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Thursday, May 13, 2010

Letting Fast Food Companies Advertise.....

School should be an ad-free zone for children. We should not under any circumstances allow fast food advertising into our schools. Letting fast food companies advertise in the schools would send the wrong message to our children. It would compromise the trust we expect them to have towards school. Also if the fast food companies were able to advertise in schools it would give them some influence in the learning process because they would have access to the children’s minds. Therefore they would be able to promote their corporate agenda to a captive, na├»ve, immature audience. It would turn schools from a neutral place of learning into a 6 hour blitz of ads which the children are unable to escape from. Once let in there would be no way to avoid their influence because we would have given them the consent to corrupt the young minds.

School is supposed to be an educational environment but if fast food advertising is started it will send the wrong message to students. We teach our children to listen to their teachers, principals and guidance counselors. We let them know these people have their best interest at heart. They are put on the same level as parents in many ways. As small children school is the first place your parents ever leave you at. They drop you off in nursery school and tell you to listen to what your teachers tell you. That implies a level of trust. You feel that your parents trust the school with your welfare. School plays a major role in children’s development. Their experiences and what they learn in school shapes their future. They are told what they learn in school will help them throughout their lives. Children learn a variety of subjects from biology to basketball; Spanish to sexual education; so if they saw a McDonald’s or Burger King ad in school, they might assume that what is being advertised has some value to it. By having the ad inside, it seems that the school is promoting the product. That has a powerful effect because it is being shopped to a captive audience that has been taught to trust what they learn in school. Steven Kaplan, president of Sampling Corporation of America states, “There is an implied endorsement from a trusted institution” (22). School is where children learn not only facts from books but also some life and moral values. When students see “MADD” (Mothers Against Drunk Driving) and “Just Say No to Drugs” posters they learn that getting high or drunk driving is bad for them. They see posters for different colleges and know that in order to have a productive future it is encouraged to go. So if they see an ad for a Whopper or Big Mac on the wall then they would surely think that it would be good for them because their school wouldn’t steer them wrong. It’s right there next to other ideas we encourage, so at that young age a child wouldn’t know the difference. Allowing these products to be advertised in school sends children the message they are good for them when the reality is the exact opposite. How can we teach healthy eating habits and healthy living when we are sending mixed messages to them. At a young, impressionable age the line between fact and propaganda would get blurred, and the trust associated with school would get ruined. In the class teachers are teaching students to eat healthy within the four food groups. Eat fruits and vegetables and how important it is to keep in shape and be healthy. So then why would you make them privy to products that could destroy their health with results such as type 2 diabetes and heart disease? On one hand we are telling them what’s bad for them, but then promoting it. At such a young age they would not know who or what to believe, so they would revert to what they’ve been taught, which is that what you see and learn in school is right. In an article from the Bergen County Record, University of Maryland associate professor, Jeffrey Arnett states, “It’s a misuse of the environment of the school. Schools should not be endorsing products. Schools are powerful institutions.”(a1) The confusion of having something no good for them being advertised in a place that is supposed to teach them all the good things could be very confusing to students. That mixed signal being sent to them could cause student to lose the trust they had for school, ruining its credibility.

