Got Legit Milk?

By Jason W. M. Ellsworth

First it was the Mayo Wars, and now we have the Milk Wars!

“If milk comes from a plant, can you still call it milk?” It’s the opening line of a New York Times article in which the dairy industry’s answer is an unequivocal no. The US dairy industry is pressuring congress and the F.D.A. to ban plant-based products such almondmilk or soymilk from using the label “milk.” For many of us, whether or not the carton says “milk” may seem arbitrary. However there is much to be lost, and learned, in this classification war. Examining the surrounding discourse reveals what is at stake for each side and how these types of delegitimizing tactics can have significant consequences in the real world.

So what exactly is “milk” and who decides? In the US, the decision rests largely with the FDA who currently states milk is “obtained by the complete milking of one or more healthy cows”. The new definition proposed by lobbyists will now include milk from other hooved animals such as sheep and goats, yet exclude anything from plants. Continue reading “Got Legit Milk?”

This Job Would Be Great If It Weren’t For The Students

Graduation

As a person who works at a small, Catholic liberal arts university that has a mission to serve underprivileged students, I am often intrigued by the manner in which discussions about the educational rights of the underprivileged weave their way through the academy.  I’m interested precisely because it seems that almost every scholar I know can talk about how enraged they are about the barriers that exist for underprivileged students, but few seem to openly connect this to the fact that the ways we are groomed to think about our own jobs simply reproduce these very same inequities. Continue reading “This Job Would Be Great If It Weren’t For The Students”

The Monetized Self

Picture 2Given what Culture on the Edge is all about, I was thinking, the other day, about this now common notion of “identity theft” — and the way in which it signifies a rather dramatic narrowing of how, at least in this one setting, we use that word, “identity.” Continue reading “The Monetized Self”

Be Our Guest

lumiereI called my auto dealer to book a time for a regular maintenance on my car and their voicemail system kicked in: “Our associates are busy serving other guests…,” it told me.

Guests? Continue reading “Be Our Guest”

Everybody’s Workin’ for the Weekend

whatisaweekendUnlike the Dowager Countess of Grantham, we here at the Edge know what a weekend is: like the idea of a “free time,” “leisure,” or “hobby,” it’s the luxury just some people have of engaging in labor not animated by the profit motive. In other words, for those with inherited wealth, like the good Countess, their whole life was the weekend.

Have a nice weekend.

 

The Color of Munny

2012-07-15-COLORRUN1The Color Run was in town yesterday — I know because the police blocked off the road to Munny Sokol Park, where I often walk my dog on the weekend. And a few Facebook friends are already posting pics, clad in white, smiling, awaiting the colored cornstarch that hits them in different zones along the 5 k race. Continue reading “The Color of Munny”

It’s Time to Be Honest With Lauryn Hill

Culture on the Edge participant, Monica Miller, recently posted a blog, “It’s Time to Be Honest With Lauryn Hill,” that concludes:

“Over the years, Hill’s lyrical lessons have jolted many from societal slumber and historical amnesia enough to make her a tour de force of the ‘conscious’ hip hop market. But Hill’s troubling portraits of lifestyles not her own are as problematic as the racism and capitalist systems she’s fought for so many years. As she tries to “…figure out how to pay her own tax debts,” may she also realize the expense imposed by her “existential catharsis” on LGBTQ individuals as they continue to fight for justice for their lives and partnerships. As we love to love Hill, let’s love her enough to be honest with her: Enough with responding to one social injustice by perpetuating another. You’re a better MC than that!”

To which Hill responded.