cost-of-food
From: “Brad Wilson” <fireweed@netins.net>
 
Subject: [COMFOOD: ] The Farm Subsidy Paradigm Dividing Us
Reply-To: “Brad Wilson” <fireweed@netins.net>Our movement continues to have a huge challenge in countering the divide and conquer strategies of agribusiness, at least from the perspective of the “farm justice” (family farm, farmers-in-the-middle) sector.

Our typical failure to successfully overcome this challenge is dramatically illustrated by contrasting videos and other materials, such as the following.  On one side, see the new report and video from the Union of Concerned Scientists:

An Apple a Day …. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4Fxm3h8I90I

On the other side, see my video review, which builds upon the UCS video, (as a teachable moment,) to give a simple pictorial tutorial of the farm bill, in terms of the other, radically different paradigm.

Review: ‘An Apple a Day:’ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VQkeDza3bM0&feature=c4-overview-vl&list=PLA1E706EFA90D1767

Paradigm change is tough, mind-wrenching.  Don’t expect resolution through just one viewing!

Brad Wilson
Fireweed Farm, Iowa CCI, NFFC, Via Campesina

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Legislation Would Phase Out Non-therapeutic Use of Antibiotics for Farm Animals

From: “The Humane Society of the United States” <awest@humanesociety.org>
Date: June 27, 2013 3:42:09 PM EDT
Subject: [COMFOOD: ] Sen. Feinstein Introduces Preventing Antibiotic Resistance Act
Reply-To: “The Humane Society of the United States” <awest@humanesociety.org>
                                                                                                                                   
 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Sen. Feinstein and Bipartisan Cosponsors Introduce
Preventing Antibiotic Resistance Act
Legislation Would Phase Out Non-therapeutic Use of Antibiotics for Farm Animals
WASHINGTON (June 27, 2013) – To preserve the effectiveness of antibiotics for treating sick people and animals, Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., has introduced the Preventing Antibiotic Resistance Act, which would phase out the routine non-therapeutic use of these drugs in farm animals. With antibiotics routinely laced into the feed and water to promote growth and to keep animals alive in unhealthy and inhumane conditions on industrial factory farms, animal agriculture accounts for more than 70 percent of total sales of medically important antibiotics in the United States.
Sen. Feinstein was joined by a bipartisan group of cosponsors – Sens. Susan Collins, R-Maine, Jack Reed, D-R.I., Maria Cantwell, D-Wash., Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., and Barbara Boxer, D-Calif. The Humane Society of the United States and the Humane Society Veterinary Medical Association praised the legislators for their action.
Michael Blackwell, DVM, MPH, an HSVMA Leadership Council member and former deputy director for the Food and Drug Administration’s Center for Veterinary Medicine, said: “We commend Senator Feinstein and the cosponsors of this important legislation for working to rein in the overuse of antibiotics in animal agriculture. We cannot afford to continue the reckless practices that jeopardize the viability of these precious tools for human and animal health.”
More than 450 organizations representing agricultural, health, environmental, animal protection, hunger, labor, religious and other concerns endorse federal legislation to phase out the overuse of antibiotics in animal agriculture. Additionally, 125 individual veterinary professionals have signed a petition sponsored by the HSVMA, which reads:
“We, the undersigned licensed veterinary professionals, support…federal legislation that would phase out the routine non-therapeutic use of antibiotics in farm animals. Antibiotic overuse is a common practice in animal agriculture to compensate for overcrowded, stressful and unsanitary conditions on factory farms. Profligate use of these drugs threatens to ruin the effectiveness of antibiotics for treating sick animals and people. As medical professionals, we support efforts to restrict such non-judicious uses of antibiotics in order to protect animal and human health.”
In March, Rep. Louise Slaughter, D-N.Y., introduced similar legislation in the House, the Preservation of Antibiotics for Medical Treatment Act (PAMTA), H.R. 1150.
 Media Contact: Anna West: 301-258-1518; awest@humanesociety.org
Subscribe to Wayne Pacelle’s blog, A Humane Nation. Follow The HSUS on Twitter. See our work for animals on your Apple or Android device by searching for our “Humane TV” app.
The Humane Society of the United States is the nation’s largest animal protection organization, rated the most effective by its peers. Since 1954, The HSUS has been fighting for the protection of all animals through advocacy, education and hands-on programs. We rescue and care for tens of thousands of animals each year, but our primary mission is to prevent cruelty before it occurs. We’re there for all animals, across America and around the world. Celebrating animals and confronting cruelty — on the Web at humanesociety.org.
The Humane Society Veterinary Medical Association was formed as a home for veterinary professionals who want to join together to speak out for animals, engage in direct care programs for animals in need, and educate the public and others in the profession about animal welfare issues. The HSVMA is an affiliate of The Humane Society of the United States. www.hsvma.org
If you would rather not receive future communications from Humane Society of the United States, let us know by clicking here.
Humane Society of the United States, 2100 L Street, NW, Washington, DC 20037 United States

from BrainPickings

Delicious Vintage Food PSA Posters

by 

Save the sugar, eat your oatmeal, know your onions, and other tips from Uncle Sam.

