Every day, I count my blessings to have been born in these times. I am a motley mix of identities—a “mutt” if you will—which would have been looked down upon twenty, fifty, one hundred, one thousand years ago. That I am a woman, living and traveling independently in Asia, sharing her voice and opinions with the world, would also have been rejected. Seems the stars have aligned in my favor.

If I had been born during a different era, I would have been considered an outcast, an outsider, no matter where I lived. Born in Brazil, brought up in the USA, with ancestry in Eastern Europe and family in Israel, my current post in China is just a continuation of a multi-ethnic, nomadic trajectory. My voice would have been ignored, my experience shunned. Thanks to our world’s globalized reality, helped in no small way by the rise of new media and the subsequent exchange of ideas across geographic borders, however, my pixelated persona is welcomed as providing an perspective into the realities of a myriad group of women across the globe.

Money speaks, and those who wield it have the power to influence others. Commerce can direct politics and trends. As women, especially in the developed world, increasingly control household purse strings, their conscientiousness as consumers can help the people on the other side of the buy-sell equation. Agriculture is an instrumental element of humanity’s impact on the environment: according to the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization, it accounts for 14 percent of the world’s carbon emissions. And that doesn’t even begin to discuss waste water and water management, land use sustainability, or the quality of the foodstuffs which sustain the world’s body.

I’m now trying to utilize my international insight to help money-wielding women consumers in the developed world understand what their food purchasing decisions can mean for the environment, and for the women living on the farmland who are producing those foods. Consumers, I believe, desire to make educated decisions: they just need access to the information that can help inform them. Likewise, food producers want to feed people well, and produce food efficiently, but their experiences will not be heard unless someone helps them gain access to new media technologies to broadcast their experiences.

World Pulse inspires me. As a media entity, borne in one woman’s mind and growing from curiosity and questioning, to research and exploration, to its founding and development into a print magazine and online media outlet, it has also thrived in today’s inimitable and unparalleled international, technological environment. It supports and broadcasts the experiences of women, worldwide. My contribution, I hope, is to broadcast the experiences of food producing and food purchasing women of that world, to help them understand and help each other.

Comment on this Post


Manuela, it is indeed a good time to be a woman of independence, education and means. My family were from China and I listen to the stories of life just two generations ago and am thankful for the freedoms I have. With that privilege comes the responsibility to help those who are still unaware of their rights and how they can improve their situations. I so applaud your efforts to help others make better food purchasing decisions, as ultimately we all gain from this knowledge and these acts. Keep spreading the word and best wishes for VOF.


I really enjoyed reading your post. You wrote with clarity and fluidity and I love the fact that you're such a melting pot yourself. Look forward to reading more of your work and hopefully interact on issues where we connect.


Tanya Daud

by pearld (not verified)

Hi Manuela,

Really great journal, thank you for sharing you answered this assignment really well.

I love the part about being the mutt, my mother has always referred to herself as a mutt and well, I am definitely one more so. With a mixture of northern European from my fathers side, a mix of various Mediterranean and Native American decent from my mother I confuse people wherever I travel, because I blend in with so many cultures.

Your story really emphasizes the importance of a global world and we are fortunate to be a part of it. Your story is rich and I hope that you will continue to share more.

Kind regards, Theresa

thanks manuela, it is always so nice to see a woman who knows her strengths so well. i also love the fact that you have a focus in which you both a passion for and knowledge of. i think that there are many people who focus on the negative and are unable to see how fortunate we are to have the opportunities we as women have today, while also recognizing that there are many others who are still far behind us in terms of opportunities. i think it is our responsibility to pave the way for those who will come after us, both in this generation and the next, so that our daughters and granddaughters may one day day, as you have, how fortunate THEY are to have opportunities WE didn't have... opportunities that were crafted by women like you! this is our legacy, if we choose to accept it.

Don't let your worries get the best of you. Remember, even Moses started out as a basket case.