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.
A curated list of important food and agriculture stories from Chef Jenny Huston
Lessons from a Pay-It-Forward Restaurant: The Importance of Gratitude (Yes!) http://bit.ly/18LWDh0
South Korea: Ground Zero for Food Sovereignty and Community Resilience (Truthout) http://bit.ly/HOLcic
The Economy of Smallness: Making Economic Exchange a Loving Human Interaction (Yes!) http://bit.ly/HiA8KK
Day 1: ‘Hey, What’s The Neighbor Doing To His Lawn?’ Day 60: ‘OMG!!” (Viralnova) http://bit.ly/HIzPcF
Where’s the (grass-fed) beef? Expanding ‘locavore’ products (Smart Planet) http://smrt.io/19qLcj7
Much, much more…
It’s a good question. In recent weeks, salmonella on chicken has officially sickened more than 300 people (the Centers for Disease Control says there are 25 illnesses for every one reported, so maybe 7,500) and hospitalized more than 40 percent of them, in part because antibiotics aren’t working. Industry’s reaction has been predictably disappointing: the chicken from the processors in question — Foster Farms — is still being shipped into the market. Regulators’ responses have been limited: the same chicken in question is still being sold.
Food safety advocates are demanding to know why there has been no recall of Foster Farms chicken. The U.S.D.A.’s Assistant Administrator for F.S.I.S. Field Operations, Daniel Engeljohn, talks about the current state of the inquiry.
Until the Food Safety and Inspection Service (F.S.I.S.) of the Department of Agriculture (U.S.D.A.) can get its act together and start assuring us that chicken is safe, I’d be wary.
This is not a shutdown issue, but a “We care more about industry than we do about consumers” issue. Think that’s an exaggeration? Read this..
excepts by Dave Pell
The introduction of antibiotics dealt a serious blow to the bacteria that attacks our bodies. But it wasn’t a deadly one. And different forms of bacteria have spent the last few decades evolving. Some of these “superbugs” are now totally resistant to antibiotics, and they are basically teaching other bacteria how to resist them as well.
Bacteria have been training at this for a long, long time. I think when a lot of people took antibiotics in the ’50s and ’60s, there was a lot of talk then about “miracle drugs” and “wonder drugs” … Had we basically pushed back those evolutionary forces? Had we essentially found a way to avoid infectious disease? Well, what we’re seeing is this evolutionary process in bacteria. It’s relentless, and what happened here was [that] bacteria learned to basically teach each other to swap these enzymes and help each other learn how to beat back our best antibiotics; our last-resort antibiotics didn’t work…
70-80 percent of all antibiotics produced — certainly more than half, at a minimum — are in fact used in farm animals to get them to market quicker and bigger. As it also turns out, this continual, low-level use is a perfect way to breed resistant strains, which can then find their way into humans.
Here’s a great overview of the problem from Fresh Air’s Terry Gross and journalist David Hoffman: Antibiotics Can’t Keep Up With Nightmare Superbugs. “In the period before World War II … people that got infections, they had to cut it out. They had to cut off limbs, cut off toes, because there weren’t antibiotics. And oftentimes, when people talk about the fact that we might have to go back to a pre-antibiotic age, that’s what they mean — that a simple scrape on the playground could be fatal.”