Celebrating Local and Sustainable Food Systems During National Farmers Market Week
The “growing” popularity of farmers markets around America is a hopeful indicator that individuals and communities are assuming a more active role in reigniting a food system that operates under the premise of sustaining human, environmental and animal health and well-being.
Farmers fight for the right to repair their own tractors
Farmers in Nebraska, Minnesota, Massachusetts, and New York are staging something of a mechanical revolt. They're attempting to get legislation passed in their states that would enable them, for the first time since the 1998 Digital Millennium Copyright Act, to repair their own tractors or get an independent mechanic to help.
At the root of the morass is the software that helps run modern tractors and their sensors, diagnostic tools, and other high-tech elements. If farmers so much as open the metaphorical hood to check out the computers they could be violating the federal act, reports Modern Farmer.
This Infographic Shows How Only 10 Companies Own All The World’s Food Brands
In order to visually elucidate that point, Oxfam International created a comprehensive infographic that reveals the extensive reach of the “Big 10” food and beverage companies. Unlikely ties between brands we largely don’t associate with one another show how easy it is to be misinformed about the American food system. For example, PepsiCo produces Quaker granola bars, and Nestlé makes Kit Kat bars but also frozen California Pizza Kitchen pies. To the surprise of many, Pineapple Fanta isn’t sourced straight from the mythical Fanta Islands, but canned right alongside Barq’s root beer at the Coca-Cola factory.
2015 - The High Cost of Pesticides: Human and Animal Diseases - Hoy, Swanson and Seneff
Something is causing alarming increases in diseases and birth defects in wildlife. Something is causing alarming increases in diseases and birth defects in humans. Our graphs illustrating human disease patterns over the twelve-year period correlate remarkably well with the rate of glyphosate usage on corn, soy, and wheat crops. Glyphosate is known to chelate vital minerals [US Patent #3160632 A]. Glyphosate is an anti- microbial and biocide [US Patent #20040077608 A1]. Glyphosate has been classified as an endocrine disruptor by the Endocrine Society. Glyphosate has been classified as “probably carcinogenic” by the World Health Organization and by the American Cancer Society. Glyphosate interferes with the shikimate pathway, essential to healthy gut microbes. Glyphosate inhibits the CYP enzyme activity, which is vital to a healthy functioning liver.
The strong correlations between glyphosate usage and disease patterns, the highly significant p-values and the known toxicological profile of glyphosate indicate that glyphosate is likely a major factor in the increases in the serious issues with human health documented here.
Our over-reliance on chemicals in agriculture is causing irreparable harm to all beings on this planet, including the planet herself. Most of these chemicals are known to cause illness, and they have likely been causing illnesses for many years. But until recently, the herbicides have never been sprayed directly on food crops, and never in this massive quantity. We must find another way.
Recent experiments in small organic farming practices, and the release of a 30-year side-by-side farming study by the Rodale Institute, have shown this reasoning to be fundamentally flawed. Organic farming, both large and small scale, is more productive than ‘conventional’ chemical-dependent farming. Organic farming is not only the best way to feed the world – it is the only way to feed the world in a sustainable way.
Organic farms, contrary to conventional wisdom, outperform conventional farms in these ways:
Federal prosecutors are seeking a 175-year sentence for Fata, who pleaded guilty to fraud in September, admitting he raked in millions from insurance companies for needless treatments at seven clinics in eastern Michigan.
How Widespread Is the Use of Glyphosate in Our Food Supply?
"Ubiquitous in food production, glyphosate is used not just with row crops like corn, soybeans and wheat but also a range of fruits, nuts and veggies. Even spinach growers use glyphosate."
The EPA is still trying to determine just how worrisome glyphosate is or isn’t. In the meantime, it’s worth a look at how widespread the use of glyphosate is in our food supply. A document released by the EPA on April 29 gives us a peek.
Blumenthal says he will fight federal GMO labeling restrictions
Blumenthal told a crowd of about 20 people at the farmers market that he will fight federal preemption of state labeling laws and plans to introduce legislation to repeal that provision in the next session.
“Consumers can vote with their feet and their pocketbook even if their elected representatives are not voting as they would like,” Blumenthal said. “Every survey of public opinion shows that the American people want this information.”
Any legislative change would face a steep battle in Congress, but Blumenthal hopes new members elected this November will be receptive.
“OK, Governor Cuomo announced NY is launching its own voluntary food label -- New York State Grown & Certified -- so New Yorkers will know their farm produce was grown in the safest manner, complete with a full-on marketing push this fall. Whoopee. But what does "safe" mean according to the state? If we read between the lines in this article and the accompanying press release, it doesn't seem to be concerned with whether the food was grown from inadequately tested GMO seeds or whether it was doused in a multitude of pesticides before it was harvested. This seems more like a sound-good, feel-good program than anything meaningful for consumers. And it will only add more confusion to the marketplace for NYS consumers, since GMOs remain unlabeled and there are already farmers growing their crops -- inside and outside NYS -- without using toxic pesticides -- it's called USDA certified Organic. So forgive me for not being all rah rah about this new initiative.”
While Cuomo touted the benefits of a state certification program, he did not offer such full-throated support of genetically modified organism labeling. GMO-labeling legislation again failed in the Legislature in 2016.
“GMO is very controversial because people argue about the definition and many will say there are good genetic modifications, it’s not necessarily true that all genetic modifications are bad,” he told reporters before centering his comments back on food safety and the new state certification initiative.
Friends of the Earth report on the declared "active chemical ingredient" glufosinate ammonium. Not good.
The development of herbicide-resistant crops is a strategy developed by a number of chemical companies to increase profits and ensure key product lines can compete in the market place. Aventis has targeted the broad-spectrum herbicide, glufosinate, as its linchpin product for the future and initiated a fast-track programme to produce a range of crops resistant to glufosinate.
Aventis claims glufosinate is an environmentally safe herbicide. However, the studies outlined in this report demonstrate that it is a neurotoxin and can cause serious damage to growing foetuses in experimental animals; it may leach to drinking water sources; it could increase nitrate leaching; and is toxic to beneficial soil micro-organisms. The introduction of glufosinate-resistant crops increases the likelihood of these harmful effects in humans and the environment. MAFF*s Advisory Committee on Pesticides has highlighted concerns for levels of glufosinate residues in crops destined for both human and livestock consumption and the potential for glufosinate to contaminate surface and groundwater.
Pesticide Sprayed Over Wynwood Is Banned in Europe, May Also Harm Fetuses
Though the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and CDC say naled can be safely sprayed in small amounts to kill mosquitoes, some American environmental scientists disagree and say spraying the chemical over a populated area ranges from a "necessary evil" to downright irresponsible.
In a dark twist, some studies have even shown that the family of chemicals naled belongs to can harm a growing fetus — which means the county could be harming the very same pregnant residents it's trying to protect.