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Bolivia: A Country With No McDonald’s

Bolivia: A Country With No McDonald’s | Sinica Geography 400 | Scoop.it
What America can learn from one of the most sustainable food nations on Earth.

Via Seth Dixon
Brett Sinica's insight:

If only the United States could embrace this lifestyle more.  Sure there are farmers markets and other sources of food, but the mighty supermarket and food giants have completely taken over this country.  A typical American wants quick and easy, but most of the time that comes with a price to pay.  The mass produced food in the U.S. is the majority food source for many citizens, the foods likely are modified and have come from all over the world.  Sure they are cheaper than a freshly grown products from a farmers market for example, but we as a nation and society let it come to this.  The U.S. has land in variable climates to sustain itself year-round, but that isn't the cost friendly option for right now.  Everything seems to be right now, not looking into the future.  It is almost as though the country is too far down the road of industrial giants and their mass produced products, that backtracking to a time where we actually produced our own goods is out of the question.  The least we can do at this point in time is try to buy local and help sustain what we already have before it's built on or forgotten about.

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Lena Minassian's curator insight, February 13, 11:29 AM

I absolutely love this! Here is a country that takes a lot of pride in eating fresh foods. They do not have any fast food chains because Bolivians prefer their traditional foods just the way they are. They still eat hamburgers but prefer to buy them from women who make them instead of a McDonald's. Bolivians value that interaction and relationship with the people surrounding them and that genuinely makes food more enjoyable. Their food relationships do not involve money but the effects of what these fresh foods can do for them. 

Felix Ramos Jr.'s curator insight, February 28, 5:50 PM

This is a fine example of people looking out for one another.  It might be easier to industrialize their food market but it's more admirable to preserve tradition, help small indigenous business, and try your best at making the country more healthy.  I applaud them for doing this.

Brian Wilk's curator insight, March 22, 3:33 PM

I think I might want to move to Bolivia one day! Reciprocity is often a term used for corporate culture; you but from me and I'll buy from you type of relationship. This is still true in Bolivia only they do it on a much more personal level. Farmers share equipment, they share crops, seeds and develop a rapport not easily undone by corporations such as McDonald's. Bolivia's multiple micro-climates allow it to grow a wide variety of foods for their citizens, thus making it easier to trade within their circle of neighborhood farmers. "I'll trade you ten pounds of potatoes for five pounds of Quinoa."

The article goes on to state that Bolivians do indeed love their hamburgers, a handful of Subway's and Burger King's still do business there, but the heritage of picking a burger from a street vendor has been passed down by generations. These cholitas, as they are called, sell their fare in the streets of Bolivia and this type of transaction is not easily duplicated by large corporations. I have added Bolivia to my bucket list...

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The world map of chocolate (made out of chocolate)

The world map of chocolate (made out of chocolate) | Sinica Geography 400 | Scoop.it
You may be focussing on chocolate over the weekend - but where does it come from? A global trade analysed. In chocolate (this is what maps are made for!

 

What is the geography of chocolate like?  There is a dark side (no pun intended) to the production of cocoa in many places such as West Africa. 


Via Seth Dixon
Brett Sinica's insight:

We all love chocolate.  We all love diamonds and jewels.  In western worlds, these items are easily come by in grocery stores and elsewhere, but what got them there was a challenge.  People in poorer tropical regions around the world worked to get the raw goods of these delicate items we all enjoy.  The payout difference is immense from cocoa to chocolate.  It is sometimes a very crooked market where if it wasn't for the hard working people who get the raw ingredients, chocolate as we know it wouldn't be the same.

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Crissy Borton's curator insight, December 11, 2012 9:53 PM

Very cool map. I have never really paid attention to where my chocolate came from before. 

ethne staniland's curator insight, May 16, 2013 11:33 AM

Interesting for our KS1 chocolate topic.

Edelin Espino's curator insight, December 5, 2014 11:06 AM

I hope the production keep growing up. We need more chocolate and specially in Africa. 

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Break Dancing, Phnom Penh-Style

Break Dancing, Phnom Penh-Style | Sinica Geography 400 | Scoop.it
A former gang member from Long Beach, California, teaches break dancing to at-risk youth in Cambodia.

 

This video is a great example of cross-cultural interactions in the era of globalization.  Urban youth culture of the United States is spread to Cambodia through a former refugee (with a personally complex political geography).  What geographic themes are evident in this video? How is geography being reshaped and by what forces?


