Posted by & filed under GMOs, Health & Disease.

Last night I watched ‘Genetic Roulette’ online (trailer above). You can watch it for a paltry US$2.99 — or, better yet, add a little more as a donation, and you’ll help to get this important information much further, by subsidising its translation into many other languages, so people worldwide can learn of the dangers inherent in genetically engineering our food.

I won’t spoil your viewing experience by telling you too much, but you’ll learn about how the FDA ignored repeated warnings by their own scientists of the dangers of allowing these organisms into the food chain, and you’ll hear doctors and scientists explaining how they are linked to a massive rise in health issues — this rise beginning at the same time as their release. You’ll learn about issues farmers have faced worldwide, with their GMO-fed livestock going sterile and suffering a myriad otherwise inexplicable problems, and which ‘miraculously’ vanished after reverting to a non-GMO diet. You’ll meet scientists who have dared to stand up to Monsanto, and who have been fired for it, and you’ll learn how our Monsanto-financed universities are becoming academic puppets for BigBiotech.

This is a must-watch documentary which should serve to infuriate viewers into tossing GMOs out of their kitchens and shopping trolleys, with the huge potential for this to translate to lost market share for supermarket chains who will feel the pressure to also boycott these ‘products’. If we can get as little as five percent of the US population avoiding GMOs, then we could see the beginning of the end for this industry — an industry which, to me, is the ultimate representation of capitalism run amuck (and along the lines of ‘industries’ like Academi, formerly known as Blackwater, and Xe Industries).

Watch Genetic Roulette Now!

Posted by & filed under Consumerism, Economics, Food Shortages, Peak Oil, Society.

by Dr Samuel Alexander, co-director of the Simplicity Institute and a lecturer with the Office for Environmental Programs, University of Melbourne.

One of many ‘Hoovervilles’ during the Great Depression

1. Introduction

How would the ordinary middle-class consumer – I should say middle-class citizen – deal with a lifestyle of radical simplicity? By radical simplicity I essentially mean a very low but biophysically sufficient material standard of living, a form of life that will be described in more detail below. In this essay I want to suggest that radical simplicity would not be as bad as it might first seem, provided we were ready for it and wisely negotiated its arrival, both as individuals and as communities. Indeed, I am tempted to suggest that radical simplicity is exactly what consumer cultures need to shake themselves awake from their comfortable slumber; that radical simplicity would be in our own, immediate, self-interests. In this essay, however, I will only defend the more modest thesis that radical simplicity simply would not be that bad. Establishing that thesis should be challenging enough.

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Posted by & filed under Biofuels, Food Shortages, Global Warming/Climate Change, Soil Erosion & Contamination, Water Contaminaton & Loss.

Editor’s Note: It’s a pity this article is devoid of real holistic solutions, but I put it up as the data is important to know and appreciate.

by Lester R. Brown, Earth Policy Institute

“The U.S. Great Drought of 2012 has raised corn prices to the highest level in history. The world price of food, which has already doubled over the last decade, is slated to climb higher, ushering in a new wave of food unrest,” says Lester R. Brown, author of Full Planet, Empty Plates: The New Geopolitics of Food Scarcity (W.W. Norton & Company).

“This year’s corn crop shortfall will accelerate the transition from the era of abundance and surpluses to an era of chronic scarcity,” notes Brown, President of the Earth Policy Institute, a Washington, D.C.-based environmental research organization. “As food prices climb, the worldwide competition for control of land and water resources is intensifying.

“In this new world, access to food is replacing access to oil as an overriding concern of governments. Food is the new oil, land is the new gold. Welcome to the new geopolitics of food.”

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Posted by & filed under Courses/Workshops.

Food forest designed by Doug Gosling of OAEC, featuring loquat, pineapple
guava, tree collards, passionfruit, and more. Note coquito palm in background.

What: Designing Edible Food Forests Course
Where: Occidental Arts and Ecology Center, Occidental CA
When: Nov 2 – 4, 2012
Who: Eric Toensmeier and Brock Dolman

Cost: $495, or $445 if registered three weeks in advance (includes meals and lodging). The deposit amount for this course is $100. For registration information, click here.

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Posted by & filed under Land, Plant Systems.

The Annual Toronto Balconies Bloom competition — the 2012 Edible Garden Container Photo Contest — ends on September 30, 2012. This year, I’m a guest judge — a kind of armchair judge.

by Cecilia Macaulay

If you have a lovely photo to inspire the gardeners of Canada with, send it in to their website. You might even win a prize. But if you live too far away, they will just keep it till you visit. The real prize of course is having a beautiful balcony garden bless your life daily.

Below is my interview with Fern, the grand balcony master.

Fern: What inspired your passion for growing edibles in pots?

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Posted by & filed under Commercial Farm Projects, Demonstration Sites, Economics, Ethical Investment, Village Development.

by Warren Brush of Quail Springs Permaculture

Regenerative Earth Farms panorama

In early September 2012, Regenerative Earth Farms, a family inspired and held endeavor, was born with the close of escrow of its first farm investment as part of a strategy to help people convert their economic capital into regenerative natural capital and soil building efforts that contribute to community food resiliency, and social and ecological stability. Our first farm is ideally situated 2.5 miles from the Pacific Ocean near Santa Barbara, California and is in a unique sub-tropical/Mediterranean micro-climate for optimal growing. It is also near to an ideal consumer constituency to market the type of farm produce, added-value products and services from the farm’s multi-enterprises. How did this come about you might be asking yourself?

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Posted by & filed under Insects, Soil Conservation, Soil Erosion & Contamination, Soil Rehabilitation.

It came to my attention recently that a lot of people do not understand the importance of healthy soil. This article attempts to explain the importance of soil health for plants and people.

People are very concerned about pests and disease in their garden — slugs, caterpillars, moths and numerous other critters that seem to make a scrumptious meal out of the fruits and vegetables so lovingly tended in back yards; molds and fungus that inexplicably appear on otherwise healthy looking plants.

What we have to understand is that pests and disease are symptoms. Just as a sore on your skin is only a symptom of a deeper, underlying issue, pests and disease are signs of unhealthy plants — the plant’s natural ‘immune system’ is unable to fight them off. So if we look at things holistically, as we do when approaching disease in our own bodies with natural medicine, we have to look at the cause. Squashing or spraying bugs is ultimately only a band aid solution.

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Posted by & filed under Biodiversity, Food Shortages, GMOs.

The evidence favors ecological approaches

New Delhi, September 24 2012: World renowned scientists, addressing a media briefing here, asserted that India’s lack of food and nutrition security is not just a technological problem. However, the solution will require both social and technological changes, they said. The scientists recommended a holistic paradigm emphasizing ecological farming, supported by conventional breeding to make optimum use of local knowledge and natural resources.

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Posted by & filed under GMOs, Health & Disease.

by Safe Food Foundation

Expert scientists warn that genetically modified wheat may cause Glycogen Storage Disease IV, resulting in an enlarged liver, cirrhosis of the liver, and failure to thrive. Children born with this disease usually die at about the age of five.

Australia is on track to be the first country in the world to grow GM wheat commercially, and to test this in human feeding trials.

Today in Melbourne molecular biologist and risk assessment researcher Professor Jack Heinemann of the University of Canterbury, NZ, and Associate Professor Judy Carman, a biochemist at Flinders University, will release expert scientific opinions on the safety of CSIRO’s GM wheat. These opinions have been reviewed by Dr Michael Antoniou, reader in molecular genetics at King’s College, London.

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