Sustainable Agriculture ...

The nation that destroys its soil destroys itself.
Franklin D. Roosevelt, 1937

And don't think the garden loses its ecstasy in winter.
It's quiet, but the roots are down there riotous.
– Rumi

Industrial agriculture has caused us to lose over 90% of our diversity.
Andrew Kimbrell, The Centre for Food Safety

SOS: Save Our Soil
Organic Consumers Association
The world’s soils have lost 50 to 70 percent of their carbon, much of which is now in the atmosphere as carbon dioxide. Humus, different from compost, nourishes soil for centuries and develops naturally if enough organic matter is added and the soil remains undisturbed.

"It's in the soil"
What is carbon sequestration?
The key to that is carbon. ...the most abundant element on earth after oxygen. ...It's in the soil. ... The dark, rich soil that's in your garden - that's mostly carbon. I found that carbon is the link between grazing management, and land health, and food and water, and then ultimately climate and oxygen - carbon dioxide up in the atmosphere. … We can pull carbon dioxide down from the atmosphere through plants – through photosynthesis – and into the soil – to the roots where it is stored.Courtney White
See YouTube Interview with Sierra Club activist, archeologist Courtney White

DIY: Growing your own

The Wicking Worm Bed growing system
Water for Food: The wicking worm bed revolution
by Maireid Sullivan

Learn how to easily grow veggies at home, with less time spent watering. This 20-page fully-illustrated DIY eBooklet provides detailed information, including exact measurements and lists of materials needed for constructing timber-framed Wicking Worm Beds, plus everything you need to know about adding compost worms to the wicking beds.

Wicking Worm Beds
Purchase this eBook here

The scientists
whose garden unlocked the secret to good health
Lucy Rock
The Guardian
29 November 2015
When Anne Biklé and David Montgomery fed their failing soil with organic matter, they were astonished by the results. Stimulating the microbes that live beneath the surface led the garden to flourish. Then, when Biklé was diagnosed with cancer, the couple had an idea…

There are more microbes in a teaspoon of soil than there are people on the planet and they are everywhere, in water, air, earth, as well as inside our bodies and on our skin. Without them we couldn’t digest food, plants wouldn’t grow and there wouldn’t be enough oxygen for us to breathe. There are thought to be 2-3bn microbial species, divided into six groups: bacteria, viruses, fungi, protozoa, algae and archaea. They’ve had a bad press for much of the past century because some of them are nasty – the pathogens – and cause diseases such as TB, chickenpox and malaria, but most are harmless or helpful
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"We need to feed the world."
It is very seductive to hear that language:

When people in industrial agriculture talk about feeding the world they are talking about increasing production of grain. And nobody is stopping and saying: Well, what are you using that grain for? Are you growing food? No, they are not growing food. Those are seeds for cattle feed—for a very unsustainable system of fattening cattle on feedlots. But guess what? Cattle shouldn't be eating grain. They are evolved to eat grass.
– Michael Pollan, Fresh, the movie

So, if we went to a grass-based herbivore agriculture for our cattle, suddenly 70% of that currently assaulted land could return to a mob-stocked herbivorous, solar conversion, lignified carbon sequestration fertilization program and all the negatives in agriculture would come to a screeching halt.
– Joel Salatin, Fresh the movie
(See more notes and the film preview below)

There are 36 billion acres of land on the earth and only [7 billion] people to fill those acres, more than half of which are arable or habitable or both.
– Kevin Cahill, 'Who Owns the World' (2007)

...row-crops account for the genetic engineering, the petroleum use, the tillage, the erosion and all negative things in agriculture— 70% of that is grown for multi-stomach herbivores that aren't supposed to eat that anyway. – Joel Salatin, Fresh

Peasants' rights are unique and require urgent protection,
says Elizabeth Mpofu
Excerpt: The term Peasant that we want is inclusive as defined in Article 1 and its meaning signifies a special relationship of peasants with land which defines their social and economic rights political identity, including also their cultural and religious life in rural areas. Moreover, their rights are unique and require recognition and urgent protection in the current context “of the need to feed 9 billion people by 2050”. This definition is to develop a protection for the very group which contribute greatly to the realisation of right to food around the world... >>> more

Landmanship: an elder speaks
Natural ecology should become the highest discipline in a farmer‘s mind. Much like the disciplines of medicine facilitate healing of the body...

