A more realistic ad than the one Dodge aired for the Super Bowl.
A more realistic ad than the one Dodge aired for the Super Bowl.
Food MythBusters — Do we really need industrial agriculture to feed the world? (by RealFoodMediaProject)
Whenever possible, shop local, shop farmer’s markets, and buy organic if you can. Better, grow your own. Even a patio pot or two will provide a few luscious tomatoes, some basil, and some salad greens. -Q.
Melissa Harris-Perry on Nora Painten, an urban farmer out of Brooklyn, New York, who shares her “Student Farm Project,” that teaches children farming practices that build healthy habits and offer a sense of community.
The Environmental Protection Agency rejected a petition to ban the sale of the 2,4-D pesticide, a major ingredient in the Vietnam-era defoliant ‘Agent Orange’. Despite its current widespread availability, use of 2,4-D could skyrocket soon because its main manufacturer, Dow Chemical, is hoping to receive approval to sell genetically modified corn seeds that are resistant to 2,4-D.
The decision from the EPA came in response to a lawsuit from the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) in January of this year, who filed the suit after the EPA refused to respond to a petition the environmental group first submitted in 2008.
“This dangerous pesticide is lurking all over the place – from ball fields and golf courses, to front lawns and farms – exposing an enormous amount of the American public to cancer and other serious health risks,” NRDC senior scientist Dr. Gina Solomon said, during the announcement of the move in January. “There’s no reason to continue allowing a toxic Agent Orange-ingredient in the places our children play, our families live and our farmers work. EPA must step up and finally put a stop to it.”
The EPA’s decision on Monday, however, rejected the idea that 2,4-D was a health or “safety” threat, and even pointed to a Dow Chemical conducted study to support their decision.
The Center for Food Safety, who worked alongside NRDC to push the ban, expressed deep concern for the increased use of 2,4-D if Dow’s new corn seeds are approved. “Dow’s ‘Agent Orange’ corn will trigger a large increase in 2,4-D use—and our exposure to this toxic herbicide—yet USDA has not assessed how much, nor analyzed the serious harm to human health, the environment or neighboring farms,” said Andrew Kimbrell, executive director of the Center for Food Safety. “This novel corn will foster resistant weeds that require more toxic pesticides to kill, followed by more resistance and more pesticides—a chemical arms race in which the only winners are pesticide/biotechnology firms.”
Yeah, the big pork producers know what’s best for us, and how best to raise pigs (for profit)…
Things have been pretty tense on Michigan’s small pig farms over the past few days. Farmers who own rare heritage pigs in particular have been waiting anxiously, hoping the state’s Department of Natural Resources (DNR) doesn’t show up to arrest them — or even kill their pigs.
As of April 1, the Michigan DNR was slated to start enforcing an order put in place last fall that classified wild boars as an invasive species. What does it have to do with farmers? It turns out the classification — which is based on a set of physical characteristics, such as straight ears, dark snouts, and a tendency toward stripes in their young — also includes many of the heritage animals kept on farms in the state. (Many farmers in the area raise an extra-fatty specialty breed called Mangalitsa, but they tend to cross them with heartier European hogs so they can withstand the cold Michigan winters).
Invasive wild boars have devastated many Southern states, so in a lot of ways the order has been an easy sell to some Michigan residents. Apparently 340 feral swine had been counted roaming in 72 of the state’s 83 counties. But most of those are thought to have escaped from the state’s wild game ranches — fenced-off areas populated with wild game for recreational hunting — not small farms. [emphasis added] And farmers are making the point that pigs are smart animals; once they’re domesticated it’s very unlikely that they’ll ever leave a regular source of food.
let’s see. put thousands of pigs into a confined space where they’re so stressed they bite each others’ tails off so the tails have to be cropped so this doesn’t happen, feed them genetically-mutilated corn and other industrial agriculture byproducts, store their shit in a big pit, and OMG it blows up. lesson learned? none.
Farmers ruin crop with too much growth chemical
State television is reporting that farmers in eastern China are losing their watermelon crop due to overdoses of growth chemicals. (Stringer/Reuters)
Watermelons have been bursting by the score in eastern China after farmers gave them overdoses of growth chemicals during wet weather, creating fields of “land mines” instead of the bounty of fruit they wanted.
About 20 farmers around Danyang city in Jiangsu province were affected, losing up to 45 hectares of melon, China Central Television said in an investigative report.
Prices over the past year prompted many farmers to jump into the watermelon market. All of those with exploding melons apparently were first-time users of the growth accelerator forchlorfenuron, though it has been widely available for some time, CCTV said.
The farmers used it during an overly rainy period and put it on too late in the season, causing the melons to burst open, CCTV said, citing agricultural experts.
Chinese regulations don’t forbid the drug, and it is allowed in the U.S. on kiwi fruit and grapes. But the report underscores how farmers in China are abusing both legal and illegal chemicals, with many farms misusing pesticides and fertilizers.
Farmer Liu Mingsuo ended up with three hectares of ruined fruit and told CCTV that seeing his crop splitting open was like a knife cutting his heart.
“On May 7, I came out and counted 80 (burst watermelons) but by the afternoon it was 100,” Liu said. “Two days later I didn’t bother to count anymore.”
Intact watermelons were being sold at a wholesale market in nearby Shanghai, the report said, but even those showed telltale signs of forchlorfenuron use: fibrous, misshapen fruit with mostly white instead of black seeds.
The government has voiced alarm over the widespread overuse of food additives like dyes and sweeteners that retailers hope will make food more attractive and boost sales.
Though Chinese media remain under strict government control, domestic coverage of food safety scandals has become more aggressive in recent months, an apparent sign that the government has realized it needs help policing the troubled food industry.
The CCTV report described the watermelons as “land mines” and said they were exploding by the hectare in the Danyang area.
Many of farmers resorted to chopping up the fruit and feeding it to fish and pigs, the report said.