Monday, June 22, 2009

Growing locally; fresh food

Eating locally is a proposal that encourages people to grow food in their own place. People who eat locally have the chance to buy fresh food; in addition, if people do this, they contribute to protecting the environment from the greenhouse gas emission caused by vehicles that transport this food from one distant place to another. Buying fruits from other countries does not make too much sense. People have local land that they can prepare with organic products and they also can grow seasonally, there is not a better example of satisfying local taste than getting fresh food grown locally. Eating locally leads people to taking care of the environment, and not using chemical substances in farming, and by doing this it is possible to avoid many diseases caused by the quality of food that people eat today

Do you believe that growing our own food locally is a good idea? Do you do it in your garden? Well, when people grow locally they receive many benefits, because the food is fresh, and affordable, and the environment is not affected.

Most of the food we eat today is produced in distant places. It means that the food we eat or buy today is not fresh, because it has been exposed to miles and miles of transportation. This transport is powered by fossil-based fuel, and it makes the food lose quality. “The locally grown label is part of retailers' push to tap into consumer desires for fresh and safe products that support small, local farmers and help the environment because they're not trucked so far. At least one consumer survey has showed that” (Schmit, 2008, para. 4).

          In other cases, this food is grown in large extension of land and farmers use a lot of chemicals to make sure that the production is going to be a hundred percent successful. They also use chemicals to protect it from plagues without keeping in mind that this could be harmful to the environment and human health. This process is not only used in agricultural activities but also in raising animals. According to Gunderson (2008), the apple industry in Massachusetts has declined and  at the same time it is demanding to grow locally because it reduces the effect of higher fuel costs on the price of imported apple.

For example, I remember that in the past people grew and raised animals in a natural way, and there were not so many diseases as there are today. The life expectation was longer. However, we can see today that people suffer from strange diseases because man in order to get better things has created things that affect the same man. One example of this is red meat. Red meat is the number one cause of rising cholesterol in human.

Another example is when people get fruit or vegetables in a supermarket. They think that they are getting all the nutrients that they offer, but that is not true, because they do not know where that fruit or vegetable was grown, or if it was grown naturally, maybe yes or maybe not. ”You have to be smarter, look harder for the best buy out there, and buying local just makes sense; it is fresher and you are supporting the local economy” (Abelson, 2008, para. 13).

The proposal of growing locally is to encourage people to use old techniques of growing, because this guarantees that food is 99% natural and nutritious without substances that make them grow fast. According to Smith (2008), training farmers and people to give a safe taste sample is a hope of some landowners. And customers can be sure about the product they are buying.

The proposal is not only leading to growing fruit and vegetables, but also it is leading to raising animals in a natural way. For example, a chicken that is raised in 45 days  cannot be good for human health, because it naturally takes almost one year to be ready for human consumption. Imagine what those substances that accelerate their growing in these animals can do in the human body. I think that this makes the same effect in one or another way. It makes the human body grow fast in the same way it makes animals do that.

The proposal is clear and there is evidence that the way food is grown today is affecting human health. And if we do not stop this, day by day more and more diseases will appear.

However, there are some people who say that eating locally only works in rural areas, because in urban areas there is not enough space. It would be good if they reconsider their position and encourage others to do it. They can start it in the garden. “If you like the idea of growing your own food locally, you’ll be surprised at how little room you need to make a start. Window boxes are the perfect place to start, providing a great location for your own herb garden. If you are lucky enough to have a larger plot of outdoor, whether in your garden or on an allotment, you can start” (Bath Chronicle, 2008, para. 6).    

 It is clear that growing locally is a good alternative, and people can start to do it in small spaces, or even in a big pot in their own house. They can use all the organic waste to fertilize the soil.

Buy Local. Eat Local. Grow your own. You’ve probably heard these phrases in restaurants, grocery stores and everywhere. Growing our own food is what people have advocated in some countries for a long time. Food that comes from a distant place is food that has lost quality and freshness because this food is exposed to emission gas during transportation. There are some advantages of growing locally. “There is plenty of anecdotal evidence to support the idea that flowers and food grown locally will last longer in storage and taste better than produce brought from interstate” (Healy, 2008, para. 4).

