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 Post subject: Re: "The unpalatable truth about quinoa"
PostPosted: Sat Jan 19, 2013 8:32 pm 
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That's generally how Care2 works. They rip articles from The Huffington Post and present them as fact.

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 Post subject: Re: "The unpalatable truth about quinoa"
PostPosted: Sun Jan 20, 2013 8:14 am 
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Liz_D wrote:
I haven't read the Guardian article, but Care2.com also has used a few paragraphs from it to tell us that The More You Love Quinoa, The More You Hate Bolivians. I personally don't know any. I just checked the bag I got from Costco, it's Bolivian, so must be true. They didn't mention vegans, but a few of the comments did that I could get through did.


I finally unsubscribed from care2...while many of their posts would be something I would agree with, so many more were based on completely unsubstantiated claims or downright political spin of actual events.

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 Post subject: Re: "The unpalatable truth about quinoa"
PostPosted: Sun Jan 20, 2013 9:48 pm 
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alden wrote:
I finally unsubscribed from care2...while many of their posts would be something I would agree with, so many more were based on completely unsubstantiated claims or downright political spin of actual events.

Yeah, I've unsubscribed as of today, I hardly ever read them unless they were 'happy animal rescue' stories anyway.

Oh, and aparently we can expect to hear about this for a lot longer, the UN has declared 2013 as"The International Year of Quinoa".


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 Post subject: Re: "The unpalatable truth about quinoa"
PostPosted: Sun Jan 20, 2013 11:00 pm 
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The thing is, let's just say we all are responsible, isn't it then the place of the government to step in and do something like subsidize it to help keep supplies for sale locally? The US government of course, takes this process way too far, but it is a basic duty of government to ensure that it's populace has a safe, steady food supply.

I admit to only doing a half asparagus skim on the article, but how is it a bad thing that a relatively poor country has something to sell that other countries want? How the logistics of that are handled is up to the country and involved parties, not the end consumers. I'm not talking about abusive practices here like only buying fair trade, where the consumer absolutely has a responsibility to support the most humane product available.

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 Post subject: Re: "The unpalatable truth about quinoa"
PostPosted: Mon Jan 21, 2013 4:48 am 
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this article turned up in my fb newsfeed today and it really counters many of the points made in the unpalatable truth article. interesting reading. http://bearwitnesspictures.blogspot.com ... uinoa.html


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 Post subject: Re: "The unpalatable truth about quinoa"
PostPosted: Mon Jan 21, 2013 9:44 am 
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Speaking of vegan baiting in the mainstream press, here's the Telegraph (right wing rag so not exactly pro veg at the best of times) getting in on the fun too - http://www.telegraph.co.uk/foodanddrink/9814625/Vegan-violence-is-enough-to-turn-me-off-a-diet-of-lentils.html

The writer of this piece is Christina Odone, a well known religious loon who often pops up in the media in the UK.


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 Post subject: Re: "The unpalatable truth about quinoa"
PostPosted: Wed Jan 23, 2013 11:14 pm 
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here we go:

"Eating quinoa may harm Bolivian farmers, but eating meat harms us all
Don't blame vegans – the global demand for meat both perpetuates hunger and exacerbates climate change"

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree ... ers-hunger

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 Post subject: Re: "The unpalatable truth about quinoa"
PostPosted: Wed Jan 30, 2013 1:29 am 
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I posted the article to my own facebook when I first read it, along with a link to White Mountain Farms (a Colorado-based company that sells quinoa) I wasn't so concerned with it being poorly written and a jab at vegans as much as it just immediately horrified me that I (along with plenty of omnivores and gluten free friends) could be unwittingly contributing to unnecessary suffering. I don't buy tomatoes that aren't locally grown anymore either after reading about the tomato slave trade. Needless to say, I was thrilled to find out that the quinoa article was bogus, but I don't think people expressing concern about it is a bad thing. It's fairly naive to attack vegans first, but c'est la vie, ya know? I'm just glad there are well written articles in response, and it led me to find out about relatively local organic quinoa, so I'm happy about the whole thing.


