Tag Archives: farming

The REAL Source of Cavities and Gum Disease | Global Research

2 Mar

As NPR reports:

Prehistoric humans didn’t have toothbrushes. They didn’t have floss or toothpaste, and they certainly didn’t have Listerine. Yet somehow, their mouths were a lot healthier than ours are today.

“Hunter-gatherers had really good teeth,” says Alan Cooper, director of the Australian Centre for Ancient DNA. “[But] as soon as you get to farming populations, you see this massive change. Huge amounts of gum disease. And cavities start cropping up.”

And thousands of years later, we’re still waging, and often losing, our war against oral disease.

Our changing diets are largely to blame.

via The REAL Source of Cavities and Gum Disease | Global Research.

Struggle for Water in Colorado With Rise in Fracking – NYTimes.com

6 Sep

GREELEY, Colo. — A new race for water is rippling through the drought-scorched heartland, pitting farmers against oil and gas interests, driven by new drilling techniques that use powerful streams of water, sand and chemicals to crack the ground and release stores of oil and gas.

A single such well can require five million gallons of water, and energy companies are flocking to water auctions, farm ponds, irrigation ditches and municipal fire hydrants to get what they need.

That thirst is helping to drive an explosion of oil production here, but it is also complicating the long and emotional struggle over who drinks and who does not in the arid and fast-growing West. Farmers and environmental activists say they are worried that deep-pocketed energy companies will have purchase on increasingly scarce water supplies as they drill deep new wells that use the technique of hydraulic fracturing.

via Struggle for Water in Colorado With Rise in Fracking – NYTimes.com.

Small-Scale Farmers Creating a New Profit Model – NYTimes.com

2 Jul

…beyond the familiar mantras about nutrition or reduced fossil fuel use, the movement toward local food is creating a vibrant new economic laboratory for American agriculture. The result, with its growing army of small-scale local farmers, is as much about dollars as dinner: a reworking of old models about how food gets sold and farms get financed, and who gets dirt under their fingernails doing the work.

“The future is local,” said Narendra Varma, 43, a former manager at Microsoft who invested $2 million of his own money last year in a 58-acre project of small plots and new-farmer training near Portland, Ore. The first four farmers arrived this spring alongside Mr. Varma and his family, aiming to create an economy of scale — tiny players banded in collective organic clout. He had to interrupt a telephone interview to move some goats.

via Small-Scale Farmers Creating a New Profit Model – NYTimes.com.

The birth of food-phobia – Food – Salon.com

24 Mar

At the root of our anxiety about food lies something that is common to all humans — what Paul Rozin has called the “omnivore’s dilemma.” This means that unlike, say, koala bears, whose diet consists only of eucalyptus leaves and who can therefore venture no further than where eucalyptus trees grow, our ability to eat a large variety of foods has enabled us to survive practically anywhere on the globe. The dilemma is that some of these foods can kill us, resulting in a natural anxiety about food.

These days, our fears rest not on wariness about that new plant we just came across in the wild, but on fears about what has been done to our food before it reaches our tables. These are the natural result of the growth of a market economy that inserted middlemen between producers and consumers of food. In recent years the ways in which industrialization and globalization have completely transformed how the food we eat is grown, shipped, processed, and sold have helped ratchet up these fears much further.

So maybe more of us have to start our own gardens, or till a plot in a community garden. And maybe we need to rethink our way of life, top to bottom so we have more time to prepare our own food.

via The birth of food-phobia – Food – Salon.com.

Farmers March with Occupy Wall Street: Sowing the Seeds of Hope and Democracy

28 Dec

According to AlterNet, more than “500 rural farmers, urban farmers, food laborers, community activists and former occupiers” showed up for the beginning of the day at an East Village community garden, which began with Bronx urban farmer Karen Washington telling an energetic crowd of her journey over the past two decades to create a healthy food environment for her neighborhood.

Washington, who helped found the City Farms Markets, a series of community-run farmers markets, was stunned to hear that “food was a privilege and not a right”. So she set out to change that, mainly by putting her hands in the dirt, planting seeds and feeding her community. Through her work in the Bronx, Washington is helping combat the major issues of obesity, diabetes and lack of access to healthy food faced by underserved communities. …

Over the past three decades, the U.S. has adopted economic policies promoted by Wall Street investment banks and agribusiness monopolies that have led to massive concentration in food and agriculture. Today market concentration is so great that only four firms control 84 percent of beef packing and 66 percent of pork production, which has resulted in forcing more than 1.1 million independent livestock producers out of business since Ronald Reagan was elected in 1980.

via Farmers March with Occupy Wall Street: Sowing the Seeds of Hope and Democracy.