Why the Food Movement is Unstoppable
by Jonathan Latham, PhD – September 2016
Excerpt: … over the long run of history, the most effective opponents of excessive wealth and privilege have not normally been city dwellers, workers or unions. Instead, they have usually been those with close links to food and the land, what we would now identify as the food movement. Even today, in more than a few countries, food is the organising principle behind the main challengers of existing power structures. ... Miguel Ramirez recently explained: We say that every square meter of land that is worked with agro-ecology is a liberated square meter. We see it as a tool to transform farmers’ social and economic conditions. We see it as a tool of liberation from the unsustainable capitalist agricultural model that oppresses farmers.
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That's what you're seeing with the organic movement and the local movement, and all these extraordinary things that are happening. We're voting with our dollar.
– Andrew Kimbrell, Centre for Food Safety


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Connecting the Dots Between Pollution, Global Hunger
and Water Scarcity

Industrial agriculture has removed massive amounts of valuable carbon from land, transferring it into air and water. Courtney White, a former archaeologist and a Sierra Club activist, connects the dots for us in his book
Grass, Soil, Hope: A Journey Through Carbon Country (2014).
One of the keys to land restoration is carbon sequestration. Carbon is the most abundant element on Earth after oxygen. Dark, rich soils contain high amounts of carbon. This element is the tie that binds grazing management, land health, food, water, and rising pollution levels together.

We have too much of it right now. Through plants, through photosynthesis, and into the soils through the roots, we can actually store the carbon in the soils. I didn't know that. We had been involved in land management practices for about 10 years up to that point. All the practices these ranchers, gardeners, restorationists, and farmers were doing all have a positive impact potentially on the climate. They also could produce more food and more water.Courtney White

  • Soils can hold vast amounts of carbon, and it can sequester it for long periods of time. In the soil, carbon contributes to improved soil and plant health.
  • One of the easiest ways to improve soil health and help sequester carbon in your soil.
  • Challenges to implementing carbon sequestration on a more widespread scale include policy and corporate challenges, as there are big companies that profit from practices that don’t improve land health.
  • Returning to more sustainable organic farming methods is also necessary in order to support the regeneration of soils, which, ultimately, dictates how nutritious the food grown in it will be. >>> more

natural sequence farming
What's ahead for Sustainable Agriculture?
The future of sustainable agriculture has never looked more promising or more challenging. On the one hand, the number of acres in organic production continues to rise, and sales of organic foods are growing at 20 to 25 percent a year. ... On the other hand, crop subsidies to factory farms continue to grow. Large seed and chemical companies are lobbying hard for genetically modified plants and other organisms that are resistant to (and, therefore, require) agricultural chemicals. More crop producers are shifting toward more sustainable practices each year, and more beef and dairy producers moving toward pasture-based production. >>> more

What is Bio-Dynamic Agriculture?
See extensive reference LINKS here ––
Learn how to make BioDynamic compost here.

“Builder of Health and not Healer of Sickness”
Leaves are the sole organs on Earth able to create new material substance; in contrast, everything else on Earth is a recycling of materials. Alex Podolinsky, Australian Bio Dynamic agriculture pioneer

Biodynamic agriculture was the first ecological farming system to arise in response to commercial fertilizers and specialized agriculture after the turn of the [20th] century.
Dr. Andrew Lorand

The Scientific Basis of Biodynamics By John Bradshaw
Rudolf Steiner, in giving his 1924 Agriculture lecture series, which formed the foundation of Biodynamics, was insistent that all his suggestions for a renewal of agriculture be thoroughly scientifically tested. A rigorous scientific approach has been the basis of biodynamic development since then. >>> more