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 Post subject: Re: "The unpalatable truth about quinoa"
PostPosted: Wed Jan 30, 2013 4:54 pm 
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tomato slave trade? I think it is hard to be 'perfect' and I think we can try to do our best. Laborers who pick fruit (including berries, tomatoes, etc) are often exposed to harmful amounts of pesticides and that occurs in the US. Obviously we should try to be conscientious of the things we buy and try to do better but the system in general is imperfect.

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 Post subject: Re: "The unpalatable truth about quinoa"
PostPosted: Wed Jan 30, 2013 5:08 pm 
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linanil wrote:
tomato slave trade?

Not hyperbole, unfortunately. http://thecnnfreedomproject.blogs.cnn.c ... o-slavery/

ETA: We had a thread about this previously. viewtopic.php?f=9&t=11689&p=311950
I see you posted in that thread so you're obviously aware of it already, sorry! I took what you said to mean that you weren't familiar.

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 Post subject: Re: "The unpalatable truth about quinoa"
PostPosted: Wed Jan 30, 2013 7:45 pm 
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b.vicious wrote:
linanil wrote:
tomato slave trade?

Not hyperbole, unfortunately. http://thecnnfreedomproject.blogs.cnn.c ... o-slavery/

ETA: We had a thread about this previously. viewtopic.php?f=9&t=11689&p=311950
I see you posted in that thread so you're obviously aware of it already, sorry! I took what you said to mean that you weren't familiar.


No worries. I think the article we discussed didn't detail it as well as the cnn.com article. Yeah, basically any fruit/nut/etc that is picked by hand, often utilizes immigrant farmers who are paid a low wage and are threatened with being deported if they don't comply. It is a systemic problem and goes well beyond tomatoes. I saw a lot of this in California. My 'favorite' was driving by a field that said "Danger, pesticides, keep away" and you see immigrant farmers in the field.

And I'm not sure 'buying local' helps the situation since it occurs all over the US.

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 Post subject: Re: "The unpalatable truth about quinoa"
PostPosted: Thu Jan 31, 2013 4:01 am 
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I buy tomatoes from a local hydro farm at the moment. I was pretty scarred by what I heard on NPR one day about workers being beaten within an inch of their lives after trying to escape a farm in Florida, not to mention babies being born with birth defects because of course pregnant women couldn't get leave. I'm not trying to be perfect. I screw up constantly, but as a vegan, I do my best not to support things that violate the rights of any animals, including human animals.


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 Post subject: Re: "The unpalatable truth about quinoa"
PostPosted: Thu Jan 31, 2013 4:39 am 
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Buying local definitely doesn't mean good conditions. One of my GED students works at a chichi winery in a ritzy part of Virginia horse and wine country. He is 19 with a great work ethic and has the job just because he grew up knowing the owner's son. Almost all the other workers are Mexican. They live on the property in a crappy dormitory type deal and are only there for the labor periods. They go back home in the off season. It's all above board, and doesn't sound really abusive, but it's really hard work, for awful hours, bad conditions with few frills or comforts, and the pay is not good. I can imagine precious few of my students working that hard. The thing is though, are these workers in a position to complain if asked to work 16 hrs to get the grapes in when time is critical? Are they going to ask for break time to go warm up when working outdoors in the cold wind? They don't have a lot of bargaining power at all if they want to send money home to their families. Plus. Once the season starts, they are pretty much stuck until they can afford to go home again.

From what I've been told, I wouldn't equate this with the horror conditions in the articles, but it's also not a shiny, happen situation either since the workers are clearly exploited. With the price of the products sold by this business, they could easily pay reasonable wages and offer better conditions. But nobody makes them do it, so they don't.

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 Post subject: Re: "The unpalatable truth about quinoa"
PostPosted: Thu Jan 31, 2013 6:59 am 
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Annie Bananie wrote:
I'm not trying to be perfect. I screw up constantly, but as a vegan, I do my best not to support things that violate the rights of any animals, including human animals.

this was how i came to veganism (after seeing how illegal migrant workers were abused in the meat packing trade, especially by companies like Tyson, and then getting maimed in accidents, or killed, and having no protection since they were illegal workers and were just thrown out). I think we all do the best we can, and we all make the choices that work the best for us.

