Friday, March 8, 2013

Friday Food Security Link-straveganza

Guerrilla gardening--so much fun!

I really like this kind of approach. Forgiveness is easier than permission, after all.

In India, there seems to be a pretty clear case against Coke. From the Right to Water website:
In a number of districts of India, Coca Cola and its subsidiaries are accused of creating severe water shortages for the community by extracting large quantities of water for their factories, affecting both the quantity and quality of water. Coca Cola has the largest soft drink bottling facilities in India. Water is the primary component of the products manufactured by the company.

From the street food side of things comes a report of food carts using a parabolic solar cooker.
photo: EcoAndina
Good news from the power consumption side of things. I recall reading a Mother Earth News article about using the heat of a compost pile to cook a slow-cooker-like meal. There's also an excellent biogas article at the Ecotipping Points Project. Biogas is one of those neat ideas where you collect waste and use it while creating another, equally important product--in this case, composted materials. Power is where you find it--we've simply become addicted to using one seemingly-unlimited form or another.

Mother Earth News also has a nice little article on building a hooped bed.
via MEN
Essentially what I did over my raised beds at the community garden last year. Works well; I'm still picking fresh carrots and beets, and the couple of shallots left in the ground are already sprouting new growth.

Food Safety News is reporting on more about Honeygate:
Five people and two U.S. honey processors were charged with federal crimes last week as a result of an investigation into illegal importation of honey from China, known as “Honeygate,” led by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement and Homeland Security Investigations.
The government is alleging that Chinese honey — which can be laced with illegal and unsafe antibiotics — was misdeclared when it was imported to the United States and routed through other countries to evade more than $180 million in anti-dumping duties. HSI and Customs and Border Protection said late last week they have stepped up efforts to combat commercial fraud that directly impacts the economy and public health.
The charges come more than a year after an investigation by Food Safety News found that laboratory tests could not detect the origin of more than three quarters of honey purchased at retail locations because ultra-filtration methods remove naturally occurring pollen and make honey impossible to trace. Many in the industry say this practice contributes to honey laundering.

IPS news service is reporting:
No-till farming is a response to climate change that fits well with the needs of the Caribbean: it increases the ability to capture water, while withstanding both drought and excessive rains, says expert Theodor Friedrich, representative of the United Nation’s Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) in Cuba.
The Caribbean islands are in dire need of new techniques that can ensure food security amid the threats of climate change.
“I do not see why these islands cannot produce enough for their own consumption,” Friedrich said in an interview with IPS. ”We have to produce more with less, and conservation agriculture is the basis of the strategy recommended by the FAO,” he added.
Of course, no-till farming  echoes the work done by Masanobu Fukuoka (1913-2008), who:  
was a farmer and philosopher who was born and raised on the Japanese island of Shikoku. He studied plant pathology and spent several years working as a customs inspector in Yokohama.  While working there, at the age of 25, he had an inspiration that changed his life.  He decided to quit his job, return to his home village and put his ideas into practice by applying them to agriculture.

Over the next 65 years he worked to develop a system of natural farming that demonstrated the insight he was given as a young man, believing that it could be of great benefit to the world.  He did not plow his fields, used no agricultural chemicals or prepared fertilizers, did not flood his rice fields as farmers have done in Asia for centuries, and yet his yields equaled or surpassed the most productive farms in Japan.
 Really, I don't know what to make of this. So much of what we think we know is , well, less than accurate. The problem is figuring out which bit is more accurate than the others.... IPS is also reporting:
Canada’s police and security agencies think citizens concerned about the environment are threats to national security, and some are under surveillance, documents reveal.
The RCMP, the national police force, and Canada’s spy agency CSIS are increasingly conflating terrorism and extremism with peaceful citizens exercising their democratic rights to organise petitions, protest and question government policies, said Jeffrey Monaghan, a researcher with the Surveillance Studies Centre at Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario.
Well,  I'm concerned about the environment, but I don't really think that makes me a national security threat. Maybe a threat to the paranoid one percent, but not to the nation. It strikes me that the one percent, with their insistence that every drop of fossil fuel must be burned, that every alternative must be quashed, that the rest of us can burn and  starve and die as long as they get to stay rich beyond all hope of spending, they might be a bit more of a threat than some guy who just likes growing good food and eating it with friends. But that's the state of paranoia among the one percent.

No comments:

Post a Comment