Charlottesville, Virginia, where the philosopher king and queen of the movement, Michael Pollan and Barbara Kingsolver, have devoted much time. Pollan, author of the locavore’s bible, The Omnivore’s Dilemma, dedicated much of his book to Polyface Farm, a small, organic farm just outside Charlottesville, Virginia. Kingsolver’s best-selling memoir Animal, Vegetable, Miracle detailed her family’s yearlong quest to eat only locally produced food from rural Virginia. -Forbes Magazine 6/01/2011
Tom Yum is a community food festival based in Downtown Charlottesville and celebrating local food innovators at the Charlottesville City Market. On Saturday, April 13th, come meet the farmers, chefs, artisans, and pioneers in sustainable food and see what all the fuss is about.
Play with your food. Learn about your food. And eat your food. It’s a day of hands-on workshops, food talks, culinary demos, and tastings. Try your hand at market-scene sketching and games. Revel in the sights and sounds of live bluegrass and classical music in a parking lot transformed into a pop-up park.
Grab your groceries at the market, participate in the arts and music at Tom Yum, and stick around for the Food Talks. This event is totally free and designed for the whole family. Bring an appetite, a sketchbook, and plan to stay a while.
Your Health is in Your Hands
Hungry For Change exposes shocking secrets the diet, weight loss and food industry don’t want you to know about. It features interviews with best selling health authors and leading medical experts (including 4 Food Revolution Summit speakers) plus real life transformational stories from those who know what it’s like to be sick and overweight.
More than 500,000 people are expected to watch this film in the next week, all for f*ree.
This Hungry For Change complimentary screening event includes the Full Length Film, Detox Recipes, Take Action Videos, and a Live Q&A call that will empower you to take action for health and wellness.
The event starts tomorrow.
The sun is shining and the soil is beginning to warm up, so now’s the time to order seeds and plant lettuce seedlings. We’re just a month away from planting potatoes, spinach, lettuce and peas!
If you need more sunshine or more land, think of joining the gardeners at the Mayo Yowell Community Garden – we’re taking requests now for plots in Madison, Virginia’s only community garden..
Carty Yowell has been getting the soil ready and will do the last prep before mid-March. Drive by and see those plots just waiting for someone to use them! The garden is on the east side of Route 29, between Shelby and Gibbs Roads (just south of Lam’s Furniture).
Roscoe Barnes is returning as the on-site coordinator this year, which is great news. Roscoe did a terrific job last year of keeping in touch with gardeners and keeping the perimeter of the garden under control!
This year we have good news – we have received a grant from the Piedmont Environmental Council to help us promote and maintain the garden. We are hoping to stretch the PEC dollars by seeking donations of key equipment and supplies as well. If you have a working wheelbarrow to donate or manure you can deliver, please let me know!
Our community garden kick-off is scheduled for 2 pm, Sunday, March 24. James Barnes of the PEC will demonstrate how you can build suitable housing for birds that need a boost in Madison County – bluebirds, wood duck, kestrals, screech owls, barn owls, and bats. If you want to be a good bird landlord but don’t want to build your own housing, James can take orders for pre-made housing.
Please spread the word about signing up for plots in the community garden and about our Community Garden Kick-off at 2 pm March 24.
See you at the garden!
Right now President Obama and bureaucrats at the Food and Drug Administration are preparing to unleash genetically engineered salmon on the market. After years of controversial regulatory review, this past week the Obama administration cleared a final hurdle for AquaBounty’s GMO salmon to be approved at any moment.On Friday, December 21st, 2012, FDA bureaucrats declared that AquaBounty’s GMO AquaAdvantage® salmon poses no “significant” risk to the environment. This recent FDA decision comes on top of the agency’s 2010 declaration that the GMO salmon were safe for humans to eat, despite no independent long-term studies. Once again, the FDA is putting corporate science over public health.
If approved, AquaBounty’s GMO salmon would be the first genetically engineered animal to be sold for human consumption and could appear in restaurants and grocery stores as early 2013.
Right now there is an open 60-day public comment period at the FDA before any approval can move forward and we need your help today to get as many comments as possible.
Already biotech cheerleaders are hailing the FDA’s recent announcement as a first of many new approvals to come, which means that more genetically engineered, transgenic animals could be approved in the near future.
In case you haven’t heard, the AquaBounty GMO salmon has been genetically engineered in laboratories to allegedly grow twice as fast as wild salmon, which the Massachusetts-based company hopes its patented mutant fish will replace as a new staple at sushi bars, seafood restaurants and supermarkets across America.
Straight from the pages of a science fiction novel, AquaBounty has inserted the genes of a Chinook salmon growth hormone and an “on-off” switch from the eelpout, into the eggs of Atlantic salmon, to make the GMO salmon grow faster than wild or farmed salmon.
Despite the company’s claims, critics remain skeptical that genetically engineered fish has any real benefits.
Once Again the FDA Ignores Serious Risks and Environmental Concerns
While AquaBounty claims its GMO salmon will only be raised in indoor, land-based facilities, environmentalists have real concerns if any accident were to take place. Scientific studies show that the release of just 60 GMO salmon could eradicate wild Atlantic salmon populations of 60,000 fish in less than 40 fish generations.
