Tag Archives: air

11 year old is onto Monsanto and how to fix the food system

The “dark side of the industrialized food system.” as related (accurately) by Birke Baehr at TEDxNextGeneration Asheville.
Conventional farmers use chemical fertilizers made from fossil fuels. Then they mess with the dirt to make the plants grow. They do this because they’ve stripped the soil from all nutrients from growing the same crop over and over again. Next more harmful chemicals are sprayed on fruits and vegetables. Like pesticides and herbicides to kill weeds and bugs. When it rains, these chemicals seep into the ground, or rise into our waterways, poisoning our water, too.
His personal goal:
A while back, I wanted to be an NFL footall player.
I decided I’d rather be an organic farmer instead.
That way I can have a greater impact on the world.
He’s got a turn of phrase:
We can either pay the farmer, or we can pay the hospital.


Farmland for Food, Wildlife, Flood Control, Air Quality, and Agrotourism

Gretchen found this one, too (think I can get her to blog?). Judi Gerber writes about Why Saving Farmland Is So Important:
…without local farms, there’s no local food, or, as the American Farmland Trust (AFT) puts it: “No Farms, No Food.”.

And it’s not even just food:

Farmland is green space, even though most people don’t think of it that way. It is a significant contributor to environmental quality. As AFT states, “Farm and ranch lands provide food and cover for wildlife, help control flooding, protect wetlands and watersheds, and maintain air quality. They can absorb and filter wastewater and provide groundwater recharge. New energy crops even have the potential to replace fossil fuels.”

And there’s more:

Farmland provides fiscal stability to local governments and boosts the economy. It does this by contributing to a community’s infrastructure and helps a local economy through sales, job creation, and support services or businesses.

One of the most unique of these support services is tourism, or more specifically, agri-tourism. There are plenty of places that people visit to see rural scenery or to enjoy the food or drink of a specific region including the wineries in California’s Napa Valley, or popular farm stays like those found in Italy, and increasingly, here in the United States.

There are some plans afoot about agrotourism in Lowndes County.


Cancer in the Air, Food, and Water

Lyndsey Layton writes in the Washington Post that:
An expert panel that advises the president on cancer said Thursday that Americans are facing “grievous harm” from chemicals in the air, food and water that have largely gone unregulated and ignored.
Somebody noticed!

The President’s Cancer Panel called for a new national strategy that focuses on such threats in the environment and workplaces.

Epidemiologists have long maintained that tobacco use, diet and other factors are responsible for most cancers, and that chemicals and pollutants cause only a small portion — perhaps 5 percent.

The presidential panel said that figure has been “grossly underestimated” but it did not provide a new estimate.

“With the growing body of evidence linking environmental exposures to cancer, the public is becoming increasingly aware of the unacceptable burden of cancer resulting from environmental and occupational exposures that could have been prevented through appropriate national action,” the panel wrote in a report released Thursday.

Federal chemical laws are weak, funding for research and enforcement is inadequate, and regulatory responsibilities are split among too many agencies, the panel found.

The problem is not too many agencies. Here’s the problem: Continue reading