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In Vitro Meat

http://content.usatoday.com/communities/ondeadline/post/2012/02/meat-grown-in-lab-may-yield-first-test-tube-burger-by-fall/1#.T5v3EqvbBrM

I know class is over, but I read about this the other day and thought you all might like it. In vitro meat is meat grown in a lab from the stem cells of an animal. Those “engineering” this food are hoping to have the first in vitro grown hamburger on the market by the end of 2012. I think this fits well with our discussion of GMO’s and organic food.

Swallowtail Farm 3rd Annual Spring Festival

Swallowtail Farm is having their 3rd annual spring festival and there will be a local farmers’ market also taking place there. Here is the flyer for the event on Saturday:

Buying Local

I came across this article through the local Citizens Co-Op, it reminded me of our discussion about organics vs GMOs and how buying local is both healthier and more environmentally friendly.

http://www.jointhereboot.com/index.php?option=com_zoo&task=item&item_id=470&Itemid=595&lang=en

The reasons for considering local sources for your food extend far beyond their nutritional value. Buying local food is a way of actively supporting your community.  Many family farms are struggling to stay afloat in this economy, and they are an important part of maintaining a secure source of healthy foods for us and for generations to come.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-17704116
I found this article on BBC News under the “Environment/Science” section and found it very interesting.  It states that in a study done on UK air quality, combustion exhaust from cars cause almost 5,000 premature deaths a year in the UK alone. This really makes me wonder how high that number would be in the US…

blog 9

Noel Sturgeon identifies common tropes of nature that are persistently used in pop culture especially in strategies of advertising. The commercial for Chloe perfume called L’eau de Chloe used many of the reappearing themes that Sturgeon addresses in her book, Environmentalism and Popular Culture.  Sturgeon mentions, “for instance, you can often see ads that show women (especially white women) as flowers or defined by intense floral or plant- related images” (Sturgeon 30). This is most definitely apparent in the commercial. The young girl used in the ad is white, has light colored eyes, and blond hair. Sturgeon explains that, “the white woman, blonde, slim, and dressed in white—[are] all signs of purity” and are used to portray and suggest that the product (perfume) is also pure and young (Sturgeon 39). This is clearly demonstrated in the commercial. The young girl is dressed in a white dress running through a field of grass suggesting that she is innocent, young, and pure. The music adds to the tranquility and playful young ambiance of the advertisement. The producers of Chloe’s commercial wanted to emphasizes the young and lightness of their fragrance, which they did by implementing common associations of gender and sexuality with nature. “The representation of women as natural and nature as female is very common” (Sturgeon 29).  She is surrounded and enveloped in nature suggestion she is part of it.  As Sturgeon explains “ads frequently portray women as landscapes, as surrounded or subsumed by nature”(Sturgeon 29). Another point to emphasis is that her complexion is very pale white, reiterating Sturgeon critique that these perceived views of nature are often racist and rooted from western white man ideology. Sturgeon critiqued American advertisement and perceptions of nature were often used to justify inequalities explaining that it was ‘natural’. Once again the issue of skin color and hair color portray the idea this young girl is pure.

 

Works Cited:

Sturgeon, Noël. “The Politics of the Natural in U.S. History and Popular Culture.” Environmentalism in Popular Culture. Tucson: The University of Arizona Press, 2009. 17-49. Print.

Blog 9

This teaser commercial is for Taylor Swift’s perfume “Wonderstruck.” It depicts Swift spraying the perfume and being transported through her mirror to a forest in a somewhat fantasy world. There she meets a man that I interpret to be her true love. I first noticed that the commercial depicts “Nature as Eden” and “Nature as virtual reality” (Sturgeon 25). The world Swift enters is given a sense of perfection, where her true love awaits and where everything is magical and breathtaking which can be gathered from her facial expression. Since it is supposed to be a sort of day dream that perfume transported her into, it could be considered a virtual reality. People who watch this commercial can be lead to believe that the perfume is magical.
As she walks through the forest, one sees extravagant chandeliers hanging from trees which literally challenges, as Sturgeon does in the introduction, the separation of natural and artificial. I saw this as a reflection of how the perfume is made. The fragrance itself is supposed to be very natural smelling and sweet but in the production of the perfume, the company is taking natural scents to create an artificial fragrance. However, there is also the “association of white women with nature used to represent purity and heath” (Sturgeon 32). When Taylor Swift first began her career she was seen as a sweet country girl but she has traversed to become a female icon, with the majority of her songs either being about love or getting over a broken heart. Since she is now seen as an empowering icon, this commercial has a broad audience: young fans, girls getting over their broken hearts or those who are in love, and other powerful women who can see this scent as a way to escape from the mundane.

 

Work Cited

Sturgeon, Noël. “The Politics of the Natural in U.S. History and Popular Culture.”Environmentalism in Popular Culture. Tucson: The University of Arizona Press, 2009. 17-49. Print.

Blog 9 Sobe Lifewater

 

This Sobe ad is a perfect example of many elements of the politics of nature in popular culture. In this ad Yvonne Strahovski, an Australian actress and model, is seen wearing very little clothing and modeling Sobe’s product. Most apparently the ad uses sex to grab the attention of the viewer, but the natural overtones are also very strong. Just as Sturgeon points out the ad is using a woman to signify purity in order to suggest the all-natural aspect of the Sobe product. This is further enhanced by the lack of clothing and the lush greenery throughout the ad. Stahovski is seen in and around water which, besides being in the name of the product, further suggests purity as observed in the White Rain ad Sturgeon analyzes. In several picture ads associated with this campaign Strahovski and other attractive scantily clad women are seen on the beach, further cementing both the idea of water and purity, the ocean being the original pool from which all life sprang. This approach isn’t surprising or new, as we seen in some of the ads in Sturgeon’s chapter, other examples of nudity to imply nature are abundant. While this ad is purely for commercial gain, PETA’s Go Naked campaign. This association between nudity, femininity, water and nature says a lot about our culture and what advertising strategies will work on it. Images of nudity being synonymous with nature and purity date back to Judeo-Christian myths of original life. By setting up a conflict between sex and purity these ads hold the consumer’s attentions long enough to implant desire in the consumer mind. It works on several levels because it appeals as a health-related appeal to being natural as well as a sex-related appeal to being natural. The success of these kinds of ad campaigns speaks to the grand manipulation that is corporate advertising as well as the lazy nature of the consumer mind.