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ORGANIC FARMING NEWS, OPINION & BACKGROUND

Selected news and background stories from
the world of organic farming

NEWS
BACKGROUND NEWS STORIES
AUDIO & VIDEO

For news older than four months, go to our Organic News Archive
  • Stories are selected with Canadian organic farmers in mind but are not intended to reflect our views pro or con.
  • While we update these links from time to time, you may find some articles withdrawn or expired.
 
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Stories about or from Canada: Canadian organic farming news

Tom Fletcher, BC Local News - April 21, 2014. Canadian organic farming news
Farmers seek changes to ALC legislation
Newly appointed Agriculture Minister Norm Letnick is meeting with B.C. Agriculture Council representatives this week to discuss their growing concerns about a plan to set new rules for protected farmland in the B.C. Interior.
Full text

Paul Hanley, The Starphoenix - March 18, 2014.
Organic farming may be solution to world hunger
According to the final report of the UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food, Olivier De Schutter, there are strong environmental arguments in favour of agroecology, a type of organic production that reduces the use of external inputs and maximizes resource efficiency through intercropping, recycling organic residues and agroforestry.
Full text Read the full report

Brandon Keim, Wired - March 17, 2014.
Voracious Worm Evolves to Eat Biotech Corn Engineered to Kill It
After years of predicting it would happen — and after years of having their suggestions largely ignored by companies, farmers and regulators — scientists have documented the rapid evolution of corn rootworms that are resistant to Bt corn.
Full text

Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) of South Africa - March 17, 2014.
Monsanto forced to withdraw unsubstantiated advertising claims on benefits of GM crops
The African Centre for Biosafety lodged a complaint to the ASA following an advertisement on Radio 702 by Monsanto wherein Monsanto claims that GM crops "enable us to produce more food sustainably whilst using fewer resources; provide a healthier environment by saving on pesticides; decrease greenhouse gas emissions and increase crop yields substantially."
Full text

Sustainable Pulse - March 14, 2014.
Historic Court Ruling Stops Cultivation of Bayer’s GM Maize in Brazil
The decision is reported to have created new legal paradigm and may force Brazilian authorities to reconsider all other commercial releases of GMOs in Brazil.
Full text

Sustainable Pulse - March 13, 2014.
Historic Court Sri Lanka bans Monsanto herbicide citing potential link to deadly kidney disease
Following a ban on the cultivation of GM Maize in Mexico in 2013, the Campeche region of the country has now prohibited the growing of GM Soybeans following a two year court battle.
Full text

Sasha Chavkin, The Center for Public Integrity - March 13, 2014.
Historic Court Sri Lanka bans Monsanto herbicide citing potential link to deadly kidney disease
The move comes weeks after publication of a new study in Sri Lanka suggesting glyphosate as the leading culprit for the illness.
Full text

Elizabeth May - Green Party, Press Release - March 4, 2014.
Greens are concerned about Bill C-18
By forcing a stricter regime of intellectual property into the growing process in the form of Plant Breeders’ Rights, this bill will restrict the ability of farmers to engage in the age-old practices of saving, storing, cleaning, and treating their own seed.
Full text

Sustainable Pulse - February 26, 2014.
Roundup Weedkiller Linked to Fatal Kidney Disease Epidemic
The mystery of what is causing thousands to die each year from a fatal kidney disease may now be solved, with evidence pointing to the world’s most heavily used herbicide Roundup (glyphosate) as the primary culprit.
Full text

Rich Duprey, Motley Fool - February 24, 2014.
More Cracks Appear in GMO Wall
The invincibility of genetically modified crops may be starting to crumble under its own weight, with Syngenta being the latest biotech to stress-test their resilience.
Full text

Roger Knox, Vernon Morning Star - February 23, 2014. Canadian organic farming news
Council endorses farm housing
Spallumcheen council believes allowing a second permanent residence on farming property but away from viable farming land will benefit the province.
Full text

Jennifer Taplin, Nova Scotian Herald - February 22, 2014. Canadian organic farming news
Developing a taste for organic farms
Many young people with no family history or knowledge of farming are starting small-scale organic operations.
Full text

