“Residues of milk fat on pottery indicate that Africans in what is now the Sahara desert were milking cows and processing the milk into cheese, yogurt and other products 7,000 years ago, European researchers reported Thursday. Ancient rock art throughout the region shows herds of cattle and even people milking them, but dating the art has been a problem. The new evidence provides the first reliable date for how long the practice of dairying has been carried out in the region.
The new data were reported in the journal Nature by a team headed by chemist Richard P. Evershed of the University of Bristol in England. They extracted organic molecules known to be present in milk and used radiocarbon dating to determine their age. His team had previously used the technique to date dairying to 9,000 years ago in the Near East, to 8,000 years ago in eastern Europe and to 6,000 years ago in Britain. Continue reading →
“In recent months there have been many articles dealing with the intensification of the war on milk launched by the FDA. (See here and here. Also here.) I myself, have written articles explaining the dangers of corporate control of the dairy industry and the specific health concerns related to the use of antibiotics and rBGH in the production of milk.
In my book, Codex Alimentarius – The End of Health Freedom, I detail these health problems as well as the events surrounding the FDA’s compliance with Monsanto’s wishes regarding the use of rBGH in dairy products. Of course, governmental compliance with corporate wishes is not surprising considering the fact that the ranks of the FDA are filled with former Monsanto employees and affiliates and that there exists a virtual revolving door between the agency and the corporation. Continue reading →
If I had the power of God, I would have made every African president and any other politician read the May/June issue of Foreign Policy (FP) magazine (it’s available at the good news stands in Nairobi). Baptised the “Food Issue”, it examines in extremely brilliant and insightful articles the question of food prices around the world; and how much longer it will be before most of us go hungry.
One measure of good writing is that it should be able to shed light on things other than the direct subject it is tackling.FP’s “Food Issue” does that, because it also helps us to understand why we tend to have too many witches and evil witchdoctors in places like Africa; and why most of them are old women, or grey-haired old men. In Kenya last year, there was an epidemic of killing grey-haired men in the coastal area, and in the western region in recent months, the murder of witches has risen sharply. Continue reading →
“THE African Aids pandemic was caused more by careless use of needles in healthcare than by unsafe sex, a report published today by an international group of scientists says.
They estimate that more than half the cases of Aids in Africa before 1988 were caused by unsterilised needles. The claim, directly challenging the belief that 90 per cent of cases were sexually transmitted, implies that the African Aids pandemic is largely the result of unsafe medical practices and mismanaged vaccination campaigns.
The team says that the evidence was discounted because of “preconceptions about African sexuality and a desire to maintain public trust in healthcare”. Continue reading →
“Many have long suspected that U.S. policy on genetically modified (GM) organisms was being influenced by the multinational corporations that profit from genetic engineering and the export-oriented agribusiness. However, recently released Wikileaks cables document just how close that relationship has become.
The U.S. Department of State has virtually become an agency for promoting the private interests of the Monsanto Corporation.
As European social movements pressure their governments for an ongoing moratorium on GM seeds and foods, Monsanto and other biotech corporations have been pushing to find new market footholds, using hybrids even in impoverished Haiti following the January 12, 2010 earthquake. They have been pursuing such goals in collaboration with USAID, the U.S. State Department and the Gates Foundation Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA). Continue reading →
Friends of the Earth says that biofuel crops, including sugar cane, 'are competing directly with food crops for fertile land'. Photograph: Juan Carlos Ulate/Reuters
“European Union countries must drop their biofuels targets or else risk plunging more Africans into hunger and raising carbon emissions, according to Friends of the Earth (FoE).
In a campaign launching today, the charity accuses European companies of land-grabbing throughout Africa to grow biofuel crops that directly compete with food crops. Biofuel companies counter that they consult with local governments, bring investment and jobs, and often produce fuels for the local market. Continue reading →
I had always imagined that the pioneering research of American dentist Dr. Weston A. Price would not be possible to replicate today. Now that western dietary influences have permeated so much of the world, where would you look for peoples who had not learned to eat sugar and white flour?
Dr. Price traveled the world in the 1930s to seek out primitive peoples with good teeth, and learn their ways of eating. He summarized his findings in the book “Nutrition and Physical Degeneration”. While Dr. Price was far from unique in attributing chronic degenerative diseases to wrong eating, his concept of right eating contrasts sharply with currently prevailing ideas about vegetarianism and veganism. Continue reading →
For a long time now, the organic option has been criticized as “elitist” by advocates of genetic modification and monopoly control, who claim that with its supposedly lower yields and more stringent management requirements, it could never feed the world’s growing population. Well, finally, here’s a writer who begs to differ. Writing for The (U.K.) Independent, Daniel Howden argues that traditional practices and organic agriculture provide real hope for the future, in contrast to the failed green revolution and the mirage offered by advocates of GMOs. Here’s an excerpt from his story:
Rice farmer on a rice paddy in Africa. Picture from ecoworldly.com
“Organic farming offers Africa the best chance of breaking the cycle of poverty and malnutrition it has been locked in for decades, according to a major study from the United Nations to be presented today.
New evidence suggests that organic practices – derided by some as a Western lifestyle fad – are delivering sharp increases in yields, improvements in the soil and a boost in the income of Africa’s small farmers who remain among the poorest people on earth. The head of the UN’s Environment Programme, Achim Steiner, said the report “indicates that the potential contribution of organic farming to feeding the world maybe far higher than many had supposed”. Continue reading →
"Bernard is right; the pathogen is nothing; the terrain is everything."
-- Louis Pasteur's deathbed words
"One has not only a legal but a moral responsibility to obey just laws. Conversely, one has a moral responsibility to disobey unjust laws. I would agree with St. Augustine that 'an unjust law is no law at all'." (Martin Luther King - Letter from Birmingham Prison, Alabama)