Think Before You Pink 2018

If you’ve been following The Magical Buffet for a while you know that I am a big supporter of Breast Cancer Action. They understand that the issue of cancer is more than just a matter of health policies, but also environmentalism and social justice. They accept no donations from corporations and do real work that potentially helps everyone. That’s why every year I highlight their “Think Before You Pink” campaign. Take a moment to read this press release they sent me for this year’s campaign and if so moved, take action yourself.

This week Breast Cancer Action, the respected watchdog for the breast cancer movement, launched their “Put the Brakes on Breast Cancer” campaign on day one of Breast Cancer Awareness Month. In an open letter in the Detroit Free Press today, they also issued a direct challenge to the CEO and Executive Chairman of Ford Motor Company, demanding they “Go Further” than their Warriors in Pink program by ending production of vehicles that increase the risk of breast cancer.

Today, marks both the first day of Breast Cancer Industry (aka Awareness) Month and the 100th anniversary of Ford’s Model T, the first mass-marketed automobile. Breast Cancer Action’s executive director, Karuna Jaggar, says: “On the 100th anniversary of the introduction of the Model T, we’re calling on Ford to bring an all-electric fleet to the masses.”

“Earlier this year, Ford announced plans to go full-throttle on sales in the U.S. of trucks and SUVs, which are some of Ford’s highest emission vehicles. Ford is trying to tell us that they care about breast cancer, but in reality they’re making business decisions that will increase our exposure to chemicals that cause breast cancer. We call this pinkwashing,” said Jaggar.

Some of the first chemicals identified by researchers as increasing the risk of breast cancer are found in the exhaust from combustion engines: carcinogens and hormone disruptors such as benzene, 1,3-butadiene, and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). Benzene is such a potent mammary carcinogen that it has been linked to breast cancer in men. The 2009 President’s Cancer Panel recommended limiting exposure to auto exhaust, noting that cars, trucks, and other passenger vehicles “are responsible for approximately 30 percent of cancer resulting from air pollution.”

In April of this year, Ford announced they will almost exclusively sell SUVs and trucks in the U.S., which have less-regulated emissions. They will also launch a new diesel version of the F-150 truck. Meanwhile, they will stop selling their zero emission, 100 percent electric vehicle, and nearly all their other lower emission passenger cars. “Diesel is enriched with nitro PAHs,” notes Jaggar. “This means now the F-150, America’s best-selling truck, is offered with even more potent mammary carcinogens.”

Attempting to brush aside criticism for these recent announcements, Ford is publicizing plans for future investment in electrification—nearly all of which will be in China, due to higher regulation standards. At a major auto show in the U.S. earlier this year, Ford notably failed to showcase any electric vehicles. Additionally, Ford has been lobbying the Trump administration to lower emission standards in the U.S.

“Breast cancer is a public health crisis and a social justice issue,” said Jaggar. “We can’t afford to hold our breath and hope Ford’s promise of new, cleaner vehicles will come to the U.S. sometime down the road. Instead of pinkwashing and platitudes, Ford can “Go Further” by making the shift to 100 percent zero emission vehicles now.”

Ford’s Warriors in Pink program sells branded clothes and other gear in order to raise money for four breast cancer charities. But Jaggar said, “We see through the pink-tinted smoke screen of Ford’s Warriors in Pink. This is a just feel-good attempt by Ford to distract attention away from their role in driving up the risk of breast cancer.”

Everyone in the U.S. is exposed to Ford’s auto exhaust, whether or not they drive a Ford vehicle. As one of the Big Three automobile manufacturers in the U.S., Ford is in a position to make a big difference in reducing cancer rates by making clean vehicles.

“One hundred years ago, Ford made its name by bringing the Model-T to the masses,” said Jaggar. “Now it’s time for Ford to bring an all-electric fleet to the masses. By turning away from cancer-causing combustion engines and towards zero emission cars and trucks, Ford can truly help put the brakes on the breast cancer epidemic. After all, the best way to fight cancer is to prevent it in the first place.”

Breast Cancer Action’s “Put the Brakes on Breast Cancer” campaign is supported by more than 14 health and environmental justice organizations, and is Breast Cancer Action’s 2018 Think Before You Pink® campaign. Since 2002, when Breast Cancer action coined the term pinkwashing, they have been demanding transparency and accountability in breast cancer marketing and pink ribbon promotions.

Find out more at http://www.bcaction.org.

10 Years Baby!

Buckle up folks because I’m about to say something that will blow your mind.

The Magical Buffet turns 10 years old this month. 10 years! Mind. Blown.