Spending countless hours digging through archives isn’t without its rewards — namely, such semi-serendipitous finds as gorgeous black-and-white photos of NASA facilities,vintage ads for libraries and reading,yesteryear’s science ads, and mid-century posters from the Golden Age of Travel. My latest addition comes from the public domain images of the U.S. National Archives: a handful of delicious vintage food PSA posters, a number of which were later included in the book Eating with Uncle Sam: Recipes and Historical Bites from the National Archives (public library), based on the National Archive exhibition titled What’s Cooking, Uncle Sam? The Government’s Effect on the American Diet.

Pair with F. Scott Fitzgerald’s 13 uses for turkey leftovers.

The Rebellion of the Canadian Church Ladies

By Andy Fisher for  CIVILEATS:

Freedom 90: The Rebellion of the Canadian Church Ladies

By  on May 23, 2013

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What if the little old ladies who run the neighborhood church food pantry rebelled? What if they said “we’re 70 years old, we’ve been feeding people for 20 years, and hell if we want to do it for another 20?” What if they demanded that the government reduce the incidence of poverty so that food pantries don’t need to exist in the first place?

Hard to imagine? Well, that’s exactly what has happened in the province of Ontario. With the support of an experienced community organizer, volunteers from emergency meal programs, and food banks (what we call a food pantry in the U.S.) have decided to form a “union.” They’re calling it Freedom 90, a spoof on the “Freedom 55” financial planning advertisements that promise the good life to Canadians who work hard and invest their savings wisely, so they can retire by 55.

Tongue in cheek, yet deadly serious, these volunteers want to “retire” by the time they hit 90. They are tired of the perpetual emergency of having to provide free food boxes every week for the past two decades, but are compelled to continue because of the need they see in their communities.

The union charter states that “poverty is being ‘re-branded’ as ‘hunger’ to mask its cause: inadequate incomes, which are due to low wages, precarious work, and social assistance levels too low to provide adequate housing and food.” It holds that every resident of the province has “the right to health and dignity, including enough income to pay the rent and buy food.”

A “separate and segregated food system for people with low incomes” is undignified, humiliating, unsustainable and inefficient, in their opinion. Clarifying their position on the emergency food system, they add:

“We’re not advocating the closing of food banks, rather we want to make food banks obsolete — unnecessary…. Food banks are not bad, but charity has real limitations. Food Banks are addressing a gap in society and it is the gap that we need to close to remove the need for people to rely on food banks in the first place….”

The idea for the union came out of a five-year old campaign to reduce poverty in Ontario, the Put Food in the Budget campaign. The primary goal of the campaign was to gain an immediate $100 per month increase in social assistance checks, to reduce hunger, and to act as a down payment toward poverty reduction.

The union launched in May 2012 on a wing and a prayer, and has since enrolled 100 members. Knowing that humor can be a very effective organizing tool, their Web site lays out three demands, and is a call for forward-thinking public policy:

1) Lay us off! The Government of Ontario must ensure that social assistance and minimum wage levels are sufficient for everyone to have adequate housing and to buy their own food.

2) Mandatory retirement by the age of 90! Many of us have been volunteering for 20 years and there is no end in sight. The Freedom 90 Union demands the Government of Ontario take urgent action to end poverty and make food banks and emergency meal programs unnecessary.

3) Freeze our wages! Or double them! It doesn’t matter because we are unpaid volunteers.

They even have an anthem, a modified version of Paul Simon’s “50 Ways to Leave your Lover” renamed “50 Ways to Close the Food Bank.”

And uniquely in this discussion, after the launch of the Freedom 90 union in 2012, campaign organizers explored integrating emergency food recipients into the union, bringing together both parties as equals. Interestingly, both volunteers and recipients identified the same problems with food banking. When asked to contemplate the possibility that they would be continue to be involved–either as volunteer or recipient–for the long term, it was “like the ceiling fell in. It was like this horrible terrible feeling of oh my god, could that really happen?”

It is commonly believed that charity separates the giver from the recipient. Yet, in this case, both food pantry volunteers and recipients share the same recognition that the charitable food system is unsustainable and undignified, and that the only exit is through the government taking a larger role in ensuring the public’s right to an adequate living.

Both volunteer and recipient know that the charitable food system enables corporations to keep wages low and profits high. They both know that the charitable food system enables the government to tamp down its expenditures on safety net programs, thus minimizing taxes on the middle class and wealthy. This same system has failed both giver and receiver, yet it continues to grow, in part perpetuated by these entrenched interests, and in part because it preys upon the volunteers’ compassion and the recipients’ desperation.

Maybe the Canadian church ladies are like the proverbial canary in the coalmine, an indicator of a dangerous and unhealthy situation. They are showing us that it is high time that we reverse course across North America and make charitable food obsolete in our communities–for their freedom, but more importantly for the health and dignity of the poor who have come to depend on charity for survival.