Thanksgiving dinner. Photo © Sarah Ackerman, via creative commons and flickr

On a visit south of the border some time ago, I found myself staring at the nutriional-information panel printed on a box of Triscuits.

At first, I stared without really looking—after all, the “Low-Sodium Triscuit” product sold in the U.S. is the same as the “Low-Sodium Triscuit” product sold in Canada.But something about the information penetrated the fog of my inattention and focussed my penetrating powers of pointy-headed perspicacity on one line:

Serving size: 8 crackers

Now, I’m hardly a Triscuit expert, let along a Triscuit-packaging expert, but in that moment I was pretty certain that number wasn’t what this particular pointy-headed Canadian gal remembered the recommended Triscuit serving size to be. It seemed … generous. I vaguely recalled a smaller serving size listed on boxes of Triscuits north of the border.

Was I mistaken?…

Find out by reading the rest of this editorial at the Victoria Times Colonist….

Chocolate bunny loses its ears. Photo © John-Paul Scoville, via creative commons. How odd that April and May are the only months lacking chocolate-celebration days. Perhaps the oversight is due to the surfeit of chocolate-related celebrations in preceding months—Chocolate Cake Day (January 27), Nutella Day (February 5), Valentine’s Day (you know…), Chocolate Mint Day (February 19), Chocolate Caramel Day (March 10), and Chocolate-covered Raisin Day (March 24).

Or maybe the lunar timing of (the unofficial) Eat Chocolate Easter Bunny Ears Day throws the makers, bakers, and shapers of chocolate goods off the scheduled promotion game. Easter, with its chocolate bunnies and eggs, is second in candy sales only to Halloween. The event presents an annual bonanza to chocolate makers and sellers, including those here in Victoria.

Yet, despite the rush on chocolate of all varieties and qualities, all has not been smooth, rich sweetness in Canada’s world of chocolate recently.

I’m not talking about the many local and artisan chocolate sellers in our region. Last year was an annus horribilis (mark the double “n” in that phrase, mind) for four of Canada’s biggest chocolate-candy dealers. In June, the Competition Bureau of Canada announced that, after a five-year investigation, it had uncovered evidence suggesting Nestlé Canada, Mars Canada, and ITWAL Limited, a national network of independent wholesale distributors, had attempted to fix prices of chocolate products in this country….

Read the rest of this editorial at the Victoria Times Colonist….

Chocolate bunny butt vs ears. Photo © card karma, - creative commons

Dead Annas hummingbird. Photo © Lenore M. Edman,, creative commons

Tonight, at 8:30 p.m., many people, businesses and institutions here on the eco-friendly south coast will be turning out the lights.

We’re taking part in Earth Hour, an international grassroots event started by former-Pearson International College graduate Todd Sampson and now hosted by the World Wildlife Federation. The goal is to celebrate our commitment to the planet by cutting energy consumption for an hour, raising awareness of our own, individual impacts on the environment, and sending a message to policy makers.

The event’s success in attracting participation is astounding. Since its start in 2007, the event has spread from Sydney, Australia, to more than 7,000 towns and cities in 153 countries. San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge, New York City’s Empire State Building, Seattle’s Space Needle, Ontario’s Niagara Falls and CN Tower, and our own B.C. Legislature will go dark for Earth Hour tonight—among hundreds of landmarks around the world.

The global nature of the event means a wave of more-dimness-than-usual will circle the planet, time zone by time zone.

In a way, it’s too bad the direction of the wave of darkness doesn’t run, say, from the equator to the planet’s poles. Oh, I get the circle-the-globe thing, but supposing it were possible for the wave to go from zero degrees latitude northwards, for instance, another emblem of the global web of ecological connectedness would also benefit from the resulting path of reduced lighting.

That emblem is the songbird….

Reach the rest of this editorial at the Victoria Times Colonist….