Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Difference is Possible, by: Ruth Zuniga

Clothes are a necessity. It does not matter what part of the planet we go to, we need to buy clothes. As we go about our lives, we never really take the time to stop and think about where our shirts, jeans, sweaters, and even socks come from. It has become very simple to buy an outfit at a local Forever 21, Hollister, or H&M and never think about who made it or how it got to the United States. Nevertheless, there is a story behind where these clothes come from. Many of the clothes we wear today are made in third world countries, by young kids or adults who are working in factories where their rights are not respected and working conditions are poor. They work in a way that they never imagined when they applied for the job. Many corporations are using sweatshops as a means to create the clothes that most Americans are wearing today. Sweatshops, according to The US Department of Labor, are factories that violate two or more labor laws. Many corporations try and justify themselves by arguing that if they where to pay workers the minimum wage and give them better conditions to work in, then the consumer would have to pay more for the products. They believe that they are making our lives easier by providing what we need for a lower price while hurting people and our planet. However, there is one clothing company that has made it possible, and that is American Apparel.

Not only has American Apparel proven it is possible to become sweatshop free, but they contribute to many other great new methods of manufacturing, and distribute in 19 countries. One very important aspect of the company is the way they treat their employees. Right off the American Apparel website one can find the difference between the sweatshop environment and a sweatshop free factory like the one where the American Apparel items are made.

“The average sewer with experience at American Apparel is making about $25,000/yr, or $12 an hour, almost twice the federal minimum. This can be higher in some cases. We also offer parking, subsidized public transport, subsidized lunches, free onsite massages, a bike lending program, a program of paid days off, ESL classes and much more. Most importantly we guarantee job security and full-time employment; this is an anomaly in the garment industry, which has historically been dominated by seasonal work.”

Besides these great programs, employees together with their families are provided with health care, which is one of the many things that employees in sweatshops do not have. Many companies that do not provide these type of resources for their employees believe that it is better to have cheaper clothing for the consumers than actually treat people like human beings with needs. Not only is American Apparel making a difference by treating employees the right way; but they are also taking care of our planet.

The start of their organic line is the start of a new way of taking care of our planet. They are

making an impact in people’s lives, as well as in the environment. They use organic cotton and

dye the fabric with a low-impact dying process with eliminates chemical waste. The company

has bought around 30,000 pounds of cleaner cotton as well as joining the Cleaner Cotton

Campaign, which offers farmers with tips on how to cultivate cleaner, more organic cotton. The

organic material is only part of what they do for our environment. Fifteen percent of the

company’s energy comes from a system that generates 150 kilowatts of   renewable energy.

They also recycle, and in 2005 started lending out bicycles to employees as transportation with

helmets and locks. Catalogs are made in 100% recyclable paper and they will be starting a bamboo and recycled polyester line as well. How can companies say that sweatshops are the best answer when American Apparel is treating their employees in an ethical manner as well as making a difference in the environment? Not only has American Apparel grown, but they are selling.

There is one fact that many people can agree on, their clothes are expensive. A simple t-shirt

can costs from 15-28 dollars each. However, the company is still very popular and many people

in over 19 countries are buying from them. There are over 260 stores worldwide. Why is it that people are willing to pay so much for their clothes? The answer is simple. A sweatshop free

environment attracts attention.

Consumers realize that stores like American Apparel are making a positive difference.

They can see that not only are they helping people have good jobs, but they are helping our

environment by providing new ways of making products. The consumers can see that American

Apparel stands for many different varieties of issues and this makes consumers want to be a part

of such of positive change by buying the products.

More and more people can see that American Apparel’s method is for the better and that companies using sweatshops really have no more excuses. Not only can the clothes in a non-sweatshop factory be affordable but they can be comfortable, flashy, and buyable.  It is possible to create a better environment for workers and for our planet. It is possible for a company to be sweatshop free and still be successful. Many just need to realize that standing up for what is right can be rewarding at the end.

Works Cited

1)      Advertisement. American Apparel / About Us/ Learn More. American Apparel Inc., 2009.          Web. 13 May 2010. <;.

2)      Green America Come Together. National Green Pages, 2004-2009. Web. 13 May 2010. <;.


Local Food a Better Choice

Healthier Living By: Ruth Zuniga

One should strive to eat healthier, by consuming organic local foods; this will not only help the environment by being eco-friendly but it will allow for a better healthier life, as well as supporting the farmers who have till now strived for good growing environment.  Eating more organic foods is a positive and practrical action that can be a lot more rewarding at the end.