Via Seth Dixon
Brett Sinica's insight:

Off subject, but I recently started watching "My Name is Earl", a tv show which is based around karma and redoing wrongs in life.  On a serious note, people who have done wrong in their lives to turn around and try bettering themselves and others around them is very admirable.  When people normally think of helping the poor, its ship them some food and clothes and that's that.  It's much more than that though, you have to help them help themselves.  What "KK" has done has brought something he loves, and shares it with youth that can gain interest from it.  Breakdancing acts as a foundation to further learning such as books and computers, this leads to improvement and long-term effects.

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James Hobson's curator insight, December 4, 2014 8:34 PM

(Southeast Asia topic 7)

A gang member who gets deported and ends up being a positive role model for kids? I didn't see that coming!

This video is similar to the Scoop of the introduction of skateboarding to the Afghanistan. Both offer something foreign as a tool for both betterment and enjoyment, and this seems to be exactly what kids in these regions need. Though perhaps on a micro-scale, this can be argued as an example of globalization. And in this case, it seems pretty obvious that its impacts are for the better.

Jacob Crowell's curator insight, December 15, 2014 4:10 PM

In Cambodia, this previous gang member has found a way of taking kids off the street and teaching them how to break dance. This is interesting because it is a cultural solution to crime. This man was deported to Cambodia and with him brought break dancing. In doing so this cultural mixing is used as a way to teach at risk youth a hobby that keeps them away from crime and drugs.

Samuel D'Amore's curator insight, December 17, 2014 4:40 PM

Very similar to the previous cricket article this video shows another way those in areas of poverty and crime are pulled together and united. In this case instead of a sport it is break dancing. This dancing amongst former gang members helps to relieve tension form the area and also hopefully lead them to achieve better and loftier things. By shifting the priorities of people away from harm to themselves and others and replacing it with an activity which focuses on self improvement and community.

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Worker safety in China

This is an incredible video because of the shocking footage of blatant disregard for worker safety.  This can lead to an interesting discussion concerning how China has been able to have its economy grow.  What other ways has China (or Chinese companies) been "cutting corners?"  How does that give them a competitive edge on the global industrial market?     


Via Seth Dixon
Brett Sinica's insight:

This guy is crazy! This just happened to be captured on video but who knows the other stunts that workers go through in the country.  The demand and speed of the jobs to be completed don't always take in the safety of the workers.  The regulations that are set in place aren't enforced strongly, if at all, which is why you can see this guy dangling from a building.  Yet at the end of the day, the job has to be done, and surely this man will not be going home with a bonus check even though he risked his life to keep up with the demanding pace set for the demolition job.

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James Hobson's curator insight, November 21, 2014 9:11 PM

(East Asia topic 6)
This video signifies two distinct characteristics of labor in China. First and most obviously is the disregard of safety. One could argue in the past that risks such as these were accepted by workers since China was a largely less-developed country with fewer employment opportunities; however, being a recent video and China  currently making exponential economic and developmental ground, this is definitely one of those 'things which shouldn't be happening'. With all of the nation's so-called "improvements," why are none discernible  here?

  Secondly, traits such as subservient respect are valued more in nations such as China. It is possible that if these workers hadn't have taken the risk and not completed the job, they would've been fired and had a somewhat 'tainted' reputation for not following their orders to demolish the building.

  Though it seems that all industrializing nations have gone through issues of workers' safety and reasonable expectations, China should use it's late-coming as a plus by learning from others which have gone before it, and avoiding the personal, legal, and even some social issues which have been faced before.

Jacob Crowell's curator insight, December 15, 2014 1:52 PM

China's ability to sweep unjust working conditions under the rug has allowed it to grow economically at an impressive rate. Although I disagree with unsafe working conditions it is important to note the hypocrisy that developed countries display when advocating fro workers rights. In the US for example, our economic growth was contingent on slavery, child labor, and immigrant exploitation. Unfortunately if any developing country wants to compete with countries that are at the top of the global economic hegemony, they must cut the same corners those countries cut centuries ago. What needs to be done is find a way to show developing countries that growth is possible without abusing workers. 

Samuel D'Amore's curator insight, December 17, 2014 5:23 PM

This video borders on difficult to watch. While it is definitely amazing to watch it really flies in the face of standard American job safety operations. These workers are perched on top of this building with no harnesses balancing in the shovel of a back hoe while sawing loose great slabs of concrete. Luckily no one was injured in this video but frankly this video does a great job of showing how China has been able to grow so rapidly. A lack of interest in individual workers safety and a sole goal of progress, at the possible cost of its citizens.