Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Giving blood and avoiding Nestlé

I was going to post about giving blood and then noticed that Hedgewizard has also just done that. He also mentions Nestlé and the boycott thereof in the same post so I thought I might as well do that too. (Me, a big copycat*? Never!)

Anyway, back to my own life. Where was I? Oh yes, giving blood. Very important to do it if you can I think. I didn't donate for years because I thought I wasn't eligible due to jaundice but then I found out (cannot remember how anymore) that I didn't actually have jaundice but rather a jaundice-like reaction to some medication during my one stay in hospital not long after my 18th birthday. There's a difference between the two and apparently it's the jaundice you get because of a virus which makes you ineligible to donate. Or something like that. If you're not sure, it's worth it to ask your doctor or your local blood donor clinic.

I'm always amazed at the number of people who don't donate. Maybe it's because my oldest sister started to donate when I was still quite young and so it seemed just like a normal thing to do. Like the way it always seemed normal to me to learn languages because both my parents spoke Spanish (they took lessons when I was a very young so although I vaguely remember them going to lessons I don't really remember them not being able to speak it). I'm doing a first aid course in work at the moment and last week the doctor who was in to give the lecture asked how many of us donate - out of 30 people only 4 do. There are so many reasons for people to be excluded I think it's important that everyone who can, does. I have very deep veins but the doc the last time I donated was great and I didn't even have a hint of a bruise. And they've stopped making me take iron tablets for a week after donating now since my iron count is always very high. They were always the only part of the process I didn't like. Well, I also hate needles. And blood. But I'm fine so long as I look at something other than my arm while it's happening.

As for Nestlé, I half-heartedly boycotted them as a teenager. Wasn't quite sure why but someone had told me they were "bad" and I was a very unquestioning kind of a teenager. Could never quite manage to give up Smarties though. They were my favourite sweets and I had the Smarties shades, the coin purse, the Smarties Disco Party record...(by the way, has anyone else read the essay on the strange coincidence of blue smarties appearing around the same time the Smurfs disappeared?). I'm more conscientious now but as they're such a huge company they make a range of products and it's hard to know sometimes who actually made what you're buying. Hedgewizard discovered that they also make cereal for several supermarket own-brands, have a look at the link on his post for more information. I agree with him that it's definitely much easier to boycott any particular company once you stop buying so many processed foods.

This has all reminded me of another huge global conglomerate type company. Dove has what seems like a very worthwhile campaign for real beauty. Unfortunately they are part of the Unilever group which also brings you things like Lynx - see here for a blog post on this issue. But enough about corporates. Who cares if L'Oreal owns The Body Shop! Who cares that Cadbury's bought Green & Blacks! Well, I do, but it's lunchtime and I need to eat.

In home news I have more or less finished my room and it's a great feeling to have some space back. There will be further sorting of different things but everything is in it's place now and so I can take my time with each box as I come to it. I have a pile of stuff to freecycle and all the books (80+) lined up in the hall for my brother to go through tonight and reclaim any that might belong to him before they're off to the second-hand book shop.

I'm leaving a note here to remind myself to post about Fallon & Byrne and my very disappointing experiences with them another day.

*Hedgie, if you read this I hope you're appropriately flattered not only by my usage of your wonderful foot-noting style but also my cat reference, in keeping with the whole cat thing you have going on at the moment! :-)


Phelan said...

About giving blood, it's not that I won't or don't, it is because I can't. We have some very silly laws around here. The one that forbids me to donate is the fact that I have piercings and tats that are a certain number of years old. I can give again in a few years.

Moonwaves said...

Over here, it's 12 months from having a tattoo or piercings. 6 months after acupuncture (unless it's done in a doctor's surgery). 12 months after having sex with a man who's ever had sex with a man (but honestly, if I'm getting that friendly with a guy, donating blood is the last thing on my mind so it's not necessarily a question I'd ask!

We're also restricted over here from donating for three months after visiting the States, due to West Nile virus. If anyone's interested, here is the link to the service in Ireland, including the full list of possible reasons you might be excluded: http://www.ibts.ie/generic.cfm?mID=2&sID=10

Anonymous said...

I'm forbidden from donating forever (as far as I can tell) because I spent more than 6 months in the UK. The reason for this is (I believe, although it has been a while) foot and mouth disease even though I didn't eat beef or pork or lamb while I was over there. It seems rather silly if you ask me. I used to not give because I was under the weight requirement for so long but I'm not anymore and I would give even though, like you, I don't like needles or looking at blood - I always just turn away and I am find. I should look into seeing if they have relaxed the rules a bit.

I didn't know about L'Oreal or Cadburys either - this has been a very informative post! ;)

*melanie from www.meli-mello.com

Hedgewizard said...

No probs - I stole the drop-down conceit from Terry Pratchett anyway!

karl said...

nestle is satan.