Articles of Interest

NASA Animation of Temperature Increase since 1880.

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It’s getting warmer!!! This is an excellent animation showing the changes in temperature over the last 140 years. I know there’s still a few Cleopatra’s (Queen of De Nile) out there. If your head is firmly stuck in the sand, don’t bother pulling it out for this, it might require you to think. http://www.nasa.gov/topics/earth/features/2011-temps.html

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100 Days on a Budget « 100 Days of Real Food

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Here’s the blog of a woman who bought real food for 100 days with a budget equivalent to what food stamps would give her. It’s an interesting read on how she changed some of her shopping habits and their diet. Surprisingly, she still had fresh local milk delivered to her door, shopped at farmer’s markets and from a local health food store. It CAN be done IF you put your mind to it. http://www.100daysofrealfood.com/category/100-days-of-real-food-on-a-budget/

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The System of Rice Intensification

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SRI is the system of rice intensification that uses changes in cultural methods to produce more rice with less irrigation water, less synthetic fertilizers and less rice seed. It was developed by observing Malagasy rice growers and has been systematized and successfully implemented in 28 rice growing countries. The system out yields existing systems by 50% to 100% http://sri.ciifad.cornell.edu/

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PLoS ONE: Multiple Routes of Pesticide Exposure for Honey Bees Living Near Agricultural Fields

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This is the abstract from a peer reviewed journal article that draws a strong connection between neonicotinoid insecticides and colony collapse disorder. This piece of research is the best I’ve seen in terms of direct evidence and plausible cause and effect. The question becomes how much evidence the USDA needs before putting a moratorium on the use of this class of insecticides? Populations of honey bees and other pollinators have declined worldwide in recent years. A variety of stressors have been implicated as potential causes, including agricultural pesticides. Neonicotinoid...

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Best demonstration of the results from our soil philosophy

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These two youtube videos demonstrate as clearly as I’ve ever seen the impact of moving to minimal soil disturbance. It’s why we were heading to no-till before our switch to organic. It’s why we eliminated soybeans from our organic rotation. It is why we are now almost 100% permanent pasture and hay. I have an entire chapter in my book on damage to soils but no words can describe what these two videos will so clearly show.  Ray Archuleta is an excellent communicator and knowledgeable soil scientist.    ...

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The 10 most impressive farm-to-school programs | MNN – Mother Nature Network

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Here’s an inspiring collection of people successfully getting fresh local food into schools. http://www.mnn.com/food/healthy-eating/stories/the-10-most-impressive-farm-to-school-programs

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Enforcement Hammer Falls on Giant Arizona Organic Factory Farm Dairy

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Enforcement Hammer Falls on Giant Arizona Organic Factory Farm Dairy

It’s about time. The original complaint against this dairy farm was filed while Bush was still in the White House. I don’t understand how they were certified in the first place. And why would someone build a water consuming dairy farm in the middle of a desert? Enforcement Hammer Falls on Giant Arizona Organic Factory Farm Dairy. Is this what you picture when you think of an organic dairy farm?  ...

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Uni-President sues Yu Shen for NT$145 mil. over plasticizers in food – The China Post

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Another example of toxic materials in Chinese food. The criminal activity went undetected for years according to the article. http://www.chinapost.com.tw/taiwan/national/national-news/2011/12/16/326067/Uni-President-sues.htm

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Record DOJ fraud recoveries underscore need for robust corporate compliance programs

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Included in the recoveries was a $15 civil suit around a case of food fraud. The case involved buying expired or soon-to-be-expired food at a discount, altering the labels and then reselling.   http://newsandinsight.thomsonreuters.com/Legal/Insight/2011/12_-_December/Record_DOJ_fraud_recoveries_underscore_need_for_robust_corporate_compliance_programs/

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GMOs in Organic Baby Food Clarification

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There was a flurry of internet activity around a petition to NOSB (the NAtional ORganic Standards Board) to approve DHA for use in organic food. It’s true that NOSB did receive a petitition. However, that’s where the truth ends. The petition was not for DHA derived from GMO bacteria and it was not extracted using hexane solvents. The DHA approved by the NOSB isn’t even used in baby food. Once again, a little truth and a whole lot of fiction made for a great...

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Selling ‘bangus’ the way it’s supposed to be grown | Inquirer Business

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This is an interesting article. I’ve never been convinced that there should be an organic standard for ocean fish farms. Although we may have sufficiently buggered up the ocean ecosystem that farmed fish is all we’re left with. This type of pond system looks a little more acceptable to me. A significant portion of the fish’s food is grown in the pond prior to releasing the fingerlings. Sounds like a parallel ti pasture raising....

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Organic producers may someday burn, blast weeds – Tri State Neighbor: Crop: organic ag, burn weeds, blast weeds,

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Interesting article on alternative weed control methods for organic growers. We used a flamer for a couple of seasons. It works, I just have trouble burning that much fossil fuel to keep weeds under control. We changed our crop mix and rotation instead. The walnut hulls looks a little more promising. It doesn’t pump as much fossil carbon into the atmosphere and there are no combustion products....

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Organic or Just Plain Junk? – Swampscott, MA Patch

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When you are eating at organic cheese doodles, you’re missing the point.  There’s a question asked in the article about what chemicals are used to prevent the prepared apple slices from browning. The answer is ascorbic acid – better known by its common name – Vitamin C. http://swampscott.patch.com/articles/organic-or-just-plain-junk

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Caution Urged with Nanoparticles in Food

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Reasonably balanced discussion of the potential concerns with nano particles in food and in food packaging. http://www.foodsafetynews.com/2011/12/caution-urged-with-nanoparticles-in-food/

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VITA-SPELT® Organic Spelt Products Win KID KRITICS Approved Seal

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Congratulations to one of our long time spelt customers on winning several awards. http://www.prweb.com/releases/2011/12/prweb8999554.htm

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Organic decisions : NOSB allowing the gradual erosion of the standards?

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A look at the decisions the US NOSB – National Organic Standards Board made last week at their semi-annual meeting. Big Ag is slowly figuring out how to water down the standards. http://www.connectsavannah.com/news/article/105360/

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foodconsumer.org – Why is This Soda’s Evil Twin?

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A well written article that points out the reason I laugh when I hear about most debates to ban soft drinks in schools and often replace them with this stuff. http://www.foodconsumer.org/newsite/Nutrition/Food/soda_1206111123.html

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Business grows home farms | TBO.com

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This is the ultimate in local food – your back yard. Maybe I run in too much of a foodie crowd but it seems like I’m hearing more and more about this topic.  http://www2.tbo.com/news/news/2011/dec/07/pwnewso1-backyard-farms-ar-331252/

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Climate change and food safety: from algal blooms to proactive surveillance | Global Health Hub

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Several more reasons why we need to be focused on reducing climate change. http://www.globalhealthhub.org/2011/12/03/climateandfood/

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Endocrine Disruption: The pesticide impact that Big Ag hopes you never find out about

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I think one of my next Compost Piles will have to centre on endocrine disruption. There has been credible science pointing to low dose endocrine effects from man made chemicals for over 15 years and yet we haven’t forced testing of even the heavily regulated pesticides. The two most commonly used herbicides in North America – atrazine and glyphosate (Roundup) are both suspected endocrine disruptors. Documented endocrine disruption impacts include premature birth, developmental delays, breast cancer, reproductive problems, low sperm counts and many more. Here is a website that...

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