Independent Women's Forum RSS feedhttp://www.iwf.orgThe RSS feed for the IWF. News, Commentary and Blog posts from the Independent Women's Foundation.(...)IWF RSS And Fear: How To Find Facts In Today's Culture Of Alarmism • Marc Cox GunlockThu, 16 Feb 2017 14:02:00 CSTen-usIndependent Women's ForumPodcast #70 Debunking Rachel Carson's Alarmism On Manmade Chemicals<div> <div> <div> <p> IWF&#39;s Julie Gunlock is joined by Hank Campbell, the president of American Council on Science and Health. Julie and Hank discuss Rachel Carson and her book Silent Spring, which argues that manmade chemicals affect the health and safety of humans. But despite the alarmism, today more people have access to food and the rate of cancer and other diseases are on the decline. Julie and Hank discuss how her book has been debunked many times and why we shouldn&#39;t be alarmed by her point of view.</p> </div> <div> <div> &nbsp;</div> </div> <div> <div> <div> &nbsp;</div> </div> </div> <div> <div> &nbsp;</div> </div> </div> </div> <p> &nbsp;</p> GunlockWed, 15 Feb 2017 15:02:00 CSTen-usIndependent Women's ForumPhiladelphia's New Soda Tax • Boom Bust GunlockFri, 10 Feb 2017 09:02:00 CSTen-usIndependent Women's ForumPhilly's Soda Taxes Are Hurting Consumers, Businesses, And The Poor • Steve Gruber GunlockThu, 9 Feb 2017 14:02:00 CSTen-usIndependent Women's ForumSuper Bowl Sunday Cable Outage + Political Food Choices • Cam & Company GunlockTue, 7 Feb 2017 12:02:00 CSTen-usIndependent Women's ForumPodcast #69 Food And Fear: How Monsanto Is Vilified By Activists<p> On this Working for Women Podcast, Julie Gunlock speaks to Yvette D&#39;Entrement (better known as the SciBabe). Yvette recently toured Monsanto--an agriculture company that is often vilified by activists. What did Yvette learn? What does Monsanto do to help farmers and make food more accessible to people worldwide? Tune in to find out.</p> GunlockTue, 7 Feb 2017 11:02:00 CSTen-usIndependent Women's ForumPodcast #68 Sifting Through Food Alarmism To Find Real Facts<p> On this episode, Julie Gunlock and Amanda Zaluckyj, founder of the blog The Farmers Daughter talk about an upcoming event in St Louis on which they will both appear.</p> <p> Americans continue to get mixed messages about food and nutrition. Consumers are increasingly having trouble finding reliable information. The all-star panel will address food fears and how to sift through the alarmism to find science-based information to complex nutrition and agriculture issues.</p> <p> Panelists will tackle the following questions: What are the origins of food fears? How have food fears altered consumer behaviors? Why are women targeted for fear-based marketing strategies? What can the science, medical, agricultural, and academic communities to do help provide consumers better information?</p> <p> RSVP HERE:&nbsp;<a href="" rel="nofollow" target="_blank" title="">;ets-31064105576</a></p> GunlockFri, 3 Feb 2017 09:02:00 CSTen-usIndependent Women's ForumGreen For Top Grades?<p> I recently overheard a&nbsp;seven-year-old say that many&nbsp;of her peers&nbsp;in the&nbsp;first grade get $20 for a good report card.</p> <p> Should parents open their wallet to say &ldquo;good job&rdquo; to a child?</p> <p> If you currently pay your kids for good grades, that&rsquo;s fine. If you don&rsquo;t, that&rsquo;s fine, too &mdash; it seems there is no correct answer on this question. The personality of the child, and&nbsp;what motivates&nbsp;her, need&nbsp;to be considered.</p> <p> <span style="color:#ffffff;"><span style="font-size:14px;"><strong><span style="background-color:#ea425b;">&ldquo;Payment will work for some kids, but others need a different kind of encouragement,&rdquo; Julie Gunlock, senior fellow at the Independent Women&rsquo;s Forum (IWF), told LifeZette. Gunlock is also the&nbsp;author of &ldquo;From Cupcakes to Chemicals: How the Culture of Alarmism Makes Us Afraid of Everything and How to Fight Back.&rdquo;</span></strong></span></span></p> <p> <span style="color:#ffffff;"><span style="font-size:14px;"><strong><span style="background-color:#ea425b;">It comes down to knowledge of that child, said Gunlock.