Good morning, all. Not much to say on the garden, weather or needlework so let's see what is going on in the world.
I thought that the 'extension' of the Kyoto agreements was going to be a toothless measure. This Huffington Post article reinforces that thought. I also noticed that most of the reduction in emissions that allowed the industrialized nations 'as a whole' to meet targets are attributed to economic and political conditions not likely to repeat (i.e., the collapse of the Soviet empire and the global recession).
Most of us have heard the story of the Mary Celeste, the ship that was found off the Azores in 1872 fully rigged and provisioned but no sign of the crew. Evidently that wasn't the end of the ship as this story recounts. Thirteen years and 17 owners later, she figured in a major insurance scam. Poor ship had bad luck all the way around.
We have something in our refrigerator we haven't had in a long time--real butter. One reason we decided to get it was a coupon that took the price of a pound down to near what the pound of margarine would have been. However, our recent experience buying margarine at two of our local supermarkets provided even stronger incentive. About two weeks ago Mom picked up a couple of packages of margarine and complained about an oily feel. When we looked at the container so much oil had seeped past the wrapping and the box to blur the print on the box. And the large box the individual packages had been shipped in were coated on all sides with oil. Somewhere along the line the shipment had been exposed to higher temperatures than they should have--high enough to soften and partially melt the margarine. Since then the packages have been better but still show signs of softening and partial melting. Oh, we examined the packages of butter very well but they appeared all right.
And I got a bit of an education in pancake syrups this morning. We let out supply get low so I stopped at the supermarket since we are having pancakes for supper tonight. Just looking at the product on the shelf you would think we had a marvelous choice of brands of maple syrup. Well, only two brands were actual maple syrup. The rest, from the most expensive to the least and from the major name brands to store and generic brands, were all high fructose corn syrup with coloring and (unnamed) flavorings. The real maple syrup brands were twice the price of the others. But I decided to get the real thing.
Continuing on the food theme, Blisstree posted this commentary on the large number of food recalls this nearly ended year. The 'lessons' the author says we should have learned reflect much of the thinking here. We buy local produce/product when we can. We buy the least processed product we can. In the process we have eliminated many of the sources of BPA we were once exposed to.
And then I found this OpEdNews piece evaluating aspects of the propaganda/myth of GM crops. Two of the most often repeated justifications for GM seeds are increased yield and decreased pesticide use. Evidently, according to independent studies, the fail on both counts. On these failures alone GM crops ought to have disappeared from the market place. Unfortunately, some very big companies have tied up a lot of money in developing them and want to continue making money on them. And it doesn't look like the safety issue will tip the balance. Too bad. Grist has also picked up on this topic and provides more damning details.