- Have We Taken Water for Granted?
Our water supplies are dwindling every day. With the glaciers melting at an exponential rate, our only source of fresh water are either in the Great Lakes or groundwater. A scary thought to think about is knowing human beings cannot survive without water. Have we really taken a path future generations cannot follow?
An article out of Grist, an independent green news beacon, discusses the water issues of California’s farm country. The article covers the high levels of nitrates polluting the groundwater in the California’s Central Valley. The news was uncovered by a report compiled by the University of California-Davis who under contract by California State Water Resources Control Board. The report’s lead scientist, Thomas Harter, states “The water table in the area is so polluted with nitrates that remediation is not practical.”
The report further states, “at least 2.6 million (or one in 10) people in this region rely on groundwater to drink, and it would cost a full $20 million to $35 million annually to provide them with safe water. Nitrates in water are linked to a number of health issues, including a fatal syndrome in infants called methemoglobinemia, or “blue baby syndrome.” How could this happen to our water?
The thought of money comes to my mind when I read this article. Money created big agricultural farms to pollute our water, minds, and bodies. Money pays off the officials who are suppose to protect the public health from corporate greed. Money is what will destroy our environment and our planet if we continue to walk the path of destruction.
Organic agriculture is the way if we are to ever change the way of life for humanity. Sustainable living within your means needs to be a norm. The future of the world is in our hands and it is up to the young people to affect change. Without young people, we most certainly took water for granted and the generations will suffer.
To read the article mentioned above, here is the link: http://grist.org/industrial-agriculture/tapped-out-water-in-californias-farm-country-is-dangerously-polluted/
By FPC coordinator on Thursday, March 15th, 2012. Posted in Chili Pod Blog | Comments Off
- Enacted Policy ends the Reign of Food Activism in Iowa
Just this week, the Iowa Legislature passed a bill to enact an “Ag-Gag” on anyone who uses false pretenses to gain access to factory farms. Now a crime, activists and photographers who wish to expose the dirty business of factory farming are in danger of being imprisoned for sharing the news to the world. How could our elected officials ally with big business when the countless activists and photographers are only trying to protect us?
Iowa joins North Dakota, Montana, and Kansas in enacting the strict “Ag-Gag” laws. Why would they decide to pass such a crazy out of this world law?
Because food activism is winning and they want to shut us up!
For more information on the article, here is the link. http://grist.org/list/ag-gag-rules-choke-off-supply-of-livestock-snuff-films/
By FPC coordinator on Friday, March 2nd, 2012. Posted in Chili Pod Blog | Comments Off
- Ethanol: Profit or Food?
Everyday, more people are beginning to realize Climate Change is a real serious issue. Today we have temperature levels in the high 40′s in the middle of winter. Even in Washington, D.C. a few weeks ago, the temperature was 70 degrees in the middle of January. As a former Washingtonian this is a very drastic change for January weather. I asked my friend who is a native of Santa Fe the other day if the weather in Santa Fe is normal. He replied, “Not at all. A little too warm if I might add.”
As a former Washingtonian, I read a lot of newspapers and my daily read consists of almost all the political newspapers (Politico, The Hill, Roll Call, The Washington Post) to name just a few. The newspapers in the last few months have focused many of their articles on energy and America’s independence on foreign oil. The Keystone XL Pipeline, which cuts through the United States from Alberta, Canada has dominated the newspapers as a tool to secure our energy independence though President Obama recently rejected the project. Which brings me to one conclusion, where will the special interest groups focus their efforts now? I hate to say it, but Ethanol.
Ethanol is a biofuel created from corn and carries a lot baggage. This past summer, Congress reversed the ethanol subside giving companies less of an incentive to produce ethanol. I read a recent article published in Bloomberg’s Businessweek that discussed Ethanol. The article stated in 2007, “100 million tons of grain was converted into biofuel. That is enough food to feed 450 million people for a year.” That is shocking to read because today we have the highest obesity and diabetes rates. All this corn could be used to provide a healthier meal than majority of people eat. Even more alarming fact from the article, the Congressional Budget Office statistics state that the cost of ethanol increases food prices and could cost Americans $900 million more for food stamps and nutritional programs for children.
