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News, off!

Bad news

Tiny farming tip: to be happier, healthier, and more productive, in and out of the garden, stop following the NEWS! I quit around three years ago, and never felt better. I got sucked back in last September by a tasty combo of Obama, Sarah Palin, and a side order of global economic meltdown. Who could resist? But now, the election’s long over, and CNN is still on in the background, like a radio… Until today.

Today, for no real reason, I decided to actually watch the news for a while. Started with some Terror in India, a little Baghdad Shootout, and then, the main course, a special investigative report, “America’s Killer Diet”… Wow. Segment after segment of bizarre, surreal and mildly disturbing bits of bad-food trivia. Healthy kid moves from Jamaica to the US, discovers junk food, and gains 30 lbs in his first year (concerned mom intervenes by actually COOKING). Secretary of Agriculture agrees that, if Americans tried to eat the recommended daily five servings of veg, there wouldn’t be enough to go around. Revealed: just about all of the food in America is really made out of CORN (and soy). Twinkies-maker says: “The core ingredients of Twinkies have been the same for decades: flour, sugar and water. Deconstructing the Twinkie is like trying to deconstruct the universe.” Spokeswoman for an urban farming project in Chicago explains that, in her neighborhood, you can easily buy a gun, but you  CAN’T FIND AN ORGANIC TOMATO. What’s THAT about? What does that even mean? Off goes the news! Again. Phew! :)



  1. I need to follow your lead a little better M~.  I went cold turkey a couple of years ago and like you got sucked in earlier this year. I did however move to NPR, a much more rounded and generally upbeat news I have to say. Also, unless the news is dialogue based or, I hate to say it, economy based, I turn it off.
    Your on the right track!

  2. Paul R

    I grew up on Twinkies, yum!!!!!!!!!!

    Try BBC for a decent look at the news.

  3. I don’t watch the news and seldom glance at the front page of the paper…unless I’m using it for mulch in the garden, lol!  With little ones at home I want them to find the world a safe and magical place for as long as possible, so no news here. 

  4. There is so much wisdom in this. I went ahead and got rid of cable altogether a few years back… that’s the real way to add years to your life!  :o)

  5. MFL

    No TV/Low TV should definitely be the way to go for us gardeners, farmers, and anyone who cares about having a genuine life experience. Wife and I cut the cord on all TV about 9 years ago. The benefits have been immeasurable. Still have the DVD player and a Netflix account, and the web keeps me up to date on what’s happening in the world (and on the tiny farm). This way I CHOOSE when and why to be freaked out by the state of things! Can’t imagine raising our 3 year old with the commercials, violence, etc. of the ever-present tube!

  6. Lynn

    yay! (it’s about time you came to your senses!)

  7. Your post is so timely, Mike!  Roddy and I haven’t had a TV since we left Lindsay – and even there we only had 2 channels.  Our quality of life has definitely improved.  Like your other readers I choose my news: and make visits to The Guardian online, read sparse articles from the Globe and news bites from colleagues, and listen to BBC Radio 4.

    But recently I’ve also been paying closer attention to my unusual suspects, and last week was a depressing slog.  Until then, I’d been successfully filtering negative news – not an easy task working in the field of climate change.  I guess our focus on solutions at DSF, and my positively spun outreach work kept me upbeat. 

    I’m over my slump and mourning for the planet (for now).  But I’m not going to stoke the blues with disheartening media.

  8. I’m a business news addict, I even turn up the volume and open up the window so I can listen well I’m tending to the veggie patch in the summer. I need help I think :-)

  9. Seeria

    I quit watching and reading the news a decade ago, so when my new partner came to live with me he watched for about two days before I insisted that crud never be turned on again. Bad stuff.

  10. I have never  bought a tv. When I was young, I was given a couple television sets for people thought I was to broke to buy one.  I sat them in the garage hoping one day to turn them into fish tanks.  It never happened.

    I’m surprised how the news media has infiltrated the internet allowing my mind to be exposed to the atrocities of the planet or one another. It is a shame goodness does’nt spread as fast as evil.

  11. Yabanjin

    Right on (off, actually)!
    I too had made a clean break until the US election heated up.  I am done with it now and quit cold turkey again!  I do admit I check the news on the internet for 5 minutes a day.  The key for me is making it quick and resisting the temptation to dig into the “interesting”articles that actually turn into “Time Thieves”.  Also, this way lets you limit the horror overdose that some news shows strive for.  Now I have all the more time to hoe weeds!

  12. Oh my, can I relate.  I tried a news “fast” a few years back and it felt so good, I kept it until this September (at which time I too became an Obama/Palin/economic crisis junkie).  I have turned news  on a few times since…just to see…  but I think I may be done now.  Thanks for the timely post.

    I’m really worried about the loss of open-pollinated varieties and try to support seed companies like Seed Savers and JL Hudson who are fighting the good fight.  I started collecting a few of my own seeds a few years back (mostly edible flowers and herb seeds).  But I don’t have the space required to separate vegie varieties in order to avoid cross pollination and keep the seed true.

    Nice blog!

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