Tag Archives: local food

Food and the collapse of civilizations

Here’s an excerpt from a recent Vancouver Sun story by Randy Shore titled “Local organic food: An answer or a sure path to disaster? — Behind the collapse of past civilizations was the collapse of a food industry — each and every time”

When a rice crop failed a few years ago, six countries closed their borders to exports. When prices spiked, there were riots in Asian cities and a run on rice in Vancouver. Photo: Reuters, Vancouver Sun

“If there is a hotter topic in the publishing industry than local organic food, I don’t know what it is. Two books that recently crossed my desk take decidedly divergent approaches to the problem of commercial agriculture, though both authors agree that commercial agriculture is a problem. Continue reading


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Recently released government data paint a grim picture of the economic challenges faced by Ontario farmers

Here’s an excerpt from a recent letter to the editor of the Owen Sound Sun Times from Bette Jean Crews, President of the Ontario Federation of Agriculture:

Bette Jean Crews, OFA president

“Last week the federal government released farm income forecasts by Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada.

Ontario farmers, rural residents and all Ontario consumers should be very concerned with what is happening on our farms and to the sustainability of our local food supply.

The data paints a grim picture for Canadian farmers and Ontario family farms in particular. The 2009 total net income for Ontario farms was a loss of 330 million dollars. The forecast for 2010 shows a loss of a further half billion dollars. This will seriously impact our future food supply. Continue reading

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“I don’t care what you say about me, just spell my name right” — P.T. Barnum

Or, as it often seems in the case of attempts at slandering raw milk, “no publicity is bad publicity”. Here’s a story showing that, just because you operate in a jurisdiction in which raw milk is legal, doesn’t mean you’re not going to have the sort of problems with health departments that Home on the Range has been having lately. Again, this missive is from Gordon Watson:

“DUNGENESS — In the last month of 2009, the Dungeness Valley Creamery faced one of the worst things that can befall a small food business.

Now, in the first month of 2010, the family-owned dairy is awash in local love.

That’s not too strong a word for the response, after Dec. 2, from North Olympic Peninsula residents who drink the raw milk from the dairy just north of Sequim. Continue reading

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“Young idols with cleavers rule the stage” — young people paying $10,000 to apprentice as butchers in New York

We’re bringing butchers back” is the title of this story, excerpted from meatisneat.wordpress.com, a blog about meat and food production, aka Chris Raines’ blog on Meat Science and Muscle Foods:

OLD SCHOOL Adam Tiberio at work in Massachusetts. Photo by Jodi Hilton for the NY Times.

"OLD SCHOOL Adam Tiberio at work in Massachusetts. Photo by Jodi Hilton for the NY Times.

In a recent New York Times feature (8 July 2009), young butchers were highlighted as the new “rock stars” on the food scene, many of whom have culinary backgrounds and learned how to cut meat because of coveted butcher apprenticeships.  One butcher “fan” quoted in the newspaper story asserts that “obviously everyone is in the middle of a total meat obsession.” This is certainly good news for the beef and swine industries that have suffered their own downturns over the last few months! Continue reading

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“The right to bear farms” — more on the Greenhorns and their founder

This excerpt is from The Ethicurian blog where it is titled “The right to bear farms: Severine von Tscharner Fleming, young-farmers champion”:

Rural Chic: Severine, as she appeared in the NY Times style section, along with six other Food Fighters.

Rural Chic: Severine, as she appeared in the NY Times style section, along with six other "Food Fighters".

“Editor’s note [from the Ethicurian]: Severine von Tscharner Fleming first inspired me back in 2006, when she was just an undergraduate activist at Berkeley. Since then, this wild-haired, scabby-shinned force of nature has been featured in the New York Times several times and elsewhere for her work trying to grow a new crop of farmers for America.

Here are some of the many projects Sev and her able volunteer interns are nurturing:

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