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.

 

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.

Fixing Our Food Problem By MARK BITTMAN

January 1, 2013, 7:52 pm79 Comments

Fixing Our Food Problem

By MARK BITTMAN
Mark Bittman

Nothing affects public health in the United States more than food. Gun violence kills tens of thousands of Americans a year. Heart disease, cancer, stroke and diabetes kill more than a million people a year — nearly half of all deaths — and diet is a root cause of many of those diseases.

And the root of that dangerous diet is our system of hyper-industrial agriculture, the kind that uses 10 times as much energy as it produces.

We must figure out a way to un-invent this food system. It’s been a major contributor to climate change, spawned the obesity crisis, poisoned countless volumes of land and water, wasted energy, tortured billions of animals… I could go on. The point is that “sustainability” is not only possible but essential: only by saving the earth can we save ourselves, and vice versa.

How do we do that?

This seems like a good day to step back a bit and suggest something that’s sometimes difficult to accept.

Patience.

We can only dismantle this system little by little, and slowly. Change takes time. Often — usually — that time exceeds the life span of its pioneers. And when it comes to sustainable food for billions, we’re the pioneers of a food movement that’s just beginning to take shape. The abolition movement began at least a century before the Civil War, 200 years before the civil rights movement. The struggle to gain the right to vote for women in the United States was active for 75 years before an amendment was passed. The gay rights struggle has made tremendous strides over the last 40 years, but equal treatment under the law is hardly established.

Well-cared-for animals will necessarily be more expensive, which means we’ll eat fewer of them; that’s a win-win. 

Activists who took on these issues had in common a clear series of demands and a sense that the work was ongoing. They had a large and ever-growing public following and a willingness to sacrifice time, energy and even life for the benefit not only of contemporaries but for subsequent generations.

They were also aware that there is no success without a willingness to fail; that failure is a part of progress. A single defeat was seen as a temporary setback. The same vision should be applied to every issue the nascent food movement is tackling.

Yet before we can assess our progress, we must state our goals. There is no consensus behind a program for achieving sustainable production of food that promotes rather than attacks health. We can’t ask for “better food for all”; we must be specific. In the very near term, for example, we must fight to protect and improve programs that make food available to lower-income Americans. We must also support the increasingly assertive battles of workers in food-related industries; nothing reflects our moral core more accurately than the abuses we overlook in the names of convenience and economy.

Beyond that, I believe that the two issues that will have the greatest reverberations in agriculture, health and the environment are reducing the consumption of sugar-laden beverages and improving the living conditions of livestock.

About the first I have written plenty, and can summarize: when we begin treating sugar-sweetened beverages as we do tobacco, we will make a huge stride in improving our diet.

The second is even more powerful, and progress was made in that arena in 2012 as one food company after another resolved to (eventually) reject pork produced with gestation crates. So over the next few years, some animals will be treated somewhat better. This is absolutely, unquestionably thanks to public pressure, which should now set its sights higher and insist that all animals grown for food production be treated not just better but well.

Well-cared-for animals will necessarily be more expensive, which means we’ll eat fewer of them; that’s a win-win. They’ll use fewer antibiotics, they’ll be produced by more farmers in more places, and they’ll eat less commodity grain, which will both reduce environmental damage and allow for more land to be used for high-quality human food like fruits and vegetables.

Allies may argue that I miss the mark with either or both of these, and that’s fine: it’s a discussion. The point is that no major food issue will be resolved in the next 10 years. As pioneers, we must build upon incremental progress and not be disheartened, because often there isn’t quick resolution for complex issues.

An association between tobacco and cancer was discovered more 200 years ago. The surgeon general’s report that identified smoking as a public health issue appeared in 1964. The food movement has not yet reached its 1964; there’s isn’t even a general acknowledgment of a problem in need of fixing.

So, in 2013, let’s call for energy, action — and patience.

A version

Help us Stop Monsanto this fall – Join Us for the Food Fight of the Century to Label GMOs!

Late last Friday biotech chemical and seed giant Monsanto doubled-down on their bet against American’s farmers and citizens.

In a desperate bid to keep Americans in the dark about what they’re eating, Monsanto just funneled another $2.9 million dollars to defeat California’s Prop 37 to label genetically engineered foods. This comes on top of their $4.2 million dollar pledge only weeks ago and brings Monsanto’s combined total to more than $7.1 million dollars!  That’s a huge pile of cash and it’s dedicated to only one thing – denying you the Right to Know what’s in your food.

It’s also appalling! And a sign that Monsanto is panicking. If we didn’t know better, we’d think Monsanto had something to hide. (In fact, we know they do).

Already giant pesticide and big food companies have donated more than $32 million to defeat Yes on 37 to label GMOs in California. Earlier this spring, the Grocery Manufacturers of America (GMA), of which Monsanto is a leading partner, declared that defeating Prop 37 was its single highest priority for 2012.

The good news is that we have a passionate grassroots army of farmers, moms, dads, scientists and everyday citizens who are dedicated more than ever before to defeating Goliath for our health and for our future.

Chip in $7 dollars to help defeat Monsanto’s bid to silence GMO labeling in California and the U.S. We need to make sure that we can reach an even wider audience to help defeat the lies and misinformation that Monsanto and their allies are already flooding the airwaves with and claim victory this fall

http://fdn.actionkit.com/go/652?t=8&akid=633.148059.Mmma60

With your help, we will win!

Already, Monsanto, DuPont, Coke, Pepsi and Nestle are running deceptive and misleading ads on the air in California. The problem is, the opposition knows that lying and deception works. After all, they did it for decades, whether it was covering up the harm to human health of cigarettes, Agent Orange or DDT.

This fall, Californians will go to the ballot box to vote on one of the single most important issues of our time – whether or not we have a Right to Know what’s in our food or if corporations have a right to hide what they’re feeding us and our families.

Chip in $7 dollars to help defeat Monsanto’s bid to silence GMO labeling in California and the U.S. We now know that they’ll go to any length to defeat us.

In the past year alone 19 states have attempted to pass GMO labeling laws, but each time Monsanto and biotech lobbyists have threatened to sue. In Washington DC, both Republicans and Democrats have voted against labeling genetically engineered foods in equal numbers and the Obama administration has refused to act, despite a campaign promise the President made while on the campaign trail in 2007.

On November 6th, California could be the first state in the country to allow labeling of genetically engineered foods, creating a wave across the country to achieve this right for the entire nation.

A growing number of studies have shown that there are serious environmental and health issues that relate to GMOs and their patented seed technology. Even as the U.S. government continues to rubberstamp the approval of new GMO crops, countries around the world are banning or halting the import of GMO seeds into their country, including most recently, France, India, Egypt and China, as they are waking to the realities of this untested and unsafe technology.

In California, all we’re asking for is a simple label to appear on a package to inform consumers if their food contains GMO ingredients — a right that citizens in 50 countries already have.

I think we deserve this right, don’t you? Please join us in defeating this biotech Goliath and make GE labeling a reality with me today. Time is running short.

Chip in $7 dollars to help defeat Monsanto’s bid to silence GMO labeling in California and the U.S. – it’s time to fight back!

http://fdn.actionkit.com/go/652?t=12&akid=633.148059.Mmma60

Thank you for contributing what you can today – Together we can win!

Thanks for participating in food democracy,

Dave, Lisa and the Food Democracy Action! Team

P.S. All money raised for this campaign will go through Food Democracy Action!, a 501(c)4 allied organization of Food Democracy Now!, focused on grassroots lobbying and legislative action. Donations are not tax-deductible. Thank you for your support!