None in Eight

After months of organizing and advertising, handing out pink ribbons, attending skip a meals, collecting donations around campus, and hosting the first ever 50 Shades of Pink Color Run, the big week is finally here! IT’S BMOC WEEK!!

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The ladies of Zeta Tau Alpha put on the biggest philanthropy event of the year- Big Man on Campus (BMOC), a male talent show competition where contestants from different Fraternity’s at Purdue compete. This could be singing, dancing, or just being funny. It is more than just a talent show, this year Zeta and the contestants have been working really hard to raise money for not only breast cancer education and awareness but also new this year raising money for Purdue’s Cancer Research Center. This year’s BMOC will also be benefiting the Vision of Hope Women’s Cancer Research Group, which focuses on the prevention, detection, and treatment of breast cancer.

To get a better look into what BMOC is check out BMOC 2014!

Breast cancer is the second leading cause of death among women. 1 in 8 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer. That means within the Alpha Theta chapter at Purdue alone 18, yes EIGHTEEN women will be diagnosed within their lifetime.

The women of Zeta have been going above and beyond this year to help raise money to end this battle that many have to face. Throughout the semester there have been many different events held to help the cause of fighting to end breast cancer.

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Volunteered at the Colts game spreading awareness while working the crucial catch raffle. 

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Contestants decorated bras for Purdue students to vote on during October Think Pink Thursdays. 

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Attended the Purdue Woman’s Basketball Pink out game. 

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Contestants participated in a service project to help survivors and their families with chores around their homes. 

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Met with current fighters and encouraged them through their battle with breast cancer. 

Can you imagine one of your friends, family members, or loved ones being diagnosed with breast cancer?

As the days are numbering down to the big event, we are more than eager to exceed our last years total of $122,000. But we need your help!

Please join Zeta Tau Alpha in the fight of making 1 in 8 to none in 8.

If you would like to get involved with BMOC and join the fight against breast cancer you can go to http://www.bmocpurdue.com/ 

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Florida grows food too

Last month I was able to take a trip to the Agricultural Communicators of Tomorrow (ACT) Professional Development Conference, and luckily enough it was in Orlando, Florida! I headed south with 7 fellow Purdue ACT’ers and our great advisor! It was nice to soak up the sun before returning back to the snow and ice in Indiana and have a little fun before school was back in session.

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While in Florida I had the opportunity to learn more about Florida’s agriculture which was such a great experience, especially because living in Indiana the only agriculture I really see is corn and soybeans! The first day of the conference we went on an Ag tour. The first stop was at Fancy Farms, which is a strawberry farm. This stop was especially one of my favorites because not only was the farmer full of jokes but we were able to pick strawberries right out of the field and eat them! They were the best strawberries I have ever had in my life! While eating as many strawberries as I could I also learned that strawberries have around 200 seeds and all of them are on the outside which is the only fruit made like that.

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Our next stop was at a landscaping nursery, this was interesting to see because I really never thought of this as agriculture. We walked through a lot of greenhouses that were filled with different types of flowers, trees, bushes, and plants that I had never seen before. This stop was great to take pictures of the beautiful flowers that people can decorate the outside of their homes with.

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Stop number 3 was a visit to the Keel and Curley Winery, which is known for their blueberry wine! We were able to see the blueberries being grown and then take a tour of their brewery, where they are now even brewing specialty beer at this same location. It was really awesome to see the process of how the blueberry was grown to see it being used to then being able to walk into the store and see people purchasing their products, right there all in one spot. Something cool I thought they were making was canned wine, each can was the same amount as one glass of wine.

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Our final destination was at the groves of Florida’s Natural Orange Juice. We were able to see the groves that they pick the oranges from that they use in their orange juice. The group was also informed about the history of Florida’s Natural Orange Juice and learned about the difficulties that orange farmers face. My favorite part was sampling the new products that they are coming up with, which I must say were very delicious.

While in Florida, I learned a lot and it made me think more about where our food does come from. I never really thought about where my orange juice was coming from that I drink each morning or the difficulties that an orange farmer has to face to get an orange out of the groves to get into a carton of orange juice. I think that there are many agriculture food and non food products that many don’t think about where they come from. Think you know where your food is coming from? Take this quiz that the Washington Post has put out that quizzes you to see if you know where your food is coming from in the United States. Here is one hint… if it asks you about alligators, oranges, or strawberries…. choose Florida!

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First Time for FaceTime

Growing up, I’ve always been up to date with technology. Starting with AIM, then the texting on the pink razor flip phone, to now Iphones and Ipads. My grandmas both try to stay up to date with the always-changing technology tools. They both have their emails and their Facebook pages to keep up with the most recent jokes, and pictures of their friends with the occasional comment of “great picture.”

