Apr 6, 2013

Watch The Living Land

The Living Land

Over many years, our methods of growing food have become ever more mechanized and more complex. At the same time, we’ve lost millions of acres of good soil to pollution, erosion, and an ever growing population. There is now an increasing awareness of the need to change our perceptions about how we grow our food and how we treat the land. This program features four individuals on the frontier of this effort. JOHN JEAVONS Founder of Ecology Action and internationally known for his work developing small-scale sustainable food production techniques. WES JACKSON Born and raised on the Great Plains, he holds degrees in both botany and genetics. For than 25 years, his Land Institute has been working on a revolutionary concept known as Natural Systems Agriculture to develop perennial grain varieties. ALICE WATERS World renowned chef, author, and owner of Chez Panisse restaurant. Established an “Edible Schoolyard” program that involves children in planting, gardening, harvesting, cooking, and eating to instill a sense of the vital relationship of food to their lives. MAS MASUMOTO Organic farmer and author of “Epitaph for a Peach” and “Harvest Son,” he grows peaches and grapes on his 80-acre family farm in California’s San Joaquin Valley. 26 minutes

Direct Link:
Watch The Living Land | Baylands Productions Episodes | Videos | Blip
The Living Land Wes Jackson, John Jeavons Portion: http://tinyurl.com/boyxh2x

Apr 5, 2013

Civil Engineering: US Falling Apart and Falling Behind - YouTube

Published on Apr 5, 2013

Edward Rendell, Chairman of the National Governors Association, describes infrastructure rankings and how building better roads, bridges, and ports will put America back to work.

Full Link: Civil Engineering: US Falling Apart and Falling Behind - YouTube

Monsanto: A Corporate Profile | Food & Water Watch

Full Article; Monsanto: A Corporate Profile | Food & Water Watch

April 3rd, 2013
Monsanto: A Corporate Profile

Scary! The Influence on Government!   Monte Hines

PDF File:

Monsanto has a long history with former and current
employees of the U.S. government, public universities and
industry and trade groups. There has been a continuous
“revolving door” between these institutions and Monsanto’s
Board of Directors and senior staff, offering some
explanation for Monsanto’s powerful influence in policy
and public research (see Figures 2 and 3 on pages 9–10).
Monsanto’s board members have worked for the EPA,87
advised the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA)88
and served on President Obama’s Advisory Committee
for Trade Policy and Negotiations.89 They presided over
multiple universities in various senior positions, including
South Dakota State University (with whom Monsanto
has a significant research agreement),90 Arizona State’s
Biodesign Institute 91 and Washington University in St.
Louis.92 Monsanto shares board members with other
corporations such as Procter & Gamble,93 Lockheed
Martin 94 and Synthetic Genomics.95
The company’s board members have been a part of the
International Food and Agricultural Trade Policy Council,
the Council for Biotechnology Information,96 the United
Kingdom Academy of Medicine, the National Academy of
Sciences Biological Weapons working group,97 CropLife
International98 and the Council on Foreign Relations.99
The prevalence of Monsanto’s directors in these highly
influential positions begs a closer look at how they’re able
to push the pro-GE agenda within the government and
influence public opinion. 

The High Cost of Cheap Meat » Counterpunch: Tells the Facts, Names the Names

Full Article : The High Cost of Cheap Meat » Counterpunch: Tells the Facts, Names the Names

What DNA Tests on Lasange Can't Reveal
The High Cost of Cheap Meat

Nothing changes — whatever familiar measures are announced after every food scandal, once the politicians, manufacturers and retailers have made their claims and counterclaims, and after we’ve gone through the ritual demands for transparency, traceability and labelling. What we really need to do is widen our focus from the contents of “beef” lasagne to the intersecting routes of the current global agricultural system.

It has been developed with the single goal of large-scale production for export, with centres of specialisation to maximise profits. In emerging countries, greater wealth has led to an increase in demand for meat, and therefore a need for agricultural land to feed livestock. In China, meat consumption per person has increased 55% in 10 years (1). To feed its battery hens, China has to import soya grown in Latin America; to grow food for human and animal consumption, it has started to grab land in Africa. Raw ingredients are grown in one continent, bought by another, and exported to a third, just like the global supply chains of manufacturing industry.