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 Post subject: Re: "The unpalatable truth about quinoa"
PostPosted: Thu Jan 31, 2013 7:08 am 
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And my point really wasn't 'go ahead, buy tomatoes wherever'. My point is often news articles focus on one thing that may drive people into a frenzy (like the quinoa article). But there are systemic issues within farming whether it is underpaid workers/forced slavery for things like bananas/chocolate/coffee in foreign countries, hand picked fruits/vegetables/nuts in our own, or changing the economy of a different country due to new demand to a crop. I think doing our best is all we can do but for some things, who knows?

Fair trade has helped with some of the coffee/chocolate/banana stuff but what do we do within our own country? What can we do? I wish I knew.

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 Post subject: Re: "The unpalatable truth about quinoa"
PostPosted: Thu Jan 31, 2013 7:14 am 
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linanil wrote:
for some things, who knows?

i think that's really true- even fair trade, i don't think necessarily even sees the whole picture sometimes. we have carnauba wax and açaí here - two things that people can voluntarily pick and even get paid well. But the wax causes respiratory issues for those who work with it, and nearly every person who picks açaí gets bitten by the Chagas beetle and will have an early death from heart failure. but it's brought income to a place that is pretty much bereft of other products and income. Can I buy it in good conscience? it's not always clear cut.

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 Post subject: Re: "The unpalatable truth about quinoa"
PostPosted: Thu Jan 31, 2013 11:19 am 
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And even with fair trade, many farmers/workers are still paid in terms of hundreds of dollars per year, versus thousands of dollars. Fair trade helps prevent the forced labor you see in a lot of tropical crops. It'd be nice if there was something beyond fair trade that would not only give someone a living wage in their country but also improve themselves.

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 Post subject: Re: "The unpalatable truth about quinoa"
PostPosted: Thu Jan 31, 2013 3:12 pm 
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My husband, who used to be part of a fairtrade group, has told me that a company can claim fair trade as long as it can't be proven that the product is not fair trade. In other words, if they don't know, they can pretend it is. My reaction to this article was 1) why are vegans being blamed for this? and 2) Isn't this true of pretty much every food we eat in one way or another? It's good to bring up these problems, but it's so hard to do anything about them on a personal basis. There is just no way of knowing where every ingredient in all your food comes from and how it is farmed. It is a problem that is so much bigger than individual people and it really needs to be addressed at a higher political level. It all comes down to what I always say is wrong with the world: People care more about money than they do about other people. It is the farm owners and the third-world country leaders that need to start caring more about people and less about their bottom line.


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 Post subject: Re: "The unpalatable truth about quinoa"
PostPosted: Sun Feb 17, 2013 4:08 pm 
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So this article was shared to me and it seems far more balance: http://m.guardiannews.com/environment/2 ... omplicated

On one hand, it is fair trade and giving farmers good prices for their crop. The bad is that means they're expanding the farmland. The good is that quinoa is being grown more and more in other countries. The bad is that could collapse the economy.

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 Post subject: Re: "The unpalatable truth about quinoa"
PostPosted: Thu Feb 21, 2013 1:15 pm 
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And omni's aren't to blame for clear cutting forests in other countries to raise cattle, whose beef the natives also cannot afford to eat?
if you want to expose food injustice from capitalism do it properly. Don't blame a minority group in order to divert blame from the party that is really to blame: Big Agriculture and Capitalism.


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 Post subject: Re: "The unpalatable truth about quinoa"
PostPosted: Tue Feb 26, 2013 10:56 am 
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Shy Mox wrote:
So this article was shared to me and it seems far more balance: http://m.guardiannews.com/environment/2 ... omplicated

On one hand, it is fair trade and giving farmers good prices for their crop. The bad is that means they're expanding the farmland. The good is that quinoa is being grown more and more in other countries. The bad is that could collapse the economy.


I also was very interested in this update article as being significantly more nuanced than the original.

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