Transition Brockville archive

Tag : Industrial agriculture (40)

Processed foods drive surge in obesity rates

United Nations News Centre / 19 January 2017

The FAO/PAHO report points out that one of the main factors contributing to the rise of obesity and overweight has been the change in dietary patterns. Economic growth, increased urbanization, higher average incomes and the integration of the region into international markets have reduced the consumption of traditional preparations and increased consumption of ultra-processed products, a problem that has had greater impact on areas and countries that are net food importers.

To address this situation, FAO and PAHO call for the promotion of healthy and sustainable food systems that link agriculture, food, nutrition and health.

[ FULL ARTICLE ]

6 ways to grow food year round in any climate

Mother Earth News / Destiny Hagest / 19 December 2016

How do we make it so even people in hardiness Zones 5 and below can realistically (without tons of electrical input or expense) grow enough food to sustain themselves year round?

Solutions abound — it’s more than possible, no matter where you are, to take control of your food again, and bring your supermarket home. Here are some simply brilliant solutions to challenging climates, so that everyone, everywhere, can start producing their own food.

[ FULL ARTICLE ]

Methane emissions surge threatens climate change goals

CBC News / 12 December 2016

Robert Jackson, a co-author of the paper and professor in Earth system science at Stanford University, said methane can come from many different sources, including natural sources such as marshes and other wetlands, but about 60 percent comes from human activities, notably agriculture.

A smaller portion of the human contribution, about a third, comes from fossil fuel exploration, where methane can leak from oil and gas wells during drilling.

“When it comes to methane, there has been a lot of focus on the fossil fuel industry, but we need to look just as hard, if not harder, at agriculture,” Jackson said.

[ FULL ARTICLE ]

Why a new national strategy on food can’t satisfy all

Globe and Mail / Ann Hui / 24 October 2016

national-food-policy-objectivesMs. Bronson, the executive director of Food Secure Canada, rattled off a long list of issues: poverty and social injustice, climate change and the environment, obesity and diet-related disease. “Food policy can help us solve some of the most intractable problems we are facing as a country, and as a planet,” she said.

After that, it was time for Greg Meredith, the man whose job it will be to put together the long-awaited policy, to take the stage.

Mr. Meredith, an assistant deputy minister at Agriculture Canada who will chair the committee that works on the policy, approached the mic. “Thank you,” he said, gesturing at Ms. Bronson, “for raising expectations so high that it’s impossible for me to do my job.”

[ FULL ARTICLE ]

Why the food movement is unstoppable

Independent Science News / Jonathan Latham / 20 September 2016

jose-bove-farmer-activistNot long ago, the New York Times asserted that the centre aisles of US supermarkets are being called “the morgue” because sales of junk food are crashing; meanwhile, an international consultant told Bloomberg magazine that “there’s complete paranoia“, at major food companies where the food movement is being taken very seriously.

The context of that paranoia is that food movements are rapidly growing social and political phenomena almost all over the world. In the US alone, there have been surges of interest in heirloom seeds, in craft beers, in traditional bread and baking, in the demand for city garden plots, in organic food, and in opposition to GMOs. Simultaneously, there has been a massive growth of interest in food on social media and the initiation or renewal of institutions such as SlowFood USA and the Grange movement, to name just a few.

Even at the normally much quieter farming end of the food value chain, agribusiness has had to resort to buying up “independent” academics and social media supporters to boost the case for GMOs and pesticides.

[ FULL ARTICLE ]

Vanishing act: Why insects are declining and why it matters

Yale E360 / Christian Schwägerl / 06 July 2016

invertebrate populationsA 2014 study in Science documented a steep drop in insect and invertebrate populations worldwide. By combining data from the few comprehensive studies that exist, lead author Rodolfo Dirzo, an ecologist at Stanford University, developed a global index for invertebrate abundance that showed a 45 percent decline over the last four decades. Dirzo points out that out of 3,623 terrestrial invertebrate species on the International Union for Conservation of Nature [IUCN] Red List, 42 percent are classified as threatened with extinction.

“Although invertebrates are the least well-evaluated faunal groups within the IUCN database, the available information suggests a dire situation in many parts of the world,” says Dirzo.

[ FULL ARTICLE ]

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The Transition Framework

Inner Transition is occasionally overlooked in favour of more immediately ‘practical’ undertakings, reinforcing an observed and acknowledged division in many Transition Initiatives between “doers” and “talkers”, but for Transition Initiatives looking to foster a kind of community resilience that is equitable, inclusive, nimble, responsive, caring, and cohesive, Inner Transition efforts are a necessary place to start.

— Anne Rucchetto, Blake Poland
TB Projects

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