Allowing fast food companies to advertise in schools gives them influence in the learning process. Fast food companies have been trying to advertise in schools for decades. These companies know that school is the perfect stage to promote their products and build brand loyalty. School guarantees them a captive audience for six to seven hours a day in an environment where children minds are very receptive. For fast food companies it is the perfect market to build the lifelong customers they are looking for. If they can get their product into a learning environment they are guaranteed to get their views across. For these companies children are a lucrative market. There are over 45 million children in school. Although we might not think of children as consumers, they have great economic clout. Elementary-age children spend over 11 billion dollars a year on a wide variety of products including food and beverages. Teenagers spend 57 billion dollars of their own money yearly. That is not counting the billions of dollars in purchases they influence. In Eric Schlosser’s, “Fast Food Nation”, he talks about the techniques fast food advertisers rely on to sell products such as nagging and its many forms (42-44). The spending power students have and the desire of fast food companies to harvest it has given birth to a whole industry devoted to getting the company’s product in school and ideas into kid’s heads. We find in Schlosser’s book that one such company, Lifetime Learning Systems tells companies, “Now you can enter the classroom through custom-made learning materials created with your specific marketing objectives in mind, through these materials your product or point of view becomes the focus of discussion in the classroom.”(56) This company which has worked with McDonalds bills itself as, “the nation’s recognized leader in the creation and dissemination of corporate-sponsored educational materials.” When these companies donate supplies and materials to our schools it comes with a price. The students are given slanted views on certain topics that favor the company’s product. Education is not supposed to be influenced by outside factors. Students deserve to learn the facts and make their own decisions based on unbiased information. By letting the advertising in our schools will lose that neutral position. The companies try to disguise their motives by donating supplies and materials to struggling schools but usually these donations come with a contract that allows their logo and message to be displayed. If they really wanted to be charitable they would just donate anonymously and unconditionally. These sponsored materials serve the purpose of getting their message to the students. Having these materials in the classroom allows the companies to play a part in the learning process and influence it their favor. That may sound like a good idea to the school districts because it will help reduce costs but in the end it’s the students who wind up losing. Arnold Fege, director of government relations for the Washington based National Parent-Teacher association argues it seems everyone wins except the child who is subject to the barrage of propaganda. “Schools are supposed to be free marketplaces of ideas.” Fege says. It would be hard for the teacher to tell the children that fried foods are bad for you while reading from a textbook with a Ronald McDonald cover on it. This type of corporate involvement in our schools would be only beneficial to the districts and the companies. The kids would end up in crossfire between the district balancing their budget and the company pushing their burger. Alex Molnar, author of, “Giving Kids the Business” states,” Private profit is the motive behind funding for public education.” These companies are waiting to take advantage of most school districts need for supplies and contributions to get their foot in the door and their hooks in our kids.

In conclusion, having fast food advertising in our schools does a disservice to our children. They are going to school to be educated, not sold things. We have to maintain the integrity of our schools if we want our children to continue to learn. Students should not be influenced by corporate agenda when learning. School’s single goal should be what’s best for the kids. Children should be able to focus on learning without being inundated by advertisements. Teachers and administrators should set the agenda not outside commercial interests. We trust school officials and teachers to be surrogates four our children while in school, not pimps, prostituting their minds to the fast food nation for rulers and computers.











Works Cited
"Captive Kids: A Report on Commercial Pressures on Kids at School." Consumers Union 1995. Consumers Union. Web. .
Gearan, Anne. "Channel One Ads Just a Portion of Commercialism in Schools." The Associated Press. 10 Dec. 1998. Web.
Gill, Dee. "The Business of Education;Subtle Seduction in Classrooms;Critics Say Earning-not Learning-is Corporate Motive." The Houston Chronicle 15 Mar. 1993, 2 STAR ed., sec. A: 1. Print.
Kanner, Bernice. "Advertising Infiltrates Schools." Journal of Commerce 28 Mar. 2000: 4. Print.
Lavelle, Louis. "Commerce in The Classroom;Do In-School Ads Exploit Children?" The Record [Bergen County, NJ] 7 Feb. 1999, News sec.: A01. Print.
Molnar, Alex. Giving Kids the Business: the Commercialization of America's Schools. Boulder, Colo.: Westview, 1996. Print.

CAFO's Feeding Cows Grain is Inhumane & Dangerous.....

This research paper will address the practice of feeding grain to cows and the resulting beef they produce as opposed to feeding them grass. I will explain how CAFO’s ( Centralized Animal Feeding Operations ) feeding cows grain is inhumane and dangerous because it causes the growth and spread of E.coli 0157 through tainted beef and waste runoff and how switching cows back to their natural diet of grass is better for humans, cows and the environment. We will look at studies showing that grain diets cause acidity in the cow’s stomach which causes pain to them and produces E.coli 0157. That strain of E.coli can cause death to those who eat the contaminated beef. Also the excessive waste from the CAFO’s produces poisonous runoff which pollutes crops such as spinach and lettuce with E.coli. Most of the E.coli production can be stopped by simply switching the cows to a grass diet. The benefits for the environment, cow and beef consumer will be shown.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Annotated Bibliography # 3

Moyer, Lindsay. "Grass Is Greener: Buy Healthy Meat." Womens Health July-Aug. 2008. Print

Article on how cows are being fed cheap corn. Corn fed to cows produce greenhouse gases. How grass takes less fossil fuel to ship and feed cows than corn and grain. Also lists farms where grass-fed cows are. The grass-fed cows have higher conjugated linoleic acid per serving which aids in weight loss and lessens heart disease.


