Tag Archives: Russ

Growing threats to human life on earth

Alex Jones thinks GMO foods are part of a “soft kill” solution:

From Willie Nelson and Anna Lappe on Reader Supported News:

Why we must occupy our food system

Our food is under threat. It is felt by every family farmer who has lost their land and livelihood, every parent who can’t find affordable or healthy ingredients in their neighborhood, every person worried about foodborne illnesses thanks to lobbyist-weakened food safety laws, every farmworker who faces toxic pesticides in the fields as part of a day’s work.

When our food is at risk we are all at risk. Continue reading

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What is “organic”?

From Russ on his “Volatility” blog:

“For food or anything else to be organic is for it to exist and evolve in harmony with the rest of nature and human history. Our natural history, in its culinary aspect, can be called grass farming. We worked hard to maintain the savannah as the best habitat for our food and for our safety.

Over thousands of years we were forced by elites into the strait jacket of agriculture based on annual grasses with giant seed pods: wheat, corn, rice. Although agriculture had many potential forms, on account of the malevolence of the hierarchies in control it became politically and socially destructive and environmentally unsustainable. Continue reading

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Crimes against raw milk in New Jersey

From Russ on the “Volatility” blog:

“New Jersey is one of several states which explicitly criminalize the sale of raw milk. It’s therefore at the extreme end of a motley array of possible state attitudes. While the federal bureaucracy (no law) also criminalizes the transport of raw milk over state lines*, it’s up to the states to decide what happens within their borders. (The FDA often lobbies against decriminalization.)

[*This includes, according to a recent FDA assertion, the customer himself going to another state to purchase raw milk and then bringing it back home. The government soothingly claims it has no intention of trying to arrest or otherwise sanction such individual purchasers, but it wants to reserve the right to do so. Of course, it was just a year ago, in promulgating its totalitarian brief in the FTCLDF lawsuit, that the FDA claimed it had no aggressive enforcement plans against dairies and raw milk co-ops. That was proven to be a lie within weeks.] Continue reading

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U.S. farm bill to favour the big guys

From Russ on the Volatility blog:

“It’s that time again. Farm Bill season is upon us! It’ll actually be an agonizing, protracted process; the unlamented previous House Agriculture chairman Colin Peterson had wanted to get much of the work done in 2011; new and unwanted chairman Frank Lucas says there’s no hurry. The thing probably won’t be done before the election, and maybe never.

At any rate, we’re off to a stuttering, smoky start with the first official hearing in the Senate committee last Thursday. Ag Secretary Vilsack promised or threatened that the next Farm Bill will be “smaller”. This echoes the previously congealed conventional wisdom.

Although most of the rhetoric has focused on cutting the direct payment program, we know that favorite targets will also be the crumbs for relocalization, small farmers, organic production, sustainable practices, and other things which got some modest support in the 2008 Farm Bill. These are already being targeted by the crafters of the Appropriations Bill. Continue reading

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If food sovereignty was a basic right…

“The mostly unspoken basis of the 1787-88 Constitution, in the minds of its framers, was to establish a monopoly on political and economic power by elites: Landed, merchant, creditor elites. Their success depended mostly on their having a coherent ideology and plan.
In the same way, if we envision a New Constitutional Convention, it won’t do to be scattershot, starting on an ad hoc basis, speculating about how this or that sounds good. That’s sort of what I did in this post, proposing a list of possible amendments. Let’s review:

* The enshrinement of Food Sovereignty as a basic right. (This would certainly have been the First Amendment if anyone in 1788 could have contemplated a day when the federal government would explicitly deny we have a right to grow and eat the foods of our choice. But even the opponents of the centralized government who demanded the inclusion of a Bill of Rights, as suspicious as they were, never contemplated such an obscene assault on our liberty and dignity.) Continue reading

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New review of the movie “Fresh”

Russ reviews the movie “Fresh” on his “Volatility” website:

“Last week I went to a screening of the movie, “Fresh”, about the corporate food system and how to restore sane farming practices. It’s an excellent primer on the basics, with lots of inspiring as well as harrowing images.

Much of the attack is against CAFOs (Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations), AKA factory farms. These are a physical, moral, aesthetic, and socioeconomic disaster. They’ve been the form of concentration of cattle, hogs, and chickens, destroying innumerable autonomous farmers in America, Eastern Europe, indirectly in Africa, and elsewhere. Continue reading

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Food sovereignty in the post-oil future

Russ at Volatility blog, from a post titled “What’s Our Affirmative”:

“…1. Food Sovereignty: This is the philosophy that we have a human right, not just to food but to the land to grow the food, and to a polity and economic structure which supports and enhances this right. Then it’s also the practice of this right, including the political struggle to attain it.

There’s the core of my whole program. Agricultural science has proven that medium and small size organic agriculture is more productive than corporate monoculture. This fact will become ever more critical for our physical survival as we enter the post-oil age, since industrial agriculture is overwhelmingly dependent upon fossil fuels for fertilizer, pesticides and herbicides, mechanical harvesting and processing, and transportation. So this agricultural transformation is a physical necessity.  Continue reading

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