User: flenvcenter Topic: Food-Independent
Category: Food Systems :: Global Food System
Last updated: Nov 23 2014 23:21 IST RSS 2.0
 
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Efforts to Curb Destructive Palm Oil Plantations Brings Together Strange Bedfellows 23.11.2014 Truthout.com
Will corporations and activists join forces to end deforestation in Indonesia? September brought good news for the world’s forests with the unveiling of the New York Declaration on Forests at the UN Climate Summit. The Declaration, which pledges to end global deforestation by 2030, was signed by 130 governments, including the US, Germany, Indonesia, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Perhaps most significantly, it was also backed by commitments from 40 major food corporations to eliminate palm oil grown on deforested land from their supply chains. That’s a big deal, given that palm oil has been the single largest driver of tropical deforestation in recent years. When the medical establishment deemed trans-fats heart-unhealthy in the mid-1990s, demand for the supposedly more benign palm oil soared, increasing nearly six-fold since the year 2000. Palm oil is now used in nearly half of all foods on supermarket shelves, added to everything from breakfast cereals to margarine to potato chips. It is ...
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Is the Grass-Fed Really Greener? Beef Production in the Americas 23.11.2014 Truthout.com
In the Americas, three nations prevail as leading consumers and producers of beef: the United States, Brazil, and Argentina. From burgers to filet mignon, beef is often considered a staple food, even a delicacy. Its consumption is deeply ingrained in some cultures, but only a few understand the impact of industrial demand of cattle products. Most people are not aware that beef production is directly responsible for producing vast levels of greenhouse gases and expanding deforestation, especially in the Amazon forest region. In fact, in the past 25 years forests with an area the size of India have been cleared in Central and South America.[ 1 ] Although demand for beef has stagnated in the U.S. and certain Latin American countries, worldwide consumption continues to expand, and producers in the Western hemisphere are eager to supply. In fact, the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) predicts that beef production and consumption will double by 2050, a situation that can ultimately be costly to the ...
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Efforts to End Deforestation Brings Together Strange Bedfellows 22.11.2014 Green on HuffingtonPost.com
September brought good news for the world's forests with the unveiling of the New York Declaration on Forests at the UN Climate Summit. The Declaration, which pledges to end global deforestation by 2030, was signed by 130 governments, including the US, Germany, Indonesia, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Perhaps most significantly, it was also backed by commitments from 40 major food corporations to eliminate palm oil grown on deforested land from their supply chains. That's a big deal, given that palm oil has been the single largest driver of tropical deforestation in recent years. When the medical establishment deemed trans-fats heart-unhealthy in the mid-1990s, demand for the supposedly more benign palm oil soared, increasing nearly six-fold since the year 2000. Palm oil is now used in nearly half of all foods on supermarket shelves, added to everything from breakfast cereals to margarine to potato chips. It is also an ingredient in shampoo, soaps, cosmetics, toothpaste, and laundry ...
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Food Chains: New Film Tracks How Immokalee Workers Won Fair Wages From Corporate Giants 21.11.2014 Truthout.com
Opening today around the U.S., the new film "Food Chain" documents the groundbreaking partnership between farmworkers, Florida tomato farmers and some of the largest fast food and grocery chains in the world. We are joined by one of the film’s key players, Gerardo Reyes-Chavez, a farm worker and organizer with the Coalition of Immokalee Workers. Reyes-Chave has helped lead the group’s success getting 12 corporations to join their Fair Food Program–including McDonalds, Taco Bell, and most recently, the retail giant Wal-Mart. Participants agree to pay a premium for the tomatoes in order to support a "penny per pound" bonus that is then paid to the tomato pickers. Soon, the Fair Food label will appear on Florida tomatoes at participating stores. TRANSCRIPT: This is a rush transcript. Copy may not be in its final form. JUAN GONZÁLEZ: We turn now to a new film that documents the groundbreaking partnership between farm workers, Florida tomato farmers and some of the largest fast-food and grocery chains in the ...
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A Poetic Exploration Of The Hunting Tradition In America's North 21.11.2014 Green on HuffingtonPost.com
