olds Shacking Up with Parents.

Originally posted on THOMÉ REVIEW:

A recent study conducted by researchers at UCLA have found that the number of 50-64 year olds in California moving back into the homes of their even older parents has ballooned by 67% over the past 7 years. The study attempted to count only those who moved back in due to economic necessity, as opposed to other reasons such as caring for an aging parent.

As the LA Times reports:

For seven years through 2012, the number of Californians aged 50 to 64 who live in their parents’ homes swelled 67.6% to about 194,000, according to the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research and the Insight Center for Community Economic Development.

The jump is almost exclusively the result of financial hardship caused by the recession rather than for other reasons, such as the need to care for aging parents, said Steven P. Wallace, a UCLA professor of public health…

View original 774 more words

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