Recent discussions about farming have often focused on declining numbers of farmers and the distance food travels to reach our plates. Times are changing. Now, there are a variety of initiatives making local foods more attainable.Read More
Ever since humans first took tools to the land to grow crops and construct permanent settlements, we as a species have understood that our actions have a lasting impact on the natural world. Whether it was the deforestation of areas for the purposes of expanding arable land or the silting of river systems because of extensive irrigation, the progress and upword mobility of humanity has only been possible through the modification, for good or for ill, of our physical environment. Obviously it would be impossible to live without making some sort of impact on the land, but given the technology at our disposal and the size of the human population, the ways in which we are disrupting nature are both more subtle and more dangerous than at any other point in our history.
Organic farming seems to be a buzz-word in the green circles these days. It has become a movement with its own sustainable strength and the ability to convey its message to thousands (if not millions) of people around the globe. Although the movement did start gaining momentum in the more developed countries, developing countries are vying to catch up as well. The primary reason for this is that health organizations are finally realizing the incredible toll that pesticides and insecticides are inflicting on the population of their country. From farmers who refuse to eat their own produce that is sprayed with these chemicals to mothers miscarrying because of the large amounts of pesticides in the environment, the truth is dawning upon the conscience of the world’s largest democracy. This was demonstrated when a new Indian show titled ‘’Satyamev Jayate’’ which translates ‘’Truth Alone Triumphs’’ chronicled the rise of pesticide use in India and its effects. After intense research, stories are finally being produced to show how a nation is being poisoned by the same food that is supposed to keep it healthy.
The phrase ‘not in my backyard’ (sometimes referred to as ‘NIMBYism’) is commonly used for environmental problems. After all, who wants to live in close proximity to a nuclear power plant or toxic waste facility? However, some things that are moving further away from our backyards should, in fact, move closer.Read More
When my father retired last year, he would wax poetic about all the opportunities he was going to take advantage of, fantasizing about grand adventures and odd hobbies. One of his more farfetched ideas was to take up beekeeping. I laughed at first, but the more I thought about it, the more it seemed like this pursuit could be beneficial for my dad’s spare time, my mother’s sanity, and for the planet as well.
It’s hard to imagine our current agricultural system evolving progressively, considering the regression we’re in, but a presentation given at the Nordic Exceptional Trendshop last week by NASA-inspired individuals could give it the push it needs. The idea is called Agropolis – an urban agricultural venue with a grocery store, restaurant and farm, all under the same roof.
Tuesday is the Editor-in-Chief of Ecolutionist and has allowed us to feature one of her articles on our site. Be sure to check out her site at www.ecolutionist.com.
As our world population continues to grow at an accelerated pace, with 70% of humans expected to live within urban centres by 2050, concerns pertaining to land use and food production have taken on a greater importance than ever before. Recently, a long-looming idea has been more brought to the forefront of the discussion: the concept of vertical farming as a form of crop production in urban centres, for which the development of new technology in recent years has allowed prototypes to reach the brink of reality.
“The right to know what we eat is at the heart of food democracy” – Dr. Vandana Shiva
Dr. Shiva’s words encapsulate the core sentiment of the current American GMO labelling campaign. The last few weeks have seen a marked increase in the amount of public discourse and protest surrounding the politics of GMO labelling policy, manifesting most dramatically in the Right2Know March, which began in New York and ended in Washington at the gates of the White House on October 16th 2011. Right2Know organizers purported the slogan “Just Label It!” demanding that the United States government create mandatory GMO labelling laws, much like those seen throughout the European Union and numerous Asian countries. The group also asks for the US government to get biotechnology corporations, like industry leader, Monsanto, in check, by allowing pre-emptive legal action by organic farmers to protect themselves against seed patenting.