Overcoming Land Degredation –
the Bio-Dynamic Agricultural system, aka BD Agriculture
Land degradation can be reversed by activating and developing the life of soil structure and plants 'biologically-dynamically' through production of humus in the soil. Over the last seventy years, agricultural practitioners around the world have contributed vast knowledge to the practice known as Bio-Dynamic Agriculture. Bio-Dynamics recognizes that soil can be alive, and this vitality supports and affects the quality and health of the plants that grow in it. The life of the plant is bound up with the life of the soil. Plants respond to influences from the depths of the earth to light from the sun, moon, planets and stars. >>> more

The Bio-dynamic Agricultural Association of Australia
was founded in the mid 1950s, an association of farmers practising the “Australian Demeter-standard” method of Biodynamics as developed by Alex Podolinsky. Their primary aims were to rejuvenate soil and nature, to provide a sound future for the earth and to produce healthy food for consumers. In 1967, the Bio-dynamic Research Institute registered the Demeter trademark in Australia, and developed the first organic/Biodynamic certification scheme here, to guarantee the integrity of Biodynamic produce to consumers.
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We can come to a point where we must question: “What is truth?” Within a man-made system of mathematics or philosophy, or very much, the “model” of conventional agricultural science, truth can acquire an absoluteness and a kind of finality. Not so, when dealing with the (outside of man) real world of Nature and Creation. …
Conclusion: This has been contributed from o p e n human observation of Nature brought to consciousness. It makes no “scientific” claim. I feel sorry for those who try to “prove” their theory in a “scientifically” acceptable way, able to be “published” in a recognised journal; a time and money consuming effort which ends up in archives, often never to really contribute. In such, little productive purpose can be found.
Alex Podolinsky, : Bio-Dynamic Agricultural Association of Australia AGM 2007 - Third Session Address by Alex Podolinsky

Living Knowledge,
Alex Podolinsky, 2002 (pdf)
Australia’s 20 Million (on an area the size of Europe or the USmainland) contra to Kyoto agreement of 8% eventual pollution reduction –pollute to 30%. And scant notice is taken by Government Authorities – even to warnings of the CSIRO. There is hardly a university professor, or a senior “public servant”, or almost anybody who “dares” say anything until, perhaps, after retirement. A system of funding by Government is in place, which “directs” virtually all “individual” efforts and enslaves initiative. Recently an honorable medical researcher is to have pre-empted and falsified results for the sake of receiving further funding…… The way Australia is proceeding, it will, in 20 to 40 years, not be able to feed the present number of citizens. Certainly not healthily. (pp.3-4)

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What is Permaculture?

Permaculture design is a system of assembling conceptual, material, and strategic components in a pattern which functions to benefit life in all its forms. The philosophy behind permaculture is one of working with, rather than against, nature; of protracted and thoughtful observation rather than protracted and thoughtless action; of looking at systems in all their functions, rather than asking only one yield of them; and allowing systems to demonstrate their own evolutions.

Worldwide Permaculture Network
Go to the MAP to see the growing list of permaculture projects worldwide
We cannot, however, do much for nature if we do not govern our greed, and if we do not supply our needs from our existing settlements. If we can achieve this aim, we can withdraw from much of the agricultural landscape, and allow natural systems to flourish. >>> more

In 1978, Australian Bill Mollison, the legendary Permaculture teacher, promoter and designer, founded The Permaculture Institute, the first and longest running Permaculture Institute in existence. Over 26 years of non-stop travelling, designing, teaching and writing, he personally planted the seeds of Permaculture in over 120 countries.

PermaLogoFREE !
Tropical Permaculture Guidebook
has just completed a new chapter!! CH 6 - FAMILY GARDENS is now LIVE on line and ready to download!!! Its a biggie! And its yours, just go to the website. Beautifully illustrated by Timorese artists, this wonderful and very practical permaculture book for the tropics is published by Permatil in East Timor as a gift to the world.