There is a lot of cool stuff with this 10 year anniversary. In case you hadn’t noticed, we have a shiny new website! After nearly 10 years our site now plays nice with smartphones and tablets, as well as the good ol’ desktop. And yet, comments still don’t work. The more things change, the more they stay the same, right? So you’ll need to show your love and share your thoughts on our articles by visiting The Magical Buffet’s Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram accounts.

Along with our shiny new site, you’ll notice there is now a Shop category. That’s right, we’ve got merchandise! And not some lame-o self-promotion stuff, but things that hopefully you will think are cool and be proud to wear or welcome into your home. Here’s a few of those items in my home!

Medusa is my Homegirl Tri-Blend Tee.
When in Doubt, Quartz! Pint Glass holding my stones.
Sage that Shit! mug holding my smudge stick.

Want to see more? Visit our store!

Obviously I wouldn’t be typing this if not for the support of all the readers, publicists, authors, and publishers that think The Magical Buffet has something to offer people. And honestly, I can’t come up with words to thank you all for your support, enthusiasm, and patience. I continue to struggle with my headaches and my health affects every aspect of my life, The Magical Buffet included. Yet everyone is still here, even me! THANK YOU!

As further thanks, say hello to the best giveaway ever! I reached out to two fantastic publishers, New World Library and Inner Traditions, and asked if they would each give me a copy of one of my favorite books that they ever published…..and they did! These two books mean a lot to me, and hope whoever wins them finds them as inspiring and insightful as I do!

From New World Library we’ve got “Sit Down and Shut Up: Punk Rock Commentaries on Buddha, God, Truth, Sex, Death, & Dogen’s Treasury of the Right Dharma Eye” by Brad Warner, and Inner Traditions was kind of enough to send me a copy of “Phantom Armies of The Night: The Wild Hunt and the Ghostly Processions of the Undead” by Claude Lecouteux. What do these books have in common? Absolutely nothing except that I freakin’ love them to pieces!

We’re doing the Rafflecopter thing! Contest ends Sunday, October 7, 2018 at 11:59pm eastern. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Think Before You Pink 2017

Let’s get ready to rumble folks! It’s Think Before You Pink 2017 and this year is a great campaign. With this year’s campaign, “Knot Our Pink Ribbon”, Breast Cancer Action is taking the original pinkwasher Estee Lauder to task. And as a makeup and skincare enthusiast, I am all for it.

Estee Lauder, along with many other cosmetic/skincare companies, have profited on selling the idea of beauty and vitality, while not being forthcoming with consumers about the components of their products. America’s cosmetic industry is surprisingly under regulated putting the consumer in a position to try and understand exactly what it is they are putting on their skin.

Estee Lauder commandeered the pink ribbon from hard core, grassroots, activist Charlotte Haley to help bring more “awareness” to breast cancer, and yet today they create products that included ingredients suspected of increasing breast cancer risk, such as parabens and octinoxate.

I’m happy to participate in the “Knot Our Pink Ribbon” campaign. Hopefully it will be a signal not just to Estee Lauder, but to all cosmetic and skincare companies that it is time to consider the health of their consumers.

To learn more, and send message to Estee Lauder, visit: https://thinkbeforeyoupink.org/2017/10/join-us-in-putting-a-knot-in-the-pink-ribbon/

Banned Books Week 2017

(text from the American Library Association website)

Banned Books Week is an annual event celebrating the freedom to read. Typically held during the last week of September, it highlights the value of free and open access to information. Banned Books Week brings together the entire book community — librarians, booksellers, publishers, journalists, teachers, and readers — in shared support of the freedom to seek and express ideas, even those some consider unorthodox or unpopular.

To continue to raise awareness about the harms of censorship and the freedom to read, the ALA Office for Intellectual Freedom (OIF) publishes an annual list of the Top Ten Most Challenged Books, using information from public challenges reported in the media, as well as censorship reports submitted to the office through its challenge reporting form.

A challenge is an attempt to remove or restrict materials, based upon the objections of a person or group. A banning is the removal of those materials. Challenges do not simply involve a person expressing a point of view; rather, they are an attempt to remove material from the curriculum or library, thereby restricting the access of others. As such, they are a threat to freedom of speech and choice.

The books featured during Banned Books Week and National Library Week have all been targeted with removal or restrictions in libraries and schools. But out of the hundreds of challenges ALA records every year, only about 10% of books are removed from the location where the challenge took place, thanks to local literary champions such as librarians, students, and patrons who stand up and speak out for the freedom to read.

