Media/News Archive

Pact with Devil? California Farmers Use Oil Firms’ Water

Monday, July 6th, 2015

Agence France-Presse
by Veronique Dupont

An efficient solution to a historic drought, or an environmentally risky pact with the devil?

ChevronoilpumpjacksLostHillsOilFieldSanJoaquinValleyCA RichardMasonerChevron’s Lost Hills Oil Field in the San Joaquin Valley in Central California
Source: Richard Masoner

That’s the question being raised by critics about Californian farmers who irrigate their crops with waste water supplied by oil companies, in an arrangement slammed as dangerous by environmental campaigners.

Driving into the parched region around Bakersfield, in the western US state’s fertile Central Valley, it is evident how closely the agriculture and oil industries are related. Read Full Article »

Tanya Fields is Tackling Racial & Social Injustice with Urban Farming

Monday, July 6th, 2015

Madame Noire
by Rachael Devaney

libertadlogo_final+2For Tanya Fields, urban farming has become the most effective tool to tackle racial, social and economic justice.

Tired of the lack of affordable, healthy food in her South Bronx neighborhood, Tanya Fields, executive director of the BLK Projek, recently built Libertad Urban Farm, a 4,500 square foot farm located at 972 Stentson St., in the Hunts Point section of the Bronx. Before this endeavor, Fields says community members had limited access to healthy, affordable food.

“The grocery stores in our neighborhoods are more like super bodegas and the food quality is poor, and there are not a lot of options as far as healthy foods,” she told us. “To access affordable, quality food, people have to actively travel to wealthier, areas of New York. Any cost savings you would make from going outside the neighborhood is being used up for transportation, not to mention that money is being spent in other areas, when we could be spending it in our own neighborhood. So, from the beginning we identified all these factors that were specific to the Bronx, and we knew we were lacking access to quality, affordable food, but in addition to tackling that problem, we also wanted to create living wage jobs, and catalyze other economic opportunities.” Read Full Article »

Owning A Chicken: Expectations Versus Reality

Friday, July 3rd, 2015

Rodale’s Organic Life
by Doug Clinton

Source: Simon Grubb

Having the freshest eggs on the block can be harder than you think.

1. EXPECTATION: YOU WILL JOIN AN AWESOME COMMUNITY OF ECO-FRIENDLY TRENDSETTERS.

Reality: Your hip new lifestyle choice may be a nuisance to your neighbors. In many communities, neighbors have complained about the noise and smell. In some cases, the disputes have even gone to court.

2. EXPECTATION: YOU WILL HAVE ALL KINDS OF CUTE PETS TO CUDDLE.

Reality: Your have to be careful when you cuddle. You may associate Salmonella with undercooked meat, but it’s a danger in live poultry, too.  Be sure and wash your hands thoroughly after handling your new pets.

3. EXPECTATION: YOUR HOMEMADE CHICKEN COOP WILL BE A WONDER OF ARCHITECTURAL DESIGN.

Reality: Your priority will be keeping your coop clean, not getting it featured in Architectural Digest. Chickens use their coops for eating, sleeping, and yes, pooping. An unhygienic coop can lead to diseases, such as coccidiosis. Read Full Article »

After ‘Swimming in Pesticides’ for 20 Years, One Woman Takes a Stand

Thursday, July 2nd, 2015

HuffPost
by Hilal Isler

Source: Nellie76

At the age of 21, and after just three months of courtship, author Theresa Weir married an apple farmer.

Back then, she “was young and naive,” she says; her notions of living on a farm “idealized.”

“Farm life was nothing like I’d expected it to be,” she wrote in a recent essay, “and I spent the next 20 years swimming in pesticides.”

At age 42, her husband died of cancer.

“Just like his father and grandfather,” Weir writes, “all three of them subjected to years of chemicals used in the orchard.” Read Full Article »

The Real Reason General Mills Will Cut Fake Flavors from Cereals Like Trix and Lucky Charms

Thursday, July 2nd, 2015

The Washington Post
by Drew Harwell

Source: Mike Mozart

Breakfast behemoth General Mills, maker of Trix, Reese’s Puffs and Lucky Charms, said Monday it plans to remove artificial colors and flavors from its cereals by 2017, becoming the latest food giant to swap out the additives in response to changing American tastes.

Instead of dyes like Red No. 40 and Yellow No. 6, Trix’s crunchy rainbow corn balls will be colored by turmeric, a yellow spice in curries and mustard, and juice concentrates of blueberries, radishes and strawberries. Artificial vanilla will be replaced by the real stuff in the peanut-butter-loaded Reese’s Puffs.

“People eat with their eyes, and so … the trick is, how can we maintain an appealing look, just not using the artificial colors?” said Jim Murphy, the president of General Mills’s cereal division. “People don’t want colors with numbers in their food anymore.” Read Full Article »