Planck, Nina. "Leafy Green Sewage." New York Times 21 Sept. 2006. Print

New York times article on recent spate of E.coli infections linked to spinach. Food safety officials say it comes from beef and dairy cattle. They blame E.coli 0157 which comes from the unnaturally acidic stomachs of cows being fed grain. 2007 journal says 80% of cattle affected. Article says to stop blaming spinach growers and start looking at beef farms.


"The Grass-Fed Revolution." Time 11 June 2006. LexisNexus. Web. 28 Apr. 2010. .

Time magazine article about JonTaggart, farmer of grass-fed cows. Dr. Steve Atchey says feedlot fattened animals have higher levels of saturated fat. Shows how grain diet raises acidity which breeds E.coli. How it contributes to Mad Cow disease. How overuse of antibiotics has created bacteria in cows.


Morgan, Dan. "Cattle Feedlots in Economic Pincer; Huge Fattening Feedlots at Center of Storm in Beef Economy." Washington Post 31 Jan. 1977, A1 sec. Print

News Articles on centralized animal feeding operations, Monfort of Colorado. How cows are fattened until 1100 pounds and then slaughtered. How cattle fed with corn are juicier and reach the slaughter weight faster. In 1950's opening of giant commercial facilities that fatten 30,000 to 100,000 animals at one time. Talks about fats food especially McDonald's development and what hamburgers are made of. Dispute between the American Cattleman's association on grass-fed vs. corn-fed cattle.


LeMieux, Dave. "What Could Be Better than Grass-fed, Free-range, Pesticide-free." Muskegon Chronicle [Michigan] 20 Mar. 2005, sec. D: 1. Print

Article about Creswick Farms in Raveena. Farm that has grass-fed cows. Purdue University study showing grass-fed beef higher in Omega 3 and similar to how we ate in stone age. Stone age diet shown to have fewer diseases. Tells how the farm composts all the animal waste.

Annotated Bibliography # 2

McDermott, Terry. "Burger Bacteria Hard To Trace in Blending Process." Times-Picayune [New Orleans] 12 Feb. 1993, National ed.: A2. Print

Article on E.coli bacteria found in Jack In The Box hamburgers. The USDA trying to figure out where the tainted beef originated from and what caused it. Also talks about how hamburger meat is processed.


Iggers, Jeremy. "Cattle Call; Grass-fed and Organic Beef Are Becoming More Popular as Consumers Seek Foods That Are More Healthful and Friendly to the Enviroment." Star Tribune [Minneapolis] 9 Oct. 2003, Metro ed., Taste sec.: 1T. Print.

Article on how people are traveling distances in oreder to purchase grass-fed organically raised beef. Talks about health related issues and tase differences in grass-fed amd grain-fed beef. Costs involved in running grass-fed organic farms. Also gives locations of organic farms.


Squires, Sally. "What's the Beef?" Washington Post 1 Aug. 2006, Final ed., Health sec.: F01. Print

Article on USDA standards for labeling beef. The standards for differences of grass-fed, certified organic and black angus beef. Has health and nutritional differences and discusses tast differences.


Sagon, Candy. "Grass-Fed Beef Called Healthier." Washington Post 15 Mar. 2006, Final ed., Food sec.: F01. Print

Report that grass-fed cows are higher in beneficialfatty acids from Union of Concerned Scientist. Report compares omega 3 levels. It also discusses tast differences between grass and grain fed cattle. Also the price difference in purchasing the two.