For several decades, the food industry has persisted with an approach that has damaged small farmers, biodiversity, soil, water resources, and the health of producers and sometimes consumers, without managing to feed the planet — in 2011 a billion people did not have enough to eat. The meat industry exemplifies the problem. It accounts for less than 2% of global GDP but produces 18% of greenhouse gas emissions and uses huge amounts of natural resources, land and agricultural produce. Should cereals be grown to feed people or to fatten livestock? It takes at least seven kilograms of grain to produce one kilogram of beef, four for a kilogram of pork and two for a kilogram of chicken.

Pasture takes up 68% of all agricultural land (and 25% of it is already exhausted and infertile), while growing fodder takes up 35% of arable land: so in all, livestock requires 78% of all agricultural land. This dedication of land to the production of poor quality meat (plus further land demands for biofuels) directly affects the poorest. The UN Food and Agriculture Organisation’s 2006 annual report says: “Feed production as well as imports have increased. Total feed imports have surged … giving rise to fears that the expansion of China’s livestock industry could lead to price hikes and global shortages of grains, as has been predicted many times in the past.” We know what happened next: food riots in 2008 in Ivory Coast, Cameroon, Indonesia and the Philippines, caused by the unprecedented rise in the cost of raw materials on the international market.
Pushing millions into poverty

Early in the financial crisis, political leaders should have banned speculation on basic foodstuffs, but didn’t. Despite a reduction in the real cost of cereal production, prices kept going up (2). In February 2011 The World Bank warned: “Global food prices are rising to dangerous levels and threaten tens of millions … The price hike is already pushing millions of people into poverty, and putting stress on the most vulnerable, who spend more than half of their income on food” (3).

Most cattle are grazed, and while a small herd of black and white Pie Noir cows chewing the cud in the shade of cider apple trees in the Breton countryside might not be a problem, environmental damage increases as herd density rises. In South America over the past few years, overgrazing has left the soil sterile and saturated with animal manure. Producers easily resort to illegal logging to clear fresh land, especially in Brazil, which is the world’s biggest producer and exporter of beef and leather, supplying 30% of the global market. It exports primarily to Russia and the EU. A 2009 Greenpeace report revealed that Brazil’s 200 million head of cattle were responsible for 80% of the deforestation of the Amazon (4) — 10m hectares of forest destroyed in 10 years, to the detriment of small farmers and native peoples. For 40 years Survival International has condemned the killing of indigenous people by ranchers in Brazil’s forests.

The Amazonian rainforest is being destroyed primarily to produce biofuel and cattle feed. According to the peasant movement Via Campesina: “Soybean monocultures … now occupy a quarter of all agricultural lands in Paraguay and … have grown at a rate of 320,000 hectares a year in Brazil since 1995. In Argentina, where soybeans occupy around half the agricultural land … 5.6 million hectares of non-agricultural land was converted to soya production between 1996-2006. The devastating impacts that such farms have had on people and the environment in Latin America are well documented and acknowledged” (5).

Cereals and oil-producing plants, cultivated and harvested in Latin America with the help of chemicals, are transported across the Atlantic to the huge silos of agribusiness multinationals in Europe, ready to be turned into concentrated feed for millions of battery-farmed pigs and chickens around the world — in 2005 they consumed 1,250m tons.

Factory farms supply processors and supermarkets internationally. The industry tries to minimise costs by “rationalising” the production and distribution chain, reducing the workforce, automating tasks, standardising products and mechanically recovering meat slurry for cheap processed meals. The system is there to meet the demands of agribusiness and the big supermarkets.
Assembly-line animals

Processed food makers produce sausages as if they were assembling a car from components; and in a way, the animals they use have become artificial, the product of agricultural research, selectively bred to accelerate muscle development and boost reproductive performance, their vital organs reduced to the point where they are not able to function properly. They are extremely vulnerable to illness, and producers try to remedy this by heating the buildings in which they are raised, although this is often not enough to avoid infections, so they are given antibiotics. The liquid manure they produce, a dangerous mix of nitrogen and phosphorus, is disposed of by spreading on land that is already oversaturated. In Brittany, cyanobacteria pollution of groundwater, rivers and shores caused by the pig industry, is now endemic.

