“The fear is so deep-rooted that it goes beyond milk powder—food rumors about things such as plastic seaweed and seedless grapes cultivated with birth control medicines frequently send consumers into a tailspin.
There are at least three reasons for the failure to restore people’s confidence in domestic food, notes Huang Yanzhong, a senior fellow for global health at the Council for Foreign Relations in New York.
“It’s very hard to have a strong sense of optimism.”
One is the excessive use of pesticides and fertilizers in the 1980s (pdf, p.3), which has contaminated farmland, and could be transferred to cows that eat that grass. The government has only just started to tackle the problem, Huang said in an interview with Quartz. China also has a top-down regulatory method, which makes it hard for the public to engage with the process, particularly given the lack of press freedom, he says. There is also a general perception of a “moral decline” in China, where people try to make money by whatever means it takes, Huang adds, noting that sometimes even farmers themselves don’t eat what they grow (link in Chinese) for the market….”
Get the full story on Quartz (qz.com).
From Colin Anderson, on Sustain Ontario:
“…Agriculture policy in Manitoba has historically focused on large-scale export commodity production. However, the growing popular interest in local, sustainable food is prompting the province to take a second look at supporting local food systems to improve economy, health and food security.
The message coming from the grassroots is clear: farmers, fishers, processors and citizens are demanding a say in policy-making and have formed a coalition under the banner of FEAST (Farmers and Eaters Sharing the Table) to encourage the Province to support local sustainable food.
From Tim Alamenciak in TheStar.ca
“Food produced and sold in Ontario now qualifies as “local,” thanks to updated rules from the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, which critics say was following outdated policies.
The federal agency’s original policy said food was only “local” if it was sold 50 kilometres from where it was produced or in the neighbouring municipality. This meant produce like blueberries from Thunder Bay wouldn’t qualify as local if sold in Toronto. Continue reading
From Mike Adams at Natural News.com:
Meanwhile, in other news, it's becoming illegal to expose the practices of large scale industrial farms. You know, the sort of thing Upton Sinclair did with the meat packing industry in the early decades of the last century. Click image to go to Gawker to watch the video. If corporate interests have their way, you won't be seeing a lot of these kind of horror movies! Nothing like getting the power of government onside to help deal with upstart competitors.
“(NaturalNews) The state of Michigan is only days away from engaging in what can only be called true “animal genocide” — the mass murder of ranch animals based on the color of their hair. It’s all part of a shocking new “Invasive Species Order” (ISO) put in place by Michigan’s Department of Natural Resources (DNR). This Invasive Species Order suddenly and shockingly defines virtually all open-range pigs raised by small family farms to be illegal “invasive species,” and possession of just one of these animals is now a felony crime in Michigan, punishable by up to four years in prison. Continue reading
From the “Beginning Farmers” website:
“The following is an editorial by Taylor Reid on the recent House Agricultural Appropriations Bill. Beginning Farmers is not a partisan website, and the opinions expressed are neither an inditment or endorsement of any political party. Above all the site supports farmers, all farmers. It also supports local food systems, sustainability in agriculture, development of rural communities, and child nutrition.
House Republicans Propose Slashing Local Food, Rural Development, Child Nutrition, and Conservation Programs Continue reading
From Colleen Kimmett, writing for the Tyee:
Once a breadbasket, Bella Coola hosts a Community Supported Agriculture project. "The project opened up a lot of people's eyes to growing more food here. Bella Coola used to be the breadbasket for the Central Coast. That has all faded away -- but the potential is still there."
“It’s a good day in Dease Lake when a produce truck breaks down on the Cassiar highway.
For residents in and around this remote northern community, fresh produce can be hard to come by, especially in the winter. Continue reading
Hella D shares her personal experience with raw milk along with some history of the Our Cows cowshare:
I'm guessing this must be raw milk being filtered for cosmetic use at Our Cows. Photo via Hella D.
“We live in a small apartment overlooking a couple main roads, right next to two gas stations in Vancouver BC. When we moved here one of the first things I did was to try to find a farm that would supply us with raw milk. Living in an apartment in a city without a place to grow your own food or have any access to a farm is a very precarious situation. We are fortunate to have a long sunny balcony where I grow herbs and a wonderful friend is letting us garden in her backyard this year, but food secure is something we are far from being. Continue reading