Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) has been a viable alternative model for food production and acquisition for many years. Begun in the 1960s in Europe and Japan under the influence of Rudolf Steiner, CSAs provide consumers with ready access to farm-fresh produce and products while building strong community ties that foster shared risks and benefits.
Picture Credit-Grant Family Farms CSA
Benefits for Farmers
For farmers, the benefits of offering shares in the form of weekly produce boxes for member subscribers are multiple. With the opportunity to market the product early in the season, the farmer can focus on production during the peak season, secure in the knowledge that she has already sold the majority of her produce.
CSAs also build a strong community tie for farmers who not only become personally acquainted with (Read More....)
What’s in Our Food? By Scott Humphrey
Food safety is an issue that keeps growing in its importance to our national health, and there are many of us that don’t know a whole lot about it. Over the past twenty plus years we have seen massive changes to our food supply in America. Large agriculture corporations have taken over much of what we eat through genetic patenting of organism. Monsanto is the leader of this pack, controlling roughly 90% of the seed supply.
Industrialized production of vegetable, fruits, chickens, cows, and pigs have brought a lot of strange accoutrements. More and more people are slowly becoming aware of the practices of the industrial food suppliers, and they aren’t pleased. The list is long and hard to bear, but let’s go through just some of the things we face, so we might become more informed about our food.
The GMO Labeling Dilemma
Genetically modified organisms are found in 80% of the processed foods we find on our supermarket shelves. An unbelievably high number to be sure, but what exactly are GMO’s? Biotech corporations like Monsanto have scientists experimenting with splicing genetic material from different species to achieve results like making corn resistant to their extremely powerful and toxic pesticide, “Roundup”.
Monsanto and other biotech corporations have been lobbying to keep GMO labels (Read More....)
Keep Stray Cats Away With Natural Outdoor Repellents-By Ray Carboni
The growing number of stray and feral cats in the United States is becoming a serious problem. The Feral Cat Coalition estimates that the number of stray cats exceeds 60 million. In addition to the tens of millions already roaming the streets, the U.S. Department of Agriculture estimates that another 5 million domesticated cats are abandoned each year. With more than 65 million stray cats on the loose; it’s important to protect your home and garden.
The Difference Between a Stray Cat and a Feral Cat:
A stray cat is a cat with a home, somewhere. Some owners allow their cats to wander about freely; other strays have traveled too far and don’t know how to get home. Either way, theses types of cats are domesticated. Feral cats, however, are usually abandoned cats. The offspring of abandoned cats are not domesticated, but they are comfortable living near human populations.
Common Problems Associated With (Read More....)
The importance of supporting local organic farms to promote community health
By Scott Humphrey
Consumers have many health concerns about food today. Food products can be genetically modified, irradiated or covered in pesticides. Fortunately, consumers can use food product labels to make sure that their food is safe. By shopping at local organic farms, buyers are guaranteed safe and healthy food while contributing to a vibrant and healthy community.
Local organic farms are by far safer than food that has been shipped from larger farms. Local organic farms will not use dangerous pesticides, and their crops will be diversified to control potential threats and to ensure quality. You can support local farms by investing in a Community Supported Agriculture farm, where you pay a regular fee to “subscribe” to baskets of fresh produce delivered to your door. You could also shop at local farmers’ markets if you want more freedom in what you can buy. These fruits and vegetables will be fresh and healthy.
Finding the best organic food products can be a challenge. But, with due diligence and a dogged refusal to take anything for granted, you can make wise choices when purchasing organic products. Here are nine tips for ensuring the quality of the organic products you buy:
1. Look for the USDA Certified Organic seal on the food label. Seeing the word “Organic” on the label isn’t enough. According to the National Organic Program’s Organic Standards, products bearing the USDA Certified Organic seal must contain at least 95% percent organic ingredients.
2. Look beyond the food manufacturer’s front-label claims. An article in Organic Lifestyle Magazine, entitled, “How to Read and Understand Food Labels: Ingredients to Avoid,” cautions readers, “The first thing to remember when it comes to reading labels is to read the whole thing. Ignore labels on the front of the packaging that say natural or organic. Read the actual ingredients.” The ingredient label should state which ingredients are organic.
3. Make sure the products contain zero trans-fats: hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated oils. Partially hydrogenated fats are, in fact, even worse, health-wise, than fully hydrogenated fats – a fact that would seem rather counterintuitive. Adding trans-fats to organic products (Read More....)
****Today we have a guest post by Barbara Fix. She is an outstanding writer and I think that you are really going to enjoy what she has to share with us below. We encourage everyone to visit Barbara at Survival Diva Blog http://www.survivaldiva.com/.**** Our food chain has been under attack for quite some time. The newest attack, Bill S.510, the Food Safety and Modernization Act, introduced by Senator Harry Reid, makes all the other grabs for our sovereignty pale in comparison. Bill S. 510 has the potential to control our food chain, taking away our ability to buy organically grown fruits and vegetables, and some warn, will open the family garden to scrutiny and complete control. If you’re willing to go down into the depths of darkness in search of the reason for this Bill, consider a day when we are not allowed to purchase heirloom or hybrid garden seed, and are instead allotted GMO seed (more on GMO in my next article).
The following quote best sums up what we are facing:
“If accepted [S 510] would (Read More....)