What Permaculture can teach us about The Commons
by David Bollier

As a developed set of social practices, techniques and ethical norms, permaculture has a lot to say to the world of the commons. This is immediately clear from reading the twelve design principles of permaculture that David Holmgren enumerated in his 2002 bookPermaculture: Principles and Practices Beyond Sustainability. It mentions such principles as “catch and store energy,” “apply self-regulation and accept feedback,” “produce no waste,” and “design from patterns to details. . . . My friendship and work with ecological design expert Dave Jacke have only intensified my conviction that permaculturists and commoners need to connect more and learn from each other." >>> more

Redesigning Civilization -- with Permaculture
Modern agriculture, industry and finance all extract more than they give back, and the Earth is starting to show the strain. How did we get in this mess and what can we do to help our culture get back on track? The ecological design approach known as permaculture offers powerful tools for the design of regenerative, fair ways to provide food, energy, livelihood, and other needs while letting humans share the planet with the rest of nature. This presentation will give you insight into why our culture has become fundamentally unsustainable, and offers ecologically based solutions that can help create a just and sustainable society.

Sustainable agricultural practice and climate

CO2 sequestration: It is not even a major problem...
we could be carbon negative in 2 years
and back to pre-industrial atmospheric levels in 10 years.

AUSTRALIA: Natural Sequence Farming (NSF) is a rural landscape management technique developed by Australian grazier and race horse breeder Peter Andrews, aimed at restoring natural water cycles that allow the land to flourish despite drought conditions. According to Peter Andrews OAM, we can reverse our current impacts on the environment and our climate. Bringing large areas back from environmental ruin are key to stabilising the earth's climate, and making sustainable agriculture possible. Industry needs to adapt but individuals are essential in this turnabout.

ABC-Radio National - Late Night Live:
Phillip Adams talks to Peter Andrews
Monday 19 August, 2013
Download the interview podcast

Full interview transcript, and more here

Peter Andrews
... a simple example: You've got a glass with a quantity of water in it, and another glass with the same quantity of sand, and if you tip the sand into the water, the level rises. Yet we're pouring trillions of tons of our landscape asset into the sea, yet no one is saying that will cause the sea to rise. And, if you let ice melt and it goes into the sea, it actually shrinks. We know the two, but we are ignoring one of the most obvious issues. We just leave so many of the obvious things out.

Phillip Adams
You'd like to see Australia used as a test-bench, wouldn't you? Regenerating the landscape of the world.

Peter Andrews

It already is. We've just got to have it recognised. In this landscape, from the days of the Aborigines and their knowledge, to the processes that were clearly able to be downloaded from the landscape of the megafauna prior to Aborigines, and then to the capacity for us to reinstate those processes for all forms of agriculture.

It's all happening in small scale at the present time and it could go off at a massive scale
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Forest Gardening is a prehistoric method
of securing food in tropical areas.

Robert Hart pioneered a system based on the observation that the natural forest can be divided into distinct levels. He used intercropping to develop an existing small orchard of apples and pears into an edible polyculture landscape consisting of the following layers:In the 1980s, Robert Hart coined the term "forest gardening" after adapting the principles and applying them to temperate climates.
See comprehensive information here

Forest Garden
A key component of the seven-layer system was the plants he selected. Most of the traditional vegetable crops grown today, such as carrots, are sun loving plants not well selected for the more shady forest garden system. Hart favoured shade tolerant perennial vegetables. >>> more
Who are WWOOFers?

Worldwide Opportunities on Organic Farms (WOOF)
aka "Willing Workers On Organic Farms" – a loose network of organisations that facilitate placement of volunteers on organic farms around the world. While there is no single international WWOOF association, as of 2010, 50 countries have a national WWOOF organisation. WWOOF Independents list hosts located in 49 other countries, of which 20 countries have only one registered host farm.

Slow Food movement
The Slow Food movement is an international movement founded in Italy by Carlo Petrini in 1986. Promoted as an alternative to fast food, it strives to preserve traditional and regional cuisine and encourages farming of plants, seeds and livestock characteristic of the local ecosystem. Slow Food expanded to become the Slow movement, which has expanded world-wide to over 100,000 members in 150 countries. Its goals of sustainable foods and promotion of local small businesses are paralleled by a political agenda directed against globalization of agricultural products.

