DEAR MICHAEL A. STUSSER: I loved your article ["Organicize Me," Feb. 21]! I'm one of those pains in the ass that has to read labels for gluten, as I was just diagnosed with celiac disease. I'm trying to do the whole "mindful" eating thing. Your article was both informative and hilarious. Keep that kind of story coming!
Good, and Good For you
DEAR MICHAEL A. STUSSER: Excellent article, thank you for writing it. I found it entertaining enough to read thoroughly and educational enough that I felt enriched by the experience.
Even The English Love It
DEAR EDITOR: Compliments to Michael A. Stusser, who worked a lot of material into a good primer on organics without getting all schoolmarmy about it. A year from now, I'd be curious to hear whether he's closer to solving questions on food miles or social justice.
The Mouth in the Mirror
DEAR EDITOR: Thank you for publishing an educational piece on sustainable foods and organic farming. I'm particularly impressed that Michael A. Stusser also mentioned "locavores" and the environmental consequences of purchasing foods from distant regions (for example, out-of-season fruits and vegetables). It is not enough to subsist only on an organic diet. We cannot vilify faceless corporations; to practice sustainability, we must educate ourselves and others, taking daily responsibility for our own food and transportation decisions.
Come To Our Potlucks!
DEAR MICHAEL A. STUSSER: I loved your article. It was also a nice surprise to read at the end you were going raw. Most people don't have the realization that raw food is what is natural for us and it is a key in overcoming health challenges. If you don't already know, we have a sizable raw foods community in the greater Seattle area. Our potlucks (a recent potluck saw 80 people!) are a great way to learn new dishes, as well as talk with other raw foodists (newcomers and old-timers). We also have occasional classes and meet-ups. Take a look at RawWashington.org for more information. (I've been raw for about six years.)
Cooking is Bad
DEAR EDITOR: I'm appreciative for the article on organic eating but also frustrated by the myths it helps to perpetuate. Organic food can be almost as unhealthy as conventionally grown food. That's because whether a food has pesticide residues on it is not the only criteria by which we should judge a food's suitability. In fact, as your reporter noted in his final paragraph, the cooking and processing of food renders it much more dangerous to health than whatever unnatural methods are employed to grow it. Unfortunately, since this is not widely known, people are merrily crunching organic corn chips and chocolate bars, thinking they're eating healthfully. Cooked and processed organic foods create disease just as surely as the conventionally grown versions. Please encourage your reporter to go ahead with his plans to eat raw.
How to be 'Hip-Hop'
DEAR EDITOR: I read the article about Jason Tanz's book [Tome Raider, Feb. 21] on the relationship between white people and hip-hop. I decided instead of writing a book myself on the topic, I would write a letter to the white people of Seattle who want to be considered "hip-hop."
Now, when making the transition from listener/appreciator to participator/fan of hip-hop, there are a few mistakes white people usually make and have to steer clear of. If you don't already smoke blunts, don't start to smoke blunts! If you usually take the sticker off of your hat's bill after you buy it, continue to take the sticker off your hat's bill! If your first reaction to gold isn't "Hey, let me put this on my teeth," then don't put it on your teeth! If you earn your living as an engineer at Boeing, stay working as an engineer at Boeing. In other, more hip-hop words, keep it real! You might already be hip-hop and not even know it.
Now, there is also the whole fighting oppression and grind thing, but I'm almost at my word limit. Keeping it real should be enough to get you started. Good luck, white people!
Strange form of respect
DEAR EDITOR: For months now, on city buses and in newspapers, including yours, I've been seeing full-color advertisements for "Bodies: The Exhibition," the ongoing show which claims to feature "real human bodies, preserved through an innovative process and then respectfully presented."
The "respectfully presented" corpse in the latest ad is posed with a basketball in hand, as if about to shoot a few hoops in the All-Dead-Star League. This is not how my family would have defined "respect" when we were, say, burying my grandmother. I'm a free-speech-loving liberal who is hard to offend, and I like to think I have a sense of humor, but this ad angers and scares me because it desecrates something I believe should be sacred: the humanity of the person whose tendons and ribs and half-muscled face I cannot seem to avoid seeing plastered all over town, even though my way of showing respect to the dead is not to stare when someone makes a titillating or amusing or, god help us all, "respectful" display of a human being's corpse.
Since the ad campaign, with its explicit images, doesn't leave me a choice about seeing the display, I'd at least like to voice my condolences and respect for a Chinese stranger who died and whose body somehow ended up in this bizarre predicament; and I think that whoever put him there must have a heart "preserved through an innovative process."
Carol J. Poole
No love lost
DEAR EDITOR: This e-mail is in response to your article ["Love Letters," Feb. 14] on the ongoing legislative battle to ban bulk mail (termed "junk mail" by the reporter) from customers' mailboxes when they voluntarily opt out. There was no mention in the article of the problem of carriers being forced to not deliver mail pieces unless they were mailed first-class or periodical rate. Most people who opt out of receiving bulk mail would likely not appreciate having their bulk-mailed frequent-flier plan statements, for instance, withheld from delivery. I told the reporter that the only way carriers have to identify bulk mail is by the class of postage, and that one person's junk mail is another person's treasure.
Bills of the sort being considered by the Washington State Legislature, in effect, would cause all mail, except from charities and political campaigns, to be withheld from delivery to those who opted out. Isn't it interesting that the proposed legislation makes an exception for political mail? As a carrier, I have heard more complaints about political flyers than about almost any other type of bulk business mail. To many Americans, nothing better characterizes "JUNK" than political flyers. It is more than a little ironic that politicians are considering the optional banning of bulk business mail, unless it comes from them.
The reporter also failed to mention the contention I made that if a significant portion of bulk business mail was taken out of the mail stream, the Postal Service would have no option but to raise the rates for the remaining classes of mail and the residual bulk business mail which wasn't blocked from delivery.
I realize that newspapers need to sell copy, but I take strong exception to associating the phrase "going postal" with the state's rural carriers. The joke is an overused cliché that is both in bad taste and not reflective of present-day reality.
Washington Rural Letter
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