Kathleen Rowley, Agriland - February 22, 2014. Canadian organic farming news
Organic farming grows from strength to strength
In Canada, the data shows the value of the organic market has tripled since 2005, with the organic food market valued at US$3bn, representing annual growth of sales of nine to 10 per cent per annum.
Full text

Monica Watrous, Food Business News - February 14, 2014.
Ben & Jerry’s to go G.M.O.-free this year
Ben & Jerry’s, a Unilever brand, is re-launching its full line of flavors without bioengineered ingredients this year.
Full text

Shane Romig, The Wall Street Journal - February 11, 2014.
Argentina Stalls Monsanto Corn Project on Environmental Concerns - Update
Monsanto Co. hit another roadblock in its plans to build a 1.5 billion peso ($192 million) corn-seed production plant in Argentina's Cordoba province after local authorities rejected Monsanto's environmental-impact assessment.
Full text

Hans Muilerman, The (EU) Parliament - February 10, 2014.
Food industry accused of 'massive infiltration' of EFSA pesticides panel
The conclusion therefore is that the current food standards for pesticides are unsafe because the toxic effects of one pesticide could add to toxic effects of other pesticides and other chemicals we are exposed to, regulators have severely underestimated the risks involved.
Full text

Opinion: Sylvain Charlebois, The Western Producer - February 7, 2014. Canadian organic farming news
CFIA should release food test results
Basically, the CFIA was outright undermined by a study it actually conducted itself, which made the story quite surreal. The way that these findings were made public should be a cause for concern for organic farmers in Canada.
Full text

Sustainable Pulse - February 5, 2014.
France Launches Law to Ban Cultivation of All GM Maize
France has launched a move to restore a ban on genetically modified (GMO) maize annulled by its top court to prevent sowings this spring that could raise public outcry in a country strongly opposed to GMO crops.
Full text

University of Oxford - February 4, 2014.
Organic farms support more species
On average, organic farms support 34% more plant, insect and animal species than conventional farms, say Oxford University scientists.
Full text

GMOSeralini - February 1, 2014.
Pesticide evaluations dishonest and misleading, new study shows
Prof Gilles-Eric Séralini, who led the study, said, “The real toxicity of pesticides used in intensive agriculture has been hidden from farmers, policy-makers and citizens.
Full text

Associated Press, Seattle Post Intelligencer - January 31, 2014.
GMO crops battle pits sugar beet industry against small organic farmers in Southern Oregon
The organic farmers are afraid that growing sugar beet seed genetically engineered to withstand weed killer will taint their crops through cross-pollination.
Full text

Henry Rowlands, Director of Sustainable Pulse and GMO Evidence - January 30, 2014.
Glyphosate persistence in seawater
"Here we quantify the biodegradation of glyphosate using standard “simulation” flask tests with native bacterial populations and coastal seawater from the Great Barrier Reef."
Full text

Kristina Chew, Care2.com - January 29, 2014.
Organic Farmer Going to Court Against Monsanto’s GM Crops
Farmers are responsible for stock or other animals causing damage to a neighbor’s property but in the case of genetic contamination, the non-GM farmer ends up being liable for the loss and damages.
Full text

Amy B Dean, Truthout | Interview - January 26, 2014.
Our Food Is Dishonestly Priced: Michael Pollan
Industry plays up the image of the food snob to keep us divided, but the stereotype hides a much more diverse and savvy movement, says best-selling author and food activist Michael Pollan.
Full text

Opinion: Sylvain Charlebois, TheRecord.com - January 23, 2014. Canadian organic farming news
Media shouldn’t be food safety scaremongers
Organic products generally have fewer pesticides on them, full stop; therefore, the premium we pay is justified but the food inspection agency should stop allowing the media to be the food safety boogeyman and make their studies readily available to the public.
Full text

Science Daily - Source: Expertsvar - January 21, 2014.
New discoveries show biological formation of oxygen in soils
New research results show that down in the dark depths of the soil, a previously unknown biochemical process is under way, in which oxygen is formed and carbon dioxide is reduced to organic material.
Full text

