Inside the ‘Pay What You Want’ Marketplace

I wonder how many markets reach out to the yard sale-rs as potential shoppers? An ad in the paper near the listings perhaps? Or creating an event for a cookbook swap or a kitchen item swap at the market? This is one way markets can utilize the ecological community that connects farmers markets to other like-minded re-users interested in less packaging and waste in modern society.

The informal economy [of the yard sale] grants consumers much more power to stretch the value of their dollar—which has become especially crucial in the context of the Great Recession and other times of economic stress and uncertainty, where yard sales and other means of informal trade can be a survival strategy for many middle- and lower-class people.


Training Your Brain to Prefer Healthy Foods

Scientists have suspected that, once unhealthy food addiction circuits are established, they may be hard or impossible to reverse, subjecting people who have gained weight to a lifetime of unhealthy food cravings and temptation. To find out whether the brain can be re-trained to support healthy food choices, Roberts and colleagues studied the reward system in thirteen overweight and obese men and women, eight of whom were participants in a new weight loss program designed by Tufts University researchers and five who were in a control group and were not enrolled in the program.

“We don’t start out in life loving French fries and hating, for example, whole wheat pasta,” said senior and co-corresponding author Susan B. Roberts, Ph.D., director of the Energy Metabolism Laboratory at the USDA HNRCA, who is also a professor at the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts University and an adjunct professor of psychiatry at Tufts University School of Medicine. “This conditioning happens over time in response to eating – repeatedly! – what is out there in the toxic food environment.”

Training Your Brain to Prefer Healthy Foods.

Plastic versus paper

From USAToday:

There’s a growing generation gap when it comes to using plastic for purchases under $5, a survey out this week by reveals. More than half of Millennials are likely to whip out a card for a pack of gum or a newspaper, while 77% of people older than 50 still dig out cash.

The plastic cards young people are reaching for at cash registers these days are overwhelmingly debit. Those ages 18 to 29 favor debit over credit by a ratio of almost 3 to 1, the survey of 983 credit card holders showed.

Other findings from the survey, conducted by Princeton Survey Research Associates International for done July 17-20 and July 24-27:
• Overall, 65% of Americans typically pay for purchases under $5 with cash; 22% use debit cards, and 11% use credit cards.
• Cash is the preferred payment method for almost eight in 10 rural card holders, vs. 62% of city dwellers and suburbanites.

Gulf Coast, 9 years later: Still unfinished.

The link below is from my New Orleans blog that details our life here post Katrina: today August 29th, it will be 9 years since that terrible day when our region suffered through the hurricane and then through the much larger federal levee disaster.

We community organizers learned that we needed to be constantly available to our family, our friends and neighbors (including our farmers and fishers) as they rebuilt their lives and businesses. And we had to carry the story of citizen-led recovery to our colleagues in other places while remaining vigilant when home to help combat bad ideas from our decision makers.
We still need to do that work unfortunately.
Some of this piece may be too local, but the sentiment is clear I think. Basically, the years of 2010/2011 were when we really began to really feel the pressure from corporations trying to find deals; this post tells some of what we were going through:

“We are now coming up to 6 years after the federal levee system disintegrated in New Orleans. When we look around, do we see our old neighbors, a resurgence in small mom and pop businesses, and a generally more livable city than before?
I’d say no….”

Complete post from New Orleans Can Thrive