Eating well and eating healthy is something we used to take for granted. Nowadays, with more diseases and infirmities plaguing humanity, along with the ever-increasing difficulty of making a decent living in the present economy, a healthy food lifestyle has become somewhat of a luxury. This is far from an ideal situation; good food and good health are things every human being should have, from the humblest of people to the most wealthy and important among us.
It disheartens me to think that only those with bigger paychecks can even hope to afford to buy clean and healthy food. Mass-produced junk that passes for food appears to be cheaper and more readily available, but the ramifications to one’s health from consuming these foods will surely more than make up for the apparent cheapness.
This is why I espouse the idea that more people (even city dwellers) should participate in the business of growing and selling organically and humanely grown livestock and produce. The benefits of such an undertaking will be almost immediate in its manifestation, and I’ll give you, the reader, a few of those positive effects in the hopes of encouraging you to consider (Read More....)
Feeding the world has become harder and harder as the human population balloons. One of the ways that this problem is being tackled is through the use of technology to grow crops where they previously would not have been able to live. Drought resistant crops that can thrive where water is limited increase the ability of farmers to feed the world.
Drought-Associated Crop Issues
Water is not an unlimited resource, and it tends to be fairly unpredictable. All freshwater originally fell as rain, and tends to turn over fairly quickly. This means that if a given region has a dry winter, there’s less water in all of the rivers that drain from that region, potentially affected huge swaths area. Drought resistant crops are very helpful in these situations.
Farmers already plant crops that they think will grow well on their land whenever possible. However, sometimes the crop that sells the best is the one that is least likely to grow in a particular region. In these cases, people often have to make do with meager yields or switch to a less popular, less profitable crop. When the crop serves as a major food source, the situation is even more dire than loss of income.
The Development of Drought Resistant Crops
Drought resistant plants can either be artificially selected for or genetically engineered. (Read More....)
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 the shareholders but also have the opportunity to network with other farming families to provide additional farm products such as honey, flowers, herbs, and meat to consumers who hold shares in the farm.
The community spirit fostered by the shared risk model of the CSA also means that if a farmer falls (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.
Big agriculture has declared war on organic farming in the United States, and the centerpiece of that war is H.R. 875. This horrific bill has created a massive uproar among small farmers who claim that this bill would basically destroy organic farming in the United States.
H.R. 875 has been given this very deceptive name: “Food Safety Modernization Act of 2009″. This draconian bill would establish a “Food Safety Administration” within the Department of Health and Human Services. The mandate of this new department would be “to protect the public health by preventing food-borne illness, ensuring the safety of food, improving research on contaminants leading to food-borne illness, and improving security of food from intentional contamination, and for other purposes.”
The regulatory role of this new agency would extend to small organic farms, backyard gardens and even to the kitchens of gardeners and entrepreneurs who sell food products at farmers markets, through local stores or even to their neighbors.
The cover story is that this bill is supposed to protect consumers from food contamination. However, every major case of food contamination in recent American history has come from large-scale industrial agriculture (Read More....)