Organic agriculture, does not only provide crop but it also provides livestock systems that are a lot more natural for the animals, fruits, and vegetables. Animals are provided with an open, clean, non-chemical environment where they are able to grow as they should with less probabilities of getting a disease and relieving stress. On organic farms, animals are not allowed to receive any type of antibiotics,and friuts as well as vegetables are not sprayed with toxic chemicals called pesticides.  These fruits and vegetables grown in non-organic farms, are left with chemical residues which end in our bodies suggering health problems such as defenerative diseases in children. One very good outcome of consuming organic foods is that it has a higher percentage of minarals and in the end are very much healthier than most other products.

It is understood that with the economical crisis going on in the United States more families would much rather buy the non-organic products which are cheaper in price. However, one must sit and think about what is being put in these products and how much they will harm us in the long run. Everyday normal people are making themselves more prone to diseases and health problems which in the end need care. Therefore in the long run more money is being wasted in very expensice medical procedures and medicine. This all can be solved by consuming foods that are better for ones body. Not only is it rewarding to oneself but also for the community, due to the money used to by organic foods stays in the same area.

Dirty Little Secret By:Oscar Martinez

Food is deceiving. It attracts people with its outer appearance and its sweet interior. A person can enjoy food for a while, until it finally decides to stab the person in the back. This is where people need to take some responsibility on what they eat. The issue in this time is that many people do not pay attention to what they are eating. This lack of attention can lead to future health problems such as diabetes, or obesity which can also lead to cardiovascular disease. Changing one’s diet, and even the location from where one purchases his or her food, can be beneficial to a healthier life.

Since many people don’t pay attention to what they eat, they tend to make poor decisions on what they buy. Food products that are sold at grocery stores may not be what they seem. If a product claims to contain a certain type of nutrition, it may not be necessarily true. Many Nutrition Fact labels on food products sugarcoat its facts. For example, even though a product may be fat-free, it is not completely healthy. The fat from many of these food products is usually replaced with sugar. This is why people need to be careful with what they eat.

Taking the time to look over what is in the food product can have significant results. Studying a food label can help determine which products are best and which are not. To purchase the best quality food is through local famer markets. There are multiple benefits when purchasing from these stores. The products from these stores contain the most nutrition since they were produced not too far from the store instead of traveling miles from where it was made. That leads to another advantage which is that it is helpful for the environment. Another reason is that not only does the money go to the producer of that product, but a portion of the money goes to the local community. The only disadvantage to these stores is that the products cost more than grocery stores and have limited products. It’s a small price to pay, though, considering these new choices can lead to a healthier life.

Better All Around For the Consumers By : TaeHwan Choi

There are three resources that people have to have in life: a house to live in, clothes to wear, and food to eat. Among these resources lies the most essential one, food. Products can be grown and shipped out from anywhere since development of technology; however, when it comes down to it, local food products are more fresh and healthier. Purchasing Local Foods acts also intertwine with our economy, benefiting local farming system.

When you watch the food channel or read a magazine about cooking, you don’t hear them talking about using preserved canned vegetables. Instead, they will most likely feature fresh local products, for obvious reasons. Because the environment such as soil, temperature, and humidity are perfect with certain ingredients, the product grows well. Local food can only have a certain season, so it grows well and farmers don’t need to spray and chemical products, such as pesticides or catalyst, to grow ingredients.Therefore, there is no other product can make the same condition as local products.

Aside from taste, making a full time commitment to local foods can also become a contribution in boosting the economy. You can see lots of tags about helping local farmers on potato packages or any other fresh products. Farmers maintain their place in the industry by selling their products and they get more benefits when people buy more of their products.

Many other benefits of local food are everywhere and people should recognize how local food effects our society. By buying local food, we have to chance to get quality products, without compromising our economy.And also by making and eating local food, we get to have great taste and can feel the freshness. Our body will sing a happy song because local food makes our bodies healthy.

Healthy Food, Healthy Communities By : Rick Shim

At a time when food travels farther than ever before, eating local is one of the most encouraging and significant changes we can make in our diet today. It gives us a reason to be curious about our food – not just the number of calories or carbs it contains, but where it comes from and how it is raised. An interest in eating local can help shine a light on many of the more problematic aspects of the food system, from animal welfare and labor abuses to environmental neglect.

