Thursday, October 06, 2011

Lauren's Farm and Food Roundup

LaurenMardy Townsend explains why we can’t wait any longer to pass the GIPSA rule that would level the playing field for small-scale farmers in an industry where corporate concentration runs rampant. “The meatpacking industry, giant poultry companies, and largest food processors have forced more than 1 million American farmers and ranchers out of business since 1980.” She points out that, influenced by the biggest players in the livestock industry, the House of Representatives is trying to stop the passage of this legislation by blocking GIPSA’s funding.

The New York Times Food & Drink Issue is out! Check it out for articles on the next food trend (eating algae?), the mystery of why your toaster is so bad, taste-testing the best worst beers, and Michael Pollan’s musings on whether or not consumers can really impact factory farming, unsustainable agriculture and animal cruelty.

From Colorado’s Channel 9 News, an article about crops going bad because immigrants, legal and illegal, aren’t showing up to work for fear of being arrested. Farmers are calling on Washington to get these workers back on the land, arguing that their absence may mean higher food prices or food scarcity in the nation’s grocery stores.

One Colorado farmer hired out-of-work Americans on his farm, rather than rely on the migrant labor he traditionally has used to make his farm run smoothly. It was not a successful experiment. “Americans, he says, proved to be less reliable and less willing to perform the hard work necessary to run his corn and onion farm than foreign workers.”

Check out the designs submitted to Threadless Tees’ anti-GMO t-shirt contest.

Speaking of GMOs, Food and Water Watch recently released a report filled with GMO info for the wary consumer. The report reviews the history of GMO regulations, explains the impact of GMOs on consumers, farmers, and the world market, emphasizes the importance of GE labeling and debunks the myth that Monsanto’s GE soybeans are helping us move towards a more robust food system.

Finally, Anna Lappé continues her exposé of the U.S. Farmers and Ranchers Alliance, delving deeper into who they really represent.

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