TAG: farmers

Food Chains: Revealing The True Cost Of A Purchase

Food Chains: Revealing The True Cost Of A Purchase

Transparency in the food supply is more important than ever. It is great to know more about where our food is grown, raised and what it contains. However, for those of us who wonder where our food actually comes from, we also need to be aware of who is behind the production. Farmers, laborers and families represent the force behind our food supply. A new must-see documentary has just been released called Food Chains that exposes this largely unnoticed operation and the real people who are behind stocking our shelves. The spotlight is placed on the U.S. agricultural industry, government… read more

The Sickening Side Of The Chocolate Industry

The Sickening Side Of The Chocolate Industry

Chocolate is a global delight that many consider to be a favorite indulgence. Opening the packaging and releasing the rich aroma, not to mention the whole melting in your mouth sensation, is enough to halt a chocolate lover momentarily in a sensory-heightened escape from the mundane. But do we always think about where our sweet treats travel from in order to get into our hands? Some of the highest cocoa producing commodities are found in the Western African countries of Ghana and the Ivory Coast. These regions produce over 70% of the world’s cocoa. These areas are reportedly also responsible… read more

Buy A Share of Your Local Produce

Community Supported Agriculture

Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) is a program that connects citizens with local farmers. Unlike a farmer’s market, where you simply purchase local produce, CSA enables you to buy a “share” from local producers. Shares usually consist of a portion of the season’s produce. In this scenario members receive a weekly shipment of fresh, local produce to their front doors. The produce arrives, minimally packaged, in a reusable container. Often, this means a wooden or cardboard box, though bags and baskets are also used. Each package is filled with a vibrant assortment of fruits and vegetables, with enough to provide two… read more

Improving Produce Without Genetic Engineering

Improving Produce Without Genetic Engineering

A lot of focus on the food production and farming industries may seem to concentrate on genetically modified foods. However, some plant breeders are working to also bring focus to an age old way of growing premier foods, without using any genetically induced alterations. Rapid genetic analysis, or sometimes referred to as marker-assisted breeding, uses conventional farming techniques and plant breeding with quick ways of identifying alleles and DNA markers and how they are structured. Combining the more traditional forms of farming along with these processes can produce crops with more flavor and color, as well as a more appealing presence and shape. It… read more

Could Climate Change Alter Your Cup of Tea?

Could Climate Change Alter Your Cup of Tea?

As we learn more about climate change and its effects, there is one area that may not readily come to mind: the tea industry. Supposedly, a cup of tea in some areas in China may begin to taste a little different. Climate change and its difference in temperatures and rainfall levels is said to be responsible for altering some agricultural systems, and tea fields may also be susceptible. Other significant changes like antioxidant levels, and even the scent of the tea leaves, are reportedly subject to variances. Researchers from Tufts University are looking into how this favored beverage might be… read more

Step Forward Paper: A Step In The Right Direction

Step Forward Paper: A Step In The Right Direction

Prairie Paper Ventures, Inc. is a privately owned establishment initiated by environmental advocate and actor Woody Harrelson over 15 years ago. The paper company makes its product by using a sustainable mix of wheat straw and recycled fibers, which they call Step Forward Paper. 80% of the paper is made from the blend, and it does not use any portion of the food supply, nor does it use trees. It is also Forest Stewardship Council certified by the Rainforest Alliance. For now it is made in India at an ecomill that has shown to have the ability to sustainably produce… read more

Inquiry Into Agrarian Communities

Inquiry Into Agrarian Communities

Agrarian communities have been documented in many cultures as a means for sustaining local inhabitants. Agrarianism farming concepts focus more on agricultural good for the commonwealth, and not on industrialization and profitable products. There is also the realization that agriculture has the potential to support and sustain communities, and farmers of the land are held in high regard. Some who examine food security issues question whether or not the concept of the first agrarian communities would be beneficial if currently reinstated on a larger scale, and suggest that these types of farms can be proposed as a model for food… read more

Subsistence Farming

Improper farming methods

Subsistence farming is a common lifestyle in many African states. It includes the rearing of domestic animals and the cultivation of crops for home and domestic use, as opposed to doing so for commercial purposes. Farming of this kind is not a discipline one needs to go to university for, it is often passed from generation to generation, which in turn means it is not a science in the strictest sense. This then makes it open to set backs due to ignorance, and lack of proper knowledge pertaining to successful farming. One such set back is the effect that improper… read more

Think Before You Pack

Think Before you Pack

Travel enriches our lives, broadens our minds, and enlightens us to the reality of other nations. By exposing the customs of one nation to an other, travel introduces the likelihood for change. This can lead to the improved welfare of humans, gender equality, the implementation of environmentally sound practices, and the protection and conservation of animals and other wildlife. One of the largest factors in influencing such change is how we travel. If done right, strong foreign bonds can be made. Before you travel, make sure you prepare and pack appropriately. Suitcases don’t need to be stuffed with shoes and gadgets, just filled to a comfortable amount with… read more

Food Justice

Pears

In her book, Weighing In: Obesity, Food Justice, and the Limits of Capitalism, Julie Guthman argues that simply buying organic, local, or otherwise environmentally friendly foods is not sufficient to reform the food system. Rather, she suggests that such approaches simply allow the affluent to opt out of the current system. Meanwhile, the vast majority continue to purchase pesticide-laden, hormone-contaminated, environmentally unfriendly food produced by exploited agricultural workers because they cannot afford to do otherwise. Purchasing organic, local foods certainly provides many benefits for buyers, local farmers, and a small percentage of farm workers who will not be exposed to… read more