This Christmas we decided to update them again by giving them both Ipad Minis. And boy were they surprised! One grandma didn’t even know what it was when she first opened the gift. Once she figured it out she was elated!

They were both so surprised how they could now check their emails while sitting on the couch instead of sitting at their computer chair. They now had video cameras and new cameras that they could take anywhere and then they could show their friends the pictures right after! But the feature they were most impressed with was Facetime.

Watching each of my grandmas Facetime for the first time was so cool. It was the cutest thing hearing them laugh and repeatedly saying, “can you see me?” to the person on the other side of the camera. They both could not get over how they could see someones face on the other side and the fact that the other person could see them as well. They were just tickled to death.

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My cousins live in Georgia and were unable to come to Indiana this Christmas. So after I gave my grandma a quick lesson on how to use Facetime she was doing it to all by herself. She Facetimed my cousins down south and was able to see them! One of them even answered with a facial mask on, which my grandma got a kick out of!  By being able to see their face and talk to them even though they live miles apart was the best gift of all this Christmas. She can now see them and talk to them everyday even though they live all the way in Georgia. I think we take technology for granted sometimes. We are so blessed with so many different advances that help our world and create opportunities for others that we don’t always think of. Facetime is such an amazing feature that will now allow my grandma to talk and see all of her grandkids whenever she wants even if they may be having a little spa day!

Welcome to Indiana Basketball

The season openers are over and the first game jitters have passed! Basketball season is here folks!

Dating all the way back to 1891, James Naismith brought something to Indiana that all Hoosiers are passionate about and thats the game of basketball.

In most Indiana towns if you drive down any street you are likely to find a kid out shooting free throws, in hopes to play varsity basketball one day. They grow up watching the varsity teams play every weekend and attend all of the camps in the summer.

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In Indiana there is a unique passion for high school basketball. It may not be like it was back in the good ole days, like it shows in one of the most beloved sports movies. The movie Hoosiers portrays the best type of story, when the under dog wins like Milan did in 1954. Every team aspires to go to state and play downtown Indy and win a big state ring no matter the size of the school.

Basketball in Indiana is a sport where your grandpa played, your dad played, you played and your kids may play someday! It’s a tradition that is passed on generation to generation. Everyone is passionate about the game and loves watching and teaching others about it. It brings the family together whether it be shooting around at home, coming to games, or all the long car rides to tournaments.

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You can easily see the passion for the game by looking at the size of high school gyms in Indiana. 12 of the 13 largest high school gyms in the country are in Indiana. Some of these gyms are bigger than collegiate gymnasiums. The crazy thing is, come sectional time these big gyms will be almost full. Everyone ready to see a good basketball game.

The coaches are the kings of the towns. Every grandma wants to know the starting line up when she sees the coach in town, and he better be ready for an impromptu interview for every time he makes an appearance in public because everyone wants to know what his thoughts are on this year program. Because in Indiana everyone thinks they are a basketball expert.

In Indiana anyone can be involved in the game of basketball the old boys and the young fans, whether it be outside on a barn with a goal attached or in a gymnasium. Its for the people that live in the rural areas and the urban. Hoosiers are knowledgable about the game and loyal fans. Even if its not for the same team, at the end of the day, everyone shares the same love for the game of basketball.

 “In 49 other states it’s just basketball but… this is Indiana.”

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Thankful & Grateful for Farmers

Thanksgiving Day! Where we sit around a table with our loved ones and eat a delicious meal, think of what we are thankful for, and reflect on the gathering of the Pilgrims and Indians. The first Thanksgiving was celebrated because of the hardships and hunger that the pilgrims had to face. Few of us know what it is like to face hunger because we have so many options! There are restaurants and grocery stores on every corner, and not only that, now you can choose to buy food that is organic or grass fed!

After traveling abroad to Romania this summer, my outlook on life has changed quite a bit. Romania is a developing country and in the rural areas there is so much poverty. They do not have choices on what they want to eat each day. They eat what they have available and depend a lot on their livestock and that is just if they are lucky to have that luxury.

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Many forget that in the United States we have the security of knowing we have enough food each day and we don’t have to worry where we are going to come up with food for the next meal. Especially with the technologies we use in modern farming. Farmers are able to produce a huge supply of foods that keep the stores stocked with more than enough food and restaurant’s menus loaded with a variety of options.

American farmers all have a common goal and that is producing enough nutritious food for the worlds growing population. Some may have different process of doing it but at the end of the day they all want to do it right. This Thanksgiving I am so thankful for the different options of food and the safety of our food we get to eat and enjoy each and everyday. I believe as a society we do not fully appreciate not having to worry about where our next meal is going to come from because of the new technologies we have in modern farming and the hardworking farmers behind it.

