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Dear Readers: I’m currently writing a long-form post twice a month now for Chris Martenson’s excellent website. Accordingly, I’ll be publishing the first (and free) part of these essays here at Gregor.us. Enjoy. — Gregor
With the holiday season behind us many are feeling the effects of eating a bit too much and are working on a New Year’s resolution to shed some pounds. This reminds me of a question I have been asked numerous times, i.e., “How much land does it take to feed somebody for a year?” To rid you of any suspense, I usually give the answer as about one acre when referring to the U.S. today. For those who want to understand why, what follows is an explanation. Start with the Diet
The future of urban agriculture is not vertical, nor even simply horizontal. It is distributed and networked throughout the city. In a growing number of cities, suburbs,and small towns, community groups and entrepreneurs have discovered innovative ways to harvest and grow food, using interconnected networks of relatively small plots of public and private land and shared resources. In the process, they are forging novel relationships among producers and consumers. * Special Issue: Food+Tech Connect – how can information and technology be used to hack the food system? Read the above special issue if you want to learn about the following trends in p2p agriculture and food production :
Eirini Vourloumis for The New York Times Vassilis Ballas and his wife, Roula Boura, extracted the gum from a mastic tree on their 400-tree farm in Chios, Greece. As Greece’s blighted economy plunges further into the abyss, the couple are joining with an exodus of Greeks who are fleeing to the countryside and looking to the nation’s rich rural past as a guide to the future. They acknowledge that it is a peculiar undertaking, with more manual labor than they, as college graduates, ever imagined doing. But in a country starved by austerity even as it teeters on the brink of default, it seemed as good a gamble as any. Mr.
Groundwater levels have dropped in many places across the globe over the past nine years, a pair of gravity-monitoring satellites finds. This trend raises concerns that farmers are pumping too much water out of the ground in dry regions., says Science News Water has been disappearing beneath southern Argentina, western Australia and stretches of the United States. The decline is especially pronounced in parts of California, India, the Middle East and China, where expanding agriculture has increased water demand. “Groundwater is being depleted at a rapid clip in virtually of all of the major aquifers in the world's arid and semiarid regions,” says Jay Famiglietti, a hydrologist at the University of California Center for Hydrologic Modeling in Irvine, whose team presented the new trends December 6 at a meeting of the American Geophysical Union.
Source: Jonathan Benson – Natural News Representing one of the most agriculturally bio-diverse nations in the world, India has become a primary target for biotechnology companies like Monsanto and Cargill to spread their genetically-modified (GM) crops into new markets. However, a recent France 24 report explains that the Indian government has decided to take an offensive approach against this attempted agricultural takeover by suing Monsanto for “biopiracy,” accusing the company of stealing India’s indigenous plants in order to re-engineer them into patented varieties. Brinjal, also known in Western nations as eggplant, is a native Indian crop for which there are roughly 2,500 different unique varieties.
Urban Land Institute/via There are many in America who don't like or trust cities, primarily because they harbor a disproportionate number of Democratic voters. They don't like investments in transit, either, preferring the privacy and freedom of the car. But whether they like it or not, America is changing. Amanda Eaken of the NRDC points to a new study from the Urban Land Institute, The New California Dream . ( PDF here ) The subtitle says it all: How Demographic and Economic Trends May Shape the Housing Market. . Amanda notes the key findings:
Dr Mercola recently interviewed Dr Don Huber, whose letter to the USDA warning that Monsanto’s RoundUp, a broad-spectrum “herbicide” that has been linked with spontaneous abortion in animals, continues to be ignored by food and environmental safety authorities. In this important hour-long discussion, Huber, a plant pathologist for over 50 years, explains how RoundUp is destroying our healthy soils by killing needed microorganisms. Not only did his team discover a new soil pathogen, but he reports that animals are coming down with over 40 new diseases, like toxic botulism. Huber explains that before the widespread use of herbicides, pesticides and genetically modified food and feed, natural probiota would have kept Clostridium botulinum in check. Mercola provided a full transcript and highlights some of the main points (excerpted):
Why a group of longtime vegetarians and vegans converted to the idea that flesh and other food from animals can be healthful, environmentally appropriate, and ethical As Americans gather around holiday tables this year, many of us will be setting places for vegetarians and vegans. In some families, diverse diets co-exist peacefully. In others, well ... maybe there's a health-obsessed uncle who relishes warning that "Meat will kill you!"
This post from Goteo describes the state and successes of the project so far: goteo: Validating an irrigation system for the commons Photo source: Botanicalls Kits, based on arduino let plants reach out for human help! They offer a connection to your leafy pal via online Twitter status updates to your mobile phone We’ll start this post citing one of the best shared resources on the Internet - wikipedia : “Drip irrigation, also known as “drop by drop irrigation”, is an irrigation method used in arid zones which permits the optimum use of water and fertiliser.” Here at Goteo we’ve been trying out this same system in a digital way for 40 days.
When most people think of revolutions, they imagine the overthrow of political orders. By contrast, most of what we see today in globalization’s continued expansion is not violent political revolution, but rather unsettling socio-economic revolution. Yes, when existing political orders cannot process that change -- and the angry populism that typically accompanies it -- they can most definitely fall. This is what we have seen in the Arab Spring to date. But more often this populism leads to political paralysis in countries both democratic and authoritarian.
Feeding America first published the Map the Meal Gap project in early 2011, with the generous support of the Howard G. Buffett Foundation and The Nielsen Company , to learn more about the face of hunger at the local level. In August, 2011, with the support of the ConAgra Foods Foundation , child food insecurity data was added to the project. The maps below reflect 2009 and 2010 data, and will be updated every year with new data.
By Reuters WASHINGTON -- A growing number of families in the United States are struggling to put food on the table as poverty rises in major cities, a new survey showed on Thursday. The U.S. Conference of Mayors' 2011 hunger and homelessness survey found all but four of the 29 cities surveyed reported an increase in requests for emergency food assistance during the period between September 2010 and August 2011. Half of those asking for emergency food assistance were people in families, while 26 percent were employed. The elderly accounted for 19 percent, with the homeless making up the remaining 11 percent.
illustration by Alison Seiffer Two Saturdays after Thanksgiving, I slept in. At around 11 a.m., I padded into the living room with a feeling of quiet contentment. My husband, Peter, had been up for a few hours, during which time he'd read the paper, made coffee, cleaned out the fridge, and taken out the trash. Our refrigerator had been getting difficult to close, jammed as it was with two-week-old turkey scraps, mashed potatoes, Brussels sprouts, and other Thanksgiving leftovers that nobody had eaten, plus the wilting greens and vegetables that never became salad.
By Daily Mail Reporter UPDATED: 15:43 GMT, 29 November 2011 The packaging methods and sanitary standards used by food companies are being questioned as more information comes to light of ways that companies cut corners to keep costs low. The discovery of mould in apple sauce packages that was then distributed to school children prompted a warning from the Food and Drug Administration earlier this month. But the widespread nature of 'reconditioning', a process used by food companies to help salvage food that has gone bad, makes the investigation applicable to all food producers.