Opinion/Editorial Archive

How Regenerative Organic Agriculture Can Save the Planet

Wednesday, January 21st, 2015

by John W. Roulac

John W. Roulac

[Editor’s note: This article is part two of a two-part series. Read part one.]

We now know that 20-30 percent of manmade greenhouse gases in the atmosphere comes from industrial agriculture. Petrochemicals are for cars, not for the soil. By dumping ag chemicals onto our soils, we disrupt nature’s delicate balance of water, soil and air.

Carbon sequestration land practices include agriculture, forestry, wetland and range management systems that improve the rate at which CO2 is removed from the atmosphere and converted to plant material and/or organic matter in the soil. Today excess carbon is falling into our oceans and creating acidic conditions that threaten plant and animal species. If we remove carbon from the atmosphere and oceans by way of regenerative organic agriculture practices, we will sequester carbon into the soil and expand the soil’s water-holding capacity. Building organic matter into the soil’s humus layer is essential for growing the healthful foods humanity needs. Read Full Article »

Industrial Poultry and Dairy Operations Slide Under Organic Regulations

Tuesday, January 20th, 2015

Center for Rural Affairs
by John Crabtree

Aurora Dairy in Dublin, TX

Federal organic regulations require that organic poultry and livestock be provided regular access to the outdoors. Dairy cattle and other ruminants must also be provided access to pasture.

Increasingly, massive industrial poultry and dairy facilities are obtaining organic certification. And there’s the rub. It strains all sense of credibility that these industrial confinement operations claim they meet the outdoor and pasture requirements embedded in the nation’s organic laws.

Recently, the Cornucopia Institute published photographs and other evidence that many of these operations are out of compliance. Cornucopia’s evidence is extremely damning. It shows massive dairy operations with no evidence of pasture access and poultry houses with a couple hundred square feet of outdoor access for hundreds of thousands of birds. Read Full Article »

U.S Organic Dairy Politics: Animals, Pasture, People and Agribusiness

Tuesday, January 13th, 2015

Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan– a division of St. Martin’s Press (in the US)

A review by James Goodman

DairyBookGraphicBruce Scholten’s in-depth and thoughtful analysis of U.S. organic dairy politics begins with his own memories of growing up on a Washington State dairy farm. From what was common in his childhood, small dairy farms operated by multi-generational family labor, pasturing their cattle, building the soil and supporting local communities, Scholten shows the reader how things have changed over the past five decades.

Scholten exposes the system that has come to control and victimize the farmer (both conventional and organic), the animals, the environment and the consumer. Noting that “Get big or get out” — the exhortation of Earl Butz — set the stage for the shift of agriculture from small family dairy farms to “mega-dairies,” Scholten clearly explains how this shift was made using government policy, driven by corporations that have taken control of markets, of seeds and even of the simple ethical principles that had been a safeguard for the environment and the animals with whom we are so interdependent. Read Full Article »

Can GMOs Save the World?

Friday, January 9th, 2015

Aljazeera America
by Anna Lappé

Source: Peter Blanchard

In October in Istanbul, farmers, agricultural researchers and advocates from around the world gathered for the Organic World Congress, organized by the 42-year-old International Federation of Organic Agricultural Movements (IFOAM). With 800 affiliates in 124 countries, IFOAM comes together every three years to gauge its global efforts to promote chemical-free farming, share innovations and address challenges to growth.

The research presented to packed auditoriums detailed the evidence of the multiple benefits of organic farming — what Europeans call multifunctionality. For one, farmers benefit because instead of needing to purchase costly chemicals, genetically engineered seeds and synthetic fertilizer, they can largely work with the ecological systems of their own farmscapes to fend off pests and promote fertility. Organic farming benefits the rest of us too. These low-input practices promote biodiversity (key to food security), protect pollinators (key to one-third of the food we eat), reduce farm energy use while storing more carbon in the soil (key to fixing climate change) and foster clean water and air (key to, well, everything). Read Full Article »

Better Dying Through GMOs

Tuesday, January 6th, 2015

The Daily Call

BumperCrop MarkTaylor Read Full Article »