Archive for ‘Corporate Farming & GMO’

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Tugging on an ear of (American) corn

by Caroline Brown

“When one tugs at a single thing in nature, he finds it attached to the rest of the world.”

–John Muir, U.S. environmentalist, preservationist, author, & founder of the Sierra Club

Environmental News Network (ENN) has a great article about what happens when you tug on an ear of American corn. A scientist with the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute has shown that U.S. corn subsidies lead to deforestation in the Amazon rainforest. (Bear with me, I haven’t ranted about corn in a really, really long time. I promise to keep this short and not foamy.)

Friday, December 29, 2006

Safe seeds for 2007

by Caroline Brown

I received my first 2007 gardening catalog yesterday–Select Seeds of Connecticut. I wrote about them in March, so I don’t want to get too detailed about them again except to say that they sell antique and heirloom varieties and it’s a really beautiful catalog. While thumbing through it, this small notice on the inside front cover caught my eye:

The Safe Seed Pledge: We signed the pledge and do not offer genetically altered seeds. Find out more-search for “safe seed sourcebook” on the web.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Ease up on produce farmers

by Caroline Brown

In today’s New York Times. Nina Planck writes a good article about the E.coli outbreak due to eating raw spinach from California. She makes some excellent points, worth discussing here.

Friday, June 9, 2006

Michael Pollan on organic food at Wal-Mart

by Caroline Brown

If any of you have ever read anything by Michael Pollan, you’ll appreciate his recent article in the New York Times on the organic food that’s now available at Wal-Mart. Michael is nothing if not fair–in his inimitable style, he discusses the good, the bad, & the ugly.

Monday, May 15, 2006

Organic food at Wal-Mart

by Caroline Brown

At the Gristmill blog, there's a good article and ongoing discussion about the difference between organic and sustainable agriculture. The genesis of the article is Wal-Mart's pending expansion of its organic food section, which is bound to change the face of organic agriculture (and not for the better.)

Saturday, April 15, 2006

The state of the American small farmer

by Caroline Brown

Tom Philpott at the Gristmill blog wrote a few days ago about the implications of the 2007 Farm Bill for small-scale farmers. He discusses two reports recently released by the USDA's Economic Research Service. I haven't read either of the reports yet, but Economic Well-Being of Farm Households and Growing Farm Size and the Distribution of Farm Payments contain findings that can only be described as a wake-up call for small farmers and especially for aspiring farmers.