User: flenvcenter Topic: Food-Independent
Category: Food Systems :: Global Food System
Last updated: Jul 30 2015 24:50 IST RSS 2.0
 
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Good food is never cheap and cheap food is never good 29.7.2015 rabble.ca - News for the rest of us
Twenty years ago I wrote that family farms in Canada were at a pivotal point in their evolution. Farmers could continue growing crops based on the corporate agenda or they could lessen their ecological impact by adopting a model that encouraged eating local, in-season, organically grown indigenous foods. Consumer buying power was imperative to changing the way food was grown and distributed. Ironically, very little has changed. Canadians have developed a sense of entitlement when it comes to buying cheap food. What's really needed are consumers who recognize they have a duty to ensure fairness within the marketplace. This begins with paying farmers a reasonable price for the food they produce and extends to buying food that is produced in an ecologically responsible ...
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To Save Bees, Some States Take Aim At Pesticides 29.7.2015 Politics on HuffingtonPost.com
This piece comes to us courtesy of Stateline. Stateline is a nonpartisan, nonprofit news service of the Pew Charitable Trusts that provides daily reporting and analysis on trends in state policy. The orange groves in Fort Myers, Florida, have turned to poison for David Mendes’ honeybees. The onetime winter havens for bees have been treated with a popular pesticide that he says kills his livelihood. States and the federal government are searching for ways to protect managed bees like Mendes’ and their wild counterparts. The White House issued a strategy in May to promote the health of honeybees and at least 24 states have enacted laws to protect bees and other pollinators such as bats, birds and butterflies. Of the 100 crops that supply about 90 percent of the food for most of the world, 71 are pollinated by bees. Pollination has a direct effect on the quality of food and the diversity of crops. Declines in bee populations mean fruit and vegetables are less available and more expensive. Though the number ...
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We Are Literally Farming Ourselves Out of Food 29.7.2015 Politics on HuffingtonPost.com
Two items crossed my desk recently that were so fundamentally opposite in their visions of the future that it was enough to give a reader whiplash. The first was the 2012 book Abundance , the optimistic paen to entrepreneurs, inventors and Silicon Valley gazillionaires written by X-Prize founder Peter Diamandis and science journalist Steven Kotler. The authors claim that the exponential growth of technology will solve all the world's ills, and, "within a generation ... provide goods and services, once reserved for the wealthy few, to any and all who need them." Poo-burning toilets, refrigerator-sized water purifiers, portable nuclear power plants, algae biofuels and skyscraper greenhouses capable of feeding the world's 800 million hungry, among many other gadgets, they contend, are just around the corner and, within 25 years, will create a techno-utopian world. The other item was more sobering -- an article in London's Independent newspaper headlined, " Society will collapse by 2040 due to catastrophic ...
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American Humane Certified Is Out of Step on the Meaning of "Humane" 28.7.2015 Green on HuffingtonPost.com
Yet more disturbing videos have been released showing the abuse of animals raised for food. Last month, two separate investigations by animal advocacy organizations exposed the mistreatment of birds raised and slaughtered by poultry producer Foster Farms. The first investigation was conducted by the group Mercy for Animals at Foster Farms in Fresno, California, where in March and April undercover workers documented the mistreatment of chickens at both a raising facility and a slaughterhouse. A video shows workers tossing young chicks onto the ground at the raising facility, which is littered with sick and injured birds. At the slaughterhouse, workers are seen punching and shoving birds during shackling, and there is evidence that some birds have been scalded alive in feather-removal tanks. Foster Farms responded to the release of the video by suspending five workers. The second investigation documented the inhumane killing of sick and injured day-old birds at a turkey hatchery operated by Foster Farms, ...
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Surprise! Pro-GMO Lawmakers Get Big Funds from Agribusiness Lobbies 27.7.2015 CommonDreams.org Headlines
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Ruthless Power and Deleterious Politics: From DDT to Roundup 27.7.2015 Truthout.com
Farm equipment sprays glysophate onto crops. (Photo: Chafer Machinery ) Do you want media that's accountable to YOU, not to corporate sponsors? Help publish journalism with real integrity and independence - click here to donate to Truthout! Morton Biskind, a physician from Westport, Connecticut, was a courageous man. At the peak of the cold war, in 1953, he complained of maladies afflicting both domestic animals and people for the first time. He concluded that the popular insect poison DDT was the agent of their disease. DDT, he said, was "dangerous for all animal life from insects to mammals." The Reign of DDT Yet, he was astonished at what little was done to restrict or ban DDT. On the contrary, officials and scientists defended it: "[V]irtually the entire apparatus of communication, lay and scientific alike, has been devoted to denying, concealing, suppressing, distorting… [the bad news about DDT]. Libel, slander and economic boycott have not been overlooked… And a new principle of toxicology has… ...