Photographer Clare Benson comes from a long line of hunters. Growing up in northern Michigan, she remembers her father, now 82 years old, winning archery championships and reminiscing about his time as a hunting guide in the Alaskan wilderness. For her, the tradition of hunting -- and the rugged northern landscape that serves as its backdrop -- represents themes of memory and mortality, ones she's managed to weave in and out of her work for some time. Her series "The Shepard's Daughter" addresses her connection to hunting most directly. The images show Benson, her sister and her father trekking through snow-covered scenes, respectfully carrying the spoils of hunting trips past. She pointedly juxtaposes portraits of her family members lounging in contemplation with photographs of the animals they hunt, skin, cook and eat. Set in a vast world unfamiliar to most urban dwellers, Benson paints a picture of a hunting tradition we don't often encounter. The Shepherd's Daughter, 2012 The project, she explained ...
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This Thanksgiving, Don't Be Bamboozled by Butterball's 'Humane' Turkeys 21.11.2014 Green on HuffingtonPost.com
Earlier this month, PETA filed a formal complaint with the Federal Trade Commission asking that it compel Butterball to stop misleading consumers about its procedures for raising and killing turkeys. Butterball participates in the American Humane Association's American Humane Certified (AHC) program and can slap "humane certified" labels on its products, even though its turkeys suffered immensely before arriving on supermarket shelves. AHC standards allow producers to crowd turkeys into dark sheds that reek of ammonia; amputate their toes and cut off their beaks, which causes acute and chronic pain; hang them upside down by their legs; and then electrocute them. In other words -- it's the same old same old. Although the meat industry would like us to believe that we can have our turkey breasts and bacon everything with a clear conscience, that's a bigger load of manure than even a factory farm generates. It's a gimmick. The only 100 percent "humane" meat is no meat at all. It may make people feel better ...
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The Truth About Toxic Wheat 19.11.2014 Green on HuffingtonPost.com
You may or may not have seen this article from the Healthy Home Economist touting wheat is toxic due to being sprayed with Round up (glyphosate) as a pre-harvest. This article brings up some pretty fear inducing statistics for both farmers and non-farmers. Farming is our life and our passion and when someone spreads fear in regards to our livelihood, it is hard not to take it personal. So we respond in the best way we know how, through our own experiences and how we run our own farms. Unfortunately, trying to lump all farming practices in one category doesn't help the credibility we are trying to establish as farmers. Here's the problem. Farming is not black and white, farming is not one size fits all, and there are no absolutes in farming. Farming can vary greatly depending on region, soil, climate, crop variety, etc. And this particular article proves that point well. The problem lies in when we try and make blanket statements about all wheat production. For each different variety of wheat whether it ...
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18 Stunning India-Based Instagram Feeds You Should Be Following 19.11.2014 Politics on HuffingtonPost.com
A photo posted by Subhash Chandra (@subhash_chandra) on Sep 9, 2014 at 7:34pm PDT 5. Hashim Badani: A self-described "chronicler of the mundane," Badani tends to shoot in and around Mumbai. Every once in a while though, the Lonely Planet contributor happens on somewhere completely surreal (see below). A photo posted by hashimbadani (@hashimbadani) on Nov 11, 2014 at 12:15am PDT 6. Siddhartha Joshi: This wandering photographer is another strong portraitist, whose subjects range from kids at play to the army men patrolling India's northern borders. A photo posted by Sid (@siddharthajoshi) on Aug 8, 2014 at 5:56am PDT A photo posted by Sid (@siddharthajoshi) on Oct 10, 2014 at 8:22am PDT 7. @my_mumbai: This popular feed features work by anyone who tags their photos #my_mumbai. The resulting account is sweeping, well-curated, and -- for anyone drawn to the world's densest locales -- undoubtedly worth a follow. A photo posted by #MyMumbai (@my_mumbai) on Oct 10, 2014 at 2:59am PDT A photo posted by #MyMumbai ...
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Maui's GMO Ban Blocked By Federal Judge 15.11.2014 Green on HuffingtonPost.com
HONOLULU (AP) — A federal judge says Maui County may not implement a new law banning the cultivation of genetically modified organisms until he can consider arguments in a lawsuit against the measure.

