Uncategorized Archive

Down on the Farm with Tom Willey

Wednesday, July 1st, 2015

July 3, 2015 at 5 p.m.
KFCF, 88.1 FM: Listen live here

616px-Farmer_listening_to_crystal_radioWe must consider it a scientific fact that you are what you eat. The same molecules that make up the food we consume become those of our minds and bodies.

“Down on the Farm” is hosted by California Certified Organic Farmer Tom Willey, who harvests beets artichokes, tomatoes, turnips, peppers, among a diversity of biologically grown crops on a family-owned farm in Madera.

Tom’s focus is to help listeners be as informed as possible about the foods that grace their family’s tables. Each month’s program takes a deeper look into various aspects of progressive and environmentally conscious food production taking root on San Joaquin Valley farms.

Tune in to KFCF, 88.1FM from 5:00-6:00 p.m. every first Friday of the month, or listen to the show live online at that time. Read Full Article »

Study Puts a Price on the Help that Nature Provides Agriculture

Monday, May 4th, 2015

Washington State University News
by Sylvia Kantor, College of Agricultural, Human & Natural Resource Sciences

Source: Fair Share Farm in Kearney, MO

PULLMAN, Wash. – A team of international scientists has shown that assigning a dollar value to the benefits nature provides agriculture improves the bottom line for farmers while protecting the environment. The study confirms that organic farming systems do a better job of capitalizing on nature’s services.

Scientists from Australia, Denmark, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and the United States describe the research they conducted on organic and conventional farms to arrive at dollar values for natural processes that aid farming and that can substitute for costly fossil fuel-based inputs. The study appears in the journal PeerJ.

“By accounting for ecosystem services in agricultural systems and getting people to support the products from these systems around the world, we move stewardship of lands in a more sustainable direction, protecting future generations,” said Washington State University soil scientist John Reganold, one of the study’s authors. Read Full Article »

Downtown St. Louis To Sprout Its First Rooftop Farm

Tuesday, February 24th, 2015

St. Louis Public Radio
by Véronique LaCapra

East Collegiate rooftop garden in Toronto
Source: Karen Stintz

St. Louis will soon have its first rooftop farm.

Urban Harvest STL signed a lease for the space this week on the roof of a two-story building a couple of blocks east of the City Museum.

The non-profit’s founding director, Mary Ostafi, said the 10,000 sq. ft. rooftop will be more than just a community garden. “We’re going to have an outdoor classroom, as well as a gathering space for community events,” Ostafi said. “We’ll be raising chickens and tending bees.” Read Full Article »

How “Extreme Levels” of Roundup in Food Became the Industry Norm

Monday, March 31st, 2014

Independent Science News
by Thomas Bøhn and Marek Cuhra


Food and feed quality are crucial to human and animal health. Quality can be defined as sufficiency of appropriate minerals, vitamins and fats, etc. but it also includes the absence of toxins, whether man-made or from other sources. Surprisingly, almost no data exist in the scientific literature on herbicide residues in herbicide tolerant genetically modified (GM) plants, even after nearly 20 years on the market.

In research recently published by our laboratory (Bøhn et al. 2014) we collected soybean samples grown under three typical agricultural conditions: organic, GM, and conventional (but non-GM). The GM soybeans were resistant to the herbicide Roundup, whose active ingredient is glyphosate.

We tested these samples for nutrients and other compounds as well as relevant pesticides, including glyphosate and its principal breakdown product, Aminomethylphosponic acid (AMPA). All of the individual samples of GM-soy contained residues of both glyphosate and AMPA, on average 9.0 mg/kg. This amount is greater than is typical for many vitamins. In contrast, no sample from the conventional or the organic soybeans showed residues of these chemicals (Fig. 1). Read Full Article »

Pollution Rising, Chinese Fear for Soil and Food

Wednesday, January 15th, 2014

The New York Times
by Edward Wong

CI_ChinaPollutionCHENJIAWAN, China — The farm-to-table process in China starts in villages like this one in the agricultural heartland. Food from the fields of Ge Songqing and her neighbors ends up in their kitchens or in the local market, and from there goes to other provinces. The foods are Chinese staples: rice, cabbage, carrots, turnips and sweet potatoes.

But the fields are ringed by factories and irrigated with water tainted by industrial waste. Levels of toxic heavy metals in the wastewater here are among the highest in China, and residents fear the soil is similarly contaminated. Though they have no scientific proof, they suspect that a spate of cancer deaths is linked to the pollution, and worry about lead levels in the children’s blood. Read Full Article »