Teach Your Children the Hidden Meanings Behind Junk Food Advertisements

From naturalnews.com

As parents, we're our children's first line of defense against an array of negative influences. Constant barrages of unsavory images promoting foods of little or no nutritious value are common place. The sky rains with products of expediency but offers little hope for finding products that promote a better state of mind or body. As guardians we do our best to erect shields to block and deflect the poisonous arrows of harmful advertising. The reason we often fail is simply because we underestimate the power advertising wields. Or because we don't really understand how advertising works. Plainly speaking, as adults we find ourselves at times swirling in the bravado of false promises these products spew.

The key to combating this successfully, I believe, is to first know that the word, "advertisement or advertise" is derived from the French word "avertissement" which means warning or caution. I recommend we make this the first response when watching commercials of any kind. If we consistently acted on the side of caution, I'm sure certain foods could be avoided all together.

Second, children are constantly exposed to advertising messages designed to make them believe they can't live without a certain product. Hence the influential power of the medium. But how does it work? Understand that we purchase based on emotions. How we feel about a product determines if we will buy it or not. It all begins with what advertisers have coined as the think-feel-do model of message effects, which presumes that we approach a purchase situation using a sequence of responses. In other words, we think about something, then we form an opinion or attitude about it (feel) and finally we take action and try it or buy it (do). Advertising helps shape our attitude favorably about a product to entice us to buy. A simple process it seems, but so difficult to master as a consumer.

I believe our biggest problem as consumers is that we bypass the thinking part and dive head first into the feel part of decision making. That is always a mistake. Worse, we pass this behavior to our children. In no way am I concluding that all advertising is bad. But once we take to heart that the manipulations of target marketing can increase the likelihood of obesity, poor nutrition, eating disorders, cigarette and alcohol use in children and adolescents, then perhaps we will improve our knowledge and acquire tools to use to offset the effects. Unfortunately, there is no way to completely avoid advertising targeted to children, but there are some things you can do to reduce the effects:

1. Limit television and Internet use to no more than two hours a day each. [In my opinion, it should be less...]

2. Teach your children how to interpret advertising messages. Explain to older children the purpose of advertising and the mind tricks they use in their messages.

3. Instill values in your children consistently. Help build their sense of self and self esteem so that they understand that material things will not make them better people. Involve your children in extracurricular activities to keep them active and stimulated. Work with your children to make sure they achieve a healthy body image despite what the media culture considers attractive.

4. Lastly, but I will dare say the most important -- practice what you preach. Mr. Douglas Castle, CIOF Director of Strategic Planning, once shared that a parent's credibility is worthless if not followed by consistent action.

The effective way to handle the influence of advertisements is to live the healthy example you wish your children to practice. Build a pattern of behavior that is consistent with what you want for your child. In fact we should be flesh and blood advertisements to our children. Are they not exposed to us more than television? If not, then that is where the true problem lies.

Reference:1. Steps to reduce advertising effects taken from (www.ehow.com) .
Visit (http://www.ciofoundation.org/) for more information concerning childhood obesity.


Kiss, kiss

If you ask Callum to give you a kiss, chances are he'll pucker right up and give you one. Last time we were at Mom and Dad's, Callum crawled in circles on the table giving everyone kisses.

Thanks for the pics, Mom.


Little Man

Tooth #7 coming through...
Favorite thing to do...

Gramma spoiling Callum with ice-cream!



By now you have likely heard of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, a tragic byproduct of the plastics industry and consumerism that is an island of garbage floating in the northern Pacific Ocean. Originally the size of Texas and approaching the size of the Sun, this gargantuan pile of plastic is collected by currents that swirl around in a big circle. Most of the debris is picked up from the shores of both China and North America that sandwich it.

As plastic never goes away, it eventually crumbles up into tiny bits (photo-degrades). These bits of plastic enter the food supply and are passed from the jelly fish all the way back up to humans where it is stored in their livers (that part is only fair). Plastic also pollutes the water with PCB's (PolyChlorinated Biphenyls, dangerous carcinogens and hormone disruptors).

While no one person is to blame, every person has contributed to the Great Pacific Garbage Patch (it's a safe bet the Atlantic also has one lurking somewhere). Whether one throws litter on the ground or trusts in their municipal trash companies to do it for them, everyone throws away plastic and it ends up in the ocean and then back in our bodies.

While some say cleanup is impossible, hopefully someday someone will find a solution. Perhaps they will find a way to convert plastic to energy (it is made of oil after all), and they can make a ship refueling station out there that will produce energy from plastic. Or perhaps nanotech robots can disassemble it and bring it to the recycler. (Such technology would be extremely dangerous as it would have to be careful not to accidentally disassemble Kenny Rogers face). In the meantime there are many things people can do to at least help prevent this pile of garbage from getting any larger.

