Category Archives: Organic Farming

Agroecology and the fight against deadly capitalist agriculture

Climate and Capitalism, June 17, 2018 by Colin Todhunter

Agroecology can free farmers from dependency, manipulated commodity markets, unfair subsidies and food insecurity. It is resisted by giant corporations that profit from the status quo.

Colin Todhunter is an extensively published independent writer and former social policy researcher based in the UK and India. This article was originally published as “Dangerous Liaison: Industrial Agriculture and the Reductionist Mindset,” on his blog, East by Northwest. Colin invites readers to follow him on Twitter.

Food and agriculture across the world is in crisis. Food is becoming denutrified and unhealthy and diets less diverse. There is a loss of biodiversity, which threatens food security, soils are being degraded, water sources polluted and depleted and smallholder farmers, so vital to global food production, are being squeezed off their land and out of farming.

A minority of the global population has access to so much food than it can afford to waste much of it, while food insecurity has become a fact of life for hundreds of millions. This crisis stems from food and agriculture being wedded to power structures that serve the interests of the powerful global agribusiness corporations.

Over the last 60 years, agriculture has become increasingly industrialised, globalised and tied to an international system of trade based on export-oriented mono-cropping, commodity production for the international market, indebtedness to international financial institutions (IMF/World Bank).

This has resulted in food surplus and food deficit areas, of which the latter have become dependent on (US) agricultural imports and strings-attached aid. Food deficits in the Global South mirror food surpluses in the North, based on a ‘stuffed and starved’ strategy.

Whether through IMF-World Bank structural adjustment programmes related to debt repayment as occurred in Africa (as a continent Africa has been transformed from a net exporter to a net importer of food), bilateral trade agreements like NAFTA and its impact on Mexico or, more generally, deregulated global trade rules, the outcome has been similar: the devastation of traditional, indigenous agriculture.

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Organic Agriculture Is Going Mainstream, But Not the Way You Think It Is

Organic going mainstream

“Big Organics” is often derided by advocates of sustainable agriculture. The American food authors Michael Pollan and Julie Guthman, for example, argue that as organic agriculture has scaled up and gone mainstream it has lost its commitment to building an alternative system for providing food, instead “replicating what it set out to oppose.”

New research, however, suggests that the relationship between organic and conventional farming is more complex. The flow of influence is starting to reverse course.

Even with the upscaling, the market position of organic agriculture remains limited.

In Canada, organic sales grow by nearly 10 percent per year, and the total value of the organic market is around $5.4 billion. Yet the reality is that the industry is still dwarfed by conventional agriculture.

There are more than 4,000 certified organic farms in Canada, totalling 2.43 million acres. But this accounts for only 1.5 percent of the country’s total agricultural land.

Also, aside from the two organic heavyweights—coffee (imported) and mixed greens (mostly imported)—the market share of organic groceries is pretty small, at around three percent.

Yet the influence of organics is felt well beyond its own limited market.

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19 Vegetable Garden Care & Maintenance Tips for a Successful Harvest

Does gardening sound like too much work to you? I’m going to shoot straight with you; it can be overwhelming at times.

However, it is work with a hefty reward. You get tons of fresh vegetables and fruit. You also know where they came from and what went into them, giving you peace of mind that you are not ingesting harmful chemicals.

Also, gardening is a great way to get outside, enjoy the fresh air, and get a natural Vitamin D boost as well.

If this sounds great to you, you’ll need to understand that a garden needs care. I’m going to share with you the necessary steps you’ll need to follow to give your garden the proper care.

That way, you can enjoy an excellent harvest and keep your garden under control to avoid feeling overwhelmed. Here is what you need to do:

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Documentary: Modified (2017) – (87 min) Why are GMO foods not labeled in North America?

‘Modified’ is a first-person feature documentary that questions why genetically modified organisms (GMOs) are not labeled on food products in the United States and Canada, despite being labeled in 64 countries around the world. Shot over a span of ten years, the film follows the ongoing struggle to label GMOs, exposing the cozy relationship between the biotech industry and governments. The film is anchored in the intimate story of the filmmaker’s relationship to her mom, a prolific gardener, seed saver, and food activist who battled cancer while the film production was underway. Interweaving the personal and the political, the film uses family archives, animations, and mouth-watering vignettes from the filmmaker’s award-winning PBS cooking show to create a moving account of family legacy, grassroots activism, and the journey for a more sustainable and transparent food system.

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How Going Organic Benefits Your Body

Health Ambition

The word organic is perhaps the word of the decade in regards to the evolving world of food. What does it mean? Why is it important? Why is it more expensive than non-organic food?

“Organic” is the word used to describe plants that have been grown free of pesticides, herbicides, chemicals and genetic manipulation. As big-box companies have been increasingly greedy, these practices has become less popular with mainstream brands and food corporations because they require more diligent care and money by farmers.

These large corporations and brands pay farmers to grow in soil that has been prepped with powerful weed killers, and plants that have been coated with insect/bug resistant toxic agents. All of these things are done in an effort to maximize the size of their harvest.

What they neglect to make a priority is what these practices mean for the health of those that consume them. These greed monsters have put health on the back burner and have focused their attention on profit margins. They spending as little as possible to grow and produce these fruits and vegetables and then charging the masses for their contaminated plants.

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A coloring book! About growing food!

A coloring book! About growing food!

These past few months, I have been writing and illustrating a series of little coloring books about food and edible gardening. They’re pretty neat, if I do say so myself.

There are a limited number of print copies available, or you can buy a digital copy to download and print at home.

If you would like, you can buy them here: shop.plantandplate.com