The good news is that the local foods movement has exploded in recent years, whether in the number of farmers markets, the range of supermarkets featuring food raised nearby, or the growing appeal of groups like Slow Food. Local ingredients are showing up everywhere from school cafeterias to restaurant menus. What factors do consumers consider when choosing fresh produce? Although traditionally mentioned factors such as eating quality, food safety, and health benefits continue to be of importance, there is increasing evidence that some consumers intend to also make civic and society-focused statements with their purchase decisions.

The appeal of eating local is obvious: tastier and fresher fare, the chance to support our neighbors and keep cash in the local economy, and reduced vulnerability to oil shortages, transportation problems, and large-scale food contamination. In many developing nations, greater food self-reliance can also help retain precious foreign exchange and avoid the whims of international markets.

And thats the way the building crumbles…

    As America is experiencing one of its greatest economic downfalls in its history small yet important things are being over looked for no logical reason. Building structures need a strong frame in order to accomplish its job in keeping the people inside of it safe. Carelessness and greed have caused these important details to be forgotten. A great example would be the San Francisco earthquake of 1906. Building stood upon trash heaps and were expected to withstand natural disasters. Although the earthquake was expected because of previous disasters no precautions were taken. After the destruction of the once great city people began opening their eyes on the troubles that were at hand. So many people went homeless, jobless, and lost their family members. Children lost more than they ever had a chance to gain. Life as hard as it is became harder for them because they couldn’t fend for themselves and their parents tried to do everything they possibly could for them. Because of this issue many organizations were created to help prevent further destruction from completely destroying the city. 

In the new century building structure stability is becoming more put first and taken more seriously. Metal framing is becoming mandatory in structure set up and they’re more earthquakes ready. America was found by those who took time to find detail in the beauty and the bounty that she offered. The same procedure should be taken when building a structure. If a good job is done in the beginning then there is no need to fix it later. That saves time, money, and most importantly lives.

Work cited:

Fast Food in a Fast World; Put the fork down and buy local

Partida 1

Most Americans consume fast food because it is cheap, fast and satisfying. However, this has backfired in the long run leaving us with overweight children and people suffering with Diabetes and a high Cholesterol. I agree that fast food is fast and predictable because no matter where you go you will always have the same recipe in front of you. Fast food places are constantly busy and the business in rising due to a high percentage of Americans consuming it. This has become Americans biggest issue and the reason why there are people with so many health problems.

Corporations like McDonalds have their food frozen for months and their food has traveled thousands and thousands of miles. Buying organic food at Farmers Markets or even fruit stands will decrease your chances of heart diseases. It is not healthy for us to eat deep fried fries and frozen meat. We already had an outbreak of E Coli in the early 1990’s when a child consumed a contaminated burger from a fast food restaurant and died tragically from diarrhea and dehydration. More than 30% of E Coli victims are under the age of 10.

America needs to take a stand because it is us that control those major corporations that own the fast food industry. They make us feel like we have a choice when we go to any grocery store; however that is not the case. Most products are owned by only a few companies which mean we don’t have a choice and we are given nearly the same product each time and our chances to find something that hasn’t been processed are slim. We need to act now if we want to make our world a better place for us and future generations.

This is as healthy as it gets

Works Cited

Transportation, Adding. “Buy Local, Local Food Is Sustainable – The Issues – Sustainable Table.” Sustainabletable. Web. 01 June 2010. <;.


As the instructor of these talented, inspired, and dauntless English Composition students from La Sierra University, I proudly welcome interested readers to look on as we struggle to writer our way around all sides of issues that have a direct impact on the health of our society and our planet.

For our readers,

If you are concerned about the apathy of future generations; if you doubt their capacity to care about the world we live in; I hope you find inspiration in the carefully crafted words of the students of both my 222 and 112 writing classes this Spring quarter, 2010.

And for my students,

Welcome to a space where we can meet at any time to “hang out,” post ideas, comment on each others’ writing, argue about some things, agree wholeheartedly with others, and most importantly, improve our ability to lucidly write about the issues that matter to us.

Let the medication begin!

Mrs. Whitni Roche

College Writing Instructor

La Sierra University

(The views posted on this site will not necessarily reflect the official position of either La Sierra University or the institution of the Seventh-Day Adventist Church.  They are the working ideas of the students themselves.)