Humanity’s heating of planet is planting seeds of hunger: Report

oxfam_lg2

Ahead of IPCC report on global warming, Oxfam warns of dangerous spiral of poverty and food scarcity It is nearly a cliché to declare that the failure of the world's governments to respond to the repeated warnings by scientists and environmentalists about the perils of climate change is a crime against future generations. However, as a new study released Monday by Oxfam International proves, … [Read more...]

More reasons to avoid industrial meat

Monsanto protest image

Are you demanding locally-raised, pasture-fed meats? Do you protect yourself and your family by eating animals raised in a non-industrial environment that doesn’t depend upon the constant administration of low levels of antibiotics? If you do, you’ll be relieved that you do after you read this article. If you don’t, I’m about to give you a lot to think about. This little piggie went to market … [Read more...]

Sustainable farming mania is frustrating me

farm display

I'm certainly no farmer. I work at a computer all day. So it's odd that the books that get me most jazzed up these days are not about the big problems of the day -- the economy or politics or climate and energy. They're about farming. For me, that's a real about face. I used to revel in the skulduggery of the Koch Brothers and scorn the subtleties of heirloom tomatoes. But now I can't get … [Read more...]

USDA: Rural population needed not for farming but for cannon fodder

US Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack

Joel Salatin recently posted this piece on the Polyface Farms Facebook page and we repost it here with Joel's permission. -- Ed. Why do we need more farmers? What is the driving force behind U.S. Department of Agriculture policy? In an infuriating epiphany I have yet to metabolize, I found out last Wednesday in a private policy-generation meeting with Virginia Democratic gubernatorial … [Read more...]

Faith communities, foodsheds and the future

Holy Nativity Garden

You shall eat in plenty and be satisfied, and praise the name of the Lord your God, who has dealt wondrously with you. -- Joel 2:26 We are the transformers of Earth. Our whole being, and the flights and falls of our love, enable us to undertake this task. -- Rainer Maria Rilke For the past six years I have been writing profusely about the challenges the earth community is encountering in the … [Read more...]

Is it organic?

USDA organic sign

  Making healthy food choices is important. But, sometimes it’s really tough to be sure that you are getting what you intended to get. Let’s say, for example, that you have made a decision to eat primarily organic foods. Well, how do you know it’s organic? The obvious answer is that it is labeled by the USDA, whose National Organic Program regulates the standards for any farm, wild crop … [Read more...]

For health, smarts and resilience, drink your beer

beer inforgraphic cropped

Anybody interested in buying more food from local farmers and learning how to cook and preserve it at home knows that taking control of what goes in your mouth is a powerful way to get healthier. But if you're trying to eat more organic kale, more free-range eggs and more pastured beef, you may also be trying to cut back on booze to stiffen up that beer belly or shrink those love … [Read more...]

100 days of real food

Lisa Leake's breakfast for her guests included whole-wheat crepes, "Ranier" cherries, blueberries, raspberries, and melon. Photo: 100 Days of Real Food

I can't help but be impressed and inspired by the family behind the 100 Days of Real Food blog. After considering the extent to which our country (and to a lesser but still appreciable extent the rest of the world) is dependent on highly processed food, Lisa and Jason Leake, along with their then 3 and 5-year old daughters, vowed to go 100 days without those processed foods, eating "real food" … [Read more...]

Yes, you can brew kombucha

Kombucha brewing

I live a pretty spartan existence. Our family doesn't live high on the hog, always out shopping or dining at the most expensive places. We don't vacation much, and when we do, it's all about going local — Virginia inns, wineries, and natural and historic sites. Basically, I'm pretty frugal, do many things DIY style, and otherwise am so into conservation that I don't want to buy much … [Read more...]

A GMO is a GMO is a GMO

Image: David Dees Illustration.

Quick: name the one issue about which Democrats, Republicans and even Independents all agree.  No, not alpaca farms. Yes, I know everyone would like to have one, and yes, baby alpacas are cuter than the dickens.  Try again. What’s that? Everybody agrees  genetically modified organisms (GMOs) that food processing companies put on our kitchen tables should be labeled? Is that your answer? Well, … [Read more...]