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

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

 

http://cityroom.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/05/09/the-michael-moore-of-the-grade-school-lunchroom/?hp

May 9, 2013, 4:39 pm NY TIMES: By INDRANI SEN

Guerrilla filmmakers often face crackdowns by the powers that be, and Zachary Maxwell is no exception.

His hidden-camera documentary was almost derailed last year when he was caught filming without permission by a fearsome enforcer – the lunchroom monitor in his school cafeteria.

“She sent me to my teacher, and my teacher told me to delete everything,” said Zachary, who is now 11.

Zachary pretended to delete the day’s shots. After that lapse in production security, he said, “I fired my lookouts.”

What his teacher didn’t know, though, was that Zachary had six months of footage shot surreptitiously in the cafeteria, forming the spine of his 20-minute movie “Yuck: A 4th Grader’s Short Documentary About School Lunch.”

Next month, the film (watch trailer), which has been playing the festival circuit, will be screened at the Manhattan Film Festival.

Like many things in the life of a fourth grader, Zachary’s movie started as a dispute with his parents. He told them that he wanted to start packing his own lunch, but they were skeptical. Lunch is free at his school, P.S. 130 Hernando De Soto in Little Italy, and his parents liked the look of the Department of Education’s online menus, which describe delicious meals, full of whole grains and fresh vegetables, some even designed by celebrity chefs.

“I told them that’s not what they were actually serving me,” Zachary said. “But I don’t think they believed me.”

So he smuggled in a camera in his sweatshirt pocket the next day and filmed lunch.

“When I came back home and showed them the footage, they were like, ugh!” he said.

Soon, Zachary and his father, a lawyer and video hobbyist, were cutting together the footage he brought home every day. (In the film, Zachary goes by the name Zachary Maxwell, though Maxwell is his middle name. His family asked that their last name be withheld because of Zachary’s age.)

In the film, Zachary, who is not above cheesy costumes and goofy special effects, makes a point that is under the radar of most conversations about the quality of school lunches: that despite the Education Department’s efforts to improve nutrition, there is a disconnect between the wholesome meals described on school menus and the soggy, deep-fried nuggets frequently dished up in the lunchrooms.

The film offers no shortage of examples. On a day advertising “cheesy lasagna rolls with tomato basil sauce, roasted spinach with garlic and herbs,” for instance, Zachary is handed a plastic-wrapped grilled cheese sandwich on an otherwise bare plastic foam tray.

A “Pasta Party” is described as “zesty Italian meatballs with tomato-basil sauce, whole grain pasta, Parmesan cheese and roasted capri vegetables.” Meatballs and pasta show up on the tray, if none too zesty-looking, but the vegetables are nowhere to be seen.

Salads devised by the Food Network chefs Rachael Ray and Ellie Krieger are similarly plagued by missing ingredients. On the day Ms. Ray’s “Yum-O! Marinated Tomato Salad” is listed, Zachary is served a slice of pizza accompanied by a wisp of lettuce.

Ms. Krieger’s “Tri-color Salad” is a no-show on one day it is promised, and on another, it lacks its cauliflower, broccoli and red peppers. The shreds of lettuce and slice of cucumber could still be described as tri-color, Zachary points out, if you count “green, light green and brown.”

Indeed, among the 75 lunches that Zachary recorded – chosen randomly, he swears – he found the menus to be “substantially” accurate, with two or more of the advertised menu items served, only 51 percent of the time. The menus were “totally” accurate, with all of the advertised items served, only 16 percent of the time. And by Zachary’s count, 28 percent of the lunches he recorded were built around either pizza or cheese sticks.

A spokeswoman for the Education Department, Marge Feinberg, said in an e-mail that vegetables and fruit were served daily and she suggested that Zachary must have chosen not to take the vegetables served in his cafeteria.

“It would not be the first time a youngster would find a way to get out of eating vegetables,” she wrote. Zachary responded that he always took every item he was offered.