&nbsp;&ldquo;Parents are the best arbiters of what motivates their kids to perform well and accomplish certain goals.&rdquo;</span></strong></span></span></p> <p> One mother who is opposed to paying her children for good grades is a blogger named Holly (no last name given). She believes good grades, in and of themselves, are the reward. The same goes for the praise a child may receive from teachers and peers.</p> <p> &quot;Paying kids does not make them smarter. Some kids just cannot make an A or B no matter how hard they work,&quot; said this blogger. &quot;Kids may also focus on the money, and not school.&quot;</p> <p> I see this point. Parents who pay children for good grades risk their children eventually thinking they have to receive something in exchange for what they&#39;re <em>expected</em> to do &mdash; that is, go to school and graduate. Parents also risk their children growing up thinking they are entitled to things. (Have you seen millennials out there lately?)</p> <p> Even if she were to dole out dollars for As and Bs, this blogger said grades last forever. The money would be spent as soon as she gave it to her kids. Meanwhile, she does give her kids an allowance for chores.</p> <p> &quot;I do this because I want to teach them about money and budgeting,&quot; she explained.</p> <p> Yet money is precisely why some people pay their kids for good grades. In their minds, school is their child&#39;s job, and if Mom and Dad earn money for work, why shouldn&#39;t the kids be paid for their endeavors? Moreover, workers are offered incentives for meeting certain expectations, so shouldn&#39;t the same be offered to students?</p> <p> &quot;I pay my children because it incentivizes them to maintain high grades,&quot; wrote Lynette Khalfani-Cox on &quot;It can actually save our family money in the future.&quot;</p> <p> How so?</p> <p> &quot;High-achieving students are more likely than other classmates to earn scholarships and merit-based aid when they enroll in college,&quot; she explained in her blog post entitled, &quot;Here&#39;s Why I Pay My Kids For Good Grades.&quot; It&#39;s all about motivation. &quot;Paying kids for good grades can give them extra motivation to shoot for those high marks.&quot;</p> <p> <span style="color:#ffffff;"><span style="font-size:14px;"><strong><span style="background-color:#ea425b;">Those with tight budgets need not worry. Gunlock of IWF pointed out that rewards do not have to be in the form of legal U.S. tender.</span></strong></span></span></p> <p> <span style="color:#ffffff;"><span style="font-size:14px;"><strong><span style="background-color:#ea425b;">&quot;It could be a big hug and a high five,&quot; said Gunlock. &quot;Sometimes it&#39;s just an ice cream cone, but on other occasions it might be some alone time with a parent.&quot;</span></strong></span></span></p> <p> <span style="color:#ffffff;"><span style="font-size:14px;"><strong><span style="background-color:#ea425b;">With a husband and three boys, Gunlock said one-on-one time can be rare. &quot;Sometimes it&#39;s a little extra game time or a special dinner. My kids like to choose their reward, so it&#39;s always different.&quot;</span></strong></span></span></p> <p> Here&#39;s a thought: How about giving children rewards on occasion &mdash; and telling them why they&#39;re receiving it? If your child starts to expect these rewards, then take a break from giving them out. With a sensible attitude and a good understanding of what motivates each child, parents need not feel guilty whichever way they go on the &quot;green for grades&quot; debate.</p> GunlockFri, 3 Feb 2017 09:02:00 CSTen-usIndependent Women's ForumPhilly’s Drink Tax Is Hurting Consumers, Businesses, and the Poor<p> Philadelphians are experiencing considerable sticker shock as the prices of their favorite beverages skyrocket because of the largest soda tax in U.S. history going into effect.</p> <p> It will be hard for Philadelphians to avoid these price hikes because the city&rsquo;s tax covers more than just sugar-sweetened sodas. It also applies to fruit drinks, sports and energy drinks, sweetened water, pre-sweetened coffee and teas (although coffee confections such as those created at Starbucks are excluded), and drinks used as mixers in alcoholic drinks (although the alcohol, which is high in both natural sugars and calories, is exempted from the tax).