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Bolivia: A Country With No McDonald’s

Bolivia: A Country With No McDonald’s | Riffing on a Sustainable Society | Scoop.it
What America can learn from one of the most sustainable food nations on Earth.

Via Seth Dixon
Steven McGreevy's insight:

More food related fodder for your fantastic friday.

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Jess Deady's curator insight, February 20, 6:27 PM

McDonalds is a social and economical chain restaurant that has not made its way to Bolivia. Sure, they like hamburgers but they prefer to get them from the women hawking them on the streets. Who can blame them? When is the last time you bought something that was made in America? Probably a couple weeks or months even. Cultural traditions are fading out fast and moves like this are what will keep Bolivians culturally enabled.

Paige Therien's curator insight, March 1, 4:21 PM

There is much valuable information to learn from other countries and cultures, especially when it comes to food because subsistence greatly shapes a culture.  Of course, the United States is very different than Bolivia in terms of culture and geography, but there is a lot to take away from the structural rejection of McDonalds in Bolivia.  Bolivia has taken advantage of the altitudinal zonation that is characteristic of their mountainous country; they have formed a system of reciprocity which fosters strong community and leaves no room for giant food corporations such as McDonald.  If people in the United States want a change in their food systems, the first step is rejecting the systems that should not play a role, but currently do.  Institutions like McDonalds have allowed people to be so far removed from their food sources, and ultimately, an important characteristic unique to humanity (food producers).

Amy Marques's curator insight, April 24, 9:41 AM

       It's interesting that globalization is one of the reasons for the growth of fast food chains like McDonald’s around the world. It’s hard for countries to turn down a food company who really does configure their menu to the consumers their serving. I find it interesting that Bolivia found a way to resist this. Its topography is what made the last store close in 2002. McDonald’s couldn’t survive in the mountainous country with the Andes and the Amazon. They were able to resist because the nation always prioritized local control of its food system and eating healthy. Its people value food, food producers, and their ecosystems

Riffing on a Sustainable Society
A collection of articles, memes, and mind-busters curated to one topic: how do we realize a sustainable society?
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Global Village Construction Set

Global Village Construction Set | Riffing on a Sustainable Society | Scoop.it
Sharing the world's first low-cost, DIY, open-source Tractor, Compressed Earth Brick Press, Power Cube, and Soil Pulverizer.
Steven McGreevy's insight:

It's life sized, lego-like, building block appropriate technology.  

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The Wrong -- and Right -- Solution For Feeding 9 Billion People

The Wrong -- and Right -- Solution For Feeding 9 Billion People | Riffing on a Sustainable Society | Scoop.it
The five steps (freeze agriculture's footprint, grow more on existing farms, use resources more efficiently, shift diets, reduce waste) are all good technological fixes, none of which are terribly complicated. So if they are so great, why aren't we i...
Steven McGreevy's insight:

Article by Eric Holt Gimenez from Food First.  He looks at the National Geographic's recent issue on food and agriculture and critiques Jonathan Foley's Five Step Plan to Feed the World.

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Systems Thinking and the Future of Cities

Systems Thinking and the Future of Cities | Riffing on a Sustainable Society | Scoop.it

The idea that nothing exists in isolation−but only as part of a system−has long been embedded in folklore, religious scriptures, and common sense. Yet, systems dynamics as a science has yet to transform the way we conduct the public business. This article first briefly explores the question of why advances in systems theory have failed to transform public policy. The second part describes the ways in which our understanding of systems is growing−not so much from theorizing, but from practical applications in agriculture, building design, and medical science. The third part focuses on whether and how that knowledge and systems science can be deployed to improve urban governance in the face of rapid climate destabilization so that sustainability becomes the norm, not the occasional success story.

Steven McGreevy's insight:

David Orr-- environmental educator-- commenting on systems and cities.

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Why 1.5 million people are on a dating site called Farmers Only

Why 1.5 million people are on a dating site called Farmers Only | Riffing on a Sustainable Society | Scoop.it

Dating sites like OKCupid and Match.com are great if you live in a city, where you go on dates with matches and never seen them again if it doesn't work out. But what if you live in a town with, say, 8,000 people?

Steven McGreevy's insight:

LOLed at this one...

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Hefty Global Goals from a Vatican Meeting: Stabilizing the Climate, Energy for All and an Inclusive Economy

Hefty Global Goals from a Vatican Meeting: Stabilizing the Climate, Energy for All and an Inclusive Economy | Riffing on a Sustainable Society | Scoop.it
A Vatican meeting of scientists, economists and theologians produces a joint statement charting a technical and moral path to a sustainable and just human future.
Steven McGreevy's insight:

How much of a dent would a full-fledged ecological movement from the religions of the world make on the problems we face?  I don't know, but I'm happy to see them finally coming to the table.