Leave the tourist trail!
See the real world and learn first-hand about ecologically sound Organic, BioDynamic, and Permaculture food growing methods.

While supporting the organic movement, Volunteer WWOOFers have an opportunity to experience rural life in many countries.

WWOOFers generally do not receive financial payment. In exchange for 4 to 6 hours a day working on general farming or gardening activities, in private gardens, co-operatives, community gardens, and commercial farms, WWOOFing hosts provide food, accommodation, first-hand experience in growing food, and opportunities to network with WWOOFers from other countries, These 'working holidays' can range from a few days to years. Farms become WWOOF hosts by enlisting with their national organisation. In countries with no WWOOF organisation, farms enlist through WWOOF UK and WWOOF Australia.

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Robyn Francis is a Bamboo expert and founder of Permaculture College Australia, Inc.

What is bamboo?
by Robyn Francis
As the world’s largest grass and fastest growing plant, bamboo has earned reputations ranging from severe animosity to zealous passion. The animosity has been largely driven by the invasive and rampant nature of running bamboo species, which hold no regard for property boundaries and have thwarted many creative strategies for containment. Running bamboos tend to be more temperate to sub-tropical species and usually shoot in spring.

There are many excellent clumping species of bamboo that won’t take over your (and your neighbours) yard. I generally recommend planting only clumping bamboos. Clumping bamboos range in size from the smaller 2-4m high ‘multiplex’ hedge bamboo species, through to giants that grow up to 40 meters high with culm diameters of 20cm. Clumping bamboos tend to be tropical and subtropical species. Some, like Bambusa oldhamii, can handle frosts down to -8 deg, whereas others are exceptionally frost sensitive. Clumping bamboos usually shoot with the onset of the wet season in summer.
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Paul Stamets
Learn about Paul Stamets' pioneering work here and here

Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals - 2012
World Health Organization Report
Download the pdf
Page 1.
State of the Science of Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals - 2012
Edited by Åke Bergman, Jerrold J. Heindel, Susan Jobling.

In 2002, the International Programme on Chemical Safety (IPCS), a joint programme of the World Health Organization (WHO), the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the International Labour Organization, published a document entitled Global Assessment of the State-of-the-Science of Endocrine Disruptors (IPCS, 2002). This work concluded that scientific knowledge at that time provided evidence that certain effects observed in wildlife can be attributed to chemicals that function as endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs); that the evidence of a causal link was weak in most cases and that most effects had been observed in areas where chemical contamination was high; and that experimental data supported this conclusion. The document further concluded that there was only weak evidence for endocrine-related effects in humans. Uncertainties regarding global endocrine disrupting effects were put forward; simultaneously, concern was expressed that endocrine disruption may affect developmental processes if exposure occurs during early life stages. Almost no data regarding endocrine-related effects were available for chemicals other than those defined as persistent organic pollutants (POPs) according to the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants: polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), dioxins and dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane (DDT). Even for these chemicals, the data gaps were obvious for parts of the world other than western Europe, North America and Japan. The IPCS (2002) document finally concluded that there was a need for broad, collaborative and international research initiatives and presented a list of research needs.

Since the start of this century, intensive scientific work has improved our understanding of the impacts of EDCs on human and wildlife health. Scientific reviews published by, for example, the Endocrine Society (Diamanti-Kandarakis et al., 2009), the European Commission (Kortenkamp et al., 2011) and the European Environment Agency (2012) show the scientific complexity of this issue. These documents implicate EDCs as a concern to public and wildlife health. In addition, the European Society for Paediatric Endocrinology and the Pediatric Endocrine Society have put forward a consensus statement calling for action regarding endocrine disruptors and their effects (Skakkebaek et al., 2011).