People who grow locally can guarantee fresh food. They found that they could grow three crops a year and deliver fresher food to their markets. The alternative can be used in both urban and rural areas; local food production also affords what could prove to be self-sufficiency in this world. “When we have the national food strategy, we will look at what comparative economy system we have in the country” (Daily Observer, 2008. Para. 9).

According to Knox  (2007), there is a benefit to buying and eating locally. It supports local farmers and the protection of the environment and other important agricultural lands. Buying local reduces the amount of pollution that would otherwise be produced from shipping products long distances. In areas suffering from extremely high unemployment rates, growing locally can be an important resource in the struggle to overcome poverty and hunger.

One thing good about growing locally is that in some states in the US the results have been very positive, because people have learned that by doing this. According to Abelson (2008) the state of California is one that has established this technique and many people are selling their products in local markets.

In some places getting organic food is very expensive because it comes from a distant place, and to solve this, the proposal of growing locally would reduce this high price you have to pay for organic food. At the beginning this could be a little difficult because you are not ready, and in addition it takes time, but when you get familiarized with it, you would find it interesting and you can involve the family.

The environment has been polluted for the amount of chemical that some farmers use to make the product grow fast and protect them from plagues. This chemical sometimes goes into the same food indirectly and it sometimes goes directly into other sources that the human beings use to fulfill their needs, for example, rivers and lakes. These two provide water for human consumption, and another resource that is affected the most by these chemicals is the air and air is part of the environment.

In conclusion, the practice of growing locally leads people to get fresher food, cheap, and contribute to protect the environment. In addition, this technique can be done is a small place. You do not need large land to grow, or need to move to the country. You just do it at home.


Abelson, J. (2008, June 23). At a store near you, Low-Mileage Lettuce - A farm's oil-stingy plan cuts out the cross-country trek for Boston Bound greens. The Boston Globe. Retrieved on June 15, 2009, from Lexis/Nexis database.

Bath Chronicle. (2008, October 16). Organic is the way to living more healthily. Retrieved on

June 15, 2009, From Lexis/Nexis database.

Gunderson, M.  (2008, September 28). Local apple growers losing ground. The Boston Globe. Retrieved on June 15, 2009, from Lexis/Nexis database.

Healy, P.  (2008, December 27). Time to grow your own

Hobart Mercury (Australia). Retrieved on June 15, 2009, from Lexis/Nexis database.

Knox J. (2007, February 15). Trend is natural-Eat local push touts to farmers, ecology and taste. The Boston Globe. North; p 1.  Retrieved on June 15, 2009, from Lexis/Nexis database.

The Daily Observer. (2008 August 1). Food crisis may hit one billion. African News. Retrieved on June 15, 2009, from Lexis/Nexis database.

Schmit, J. (2008, October 28). Locally grown' sounds great, but what does it mean? Sometimes it's from small farms nearby but not always. USA TODAY Retrieved on June 15, 2009, from Lexis/Nexis database.

Smith, R.  (2008, December 4). Local demand spurs vegetable production. Southwest Farm Press. Retrieved on June 15, 2009, from Lexis/Nexis database.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Wikipedia in academic life

What do you do if you have to write an essay about Colombia’s economy? Would you go to the library or you would go to find out things in the Internet? Many people around the world use the Internet sites, such as Wikipedia, to get the information. Other people, however, go to the library. The library gives them more opportunities to get accurate information. Why do people use Wikipedia in the Internet? It is good because it is easy to get it, it allows people to add or change information, and it gives you information immediately.

When there is not a library nearby in which you can get the information that you need, the best way is that you go to the Internet Wikipedia and get it. “This website has grown into an immensely useful resource for background information on a wide range of scientific subjects, and can serve as a quick reference for any number of scientific facts. What is perhaps more important and useful, though, is the extent to which Wikipedia also preserves the debate and discourse around a particular subject” (Parry, 2008, para, 6). When a university student works and studies at the same time one option to consult is in the Internet, an encyclopedia such as Wikipedia is a good choice.

People can add or change information that they discover later in other sources. Lengel (2006) says that many professionals have contributed to make Wikipedia big without any charge and people can use and update the information anytime they want. I think that this good, because it encourages people to put their investigation in this kind of encyclopedia.