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Fancy Japanese Bananas Have Serial Numbers

Fancy Japanese Bananas Have Serial Numbers | Riffing on a Sustainable Society | Scoop.it

AEarlier today in Tokyo, limited edition bananas went on sale. They even had serial numbers. Yes, serial numbers. On bananas.

Steven McGreevy's insight:

I don't know what to say about this one...

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The New Synthetic Biology: Who Gains?

by Richard C. Lewontin

The New Synthetic Biology: Who Gains?<br/><br/> by Richard C. Lewontin | Riffing on a Sustainable Society | Scoop.it

ANothing in history suggests that those who control and profit from material production can really be depended upon to devote the needed foresight, creativity, and energy to protect us from the possible negative effects of synthetic biology. In cases where there is a conflict between the immediate and the long-range consequences or between public and private good, how can that conflict be resolved?

Steven McGreevy's insight:

A long read, but well worth it.  To what ends does science work toward?  For whose good?  I tend to agree with Vandana Shiva: 

"Synthetic biology, the next wave of genetic engineering, allows seed, pesticide and oil companies to redesign life so that they can make more money from it."

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Big food: Michael Pollan thinks Wall Street has way too much influence over what we eat

Big food: Michael Pollan thinks Wall Street has way too much influence over what we eat | Riffing on a Sustainable Society | Scoop.it
Michael Pollan explains what studying the food system taught him about capitalism, and more
Steven McGreevy's insight:

Nice interview here...

 

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How Airbnb and Lyft Finally Got Americans to Trust Each Other | Business | WIRED

How Airbnb and Lyft Finally Got Americans to Trust Each Other | Business | WIRED | Riffing on a Sustainable Society | Scoop.it
From Airbnb to Lyft to Tinder, the sharing economy is rewiring the way we interact with each other.
Steven McGreevy's insight:

Sure, let's hope Airbnb is around long enough to continue the trust train...

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Great Transition Initiative

Great Transition Initiative | Riffing on a Sustainable Society | Scoop.it

The Great Transition Initiative is an online forum of ideas and an international network for the critical exploration of concepts, strategies, and visions for a transition to a future of enriched lives, human solidarity, and a resilient biosphere. By enhancing scholarly discourse and public awareness of possibilities immanent in these troubled times, and by fostering a broad network of thinkers and doers, it aims to contribute to a new praxis for global transformation.

Steven McGreevy's insight:

Explore this action...

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The hellish monotony of 25 years of IPCC climate change warnings

The hellish monotony of 25 years of IPCC climate change warnings | Riffing on a Sustainable Society | Scoop.it

Graham Readfearn: The latest blockbuster United Nations report on the impacts of climate change makes dire reading, just as the first one did almost a quarter of a century ago.... Just so we can calibrate our memories here, 1990 was the year Tim Berners-Lee invented the world wide web, Nelson Mandela got out of jail and MC Hammer wore those pantaloons (U Can't Touch This).

Steven McGreevy's insight:

Yeah, this guy has it right.  If this is the pinnacle of collaborative research science, we can see it's failures to bring about social change clear as day.  

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The Economic Case for Taxing Meat

The Economic Case for Taxing Meat | Riffing on a Sustainable Society | Scoop.it
Think of it as a "sin tax," like duties on cigarettes, alcohol, and carbon dioxide
Steven McGreevy's insight:

Tax it!

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Toxic Trail

Toxic Trail | Riffing on a Sustainable Society | Scoop.it
The landmark Superfund program is supposed to clean up the country's toxic waste. But as one site in Silicon Valley shows, it's leaving behind a legacy of its own environmental problems.
Steven McGreevy's insight:

See this interactive map of toxic waste being passed from site to site... Some things never go away...

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Unlocking the power of women farmers

Unlocking the power of women farmers | Riffing on a Sustainable Society | Scoop.it
Focusing on women farmers will increase food production and gender equality, says Ken Davies from the World Food Programme
Steven McGreevy's insight:

Steps to empower women farmers...

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A Gathering of Silverbacks: Age of Limits 2014

A Gathering of Silverbacks: Age of Limits 2014 | Riffing on a Sustainable Society | Scoop.it
We are in the realm of highly improbable events that almost daily transform our world. A review of the Age of Limits conference.
Steven McGreevy's insight:

This is a great recap by Albert Bates, attending the Age of Limits conference.  The silverbacks are some of the best minds we have on life and living in a time where we have moved beyond our limits.

