I hate watching the 11 o’clock news. Every night, it’s the same. The front half of the newscast is loaded with depressing, shocking, and often appalling news items that make “The Walking Dead” look like a walk in the park. If you can stomach through the “news” segment to the weather, sports, and the silly story of the day, you’ve most likely ingested enough material to thwart any chance of sound sleep thereafter.
I know, I get it — the world is not always a pleasant place. Recent events in Boston and West, TX, are testament to that. However, it seems to be getting worse. Or maybe it’s just the mainstream media showing us the proverbial and literal trainwrecks that we can’t turn away from. Whatever the case may be, I’ve had it, and I can’t be the only one fatigued by the fodder.
Times like these make me sing to myself lyrics by one of my favorite surfer/singer/songwriters Jack Johnson, “Where’d all the good people go?” That’s a fair question, Jack. They’re still out there. It’s just harder to find them when tuning in and logging on.
A Dirty Shame
Even when there are literally two sides to a story, the more positive half doesn’t get nearly the attention as its darker side. For example, a year cannot go by without the airing out of the “Dirty Dozen.” I’ve touched on this topic before in this column, but not from this angle. The list, compiled and presented by the Environmental Working Group, comprises 12 fruits and veggies shown to carry higher pesticide residues. The release of the list, which is part of the consumer advocacy group’s annual shopper’s guide, has an aggressive PR campaign. All the media outlets seem to eat it up while those in ag circles work their own damage control.
Interestingly enough, the other half of the shopper’s guide is a listing of 15 fruits and vegetables that are shown to carry little pesticide loads. While the “Clean Fifteen” celebrates produce consumption, it’s the dirty perpetrator that takes the cake.
Silver Lining For Citrus
Focusing on the negative isn’t something we like to do. But sometimes you can’t avoid it, especially when covering the main issues/challenges facing today’s farmers. Citrus growers, in particular, have had little to smile about in recent years. However, the flip side to this story is the yeoman’s work being put forth by researchers and growers — much behind the scenes. One individual in the thick of it all is this year’s Florida Grower Citrus Achievement Award winner, Bobby Barben. Recognized by peers and associates, Bobby stands out as a worthy recipient for his efforts and leadership during a tough time.
I suppose without experiencing difficulty, it’s harder to appreciate the good people do. Congrats, Bobby! Thanks for all you do and for helping me end this column on a positive note.