Now, in 2012, the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and WHO present an update of the IPCS (2002) document, entitled State of the Science of Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals—2012. This document provides the global status of scientific knowledge on exposure to and effects of EDCs. It explains, in the first chapter, what endocrine disruption is all about, and then it discusses in detail, in 12 sections in the second chapter, endocrine disrupting effects in humans and wildlife. The work is based on the fact that endocrine systems are very similar across vertebrate species and that endocrine effects manifest themselves independently of species. The effects are endocrine system related and not necessarily species dependent. Effects shown in wildlife or experimental animals may also occur in humans if they are exposed to EDCs at a vulnerable time and at concentrations leading to alterations of endocrine regulation.

Of special concern are effects on early development of both humans and wildlife, as these effects are often irreversible and may not become evident until later in life. The third and final chapter of this document discusses exposure of humans and wildlife to EDCs and potential EDCs.
MonsantoMonsanto Brands listed here
In the news: EU starts in-depth probe of Bayer, Monsanto deal
AUGUST 22, 2017

G M O "probable carcinogen"
In late March, 2015, glyphosate, the active ingredient in Monsanto's weed killer Roundup, was reclassified "probable carcinogen" by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), a division of the World Health Organization (WHO).

DOWNLOAD free GMO shopping guide
(PDF format)  

According to Monsanto's website:

"There is no need to test the safety of DNA introduced into GM crops. DNA (and resulting RNA) is present in almost all foods. DNA is non-toxic and the presence of DNA, in and of itself, presents no hazard."

This viewpoint, while good for business, is built on an understanding of genetics circa 1960. Given what we know now, that stance is arrogant. Time will tell if it's reckless. Take a look at this comprehensive archive of reports re. Monsanto's efforts to dominate food production.

The One and Only Way You Can Tell if a Food is GMO-Free

Must see: Graphic illustration, naming people in powerful high-level cross-over positions, working both within Monsanto and within US Government departments.

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The Very Real Danger of Genetically Modified Foods
It seems clear that Monsanto wants you to close your eyes, open your mouth, and swallow.
– Ari Levaux

New research shows that when we eat we're consuming more than just vitamins and protein. Our bodies are absorbing information, or microRNA.

The type of RNA in question is called microRNA (abbreviated to miRNA) due to its small size. MiRNAs have been studied extensively since their discovery ten years ago, and have been implicated as players in several human diseases including cancer, Alzheimer's, and diabetes. They usually function by turning down or shutting down certain genes. The Chinese research provides the first in vivo example of ingested plant miRNA surviving digestion and influencing human cell function in this way.

Should the research survive scientific scrutiny -- a serious hurdle -- it could prove a game changer in many fields. It would mean that we're eating not just vitamins, protein, and fuel, but gene regulators as well.

That knowledge could deepen our understanding of many fields, including cross-species communication, co-evolution, and predator-prey relationships. It could illuminate new mechanisms for some metabolic disorders and perhaps explain how some herbal and modern medicines function.

This study had nothing to do with genetically modified (GM) food, but it could have implications on that front. The work shows a pathway by which new food products, such as GM foods, could influence human health in previously unanticipated ways. ...

In 1999, a group of scientists wrote a letter titled "Beyond Substantial Equivalence" to the prestigious journal Nature. In the letter, Erik Millstone et. al. called substantial equivalence "a pseudo-scientific concept" that is "inherently anti-scientific because it was created primarily to provide an excuse for not requiring biochemical or toxicological tests."

To these charges, Monsanto responded: "The concept of substantial equivalence was elaborated by international scientific and regulatory experts convened by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) in 1991, well before any biotechnology products were ready for market."

