via The Huffington Post
HONOLULU — Mayor Billy Kenoi signed Bill 113 into law on Thursday, prohibiting biotech companies from operating on the Big Island and banning farmers from growing any new genetically altered crops.
The bill exempts the island’s GMO papaya industry.
Kenoi said that the new law signals the county’s desire to encourage community-based farming and ranching, as opposed to playing host to global agribusiness corporations in a letter to council members announcing his decision to sign the bill.
None of the biotech companies that have taken up root in Hawaii in recent years, such as Monsanto, Syngenta and Pioneer, operate on Big Island. The new law makes sure that remains the case.
“Our community has a deep connection and respect for our land, and we all understand we must protect our island and preserve our precious natural resources,” Kenoi wrote to council members. “We are determined to do what is right for the land because this place is unlike any other in the world.”
Dear lovers of life’s diversity and lovers of freedom,
It is time to organise and concentrate our energies to liberate our seeds and our food from the toxic, greedy and lethal clutches of global corporations like Monsanto; from the laws the corporations are writing, stealing our democracies in order to steal our seeds and food, our health and livelihoods, our cultures and our lives. We need to break from the sense of powerlessness the corporations would like us to experience to make us believe they are all powerful and we have no power to change. But we do. We just have to combine our collective energies. We must become the change we want to see. -Dr. Vandana Shiva
Austin’s Whirlaway Farm & Garden has a dream of rehabilitation, reclamation and restoration . Let’s help them realize it!
A century ago in the United States, almost everyone knew how to grow, build, and make things. Produce was local, and there was an astonishing variety of it available. Gardeners and farmers alike saved seed and shared it with friends and neighbors. Food tasted different, because it was different. Things have changed. The art of growing, building, and making things by hand is being lost..
Whole Foods lags behind several U.S. supermarkets on HFC and refrigeration policies, even finishing behind grocery giant Walmart. Whole Foods also lags behind supermarkets in Europe, Canada, South Africa, Brazil and Japan, thousands of which are transitioning to natural refrigeration technologies, such as carbon dioxide, hydrocarbons, and ammonia cascade systems. With more than 4,000 supermarkets using these climate-friendly systems across Europe, and more than 50 stores in just one province of Canada alone, it is shocking that Whole Foods has only one HFC-free store in the works and has stated that it does not plan any others.
An international phase-out of HFCs would mitigate 88-143 billion tonnes of CO2 equivalents (CO2e) by 2050.
While Whole Foods has recently taken a small step towards controlling leakage, piloting EOS Climate’s Refrigerant Asset System, more needs to be done to institute climate-friendly refrigeration technologies and roll out these leakage control systems and maintenance in all stores. Additionally, while the EOS system monitors and evaluates a store’s use of refrigerants, it does not eliminate the use of HFCs.
Technology exists to transition to climate-friendly options now and reduce these emissions close to zero. This Thanksgiving, we hope Whole Foods steps up and gives us something to be thankful for — a supermarket that is truly tackling their greenhouse gas emissions by pledging to make all new stores and retrofits HFC-free.
A version of this program originally aired October 4, 2013.
In this week’s Moyers & Company, Bill Moyers profiles one of America’s most influential writers, a passionate advocate for the earth, whose prolific career includes more than forty books of poetry, novels, short stories and essays.
Wendell Berry, whom environmental activist Bill McKibben calls “a prophet of responsibility,” lives and works on the Kentucky farm where his family has lived for 200 years. In addition to being a man of letters, Berry is also one of action. In 2011, he joined a four-day sit-in at the Kentucky governor’s office to protest the mountaintop removal of coal.
“He is one of — if not — the great writer at work in American letters right now. He understood what was happening on this planet a long time before everybody else,” says McKibben.
“The world and our life in it are conditional gifts. We have the world to live in and the use of it on the condition that we will take good care of it,” Berry tells Bill. “And to know it and to be willing to take care of it, we have to love it.”
Wendell Berry: Poet & Prophet is a collaboration between Mannes Productions, Inc. and Schumann Media Center, Inc., headed by Bill Moyers, which supports independent journalism and media programs to advance the understanding of the critical issues of democracy for the benefit of the public.
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Some of the nation’s most influential cardiologists are challenging new recommendations that would greatly expand the number of Americans taking a statin medication to reduce their chances of a heart attack or stroke.
The guidelines issued last week by the American Heart Assn. and the American College of Cardiology were accompanied by a “risk calculator” that was supposed to identify patients whose odds of suffering either a stroke or a heart attack over the next 10 years were judged to be at least 7.5%. These patients could reduce their risk by taking a low-dose statin, the medical groups said. The calculator’s individualized estimates were based on age, gender, total cholesterol, blood pressure and smoking history, among other variables.
But a Harvard University cardiologist and his biostatistician collaborator have taken the freshly minted recommendations to task, arguing that they were formulated with unreliable data on Americans’ health and that the calculations about which patients should take a statin are wildly off base.
Read Cardiologists cast doubt on new statin recommendations
This post originally appeared on James Clear’s blog.
Most of us know that junk food is unhealthy. We know that poor nutrition is related to heart problems, high blood pressure, and a host of other health ailments. You might even know that studies show that eating junk food has been linked to increases in depression. But if it’s so bad for us, why do we keep doing it?
There is an answer. And the science behind it will surprise you.
Steven Witherly is a food scientist who has spent the last 20 years studying what makes certain foods more addictive (and tasty) than others. Much of the science that follows is from his excellent report, Why Humans Like Junk Food. According to Witherly, when you eat tasty food, there are two factors that make the experience pleasurable.
First, there is the sensation of eating the food. This includes what it tastes like (salty, sweet, umami, etc.), what it smells like, and how it feels in your mouth. This last quality— known as “orosensation”—can be particularly important. Food companies will spend millions of dollars to discover the most satisfying level of crunch in a potato chip. Their scientists will test for the perfect amount of fizzle in a soda. These factors all combine to create the sensation that your brain associates with a particular food or drink.
The second factor is the actual macronutrient makeup of the food—the blend of proteins, fats, and carbohydrates that it contains. In the case of junk food, food manufacturers are looking for a perfect combination of salt, sugar, and fat that excites your brain and gets you coming back for more.
Here’s how they do it…