In many of the cases graduate students do not have much time to be searching from library to library and with this option in the Internet they can research all the information in different fields and all they need quickly in only one library. “Wikipedia, the peer-produced online encyclopedia is a popular way for people to gain information” (Gapper, 2008, para. 1) Online information is something in fashion and we have to accept it. It is part of this new era or our daily life in almost all the fields.

Opponents argue that Wikipedia is not a good source because people can change the information in it anytime they want without any permission and revision of the person specialized in writing such as writers and editors, and this is going to affect the quality of the information. “While encyclopedias and journals are generally authored by scholar and peer reviewed before publication, Wikipedia articles can be written and edited by anyone at anytime, bringing about a debate over the risk of giving those outside academia the power to create and contribute to articles on scholarly subjects. Furthering this, users can add, alter, or remove information without registering a user account, giving those who visit the site free and anonymous reign over the available information” (Wolverton, 2007).

However, some people think that their argument is from the past and nowadays they have to change their mind and live in the present giving ideas of how to protect the information that is published in this encyclopedia. Maybe they do not have enough information about Wikipedia. Wikipedia gives free education to many people in parts of the world that do not have access to it. Wikipedia is actually a wonderful aid in many different situations.

Would you write an essay about Colombia’s economy with information from an Internet site, such as Wikipedia, or from a library? Some people today think that this is a good online resource to get information quickly and that people have to update it because this is a growing project and in ten years ahead the academic world will turns with the new technology.

To conclude I would like to say the following expression “Imagine a world where you can get the information you want in seconds without going anywhere.” That sounds fantastic. That is what Wikipedia is and  it will be in the future. This is a great help because everything will be based on technology and people have to learn and use it.


Gapper, J (2008, January 23), Wikipedia is popular but scary. Retrieved on June 5, 2009, from:

Lengel, J. (2006, July 02) Authority, Teaching with Technology, Retrieved on June 5, 2009, from:

Parry, D. (2008, February 11). Wikipedia and the new curriculum, Science Progress. Retrieved on June 5, 2009, from: –and-the-new-curriculum/

Wolverton, J. (2007, January 22) Wikipedia wisdom, Valley Vanguard. Retrieved on June 5, 2009, from:.


Monday, June 8, 2009

Fresh food

In Maia Filar’s article ‘Eat from your backyard; food grow locally is good for you and Mother Nature” she states that it is environmentally and healthily beneficial to eat local food. The presence of farmers’ markets in various areas makes eating green food an easy matter. For example, an organization named Food Share, located in Toronto, is taking actions to make good food not only available, but also affordable. According to Debbie Field, the executive director of this organization, health is their priority, and then multiculturalism, affordability, and access to local and organic food whenever possible.  Various programs have been established in some Canadian schools with the goal to teach students about eating healthy food. The author argues that producing organic food is both cheap and environmentally sound. Moreover, in an effort to protect the environment, we had better think thoroughly about using biodegradable materials even to carry away our food. Finally, Maia contends that it is a good idea to eat food that tastes good and also available during the year throughout The Greater Toronto Area.

         Eating local foods sounds interesting and advantageous for three reasons. Those reasons include their freshness, their affordability, and their positive impacts on the environment.

When people eat locally, they probably are not exposed to disease because this food is grown naturally with organic fertilizer and it has good flavor. (Robert Knox).says that when you eat locally this means governing your own diet. He also says that shipping long distance food tends to make it mealy and flavorless.

Affordability, when food is grown locally you do not have to worry about the quality because the transportation of this food is less than the one brought from distant places. According to (USA Today, 2007) “Produce travels 1,500 miles on average from far to groceries, and much of the transport is powered by fossil-based fuels, and buys locally grown food, all that energy is saved, and the produce is fresher.

Growing locally also has a positive impact in the environment both economical and physical. Economical because this is going to open the opportunity to create new jobs and physical because the ways that people grow food is not going to affect the environment. All the fertilizer for this purpose would be organic. That is to say, from the same nature.

To conclude I think that growing locally is an alternative for having fresh food all the time without the risk to affect or pollute the environment. In addition I also think that it is very important to teach the generation about the benefits of growing locally.



