Happy Ag Day!

On this day, we celebrate agriculture's abundance ... and the subsidies that determine what is grown. As this cartoon, which is featured in Eat Drink Vote, reminds us, the small farmer is being overshadowed by big agricultural companies that influence how government subsidies are allocated.

Here's a link to the day's events that have been organized by the group behind Ag Day - The Agriculture Council of America. Notice anything about the events? Yep - they are all in Washington, D.C. Not many farmers there. Guess that the farmers will have to celebrate elsewhere.
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Dieting: Part of the Human Condition?

Hilary Price has been drawing and writing Rhymes With Orange, her daily newspaper comic strip, since 1995. It has won “Best Newspaper Panel” three times from the National Cartoonists Society. Her work has also appeared in Parade Magazine, The Funny Times, People and Glamour. When she began drawing Rhymes With Orange, she was the youngest woman to ever have a syndicated strip.

Eat Drink Vote contains ten Rhymes with Orange strips. We asked Price to provide a bit of background about one of them and she choose the strip above, which is found on page 42, in chapter four, “Why Food Production Matters.”

“I feel like that ad about belly fat stalks me all over the internet. What makes it worse is that it uses a cartoon-like drawing to get attention! What an evil way to subvert the power of cartooning: it is easier to read than it is to ignore it.”

So, in this way, Price not only notes that dieting is part of the human condition but she goes one step further to comment on cartooning.

When asked about her creative process, Price responded: “I start with the idea, then audition who the characters in the strip should be. I always go idea first, then characters, and words first, than pictures. The goal for the final combination of words and pictures is to show just enough information for the reader to get it, bit nothing more.

Rhymes with Orange is found online – and in 200 newspapers internationally. Her cartoons may be searched here.
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Caption Contest x 2

Now you get to be an editor and a cartoonist!

For caption contest #2 - Submit a caption for the cartoon shown above. What is this fellow saying? Entries will be accepted until November 17 and the top three entries will then be posted here for visitors to the site to vote on. After all, the book's title is Eat Drink Vote!

Caption Contest #1: And, speaking of voting ... Select your favorite from the three finalists. Voting ends Monday Novembeer 5 and the winner will be announced Electio Day, Tuesday November 6.

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Profit is Most Important Ingredient

As Marion Nestle notes in Eat Drink Vote "Food marketers, of course, are in business and always looking for ways to cut costs and increase profits."

Yes, food marketers aim to make products that people want but their ability to stay in business depends on their ability to make a profit. So, profit has to be the first objective. When consumers account for the profit motive, they can look at food marketing and packaging through a slightly different lens. Additionally, consumers can act on this knowledge by "voting" with their purchases for those companies that work to promote the health of their customers and the planet.

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Sugarcoating it

Dave Coverly is the creator so Speed Bump which he describes as "life's outtakes." Coverly has won multiple awards for Speed Bump and he was recognized as the 2008 Cartoonist of the Year by the National Cartoonist Society. Early in his career, Coverly was the editorial cartoonist at the Battle Creek Enquirer. Hmmm .... Isn't Battle Creek also the home of Tony the Tiger?

Coverly provided the following insight into how he came up with this cartoon.

"This cartoon plays on how we sugarcoat some things - such as cereal on one hand and news on the other. Of course, the meanings differ enough so that combining them makes for a little creative mischief.

The set up - or layout - of the cartoon was important for conveying the gag as was the title at the bottom. I thought about reversing the position of the doctor and Tony the Tiger but that would prevent us from seeing Tony's face. I then worked hard to get Tony's body language right; his body language plus his facial expression communicate his concern and interest in what the doctor is saying.

The text at the bottom closes the circle, if you will. The gag would have been okay without the extra text but the juxtaposition of "bad news" and "sugarcoat" in combination with Tony the Tiger makes the gag that much stronger ... but I may be sugarcoating it!"

The cartoon appears on p. 67 of Eat Drink Vote, in chapter 4 "What Are We Supposed to Eat"?

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