This response is less a rebuttal than a testimonial to Monsanto's prowess at handling regulatory affairs. Of course the term was established before any products were ready for the market. Doing so was a prerequisite to the global commercialization of GM crops. It created a legal framework for selling GM foods anywhere in the world that substantial equivalence was accepted. By the time substantial equivalence was adopted, Monsanto had already developed numerous GM crops and was actively grooming them for market. >>> more

What’s driving this cycle is the consumer’s desire for more information about their food,... I don’t think that’s going away.
Why some farmers are deciding to go GMO-free
"Conventional seeds certainly cost less, lacking the need to recoup the large research and development costs behind their genetically altered counterparts. A bag of non-GMO soybeans — which covers roughly one acre — costs about $20 less than a similar bag of seeds designed to work with glyphosate" Millwood said. ... But those non-GMO crops also are more valuable when it’s time to sell. …ongoing debates over GMO labeling suggest there could soon be greater domestic demand for non-GMO grains. “What’s driving this cycle is the consumer’s desire for more information about their food,” James said. “I don’t think that’s going away.” >>> more

Pesticide Treadmill Jeopardizes Food Safety
In 2013, in the midst of mounting questions about glyphosate’s safety, the Environmental Protection Agency doubled allowable limits of glyphosate in flax, soybean, and canola from 20 to 40 ppm

Researchers found Roundup causes necrosis and apoptosis in human cells starting at 50 ppm, which the researchers noted is “far below agricultural dilutions”

In response to the IARC's determination, British and German retailers have started removing Roundup from its lineup of weed killers sold to the general public. France has also announced plans to restrict its sale at garden centers.
Source: EU Supermarkets and garden centres ban Roundup weedkiller suspected of causing cancer. Guardian August 7, 2015

The IARC is one of the research agencies from which the California agency of environmental hazards gets its data to declare carcinogens under Prop 65 and, as predicted, environment officials have now issued a notice of intent to put a cancer warning on Roundup. Source: Sept. 10, 2015
Read the detailed report on >>> more


Robyn O'Brien:
Real food, is that too much to ask; Big industry, I take to task; It's time that we reclaim our plates; from food forced into altered states.

Robyn shares her personal story and how it inspired her current path as a "Real Food" evangelist. Grounded in a successful Wall Street career that was more interested in food as good business than good-for-you, this mother of four was shaken awake by the dangerous allergic reaction of one of her children to a "typical" breakfast. Her mission to unearth the cause revealed more about the food industry than she could stomach, and impelled her to share her findings with others. Informative and inspiring.

About this speaker
Robyn authored "The Unhealthy Truth: How Our Food Is Making Us Sick and What We Can Do About It." A former Wall Street food industry analyst, Robyn brings insight, compassion and detailed analysis to her research into the impact that the global food system is having on the health of our children. She founded and was named by Forbes as one of "20 Inspiring Women to Follow on Twitter." The New York Times has passionately described her as "Food's Erin Brockovich."
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CONSUMED, the film
Watch the film
CONSUMED is a dramatic thriller that explores the complex world of genetically modified food. The story is anchored by a working-class, single Mother on a hunt to uncover the cause of her son's mysterious illness. Interwoven are the stories of an Organic farmer, the CEO of a biotechnology corporation, two Scientists on the verge of a major discovery, and an ex-Cop caught in the middle of it all.

Excerpts from film review.
Our Food Supply Has Been Radically Altered Since the Mid-'90s
Between 1997 and 2002 the number of peanut allergies doubled, and the number of hospitalizations related to allergic reactions to food increased by 265 percent.(2)

Between 1997 and 2011, food allergies (of all types) among children rose by 50 percent.3 Today, an estimated 15 million Americans and 17 million Europeans have some form of food allergy. Incidence of celiac disease and other forms of food intolerance have also become more common.

So is there something "foreign" in our food today that wasn't there before? Absolutely. There's a whole host of ingredients that could cause problems, including food dyes, artificial flavors, preservatives, various additives and, of course, GMOs.

Ever since the mid-1990s, new food proteins have been engineered and steadily introduced into our food supply, yet many are still unaware that a major shift has occurred. One of the first foods to undergo this change was milk, which incidentally is also the No. 1 food allergen in the U.S.

A Global Experiment Gone Awry

No long-term human trials have ever been done to evaluate the health effects of GE ingredients, and no one knows what the effects of a lifetime's worth of GMO consumption might be.
But food is foundational for health, so when people suddenly suffer ill health in great numbers, it makes sense to look at the basics, starting with food.