Ben Paynter, Wired - January 21, 2014.
Monsanto Is Going Organic in a Quest for the Perfect Veggie
Monsanto created all these veggies using good old-fashioned crossbreeding, the same technology that farmers have been using to optimize crops for millennia.
Full text

Science Daily - Source: Georgia Institute of Technology - January 16, 2014.
Soil microbes alter DNA in response to warming
Scientists studying grasslands in Oklahoma have discovered that an increase of 2 degrees Celsius in the air temperature above the soil creates significant changes to the microbial ecosystem underground.
Full text

Paul Hanley, The Starphoenix (Saskatoon) - January 14, 2014. Canadian organic farming news
Pesticide residue 'news' strengthens case for organic farming
The only way to have pesticide-free food and protect biodiversity is to make organic farming the norm, rather than a niche market.
Full text

Sustainable Pulse - January 9, 2014.
Tasmania Extends Ban on GM Crops Indefinitely
Tasmania, the only state in Australia that has a blanket ban on GM crops, has been GMO free since 2001, however the moratorium was set to end in November 2014.
Full text

Off The Grid News, Daniel Jennings - January 6, 2014.
Farmers Abandoning GMO Seeds
Modern Farmer magazine discovered that there is a movement among farmers abandoning genetically modified organisms (GMO) because of simple economics.
Full text

Food Navigator, Hank Schultz - January 6, 2014.
GMO labeling push will propel organic market, Organic Monitor says
The struggle over GMO labeling will push the growth of certified organic products in the US in 2014, according to market research firm Organic Monitor.
Full text

Opinion: Matt Gehl, Western Producer - January 3, 2014. Canadian organic farming news
UPOV 91 deal dilutes farmers’ rights
In contrast to the practice of thousands of years of open source plant breeding, which incidentally has given us our present bountiful harvests, farmers will not be allowed to save the seed they have grown to plant again the following spring if plant breeders’ rights are attached to it.
Full text

Candice Choi, The Associated Press - December 17, 2013.
Food ingredients shift as consumers push for change
As Americans pay closer attention to what they eat, food and beverage companies are learning that unfamiliar ingredients can invite criticism from online petitions and bloggers.
Full text

Reuters - December 13, 2013.
EU court annuls approval of BASF's Amflora GMO potato
The General Court of the European Union said the Commission had failed to follow the bloc's rules when approving the Amflora potato, which is genetically modified to produce extra starch for use in the paper industry.
Full text

The Sackville Tribune Post - December 11, 2013. Canadian organic farming news
Organic Farm School now accepting 2014 applications
Collaborating with a diverse team of 10 long-standing, certified-organic ‘host-farms’, this curriculum-guided, farm-based program offers six-month intensive placements – from May to October – for people who are pursuing a career in organic agriculture
Full text

Science Daily - December 11, 2013.
Researchers See Added Nutritional Benefits in Organic Milk
A team led by a Washington State University researcher has found that organic milk contains significantly higher concentrations of heart-healthy fatty acids compared to milk from cows on conventionally managed dairy farms.
Full text

Ole Hendrickson, Rabble - November 22, 2013. Canadian organic farming news
Free trade with Europe in GM crops: A CETA deal-breaker?
Dr. Lauren Baker of the Toronto Food Policy Council, at a February 2012 international workshop exploring CETA, noted that the EU has a policy of zero tolerance for GM organisms.
Full text

Canada Organic Trade Association, press release - November 20, 2013. Canadian organic farming news
New study details dramatic growth of Canada's organic market
From farmers' markets to mainstream retail, Canada's organic market has grown to become the fourth largest in the world, valued at over $3.5 billion per year.
Full text

Kelowna Daily Courier - November 16, 2013. Canadian organic farming news
Genetically-modified fruit called bad apple
The B.C. Fruit Growers' Association has joined the fight against a genetically modified apple, giving the cold shoulder to the Arctic Apple developed in Summerland.
Full text