So this Thanksgiving when you sit down to enjoy a delicious meal, think about the hardships that others have to face each day and be thankful for the food your blessed with. Give thanks to the farmers who produced and harvested it. Be thankful for the new technologies that give us plenty of food each day and be grateful for the commitment farmers have to feed America.

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OMG GMOs

How many times have you gone to the grocery store and seen the phrases “Non GMO”?

This week I went to the new Fresh Thyme Farmers Market in Lafayette. The whole store was filled with these products! I mean everywhere! The meats, vegetables, chap stick, and even hair products! I think it is great that this brings to the attention to a consumer that agriculture products are in their everyday items but not to scare them about products that may contain GMOs… because lets be real! What is there to be scared about?
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So what exactly is a GMO?

GMOs are “genetically modified organisms.” This is an organism that has genetic material that has been altered using genetic engineering techniques, called biotechnology. By genetically modifying crops this can enhance taste and quality, and can increase nutrients or improve resistance to pests and disease. In many instances GMOs help conserve natural resources because the crop may require less energy or water for processing.

& why do Farmers use them?

Farmers choose to do what is best for their farms and the consumer. They buy seed that has been genetically modified. That may be because of the growing environments like a drought or the way the market changes. GMOs can lower crop damage from weeds, diseases, and insects.

What crops contain GMOS seeds?

  1. Corn
  2. Soybeans
  3. Cotton
  4. Canola
  5. Alfalfa
  6. Papaya
  7. Squash
  8. Sugar Beets

What products contain GMOs?

GMOs are in a lot of foods! Cheese, fish, meat, and even milk!

Bottom Line!

Are GMOs safe?

Yes! They are digested in the body just the same as non-GMO crops. There have been hundreds of studies to demonstrate that they do not present any health risk at all! They do NOT cause allergies or cancers, diseases, or infertility. There has not been one instance of harm to human health!

Have more questions about GMOs or your foods?

Visit http://gmoanswers.com/ or http://findourcommonground.com/

That Water Tower Town

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When you see a water tower you just immediately get the feeling that your in a great community. You’re in a small town that everyone knows everyone, and if they don’t personally know you they know one of your relatives. You drive down the road and everyone waves with their two fingers over the steering wheel.

It’s that one flashing light town with one little convenient store and a little pizza place. On Friday nights in the fall the whole town is at the football game and in the winter they are supporting the basketball team.

It’s a town where traditions to paint the bridge still remain and your parents finding out about it before you even get home. It’s the place where you can count on everyone to be a friend.

The town where the only fun thing to do is drive around and have late night bonfires. It’s a place where retired men go and have their morning coffee at the gas station and find out the latest gossip. It’s the town where faces may change but the last names never do.

It’s a town where people come to reminisce good memories on how things used to be. And when you come back to town they don’t forget your name.

Water Tower Towns are hometowns. You are able to breathe and all your worries go away.

10 ways to Survive the Indiana Cold

Its only November and BURRRR is it already cold! Winter is approaching us faster than we think! Here are some fun tips to stay warm through this cold season!

1. Forget about fashion 

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It’s better to dress warm, no matter how silly you may look, even if you look like Ralphie’s little brother Randy! Be sure to keep your hands and head covered.

2.Drink plenty of hot drinks! 

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Whether it be walking outside or warming up when you come home, you can always warm up with hot chocolate, hot tea, coffee, or hot apple cider!

3. Change the background on your phone.

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Change the background on your phone to something warm like a fire or a beach. It will take your mind off of the temperature.

4. Wear fuzzy socks!

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Wear the fuzziest, fluffiest, colorful, crazy socks you can find! Your feet will sure thank you!

5. Embrace the cold and have fun! 

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If you get into the mindset that you’re going to enjoy the cold, it can actually be fun! Go snowmobiling, build a snow angel, go ice skating, build a snowman, or throw a snowball!

 

6. Create a Netflix account 

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Stay indoors and binge watch your favorite TV show all day long.

7. Buy a Snuggie.

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A “snuggie” is warm and you can still use your hands! If you need a cheap snuggie wear your robe backwards!

8. Plan your Spring Break!

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While your stuck inside, plan your warm getaway! It will be here before you know it!

9. Snug and Snack in bed! 

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Stay in bed all day long! Enjoy some snacks and stay warm!

 

10. or just act like its warm!

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Act like it is warm outside and just get in the hot tub in the snow!

 

 

 

 

 

Athletes choose Milk

November is right around the corner and in Indiana many people know what is ahead… BASKETBALL SEASON!

The best time of the year!

My brother is a sophomore in high school and has been training for this upcoming season since the day after they lost sectionals last year. If he isn’t practicing on the court, he is outside shooting free throws. Every week he lifts weights and goes to speed school to improve his game. He is dedicated and wants to improve his skills any way he can.