</p> <p> To the distress of those trying to cut down on calories, Democratic mayor Jim Kenny, who designed and pushed for the beverage tax, included zero-calorie, sugar-free diet beverages. Thomas Farley, the head of Philadelphia&rsquo;s health department explained that diet drinks are included because: &ldquo;People will be less likely to switch from sugary drinks to diet drinks, but they may be more likely to switch from sugary drinks to water, and that is what we want&rdquo; (emphasis mine). Because when dieting, an individual should always first consider what Mr. Farley wants.</p> <p> Mary Story, a professor at Duke University&rsquo;s Global Health Institute echoed Farley. Diet beverages &ldquo;are filled with artificial sweeteners and chemicals,&rdquo; she said.&nbsp;&rdquo;Do we really want people to drink these?&rdquo; Consumers should ponder a different question: When did it become the prerogative of government and public-health officials, academics, and food activists to make my beverage decisions?</p> <p> While food nannies have applauded Mayor Kenney&rsquo;s claims that he&rsquo;s trying to solve the obesity crisis, the reality is that beverage taxes do nothing to reduce obesity rates. But soda taxes do have an impact in one area: the success of small businesses. According to a new study on the effect of Mexico&rsquo;s soda tax, which was implemented in 2015, in the first half of 2016 alone, 30,000 stores closed because of the financial strain of these soda taxes. Of those that survived, 93 percent saw a decline in profits.</p> <p> Sadly, the citizens of Philadelphia are in for similar hardships, particularly the city&rsquo;s poor. Beverage taxes are regressive, meaning the poor will pay a larger percentage of their income on the tax. That&rsquo;s partly due to the fact that the poor have a harder time leaving the city limits in order to take advantage of lower prices in the suburbs. According to the Pew Charitable Trust, Philadelphia has one of the highest poverty rates of the nation&rsquo;s ten largest cities. Median household income in the City of Brotherly Love is far lower than the national average, with more than 400,000 Philadelphians living below the federal poverty line, including 37 percent of children and 43 percent of Latinos.</p> <p> Perhaps this tax will encourage more Philadelphians to do what city residents have been doing for decades: leave the city. In the 1960s, Philadelphia ranked as the fourth-most populous city in the United States with just over 2 million residents. Today, Philadelphia&rsquo;s population hovers at just over 1.5 million people. According to the Philadelphia Inquirer, this continued population decline is &ldquo;symptomatic of a region that continues to struggle with high taxes, a city school system in chaos, and industries that aren&rsquo;t hiring at the rates they did in the region&rsquo;s heydays.&rdquo;</p> <p> If Philadelphia mayor Jim Kenney cared about his city, its residents, and the small businesses that operate in the city, he would scrap Philly&rsquo;s punishing and very restrictive drink tax. It&rsquo;s time politicians remembered their place &mdash; not as a parent who punishes misbehaving children, but as a public official meant to keep the peace and otherwise stay out of people&rsquo;s lives.</p> GunlockThu, 2 Feb 2017 08:02:00 CSTen-usIndependent Women's ForumLabor in the Age of Automation • Boom Bust GunlockWed, 1 Feb 2017 15:02:00 CSTen-usIndependent Women's ForumEverything’s Political—Even Your Food Choices<p> Last month, National Geographic <a href="">declared</a>, with the help of an exploitive picture of a pink-clad transgender child, that America is in the midst of a gender revolution. Everything, it seems, is now being looked at through the lens of gender, including our choices about what to eat.