Segelken, Roger. "CU and USDA: Cattle Feeding Change Could Cut E.coli Risk." Cornell Chronicle [Massachusetts] 17 Sept. 1998. Print

Cornell University newspaper atricle of research done on how cattles diets could reduce E.coli. The study shows that in as little as 5 days of feeding grass the bacteria count is reduced. The study is supported by the USDA.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Advertising in School is Unethical & Corrupts the Learning Process While Promoting Corporate Agenda

“Letting Fast Food Companies Advertise in Schools is Unethical & Will Destroy the Integrity of the Educational System by Giving Companies the Ability to Corrupt the Learning Process & Promote Their Corporate Agenda”

School should be an ad-free zone for our children. Letting fast food companies advertise in schools is unethical and will destroy the integrity of the educational system by giving companies the ability to corrupt the learning process and promote their corporate agenda. We should not under any circumstances allow fast food advertising into our schools. Advertising would turn schools from a neutral place of learning into a 6 hour, ad filled, biased cage which kids are unable to escape from. Students and teachers would become trapped in the corporate web if allowed into our schools. Once let in there would be no way to avoid their influence.

School is supposed to be an educational environment. A place where a child goes to focus on learning. We teach them that it is a safe place where you are taught to learn from and trust what you are told. We tell them to listen to the teachers, principals, guidance counselors and coaches. We let them know these people have your best interest at heart. They are put on somewhat the same level as parents in many ways. School is the first place your parents ever leave you at. They drop you off in nursery school and tell you to listen to what your teachers tell you. That implies a level of trust. Your parents trust the school with your welfare. School plays such a major role in children’s development. Your experiences and what you learn there shape your future. You are taught that school is where you learn the truth about all subjects in life. You learn everything from biology to basketball; Spanish to sexual education; so if you saw a McDonald's or Burger King ad school, you would believe whatever that ad is selling or saying must be right. Ads found in school make it seem like the school is promoting the product. It can be so powerful because it is being shopped to a captive audience that has been asked to trust what the teacher says and does. Steven Kaplan, president of Sampling Corporation of America says, “There is an implied endorsement from a trusted institution” You’re taught whatever you read in your textbook is fact. So then whatever you read on the school wall must be fact too. When you see “MADD” and “Just Say No to Drugs “posters you know that getting high and drunk driving are bad for you. You see the posters for different colleges and know that you should go to one order to have a good future. That would lead you to believe what you see on school walls. So when you see the ad for the Whopper and Big Mac then surely they are good for you. Your school wouldn't steer you wrong. That's what you've been told your whole life. If we advertise these products in school then we are sending the message that they are good for you. That would be blurring the line between fact and propaganda. To allow fast food advertising would contradict the lessons being taught to kids. They're taught fast food like hamburgers; fries and soda are unhealthy and should only be consumed in moderation, if at all. By marketing such products in school, it's highly possible that students will get the wrong idea that they're okay after all. We can't be sending mixed signals to developing kids, otherwise we lose our credibility. It’s hard enough to get the children to learn what we’ve been teaching them for decades, now we throw a curve-ball at them. Materials in school should have a legitimate educational purpose, not a commercial motive. “It's a misuse of the environment of the school,” says, Jeffrey Arnett, an associate professor at the University of Maryland. “Schools should not be endorsing products, they are powerful institutions.” Letting fast food advertising into school walls would be a perversion of education.