Judge Barry Kurren said Friday that both sides have agreed to delay the date the law goes into effect. Monsanto Co. and a unit of Dow Chemical Co. sued the county earlier this week to stop the law. Local businesses joined the lawsuit.

Maui voters passed a ballot initiative last week creating the law. The measure was to take effect after officials certified the election results. That was expected late this month.

Kenneth Robbins, an attorney for the plaintiffs, says Kurren is saying the plaintiffs have shown they could potentially suffer irreparable harm if the law goes into effect.
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US/India WTO Agreement: How Corporate Greed Trumps Needs of World's Poor and Hungry 14.11.2014 CommonDreams.org Headlines
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UN: ISIS Denies Food Aid, Medicine To Hundreds Of Thousands 14.11.2014 Politics on HuffingtonPost.com
GENEVA (AP) — The Islamic State group has denied food and medicine to hundreds of thousands of people and hidden its fighters among civilians since a U.S.-led coalition began launching airstrikes in Iraq and Syria, a U.N. panel investigating war crimes in Syria reported Friday. The panel said Syrians and Iraqis are subjected to an Islamic State "rule of terror" from its calculated use of public brutality and indoctrination to ensure the submission of communities under its control, and that the tactics include repeated violations against children and women. The conclusions from the Independent International Commission of Inquiry on Syria, a four-member panel of independent experts, are based on more than 300 interviews with people who fled or are living in IS-controlled areas and on collected video and photographic evidence. "Those that fled consistently described being subjected to acts that terrorize and aim to silence the population," said Brazilian diplomat and scholar Paulo Sergio Pinheiro, who ...
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Monsanto, Dow Unit Sue Maui County Over GMO Law 14.11.2014 Green on HuffingtonPost.com
HONOLULU (AP) — Two agricultural companies are suing Maui County to challenge a new law banning the cultivation of genetically modified organisms.

Monsanto Co. and a Dow Chemical Co. unit filed the lawsuit in federal court in Honolulu on Thursday. They're asking a judge to immediately prevent the law from taking effect and to invalidate the measure. County voters narrowly passed a ballot initiative last week that imposes the ban.

Monsanto Vice President John Purcell says the law interferes and conflicts with long-established state and federal laws that support the safe and lawful cultivation of GMO plants.

The initiative's authors sued the county in state court Wednesday to ensure the county implements the law.