Until this past September, Ms. Feinberg said, schools did have some freedom to deviate from the systemwide lunch menus. New federal regulations for the current school year set stricter guidelines for what elements need to be on each child’s plate.

On Monday, Zachary thought he was in trouble again when he was sent to the principal’s office and found two men in black suits waiting for him.

They turned out to be representatives from the Education Department’s Office of School Food, he said, who complimented him on his movie, asked for feedback on some new menu choices, and took him on a tour of the cafeteria kitchen.

There, Zachary met one of his school’s cooks, and got some insight into her thinking.

“She wants us to be happy,” he reported. “So she cooks what she thinks the kids will like.”

Then he sat down for lunch with the officials. The adults ate the cafeteria lunch of chicken nuggets, carrots and salad.

Zachary had pork and vegetable dumplings – brought from home.

Customers and Other Supporters to Attend Court with Farmer

 

 

URL link for this release: http://www.farmtoconsumer.org/news_wp/?p=8172

Contact: Liz Reitzig, Co-founder, Farm Food Freedom Coalition

301-807-5063, lizreitzig@gmail.com

Pete Kennedy, President, Farm-to-Consumer Legal Defense Fund, 703-208-3276, info@farmtoconsumer.org

 

Farmer Faces Jail for Feeding Community: 

Customers and Other Supporters to Attend Court with Farmer

 Baraboo, WI—May 8, 2013–GlobeNewswire–Food rights activists from around North America will meet at the Sauk County Courthouse in this tiny town on May 20 to support Wisconsin dairy farmer Vernon Hershberger and food sovereignty. Hershberger, whose trial begins that day, is charged with four criminal misdemeanors that could land this husband and father in county jail for up to 30 months with fines of over $10,000.

The Wisconsin Department of Agricultural Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP) targeted Hershberger for supplying a private buying club with fresh milk and other farm products.

DATCP has charged Hershberger with, among other things, operating a retail food establishment without a license. Hershberger repeatedly rejects this, citing that he provides foods only to paid members in a private buying club and is not subject to state food regulations. “There is more at stake here than just a farmer and his few customers,” says Hershberger, “this is about the fundamental right of farmers and consumers to engage in peaceful, private, mutually consenting agreements for food, without additional oversight.”

A little more than a year ago, food rights activists from around the country stood in support of Hershberger at a pre-trial hearing.  They read and signed a “Declaration of Food Independence” that asserts inherent rights in food choice. This month after the trial each day, many of the same food rights activists plus others will gather at the Al Ringling Theater across the street from the courthouse and hear presentations by leaders in the food rights movement. Notable speakers include Virginia farmer Joel Salatin, Mountain Man show star Eustace Conway, and food rights organizer from Maine, Deborah Evans.

Hershberger, and other farmers around the country, are facing state or federal charges against them for providing fresh foods to wanting individuals. In recent months the FDA has conducted several long undercover sting operations and raids against peaceful farmers and buying clubs that have resulted in farms shutting down and consumers without access to the food they depend on.

Information about farm raids: http://www.FarmFoodFreedom.org

For additional information on raw milk: http://www.westonaprice.org

URL for Event:  http://www.farmfoodfreedom.org/event/vernon-hershberger-trial

Kid’s State Dinner: The Healthy Lunchtime Challenge

A healthy, delicious kids’ lunch recipe

The Prize:

A trip to Washington, D.C., and the opportunity to attend the Kids’ “State Dinner”

Boosting brain power and energy are just two of the reasons kids and parents alike should eat a healthy lunch every day.

That’s why First Lady Michelle Obama, the USDA, the U.S. Department of Education, and Epicurious have joined together again for the second Healthy Lunchtime Challenge.

Children 8 to 12 and their parents (or legal guardians) are invited to create and enter their best original lunch recipes inspired by MyPlate, the USDA’s user-friendly guide to healthy eating. One winner from each of the 50 states and U.S. Territories will be awarded a trip to Washington, D.C., and the opportunity to attend the Kids’ “State Dinner,” hosted by Mrs. Obama at the White House this summer. These lucky finalists might also have their recipes served at the event!