Warning: This May Not Be Safe to Consume

I thoroughly enjoyed the food and beverage warning labels that three creative artists came up with featured in the New York Times. I wonder if such blunt packaging would actually deter consumers from buying the products. Check it out for yourself!Even though the Food and Drug Administration requires food and beverages sold to the general public to be labeled with the ingredients and nutrition facts, many people simply don't care to look or they don't know what to look for when deciding if something provides enough nourishment. I decided to go to the FDA's website to learn a few things myself, but I quickly felt discouraged as I gazed at the overwhelming amount of information. I particularly wanted to know the FDA's requirements in listing nutrition facts on packaging, but instead of providing clarity, the site actually make me question the administration we trust and rely so heavily on.Four Loko, the highly

caffeinated alcoholic energy drink which over a dozen people had to be hospitalized after consuming, reinforced my skepticism. It was only after the media stirred up concerns about the safeness of the beverage that the FDA stepped in. If the beverage is too highly caffeinated and alcoholic to be consumed, then why was it even allowed to be sold in stores across the U.S.? And would the FDA have even issued a warning if the news hadn't been publicly released that dozens of people got sick from it?(Photo from http://www.theworldsprophecy.com/poisonous-foods/)

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The recent controversy over

I hardly ever read food labels, but I've read enough and watched enough documentaries to have a pretty good idea what is “”healthy”” for me to eat and what I actually want in my body. Unfortunately, many people don't realize that just because something is being sold, it doesn't mean it should be consumed. If we want Americans to be healthier beings, we're going to have to start thinking for ourselves more and about the things we put in our body rather than taking the easy way out and relying on others to decide for us. After all, just because a food label may say “”Nutrition Facts”” doesn't mean there's actual nourishment in it.

Book Review: Commencement

I just finished J. Courtney Sullivan's Commencement, and I enjoyed it. I bought it because having recently graduated myself, I thought the book might give me some inspiration and encouragement for my future. The cialis from india book is kind of like a more adult version of The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants without the weird, unwashed rotating pants that magically fits four differently sized girls.

The book dives into the lives of four girls -Celie, Sally, Bree, and April- who meet at college and become best friends and shows how their lives are still entwined even as they move to different cities and uphold differing careers. The girls attended a very liberal woman's college, Smith, and a large part of the novel deals with issues of feminism. Each of the girls hold varying views about certain feminist topics, with April being an extremist and Bree, Sally, and Celie falling somewhere in the middle, taking turns leaning towards the left depending on the issue.

Although Commencement didn't really speak words of wisdom to me, I still got wrapped up in

the characters' lives and was engrossed in the novel. Sullivan did an excellent job of going beyond simply introducing the four main characters. She allows her readers to really get a feel for each of the the characters' personalities so that by the end of the novel I felt like I knew how each would react in certain situations. The only part of the novel that I became annoyed about was how Bree let her life go and gave up everything she had worked so hard to achieve when she was going through a difficult time. Everyone handles grief differently, but I was surprised that her friends and family didn't tell her that it would be foolish to throw her dream job away.

Additionally, I like how Sullivan was able to weave in important issues like equality for women, homosexuality, sexual abuse, and sex trafficking without taking focus away from the characters or storyline. I would say Commencement deserves a fist pump for representing the array of women in the world who are strong, independent, driven, and ambitious and aren't afraid to make up their own rules. Although the review by New York Times is a little more critical for not exploring other issues in the novel such as Celie's difficulty with male intimacy and possible alcohol abuse, I didn't think it needed to be dwelt upon. Confidence should be placed in the readers to be able to read into those things and make their own judgments – that's simply a part of the reading process.

My book rating: 4/5 stars