According to the book Carbon Free, Nuclear Free: A Roadmap to U.S. Energy Policy, converting corn to ethanol results in about ½ or just under ½ of the energy value being in the ethanol. Ethanol production does have a significant positive effect in reducing petroleum consumption, since much of the energy used in its production is in the form of natural gas, coal, and electricity. Also, the global effects of rapidly increasing the use of corn, and possibly other food crops, such as cassava, which is a subsistence crop in much of Africa, for fuel ethanol could be devastating to the world’s poor.
Ethanol is not our solution to our energy demands. If any, ethanol can hurt American people with the economic downturn and destroy our food source. Studies have been conducted through the years of ethanol use and found majority of the U.S. states that produce ethanol do not even have pumping stations to funnel their product to customers. One would think ethanol is another green washing opportunity for corporations to make money off a serious issue for our planet.
To read the article from Businessweek, here is the link: http://www.businessweek.com/lifestyle/content/may2009/bw20090526_169812.htm
By FPC coordinator on Tuesday, February 7th, 2012. Posted in Chili Pod Blog | Comments Off
- Elder Power
When I walk through the Santa Fe community, promoting fresh, local, traditional food the residents’ eyes light up and the ideas flow. Navigating through the food pantries that service Santa Fe, I gained knowledge on a world I had never been accustomed to. The people I met and the workers I worked along side with are teachers.
Food for Santa Fe, a food pantry based on Siler Road behind the Food Depot, is run by elders who love their service and give everything to feed the community of Santa Fe since the 70′s. As the youngest person who volunteers every Thursday morning I have to say the group puts a smile on my face. Food for Santa Fe works as a drive-thru food pantry. Every Thursday morning, a group of elders come together and hand out bags of groceries behind the Food Depot. A sense of humor, politeness, quick hands, and if you have a previous boxing career helps in being a part of the mini community that is Food for Santa Fe.
Since working with the elders of Food for Santa Fe, I have witnessed the power of elders giving out food. The participants of Food for Santa Fe receive their food, hear the jokes and laugh at the humorous people that make cold mornings worth it. A power every community should replicate. The workers of the Food for Santa Fe, who always put a smile on my face, reward me with a cup of hot chocolate, a warm cinnamon roll, and fresh fruit for handling the cold weather when we sit down at Dulce’s. Before Christmas, the leader of Food for Santa Fe gifted me a pair of winter gloves to keep my hands warm during the early Thursday mornings that Food for Santa Fe is in operation. A feeling of my home in Wisconsin is found at Food for Santa Fe and an idea to bring home for the elders and veterans of the Menominee Nation.
- Marcus, Americorp Member
By FPC coordinator on Friday, January 27th, 2012. Posted in Chili Pod Blog | Comments Off
- Entrepreneurs Keep Local Food Movement Fire Going
The Local Food Movement has gained monumental traction since First Lady Obama launched the White House garden and “Let’s Move.” For the past three years, communities across the United States are making local food their number one priority. Communities are using schools, non-profit organizations, and public policy to make an impact. Though many have overlooked a key to the Local Food Movement, entrepreneurs and small business owners. At the 2010 Clinton Global Initiative in Miami, Will Allen, CEO of Growing Power, stated that the beginning stages of successful economic development start with local food. This article speaks truth to the statement made by Will Allen back in 2010.
The article goes on to suggest a 190 page report “Community Food Enterprise: Local Successes in a Global Marketplace” which spotlights 24 ventures around the world that are pioneering models for local food. The examples from the report include private companies, co-ops, and nonprofits. Does not matter the form, all the enterprises are locally controlled and aim to be sustainable business operations, not dependent on grants or government subsidies. The report funded by the Gates and Kellogg Foundations highlights the role of local food businesses play in economic development; creating jobs and bringing money into the community.
Entrepreneur’s are innovators of our time and must be taken seriously. The article covers statistics regarding local farms, the barriers to ensuring local food is every communities’ norm, and links you to other relevant articles provided by Business Week. A great resource to any individual or business that is planning to incorporate local food into their innovative ideas.
By FPC coordinator on Tuesday, January 17th, 2012. Posted in Chili Pod Blog | Comments Off