Maui County spokesman Rod Antone says the county is unable to comment because of pending litigation.
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Time for a Worldwide Agricultural Disarmament 13.11.2014 Green on HuffingtonPost.com
The so-called industrial revolution of the nineteenth century was a perverse revolution. It knocked down small-scale traditional industries and boosted giant monopolies. Millions of people were forced off the land and into cities of factories, disease, and hunger. Rural people and ancient traditions suffered the most from the violence of few men armed with large machines. This mechanized new class wanted all power. They purchased their way into legislatures, demanding subsidies and a free hand in the use of technologies, especially chemicals. In the United States the effect of industrialized agriculture has been thoroughly bad. The country has lost its character. Rural and urban have become nearly indistinguishable. America looks more like a homogenized territory rather than a society with great urban and rural towns and villages with distinct cultural and architectural assets. "Rural" America has become an alien country within a country. One sees an expanded Depression-era landscape: empty and abandoned ...
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Why the Soda Tax Is So Important 13.11.2014 Green on HuffingtonPost.com
Berkeley made history this November with the passage of the soda tax. It's the first city in the U.S. to crush Big Soda and pass a tax. Neighboring San Francisco is entitled to some bragging rights as well. The SF soda tax measure garnered 55 percent of the popular vote this November. More than 116,000 San Franciscans voted in favor of the soda tax. By my calculations, that's more "yes" votes for a soda tax than ever before, anywhere. Unfortunately, due to California's backward voter laws, SF's special tax measure needed a two-thirds majority to become law. In both Berkeley and San Francisco, Big Soda put gross amounts of money into opposing the ballot measures. But the science was never contested. This marks a major shift. We all now know that a can of soda a day increases our risk of developing Type 2 diabetes and of having a heart attack by about 20-25 percent over the course of a decade or two. Sugary drink intake has also been linked to stroke , high blood pressure , obesity , fatty liver ...
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What?! Fish Can't Be Organic? 10.11.2014 Green on HuffingtonPost.com
by Lisa J. Bunin, Ph.D., organic policy director of Center for Food Safety That's right. Neither wild fish nor farmed fish can be certified organic because no organic standards exist in the U.S. to regulate them. But that may be about to change -- for the worse. Why? The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is currently proceeding with the development of organic aquaculture regulations that could allow wild fish and ocean-based fish farms to be certified organic. The argument against certifying wild fish as organic is evident: Wild fish can't be called organic because they are wild. Their behavior in the open ocean can't be monitored or controlled like those of domesticated animals. Organic farmers feed their livestock 100 percent organic feed, as required by law, but that's simply not possible to do for wild fish that forage and scavenge for food in the open ocean. Exposure to synthetic toxic chemicals or even radionuclides by wild fish cannot be prevented, given the presence of those toxins in the ...
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Maui v. Monsanto: Hawaii County Voters Defy Agriculture Giant's Spending to OK Landmark Ban on GMO Crops 10.11.2014 Truthout - All Articles
Ballot initiatives to require labeling of foods with genetically modified ingredients, or GMOs, failed to pass Tuesday in Colorado and Oregon, after agribusiness giants Monsanto, PepsiCo and Kraft spent millions to help defeat the measures. But in a victory for food safety advocates, Hawaii’s Maui County passed one of the strongest anti-GMO measures ever, despite the opposition outspending supporters by a ratio of 87 to 1. The Maui GMO moratorium calls for a complete suspension of the cultivation of GMO crops until studies conclusively prove they are safe. Maui is often called "GMO Ground Zero" and the moratorium that passed Tuesday could have national implications because multinational seed producers, such as Monsanto and Dow AgroSciences, use the county to research and develop new seed varieties. Under the new measure, farmers who knowingly cultivate GMOs could be penalized with a $50,000-per-day fine. On Wednesday, Monsanto released a statement saying it plans to ask the Maui court to declare the ...
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Saving the Planet, One Meal at a Time 10.11.2014 Commondreams.org Views
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Responding to Climate Change from the Grassroots Up 8.11.2014 CommonDreams.org Headlines
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The Right to Food: An Interview With Hilal Elver 8.11.2014 Truthout - All Articles
Hilal Elver is the United Nations' Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food. She grew up in Turkey, where she earned her Ph.D. from the University of Ankara Law School and began her teaching career. Her expertise was soon pressed into government service when the Turkish government appointed her as the founding legal advisor to the Ministry of the Environment. Later, they asked her to serve as the General Director of Women's Status. She was awarded a Fulbright Scholarship to the University of Michigan Ann Arbor Law School, where she worked on the International Environmental Law Convention on Hazardous Materials and International Rivers. Following that work, she was appointed by the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) as Chair of Environmental Diplomacy at University of Malta. Returning to the U.S. in 1996, she resumed her university teaching career, while continuing to work on environmental issues, human security, climate change, and food security. She also earned a Doctor of Judicial Science (SJD) ...
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How Much Pesticide Residue on Your Produce? FDA Doesn't Know 8.11.2014 CommonDreams.org Headlines
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