Tag Archives: financial

Food “bubble” will be the next to burst

So says MIT researcher Otto Scharmer on “Otto’s blog”:

“We are living in an age of bursting bubbles. The first bubble to burst was the global financial market in 2008. The next bubble is expanding as we speak and is going to explode under the headline of the food security crisis (a mixture of food shortages, water shortages, soil erosion, peak oil, biofuel, and unsustainable farming practices). What do the financial and the food/soil bubbles have in common?

Their common denominator is that they extract an unreasonable amount in the present while compromising the future capacity of the system to regenerate itself. This behavior externalizes the real costs to the poor (who won’t be able to pay the resulting higher prices) and to future generations (who will be left to clean up the mess we create). Continue reading

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“In war, truth is the first casualty” — blocking of online donations is latest attempt to silence news from Wikileaks

We interrupt our regular programming to bring you a story about the struggle for journalistic freedom which may not make it into the mainstream American media. This is from a story Thursday in The Guardian UK newspaper. It’s maybe no surprise to anyone that raw milk fans are not the only people dealing with rogue agencies of “government”. Raw milks fans may also be interested to learn about Julian Assange’s highly unconventional childhood and youth.

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange holds up a copy of the Guardian after thousands of US military documents were leaked and exposed Photograph: Andrew Winning/REUTERS

“The whistleblowing group WikiLeaks claims that it has had its funding blocked and that it is the victim of financial warfare by the US government. Continue reading

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“Both sides now” — Food in America

The author of the “Food in America” blog presents an attempt at a balance view of the raw milk controversy:

Photo from Food in America blog

“Ever since I’ve started writing about raw milk, I’ve been trying to find opportunities to speak – on and off the record – with folks on both sides of the issue. Despite my having a pretty broad circle of “foodie” acquaintances, the reality of living in the city and dealing with policy instead of production is that these opportunities have been vastly weighted toward the anti-raw milk camp. What’s more, the raw milk drinkers I encounter in real life tend to be (like myself) food enthusiasts rather than real “experts” or policy-makers. So you can imagine how excited I was at a recent event when I found myself speaking with a group of self-professed raw milk advocates whose backgrounds included extensive work with groups like Slow Food USA and The American Grassfed Association. These were people who have really “walked the walk” when it comes to developing and supporting local and sustainable food systems, and people who have been actively involved in pushing for more relaxed raw milk regulations at both the federal and local levels. Continue reading

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French lead the way in cow investments

This is an excerpt from a New York Times article by Steven Erlanger titled “French Find Safety Nets Multiplying in Pastures“:

The French -- even non-farmers -- look to cattle as a stable investment in turbulent times. Photo: Philippe Schuller for the New York Times

“ST.-VICTOR-DE-CESSIEU, France — The French, known for their mistrust of banks, are not just stuffing money into mattresses in these anxious days of recession and minuscule interest rates. They are also putting their cash into cows.

For Pierre Marguerit, 60, cows make a safe, secure investment, allowing for long-term growth from a renewable resource. The cow contracts are hardly new, but go back to Richard the Lionheart; the French word for livestock, “cheptel,” is the root for “capital.”

These are not exactly cash cows. But investment in Mr. Marguerit’s Holsteins will bring a 4 to 5 percent return a year after taxes, he said, based on “natural growth” — the sale of their offspring. That compares to an interest rate now of 0.75 percent on the basic French bank account. Continue reading

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Investment in Glencolton Farms cow shares not losing value like the stock market

“One thing I can guarantee you after this week,” said Michael Schmidt, referring to how much people have lost in stocks, mutual funds and retirement pensions over this last week, “is that you still have a cow.”

Speaking at a meeting of cow share holders earlier this week, Michael Schmidt suggested that instability in world markets may actually have a silver lining in that it could encourage tighter cooperation, both practical and financial, between Glencolton Farms and the cowshare community. He said “Wouldn’t it be amazing if we would come up with a viable concept so that we could somehow provide food security for all those 150 cowshare families”.

This would no doubt involve greater hands-on involvement from the community as well as new financial and social structures to back it all up. Some preliminary groundwork has already been laid for a new more cooperative ownership and management structure for the farm. The several years of experience people like Doug Wylie have had working out communal social arrangements for the Carrville Community Garden could be put to good use. Mark Ross has also been involved in developing these kinds of new social/agricultural initiatives.

Note: Michael Schmidt is at the centre of a number of charges and court cases in southern Ontario, where he farms on behalf of 150 cow share families.

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