From Tom Laskawy, on Grist.org:
One of the new, smaller "neighborhood markets" Walmart has been opening in urban areas.
“Reforming our food system is a Herculean task; one that might intimidate Hercules himself. Willie Nelson and Anna Lappe summed up the challenge recently in the Huffington Post:
Of the 40,000 food items in a typical U.S. grocery store, more than half are now brought to us by just 10 corporations. Today, three companies process more than 70 percent of all U.S. beef, Tyson, Cargill and JBS. More than 90 percent of soybean seeds and 80 percent of corn seeds used in the United States are sold byjust one company: Monsanto. Four companies are responsible for up to 90 percent of the global trade in grain. And one in four food dollars is spent at Walmart.
Meanwhile, author Eric Schlosser and urban agriculture pioneer Will Allen put the consequences of all this in sharp perspective in their afterword to the recently published book based on a 2011 Prince of Wales speech on the importance of sustainable agriculture. The essay reads: Continue reading
From the blog of Councilman Jess Fields, of the municipality of College Station:
Introduction: College Station Withdrawing from ICLEI
At last Thursday’s council meeting, I proposed to the council to withdraw College Station’s membership in the International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives (ICLEI) – an international organization founded in 1990 by the United Nations. Our city has been paying somewhere north of $1,000 to be a member of this organization, yet it is not to be found anywhere within the budget. Few have ever heard of ICLEI, and fewer still know that College Station has actually been a member since 2009.
I am truly excited to announce that the proposed 2013 College Station budget will not include funding for this organization. It is an insidious, extreme institution that does not represent our citizens, and for our taxpayers to continue to fund it would be ridiculous. Continue reading
From 3Wheeled Cheese, translated from Grain.org:
Milk man in Puskar, India. Pic from internet.
Milk is an essential source of health and income for the people. The popular, or people’s, milk chain, independent, counts on local vendors who collect the milk from the small producers, owners of a few milk cows. Such systems of “people’s milk” compete directly with the ambitions and attempts by the big dairy industries, such as Nestlé and others, that want to take over the entire milk chain- from stables to markets. Continue reading
From Andy Bellatti, at Grist.org:
Processed food -- trick or treat? Image from Bruce Bradley's blog.
“A few weeks ago, I learned of a relatively new blog about food industry deception, but with an interesting twist. The blog’s author is Bruce Bradley, who spent over 15 years as a food marketer at companies like General Mills, Pillsbury, and Nabisco. He has since, in his words, “become more educated about the risks and environmental impact of eating processed foods,” and is now a CSA enthusiast. Continue reading
From “The New Internationalist”:
“We’ve followed the story of the slow but increasing and badly needed pushback against Monsanto’s predatory business practices, which force farmers to buy Monsanto seed annually, rather than re-use it. Worse, Monsanto seed has been genetically engineered so as to require the use of Monsanto herbicides and fertilizers.
And with (until recently) the seeds patent protected, farmers could be sued for having Monsanto genes in their crops. And with Monsanto having established a near monopoly in seeds, it has set prices so as to extract a higher percent of agricultural revenues than it could otherwise command. Needless to say, what is good for Monsanto is not at all good for farmers, as these excerpts from a Daily Kos post illustrates: Continue reading
From a recent post on the Socio-Economics History blog:
“I told you not to take the H1N1 vaccine last year! Vaccines are used as a method of depopulation and many vaccines cause sterility. The Illuminati ruling elite has an ongoing depopulation plan. Fact or fiction? You decide. I strongly recommend you avoid all flu vaccines. Try Vitamin D and lots of sunshine instead ! Continue reading
In this story from The Cap Times, Jim Goodman argues that “Corporate agribusiness has a problem with organic farmers because they haven’t yet figured out a way to totally bleed them like they have conventional farmers.”
They used to tell farmers "get big or get out". Maybe that's no longer a workable solution. More likely it's going to be, go organic and sell local or get out of farming.
But I think it’s more than that. It’s that organic agriculture and more specifically, farmers selling direct to consumers cutting out the middle man and the processing — as in raw milk — set a dangerous precedent. Dangerous that is, for the future of agribusiness’ sector dominance. The market share of these kind of farmers may be small… but it’s growing. And as more and more agribusiness farmers wake up to the fact that possibly the only farmers making money in today’s economy ARE those who sell local and sell direct… well, it doesn’t take a lot of smarts to see that organic farming offers a way out for corporate farmers who feel trapped in a sinking ship. Can a tipping point be far off, if things are allowed to continue the way they have been going.
“Why is conventional agriculture so wound up? Are they afraid of organic agriculture? What’s all the fuss about? After all, a recent study by the Lieberman Research Group showed that organic food sales account for only 3.5 percent of all food product sales in the U.S.
A column in the September 2009 Prairie Farmer leads me to believe that the author, a spokesperson for conventional agriculture, dislikes and even fears organic farming and its supporters. Continue reading