Daily Archives: February 26, 2013

Michigan Health & Wellness 4×4 Tool

Who doesn’t need a little help and encouragement when it comes to living a healthy life?  Now Michigan residents can get more than just a little of both by utilizing the resources in the new Michigan Health & Wellness 4×4 Tool which is part of the Choosing Health® program facilitated by the Capital Area Health Alliance.  The 4×4 Tool means doing 4 things and knowing 4 things.  Here’s what involved:

Do these:

  • Maintain a Healthy Diet
  • Engage in Regular Exercise
  • Get an Annual Physical Examination
  • Avoid Tobacco Use

Know these:

  • Body Mass Index (BMI)
  • Blood Pressure
  • Cholesterol Level
  • Blood Sugar (glucose) Level

appBanner_363208_7Help is available at www.michigan.gov/healthymichigan. To create a personal plan, go to www.mfia.state.mi.us/surgeneral. Resources at these sites include an assessment quiz and planning tools. Once you answer the quiz, you’ll be sent suggestions for goal setting and printable daily and weekend journals. Curious how your county ranks nationwide in health outcomes, physical environment, clinical care and mortality? You can find out at the HealthyMichigan site.  And, don’t forget to check the CADL catalog for books, DVDs and magazines to support you in your quest for healthy living.

– Eunice B., Reference Librarian at CADL Downtown Lansing

Organized Labor and Farmworkers’ Rights

bookster_logoWith the national media covering the changes in laws affecting organized labor, I thought it was interesting to read about the farmworkers’ struggle to form a union Barry Estabrook’s  Tomatoland.

I found the chapter, “An Unfair Fight” fascinating. We have already read about some of the hurdles migrant workers face when they arrive in the United States. Many are in debt before they even begin working the fields; they must endure harsh conditions while producing enough to keep up with payments to human smugglers. If they are not lucky enough to earn sufficiently, their families are threatened with violence by the very people who promised a better life. Some are even kept locked in sweltering cargo containers . . . enslaved.

Even workers who live a freer existence in Florida face an extremely high cost of living in Immokalee (and other similar agricultural centers). Rents that would afford us a comfortable house or apartment in Ingham County, pay for a filthy mattress on the floor of a rotting trailer, shared with a group of strangers — all this while earning between $10,000-$12,000 a year.

“There are these really terrible, dramatic slavery examples, and then there are less dramatic, but still incredible oppressive circumstances that, in effect, amount to forced labor that are extremely common and, in fact, close to the norm.” – Mary Bauer, Southern Poverty Law Center

Who is there to attempt to improve these conditions? Enter the Coalition of Immokalee Workers and its leaders.

Did anyone else have thoughts about this chapter on labor organization or organized labor in general? I challenge you to read this chapter without forming an opinion.

kevinpCADL– Kevin P. Bookmobile/Outreach Librarian

If our online discussion of Tomatoland interests you and you’d like to share more in person, please join us at 6 p.m., March 11 for a showing of a food documentary at CADL Downtown Lansing.