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Thinking in a Foreign Language Could Sway Your Moral Judgments | Science | WIRED

Thinking in a Foreign Language Could Sway Your Moral Judgments  | Science | WIRED | Riffing on a Sustainable Society | Scoop.it
Would you sacrifice one person to save five? Pitting principle against utility, ends against means, it's a complicated moral equation—and ostensibly one we'd solve the same way whether we considered it in our native language or a foreign tongue. After all, our morality is supposed to be consistent. Yet psychologists say that's not always the case: people may be more likely to make a calculated utilitarian decision when considering it in a second language.
Steven McGreevy's insight:

I find this fascinating... So, I wonder how katakana loan-words spoken in Japanese factor into these experiments... 

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Beyond “Free” or “Fair” Trade: Mexican Farmers Go Local

Beyond “Free” or “Fair” Trade: Mexican Farmers Go Local | Riffing on a Sustainable Society | Scoop.it
We usually think of the demand for local, organic foods as coming from the North. But in southern Mexico, the growing localist movement is a strategy for survival.
Steven McGreevy's insight:

I was struck by the similarities between Mexican rural areas and farming and Japan.  Corn is very much the soul of Mexico as rice is the soul of Japan.  Imported corn and rice may be cheaper, but it's the traditions and taste of the locally-grown produce that people choose.

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Your Food Is Poisoning You

Your Food Is Poisoning You | Riffing on a Sustainable Society | Scoop.it
Despite being treated like Bigfoot believers by their opponents, pesticide ascetics are inching their way toward credibility. Introduced by Monsanto in the early 1970s under the trade name Roundup (and used primarily back then as a weed killer), glyphosate is now used throughout the world on wheat and soy crops and since 2007 it has been the most widely used herbicide in the U.S.
Steven McGreevy's insight:

I don't see how the Ag Chem companies can claim that spraying that kind of volume of chemicals on crops isn't going to have any effect on human health.  

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I went to the nutritionists' annual confab. It was catered by McDonald's.

I went to the nutritionists' annual confab. It was catered by McDonald's. | Riffing on a Sustainable Society | Scoop.it
Our nutrition experts are in bed with Big Food. And we wonder why we're fat.
Steven McGreevy's insight:

This is always good...

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Friends, and Influence, for Sale Online

Friends, and Influence, for Sale Online | Riffing on a Sustainable Society | Scoop.it
By using social media bots, celebrities, politicians and others can falsely inflate the number of friends and followers they have, possibly swaying public opinion about a new song — or a policy position.
Steven McGreevy's insight:

This disturbed me.  Part of the promise of the internet was it's ability to empower everyday people, to give them a voice.  Now that voice is going to be drowned out by bots?!  Who/What can you trust anymore...?

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The Sharing Economy Is About Desperation

The Sharing Economy Is About Desperation | Riffing on a Sustainable Society | Scoop.it
We don't give rides to strangers because we like them. We just need the money.
Steven McGreevy's insight:

Yeah, counter arguments...

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How New Legislation in Boston Gave New Life to Urban Farms - Modern Farmer

How New Legislation in Boston Gave New Life to Urban Farms - Modern Farmer | Riffing on a Sustainable Society | Scoop.it
The new ordinance means farmers will be able to grow – and, importantly, sell for profit -- within the city limits.
Steven McGreevy's insight:

Strange that there were laws preventing the selling of produce grown within city limits in the first place...

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How Swedes and Norwegians Broke the Power of the ‘1 Percent’

How Swedes and Norwegians Broke the Power of the ‘1 Percent’ | Riffing on a Sustainable Society | Scoop.it

Chec

Steven McGreevy's insight:

Check it.

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Climate Change Report ‘Should Jolt People into Action,’ says IPCC Chief

Climate Change Report ‘Should Jolt People into Action,’ says IPCC Chief | Riffing on a Sustainable Society | Scoop.it
UN science panel's chairman, Rajendra Pachauri, says report on impacts of rising temperatures should push leaders to act
Steven McGreevy's insight:

Who's betting that the 2,600 page report WON'T jolt anyone to act?  *raise hand*

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Foursquare CEO: How We'll Tell You Where To Eat And What To Order

Foursquare CEO: How We'll Tell You Where To Eat And What To Order | Riffing on a Sustainable Society | Scoop.it
A Q&A with Foursquare cofounder Dennis Crowley on how it's turning your check-in data into really personal recommendations.
I’ve talked in the past about how Foursquare should be a version of Harry Potter’s Marauder’s Map—this external awareness of what people are doing and where they’ve been.
Steven McGreevy's insight:

Anyone know how to massage this process of "behavior-based anticipatory computing" so that people are persuaded toward more sustainable behavioral patterns?  

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