Out of 323 challenges reported to the ALA Office for Intellectual Freedom, the Top Ten Most Challenged Books of 2016 are:

This One Summer written by Mariko Tamaki and illustrated by Jillian Tamaki
This young adult graphic novel, winner of both a Printz and a Caldecott Honor Award, was restricted, relocated, and banned because it includes LGBT characters, drug use, and profanity, and it was considered sexually explicit with mature themes.

Drama written and illustrated by Raina Telgemeier
Parents, librarians, and administrators banned this Stonewall Honor Award-winning graphic novel for young adults because it includes LGBT characters, was deemed sexually explicit, and was considered to have an offensive political viewpoint.

George written by Alex Gino
Despite winning a Stonewall Award and a Lambda Literary Award, administrators removed this children’s novel because it includes a transgender child, and the “sexuality was not appropriate at elementary levels.”

I Am Jazz written by Jessica Herthel and Jazz Jennings, and illustrated by Shelagh McNicholas
This children’s picture book memoir was challenged and removed because it portrays a transgender child and because of language, sex education, and offensive viewpoints.

Two Boys Kissing written by David Levithan
Included on the National Book Award longlist and designated a Stonewall Honor Book, this young adult novel was challenged because its cover has an image of two boys kissing, and it was considered to include sexually explicit LGBT content.

Looking for Alaska written by John Green
This 2006 Printz Award winner is a young adult novel that was challenged and restricted for a sexually explicit scene that may lead a student to “sexual experimentation.”

Big Hard Sex Criminals written by Matt Fraction and illustrated by Chip Zdarsky
Considered to be sexually explicit by library staff and administrators, this compilation of adult comic books by two prolific award-winning artists was banned and challenged.

Make Something Up: Stories You Can’t Unread written by Chuck Palahniuk
This collection of adult short stories, which received positive reviews from Newsweek and the New York Times, was challenged for profanity, sexual explicitness, and being “disgusting and all around offensive.”

Little Bill (series) written by Bill Cosby and illustrated by Varnette P. Honeywood
This children’s book series was challenged because of criminal sexual allegations against the author.

Eleanor & Park written by Rainbow Rowell
One of seven New York Times Notable Children’s Books and a Printz Honor recipient, this young adult novel was challenged for offensive language.

Yes, books are still banned. Five of the 10 titles on the Top Ten list were removed from the location where the challenge took place. On average, OIF finds that 10% of challenges result in the removal of the book.

The First Amendment guarantees all of us the freedom to read. The Library Bill of Rights, a foundational document of the library profession, states libraries should challenge censorship and present all points of view, for the enlightenment of all people.

For the first time in Top Ten history, a book was challenged solely because of its author. Bill Cosby’s Little Bill series was challenged because of sexual allegations against the author.

Challenges continue to target LGBT material, and there is a rise in “sexually explicit” as a challenge category.

The Office for Intellectual Freedom compiles the Top Ten list by documenting public challenges (challenges that are reported in the media), as well as censorship reports submitted through the office’s reporting form, in our database.

Learn more about the American Library Association and Banned Books Week here.

10 Questions with Warren Bobrow

Happy International Talk Like a Pirate Day! To celebrate we’ve got a special interview with author and “Cocktail Whisperer” Warren Bobrow all about rum!

1. How did you get involved with the world of cocktails and spirits?

Originally I trained to be a chef- This was back in the mid-1980’S- before recorded time really. I owned and founded a fresh pasta biz down In Charleston, SC- I lost it in Hurricane Hugo in 1989. I had bartended a few times while working as a cook- And it seemed like a good job for someone like myself who has the ‘Gift of Gab’… Fast forward past a 20-year career in banking- Back to my 50th birthday- when I went over to the Ryland Inn, located in NJ- and asked for a job as a bartender. Chris James, the Bar Manager told me he didn’t need a bartender, but he did need a bar back (not a glamorous job) and I was hired. But I had been writing about spirits, wine and food for a couple years- but I really had no idea just how hard it was! Physical Labor! Long Hours! Not Pretty! I held on for a year- and built my chops. How many cocktail writers do you know who worked as a bartender? Very few- and fewer still started at the bottom and worked their way up.

2. What is rum? How is it different from other spirits?

Rum is a fermented spirit not unlike whiskey or beer. the base ingredient, however is not grain. It is made from either sugar cane or molasses, or a combination of many sugar based ingredients- sometimes with the addition of caramel coloring and other synthetic ingredients. This is manipulated rum- unfortunately the backbone of the rum industry are industrially produced rums with profit as the motivating factor over quality. Raw rum or natural rum is much harder to find- and therefore these rums command higher prices.

Agricultural- or Agricole is made with freshly crushed or pressed sugar cane juice- is vastly different than industrially produced, molasses based rum.

