On ASU’s scrolling banner was a story about all the journalistic activities going down in the Cronkite Building on Election night. It talked about all the faculty, students and expert commentators on hand.

But the best part? A prop out to the LIVElect blog!

From the article:

Leslie-Jean Thornton’s first-year new media graduate students fanned out to newsrooms around the building. Some ran LiveElect, a “live blog” featuring breaking news reports, photos and links, augmented by a Twitter feed with short breaking news messages sent to and from phones and computers.
What, you haven’t checked out LIVElect, our live-blogging, live-twittering, live-flickring encapsulation of Election night? No worries- check it here.

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I was live-blogging all election night- check it out at http://livelect.wordpress.com/.

Hard to believe, but Election Day is tomorrow. (rampantly cliche, I know, but seriously)

The Day of all Days for journalists.

I’ll be live blogging all day and into the night- be sure to check us out for live, up to the minute coverage, including on Twitter and Flickr.

Mucho caffeine, here we come!

Fish is good for you. The FDA recommends that we eat several servings a week. But what about the the over fished natural fish stocks, mercury levels in seafood and the effect of commercial fishing on the environment? How are you supposed to eat something that’s supposedly good for you without decimating the species or giving yourself mercury poisoning?

The answer is all about arming yourself with information. Below are the links for three hand fish guides- you can search by region, name, how damaging the fishing is to a particular ecosystem. There’s also a printable chart that fits in your wallet (perfect for when you’re standing at the fish counter or staring at the menu, trying to remember if it’s the Alaskan Salmon or Halibut you’re only supposed to have a few times a month) and a service that you can text message with questions about what fish to buy.

Enjoy- and happy eating!

www.seafoodwatch.org: a site maintained by the Monterey Bay Aquarium. They’re the ones with the pocket guide.

www.blueocean.org: for the text message service (called FishFone). Send a text with the name of the fish, and within seconds you’ll receive a short summary of the fish’s health and environmental info, as well as other options.

www.environmentaldefense.org: all about the benefits of eating fish! Plus a long list of safe fish to eat and a health alert list for fish that may have contamination issues.

I came across this link in my email- Epicurus.com is one of the few sites that gives you the nutrition analysis of the meal recipes they send out as healthy. In my opinion, you can’t get any better than vegetables, and a good balsamic can make so many good thing oh-so-yummy.

From Deepak Chopra’s newsletter, a recipe for Pumpkin Soup:

See website for prep directions (http://chopra.com/namaste/oct08/recipe) and let me know if it’s good or completly not worth the effort.

Last semester I was managing editor for a magazine called Healing, a new publication to be collaborated on by students and faculty from the College of Design, Journalism, and Nursing departments.

It was my first experience creating a magazine, and I loved it.

I wrote two stories for Healing– one on a new biofeedback procedure ASU is developing to help stroke patients, and a long feature that looked at the increase of natural healing practices patients and doctors have begun turning to. The part I was looking forward to most was to have the magazine published. The though of seeing my name and work in print, and have two pieces for my portfolio, was exciting.

(To see an online version of the biofeedback story, click here.)

The magazine was supposed to be printed this past spring, but a series of unfortunate events have caused delays, and now massive budget cuts in the school have forced the magazine to be reduced in pages. Ergo, I don’t yet have links for the magazine and both stories.

Hopefully, sometime in November I will be able to post my pieces and have published copies. But looking at the course of events so far, that may be a bit out of the ballpark. Here’s hoping.

One summer while I was still in undergrad, I was spending the weekend with a friend at her parent’s cabin up in the middle of nowhere in mid-Michigan. I couldn’t sleep, and at 4:30 I switched on the TV.

That was my first experience with Ag Day- a daily program for Michigan farmers, talking about the weather, planting/harvesting conditions, you name it. Every morning at 4:30.

The idea of farming is completely romantic to me. Granted, you talking to a girl that would rather eat asparagus (horrid) than rake leaves (I grew up in a very, very leaf-heavy yard). But I loved the idea of being in tuned with nature- knowing when it was going to rain just by looking at the sky; if the peppers and carrots were ready to be pulled from their roots by the color of their stems and leaves.

View to the east of some sweet corn at Desert Roots Farm just outside Queen Creek, Arizona.

Now before you write me off completely as hopeless, you should know that both my grandparents on my dad’s side were farmers, and grew up in tiny farming communities in Ohio. My grandfather, Earl, was one of those people who could tell you when it would rain, and grew the best tomatoes I have had in my life, bar none. He was always, always the first one to spot a robin- a sure sign that spring was on it’s way. My grandma loves to tell the story of the time a chicken ran around the yard for ten minutes, despite the fact that my grandma’s mother had chopped its head off.

Growing up my parents would have gardens from time to time, and my absolute favorite memory is digging in the dirt for new potatoes. I’m telling you, when you find one, you feel like you’ve found gold. We would grow cherry tomatoes, cucumber, pumpkin, and more zuchinni than my mom knew what to do with.

Living in metropolitan Phoenix for the past two years, I miss seeing vast expanses of farmland, and having my parent’s fresh veggies. And although my grandfather has been gone for over 12 years, I still miss him and his tomatoes.

I recently did a story on farmers in Arizona that supply farmers markets and CSAs, and my research had me traveling to the markets and farms, getting knee-deep in mud and breathing fresh air from a vast expanse of openness.

The idea of being one with the earth and nature, let alone setting my own hours and producing wholesome, nutritious food, still calls.

In Defense of Food: An Eater’s Manifesto

This book is an easily digestible, no-nonsense way to look at the simple way to eat food and stay healthy.

Pollan dismisses the academic, FDA and scientific research that has told us what’s good to put on our plates and what’s not. Given that the pronouncements of research have changed drastically over time and, in probably his biggest critique, has become beholden of the food processing industry (and thus geared to sell more cheap food-like substances that are nutritionally devoid), Pollan lists simple rules for eating well without dealing with the mess of the latest health fads.

Simple Rules:
1. Eat food. But you’re thinking, I already do! I mean, I’m not eating rocks or bacon at every meal…. But according to Pollan, most of the packages and products we find in the grocery stores are in fact not food, but processed food-like substances that are in fact food farce. Solution? Stick to farmer’s markets, CSAs, and the perimeter of the grocery store- where the fresh fruit and veggies are.

2. Don’t eat too much. Make your eating mindful, and don’t gorge.

3. East mostly plants. This includes the obvious fruits and veggies, but also whole grains. We, as well as the meat we eat (if you happen to be an omnivore) are healthier when the majority of the diet is a diverse selection fresh fruit, vegetables, and whole grains.

Read this book for a fun and well-researched answer to what to put on your dinner table. At 200 pages, it’s a quick yet surprisingly informative read

I know, I know- hard to image with the meat, sugar and refined carbohydrate-heavy diets that most Americans live by that the ratio isnt closer to 1 in 2.

What’s sad is that while this report is a clear wake-up call to most Americans to seriously reconsider the foods they eat, this probably won’t have an effect. Too bad- plants are so yummy.