Ontario and Northern Canada Director-General Faisal Moola, David Suzuki Foundation - October 24, 2013.
Food and Water First: The fight to protect prime farmland continues
Last fall the David Suzuki Foundation and our allies in the farming and local food movements defeated a mega-quarry proposed by the Highland Companies, that, if built, would have destroyed hundreds of acres of class 1 soil near Melancthon township, Ontario.
Full text

Lucy Sharratt, Canadian Biotechnology Action Network - October 23, 2013.
CBAN Tests Find Unlabelled GM Sweet Corn Across Canada: GM sweet corn in stores and farmers markets
CBAN testing clearly shows that consumers across Canada could be unknowingly buying GM sweet corn.
Full text

Devon G. Peña, GEO Watch - October 17, 2013.
Mexican judge suspends transgenic corn plantings
Reports suggest that some farmers are not informed because of purposeful mislabeling, the removal of labeling, or other factors that restrict their access to information, which in any case is unlikely to serve as a sufficient basis for farmer decisions on farm management, given interference and political subterfuge by market-steered interests.
Full text

Science Daily - October 9, 2013.
Agricultural Phosphorus Recovery
The project consortium coordinated by the Fraunhofer Institute for Interfacial Engineering and Biotechnology IGB wants to develop a process and realise a pilot plant that features a controlled enzymatic release of organically bound phosphate, enabling up to 90 per cent recovery of total phosphorus.
Full text

Jo Fulwood, The West Australian - September 29, 2013.
Organic crop co-existence 'possible'
'My international studies have illustrated that farmers that gain a premium for the particular way they farm, should bear the cost of protecting that special status.'
Full text

Canadian Press, Global Post - September 26, 2013.
US-Japan organic agreement could lead to more organic options and higher profits
The United States and Japan have agreed to make it easier to import each other's organic products, the latest step in a global effort that could give consumers access to more — and cheaper — organic food.
Full text

Nick Meyer, AltHealthWORKS - September 24, 2013, 2013. Canadian organic farming news
New UN Report Calls for Dramatic Shift Toward Natural Agriculture
'This implies a rapid and significant shift from conventional, monoculture-based and high-external-input-dependent industrial production toward mosaics of sustainable, regenerative production systems that also considerably improve the productivity of small-scale farmers,' the report concludes.
Full text

Tamara Leigh, Grainews - September 24, 2013. Canadian organic farming news
B.C. municipalities pass resolution for GE-free province
Leaders of regional and municipal governments from across British Columbia have adopted a resolution asking the provincial government to declare B.C. a genetically-modified organism-free area with respect to all plant and animal species.
Full text

Shannon VanRaes, Crops - September 19, 2013.
Origins of coexistence plan for GM alfalfa remain hazy
The Canadian coexistence plan was released just as evidence emerged in the U.S. that the coexistence plan there is breaking down
Full text

Food in Canada - September 11, 2013. Canadian organic farming news
One Earth Farms acquires Sweetpea Baby Food
Sweetpea Baby Food produces frozen organic foods for infants, as well as healthy snacks for babies and toddlers.
Full text

Arjun Walia, Collective Evolution - September 10, 2013.
Thousands Of Genetically Modified Insects Are Set For Release
The idea is to release a large number of GM olive flies that will be used to kill off wild pests that damage the crop.
Full text

Sayer Ji, Green Med Info - September 9, 2013.
Study Links Roundup 'Weedkiller' To Overgrowth of Deadly Fungal Toxins
A new study reveals that Roundup herbicide enhances the growth of aflatoxin-producing fungi, lending an explanation for the alarming increase in fungal toxins recently discovered in U.S corn, and revealing another way in which GM farming is seriously undermining food quality.
Full text

Sunday Independent (Ireland) - August 25, 2013.
Wave goodbye to global warming, GM and pesticides
Radio wave-treated water could change agriculture as we know it.
Full text

Science Daily - August 12, 2013.
Soil Biodiversity Will Be Crucial to Future Land Management and Response to Climate Change
Research by scientists at The University of Manchester and Lancaster shows maintaining healthy soil biodiversity can play an important role in optimising land management programmes to reap benefits from the living soil.
Full text

