Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Relevant News Flash (7:3)

Food, always a loaded topic for parents, in the news:
  • We have such an interesting relationship with food as a species, but I think the U.K. has taken food psychology to an outrageous and unchecked extreme. An agency supported by the U.K. government has asked caregivers of young children to watch out for signs of racial prejudice and report it. This is the part that you just really can't make up: evidence of a racial prejudice can include not wanting to eat an ethnic food! Many parents are anxious if their child will eat enough peas, let alone how they might react to a spicy curry, possibly landing them in trouble with the authorities!
  • Not surprisingly our parenting styles are often reflected in our children's eating habits. A recent study conducted by Oklahoma State University at Stillwater concluded that parenting styles are a key part of managing a child's issues with food, and suggests that an issue such as obesity, must be looked at also in the context of the family dynamic for a resulting therapy to have a long term positive impact.
  • What's that funky smell coming from your chicken? Chlorine, perhaps? This is enough to give you a complex, or to take the "organic hit" to your wallet! Apparently, it is a common practice for large poultry producers to dip chickens in a chlorine bath to kill any nasty microorganism contaminants.

Cool and not so cool news:

  • In an era where immigration is becoming a hot topic, sometimes resulting in violence, in countries around the world, a program in the U.K. has found an innovative way to make citizens from other cultures feel comfortable in their classrooms, and expand the linguistic opportunities for, and promote cultural understanding of other cultures in all their students. In a nutshell, children of different cultures and languages teach their classmates their language in an online tool they have developed. Each month a different language is featured. They have a goal of reaching 50 different languages! Instead of being deterred by the challenges of the variety of cultures represented in their classrooms, they have found a way to embrace it and use it as a teaching tool.
  • For those who follow the politics of birth, the U.K. is grappling with options to accommodate their growing birthrate, but increasingly scarce hospital resources, and unsatisfactory outcomes in those facilities.
  • An item about a prominent Japanese auto designer, who tragically died from overwork, gives new meaning to being "driven into the ground." A tragic reminder to consider the effects of an imbalance between work and life.

Now, for something "light and fluffy" to close:

  • Celebrities are really clueless it seems about how crazy their name choices for the children really seem, and actually, they just don't care what others think, thank you very much! Chris Martin, frontman for the mega-band Coldplay, comments on naming his daughter Apple, but he would have been just as fine with "Chewbacca." And, despite what has been widely speculated as a rather public repudiation of her former husband's controversial faith, Nicole Kidman's decision to name her newly born daughter, Sunday, in actuality comes from an inspirational Australian art history figure, Sunday Reed.

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