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EL ESPECTADOR

The Nude Food Movement, From New Zealand To Colombia

What's the point of pretty produce if you can't squeeze it and smell it too? Columnist Michelle Arévalo Zuleta makes the case for plastic-free fruits and veggies.

'Shop with a fabric bag'
"Shop with a fabric bag"
Michelle Arévalo Zuleta

BOGOTÁ — I can see the object of my desire through the transparent wrap covering it from head to toe, but I can't feel its texture or breathe in its aroma. The "clothing" is unnecessary, in my mind. But more than that, it's infuriating — because it'll take 400 years to decompose, while the fruit inside lasts but a day.

Pollution and global warming are real. What's not is the false idea that our lives are somehow improved by absurd packaging for fruits and vegetables that already have their own, natural protection. Covered tangerines. Wrapped and peeled garlic. Vacuum-sealed French fries even. We've been led so far down the path of minimal effort and indiscriminate and unfettered consumption. And sadly, very few people seem to know that fruit peels (unlike plastic wrapping) don't need 400 years to degrade.

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In The News

War In Ukraine, Day 93: Is Kyiv Ready To Risk Taking War Into Russian Territory?

While Russia is accusing Ukraine of carrying out attacks on its territory, the U.S. is set to send rocket launchers that could fire into Russian territory. But Washington is also warning Kyiv of the high risks of escalation.

Malaya Rohan, town in Ukraine near Russian border

Shaun Lavelle, Cameron Manley and Emma Albright

Russia accused Ukraine of carrying out attacks on its territory, the latest indication that the war may be escalating dangerously across the border. The head of the Border Service of Russia’s Federal Security Service, Vladimir Kulishov, claimed that Ukrainian militants were trying to enter the country disguised as refugees.

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In an interview with government-owned Russian daily Rossiyskaya Gazeta, Kulishov said the situation at the border was difficult and that “additional temporary border posts were deployed.” He said that such actions preceded the invasion: “From 2014 to February 2022, the Ukrainian side undertook over 40 anti-Russian actions on the state border.”

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Central to the tragic absurdity of this war is the question of language. Vladimir Putin has repeated that protecting ethnic Russians and the Russian-speaking populations of Ukraine was a driving motivation for his invasion.

Yet one month on, a quick look at the map shows that many of the worst-hit cities are those where Russian is the predominant language: Kharkiv, Odesa, Kherson.

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