Susan Mann, Better Farming (Ontario) - August 8, 2013.
Groups turn to province in RR alfalfa fight
Ontario farmers and groups supporting a request for a provincial environmental assessment of genetically modified alfalfa hope it will end up halting the product's release.
Full text

Euractiv Network - August 7, 2013.
Commission looks at possible revamp of organic farming legislation
The European Commission is due in September to reconsider the EU’s rules on organic farming, including a likely review of certification standards and an assessment of the potential risks posed by genetically modified crops.
Full text

Kerry Grens, Reuters - July 26, 2013.
Weedkillers tied to depression in farmers
Farmers who used weedkillers were more than twice as likely to be treated for depression than farmers who didn't use the chemicals in a new study from France.
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Tom Spears, Ottawa Citizen - July 23, 2013. Canadian organic farming news
Pooping Canada geese may have spread GM wheat seeds
Canada geese may have spread viable seeds of genetically modified wheat grown at the Central Experimental Farm, documents from Agriculture Canada show.
Full text

Ralph Pearce, Country Guide (Ontario, Canada) - July 22, 2013. Canadian organic farming news
Weed resistance - Palmer amaranth marches north
Weed specialist hopes Canadian growers will learn from U.S. mistakes
Full text

David E. Gumpert, AlterNet (USA) - July 18, 2013.
Should You Be Able to Buy Food Directly From Farmers? Regulators Don't Think So
Why are government regulators and prosecutors feeling so threatened by this trend?
Full text

James Stuckey, Globe and Mail - July 17, 2013. Canadian organic farming news
Canadian farmers prove size doesn’t matter
Canada’s largest farming businesses – those earning over $1-million in annual revenues – comprise less than 5 per cent of all farms in the country, and would be considered small or medium-sized enterprises in virtually all other economic sectors.
Full text

Charlie Dunmore, Reuters - July 17, 2013. Canadian organic farming news
Monsanto to withdraw EU approval requests for new GMO crops
A spokesman for the European Commission, which manages the EU's GMO approval system, confirmed that Monsanto had informed it of its intention to withdraw the applications.
Full text

Rod Mickleburgh, Globe and Mail - July 16, 2013. Canadian organic farming news
‘Land-banking’ leaves Lower Mainland’s fertile farms fallow
'If they’re not farming, they should have to lease out their land or pay a premium for that. We need that land protected for farming'
Full text

Press release - July 9, 2013. Canadian organic farming news
Honorees announced for OTA's 2013 Organic Leadership Awards
Selected from a record-breaking 26 nominations, the Organic Trade Association's 2013 Organic Leadership Awards will be presented to a passionate couple who have dedicated their lives to organic for almost three decades, a professional farmer who has advanced practices for growing organic tree fruit, and two emerging leaders on a mission to create meaningful opportunities for military veterans in organic.
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The Economic Times (India) - July 1, 2013.
Gujrat organic farmers to develop seed banks to take on GM seeds
'The farmers are now developing seed banks as a measure against the invasion of genetically modified (GM) seeds,' Organic Farming Association of India president Sarvdaman Patel said.
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ARCHIVED NEWS STORIES (More than four months old)

AQUACULTURE NEWS

AUDIO/VIDEO

One of the world’s foremost authorities on restoration agriculture, Mark Shepard is happy that its popularity is growing but worries that its systemic nature is being misunderstood or "much degraded".

Tim A. Wise: Family farmers caught in the middle between corporate monopolies


More at The Real News

FOOD, INC. In Food, Inc., filmmaker Robert Kenner lifts the veil on our nation's food industry, exposing the highly mechanized underbelly that's been hidden from the American consumer with the consent of our government's regulatory agencies, USDA and FDA. Our nation's food supply is now controlled by a handful of corporations that often put profit ahead of consumer health, the livelihood of the American farmer, the safety of workers and our own environment. We have bigger-breasted chickens, the perfect pork chop, insecticide-resistant soybean seeds, even tomatoes that won't go bad, but we also have new strains of e coli - the harmful bacteria that causes illness for an estimated 73,000 Americans annually. We are riddled with widespread obesity, particularly among children, and an epidemic level of diabetes among adults. Featuring interviews with such experts as Eric Schlosser(Fast Food Nation), Michael Pollan (The Omnivore's Dilemma) along with forward thinking social entrepreneurs like Stonyfield Farm's Gary Hirshberg and Polyface Farms' Joel Salatin, Food, Inc. reveals surprising - and often shocking - truths about what we eat, how it's produced, who we have become as a nation and where we are going from here.