The problem with GMOs is not restricted to novel proteins. GE foods also introduce greater amounts of pesticides into your diet, and such chemicals have also been linked to a long list of health problems, including infertility, birth defects, endocrine disruption, neurological disorders and cancer.

More generally:
• Insecticides primarily produce neurological symptoms
• Fungicides tend to produce skin-related symptoms
• Herbicides are associated with digestive and skin problems, including nutritional deficiencies, systemic toxicity and gut dysbiosis
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"Why are we all being fed by a poison expert?"
How are we in a situation where the provider of a huge slice of the world's food bowl is synonymous with adverse health effects?... Using vast reserves of cash and influence to distract us all from the key question: Why are we all being fed by a poison expert?

"We are the lab rats."
Kevin O'Leary, The Lang & O'Leary show.
2013 interview with 14 year old Rachel Parent
Debating Kevin O'Leary on the issue of Genetically Modified Food.

Kids Right To Know:
“GMO Just Label It! Campaign”

Founded on the belief that we have the “Right to Know” what’s in our food, helping to create mass awareness about the risks of GMOs and to push for their mandatory labeling.

From a very young age Rachel showed true compassion for the protection of animals, she also attended a small school that nurtured and encouraged caring for others by performing for the less fortunate, and elderly, including singing and playing guitar with the York Region Police choir.

When Rachel was 12 years old, she had to do a speech for all the students at her School in Aurora, on a topic that would be of interest to her. Rachel struggled trying to decide among topics such as GMOs, Animal Cruelty, Poverty in Canada and Global Deforestation. She decided on GMOs because of the opportunity to change so many lives, to better everyone’s health, and help improve our overburdened health care system. Rachel understood that GMOs are affecting the entire planet, from humans to bees, the earth, and kids’ futures. The topic of GMOs was a natural choice, as the situation was urgent and needed immediate attention. She won a medal for her speech.
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Common sense from FRESH, the movie
FRESH is more than a movie, it’s a gateway to action. ... to help grow FRESH food, ideas, and become active participants in an exciting, vibrant, and fast-growing movement.

Selected quotes from the film:

Professor John Ikerd, Agricultural Economist:
"It's all about maximum short run productive efficiency. A factory process. You find something that works well and then we continue to use it, because it works so well. Then, as we say, we begin to ply that same kind of paradigm. The paradigm of industrialization, specialization, standardization. economies of scale. we begin to apply it to everything --and it doesn't work on everything. ... If we go to a local food system, you gain about 3 people, in terms of employment within the local community, for every person you displace. You'd see more people employed in a sustainable system, because it is more dependent upon the imagination and creativity of people. That's what makes these alternative systems work." – John Ikerd

Andrew Kimbrell, Executive Director,
The Centre for Food Safety
One of the complaints that we often hear about organic is: It's wonderful! Sure! It's better for the land, better for the farmer, better for you. But, you can't feed the world with it. We now know that is just wrong. We have the science. We know the answer. And, that is that medium sized organic is far more productive than any sized industrial agriculture.

For the first time, in the last two or three years, we actually have the studies, the data, that definitely shows,
if you want to feed the world, don't be industrial agriculture. It turns out that all those inputs; all the expensive machinery, all the pesticides, herbicides, not to mention the fertilizers, make it unsustainable.

In the last ten years we have had more than a hundred million more tons of herbicides poured on our crops, in our crop lands, polluting our streams, polluting our air, in our foods.

Industrial agriculture has caused us to loose over 90% of our diversity.

We've seen our soil depleting at thirteen times the rate that can be replaced. ...
Every decision we make at the supermarket, what we grow, what we eat, is creating a different future, for the land, the farmers, for diversity, for the health of our own bodies and communities. That's what you're seeing with the organic movement and the local movement, and all these extraordinary things that are happening. We're voting with our dollar.

That is what is so empowering about the food issue. That's the one place where there is a new vision for the future that we don't have to wait for. It is a decision you and I can make tomorrow —right now! That will change the world. It's not an impossible dream.

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