Ruminations on Seeds and Weeds… The Battle in our Fields

Indigenous Seeds

Down on the farm, there is simultaneously an explosion of super weeds and a decline of seeds, a waxing and a waning, the yin and yang of Big Ag. These concurrent phenomena are (not coincidentally) caused by the same companies who are striving to control and harness agriculture. They hope to force every last bushel of productivity out of every single acre, achieving yields well beyond those imagined even a few years ago.
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A Passionate and Seedy Weekend in Oregon

Indigenous SeedsI spent my weekend traveling north across the 45th latitude into the wet and foggy Oregon night. Half way between the equator and the North Pole, I was on my way to the Organic Seed Alliance’s 8th annual conference. I didn’t know quite what to expect. How could an entire conference be held on seeds? I consider myself a seeds activist and care passionately about protecting the biodiversity and availability of seeds, but were there many others such as me? I was in for a big surprise.  Continue reading

Organic Matters – Tantalizing tidbits from this week’s food news

NewsThroughout each week I trundle through a lot of reading material. I read during my morning jaunt. I peruse articles before the lights go out at night.  I no doubt subscribe to far too many newsletters and blogs. I diligently perform this ritual in order to stay up to date on food and agriculture news and trends.

It suddenly dawned on me that many of you simply don’t have as much time to study and ingest the same mountain of material.  While facts continue to be unturned, and ideas are being offered up on the plate of newsfeeds and blogospheres, these tidbits can subtlety change our food system. Here are some of my favorites from the week:

 Pesticides Pesticide Spray

A new study could shed light on whether an organic diet helps to decrease pesticide exposure among young children. Civil Eats asks   Is Feeding Your Child Organic Food Enough to Reduce the Pesticides in Her Body?

Watch Hawaii Center for Food Safety’s newest animated video which details the pesticide-seed industry’s practices in Hawaii; Paradise is in Peril! Watch and share: bit.ly/PinPAnimation

GMO’s GMO Safety

The New Hampshire House Environment and Agriculture committee is debating a bill that would require GM foods to be labelled. My Champlain Valley New Hampshire lawmakers considering bill to require GMO labelling

 

Seeds African gold

Can’t join the 8th Organic Seed Growers Conference in person next week? Organic Seed Alliance and eOrganic will be live streaming a selection of sessions directly from the event. Register Here for the live Broadcast Feb 5-6th.

 

Consumer Trends Grocery cart full of organic produce

Such traditional factors as price, taste and convenience hold less sway over consumer purchasing decisions, according to a food industry report. New purchasing influences, such as health and wellness, safety, social impact, experience and transparency, are motivating consumers and forcing food and beverage manufacturers and marketers to adapt. From Food Business News “The US consumer has changed”

Good Eating delicious organic produce

Stop worrying so much about not getting enough protein, and remember that plant-based protein is a lot easier on the planet than animal protein. Buy organic food whenever you can. Source your food as locally as possible, and eat seasonally to avoid racking up major food miles. Eat less and waste less. Be open-minded and creative about new cuisines. Relax. Have fun. Sustainable eating isn’t synonymous with masochism. Read this opinion piece from Outside Online on how: Eating Right Can Save the World