More info.

New Film Takes on Organic Food Critics and Kicks Ass
Starr Vartan, Huffington Post

Surely you've heard the arguments: "organic isn't any healthier," "organic food is too expensive," "organic doesn't mean anything," or maybe you've seen Penn and Teller's take-down of the "Organic tastes better argument." During the last 12 months, a slew of anti-organic messages have been promulgated in the media. Good thing filmmaker Shelley Rogers has spent the past five years of her life putting together a movie that not only refutes most of these bogus talking points, but gives us an up-close look at what organic agriculture really is (as well as addressing some of the criticisms brought against it). Rogers' conclusion, after years of work and research, is that organic isn't just a question of personal health, and that standards really do make a difference. But rather than telling us this, she lets the experts - farmers, scientists, activists, doctors, and ecopreneurs - explain from their knowledgeable and frontline perspectives.

More info.


How a group of First Nations People in Saskatchewan Canada are reclaiming their indigenous agricultural heritage, reconnecting with Nature, learning and observing her natural laws, and getting back on the road to self-reliance.


Organic Agriculture and Climate Change Organic Agriculture and Climate Change: Dr. Adrian Mueller, a senior researcher at both the Research Institute of Organic Agriculture in Frick, Switzerland and at the Chair for Environmental Policy and Economics PEPE at ETH Zurich, discusses the opportunities and challenges of organic agriculture. He examines the contributions of both modern and organic farming techniques to climate change on a global scale, as well as the impact of organic farming on the small farmers and regional communities. - AUDIO
rooftop garden Solutions for Urban Living #2: Turn warehouse roofs into city farms and grow local, sustainably produced food. Annie Novak and Ben Flanner have been farming the rooftop of a Brooklyn warehouse since May 2009 and the 6,000 square-foot farm has over 30 different varieties of vegetables. Nearby restaurants have caught on to the idea and the urban farmers have been making deliveries on their bikes - now that's local. - VIDEO
World's first global seed bank, in Svalbard, Norway What You Sow. New Yorker, Interview with John Seabrook about the world's first global seed bank, in Svalbard, Norway. Seabrook talked with Blake Eskin about the history of seed saving and the importance of biological diversity.
The Meatrix II: Revolting The Meatrix II: Revolting. A follow-up to the original animated expose of factory-farming. - VIDEO
Farming Today Farming Today This Week Magazine from the BBC - AUDIO
Rural News Australian Broadcasting Corporation Rural News Australian Broadcasting Corporation - AUDIO
 Grocery Store Wars Grocery Store Wars U.S Organic Trade Association Flash movie adapts Star Wars characters and plot to promote the organic cause. - VIDEO
Family farms What's Happening to the Family Farm? Canadian Canadians who run our family farms have sometimes struggled to keep pace with the demand for cheap, abundant food. Threats to the family farm have ranged from the high cost of land and crippling interest rates to corporate competition and encroaching cities. CBC Archives looks at the evolving family farm. - AUDIO
The Legend of Permaculture - Bill Mollison Bill Mollison, Australian Broadcasting Corporation.
Bill Mollison has been called the genius of permaculture, a guru, a living legend, a crank, and even a bombastic old bastard. But whatever you think of him, you'd have to be impressed that Bill's ideas have influenced the lives of millions of people all over the world. - AUDIO


PERSPECTIVE: BACKGROUND ARTICLES RELATED TO ORGANIC FARMING
UPDATED FREQUENTLY


Globe and Mail
How this organic dairy producer milks small stores for big growth Canadian
While Andres isn’t drawn to growth and does little advertising, there’s plenty of room to expand production. Canadian organic sales have tripled over the past six years, to about $3 billion annually, according to the Canada Organic Trade Association.
FULL STORY