Fast food companies have been trying to get access to advertising in schools for decades. School is the perfect stage to promote their products because it guarantees them a captive audience for six to seven hours a day. For the companies, kids are a lucrative market. There are over 45 million children in school. Although we might not think of children as consumers, they do have great economic clout. Today's elementary-age children have tremendous spending power; around 15 billion per year, 11 billion of which they spend on a wide variety of products from food, beverages, and clothes to toys and games. Teenagers spend 57 billion of their own money yearly. In addition they influence purchases of over 200 billion, according to James McNeal, a Texas A&M University professor. An entire industry has sprung up that's devoted solely to helping companies get their products in schools and to the kids. Fast food companies want to be able to get their views and product into children’s minds while they are vulnerable in order to build the cherished brand loyalty that lasts for a lifetime. They donate money and supplies to the schools but they are not doing it for nothing. These sponsored educational materials serve their purpose; getting their message to school kids. Alex Molnar writes, “Private profit is their motive behind funding for public education.” If they really wanted to be charitable they could just donate anonymously and unconditionally. Usually these educational materials come with a contract that allows their corporate name, logo and message to be displayed; sometimes even having their corporate mascot appear at certain sponsored events. A contract with the school districts is just that, a business arrangement. It really only benefits the two parties making the contract; the school district and the company, not the kids. The kids get caught in crossfire between the district balancing their budget and the company pushing their burger. With any advertisement or sponsorship comes the sponsors influence and point of view. The fast food companies will be influencing the way our children view food and any other view the fast food companies want to portray in their ads. Dee Gill, from The Houston Chronicle writes, “Corporate sponsors have offered up millions of dollars in equipment from classroom materials to computers—that help keep schools’ cost down. School boards don’t have to cut budgets, parents don’t have to pay more taxes and teachers don’t have to beg to get these much-needed items as often when corporations help. But the escalating involvement of corporations in schools has some educational experts worried. Everyone wins except the child who is subjected to the barrage of propaganda, argues Arnold Fege, director of government relations for the Washington based National Parent-Teacher association. Schools are supposed to be free marketplaces of ideas, Fege says. Corporations have vested interests in promoting their own products or their own point of view. Allowing a corporation to direct the learning process—through filmstrips, curriculum guides or whatever they provide—allows it to further its own agenda through vulnerable children, he says. Even the educational films that so many companies provide for schools can be dangerous propaganda he says. He asks the questions: Do parents want their kids to learn about the environment from oil companies? Do they want children to learn nutrition from fast food vendors? In such cases, he says, those sponsors have reasons to portray the facts with a slant favorable to their industries. ‘If they (corporations) really wanted to further education, they’d pay for it.’ He says. ‘How could you justify distracting kids with this garbage if you were really concerned about educating them better? ‘ The advertising companies that have spawned from the entrance of advertising into the school market are not shy in stating their intended purpose. One such company, Lifetime Learning Systems, which has worked with McDonald's, bills itself as, “the nation's recognized leader in the creation and dissemination of corporate-sponsored educational materials.” The promotional intent of the company's service is quite evident in its own literature: “School is the ideal time to influence attitudes, build long-term loyalties, introduce new products, test market, promote sampling and trial usage and above all, to generate immediate sales.” Does this sound like a company that has our kid’s interest at heart? Sounds more like someone who is taking advantage of most school districts need for supplies and contributions to get their foot in the door and their hooks in our kids. The companies they represent prey on our children’s naivety and immaturity in order to make money.

In conclusion, having fast food advertising in our schools does a disservice to our children. They are going to school to be educated, not sold things. Senator Patrick Leahy says, “It's our responsibility to make it clear that schools are here to serve children, not commercial interest.” We have to maintain the integrity of our schools and credibility of our teachers if we want our children to continue to learn. Teachers should not be influenced by corporate agenda when teaching. The single goal should be what’s best for the children. Children should be able to focus on learning without being inundated by advertisements. Teachers and administrators should set the agenda not outside commercial interests. We trust school officials and teachers to be surrogates for our children while in school, not pimps, prostituting their minds to the fast food nation for rulers and computers.


Works Cited

"Captive Kids: A Report on Commercial Pressures on Kids at School." Consumers Union 1995. Consumers Union. Web. .

Gearan, Anne. "Channel One Ads Just a Portion of Commercialism in Schools." The Associated Press. 10 Dec. 1998. Web.

Gill, Dee. "The Business of Education;Subtle Seduction in Classrooms;Critics Say Earning-not Learning-is Corporate Motive." The Houston Chronicle 15 Mar. 1993, 2 STAR ed., sec. A: 1. Print.

Kanner, Bernice. "Advertising Infiltrates Schools." Journal of Commerce 28 Mar. 2000: 4. Print.

Lavelle, Louis. "Commerce in The Classroom;Do In-School Ads Exploit Children?" The Record [Bergen County, NJ] 7 Feb. 1999, News sec.: A01. Print.

Molnar, Alex. Giving Kids the Business: the Commercialization of America's Schools. Boulder, Colo.: Westview, 1996. Print.