Articles of Interest

Disintegrating Animal Advertising – This WWF Desertification Campaign Pictures Creatures Crumbling (GALLERY)

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A very effective visual by WWF to draw attention to the impact of climate change on species. http://www.trendhunter.com/trends/wwf-desertification-campaign#!/photos/134019/1

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News21 food safety series available as e-book – ASU News

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  Interesting analysis of the gaps in food safety in the food system. http://asunews.asu.edu/20111201_food_ebook

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Organic Grain Production Results in Reduced Greenhouse Gas Emissions

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This is a USDA study that shows organic production is the only farming system studied that resulted in net greenhouse gas reductions, all the rest resulted in net increases in greenhouse gases. The studies were conducted at the USDA’s Sustainable Agricultural Systems Lab in Beltsville, Maryland....

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“Organic fish farm” proposed for Inis Oírr – The Irish Times

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      Can you say organic and fish farm in the same sentence? This is an example where defining organic in terms of the absence of a set certain compounds rather than the presence of a set of principles has led us astray. I put it in the same category as organic high fructose corn syrup. As a society we have diminished the biomass in the oceans by over 90% in the last century. If we still had buffalo roaming the prairies would we prefer to eat organic farmed buffalo? But the question becomes, how do we allow ocean life to recover? Can that happen while we continue to harvest...

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American Botanical Council Publishes a History of Adulteration

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  Looks like the article referenced in this press release would be an interesting read. Apparently, we’re not the first in history to have to battle against food fraud. http://www.marketwatch.com/story/american-botanical-council-publishes-a-history-of-adulteration-2011-11-30

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Trucking trouble | NOW Magazine

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Interesting take on how many trips it takes to put the food on your table. Their answer is 13. Starts with the trip the fertilizer takes from the mine/plant to the farmer and ends with you going to the hospital because of food-related chronic illness. I can confidently say that we eliminate 10 of those trips. Local might be closer than you think. Especially if you are focussed on buying real food rather than processed. http://www.nowtoronto.com/news/story.cfm?content=184136

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I WONDER® if this bread is healthy?

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I can’t believe they could write this press release with a straight face. WONDER® bread being branded as wholesome and natural? I always thought the name was derived from “I wonder what’s in it” and “I wonder if anyone is satiated by this stuff”. http://www.sacbee.com/2011/11/30/4090539/canadian-attitudes-toward-food.html

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Can Danilo Atilano Feed the World? | Earth Island Institute

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An interesting and hopeful article about the adoption of organic rice growing methods in the Philippines.  http://www.earthisland.org/journal/index.php/eij/article/can_danilo_atilano_feed_the_world

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What’s the Brix level of your carrot? – Food – Macleans.ca

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  Brix is a well known concept within organic circles, not just for measuring the quality of carrots but also alfalfa, field corn as it grows, any crop as it is growing.  Folksy article that pays tribute to one of the pioneers in organic ag in Ontario: David Cohlmeyer. http://www2.macleans.ca/2011/11/30/what’s-the-brix-level-of-your-carrot/

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The Flavorists: Tweaking tastes and creating cravings – CBS News

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Interesting 60 Minutes segment on the flavouring industry and how they deliberately strive to use flavour to increase consumption.  Not just because you like the flavour, but because you crave it.  I promise we will never hire Givaudan to make our products any more addictive – we let Mother Nature do it for...

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The New American Food Swap – Utne Reader

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Interesting article on people gathering for food swaps. Features the Food Swap Network website.  http://www.utne.com/The-Sweet-Pursuit/Food-Swap-Network-Food-Sharing.aspx?newsletter=1&utm_content=11.30.11 Mind and Body&utm_campaign=UTR_ENEWS&utm_source=iPost&utm_medium=email

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Obese Third Grader Taken From Mom, Placed in Foster Care – ABC News

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  This is a dilemma with no easy solution. Even if you focus on just the weight issue, is it more likely that a child will lose weight in a foster home or his/her natural home? Obviously, the natural home is where the child has gained the weight in the first place. However I don’t accept ipso facto that foster care is more likely to succeed in helping the child lose weight. I do know that ripping a child from a loving home will cause irreparable psychological damage. The article doesn’t mention any attempts by the state agency to assist the family with the child in place. It...

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The Hindu:Organic rice cultivation transforming lives of Damoh farmers

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    Encouraging article about the combination of traditional knowledge and scientific observation to improve the yields and lives of peasant farmers.  The piece of sustainability that is more challenging to meet with high input agriculture is consistently generating sufficient cash to replace the cash that flows out of a community to pay for the inputs. In the US and Canada, the government underwrites the downside risk through generous crop insurance and income stabilization programs. It makes banks more confident in lending the large working capital requirements. However, without...

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Sowing the Seeds of Food Security – NYTimes.com

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Interesting article about school gardens in impoverished neighbourhoods in South Africa http://www.nytimes.com/2011/11/28/business/global/28iht-RBOG-CAPE28.html?_r=1

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Nod for laxative chemical to be used in winemaking | The Australian

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Are the crystals and cloudiness really that bad?  http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/health-science/nod-for-laxative-chemical-to-be-used-in-winemaking/story-e6frg8y6-1226207515551

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Global milk war ramps up as citizens face off with regulators

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Interesting summary of the state of the raw milk discussion in Canada and the US. Makes the point that Canada and 12 US states are alone in banning raw milk. I’ve known for a while that the Queen has raw milk at breakfast every morning. Article adds the additional anecdote that she had it delivered from the Royal herd to her grandsons daily while they were in college. Saw raw milk for sale when we were in France 2 years ago....

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Hightower: Be a food rebel -serve earth dinner with focus on stories of what you eat | Lubbock Online | Lubbock Avalanche-Journal

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Never thought of myself as a rebel but this columnist from Lubbock Texas makes a good case for thinking of small organic farms and retailers as rebels.  http://lubbockonline.com/editorial-columnists/2011-11-26/hightower-be-food-rebel-serve-earth-dinner-focus-stories-what-you#.TtLCF2Mk6dA

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112 Studies on the Safety of Aspartame – Euro Food Safety Agency

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The European Union is reviewing the safety of Aspartame or NutriSweet or AminoSweet or whatever they’re calling it these days. As part of the process the EFSA has released 112 studies that were part of the original safety review in the 1980s. There’s data that goes both ways. Have fun reading. At least you won’t have to sort through the hyperbolic claims of the for and against sides. http://www.efsa.europa.eu/en/dataclosed/call/110601.htm

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China sentences 113 people, over tainted pork – The Washington Post

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  Do you think sentences like these would get the USDA’s attention? http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/asia-pacific/china-sentences-113-government-workers-pig-farmers-over-pork-tainted-with-fat-burning-drug/2011/11/25/gIQAnSmaxN_story.html

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Chinese authorities criticised over lax food safety regulation

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Just in case you needed another reason to avoid food from China. http://www.vancouversun.com/health/Chinese authorities criticised over food safety regulation/5768681/story.html

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