3. Sometimes rum is spelled “rum” and other times “rhum”, is there a difference?

There is a massive difference. rhum- can be Agricole (Agricultural) or Industrial (Industrial). Agricole is made with freshly crushed sugar cane. The law (AOC, Appellation original Controlee) in the French islands reads that rhum agricole must be made with unfermented, freshly pressed cane juice. Industrial Rum on the other hand can be made pretty much any way possible, because it is treated as an industrial product. there isn’t a whole lot of oversight as to what is permissible in rum. With artificial coloring, added sugar and glycerin in the batch- there are very few correlations between Industrial and agricultural. Other than the base ingredient- which is, of course sugar cane! Small amounts of rum are also made from sorgum or sugar beets, but this stuff just sucks. I cannot stand the taste of this industrial spirit. Ick!

4. Do you know why we always associate rum with pirates?

Rum was an inexpensive product made with ingredients that just happened to grow incredibly well in poor soil and anemic water conditions that existed in the Caribbean Islands. Sugar cane propagates almost anywhere in both poor and rich soil. The juice is very easy to boil into a syrup that is treated to an industrial bread yeast- then, it is fermented and distilled in crudely built, copper pot stills. The result, a foul- ill-tempered spirit was just the liquid for an unwashed and stinking bunch of murderous thugs who would slaughter your crippled grandmother as easily as lighting a pipe filled with the local wacky weed. It wasn’t tobacco in their pipes you know! It was cannabis!

Wine spoiled quickly in the high heat and humidity of the Caribbean Islands, beer would sour in the high heat and whiskey wasn’t invented yet and vodka was not available in this part of the world. Gin was popular- but not as a commodity, it was a medicinal.

Sugar was a luxury item-coveted by the wealthy. Rum was easily made with the dregs left over from making sugar and is extremely durable stuff. In a barrel, it only gets better in the motion of the sea and the heat of the sun. Like the highly expensive, Madeira- (Truly enduring stuff that goes around the world on the deck of a ship to age), Rum is potent and healing and cheap!

To a pirate, it was an easy high and made weeks or months in the doldrums (the place without wind) easier to take. Being a pirate was not always attractive work. Rum made it a bit easier to chew off your foes ear or shoot all his horses before having one’s way with their women and then the children. Rum was liquid courage in the face of a wall of water in a storm, or against cannon fire at close range. Rum is refreshment after a voyage or as inner calm during a battle.

Against seasickness, rum works well as it settles the head and soothes the belly, for medicinal purposes only of course!

5. What’s your favorite way to drink rum?

Preferably in a clean glass, with a bit of coconut water ice (for anyone who has gotten stomach poisoning from bad ice) and a slice of caribbean lime plus a splash of cane sugar syrup. A Ti-Punch is what this wonderfully tasty drink is named.

6. If you were serving rum to a salty sailor, how would you serve it?

Being a salty sailor myself- I learned about rum from the stern of my Family’s Little Harbor Sailboat, so I prefer it two ways- One way it (the Ti-Punch) is made with a squeeze of lime, cane sugar syrup and rhum Agricole from Martinique. The other is a concoction named the Painkiller, liberally shaken until frosty with crushed coconut water ice, cream of coconut, fresh pineapple juice and plenty of bourbon barrel aged rum. (Naturally colored-no caramel added- maybe something from Long Pond or Monymusk- or one of the fine rums from Foursquare)

Quite refreshing after a tough sail with the sun and sweat burning your eyes and skin.

7. In honor of International Talk Like a Pirate Day, what is your favorite pirate-y phrase?

Yar Pirates!

8. You’ve authored several books at this point, any chance of one coming out will be about rum?

That’s a very good question. I have not now pitched one to my publishers- but you never know.

9. What projects are you currently working on?

I’m currently writing for Forbes.com and other work for the American Distilling Institute, Barrell Bourbon, Total Food Service and DrinkUpNY, along with many publications on the cannabis side of this medicinal (Folk Healing) business.

10. Parting shot! Ask us at the Magical Buffet any one question.

Do you prefer heavy, sweet rums to naturally made, unsweetened rums crafted from a dunder- Read: Wild Yeast/Authentic…?

I prefer unsweetened rums, but I do enjoy the heavy, sweet ones too.

About Warren Bobrow:
Warren Bobrow, the Cocktail Whisperer, is the author of “Apothecary Cocktails: Restorative Drinks from Yesterday and Today”, “Whiskey Cocktails: Rediscovered Classics and Contemporary Craft Drinks”, “Bitters and Shrub Syrup Cocktails: Restorative Vintage Cocktails, Mocktails & Elixirs”, “Cannabis Cocktails, Mocktails & Tonics: The Art of Spirited Drinks & Buzz-Worthy Libations”. His most recent book is named: “The Craft Cocktail Compendium, Contemporary Interpretations and inspired twists on time honored classics”.

