GMO Salmon = A Very Bad Idea

There are MANY reasons why allowing GMO salmon would be a bad idea including:

  1. It’s GMO !!!
  2. It would put the wild fish population at risk

Here are some resources/links to help you form your own opinion:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2012/dec/17/scottish-salmon-fishing

http://www.oceanconservancy.org/our-work/aquaculture/aquaculture-genetically.html

http://deptwildsalmon.org/resources/literature/aquaculture/

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1257546/

http://alexandramorton.typepad.com/alexandra_morton/

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Slow Money National Gathering: April 29 – 30, 2013

Inspired by the vision of Inquiries into the Nature of Slow Money: Investing As If Food, Farms and Fertility Mattered, published in 2009, the Slow Money Alliance is bringing people together around a new conversation about money that is too fast, about finance that is disconnected from people and place, about how we can begin fixing our economy from the ground up… starting with food.

Slow Money National Gathering 2013

Boulder, Colorado

April 29 – 30, 2013

Join hundreds of food and farming entrepreneurs, food activists and investors from across the country in one of the most important national events in the fast-growing local food revolution, April 29 – 30, 2013.

For more information, see:

http://slowmoney.org/national-gathering/

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Mark the Date: Whole Foods + 2018 + GMO Labeling

Whole Foods, the nation’s largest natural and organic foods retailer, has just announced that by 2018, all products sold in its stores must indicate whether they contain GMOs.

For more information, see:

http://www.rodale.com/whole-foods-and-gmos

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By 2025, two-thirds of China’s citizens will live in cities !!!!

Let’s think about that for a moment.  By 2025, two-thirds of China’s citizens will live in cities.  China has a lot of people.  China had 1,354,040,000 people by December 2012.  Doing some rough math, that means that about 902,700,000 people in China will be living in an urban environment.  To comprehend not only the sheer mass of people, but also the rate of increase, it is important to recognize that at the end of 2011, the mainland of the People’s Republic of China had a total urban population of 691 million or 51.2% of the total population, rising from 26% in 1990 !!!!

This growth will happen.  China is committed to it happening.  To support their governmental policy to rapidly urbanize and to maintain their economic growth trajectory, China has many so called ghost cities with little or no inhabitants.  This is no urban myth but rather a fact documented by the investigative team at 60 Minutes.

Part of their strategy to urbanize is that China is hopeful that it can develop a self-sustaining middle class that will facilitate a domestic economy to the extent that the Chinese economy will become increasingly less dependent on exports.  In other words, they will not have to produce so much for the USA and the rest of the world and produce proportionately more for themselves.  They see this as important for many reasons including currency issues (more on that below).

By definition, urban environments are huge consumers of materials (food, water, fiber, fuel) and do not produce much (finished goods, yes, raw materials, NO).

China’s rapid urbanization represents a country policy that is going in the exact opposite direction it should be going in order to take care of itself domestically.

Furthermore, this represents an additional roughly 200 million people that will not be in rural environments working to actually produce the materials and commodities of life needed to support a large population.

Where will China get everything that they need to support all of these people?

Here is a VERY brief sampling to answer that question

China to buy New Zealand farmland

China plants bitter seeds in South American farmland

Chinese firms and Gulf sheiks are snatching up farmland worldwide. Why?

There is a lot more that could be listed and surely a lot more to come.

China’s holdings of US debt in the form of US Treasuries are about $1.2 trillion USD.

China is NOT dumb and they also think long term.  They know that:

  • The USA and other countries are engaged in competitive currency devaluation with the implications being that their $1.2 trillion USD will be worth less between now and 2025 due to currency losing its value.  In contrast, the Chinese currency, the Yuan, has here to date been kept artificially low by the Chinese as a means of improving their export position.  This will change, but only when China is ready for it to change.  When it does change, it will change in a BIG way.
  • Farmland, clean water, and other resources are becoming increasingly scarce with the implication being that there must be a land-grab to obtain resources.  This is especially true with China urbanizing so quickly

China rapid urbanization represents a country policy that is going in the exact opposite direction it should be going in order to take care of itself domestically.  If one were to look at them in isolation, it is easy to conclude it is NOT sustainable.  With the exception of its own investments in farmland and other resources, China will increasingly rely upon imports of food and other commodities.  This is why China is willing to spend so much of its currency reserves (which it knows will be worth less in the future anyway) on farmland.