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Health Canada's lack of rigorous safety review is the real outrage 24.7.2015 rabble.ca - News for the rest of us
Monday, July 27, 2015 Health Minister Rona Ambrose is "outraged" by the Supreme Court's recent ruling on medical marijuana. Other are outraged at Ambrose's claim that Health Canada requires rigorous safety reviews. Chip in to keep stories like these ...
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'Corporate Influence Has Won': House Passes Anti-GMO Labeling Bill 24.7.2015 CommonDreams.org Headlines
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Consumers, Health Advocates and Farmers Mobilize Massive Movement in Opposition to Congressional “DARK Act” Aimed at Preempting Labeling and Safety Testing of Genetically Engineered Foods 24.7.2015 Commondreams.org Newswire
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Palm Oil Is In Everything -- And It's Destroying Southeast Asia's Forests 23.7.2015 Green on HuffingtonPost.com
It was late evening. The skies were dark and dogs were howling. Into the Nyaru Menteng Orangutan Rescue Center on the island of Borneo rushed a rescue worker cradling a tiny bundle in his arms. He handed over the precious package to the manager on duty. Inside, with a face as small as a mouse’s, was a 3-month-old orangutan. Those who were there that day say there are two things they remember most about their first meeting with the baby ape: her intelligent eyes, big and bright; and her fragile left arm -- half of which was conspicuously missing.  The baby’s hand had been hacked off. “Infant orangutans, who ride on their mothers’ stomachs by holding onto their long hair, have incredibly strong grips. They do not let go,” Richard Zimmerman, whose organization Orangutan Outreach  helps facilitate the rescue and rehabilitation of wild orangutans, told The Huffington Post. “The baby’s hand was chopped off -- most likely to pry her off her mother.” Rescuers believe that the infant and her mom had been driven ...
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If we support community-supported agriculture, a caring society is within reach 22.7.2015 rabble.ca - News for the rest of us
Please support our coverage of democratic movements and  become a supporter of  rabble.ca . Farmers operating Community Supported Agricultural ventures (CSAs) have created local ecological, alternative food systems. These small scale farmers sell shares to customers in the spring in exchange for a weekly supply of locally grown, organic vegetables and fruits that lasts for the growing season. But these farmers offer much more to the customers and communities that they ...
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The Revolving Door: Greasing the Wheels of the TTIP Lobby 19.7.2015 Truthout.com
Consultancy, Amcham EU & EuroCommerce Introduction TTIP, the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, is one of the biggest games in town right now. As negotiations between the European Union and the United States enter their tenth round of talks in July 2015, TTIP is slated to become the biggest trade deal in the world. It is a major policy priority for the European Commission which claims that the deal will create jobs and boost economic growth. Europe’s biggest businesses have come out united in strong support for TTIP . Yet many politicians, economists, and civil society groups, including Corporate Europe Observatory, are rather more cynical about the supposed benefits of TTIP. Increased competition could harm Europe’s weaker economies and small and medium enterprises, and cause job losses. Meanwhile, the harmonisation of EU and US laws could drive down existing standards on both sides of the Atlantic, undermining consumer protection, sustainable agriculture, environmental protection, and ...
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House Ag Committee Says "No" to GMO Labeling, What's Next? 17.7.2015 Truthout.com
With no debate and only a voice vote, the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Agriculture (July 14, 2015) passed out of committee  H.R. 1599 , a bill to preempt states’ rights to label GMOs. Within hours, it was announced that the bill will go straight to the House floor, as early as the next week, with no vote in the Energy and Commerce Committee. If we don’t stop it in the House before the next week, the fight to stop this “Mother of All Monsanto Protection Acts” will take place next in the U.S. Senate, by early fall. In his  opening statement  on July 14, Committee Chairman Rep. K. Michael Conaway (R-Texas) (who shortly after today’s vote said he will co-sponsor H.R. 1599) couldn’t have sounded more like a Monsanto employee if he’d tried. Conaway nailed the biotech industry’s favorite talking points and mistruths, beginning with this one: In testimony before this Committee, multiple representatives of the food and agricultural sectors commented on the cost burden that would be placed on our ...
