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Food and Agriculture

Half Of Pasture Lands On Earth Degraded By Climate Change, Overuse

The United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) has found that as much as half of the natural pasture land on Earth has been degraded by the impacts of climate change and overexploitation, putting a sixth of the planet’s food supplies at risk. The new UNCCD report — Global Land Outlook Thematic Report on Rangelands and Pastoralists — emphasizes the importance of rangelands and points to ways to better manage and restore them while protecting pastoralism. “Degradation of Earth’s extensive, often immense natural pastures and other rangelands due to overuse, misuse, climate change and biodiversity loss poses a severe threat to humanity’s food supply and the wellbeing or survival of billions of people,” a press release from UNCCD said.

Deregulation Is Turning Oklahoma Into A Factory Farm Sacrifice Zone

As Barbara Dozhier prepared a ham before the arrival of her great-grandchildren and the rest of her family last Christmas Eve, she prayed for a weather forecast with wind out of the south. A breeze in the opposite direction meant her home four miles outside the east Oklahoma town of Kansas would be overcome with the stench of chicken litter. Ever since a six-building poultry farm opened across the street in 2018 — where 336,000 birds are raised at a time — family gatherings at the Dozhier home have been forced inside. “Sometimes the wind is out of the north and you just hurry up, get in the house and shut your door,” Dozhier said. ​“At first I was upset all the time but after all these years there is nothing you can do.”

Pakistani Farmers Launch A Nationwide Movement

Thousands of farmers in Pakistan have launched a nationwide movement demanding increased government procurement of wheat. The campaign will kick off with national mobilizations on Friday, May 10, Khalid Khokhar, the leader of Pakistan Kissan Ittehad (Pakistan Farmer Movement or PKI), a united body of most of the farmers’ unions in the country, said in a press conference on Sunday. The mobilizations are set to kick off in Multan, Punjab and would be a continuation of the last month’s agitation in several parts of the country. Khokhar claimed that an even greater number of farmers’ organizations and groups would be participating in the campaign and mobilizations.

The Refillery Is Coming For Your Grocery Store Routine

“This is slow shopping,” says Roque Rodriguez about his refillery grocery store, Seed and Oil, in Woodside, Queens. “It’s about slowing down, being more present, being more aware: What’s the impact of the choice I just made? We educate folks when they come in, we talk to them, and you see people getting into the rhythm of it.” I don’t think it’s that much slower to shop at package-free stores like Seed and Oil—you bring your own container and weigh it, then you fill it up with the amount of rice or walnuts or Peanut M&Ms that you want to take home. But I get what he means.

Globalised Capitalism’s Eating Habits Responsible For One Third Of World’s Greenhouse Gas Emissions

According to a new report from the World Bank, changing how we farm could cut global emissions by almost one third. Greenhouse gas emissions could be drastically reduced by simply altering how food is produced around the world. The agrifood industry – which combines agriculture and food – takes into account the whole production process. It involves the whole journey, from food to plate including manufacture and retail. It is responsible for nearly a third of all greenhouse gas emissions worldwide. This is one sixth more than the whole world’s heat and electric emissions.

Sustainable Food Systems: Feeding Ourselves Across Europe

Brussels is currently not the most hopeful place for those wishing to see EU food systems in a fair, ecological transition. But hope is on the ground. Not waiting for the impetus to come from above, many communities, food policy councils, solidarity farming initiatives, food cooperatives, as well as rural and urban municipalities have already established their own democratic, economic and social frameworks in order to create sustainable food systems. At Feeding Ourselves 2024, a roundtable on Bottom-Up Approaches to Sustainable Food Systems was a chance to connect partners of two ARC2020 projects, Rural Resilience in France and Rural Europe Takes Action – Germany* with kindred spirits in Ireland.

What Are ‘Food Barons’ And Why Should You Care?

I’ve known Austin Frerick since 2019, when he was a researcher at the Open Markets Institute. After he became a fellow at Yale’s Thurmond Arnold Project, another anti-monopoly thinktank, we collaborated to report a feature for Vox on “The Hog Barons.” He’s gone on to expand this idea to a full book, titled Barons: Money, Power, and the Corruption of America’s Food Industry, that provides a portrait of our food system through stories of its oligarchs. Austin enlisted me for some editorial consultation while the book was under contract, and today I asked him a few questions about the book and how it helps us understand American food system.

