If you are having trouble viewing this email, please click on this link.
 
image: My Wonderful World
.
.
JULY 2008 NEWSLETTER
.
Prepare for your backyard barbecue with geography. From eating local foods to beating rising gas prices to learning more about how and what Americans eat, My Wonderful World is out to give you geo-news you can use. Have a great summer—all 75,000 of you!

Christopher Shearer, Director, My Wonderful World
.
The Time Is Ripe
-
Photo:

Nothing says "summer" more than sunshine, lazy days at the pool (or beach), and barbecue. Sweet corn on the cob, juicy watermelon, and hearty burgers are staples of the season. But this year more than ever, people are thinking critically about the choices they make when it comes to buying groceries. Attitudes are changing in response to increased fuel prices, recent natural disasters, disease outbreaks, and environmental concerns. These factors contributed to the thriving local-food movement, with farmers' markets popping up across the country, organic-grocery chains like Whole Foods Market offering local fare, and even the most haute-cuisine restaurants committing themselves to local sourcing. This month, MWW challenges you to learn about the food system and consider the impacts of your family's purchasing decisions. Start by visiting Local Harvest, a resource for finding local-minded businesses and farmers' markets near you.


- Read more >
.
Campaign Ticker
.
-

Campaign Members
.
74,755
-

National Geographic
Map of the Day
.
Map of the Day
.
.
- HOT THIS MONTH
-
Worldwide Opportunities on Organic Farms (WWOOF)
Photo: sidebarWWOOF offers unique, hands-on immersion experiences at organic farms around the world. Volunteers help farmers in their daily duties, learn about organic growing methods, and receive their stay and meals free of charge. Opportunities range from fruit orchards in England (pictured) to olive groves in Argentina.
-
A Sticky Situation
Photo: sidebarBee populations are disappearing at an alarming rate, which scientists attribute to a mysterious phenomenon called colony collapse disorder (CCD). The honeybee crisis could affect one-third of the foods we eat, including many of the ingredients in ice cream. Without bees, we would be missing a lot more than just honey.
-
Itís Time to Play "Meet a Chiquita®"
Photo: sidebarWe eat a lot of bananas. The average American eats about 28 pounds per year! Experts such as Dan Koeppel are predicting the price of these satisfyingly sweet treats, which are grown mostly in the tropical climates of the Caribbean and Central and South America, will increase significantly in the near future.
-
The Great Tomato Tragedy
Photo: sidebarThe year 2008 has proven to be one tough year for tomato farmers in the U.S. and Mexico. As many of you may be aware, early this summer, a salmonella infection began causing a number of human poisonings across the country. While experts work to determine the origin of the infection, countless individuals and businesses, including farmers, restaurants, and food suppliers, have incurred serious economic losses.

a
.
Take Action
Photo:Foodie Dictionary

Feeling lost in the lingo of food issues? Here are a few key definitions to help demystify foodie jargon:
Slow Food—A countermovement to fast food, created in 1989 and that seeks to raise awareness of where our food is grown and how our food choices affect the rest of the world.
100-mile Diet—Challenges participants to eat only foods grown within a 100-mile radius of where they live. That's right—if the salt and pepper in those shakers came from outside that distance, they aren't going on your food.
Locavore—Someone who commits himself or herself to buying and eating locally, often using the 100-mile-diet guidelines. Locavores believe that less processing and shipping leads to more nutritious, eco-friendly, and tasty food.
Fair Trade—A consumer-led movement that makes efforts to fairly compensate farmers in developing countries for the time and resources spent growing and producing goods. 
Organic—Label given to goods grown and/or produced within a list of monitored guidelines (e.g., no use of any artificial fertilizers or chemicals).
Genetically Modified Organism (GMO)—An organism whose DNA structure has been altered or modified in some way. Today there is a growing debate over the safety and environmental effects caused by genetically engineered foods.

- Read more >
-
-
Take Action
Why Are Food Prices So High?
Food prices have risen 45 percent since the end of 2006. Experts say many factors have propelled increasing costs, including:
1) Rising oil and energy prices have affected all levels of the food production chain, from fertilizer costs to harvesting, transporting, and processing food.
2) There has been strong food demand from emerging economies, especially India and China.
3) Rising biofuel production adds to the demand for corn. Almost half the increase in consumption of major food crops in 2007 was related to biofuels, mostly because of corn-based ethanol production in the U.S.
4) Some major exporting countries have introduced export taxes, bans, or other restrictions on exports of agricultural products.
5) Drought conditions in major wheat-producing countries (e.g., Australia and Ukraine) and flooding in the midwestern U.S. have ruined crops and left supplies low while demand is higher than ever.
- Read more >
-
-
Take Action
No Geography Left Behind?
Ever wondered why geography is the only subject NOT funded by the No Child Left Behind Act? Even if you haven't, this month's MWW guest blogger has, and he's offering a way to remedy the lack of federal funding for Geography "the subject".
- Read more >
-
.
.
.
Talk Back in the Blog . Spread the Word . Test Your Global IQ . About My Wonderful World
You received this email because you signed up to be a part of the My Wonderful World campaign. To change delivery or format options or to change your address, please use the links below or write to National Geographic; Attn: E-Newsletter Program; 1145 17th Street N.W.; Washington, D.C. 20036.

Images courtesy of Flickr, ABC News, Fairmead Life Centre and Wikimedia.
Unsubscribe Privacy Policy  Copyright © 2008 National Geographic Society. All rights reserved.