Tag Archives: Cuba

Cuba, North Korea, and . . . . .

Cuban (top) and North Korean (bottom) flag images via Wikipedia.

“September 19, 2013  |  Quick, name three countries that crack down on small farmers who follow the centuries-old tradition of selling food privately to friends and neighbors. Continue reading


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“Raw milk puts babies, farm workers, at risk” — United Press International

This United Press International wire story pretty much sums up the party line when it comes to raw milk. Hey, could raw milk be why the United States has an infant mortality rate (6.5) between that of Cuba (6.45) and Croatia (6.96)? Canada, where raw milk is banned (and therefore, where nobody drinks it, right?) has a much lower infant mortality rate of 4.82.

“ITHACA, N.Y., Nov. 19 (UPI) — Unpasteurized “raw” milk provides a potential breeding ground for bacteria such as E. coli, Listeria, Campylobacter and Salmonella, U.S. researchers warn.

Ynte Schukken, professor of epidemiology and herd health at Cornell’s College of Veterinary Medicine in Ithaca, N.Y., and co-author Alejandra Latorre, a graduate student, produced a comprehensive map showing which populations were most at risk when buying from various sources.

The researchers analyzed risk across various purchasing methods including buying from a farm’s on-site store, directly from its bulk tank or from a third-party retailer. Continue reading

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Learning from how Cuba’s farming adapted to the end of Soviet support

From Russ, on his “Volatility” blog:

“Cuba’s “Special Period” has been the time since the collapse of the Soviet Union forced it upon the path of food self-sufficiency with minimal fossil fuel inputs.

Cuba had previously exported sugar and other products to the USSR in exchange for heavily subsidized oil (the USSR carried Cuba for political reasons). Cuba responded by adhering to the Stalinist/Green Revolution corporate agricultural model of commodified monoculture, its production maximized by heavy fossil fuel inputs.

Now the oil binge was over. There would be no more cash crop exports in return for oil and heavy machinery. Cuba had to figure out how to feed itself without oil or starve. Continue reading

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