Bobrow has written articles for Saveur magazine, Voda magazine, Whole Foods-Dark Rye, The American Distilling Institute, Beverage Media, DrinkupNY and many other national and global periodicals.

He has written for SoFAB Magazine at the Southern Food and Beverage Museum and has written restaurant reviews for New Jersey Monthly. He has also contributed to the Sage Encyclopedia of Food Issues and the Oxford Encyclopedia edition: Savoring Gotham: A Food Lover’s Companion to New York City. Warren recently traveled to Asheville, NC to participate in their Cocktail Week. Warren attends Tales of the Cocktail in New Orleans and was nominated for a Tales of the Cocktail Spirited Award in 2013. Warren was in the Saveur Magazine “100” in 2010 and was a Ministry of Rum Judge in 2010. He most recently appeared in High Times Magazine and contributes to The Fresh Toast in Seattle.

Battle for the Net Day of Action

Press release provided by Fight for the Future.

On July 12, 2017, websites, Internet users, and online communities will come together to sound the alarm about the FCC’s attack on net neutrality. Learn how you can join the protest and spread the word at https://www.battleforthenet.com/july12/.

Right now, new FCC Chairman and former Verizon lawyer Ajit Pai has a plan to destroy net neutrality and give big cable companies immense control over what we see and do online. If they get their way, the FCC will give companies like Comcast, Verizon, and AT&T control over what we can see and do on the Internet, with the power to slow down or block websites and charge apps and sites extra fees to reach an audience.

If we lose net neutrality, we could soon face an Internet where some of your favorite websites are forced into a slow lane online, while deep-pocketed companies who can afford expensive new “prioritization” fees have special fast lane access to Internet users – tilting the playing field in their favor.

But on July 12th, the Internet will come together to stop them. Websites, Internet users, and online communities will stand tall, and sound the alarm about the FCC’s attack on net neutrality.

The Battle for the Net campaign will provide tools for everyone to make it super easy for your friends, family, followers to take action. From the SOPA blackout to the Internet Slowdown, we’ve shown time and time again that when the Internet comes together, we can stop censorship and corruption. Now, we have to do it again!

Learn more and join the action here: https://www.battleforthenet.com/july12

Super Soul Sunday

This Sunday, July 2, 2017 at 2 pm Eastern OWN (Oprah Winfrey Network) has a “Super Soul Sunday” that I thought some of you may be interested in, so here are the details.

In a special edition, Oprah Winfrey asks today’s top thinkers, teachers, and spiritual leaders life’s big questions. A regular feature on “Super Soul Sunday,” Oprah’s soul questionnaire poses thought-provoking questions such as, “What is the soul?,” “What is the purpose of human experience?,” and “What is the most difficult decision you’ve had to make to pursue your destiny?” It is a soul-stirring celebration of viewpoints from a remarkable roster of guests, including international speaker and entrepreneur Tony Robbins, bestselling author and activist Janet Mock, Emmy-Award winning writer and producer Shonda Rhimes, Senior Pastor of Lakewood Church Joel Osteen, life coach Iyanla Vanzant, global advocate and recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize Malala Yousafzai, and many more.

“Super Soul Sunday” is the three-time Emmy award-winning series that delivers timely, thought-provoking, eye-opening and inspiring programming designed to help viewers awaken to their best selves and discover a deeper connection to the world around them. The series features all-new conversations between Oprah Winfrey and top thinkers, authors, visionaries and spiritual leaders exploring themes and issues including happiness, personal fulfillment, spirituality, conscious living and what it means to be alive in today’s world.

To watch the full episode, please visit the following link the morning after the episode airs: http://www.oprah.com/app/super-soul-sunday.html

Here’s a little tease for you…..

Let’s take a moment to reflect on how great Oprah is looking these days.

About OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network
OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network is the first and only network named for, and inspired by, a single iconic leader. Oprah Winfrey’s heart and creative instincts inform the brand – and the magnetism of the channel. Winfrey provides leadership in original scripted and unscripted programming and attracts superstar talent to join her in primetime, building a global community of like-minded viewers and leading that community to connect on social media and beyond. OWN is a singular destination on cable. Depth with edge. Heart. Star power. Connection. And endless possibilities. OWN is a joint venture between Harpo, Inc. and Discovery Communications. The network debuted on January 1, 2011. The venture also includes the award-winning digital platform Oprah.com. Access OWN anytime, anywhere on WatchOWN.tv or across mobile devices and connected TVs.