In an effort to overcome this, AquaBounty has built egg production facilities on Prince Edward Island in Canada and will then ship them to an indoor facility in Panama where they will be grown out. Once the GMO salmon are grown to maturity, they will be sold unlabeled in U.S. markets, if the Obama administration gets its way.
It is due to AquaBounty’s promise to only raise the GMO salmon in indoor, land-based pens that the Obama FDA has now given the mutant fish a thumbs up with its recently published Environmental Assessment (EA), claiming that the GMO salmon poses “no significant impact” on the environment.
In addition to land-based pens, AquaBounty claims it will only raise “sterile females”, but this is factually false since tests show that up to 5% of the GMO salmon are able to reproduce.
At the same time, leaked internal emails from the U.S. Department of Interior’s Fish & Wildlife Service (FWS) reveal that the governments own scientists are dubious about the FDA’s own assessment.
In an email to a coworker, FWS geneticist Denise Hawkins wrote in 2010:
“I also agree … that using [genetically sterile] fish is not foolproof. Maybe [the FDA] should watch Jurassic Park.”
In addition, Hawkins criticized the FDA’s fantastical assessment of the ability of these GMO salmon to survive outside of the intended indoor pens, saying, “There is no data to support the claims of low survival in the event of escape, which… is a big concern.”
How will GMO salmon impact human health?
Because no independent, long-term scientific studies of AquaBounty’s patented salmon have been conducted, the human health impacts of GMO salmon are not currently known. Shockingly, the FDA is relying on scant scientific documents provided by AquaBounty itself. In fact, the FDA’s own assessment AquaBounty’s studies to determine whether GMO salmon are safe for human consumption states that the studies contain “technical flaws” and provide “insufficient data”.
For two of the studies submitted, AquaBounty used sample sizes so small that they have no scientific credibility, with only 12 fish tested for one study, while another study on possible allergic reactions in humans involved only 6 fish! Despite this scant evidence, the FDA is currently on the verge of approving the company’s GMO salmon.
Serious questions remain about eating fish engineered to grow faster and how genetically manipulated traits can impact human health, especially that of our most vulnerable populations such as pregnant mothers and children.
Please share this alert with friends you know who may be concerned, we need all the comments we can get and every voice counts!
Thanks for participating in food democracy,
Dave, Lisa and the Food Democracy Now! team
1. “White House Reverses Itself, Lifts Political Block on FDA Approval of GMO Salmon”, Forbes, 12/21/2012
2. “Genetically Engineered Salmon: Environmental Documents, AquAdvantage Salmon Preliminary Finding of No Significant Impact” Food and Drug Administration (FDA), FDA.gov
3. “GE Animals Regulated Under New Animal Drug Provisions”, FDA.gov website, FDA Releases Final Guidance on Genetically Engineered Animals, January 15, 2009.
4. “Aqua Bounty Biotech Salmon OK to Eat-FDA Staff,” Reuters, September 3, 2010.
5. “Modified Salmon is Safe, FDA Says”, The New York Times, September 3, 2010
6. “Mutant Salmon Coming to a Kitchen Table Near You”, Fast Company, July 12, 2010
On December 21, 2012, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) released an Environmental Assessment (EA) with a “Finding of No Significant Impact” on the controversial AquaBounty AquaAdvantage transgenic salmon. The FDA action is widely viewed as confirmation that the Obama Administration is prepared to approve shortly the first genetically engineered (GE) animal intended for human consumption in the face of widespread opposition.
FDA says escape is unlikely and that the fish pose “no impact” to the environment. But each year millions of farmed salmon escape, out-competing wild populations for resources and straining ecosystems. Any approval of GE salmon would represent a serious threat to the survival of native salmon populations, many of which have already suffered severe declines related to salmon farms and other man-made impacts. Additionally, the human health impacts of eating GE fish, which would be the first-ever GE food animal, are entirely unknown.
Sign the petition to tell the Food and Drug Administration not to approve GE salmon AND, if the Obama Administration insists on approving these genetically engineered fish, it should require the fish to be labeled!
The public has only 60 days to comment on this misguided and dangerous action..
Seeds of Freedom seeks to challenge the mantra that large-scale, industrial agriculture is the only means by which we can feed the world, promoted by the pro-GM lobby. In tracking the story of seed it becomes clear how corporate agenda has driven the take over of seed in order to make vast profit and control of the food global system.
Through interviews with leading international experts such as Dr Vandana Shiva and Henk Hobbelink, and through the voices of a number of African farmers, the film highlights how the loss of indigenous seed goes hand in hand with loss of biodiversity and related knowledge; the loss of cultural traditions and practices; the loss of livelihoods; and the loss of food sovereignty. The pressure is growing to replace the diverse, nutritional, locally adapted and resilient seed crops which have been bred by small-scale farmers for millenia, by monocultures of GM seed.
The story of seed has become one of loss, control, dependence and debt. It’s been written by those who want to make vast profit from our food system, no matter what the true cost. It’s time to change the story. http://seedsoffreedom.info/
“If we don’t radically transform the direction of the global food system we will never feed the billion who are hungry, nor will we be able to feed ourselves in the future.”