Ten Times More Toxic Pesticide Could End Up On Our Food Under Proposal

When you bite into a piece of celery, there’s a fair chance that it will be coated with a thin film of a toxic pesticide called acephate. The bug killer — also used on tomatoes, cranberries, Brussels sprouts and other fruits and vegetables — belongs to a class of compounds linked to autism, hyperactivity and reduced scores on intelligence tests in children. But rather than banning the pesticide, as the European Union did more than 20 years ago, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency recently proposed easing restrictions on acephate.

Farm Organizations Announce National ‘Enough Is Enough Tour’

Sixteen farm organizations announced the launch of the national Enough Is Enough Tour in protest of government policies that drive consolidation of the food system into the hands of the largest multinational corporations to the detriment of farmers and ranchers. With Congress preparing to debate the farm bill during prime planting and calving season, restricting farmers’ and ranchers’ ability to bring their voices to Washington D.C., farm groups will gather at events in at least five states to call on members of Congress to deliver a bill that levels the playing field.

During Red April, MST Restates The Importance Of Agrarian Reform

Under the slogan “Occupy to feed Brazil,” the Landless Rural Workers’ Movement (MST), is organizing across the country for the National Day of Struggle in Defense of Agrarian Reform, which takes place during what organizers call Red April, a month which includes marches, occupations, training activities, solidarity activities, and opposition to land concentration in Brazil. The month marks April 17, when the International Day of Peasant Struggle is celebrated to remember the 21 rural workers murdered by the military police in the 1996 Eldorado dos Carajás massacre in Pará.

Veganic Growing And Animal-Free Agriculture: The Path Forward

Nature is complex. Her underground web is as intricate as her above-ground diversity. Below our feet, bacteria, microorganisms, mycorrhizae, and roots of perennial plants work symbiotically, absorbing and moving nutrients to wherever the need arises. Science has defined ecosystems and family groups, constantly updating our knowledge bank based on the most recent discoveries. However, this is the human interpretation of the natural world, but the way other animal species interpret it is likely different. While all species tend to follow the rhythms of nature, there is one that seems to go against her: ours, Homo sapiens.

A Mobile Food Pantry Meets Refugees Where They Are

It started at a kitchen table more than 15 years ago. In 2008, Greensboro mother of two Kristy Milholin noticed signs of food insecurity among her daughters’ classmates at Morehead Elementary School. She and her husband, Don Milholin, took it upon themselves to pack up bags of free food for several local families every Friday. “She went into mom mode. She couldn’t see kids go hungry,” says Beth Crise, who is the president and executive director of Out of the Garden project, the nonprofit that the Milholins founded after receiving increased requests from families in need.

Food Co-Op Tests New Approach To Equitable Community Solar

A group of energy equity advocates in Boston is launching a community solar cooperative they say could be a scalable model for both reducing carbon emissions and building wealth in disadvantaged communities. The Boston Community Solar Cooperative is in the pre-development stage of an 81 kilowatt solar project on the roof of the Dorchester Food Co-op, in one of the city’s lowest-income neighborhoods. Residents will be able to buy or earn ownership stakes in the project, which will be governed by a board of community stakeholders.

Urban Agriculture In The Heart Of Caracas

Urban agriculture gardens, inspired by methods developed during Cuba’s special period, are being used to promote food security in Venezuela.

The Israeli Agricultural Industry: A Strategic Weakness

Since the beginning of the brutal war waged by the Zionist enemy on Gaza, the agricultural industry in the Zionist entity has witnessed a significant shortage of agricultural labor. The Israeli government issued a decree prohibiting Palestinian workers—some of whom work in the agricultural sector—from entering the Occupied Territories. This was accompanied by the departure of around 8,000 Thai workers from the Occupied Territories at the beginning of the war. This crisis posed a challenge for Zionist farmers, especially in the Gaza Envelope.
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