Filar, M. (2008, October 22) Eat from your backyard; Food grown locally is good for you and Mother Nature. The Toronto Sun. retrieved from Lexis/Nexis database.

Knox. R.  Families commit to fresh approach. The Globe News. pg 1. Retrieved from Lexis/Nexis database

Prince, R. (2007 October 6). Shop local. The best of regional British food. The Daily Telegram London.section; weekend; food and drink; Pg 9. Retrieved from Lexis/Nexis database

Severson, K.   Getting that locally grown flavor with fuss but not muss. National Desk; p 1 Section A Retrieved from Lexis/Nexis database.

Vallis, M. (2008, January 03). Cashing in on local crops. News, in Meaford, Ont; p 1A Retrieved from Lexis/Nexis database

Velders, C (2007 July02). Supermarkets go local, capturing Romance of freshness.  Supermarket News. p.  2 Retrieved from Lexis/Nexis database








Monday, June 1, 2009

‘EATING LOCALLY” movements/farmer’s markets

In Simon Webster’s article, “Still a long way to go in travel debate; Food miles;” he maintains that food grown locally can affect the environment more. Transporting food is one part of the environment problem. For example, he says that British people prefer more dairy products from New Zealand to those from their own country because they are natural and farmers do not use a lot of chemicals for raising cows. Next, he says that in Australia calling local food environmentally superior is illegal to a local law and people believe that the shorter the distance food travels the quality would be superior. He also says that transportation from distant places would affect food, because it is exposed to greenhouse gas emission in a high percentage. The author concludes by saying that people demand that governments and retailers should ensure that consumers know how long this food has traveled by labeling in the package, so in this way people would keep in mind the environmental impact that it would cause. The group also wants that in the package label appears not only carbon emission but also water use.

Today, all over the world, eating locally is a desire. Everyone wants to buy food of good quality, so many people think that the best way to solve this is growing nearby. They believe that if they grow by themselves they will eat food more natural and fresh. Why do people want to grow locally? First, they encourage others to shop in local markets. Second, it cuts down the use of artificial substances. Third, it reduces the long distance transportation and finally, it is good for the environment. (Webster, 2008)

Encouraging others to buy in local markets makes people think in the good quality of the food and the benefit it brings for the health.

Growing locally gives people the opportunity to use organic products, which are something, that comes from the same land and it is not going to affect health in any way.

Bringing food from a distance is a problem because this is exposing it to the greenhouse gases that these vehicles emit.

Growing locally is not harmful because farmers are not going to use any substances that damage the environment.

Eating locally, then, is good for the environment, good for people who like fresher foods, and good for farmers and food merchants, but it is not so good, for fast-food restaurant chains. (Mahoney,2007)

In conclusion, People think that growing locally is very beneficial because they invite others to buy fresh food. They grow without the use of chemical but organic products. Transportation makes food lose quality because it sometimes comes from distant places. Then the environment would not be affected. That is Because they would locally take the needed measures to prevent this; in addition, I think that eating locally is good because consumers have the opportunity to talk with the market’s owner, farmers and sellers if they do not agree with the quality of the product and at the same time they can be witnesses of the process of farning.

One way that people could have sustainable food is by growing it in the place where they live.

Natural and healthy food is something that concerns many people today. They say that much of the food in markets and stores has traveled many miles and this affects the quality of the food because it receives much greenhouse emission gases.


Mahoney. J. (2007, August 09). I’ll have to give up yak, Italian dressing, B. C. salmon to follow the eat-local mantra. The Hamilton Spectator. Retrieve from Google

Urbani, D. (2008 September 09). Organic farm in right place, time: Owner also focuses on seed crops. Peninsula Daily News. Retrieve from Google

Webster, S. (2008, November 12). Still a long way to go in travel: Food miles, Sydney Morning Herald (Australia). Retrieved from lexis-news database

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Let’s save our planet from burning.