</p> <p> According to a recent <a href="">article</a> in the Washington Post written by dietician Christy Brissette, men and women choose food based not on what they want or what tastes good, but because of &ldquo;gendered beliefs&rdquo; about food, &ldquo;socially influenced eating patterns&rdquo; and subtle &ldquo;social messaging.&rdquo; These gendered decisions, claims the Post writer, are killing men and making women eat &ldquo;like birds.&rdquo;</p> <p> Brissette cites research from the University of Manitoba that&mdash;get ready for a shock&mdash;&ldquo;women have healthier eating habits than men&rdquo; (any wife could have told you that!) and that a man&rsquo;s decision to choose a side of fries over a side salad is a &ldquo;learned response,&rdquo; not a matter of appetite.</p> <p> &ldquo;Based on the research of his group and others, Zhu says in an email, &lsquo;Unhealthy eating habits and foods (e.g. fries, nachos) are psychologically associated with masculinity while &lsquo;healthy&rsquo; eating habits and foods (e.g. salad, organic food) are psychologically associated with femininity. . . .</p> <p> &lsquo;Energy-dense, spicy and strongly flavored foods are perceived as masculine foods . . . while soft and sweet foods are perceived as feminine foods.&rdquo;</p> <p> That&rsquo;s true enough, but what Brissette seems to miss is that there are some basic biological differences between men and women when it comes to daily intake of calories and needed nutrients. The rather less dramatic, though thoroughly gendered fact is, women need fewer calories than men (women need about 2,000 calories a day, men need around 2,800 calories per day). Menalso require higher total intake of certain macronutrients, whereas women need more vitamins and minerals. Because women give birth, they need to guard against osteoporosis by taking in more calcium. Post-menopausal woman also require more calcium than males and women also have a greater need for iron compared to men due to menstruation.</p> <p> Brissette also ignores what feminists have been complaining about for years&mdash;that women deal with greater pressure to look a certain way and stay slim. Feminist writer and fat acceptance activist Lindy West <a href="">acknowledged</a> the pressures put on women when she talked about her own search for perfection, saying, &ldquo;Chasing perfection was your duty and your birthright, as a woman, and I would never know what it was like&mdash;this thing, this most important thing for girls.&rdquo; Maybe this is the reason many women choose salad over fries?</p> <p> Brissette also treats men as if they&rsquo;ve been locked in a bunker for fifty years and have no idea how to cook or even know the basics about nutrition. She suggests men need to be encouraged, cajoled, even tricked into thinking that eating broccoli and cooking are fine, manly things to do. But that&rsquo;s a message that men are already hearing quite frequently. Just take a look at the movies these day&mdash;men cook! Or turn on the Food Network and look at the number of men . . . cooking! In fact, cooking is a pretty common hobby for men. Even men&rsquo;s magazines included cooking sections and recipes. Men&rsquo;s magazines are also filled with another subject Brissette might think only interests women: how to lose weight.</p> <p> Brissette&rsquo;s clearly worried about the gender limits of foods and she makes some fair points in her article about how we make our food decisions. But before you ruin a dinner party spending too much time worrying if you&rsquo;re making a gendered decision by ordering the steak instead of the quinoa bowl, take it easy when it comes to food. Eat smart, get your veggies, and get off the couch.</p> <p> And leave the gender debates to the women&rsquo;s studies departments.</p> GunlockWed, 1 Feb 2017 12:02:00 CSTen-usIndependent Women's ForumDoes Everything Have To Be Political? + Progressive Sexism • Cam & Company GunlockTue, 31 Jan 2017 15:01:00 CSTen-usIndependent Women's ForumSalad...The Silent Killer! Is *Any* Food Safe? • Cam & Company GunlockTue, 24 Jan 2017 08:01:00 CSTen-usIndependent Women's ForumWhat Were The Women's Marches Truly About? • Bill Cunningham Show GunlockSun, 22 Jan 2017 14:01:00 CSTen-usIndependent Women's ForumSalad: The Silent Killer?