During Fall Break, I went to our hometown gym to workout with him and my dad. You could  tell that I have been slacking and not been to the gym in awhile. The boys could lift almost triple me and I could not catch my breath after running. Right after we worked out my brother got chocolate milk from the gas station.

I was confused why he would get that instead of Gatorade or a bottle of water. He told me that chocolate milk is a really good recovery drink after having a tough work out. Chocolate milk contains nutrients like calcium, potassium, protein, riboflavin, niacin, vitamins D, A, and B12, and phosphorus. These nutrients help your body rebuild and refuel what your body may have lost during the workout.

So, not only is chocolate milk delicious but it also helps an athlete’s future performance. Some studies have shown that drinking low-fat chocolate milk after a hard workout can improve athletes power and even improve training times in future exercise. Also, it can reduce soreness the next day!

Chocolate milk is an easy and inexpensive way for athletes to improve their skill in whatever sport they may participate in. Chocolate milk has been able to keep up with the changing times by being easy accessible and it comes in a nice grab-and-go bottle. You can find milk anywhere! It could be at the gas station, a restaurant, or the grocery store. There are also different types of milk that everyone can enjoy and different flavors.

So, the next time you have a tough workout cool down with a refreshing glass of chocolate milk! Not only will your body thank you, but your teammates will too!

Facing Food Insecurity

Did you know that September was Hunger Action Month? The goal of Hunger Action Month is to educate the public on food insecurity and create a movement that has a lasting impact on others to help end hunger in America.

This past week I decided to accept the SNAP Challenge. What does SNAP stand for you ask? Its The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program … aka food stamps. SNAP provides monthly benefits to supplement the food budgets of families in need, but in many cases families are still struggling to put food on the table, even with these benefits. Many Americans benefit from the program; as of August 8th 2014 the average monthly participants in SNAP were 46.5 million people.

The SNAP challenge encourages its participants to gain a sense of what it is like for millions of Americans that live on a low-income budget that face hunger each day. This past week I chose to commit to two days of eating my meals from a limited food budget comparable to a SNAP participant that would live on $1.50 a meal. During the challenge I could only spend $4.50 per day on all of my food and beverages and I couldn’t use previously- bought food.

This task was harder than I thought. The first day I chose to eat yogurt for breakfast, and drank a glass of water, which I normally do. But once lunchtime rolled around and all I had to eat was Ramen Noodles, it began to sink in. I was still hungry after that meal, and dinner was far away. After breakfast and lunch I had already spent $1.74. I wanted to eat a snack but they were almost more expensive than a dinner meal. For dinner I chose to eat a microwavable meal of cheesy rice and chicken.  The total cost of my meal that day was $2.93. By the end of that day I realized I could spend more, but by the time I pay for a product plus tax I would be over budget.

That next morning I woke up pretty hungry. I woke up and had my everyday yogurt for breakfast and went on with my day. By 11 a.m. I was ready for a big home cooked lunch but had to stick to the challenge by eating a bowl of the discounted chicken noodle soup, which I could have ate 10 more cans of! By this time I was getting grumpy because I was hungry and just annoying the person sitting next to me in class because my stomach was grumbling. I was realizing the struggle that many have to go through on daily basis. It was so distracting because all I could think about was my hunger. Finally dinner rolled around, and I was able to have a little bit of meat in my system. I had a microwavable chicken potpie and a glass of water, finishing the day with only spending $3.37.

After doing this challenge, it was a wake up call. The meals I was eating were neither nutritious nor fresh. It was hard to imagine that many of all ages have to eat this way constantly and some may run out of food before they can receive more for the next month. I also couldn’t imagine the stress of living this way; not only does a person have to worry about managing their money on food but also other expenses life throws their way like rent, medical issues, car payment, gas, etc.

I decided I wanted to do a little research into food insecurity in my area. I  realized that there are many misinterpretations of hunger. When I think of hunger, I think of the sad commercials that are  shown on TV of the starving children playing in a dirty environment. But I was wrong! Hunger happens to families that are just like mine! I found that 70% of SNAP participants consist of families with children or ones with disabilities or have an elder person living in the household. Not only that, but many people that use the program have jobs and are making an income.

 

Next, I wanted to look into what is happening in my area to help with this big issue! I found that there are shelters and facilities in West Lafayette that help with these issues like Lafayette Transitional Housing. I also found that the Indianapolis Colts are partnered with Indiana farmers through Indiana Soybean Alliance and Indiana Corn Marketing Council doing a project called “Tackling Hunger.” For every tackle that Cory Redding and the Colts defense makes this season, the Colts and Indiana farmers make a donation to Kids Against Hunger of Central Indiana. How cool is that?!

So what is happening in your area to end hunger?