FDL Book Salon Welcomes Wenonah Hauter, Foodopoly: The Battle Over the Future of Food and Farming in America

By: Sunday March 10, 2013 1:59 pm

Foodopoly explains how food policy has run amok, making the small farmer of yesteryear now an extinct species. Ms. Hauter has carefully outlined how control of our food sources has been consolidated under control of an oligopoly of food processors. Even the organic food industry has been co-opted and corrupted by corporate greed.

The deregulation of food has made it difficult to trust the safety of what we purchase at the grocery store. Factory farms have virtually eliminated family farming as originally envisioned by the land grant acts of 1862. We are asked to accept and consume genetically modified food [GMO] which has a direct correlation to endemic metabolic disease, and is banned in other countries around the world.

 

The Agricultural Cliff

By: Monday December 10, 2012 11:55 am

Another serious cliff resulting from the silly way Congress does business concerns the failure to pass a farm bill earlier this year. The Senate passed its own with bipartisan support, the House Agriculture Committee passed a version and then the House leadership refused to put that onto the floor for a variety of reasons. They broke in September without a plan for passage, and the lame duck session has been consumed by negotiations through the media on the fiscal slope, without addressing the farm bill.

Industry Touts GMOs as Solution to Drought Conditions for Agriculture

By: Wednesday August 15, 2012 10:10 am

Monsanto and others who market genetically modified plant seeds appear eager to promote themselves as the solution droughts. But if our burned planet forces us to use GMOs because only those crops will stand up to the heat and lack of water, the least that we can do is to inform the public of what they’re eating. California will have a ballot measure in November that would force mandatory labeling of GMOs on all food product that use them.

US Drought Update

By: Thursday August 2, 2012 7:15 pm

The current US Drought Monitor map was published today.

All but four Chicago-area counties in the US state of Illinois are disaster counties. Illinois has 102 counties. In short, Illinois, and I mean the whole of this giant Midwest state, is a government-listed, aid eligible disaster area. Illinois is, in pertinent part a leading US producer of corn, soybeans and swine, with 76,000 farms covering 28 million acres amounting to nearly eighty percent of Illinois total land acreage.

FDA Seeks “Voluntary” Limits on Antibiotics in Livestock

By: Thursday April 12, 2012 1:00 pm

Instead of setting clear limits, or just banning multiple types of antibiotics for use in livestock (as this legislation from Louise Slaughter would do), the FDA just prescribed “voluntary limits.” Why? Because they’ve been trying to ban antibiotics in livestock since 1977. And agribusiness along with pharmaceutical companies lobby against it, and it doesn’t happen. So we’re reduced to begging drugmakers to stop facilitating the fact that the hamburger on our plates is filled with penicillin and tetracycline.

Greek Bailout Threatened as Bondholder Agreement Lags

By: Tuesday January 10, 2012 8:30 am

The Greek bailout is in trouble, threatened by a disagreement between the ECB and Germany and France who are threatening not to release the next tranche of bailout funds. The Greek government has no leverage, and any default will hurt mainly the Greek people.

Late Night: The Truth about GM Crops, Farmer to Farmer

By: Sunday June 26, 2011 8:00 pm

I came across this video in the twitterverse and wanted to share it because it gives you a good idea of what is involved in actually using GM seed and the (hoocoodanode!?) consequences. Farmer to Farmer.

FDL Movie Night: Pricele$$

By: Monday November 8, 2010 5:00 pm

What is the cost of getting elected? A lot. More zeros than I can count per candidate per election cycle. That money comes from their own personal wealth and even more so from campaign donations; case in point, failed California gubernatorial candidate Meg Whitman, who could have done a lot more good for California giving that $140 million (forty of it hers), to schools and causes, funding small locally businesses in depressed neighborhoods, investing and spreading her wealth, rather than spending her owns and the combined of others besides. For decades it has taken small fortunes to get elected, or at least to run: Kennedy, Bush, Kerry, McCain, Edwards, these are storied and even more so moneyed names which come to mind as using personal wealth. Candidates without such a kick start need to work even harder to raise money, and along the way, America has lost. Pricele$$ points out that politics is not a poor man’s business. Yet the majority of Americans lack the funding to run for office, should they so choose.

Deaths In The Fields: Why State Agencies Need Help Protecting America’s Workers

By: Saturday April 3, 2010 11:49 am

We need HR 2067, the Protecting America’s Workers Act (PAWA). A fully resourced OSHA could fill in the gaps where the state-level agencies often fail. They could deliver larger penalties without the byzantine appeals process at agencies like Cal-OSHA. They could provide the ability for families to seek justice from employers through the courts. Simply put they could restore the promise of a safe and health workplace for everybody in America.

FDL Movie Night Presents: Fresh

By: Monday May 25, 2009 5:00 pm

Fresh, Ana Sophia Joanes’s documentary about the American food system and ways of farming is an eye-opening look at industrialized farming and at the importance and necessity of returning to more natural methods. The real stars of the movie are food revolutionaries like farmer Joel Salatin, a self-described “Christian-Libertarian-Environmentalist-Lunatic Farmer” who by simply rotating crops and growing naturally can produce $3,000 worth of crops and animals on an acre, versus his neighbors who factory-farm cows and only make $150 an acre.

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