<p> That&rsquo;s it, folks. There&rsquo;s nothing left to eat. With news this week that salad may be hazardous to your health, it&rsquo;s clear we all need to stop eating altogether.</p> <p> Let&rsquo;s face it, food is a killer.</p> <p> Americans have been hearing just that for decades, and yet life expectancy continues to rise while cancer rates go down, as do deaths due to heart disease. And yet, the food alarmism continues. In the 1990s, Americans were warned to avoid butter, cheese, and eggs. Then it was tuna, followed by red meat, followed soon by all forms of animal-based protein. Next, it was carbohydrates&mdash;the pastas, breads, corn-based foods, and rice. Next, we were told bacon was causing cancer along with luncheon meats. More recently, we&rsquo;ve heard warnings about wine and soft drinks (even diet drinks), and all food items containing sugar.</p> <p> Given time, most of these items have returned to favor. Last year, the federal government reversed decades of guidance on cholesterol, which has led to a renaissance for butter, eggs and all forms of fatty foods. After years of telling people to avoid meat, protein-rich diets are now the rage and even carbohydrates are making their return as the food commentariat class again reverses course on grains and other sources of carbs.</p> <p> Despite all the schizophrenic diet advice consumers hear on a daily basis, one thing has remained consistent: vegetables are good for you. But no more. Now, salad&rsquo;s a killer. <a href="">According to a new &ldquo;study&rdquo;</a> (produced by researcher who must have looked around and said, &ldquo;There&rsquo;s nothing left to demonize! How will I make a name for myself?&rdquo;), salad is making you feel anxious, depressed, and unable to fall asleep, among other disturbing outcomes. According to the Daily Mail:</p> <p style="margin-left: 40px;"> &ldquo;Internist Dr. Svetlana Kogan explained that she sees scores of her patients coming in with very non-specific symptoms&mdash;shakes, jitters, sleeplessness. But they may not realize that it could all be coming from something they believed to be healthy.</p> <p style="margin-left: 40px;"> She told Daily Mail Online: &lsquo;They feel anxious, depressed, they can&rsquo;t fall asleep. So we look at different environmental factors and often we find that their body has high amounts of copper.&rdquo;</p> <p> So, it&rsquo;s copper. Feeling jittery, having the shakes, having trouble falling asleep. Might this have something to do with, oh, I don&rsquo;t know . . . the times we live in today? Perhaps people might feel uncertain and nervous and anxious because everything they watch and see is telling them that they are killing themselves and endangering their families? That can be pretty nerve-wracking and anxiety producing.</p> <p> But, for the sake of argument, let&rsquo;s run with this copper idea. Sure, it could be copper. Why not. Considering the presidential election, anything&rsquo;s possible, right? Yet, if it is copper, why does the researcher suggest that the sole source of copper toxicity is from people&rsquo;s vegetable consumption? Note to the doctor: Copper is present in all sorts of food items.</p> <p> Just a quick Google search on &ldquo;foods that contain copper&rdquo; reveals such common food items as seafood, meat, eggs, nuts, seeds and spices, chocolate, and even some beverages&mdash;like coffee and black tea&mdash;contain copper. I don&rsquo;t mean to tell the doctor how to do her job (or how to do a Google search) but perhaps feeling jittery, nervous and sleepless could also stem from drinking too much coffee. Is she unaware that coffee has increased in popularity over the last several decades?</p> <p> Perhaps what the doctor meant to say is this: keep eating your healthy salads and also keep your diets varied. Practice moderation and eat sensible portion sizes. Get outside and take a walk, and don&rsquo;t focus too much on food fads.</p> <p> Most of all, ignore the heavy diet of alarmism being fed to you by headline-hungry researchers.</p> GunlockTue, 17 Jan 2017 12:01:00 CSTen-usIndependent Women's Forum