Ways to Reduce Plastic in Landfills

1) Avoid Products that use Plastic to Begin With

Plastic is made from petroleum hence it is so ubiquitous today. Plastic is convenient but most of the cheaper grades (the clear stuff) find its way into our food, often leaving a film on anything that is wrapped in it and which we then eat. Microwaving anything in plastic cooks plastic residues right into the food, vaporizing other chemicals that contaminate the food and air. Consider the amount of sheer waste a single meal or even serving produces (Kraft Singles is second only to Individually Wrapped Breaths of Air (tm) in the Most Wasteful Products Award). Reuse glass or Tupperware containers for leftovers instead of plastic wrap. Store water in the high grade blue plastic bottles only. Prefer cheese that is made from raw milk.

2) Kick the Bottle

High on the list of most wasteful products is Individually Wrapped Drinks of Water, a lingering 1990's fad for those pretending to be health conscious. Picture a lake compared to a lake of plastic bottles and that is basically what we now have in the Pacific. Corporations are taking over town aquifers and selling it back to the people for $2 per bottle. Shipping one bottle of water costs on average 1/3 bottle of fuel. It is best to filter or distill your own water and use metal or glass containers. Companies like Nalgene make trendy reusable water containers of high grade plastic. Opt for tap water with lemon in restaurants. Note: wait staff seem trained to always supply a plastic straw with every drink (probably so you don't notice the lipstick on the rim of the glass), so remember to request no straw with your drink.

3) Recycle or Reuse Materials

Plastic can be recycled and you will find that when you start recycling you at least save money on trash bags. Many containers can be washed out and reused (though they should be sterilized with apple cider vinegar). Note that only the higher grade plastics can be reused.

4) Choose Products with Biodegradable Plastic

Now many plastic cups along with packaging peanuts and other supplies are available in a biodegradable form. Companies like Ecosafe and Natur-Tec are providing real solutions to the plastic problem.

5) Repair, Sell or Upgrade Gadgets

Many people run out and buy the latest new cell phone or iPod more often than needed, discarding their old phones in the rubbish where they not only add to plastic landfill but also leak out various other contaminants like Mercury. Meanwhile older components, while larger, are often superior as they tend to be constructed of much more solid materials. By repairing your items you can keep things in top shape much longer. Tackle small problems when they arise. Take the time to fix things right. Buy used products when possible and sell your items when they are no longer needed. Prefer products that offer replacement parts.

6) Recycle Computer Parts

If you must discard items like monitors or printers, at least take them to an electronics recycler. Staples accepts old monitors, etc. for a small fee.

7) Use Cloth Grocery Bags

While this is more of a challenge for men as they look like pocketbooks, it is important to avoid bringing home so many plastic bags. Cloth bags can help. Some shoppers at the farmers market seem afraid to let any vegetables touch any other vegetables, insisting that each be individually wrapped. A better method is to use as few bags as possible, to reuse those taken, recycle them when they tear, and especially to avoid using them to begin with by bringing your own bag. Eventually this will save money as stores are considering charging for them.

8)Do Sweat the Small Stuff

The worst pieces of plastic are the tiny bits. These are the ones that birds, turtles and fish mistake for food and eat and then can't pass them. Eventually these poor animals become full of plastic and they die of starvation, or they are consumed by larger animals and the process continues. After these animals die, the plastic is the only part that is left behind where it kills again.

9)Don't be a Litter Bug

Many feel that if they don't litter, they will be putting the garbage man out of a job. Some will simply chuck their used car batteries (full of sulfuric acid) into the woods behind their home. The truth is that this debris will persist for decades and humans leave enough of a footprint without adding insult to injury. In the 1970's there were TV commercials with Woodsy Owl reminding us to "Give a Hoot Don't Pollute". In today's corporate controlled media the best we get is talk about the Carbon Tax. Even the threat of Nuclear War is brushed aside by the media in favor of the War on Drugs, the War on Terror, and the War on Manners.

10)Clean up your Neighborhood Ponds

Many neighborhoods have small ponds containing water that is cleaner than their municipal tap water. These ponds are often teeming with fish and turtles that help keep them pure. Sadly however these ponds (and wildlife) are normally loaded with plastic debris. By taking 15 minutes each week, one person can really help clean up their neighborhood. The process is surprisingly relaxing and the animals will appreciate it. Do note that random passerby will think you are out on parole, so wearing an orange jumpsuit is not recommended. Ideally, organize a neighborhood trash pickup (nowadays that may require legal waivers in case participants obtain a boo boo).

GPGP Wikihttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Paci...
Plastic grades:http://www.thegreenguide.com/doc/108/plastic

About the author
Neil McLaughlin is a computer scientist specializing in 3d graphics and simulation. He can be reached at naturalnews461 (at) yahoo (dot) com


Going back one week...

...my favorite Harsevoort cousin got married to a beautiful lady. ;)
Congratulations Joel and Katrina! God bless you both with many years of love and happiness.
We had a great time at your wedding! Glad you are living downtown so we can come and visit you.
Love, us.

Happy Birthday, Baby!

Spoiled with presents!

First cake experience...
Tentative at first, Uncle Brian finally helped him get messy.*LICK* (This is what he does with everything)Cal's car was a big hit...although most of the kids were too big for it...Except these guys! ;) Checking each other out...hmmm...should we play?Glad you could make it, Evan! Thanks for taking these pictures, Cecelia! Gramma K came last week with his present!