What You Didn't Know About Canadian Farms Young farmers see opportunities growing non-GMO
The growing demand for non-GMO corn and soybeans is creating opportunities for farmers to profit, and some young farmers aim to capitalize on those opportunities.
FULL STORY

What You Didn't Know About Canadian Farms What You Didn't Know About Canadian Farms Canadian
William Davis, a preventive cardiologist who practises in Milwaukee, Wis., argues in his new book Wheat Belly that wheat is bad for your health - so bad that it should carry a surgeon general’s warning.
FULL STORY

Achieving a Sustainable Food System with Organic Farming

Achieving a Sustainable Food System with Organic Farming
Despite a slight decline between 2009 and 2010, since 1999 the global land area farmed organically has expanded more than threefold to 37 million hectares, according to new research conducted by the Worldwatch Institute for its Vital Signs Online service.
FULL STORY

Growing Crops With No Water, The Old-Fashioned Way Growing Crops With No Water, The Old-Fashioned Way
Before we thought the water supply would last forever (or at least several political cycles), we had dry farming. As the worst drought in decades grips the U.S., dry farming is getting a second look.
FULL STORY

Diary of an Organic Strawberry Diary of an Organic Strawberry
Largely missing from that debate are the voices of the farm workers who spend their days harvesting these crops. For Jesús E. Valenzuela Félix, there's no one better to tell that story than... an organic strawberry.
FULL STORY

A conversation with environmental campaigner Wendell Berry A conversation with environmental campaigner Wendell Berry
Berry is still a committed activist, arguing these days for a 50-Year Farm Bill to address such deeply unfashionable issues as soil degradation and sustainable agriculture.
FULL STORY
Celebrate the Farmer! Celebrate the Farmer!
We need real farmers who grow real food, and the will to reform a broken food system. And for that, we need not only to celebrate farmers, but also to advocate for them.
FULL STORY

Where have Canada’s young farmers gone? Where have Canada’s young farmers gone?
Let’s be clear that we’re not only talking about fewer farmers as farms increase in size. The point to emphasize is that as the overall population of farmers declines, young farmers are disappearing even faster.
FULL STORY

Cornucopia Institute: Organic Watergate White Paper The Organic Watergate White Paper
For a comprehensive look at the organic sausage making in Washington, The Cornucopia Institute has lifted the veil on how the USDA has implemented the Organic Foods Production Act of 1990, the law passed by Congress to protect the integrity of organic food and farming.
FULL STORY

The birds and the weeds: A farm conservation love story A technological leap forward to old-time farming
A team of four scientists in the United Kingdom spent a year collecting dirt from all over an organic farm near Bristol, which grew mostly clover, oats, wheat, and barley. Their goal? To determine just how much food a farm that grows crops to feed humans also provides for wildlife.
FULL STORY

The Storm Surge of Decentralization The Storm Surge of Decentralization
Local organic food initiatives are often more contentious. Industrial agriculture and food processing corporations are very powerful, to the point of having subverted regulatory mechanisms ostensibly geared towards the public good, but which now serve to safeguard corporate profits and market share.
FULL STORY

The great milk robbery: How corporations are stealing livelihoods and a vital source of nutrition from the poor The great milk robbery: How corporations are stealing livelihoods and a vital source of nutrition from the poor
Milk is taking on ever-greater importance in the livelihoods and health of the world's poor. Most of the dairy markets that serve the poor are supplied by small-scale vendors who collect milk from farmers who own just a few dairy animals. But such systems of "people's milk" are in direct competition with the ambitions of big dairy companies, such as Nestlé, and a growing number of other wealthy players that want to take over the entire dairy chain in the South, from the farms to the markets.
FULL STORY

