Thursday, July 26, 2012

The Politics of Food/Parent Society

During my early career as a music therapist, my social consciousness was shaped by discussions about Nestle food products in less economically developed countries in the 1970s. Nestle makes many things children love to eat, especially chocolate, baby foods, cereal, and cookies.
The problem for many of us was Nestle’s encouraging families to wean infants from breastfeeding to infant formula made by Nestle. We know that breast milk has great nutritional value for young infants. The Nestle formula had to be mixed with water — which may be contaminated in some poorer countries — and required fuel to boil the water for the formula itself and sterilization of bottles. In response to Nestle’s infant formula campaign, many socially aware people around the world boycotted all Nestle products, including chocolate milk, in hopes that Nestle would change its ways. That boycott continues to this very day.
Food and politics remain part and parcel of modern family life around the world. We buy food at the farmer’s market, neighborly country store, health food store, or supermarket. The owners of these establishments earn a profit from our purchases, reinvesting that money in their business and community. Sometimes the owner contributes to a social or political cause dear to the heart of the owner. There are those owners who also understand that supporting a candidate or cause is a politically savvy move.
Read more on:

Friday, July 6, 2012

Fathers' Day

My first blog with on LGBTQIA parenting.  Engjoy!

Fathers’ Day
Brett Webb-Mitchell
            Twenty-four years ago, my family status went from “married, no children,” to “married, with one child.” My daughter’s birth in a hospital in London, England was a gift to her mom and I. We celebrated her birth with enthusiasm, complete with flowers, balloons, and Guinness Stout (it was England, after all). My daughter’s birth was my inauguration into the lesser-celebrated holiday of “Fathers’ Day.”  As best as I can figure it out, husbands and fathers who were envious of Mothers’ Day created Fathers’ Day at the turn of the last century.  Call it father’s envy.
            I remember holding my sweet daughter close to my body, her small arms and legs moving slightly because she was wrapped tightly in large, warmed blankets.  Deep inside me I knew that her life was going to be nothing like my life, and I almost wanted to apologize to her then and there.  I wistfully told her to be ready for the ride of her life. While straight white parents in a middle-class suburb of Portland, Oregon, raised me, my daughter would have a life that was radically different than mine. It all has to do with who I am: at the time of her birth, I lived two lives: one life was as a husband, father, Presbyterian pastor, doctoral student and rising scholar who was trying to live out his parents dreams for his success. The other life was one in the closet as a gay man who lived a life filled with apprehension and an overwhelming sense of self-doubt.

Read more on://