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Summer Fun, But Not for Pigs: The Horror of Gestation Crates and Life in a Factory Farm 16.7.2015 Green on HuffingtonPost.com
By Roberta Lee, M.D. The Fourth of July arrived this month. The festivities brought on all the best that summer can be including fireworks, outdoor gatherings with family and friends and lots of food. Every 4th of July and most summer weekends, I put food on the grill and have feasts. But there is a dark side to those summer cook outs, especially those featuring pork ribs. One of the darkest stories is the story of a pig's life in a factory farm. 97% of the 65 million hogs raised each year come from these crowded commercial "farms" (called concentrated animal feeding operations or CAFOs). Pigs who live in a CAFO are placed in a pen so confining they cannot even turn around for all its life. These pigs will have never seen the light of day and at near birth will have their teeth pulled to prevent infection from poor nutrition and self-harm. Worse still these animals will live in a cage that is positioned over a catch pen for waste. The waste below produces gas so poisonous that blowers must remove the air ...
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The True Cost of Cheap Food 16.7.2015 Green on HuffingtonPost.com
Organic, GMO, pesticide-free, fair-trade -- what do these really mean, are they just trends and how do they affect our planet? Agriculture is a complex industry which to some extent we are all reliant upon. Understandably, for decades the focus has been on how to increase crop yield more efficiently and cheaper. At first glance, this seems intuitive. And in large measures the agricultural industry has been able to accomplish this through the widespread use of pesticides and genetically modified crops that are resistant to pests and other external factors. But does more equal better? The evidence suggests not. We have sacrificed nutrition for quantity, and we are now ingesting chemicals into our bodies that we were never meant to. In 1974 Monsanto patented glyphosate as an herbicide, aka Roundup, which revolutionized farming practices and as such the use of the herbicide has grown exponentially. This has had not only a profound impact on the food we eat, but also on all the natural support systems that ...
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The Story of the Birds and the Bees: The Neonic Catastrophe That Never Was 16.7.2015 Green on HuffingtonPost.com
Like the fictional parents in the edgy comedy show South Park who blame Canada for all of their woes, environmentals often coalesce around an issue and then come up with a simple but sometimes simplistic narrative to anchor their advocacy. We've seen that with fracking, which is often blamed for massive groundwater pollution (the EPA has rejected that claim) and methane gas release ( rejected by numerous independent researchers). The decades long decline in the global frog population is often blamed on atrazine, although the decline is mostly occurring where atrazine is not used, and recent study by the leading anti-atrazine crusader has now found that exposure to atrazine made zero difference in frog health. Let's call it the environmental crisis narrative. Empirical evidence rarely stops memes from flooding the Internet, filling up environmental blogs and showing up in letters appealing for donations to support causes built around an impending ecological reckoning. Scare stories work. This is certainly ...
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Here's Why Even Organic Farms Are Awful For Animals -- And How They Can Be Improved 15.7.2015 Green on HuffingtonPost.com
Sonia Faruqi accidentally became an animal welfare investigator. After losing her job as an investment banker, this Type A, Ivy Leaguer volunteered on an organic dairy farm, where she discovered that the cows were kept chained up and covered in feces. It was the opposite of what the word "organic" conjured. Faruqi's curiosity was piqued: If things are bad for animals at an organic farm, what must life be like at a conventional farm? And how can things get better? Faruqi spent about four years exploring industrialized farming all over the world -- living with farmers, talking her way into slaughterhouses, choking on the ammonia-filled air in henhouses, learning to differentiate especially cruel veal-raising practices from those that aren't quite so grotesque. She also lived with farmers whose husbandry is humane (even if their animals are still bound for the plate). She describes their philosophies and practices, and how they can serve as models. It's a process she describes, in sometimes grim, always ...
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Food Smart Cities: Join the Food Revolution 15.7.2015 Commondreams.org Views
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How Do the New USDA Initiatives Incorporate Climate Smart Agriculture (CSA)? A Look at What Makes CSA So Smart 15.7.2015 Green on HuffingtonPost.com
CO-AUTHORED BY LAUREN DEMATES A few months ago, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced a set of voluntary and incentive-based initiatives aimed at reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in the agricultural sector. The Building Blocks for Climate Smart Agriculture & Forestry initiative expects to reduce U.S. emissions by 120 million metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent, similar to taking 25 million cars off the road. This effort, made possible through existing authority underneath the Farm Bill, is good news as the agricultural sector accounts for 9% of total U.S. emissions and 13% of global emissions. Most emissions-related datasets do not count emissions from the conversion of forests to agricultural land or energy use as part of the sector's contribution although these processes are huge contributors of carbon dioxide (CO2). Emissions directly associated with the agricultural sector are mainly methane (CH4) and nitrous oxide (N2O) due to livestock (the natural digestive process of ...
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Retiring Toxic CA Farmland Better Deal Than Tunnels 15.7.2015 Commondreams.org Newswire
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