SOrganic rice cultivation transforming lives of Damoh farmers Organic rice cultivation transforming lives of Damoh farmers
The farmers in these villages shunned the High Yielding Varieties and the 'progressive', high-input, fertilizer-pesticide dominated farming practices often advocated by the government and took to completely traditional methods along with a set of cultivation practices collectively called System of Rice Intensification (SRI), initially developed in the early 1980s by a French priest in Madagascar.
FULL STORY

Frances Moore Lappe’s Grand Vision: Treat Markets as Ecosystems Frances Moore Lappe’s Grand Vision: Treat Markets as Ecosystems
As Occupy protests across the United States challenge gross economic disparities, Lappé’s EcoMind calls for a drastic rethinking of how markets should work, in a grand vision that weaves together environmental and social justice.
FULL STORY

It Takes a Village to Raise a Vegetable It Takes a Village to Raise a Vegetable
Tainting of organic crops cannot be undone and at the risk of ending up like we did with corn where you can rarely find purely organic corn in the U.S. because of GMOs, it's a slippery and scary slope to start down.
FULL STORY

Pasture-raised or organic: Why we can’t do both Pasture-raised or organic: Why we can’t do both
Although it's far from the current reality, one of the most transformative innovations - and I believe the most ideal method for grain acquisition - would be an independent system owned and controlled by local farmers.
FULL STORY

Organic Growers Focus On Planning Organic Growers Focus On Planning Canadian
Today they have one of B.C.’s model agriculture operations: Klipper’s Organic Acres based at Cawston, B.C. in the ag-rich Okanagan-Similkameen region, south of Penticton. They’d made a local name for their 40-acre market garden and orchard operation for the past 10 years, expanding from five acres in 2001 when the farm was launched. But this year their reputation erupted when they won the B.C. &Yukon Outstanding Young Farmers of 2011 title, an award they were finalists for in 2005, ’06 an ’07.
FULL STORY

30 Years of the Farming Systems Trial | Rodale Institute 30 Years of the Farming Systems Trial | Rodale Institute
Organic farming is far superior to conventional systems when it comes to building, maintaining and replenishing the health of the soil. For soil health alone, organic agriculture is more sustainable than conventional. When one also considers yields, economic viability, energy usage, and human health, it’s clear that organic farming is sustainable, while current conventional practices are not.
FULL STORY

Tweeting farmers bridge gap between farm, table Tweeting farmers bridge gap between farm, table
Like more and more farmers across Canada, Black has found that Twitter has become, among other things, a way to bridge the gap between farm and table, and connect Canadians wanting to know more about where their food comes from with the people who make their living producing it.
FULL STORY

Pesticides are good for you Pesticides are good for you
The lowest point in the session came when Carl Winter launched into a lengthy attack on the Environmental Working group's Dirty Dozen, an annual list of the 12 fruits and vegetables most contaminated with pesticides.
FULL STORY

Heritage livestock: Milk ‘em for all they’re worth Heritage livestock: Milk ‘em for all they’re worth
As heirloom produce gains a growing cult following among eaters, the more under-the-radar interest in heritage livestock breeds may see a resurgence, too.
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U.S. touts fruit and vegetables while subsidizing animals that become meat U.S. touts fruit and vegetables while subsidizing animals that become meat
U.S. farm policy grew out of the economic hardships suffered by Midwestern farmers in the 1930s due to unpredictable swings in agricultural markets and the desire to protect the national food supply. Many critics feel the policy is no longer relevant and should be redesigned to promote healthful eating.
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Without GMO labels, we all eat in the dark Kickstarting on-demand heirloom produce
This two-pronged project will include both an open-access photo bank of heirloom produce, dubbed Food Foto Bank, and Pollin8r, an inventive new web-based project building on the Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) model, that promises to connect heirloom-produce loving eaters to farmers willing to grow heritage produce - all with just the click of a mouse.
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Without GMO labels, we all eat in the dark Without GMO labels, we all eat in the dark
You'd think that if 93 percent of Americans could agree on something, their government might just pay attention. In the case of labels for GMO foods, you'd be wrong: Polls show overwhelming consumer support [PDF] for labels. But for some not particularly convincing reasons, neither Congress, the FDA, nor the USDA have been willing to respond.
FULL STORY


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