Get ready for Higher Food Prices and Higher Cost for Farmland

What does this mean for the rest of the world?  Without a doubt, it means higher food prices, likely Much Higher Food Prices !!!

What does that mean for the cost of farmland?  It means much higher prices for farmland.

What does that mean for communities that have farmland?  It means that they MUST preserve that land for farms and farming.  Urbanization is the exact opposite direction that the planet should be moving.

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Monsanto Blocks Research on GMO Safety

Since when is researching “food” considered industrial espionage?  We put food this in quotation marks here because anything GMO should only be considered “food” in the sense that it can be consumed, but the implications of eating are not fully known or understood, yet the mass experiment goes on in the USA.

The governments of other countries actually consider food safety, or perhaps better-stated, the safety of their citizens, above the rights of a corporation.  However, the USA is also the same government that considers a corporation to have the same rights when it comes to voting so this should not be a surprise.

Getting back to the main point, if researching “food” is tantamount to industrial espionage (much in the same way as if one had taken apart a product and published its inner workings so that one can understand how it behaves, how it interacts with other systems, and its impact on its environment), then there are big problems with humanity, at least in the USA where GMO is allowed to occur.

Meanwhile, Monsanto has promised pain to the EU for their zero tolerance GMO policy.

For more information, see:

http://www.foodnavigator.com/Legislation/Monsanto-threatens-to-sue-EFSA-over-publication-of-maize-GM-data

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Town declares “Food Sovereignty”

Sedgwick, Maine has done what no other town in the United States has done. The town unanimously passed an ordinance giving its citizens the right “to produce, process, sell, purchase, and consume local foods of their choosing.”

For more information, see:

http://www.foodrenegade.com/maine-town-declares-food-sovereignty/

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Research Page and New Research Posting on L-FAN website

We have a new webpage on the L-FAN website:

http://www.localfoodaccessnetwork.org/researchandinformation.html

The purpose of this page is to provide/list primary and secondary research in the local food arena.

Our first report posted is from the Citizens for Local Food (CLF).

Jefferson County Farmer Survey: 2012 Report

This paper provides data and analysis based on a survey of farms and farming in Jefferson County.

More to come !!!

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Rebuilding the Foodshed

This looks like a perfect book for L-FAN:

Droves of people have turned to local food as a way to retreat from our broken industrial food system. From rural outposts to city streets, they are sowing, growing, selling, and eating food produced close to home—and they are crying out for agricultural reform. All this has made “local food” into everything from a movement buzzword to the newest darling of food trendsters.

See more at: http://www.postcarbon.org/book/1441669-rebuilding-the-foodshed

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SEQUIM GIVES BIRTH TO “NOURISH”

By Carrol Hull, L-FAN

A new concept in restaurant dinning, education, and community has come to Sequim.   The parents of this concept, Tanya and Dave, moved to North Olympic Peninsula because of the abundance of high quality, locally produced food and beverages.

They think “ good food, a harmonious balanced lifestyle and an opportunity to serves your community, while doing what we love, are  the ingredients to life contentment.”

NOURISH, physically located at the historic site of Bell Farm and Cedarbrook Herb  and Lavender Farm, will develop a restaurant using locally produced food with an apprenticeship program that will invite young people to a 12 month course where they can learn to grow, cook, serve, and establish themselves in the food industry.  In addition they plan to create a venue for local performing artists, host guest speakers, nutritionists, gardeners and others who share their interest in creating a sustainable life in a beautiful, healthful environment.

At the recent Open House, opened to the entire community, over 80 local citizens gathered to support the creation of NOURISH.  Tanya and Dave asked for suggestions and input from an enthusiastic crowd.  We are looking for an opening this summer.

For more information you can find them on Facebook@Nourish  or email  basilthymes@yahoo.com

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New Era of Food Scarcity Echoes Collapsed Civilizations

The world is in transition from an era of food abundance to one of scarcity. Over the last decade, world grain reserves have fallen by one third. World food prices have more than doubled, triggering a worldwide land rush and ushering in a new geopolitics of food. Food is the new oil. Land is the new gold.

For more, see:

http://www.earth-policy.org/book_bytes/2013/fpepch1

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