Traditional farming takes account of how much feed is available locally. Pastureland is nurtured, grass regrowth protected from too many hooves, and animal waste prevented from affecting soil and water quality. Animals are reared in symbiosis with cereal and vegetable crops: green waste with peas, lupins and field beans makes a balanced and healthy fodder, straw provides bedding for the animals, and manure fertilises the soil, completing the cycle. A new generation of farmers who want to produce local healthy food that does not damage the planet have been inspired by traditional practices; they have studied, tested, improved and modernised them, and some have moved into agroforestry, as recommended by the Food and Agriculture Organisation, in which trees shelter crops from the wind and sun and contribute to soil fertility, while tree roots keep water at the base of the plants.

(1) “The State of Food and Agriculture”, FAO, Rome, 2009.

(2) See Jean Ziegler, “Speculating on hunger”, Le Monde diplomatique, English edition, February 2012.

(3) “Rising food prices have driven an estimated 44 million people into poverty”, The World Bank press release, Washington, 15 February 2011.

(4) “Slaughtering the Amazon”, Greenpeace International, 1 June 2009.

(5) “The World Bank funding land grabbing in South America”, open letter from Via Campesina, 7 July 2011.

This article appears in the excellent Le Monde Diplomatique, whose English language edition can be found at mondediplo.com. This full text appears by agreement with Le Monde Diplomatique. CounterPunch features two or three articles from LMD every month.

Paul S. Graham | Communications, politics, peace and justice

Published on Apr 5, 2013

Winnipeg, Manitoba, April 4, 2013: Manitoba's First Nations and the Wilderness Committee held a news conference to declare their opposition to the Reed Lake copper mine, a joint venture of HudBay Minerals and VMS Ventures, Inc.

Reed Lake is in the Grass River Provincial Park, about 110 kilometres east of Flin Flon. The fact this mining operation is under construction in a provincial park has outraged environmentalists and First Nations communities alike. At the news conference, representatives of the Mathias Colomb Cree Nation (MCCN), the Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs, the Manitoba Keewatinowi Okimakanak and the Wilderness Committee pledged to oppose the mine because it is being built within the traditional territory of the MCCN without its permission.

Video Production
Paul S. Graham
http://paulsgraham.ca/   Monte Hines

Paul S. Graham | Communications, politics, peace and justice

Feeding Frenzy - YouTube

Published on Apr 5, 2013
Sustainability expert Paul McMahon considers price spikes, market manipulation, land grabs and the race to control food supplies, and asks - can we feed a world of nine billion... and at what cost?

Chair: Dr David McNair, head of growth, equity and livelihoods, Save the Children

Listen to the podcast of the full event including audience Q&A: http://tinyurl.com/cea9frw

Outstanding presentation... We can play a role.. Paul has a overall realistic view of what is going on and what needs to be done to efficiently feed 9 billion...       Monte Hines

Apr 3, 2013

BLACK FRIDAY starts Thursday! Special Buy WHILE Supplies Last!!!

BLACK FRIDAY starts Thursday!
Boy The Home Depot Has Got That Right...!
Everybody rush down to your The Home Depot...
Get your dose of "smelling and breathing" those health damaging chemicals in the store.
Spend your hard earned money
on way too much... than you need ( $0 )!
Because It Is On Sale...
All your neighbors are doing it...
Chemical companies say you need it...
Go home...
Put a double or triple batch on your weeds and soil...
Kill lots of living nature in the soil...
Now you have dead dirt...
Your kids and grandkids can now play in it... no weeds...
They can eat some of your
$60 a pound GMO sweet corn
and ingest some more of it,
so it and GMO genes can kill some
the 3 million organisms in their gut,
nature designed to protect them...
and then someday they mysteriously get sick?
YES "The Home Depot" you "hit the nail on the head"
"BLACK FRIDAY starts Thursday"

Monte Hines

PS    Do yourself a favor!
Truth and Facts
--> http://tinyurl.com/cd458ve