Has the Recession Taken Its Toll On Your Eating Habits?

If the answer is yes, you would obviously not be alone, so there are no shockers in this bit of news: Organic farmers, reports the New York Times,...

If the answer is yes, you would obviously not be alone, so there are no shockers in this bit of news: Organic farmers, reports the New York Times, have been hit hard by the recession, and many appear to be giving up certification and natural farming techniques for more conventional (and probably more pesticidey) farming. My heart goes out to the farmers, many of whom overhauled their practices just recently to keep up with the growing demands of the market, only to have to now 180 for financial reasons.So it's bad news for the farmers, who are losing crops and income, and it's bad news for the rest of us, too. Not on principle (I'm not one of these organic-or-bust girls), but in terms of our health. Farmers who are constantly inhaling and touching and absorbing toxic pesticides are even more screwed than the rest of us who merely eat them, so it was encouraging when the signs of mainstreaming organic were abundant.Some think this line of thinking, when taken to its Alice Waters extreme, is elitist. I generally agree with most of the things that come out of the mouth of the most democratic food-lover in the world (Mr. Bourdain), but I differ slightly with his take on organic. I think food zealotry is worthless, but it's pretty hard to argue against the idea that everyone wins when organic (and fresh, and local, and healthy) goes mainstream. It means food gets cheaper, more widely available, and healthier. All good things.As for me, I used to try to eat organic wherever possible, and have scaled back like everyone else. But I'm still a vote-with-your-wallet girl, so I have tried in these tougher times to keep my fridge full of whole, clean vegetables and fruits, ideally from the farmer's market. But I've also been eating lots of rice-noodle soup packs that cost 89 cents.What about you? Have your eating habits changed?Image: Tim Boyle/Getty via
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The World Health Organization is hoping to drive down the cost of insulin by encouraging more generic drug makers to enter the market.

The organization hopes that by increasing competition for insulin, drug manufacturers will be forced to lower their prices.

Currently, only three companies dominate the world insulin market, Eli Lilly, Novo Nordisk and Sanofi. Over the past three decades they've worked to drastically increase the price of the drug, leading to an insulin availability crisis in some places.

In the United States, the price of insulin has increased from $35 a vial to $275 over the past two decades.

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Oh, irony. You are having quite a day.

The Italian region of Veneto, which includes the city of Venice, is currently experiencing historic flooding. Venice Mayor Luigi Brugnaro has stated that the flooding is a direct result of climate change, with the tide measuring the highest level in 50 years. The city (which is actually a collection of 100 islands in a lagoon—hence its famous canal streets), is no stranger to regular flooding, but is currently on the brink of declaring a state of emergency as waters refuse to recede.

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The Planet

Since the International Whaling Commission banned commercial whaling in 1986, whale populations have been steadily recovering. However, whales in the wild still face other dangers. In the summer of 2018, four Russian companies that supply aquariums with marine animals captured almost 100 beluga whales and killer whales (aka orcas). After a public outcry, those whales are swimming free as the last of the captive whales have been released, the first time this many captured whales have been released back into the wild.

In late 2018 and early 2019, a drone captured footage of 11 orcas and 87 beluga whales crammed into holding pens in the Srednyaya Bay. The so-called "whale jail" made headlines, and authorities began to investigate their potentially illegal capture.

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The Planet
via Twitter / Bye,Bye Harley Davidson

The NRA likes to diminish the role that guns play in fatal shootings by saying, "Guns don't kill people, people kill people."

Which is the same logic as, "Hammers don't build roofs, people build roofs." No duh. But it'd be nearly impossible to build a roof without a hammer.

So, shouldn't the people who manufacture guns share some responsibility when they are used for the purpose they're made: killing people? Especially when the manufacturers market the weapon for that exact purpose?

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via Gage Skidmore / Flickr

The 2020 election is a year away, but Donald Trump has some serious ground to cover if he doesn't want it to be a historical blowout.

A Washington Post- ABC News poll released Tuesday shows that Trump loses by double digits to the top Democratic contenders.

Vice President Joe Biden (56%-39%); Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts (54%-39%); Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont (56%-39%); South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg (52%-41%); and Sen. Kamala Harris of California (52%-41%) all have big leads over the president.

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