According to Stephen Leahy in his article ‘Climate Change: Chemical Lobby Weakening Ozone Treaty” the ozone hole over the Antarctica is getting bigger. For this reason, people are suffering from skin cancer and many of them have even died each year that goes by. Consequently, the United Nations Secretary-General said that it was very important to join actions in order to stop this and give a solution to this problem, so nations like Argentina, the US and Canada got together to sign the Montreal Protocol to avoid this problem’s becoming bigger. This is an event that experts in this field have foretold since some years ago. The cause of this problem is the use of some greenhouse gases like CFC, HCFCs and HFCs the agreement in the protocol has not been successful because many countries have not put in practice the rules designed in that treaty. However, the nations are getting together in order to convince more countries to join the cause and give a solution to this problem by using other alternative refrigerants. Finally, the author said that a good agreement could help us to avoid more air pollution and avoid endangering some species. It also can give benefit in health, social and economic aspects.

The ozone layer is a situation that concerns all the countries, because in every country there are factories, cars and other refrigerants that emit greenhouse gases. However, it is very important to get into the following steps. Government must enact an international treaty. Countries all over the world have to control chlorine compounds and monitor the planet atmosphere, and companies have to be involved and cooperate with this cause.

Governments must enact an international treaty, like the Montreal Protocol, to ban ozone-destroying gases such as CFCs, found in aerosol cans and air conditioners.

Countries worldwide have to control the production and use of ozone-eating chlorine compounds, and the Earth's atmosphere will be recovering from damages.

Monitoring our planet's atmosphere is an international priority and every country has to do it to avoid future disasters in the world.

Big and smaller companies have to take actions in order to produce equipment that does not affect the ozone layer.

To conclude, if the countries follow these steps the problem of the ozone layer hole will be reduced and there will be a smaller possibility of air pollution, endangered species and less risk of health problems or social and economic turmoil.

POLLACK ANDREW. (1991, May 15) ‘Moving Fast to Protect Ozone Layer’ The New York Times on section D page 1
Stephen Leahy. (2009, May 19) ‘CLIMATE CHANGE: Chemical Lobby Weakening Ozone Treaty” Inter Press Service News Agency. .

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Colombia's garbage a problem

The environment is a topic that concerns to people all around the world. One of the things that affect this is the garbage collection because people are enough educated to treat this. This problem is common in almost all under developed countries and my country is not an exception. One of the major problems that my country is facing today is the collection of the garbage. Garbage is thrown in everywhere in the land because most of the people unknown that this can affect their life in the future. Though, the government has implanted some programs to teach people about recycling, these have not been enough because most people do not pay attention to this. For example, one of the main rivers is very polluted today because people and some main factories throw chemicals disposes, garbage and everything that they can into it. They think that this is not going to affect because the river is big and long. Then, the stream takes everything far away from where they are living. However, we can see that who suffer the most are people who live in side and side of this river. They use this water for cooking, drinking, washing, agricultural activities and everything, Children are the most affected because they belong to poor families and their families do not have another choice than use the water and resources that the river offers.

I understand that educate people is very hard when they have lived in this situation for years and from generation to generation. However, I think that government has to use different strategies to make aware and factories of the consequences of throwing garbage in inadequate places like rivers and forest.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Pirates versus Ninjas

In the United States and in England pirates have been very popular. They believe these are people who fought and stole ships in the sea. People say that they are brave warriors. They are very scared. They covered one of their eyes and they sometimes had a hook in one of their hand and feather in the hat. They used a gun or sword. They liked valuable treasures. In the past, they moved from one place to another in searching of these treasures. They were so dangerous that they did not trust each other. One well-known pirate is The Pirate Morgan. He traveled through the Caribbean Sea. He found many treasures. He killed many native people and he got their treasures. Now day there are not only pirates in the sea but also there are in land and in the space. In contrast, ninja is Japanese practice used in the 14th century. They were dressed in all- black suit, or they sometime dressed in the same way as a samurai. People used this practice to defend themselves from robbers. They used different weapons and trick to fight the enemy. They used gunpowder and smoke bomb and firecrackers and small sword and sand. Ninja often wrapped cloth, leather, or wore metal gloves around their hands to avoid breaking their knuckles and immobilizing them. Today pirates and ninjas both are in the movie as science fiction.
According to the information above, I think that ninjas would win the fight, because they have more weapons and tricks. They use more the mind than the pirates. Pirates are ruder and they are prepared to fight in the sea and ninja are prepared to fight everywhere; in addition, ninjas are short and this is an advantage, pirates are tall.