Sinica Geography 400
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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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Felix Ramos Jr.'s curator insight, February 28, 2015 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, 2015 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...

Tanya Townsend's curator insight, October 30, 2015 10:28 PM

" Whats Bolivia doing so right that McDonalds couldn't make it there?"

Food is not a commericial space here.

Morales, speaking to the United Nations General Assembly in February, slammed U.S. fast-food chains, calling them a “great harm to humanity” and accusing them of trying to control food production globally.

“They impose their customs and their foods,” he said. “They seek profit and to merely standardize food, produced on a massive scale, according to the same formula and with ingredients which cause cancers and other diseases.”

Even still, with one of the lightest carbon footprints in the world, cherished food practices and progressive food sovereignty laws on the books, Bolivia could still be a model to the rest of the world—the United States especially—for a healthier, more community-based food system.

 

What an insightful read. I never thought of considering our food a s a "commercial space" but that is essentially exactly what it is. Our food has been extremely commercialized. Products our pushed through advertisement continuously. Most of the foods in America are not even real food but food products, factory made. This is absolutely a role model country for how food should be consumed.

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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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Gene Gagne's curator insight, December 1, 2015 9:15 PM

I thought this was a good video because it talks about a person who was probably living in the u.s. all his life and got hooked on the wrong side of the track and now forced to leave the u.s. The good news is he is seeing a country he was probably born in and never saw. he is able to bring with him some American culture such as breakdancing, music, his tattoos his English language. At the same time he is going to learn his culture.

Benjamin Jackson's curator insight, December 14, 2015 12:08 PM

this is a wonderful example of someone giving back to their adoptive [if ancestral] home. this is a good way to keep kids out of trouble while also introducing them to a new culture and style of dance.

Martin Kemp's curator insight, December 17, 2015 4:03 PM

this is great, making the best of a bad situation and working with kids to make sure that they do not make the same mistakes as you did is a great thing. also the examples of cultural diffusion or great as well. everyone knows that there is nothign better for kids growing up than to be a part of after school programs where they can continue to learn different things.

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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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Jason Schneider's curator insight, April 2, 2015 9:45 PM

China has one of the strongest economies in the world. However, I think sometimes, China takes that for granted. They think that just because they have a strong economy, they don't have to worry about safe working environments and they have nothing to lose if something happens to someone. As much as I'm sure China gives good paychecks to manufactured workers because of its wealth, there are some jobs, such as this one, that they think they don't have to pay enough. However at the same time, it's not China's fault. Sometimes, it's the workers faults for not using common sense while working, I'm a firm believer in "work smarter, not harder."

Kristin Mandsager San Bento's curator insight, May 1, 2015 4:32 PM

Well nobody ever accused China of being a Union favoring country.  These people are risking their lives because its their job.  This is a country where you have very little leeway to argue for benefits.  If they want to do this, then come to the US.  Although I wonder why they don't just use dynamite?  Faster and few people are involved.  

Matt Ramsdell's curator insight, December 14, 2015 9:37 PM

Based on the video and the safety of the Chinese workers they tame no precautions to staying safe. If they have this much lack of safety for themselves then how do they regard the safety of the people around them. As China is and has cities up and coming to mega cities with high rises and exponential expanding then how do they create their buildings? As fast as they went up and the city was created then how stable are their buildings?